Budget Breakdown Of 10 Days In South Island
Making a budget when you travel is so important. During our time traveling the South Island, New Zealand, we made sure to always keep track of our expenditures. For that reason, we made wise spending choices. Not only that, we don’t splurge unnecessarily and mostly cook our own meals.
If you have read my comprehensive 10-day New Zealand South Island Road Trip Itinerary, you will know that four of us traveled together during the course of 10 days in an Apollo motorhome. Before that, we made sure to check our budget and found that renting a motorhome was actually cheaper in winter.
Hence, to ease flexibility and to allow my parents to experience what it’s like staying and traveling in a motorhome, we opted to rent Apollo’s instead of Airbnbs or hotels. With that, check out our budget breakdown below on our 10 days of travel in South Island, New Zealand!
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Because Louis and I didn’t need to buy a flight ticket from home, our flight ticket fare will not be included. However, my parents still had to purchase their flight tickets.
However, certain flights do not offer a direct flight to Christchurch, so another fare was paid to fly from Auckland to Christchurch.
Activities - $8.8 per day per person
Even though New Zealand is famous for its adrenaline activities, I can’t be arranging skydiving or bungy jumping activities for my parents, can I? So, to cater to their needs, we planned our itinerary to include mostly sight-seeing locations instead of adrenaline activities. Clearly, that saved us a lot of money for the trip. Although we couldn’t do most of the adrenaline activities, we still splurged on a worthy Milford boat cruise and a gondola ride up at Queenstown.
Food - $20 per day per person
Ultimately, if you’re a foodie and are interested to try everything in NZ, you’ll need to set a higher budget for food. Eating out in New Zealand can burn a hole in your wallet and I’m not even joking. While the rest we spent on some must-try food and drinks in NZ, most of our meals were cooked in our motorhome.
motorhome - $27 per day per person
Most of the time, we traveled in our Apollo Euro Star 4-berth Motorhome.
Let me expand a bit on liability reduction. So, when we booked the motorhome, they gave us an option on whether to purchase liability reduction. Being my cheapskate self, I thought we didn’t need that. Confidently, we thought we would be careful enough and wouldn’t crash into anything. Hence, we didn’t select the liability reduction option when paying for the motorhome.
A little later, someone more experienced at traveling in a motorhome told us that we really needed to purchase liability reduction. Not only that, we could get the value pack which includes liability reduction, and at the same time get other extras.
The Value Pack can be added for NZD $36 per day and it lessens the Bond to only NZD $250 and liability to NZD $0.
Value Pack includes:
Unlimited Windscreen and Tyres, Undercarriage/Overhead damage (covered for accidental damage), pre-purchased gas bottle, initial set of toilet chemicals, camp chairs and table, and baby/booster seats (with prior request).
Holiday Park - $17 per day per person
As we needed to plug in to a powered site to charge the car, we also spent quite a bit on holiday parks. The plan was to stay in a holiday park every other day. In the end, due to unforeseen circumstances, we stayed in holiday parks for 7 days out of the 10 days.
Christchurch TOP 10 Holiday Park = NZD $87
Freedom Camp at Lake Pukaki = N/A
Wanaka Kiwi Holiday Park (2 days) = NZD $176
Freedom Camp at Twenty Five Mile Stream = N/A
Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park = NZD $104
Milford Sound Lodge = NZD $127
Freedom Camp at Lumsden = N/A
Dunedin Holiday Park = NZD $74
Christchurch Top 10 Holiday Park = NZD $87
7 nights = NZD $655
Per adult = NZD $163.75
Fuel - $14 per day per person
We’ve had a heads-up from so many people warning us about the ridiculously expensive fuel prices in South Island. Luckily, our motorhome runs on diesel, so we paid much less than we would pay for petrol 91. However, at the end of our journey, we still had to pay diesel tax (or Road user charges). For that, we paid about NZD $0.07 for every 100km. To start, we had a full tank. Of course, the condition was to return the motorhome at full tank as well.
Even though we didn’t need to change our clothes as often due to the chilly weather, the laundry still pilled up every 3 days. It can pile up quick especially when there are four of us. Hence, we did laundry in the holiday parks using coin-operated washing machine and dryer. As we drove further down South, we also found the price for the laundry service piling up, just like our dirty laundry. The cheapest laundry service starts in Christchurch.
Total Expenditure Per Person
It totaled up to about NZD $2014 (rounded up) per person, which will be around RM5.6k per person (flight included).
Everything is just a rough estimation and may not show the actual figure that you would spend. You could go higher or lower depending on your budget and needs.
Visual chart of our expenditure:
For those of you who prefer visuals over numbers, I got Louis to make a chart for me because I’m terrible at making charts.
The pie chart below is based on expenditure PER PERSON:
We hope you find this budget post helpful for your next trip to New Zealand! If you want to save even more, you can check out our handy tips on how you can travel New Zealand on a budget! Spoiler alert, you might not have to pay for accommodation at all!