CNN has identified NZ as the 2nd best place to be in 2011. The big reason for this might well be the relatively low NZD and the World Cup Rugby in September 2011. Mind you, travellers ought to note the high cost of travelling in NZ. For travellers, you might like to reflect upon some of the costs, which are particularly high in tourist meccas like Queenstown.
We offer you some cheaper ways to keep costs down:
1. Buying a car - You can pick up a really cheap car through Turner NZ auctions in a number of major cities. Visit their website first before you come. You can always sell the car before you leave through TradeMe. This might be harder if you have no registered address in NZ, so set up your TradeMe account before you buy. You will probably want to buy other things anyway. It makes sense to buy a car if you are here more than a month I suspect. I suggest buying a car with a 1.6-1.8L engine to reduce the cost of NZD1.98/litre petrol.
2. Rent a campervan - This spares you the expense of accommodation as well as flexibility and difficulties finding a hotel. NZ is a quiet place so its not too difficult to find a place to stay the nice. Just make sure you park where there are toilets. Campervans are cheap in NZ because there is a lot of competition. If you need to get back to an airport for a flight out, consider www.standbycars.com for a nominally priced campavan return.
3. Buy all your food in Countdown and New World supermarkets. Restrict yourself to the token coffee and muffin at cafes for a token eating out experience. Catch your own fish. Fishing licence is required in NZ.
4. Internet is really hard to get in NZ, so it might be worth getting a pre-paid USD modem for around $100. Get the right download volume to meet your needs and time constraints.
5. Cost of living is high, so consider bringing all your camping needs. There is limited competition and you might not have time to buy stuff 2nd-hand from salvation army or 2nd hand shops, or from TradeMe.co.nz.
6. NZ experiences - Consider carefully the experiences you have because anything related to tourism is overpriced because of demand. i.e. The cost of entering Rotorua hot springs are excessive, so you are better off going to Yellowstone (USA). The old reasonably priced experiences in NZ are swimming at the beach, walking bush trails and renting houses. If you do overnight trips, alpine huts can cost anything from zero to $50/night, depending on demand. This is why camping is the ultimate stop-gap.
7. Flights - The best entries into NZ are Jetstar (from Australia or Japan), Air Asia X (from March from KL) from Gold Coast or Melbourne; as these are the discount airlines. Otherwise check out the www.jetstar.com website.
The best way to enjoy NZ is to visit in the summer and stay on a 3-month lease in places like Queenstown (South Is), Te Anau (Sth), Wanganui (Nth) and Auckland (Nth). This makes maximum use of your car. You can start in the south in summer, and spend the winter in Auckland.