Let's start with the simplest: the Catering. The cheapest way to eat in New Zealand is to eat vegetarian, meat costs a lot and especially sausages should be avoided in my opinion, they just don't taste good. Vegetables are cheap, especially corn, avocados and peppers were cheaper than in Germany according to my memory. If you want to take the stinginess to the extreme, it's best to buy rice or pasta as a satisfying side dish. A pack of these costs about 70 cents, which is equivalent to about 40 euro cents. As a camper, it is better to leave potatoes alone, they simply take too long to cook, and you don't want to "burn" your $7 gas cartridge just for a meal. We do not recommend the consumption of coffee, tobacco and alcohol, they are also very expensive (the cheapest wine starts at 30$)!)
As Supermarket/Discounter offers itself "Pack n' Save", they are everywhere, and corresponds to Aldi here. Many of the stores have their own Gas stations, where you can even save a few cents per liter with a receipt. This is valid (as far as I remember) only from a purchase value of 25 or 50$. Even with the "Onecard" available at "Countdown", New Zealand's other major supermarket chain, points can be collected according to the Payback principle and then used at "Caltex" or "BP" gas stations to get cheaper gasoline. I deliberately write gasoline, because I recommend no Diesel car to buy/rent, because there is an extra tax on them, which is charged by kilometers driven. Another store is "Warehouse" where you can get everything for repairs, it is equivalent to the hardware stores also common in our country.
If you buy a Car would like to buy itself, so we recommend for the region of Auckland the Carfair in the district "Ellerslie" at the racecourse, which starts every Sunday at 9:00 to 12:00. At the start of the backpacking season, prices are up neatly compared to the offseason, our Toyota Estima at the beginning of December about 4.500$, and had we not been pressed for time and incredibly lucky, we could have bought the wall in April for 2.000$ flogged. There is another smaller market, the "Auckland City Car Fair" in the "Alten Rd" in the middle of Auckland. Since it is small you can also look there, but most sellers you see on Sundays in Ellerslie eh. This can also be an advantage, as a test to check out the market and to find backpackers who have to sell under time pressure. The likelihood of this at the beginning of the season though is vanishingly small, most are professional dealers who store the cars in the winter and resell them. These are also usually the ones who buy the cars back from you in the fall – for a knockdown price. In Ellerslie there are also mechanics, where you can have your car completely checked for about 150$ (I think).
The mechanics are independent of the dealers and they are to be trusted, and to use them is in any case advisable! They are expensive, but they may save you from buying a $5000 junk pile! It's also a good idea to buy insurance, we bought ours from AA (the ADAC equivalent) for around $450 – it was the cheapest in 2016/17.
To buy anything at all you need of course first money, which by bank transfer about. A week to New Zealand is needed. This requires a new zealand account. We opened this at Kiwibank, because it is part of the New Zealand Post Office, which has branches in almost every town in the country. This would also guarantee the supply of cash, which is hardly needed, since you can pay for everything with contactless cards – even an ice cream for 70 cents at Burger King is no problem at all (but I'll get to fast food later).
For the account you need a "Proof of Address", a document that proves that you have a place to live in New Zealand. The way we solved this was that our Air BnB host at the time kindly gave us one of his utility bills with his address on the letterhead. Quasi a free pass for us, because we could have used this letter for everything at any time – so a stroke of luck. But many hostels offer this "Proof of Address" as a service, for a surcharge of 10-25$ as far as I remember seen correctly. Often you need an appointment at the bank at the beginning of the season, so it's best to be flexible, both in terms of branch and time, and bring enough of it, it can take a week. In the meantime, it is a good idea to have enough cash from home! At the beginning we had misjudged the time management a bit and were happy about every bill that could be paid with the cell phone and Paypal (although the exchange rates are sometimes really crappy).
But opening the account is very fast, especially since you can pay immediately everywhere thanks to an unpersonalized card (i.E. Without your own name on it). After that you just pay your cash to the account, and go directly to the next supermarket, buy something cheap and return to the bank. With the proof that there is money in the account (the invoice) you can now apply for a tax number, and you will get it immediately. This is essential if you want to get a job, without it you would work black, and that is certainly not a good idea.
With the fresh account you can now go to a phone provider to get a sim card. We have decided for Vodafone, which was said to have the highest network coverage in various Internet forums, but is also not quite cheap. This was important to us, which is why we paid for the admittedly many 3GB monthly data also almost $ 35, but you could screw on the SMS and free minutes thanks to the app massively.
For Overnight stays offers a hostel in the first week in any case. The "Base" in Queensstreet, the main shopping street in Auckland is the first stop for many backpackers. It is cheap… But therefore not necessarily also good. I thought it was too crowded, our room was close to the bar and therefore quite noisy at night, not for people with jetlag, but certainly a good place to go out in the evening. "Silverfern Backpackers" and the "YHA" were other hostels we visited in Auckland, but all 3 only when we left. Especially the YHA is quite practical, because you can get it with a German youth hostel card at a reduced rate. Although not quite cheap it would be my first choice of the accommodations I visited, but there are enough websites on which you can find hostels for your taste. We have chosen for our arrival but first Air-Bnb. The 2 days there we have but almost completely missed, but thanks to the warm host who could help us with many things denncoh perfect. After that we did couchsurfing, which I can only recommend to a limited extent with our host, who wasn't quite as cool as the guy from Air-BnB. You can't do anything.
But what you have to consider in any case is the distance of your residence for example to Queensstreet. Everywhere else is rather little going on, who wants to experience what should go to the center, which is great thanks to bus and train, but in our case ca. 7$ per way costs – not ideal to save gels.
If one is on the road so the prices vary depending on how one is on the road. If one is a camper, and sleeps in the car or tent, it can save on so-called DOC campsites really money. You are from the "Department of Conservation" which is responsible for the nature protection. The campsites are mostly located in the middle of the wilderness and are beautiful, but are often only rudimentary equipped – keyword outhouse. But these are surprisingly clean. Almost always in top condition. On the other hand, the prices are unbeatable: often free, but hardly more expensive than 10$! Most of the time there is a donation box, and you trust that the guests will pay. Of course, there are also better equipped places, but overall the price range is very wide Camping from 0 to about 25$ common, above that rather unusual. Person. Night on. It is best to charge your electricity in "libraries", they are almost everywhere, have long opening hours and almost all even have free WLAN. You can find these, but also public showers, campsites, hospitals, supermarkets and all important institutions with the highly recommended App Campermate
As long as you are in Auckland and unless you have your own kitchen available Fastfood the only way to get something to eat. New Zealand does have an incredibly environmentally conscious immage, but appearance is definitely different from reality here. Pizzahut and Dominos offer for only 3€ per pizza the cheapest basic supply and was therefore always our choice, everything else ranges in price from 7$.
Cost per month amounted with us with altogether about 1.000 $ per month. But these can be changed by Activities We had an average of just those thousand dollars per person. Definitely recommendable is the region around Queenstown. It is famous for having invented the bungee jump, so there are a lot of bungee jumps here. Both the highest jump and the biggest swing in the country can be found here. The Nevis Swing is around 270$, the PizzaHut and Bungee with about 370$, which however is better to spend than the money for the Swing, which I found to be less spectacular. At Motueka you can do a wonderful Basejump for 450$ make.
Where and how to find work?
If you don't only want to spend money, but also want to earn some, then you probably won't get around working. Classics here are farmwork like harvest help, etc. It is important to know that you need a special working visa, which can only be applied for once in a lifetime, but which allows you to stay in New Zealand for 12 months. To the tourist visa, which allows 6 months entry). Besides you need an account, as I explained above. If you thought it would be easy to find work there, I advise caution. With you come thousands of young people competing with you, and the jobs are mostly seasonal, available only for a few scant weeks (waiters or the like are usually only wanted for 3 months or more, and temporarily impossible to get). To save you a lot of frustration in your job search, I would go to a working hostel instead of spending days like we did grazing orchard after orchard, farm after farm. If you still want to do that, I'll name the three most important regions: on the South Island we looked especially in the region around Nelson, where a lot of fruit is grown, and around Blenheim, where we finally found a working hostel with a price of about. On the North Island especially the region around Napier and Hastings is known for Kiwis, you can also try it there during the appropriate seasons.
What is a working hostel? These are actually quite normal accommodations, but in addition the host takes care of the mediation of work between farms, etc. And you. We stayed in Blenheim on the South Island in 2017, one of the largest wine growing areas on the island, at Station Backpackers who got us a job on a vineyard. Our job there was to trim the vines, prepare for the harvest and weed the fields. We did this job for 3 weeks, and earned just under $1000 (I think) – but that was enough for us, and we were glad to be on the road again.
To help you a little bit with the travel route, I would like to show you our map. Here you can see all our overnight stays in numbered order, and in the descriptions also the corresponding blogposts, in case something interests you more closely. We basically traveled in an 8 shape, and drove from the northeast along the coasts to the southwest, and then up again. The roads are sometimes not as good as what you're used to at home, often you'll have to drive over gravel roads. But the big highways are of course well developed. Still plan enough time if you want to get from A to B. This is on the one hand due to the road conditions mentioned above, but also due to the partly curvy roads and the speed limits, which really make sense here, stick to them (also because of the speeding tickets)! In New Zealand you will often see signs saying bsp. "80 is not a goal" stands. A motto you can take to heart, also because you don't want to miss the varied landscape, hidden waterfalls or other highlights like Lord of the Rings filming locations ;). In the following I'll show you some absolute classics that you can't miss!
Here one sees the Abel Tasman National Park which is an absolute MUST-DO. Here you can do everything from one-day kayak tours to multi-day hikes, and what is one of my absolute highlights of the country!
Rafting and visiting a typical Maori village in Roroura are other great activities in the geothermal active region, where you can also visit a city park with small mud volcanoes. Also Hot Beaches like at the Cathedral Cave (filming location of bspw. Narnia) or Kawhia are to be recommended. Especially the latter, because it is not so crowded, and also warmer.
And of course Hobbiton, the set for the Lord of the Rings triology belongs on the itinerary of every New Zealand traveler, at the latest here you become a fan, promised.