Planning an adventure tour in New Zealand? A tour around our epic country promises an unparalleled experience, filled with adrenaline-pumping activities and awe-inspiring scenery. As you gear up for the thrill of a lifetime, one crucial aspect often stands at the forefront of your planning process - the cost.

In this guide, we go into what you need to consider when you are budgeting for an adventure tour in New Zealand. We break down the various factors that contribute to your overall expenses. From the type of activities to accommodation choices, daily budgets understand how much general living is so you can ensure you have an unforgettable adventure.

 alpine explorer nz winter tour 24


Things to Consider When Planning an Adventure Tour in New Zealand

From activities to accommodation, a tour of New Zealand will leave lasting memories. Here are the things to consider when you start planning your time with us.


What Adventure Activities Do You Want to Experience?

For thrill-seekers aged, the adventure playground of New Zealand offers an array of heart-pounding activities to satiate your appetite for excitement. From bungee jumping off the iconic Kawarau Bridge to navigating the white-water rapids of the Shotover River, your choices are as diverse as the landscapes themselves.

Popular adventure activities also include:

  • Skydiving over Queenstown's stunning lakes,

  • Exploring the Waitomo Glowworm Caves through exhilarating black-water rafting,

  • Conquering the slopes of world-renowned ski resorts during the winter months.

 abel tasman skydive

When you plan your New Zealand adventure, there can be significant cost variations depending on which activity you choose. While some options like hiking may be more affordable, others such as helicopter skiing or skydiving involve specialised equipment and professional tour guides which can contribute to higher overall costs.

A top tip is to start with a bucket list of what types of experiences you want to do and then look for the locations that you will need to travel to get the most out of your time away.

You can spend the time building your personalised itinerary and booking everything yourself, however for a guaranteed trip of a lifetime finding the right tour operator can be a massive timesaver. They know all the operators, have set prices for group bookings and know all the best places that make their customers say WOW. In the end, they are doing all the hard work for you and you can sit back and enjoy the ride.


The Cost of Top Adventure Activities in New Zealand

  • Bungy jumping, a Kiwi invention, provides an iconic adrenaline rush, with prices ranging from $200 to $300 depending on the location and height of the jump.

  • White-water rafting down the Shotover River can cost between $130 to $300

  • Exploring the glowworm-lit caverns of Waitomo through black-water rafting may range from $200 to $300.

  • Whale watching in Kaikoura depending on how you travel to see them can be between $100-$250

  • Skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts flock to the Southern Alps during winter, with costs varying from $150 to $200 for a day pass.

  • Skydiving, an ultimate daredevil's dream, can cost between $300 to $500, depending on the altitude and scenic location.

  • Hiking, on the other hand, offers budget-friendly alternatives, with various trails across the country that are either free or ask for a minimal permit fee. The Tongariro Crossing for example is a day trek across an epic volcanic landscape. The walk is free but booking is advisable as there are limited spaces up on the mountain.

  • Cycling Tours; there are some incredible landscapes in New Zealand and one of the best ways to access the off-the-beaten-track beauty is on the back of a bike. Hiring a mountain bike can be anywhere between $80 - $100) depending on length of time.  Cycling tours can cost anywhere between $200- $1000


How Much Does Accommodation Cost in New Zealand?

As with any country, New Zealand offers diverse accommodation options, accommodating various budgets and preferences. Accommodation costs in New Zealand vary widely, catering to different preferences and budgets. The big cities and tourist centres will generally offer more options. You do have the option of booking accommodation close to the time of travel however in peak season or smaller less populated tourist areas you might find yourself without a bed for the night if you leave it to the last minute.

Here's a breakdown of the types of accommodations and their approximate costs:

  • Camping: Enjoying the beauty of nature by hitching a tent around New Zealand. Prices can vary from $8 per night to $30 depending on facilities. You can also find some great free ones along the way.

  • Hostels: Ideal for budget-conscious travellers, hostels in cities and popular tourist areas can range from $20 to $80 per night.

  • Budget Motels: Basic motels or motor lodges are common across the country, costing between $80 to $300 per night.

  • Hotels: Mid-range hotels provide comfort and amenities, with prices averaging between $150 to $300 per night.

  • Luxury Lodges: For those seeking indulgence, luxury lodges nestled in scenic locations can range from $300 to $1000 or more per night.

  • Holiday Parks: Ideal for campers and RV enthusiasts, holiday parks offer powered and non-powered sites, ranging from $20 to $50 per night.

  • Airbnb/Short-Term Rentals: Renting a room or an entire property through Airbnb or similar platforms can vary widely, starting from $50 and going up to $450 or more per night depending on the location and amenities.

 Lakeview in morning camping hero

How Much Does It Cost to Travel Around New Zealand?

Travelling through the amazing landscapes of New Zealand, you have a range of travel options, each allowing you to enjoy your experience at a different pace. Here's an overview of the travel options and their approximate costs:

  1. Car Rentals: Renting a car provides flexibility for exploring both cities and remote areas. Costs vary based on the type of vehicle and rental duration, ranging from $24 to $150 per day. You also need to factor in fuel and accommodation costs.

  2. Campervan Rentals: Popular among those seeking a nomadic adventure, camper van rentals are available at approximately $100 to $250 per day, offering both transportation and accommodation. It's important to note here in peak season costs can increase a lot due to demand and popular locations may be sold out in advance.

  3. Public Transportation: Buses and trains are efficient and cost-effective means of travelling around a city. Fares start from $4 to travel in one zone with additional charges depending on how far you travel across the city.  

  4. Domestic Flights: For covering longer distances, domestic flights are available, with prices varying depending on the route and booking time. Expect costs ranging from $50 to $300 or more. Booking these in advance is advisable for saving money.

  5. Intercity Coaches: Coach services connect major cities and tourist destinations, offering budget-friendly options with fares typically ranging from $150 to $800 depending on how long you're travelling for and where you are going.

If you are planning your own journey getting transport booked in advance is a priority, especially for the budget-conscious. The best thing about joining an all-inclusive tour is that everything is worked out for you in advance. From buses, transfers and the ferries from the North to South Island. As a group price, you save on your individual price around New Zealand and still enjoy the freedom to explore. 


Our Group Adventures Offer Group Savings!

Joining Flying Kiwi’s group tour to take advantage of fantastic group discounts, making it not only a shared experience but also a shared budget. We provide unbeatable value during your New Zealand trip - our tours include more meals, flexibility, hikes, adventure & time in the best places. Our knowledgeable guides take you to some incredible places allowing you the time to relax and enjoy your experience.

Active Adventures are best enjoyed together, our guided tours allow you to experience the best of NZ and make lasting memories with like-minded adventurers from all over the globe.

Make planning easy with our New Zealand tours. Check out our departure times and tour itineraries here.


How Many Days Should I Be Planning for the Best New Zealand Experience?

The duration of the trip you are planning in New Zealand plays a pivotal role in shaping the choices you have. The country from top to tail is around 1600 km, which means you can cover some serious kilometres to get from epic landscape to adventure playground in one day.  As the country offers such a variety of experiences in different regions

Our advice on planning a trip here is to plan for at least 14 days otherwise you will be missing out on the variety of activities and top locations. You also need to consider some time in these epic environments to chill out and absorb the beauty.

Within 14 days, you will be able to take in the highlights of the North Island. This island is best known for its beautiful beaches, geothermal & volcanic activity, and the bustle of a few of its biggest cities. A tour from Auckland winding down to Wellington, covering some of the not-to-be-missed sites could take from 5 days to 8 depending on how much you want to relax.

Followed by 9-15 days in the South Island where you should plan to stop at least in the Marlborough Sounds, Kaikoura, Lake Tekapo, Franz Josef, Queenstown and Milford Sound. There are so many options for epic adventures to have in the South Island the more time you have here the better.

By booking a tour of both islands or either one will allow you the time to relax and enjoy some of the best-kept secrets that NZ has to offer.


Understanding the Seasonal Variations

Seasonal variations play a crucial role in determining the cost of an adventure tour in New Zealand, influencing both availability and pricing. Things to consider whilst planning your adventure are:

1. Peak vs. Off-Peak Seasons:

New Zealand experiences have distinct peak and off-peak seasons, impacting the overall cost of an adventure tour. Peak seasons, typically during summer (December to February) and major holidays, witness a surge in demand for accommodations, activities, and transportation. As a result, prices for these services are higher, and popular attractions can be crowded.

Do keep in mind that there are several winter sports hubs in New Zealand - in Queenstown and near the ski fields of Mount Ruapehu in the North Island. Costs may be similar or possibly higher than the summer periods. 

Off-peak seasons, such as winter (June to August), present an opportunity for budget-conscious travellers. During these times, accommodation rates may drop, and some activities offer discounts to attract visitors.

2. Price Fluctuations Based on the Time of Year:

Certain adventure activities exhibit price fluctuations based on the time of year. For example, winter is the peak season for skiing and snowboarding, leading to higher costs for equipment rental and lift passes. Conversely, water-based activities like kayaking or rafting may have more demand in the warmer months.

Additionally, some tours or excursions may offer discounts during shoulder seasons, providing a balance between favourable weather and reduced expenses. Being mindful of these seasonal nuances can allow you to strategically plan your adventure tour, optimising both experience and cost.


Our Tips for Stretching the Cash In New Zealand

Cost-effective adventure planning in New Zealand involves strategic considerations to maximize value, minimize expenses and keep it stress-free.

Booking in Advance:

Booking in advance is a key strategy for budget-conscious travellers. Many adventure tour operators and accommodations offer enticing early bird discounts and promotions for those who plan ahead.

Securing reservations well in advance not only ensures availability during peak seasons but also allows travellers to take advantage of the best deals on accommodations and activities. This proactive approach not only makes it easy to keep track of your money but also provides a sense of reassurance, allowing adventurers to focus on the excitement of their upcoming journey.

Group Discounts and Packages:

Exploring group tour options can be a game-changer for those seeking cost-effective adventures. Group tours often come with significant discounts, as operators can leverage economies of scale. Travellers can share expenses, reducing individual costs for accommodations, transportation, and activities.

Additionally, bundled adventure packages, which combine multiple activities or services, offer another avenue for savings. These packages not only streamline the planning process but also often provide better overall value. Whether travelling solo or with a group, considering these tips for cost-effective adventure planning ensures a memorable travel experience without breaking the bank in the captivating landscapes of New Zealand.


Plan an Adventure of a Lifetime in New Zealand?

At Flying Kiwi we're dedicated to making your adventure dreams a reality, offering affordable and unforgettable experiences.

Book online today!!