Luxury Travel on a Budget around New Zealand


on the road

New Zealand is on many a travelers bucket list. And so it should be, with its spectacular landscape, non-stop action backed adventure activities, and award winning wines and beers.

But visiting New Zealand isn’t cheap, especially if you like a little luxury with your travel.

So here are some tips on how to make your New Zealand adventure a ‘trip of a lifetime’ without breaking the bank.


here there

Getting Around New Zealand

 On the road

Road tripping around New Zealand is a must but driving here is expensive with the cost of gas around US$8/gallon. But you can offset these costs by getting a relocation vehicle – preferable one that is free or heavily discounted. Some companies will even throw in gas money and ferry tickets if you are crossing between the North Island and South Island. The only downside to this is that you will have a limited time to deliver the car/van to its new location.

There are a number of rental care relocation websites that list available car and campervans:





In the air

Cheap domestic airfares can be found if you know where to look.

Air New Zealand’s Grabaseat site gives you plenty of cheap airfare options with it’s weekly reverse auction and new specials posted each day. Get advance warning on big sales by signing up to Grabaseat on Facebook. Also download the grabaseat app and set up alerts for routes that interest you.

Jetstar, the only other airline offering domestic flights, also offers some good deals especially if you are wanting to book flights well in advance. Sign up to Jetstar’s Facebook page to get tips on upcoming sales.

You can also search multiple destinations from one airport with Skyscanner.


Sleeping around New Zealand

Besides joining hotel loyalty programs, one of the best ways to get cheaper accommodation around New Zealand is to sign up for local group booking sites. Similar to the American based Groupon, they often offer heavily discounted deals,

GrabOne Escapes and TreatMe are popular sites offering one or two nights stays at luxury hotels, B&Bs, lodges, and motels throughout New Zealand, often at more than 50% discount. And many throw in option extras such as breakfast, late check out, and wine. To get the most out of this site, sign up for daily email alerts a month or two before you’re planning on visiting. Just remember though, before you actually click on buy check with the hotel to make sure that the specific dates you are after are available.

Wotif and Expedia are other useful sites to find discounted accommodation around New Zealand.


Activities on the cheap

It’s not cheap to throw yourself off a bridge or a mountain, or doing any of a multitude of high-octane adventures to be found around New Zealand. But there are sites that help cut the costs.

BookMe – a treasure trove of activity with discounts ranging from 20 to 70% can be found here. Simply pick your location and all the activities available at discounted prices will pop up. The only catch is that there are only so many discounted tickets available within the immediate two-week timeframe.


Eating and drinking around New Zealand

If, like me, you find that most of your travel spending money buys food and drink, then these resources will help.

GrabOne Deals offers plenty of restaurant deals around the country. Aimed mainly at locals and in the main centers, they range from discounted coffee and pizza to fine dining.

Entertainment Books – if you are planning on dining out a lot while traveling around New Zealand, it might be worth while to purchase an Entertainment Book or two. Each regional or city book provides discounts of up to 50 % and plenty of 2-for-1 deals on popular restaurants, attractions, shopping, and even accommodation.

(all photos @Liz Lewis 2014)

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