I have been living in Australia for almost two years now. My visa is up in mid November and before I go home for Christmas I would like to spend a month in New Zealand.
How much money would I need to do everything? I want to do as much of the North and South Island that I can.
Any advice is much appreciated!
Make it two months! A month is far too short for New Zealand. (Hell, two years would barely cover it.)
New Zealand tends to be about 10-20% cheaper in everything than Australia, mostly through the exchange rate (so everything costs a similar amount of local dollars, it's just the dollars themselves that are cheaper).
High season starts at christmas, so good timing there to be gone before then.
I agree with Sander. My first trip was four weeks, my second was six weeks and I was still making tough choices and missing out whole regions.
Oh jeez guys! I literally just booked my flights!
You can have a GREAT trip in 4 weeks, just don't set out to cover all the territory. Enjoy some areas in depth and go with the mindset that (assuming you like it) you'll be going back so it's ok to leave something for next time.
If i had to prioritise, I'd do south island plus the central north island. Ie skipping hawkes bay, eastland, taranaki, northland, whanganui.
I'm thinking of the Naked Bus Pass...
My cousins loved the South Island when they came over from Switzerland (early 20's), and when my stepkids (late teens) came over from the UK we took them to the Bay of Islands, Taupo and Rotorua which they thought were pretty awesome.
I personally love Queenstown and am still trying to get to Napier and Nelson.
Most expensive places to do activities would be Queenstown... and Hobbiton in Matamata (North Island) if that appeals to you.
If you are in the area why not check out the Lindis valley, near Wanaka. It has beautiful views and can be visited for free. You have to be fit to be able to walk up the steep elevations though.
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