a VirtualTourist member
Hi, my friend and are are planning to backpack through New Zealand next year for about three months, maybe more. Assuming we get the cheepest accomadations most of the time how much money approx would we need to set aside for a trip like this? Is it better to buy a campervan or sleep in a tent but use busses as our main means of tranportation? Any insight on the subject would be helpful- thanks!
I think you can rent a camper van for South Island after few nights in ChCh, then on North Island can likely find more hostels
Renting a campervan will probably be outside your budget, if you are looking for "cheap options". However it is common for people to buy a van and sell on departure - a huge gamble though, imagine if you have major mechanical problems with your cheap van, or if you can't sell it when you leave.
What time of year will you be here, because depending on the season greatly depends on the best option.
This is actually a tricky question.
Buying or renting a van/camper will give you independance to go where you like. But petrol is very expensive in New Zealand. Buses in NZ can be very cheap...but tend to zig zag across the country so can take a long time to get somewhere.
Something like Kiwi Experience http://www.kiwiexperience.com/ may be more to your liking.
I would do that option...and then maybe hire a car for a few days when you want to get off the beaten track.
As for your daily budget....that is also tricky. Food/drink will probably be one of your biggest expenses. Its shameful to say...but you may find eating at local cafes to be cheaper than a visit to the supermarket.
Also, depending on what time of the year you are coming....you could always look at the option of taking a rental back up to Auckland from Christchurch. (As most people fly into Auck and leave ChCh). Some places will even give you one free ferry passage and all you have to do is pay for the fuel.
renting a car is not expensive but petrol is. We rented a car from Ace. Renting a car will give u the flexibility of stopping anywhere and find accomodation be it motels, hostels or B&Bs, which can be found at many towns. Food is not as cheap but if u are not fussy there are take-aways or small cafes that sell at pretty affordable price.
The member is talking about 3 months, so renting a car may not be suitable for that length of time, who knows. The cheapest food option is definitely shopping at supermarkets and cooking yourself. Takeaway and cafe food gets a bit monotonous after a while.
If you are prepared to take the risk, Hitchhiking is a very cheap way to travel- its not generally approved as 'safe'- and depends if you are 2 females or males, male/female etc- I sometimes pick up hitch hikers if I am travelling for work or on my way to somewhere with my children and have a spare seat in the car- I only pick up people that look like they are prepared to be friendly or the types that would hopefully do the same in their own country if my own kids ever travel there and find themselves stuck for transport- If someone picks you up and smells strongly of pot or is not prepared to look you in the eye in a friendly way, or its a group of males, find another 'ride'!