What We Spent In 4 Days In Rotorua, New Zealand


We kicked off our New Zealand Road trip in Rotorua to explore the infamous geothermal areas and incredible landscapes! We are really trying to do the next 8 weeks on a budget so I thought I would break down the costs for everything from accommodation to food shopping at Countdown.

(Prices are based on two people splitting the costs and are in NZ Dollars. The total cost for both of us was divided by 2 for the overall price per person)

Rotorua, new zealand


Accommodation can be quite pricey in New Zealand so we opted for an 8 share dorm at Rock Solid Backpackers which came in at $23 per night.

We both really enjoyed our stay here as it has a very unique feel with a large climbing wall for you to look out onto whilst you chill and plan your next moves!

Food & Drink

We self catered the entire time while here in Rotorua and I made sure to keep all of our receipts! We shopped at Countdown for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Just simple meals, fruit, pitta bread, pizza, veggies, hummus… That kind of stuff. Over the four days we racked up a total of $93.40 which is $46.70 per person.

The reason this price was quite high is because we had to stock up on sun cream which came in at $16.99 for a 400ml bottle! But overall it was only around $11 per day for all our meals!

Alcohol is where you budget gets blown in this country so we try to limit what we drink and only have a cheeky pint now and again. Over 4 days we had a total of 6 pints of lager which came in at $45 ($22.50 each for 3 pints).


This is the part where you could spent an absolute fortune!! Activites and attractions are normally triple figured here so you may want to be very selective with what you see. However, New Zealand is the land of free things with it’s stunning landscape and long walking tracks!

We opted to visit Wai-O-Tapo which was MIND BLOWING! Entry is $32.50 per person and it takes about 80minutes to walk around and enjoy the sights and smells…. (You will have to account for getting there which I shall talk about later but a shuttle bus + entry was $69 each per person when it was booked at our hostel)

Keresene Creek which is located just before Wai-O-Tapo is A MUST if you have a car. Down a little gravel path, it’s clearly signposted and you get to bathe under a waterfall in a perfectly warm thermal pool! This of course was free!

We spent the rest of the time filling our days with free activities such as walking around the water to visit some of the local geothermal areas and driving around the local areas to find some gorgeous secluded spots!

Wai-o-tapu rotorua new zealand


We got from Auckland to Rotorua via ManaBus but whilst we were there we just knew a car was the cheapest and best way to get around. So we hired a car for two days from Rent-a-Dent which came in at $120 with insurance for both days. So, $60 each!

We used less than half a tank which cost only $18 to refill before returning the car!


The only extra was a load of laundry which came in at $6 for laundry powder, wash and dry! We did a lot of long walks and sitting on the ground which left our clothes seeing better days so a wash was critical!!

Grand total

Over 4 full days of exploring Rotorua we spent a total of $243.50 each, coming in at $60.87 per day. This was including the 2 day car hire, without would have been $43.50 per day. HOWEVER, without a car we would have had to spent a lot more on shuttle buses which are super expensive. So that would have sky rocketed our daily budget!

Have you been to Rotorua? How did you find the prices? Any money saving tips for this town? Let me know down below!

Hi! Name’s Aly! Originally from Birmingham, England, I have been discovering the world for over 3 years straight. I am a psychology graduate with a love for Pho and red wine. Whether I throw myself into a novel or from 14,000ft up out of a plane, I look at adventure big and small and say “Let’s do this!”