The Economics of a Month-long Campervan Adventure through New Zealand

This post provides a cost breakdown of a five-week JUCY Chaser campervan adventure beginning in Christchurch and ending in Auckland.

We really had no idea how much our journey would end up costing us prior to leaving. In total, we spent more than $10,000 for two people, which was more than we expected, but was completely worth it in the end! In theory, the camper we selected sleeps 3-4 people, so an easy way to bring down the cost is to bring more folks along! However, I can’t imagine coexisting with three-other people in such a tight space, one was enough.

Included in the breakdown are the following items: lodging, food, transportation. Souvenirs and excursions (Hobbiton tickets, Milford Sound and Doubtful Sound cruise tickets, etc.) were not included.

NZ Economics

  • Lodging: As mentioned in New Zealand: Month-long Campervan Route and Lodging Information, DOC sites generally cost half the price of the private holiday parks, and freedom camping is FREE. We stayed in private holiday sites more frequently because we needed power for laptops, but the DOC sites and freedom camping were easily our favorite spots. For a more detailed breakdown of where we stayed and what we spent per night, check out the post with our route here.
  • Transportation: The JUCY Chaser has a 70 liter fuel tank. We averaged between 7.0 – 8.4 km/L (a total range of 490 – 560 km, but around 445 km the gas light will come on). During the five weeks, we drove a total of 3357 miles (more than half of that was on the South Island)
  • Food: Restaurants are incredibly expensive in New Zealand. Eating out will quickly break the bank if you’re not careful, but living off “cup-of-noodles” can get old quickly. We enjoyed picking up groceries and cooking in our van, as well as trying out a raw diet. Check out recipes the following recipes for inspiration: Recipe: Raw Italian Pesto Salad Bowl and Recipe: Raw Tofu Asian Salad Bowl
  • It’s useful to know that most places take credit cards throughout New Zealand, save a few coffee shops here and there. We took out $100 NZD at the airport, which lasted us right until the end.



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