We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Dining Out

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
62 posts
9 reviews
Save Topic
Dining Out

I know this topic has been mentioned in the Forum before but I'm looking for up to date opinions/advice. I will be heading to North and South Island next April and trying to gage all expenses to budget the trip over the next year. I've been told (and have read) that food is super expensive in NZ.. My question, what is a realistic budget per day for food? My friend and I would like to be frugal to a point but we looooove food and really don't want to have to go without something that looks delicious b/c it's $25(US) for a burger. I read that one traveler was budgeting $30/day and responders commented that was very meager... would $50 be reasonable/day? My friend wants to buy groceries and make sandwiches for some of our lunches. And have a nice dinner out. Like, a burger and fries and a soda... what would that cost? Or a bowl of pasta, with a meat and a side salad? I don't want to eat lightly to save b/c I didn't budget appropriately. Especially since this trip is going to be go-go-go with tons of adventure - I'll need the fuel!!. :) Any ballpark figures would be great. Breakfast budget? Lunch budget? Dinner budget?

Lastly, I think I read that groceries were equally expensive. Would there be much of a cost savings to make our own food?

Thanks so much in advance!!!

Nelson-Tasman...
Level Contributor
6,894 posts
419 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Dining Out

If you use the McDonalds as an indicator of prices you can get a mcdonalds burger combo (burger, chips, drink) for less than $10. Other takeaways include fish And chips for less than $10. cheap pizzas are about $5, but decent deluxe more like $15.

You can get good pub meals for around $20 in many places (some much cheaper, some more expensive). Our local pub has t bone steak, chips and salad for $15.

However, if you want to have a nice restaurant meal you can expect about $20 to $35 for a main.

prices do vary and as we are islands prices do reflect our isolation. But for those on a budget there are many options available.

You have to remember that your US dollar does go further in Nz as well due to the exchange rate. Plus we dont have any tipping so the price you see in the restaurant is the total cost. No hidden extras like tips!

the great service is all included.

Christchurch, New...
Destination Expert
for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
Level Contributor
31,235 posts
322 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Dining Out

Fergburger is the iconic gourmet burger standard in QTN - expect to pay around $11-$14:

http://fergburger.com/menu.html

However as pointed out above this equates to $US10-$12 and there is no tax or tipping.

Most of us would not consider burger, fires & soda to be a "nice dinner"!!

If you want to be frugal, eating lunch out & self-catering dinner in your hostel or motel would work out cheaper. $20-$30 each would enable you to buy a modest lunch (sandwich/pie etc) and a piece of steak or salmon plus some ready-made salad from the supermarket for dinner.

If you go up to $50 pd you could eat out at pub meal prices, with a beer or glass of wine. OTH eating your way through the menu, with a bottle of wine would usually reach or exceed $50 pp.

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Western Australia
Level Contributor
3,405 posts
283 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Dining Out

Dining out in NZ (or Australia for that matter) definitely isn't cheap, but you'll certainly not go hungry.

I just looked at my trip report from my most recent visit to NZ - we (two people) spent $25 at Nando's (fast food, no drinks), $32 at Fergburger, (two burgers, one beer) and routinely spent upwards of $35 for breakfast at cafes (with coffee). Our nice meals were considerably more - $66 for one entrée, one main, shared dessert, one coffee and one beer at a café and $110 for two mains, a bottle of wine and a shared dessert at a winery.

You can save money by self-catering, even if just for one meal a day - NZ motels are generally well set up for self-catering, but it pays to know the specifics, as some places have full kitchens, while others just have a kettle and microwave. Likewise some grocery stores (such as the one in Te Anau) seem to specialize in self-catering, offering all manner of easy-to-prepare meals for travelers.

Bakeries are a great source for inexpensive light meals and of course grocery stores will be the cheapest, although the prices will seem much higher to you than you're used to in NC.

Some restaurants in NZ are BYO, meaning you can take your own bottle of wine to dinner with you. There's generally a nominal fee charged for corkage, and it can vary wildly from place to place, so check first.

Enjoy NZ - it's a beautiful place.

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
62 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Dining Out

LOL, zhuhai2007 I know a burger, fries and soda is not considered a "nice" dinner... haha! It's more of a standard that I was using as an example. Culturaly it should be very interesting to see how this trip goes. I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!!

Thank you for suggesting Ferburger and including the link. Looks delicious and to me, the prices don't seem as crazy as I expected. For this type/category of establishment, are these prices that we can expect, give or take, all throughout NZ?

Melnq8 - thank you for your input - extremely valuable and a lot of good information. Us girls like our wine so I appreciate the detailed response. This will give us a good idea of what to expect.

THANK YOU BOTH!!

Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
62 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Dining Out

poppynz - thank you for your input too. Very valuable. (sorry I missed it earlier).

Oooo, one other question that just popped into my head -what about taxes? Are groceries taxed? Food purcahsed at restaurants taxed? Or is that included in the price of the meal/good?

Nelson-Tasman...
Level Contributor
6,894 posts
419 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Dining Out

All included in the price of the meal. The prices shown at supermarkets and restaurants are the prices charged. the only exception would be when some establishments charge a surcharge on public holidays. A few places may charge an extra 15% (or so) for public holidays - but this must be advised. And check any bookings on public holidays so that you can go to a place which doesnt have the surcharge.

Edited: 03 July 2014, 20:10
Charlotte, North...
Level Contributor
62 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Dining Out

AWESOME! Thanks so much! :)

Alphen aan den...
Level Contributor
19 posts
102 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Dining Out

Hi,

I read you girls like wine. So you'll probably know that NZ wines (especially Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir) belong to the finest in the world.

A glass in a restaurant would cost you around NZD 9-10; a bottle in a supermarket around 12-15. Pak'n Save is a cheap supermarket chain. Bought a Matua SB for NZD 9,99.

Have fun in beautiful NZ!

9. Re: Dining Out

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 05 July 2015, 06:16