How to travel low cost in New Zealand

As in Australia, even in New Zealand travelling low cost is not very easy. But you can still try to lower your expenses, especially the transportation ones, thanks to the ways offered by the internet.

We now go and list all the ways that we have used during our staying. You can find our itinerary opening this page.

Relocation Cars

Nuova Zelanda Transfer Car

New Zealand: Transfer Car

Relocation cars is a method used by the rental companies to save on their costs to move around cars and campervan.

Very often it happens that companies have more cars on one side of the country and need to move them around to have availability all over the place. Instead of paying to have their cars moved they give the option on the internet to rent their cars for free, you only need to pay the fuel.

With this method you don’t even need to pay the horrible fee which is the “Drop off fee”, that it is usually more than 300 euros by itself.

Here’s a video that explains better how everything works!

But no matter how hard we try, we can’t seem to be able to obtain a Relocation Car in New Zealand. It would have been very useful to find one to move from the Southern Island to the Northern one, to avoid the ferry cost.

The only limits that this way of car rental are:

  • Flexibility: cars are usually available 2 weeks earlier so you it is difficult to plan beforehand haw to move around.
  • Availability: it is not granted that there will be a car for the portion of way that you have to take.
  • Times: usually the companies consider 500km of travelling per day, so you don’t have that much time to enjoy. But there is the option to add a few days, paying the normal fees.

Our websites:

Car Pooling

Car Pooling

Nuova Zelanda: Car Pooling

You need a ride? You want to split the fuel expenses? Nothing better than checking on the internet if there is someone else going in your same direction.

It is enough to post and ad (or answer to one) to contact or to be contacted by other people, with whom you’ll arrange the travel.

We, answering a post on Facebook, travelled for 3 days from Adelaide to Melbourne with a Canadian girl, with whom we splitted the expenses (the car was for free, thanks to Relocation). We saved 50 dollars!

There are no particular limits, you just have to talk with the others and decide what to do. The only real necessity is to be able to speak a common language, at least a tiny bit!

Our referral websites:

New Zealand Rideshare Backpackers


Couchsurfing (writing on the discussion page of the city and looking for “travelmates”!)



Australia: Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing: the social network to offer and receive hospitaly for free all over the world!

Airbnb: the web platfor to stay over at a private’s house. Once you booked you have to arrange all the arrivals details with the owner, but often enough it is much more convenient than hotel and hostels! With similar prices to the hostels ones you can sleep in a private/double room instead of a dormitory. With Airbnb we slept 2 night on in Nwe Zealand.

APP for your phone

Nuova Zelanda Wikicamps NZ

Nuova Zelanda: Wikicamps NZ

Nuova Zelanda Camping NZ

Aside from the usual phone APPs to use as a GPS navigator, specifically Google Maps and, in Australia it is extremely important to use the WikiCamps AU APP.

This APP presents detailed maps of the whole continent, with the indications about camping places, hotels, accommodations, campervan parks, public restrooms, picnic areas and everything else you may need while on the road in this huge country, especially if you are travelling between cities, in the Outback.

All the signalled places have comments below of the users, from a complete description of what you will find there and where it would be better to stop  (ex: free of charge or not parkings, picnic areas, if there is a restroom, if it is okay for a camper and so on).

We used it almost always when we were driving around and this allowed us to reorganize better our stops, choosing between 2 stops in free and equipped camps, with kitchen, showers, electric plug and other amenities.

The only limit: you have to download offline maps on the phone (so it needs to have plenty of storage) and it is for free only for 14 days.

The only thing left to do is to wish you and amazing trip in New Zealand!!! Remember that the water is almost always drinkable and that, obviously, it is cheaper to prepare your own meals, be it in the hostel, in a camping place or in a campervan! Countdown, Pak ‘n ‘Save and Warehouse will be your second house…

Author: Ste

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