New Zealand by the Month: June 2016

I’m recapping every month I spend in New Zealand while here on my working holiday. I’ll be rounding out my thoughts thus far, what I’ve done, and (most importantly) my monthly budget. Check my March , April , & May recaps and then come back here for June!

What Happened:

The month of June has flown by. I finished my job on Hot Water Beach on May 31st, and I’ve been traveling for a full month now! I’m not used to doing a stint of full-on traveling for this long. While in some sense I am always traveling, I usually end up working or settling in somewhere for longer periods of time. To have spent an entire month on the road, moving to a new place every few days, and staying in hostels (almost) every night for the past 30 nights–it’s actually something I’m not completely used to. And let me tell you, it’s exhausting.

The “plan” was to roadtrip around the South Island with my friend for the month of June. Then the “plan”changed to roadtripping around the North Island with my friend for the month of June. Neither of those things happened. While I did spend a few days with my friend, most of the month was spent solo (as usual) and traveling by bus.

To give you a quick overview of where I went this past month: After leaving Hot Water Beach, I spent some time in Rotorua. Rotorua is one of the biggest tourist destinations in New Zealand and it is a major geothermal hotspot. After that I went to Lake Taupo, which wasn’t all that exciting. I met up with my friend and we did some camping before parting ways. I spent an entire week in Napier (I can’t wait to get those posts up!) and finally made my way to Wellington. Wellington was high up on my New Zealand list and I ended up spending about 5 days there. I then took the Interislander ferry and hopped from the North Island to the South Island.

I skipped over most of the North Island, but I was really ready to get to the South Island. I’ve been so consumed with traveling and sightseeing and planning my trip as I go. I’ve really neglected the blog, but everything from this past month will make its way to the blog soon.

Looking Forward:

I’m currently in Nelson, a pretty large town by South Island standards. I’m trying to plan the next 2 weeks of my travels, although I’m not entirely sure where I want to go or what I want to do. Starting in mid-July I will have a little bit of a break from being on the road. I’ll have the chance to settle in somewhere for a couple of weeks and breathe for a while. I’m really looking forward to it, and I’ll be telling you more about that later.

In the mean time, I’ve got some more wandering to go do…

Monthly Budget:

Accommodation: $876 NZD / $621 USD

Transportation: $229 NZD / $162 USD

Food: $432 NZD / $306 USD

Activities/Attractions: $222 NZD / $157 USD

Coffee: $75 NZD / $53 USD

Toiletries: $38 NZD / $27 USD

Shopping/Souvenirs: $212 NZD / $150 USD

Laundry: $27 NZD / $19 USD

Misc.: $78 NZD / $55 USD

Total Spent: $2,189 NZD / $1,551 USD

Where do I even start with this budget breakdown…*sigh* Honestly, I’m almost embarrassed to put this up for all to see because I basically was not being budget-y at all this past month. As I said earlier in this post, I’m not used to actually traveling continuously for such a long period of time–I usually have short periods of travel with breaks in between. Which means I’m also not used to budgeting for such a long period of time before having time to sit and look over what I spent more closely. It wasn’t until I got to Wellington that I realized just how much I had been spending.

Needless to say, I could have spent a lot less in the last 30 days. I could have chosen the cheapest dorm room every night instead of opting for the nicer hostels, the female-only dorms, or the single rooms. I could have eaten pasta or instant noodles every night like many backpackers do. I could have done without the chai lattes. I could have skipped all activities and tours instead of allowing myself to splurge on a couple. I didn’t have to bu gifts & souvenirs to send home to my family. But spending like I have been also made me realize something about traveling, my preferences and priorities, and what I need/want when traveling. All of those thoughts are for another post though…

Let’s end this budget section by saying: this is just me being totally honest about my spending while traveling. It’s a realistic look at what it would cost to travel in New Zealand if you aren’t trying to do the shoestring backpacker thing (because not everyone is trying to do that and that’s not the only way to travel). But for those of you who ARE looking to do New Zealand on a tight budget, I assure you it can be done for less. And I’m going to make more of an effort to do that myself in the coming months.

On another note, I record everything in New Zealand Dollars since I am spending and earning in New Zealand Dollars. I’m still trying to wrap my head around the difference between NZD and USD, and still getting used to the fact that my expenses seem exorbitant in NZD, but are not totally horrible when converted to USD.

June Blog Posts:

A Guide to Summertime in Teton Village: The best way to spend a day in Teton Village this summer, including where to eat and what to do.

20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Grand Teton National Park: Grand Teton is absolutely my favorite U.S. National Park and these 20 photos will show you why!

Rotorua Museum: A quick look at the Rotorua Museum and what you can do/see there.

A Redwood Forest in New Zealand: I was so excited/surprised when I heard there were California Redwoods in the middle of New Zealand. This is a great place to explore near Rotorua.

20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Yellowstone: Most people have seen the geysers and colorful springs of Yellowstone, but these 20 photos give you a glimpse of some of the other amazing features of Yellowstone National Park.

New Zealand by the Month June 2016

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By Courtney Minor

Wandering around and writing about it.

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