So far I’ve noticed that New Zealand certainly does tend to the upper end of expensiveness, especially compared to Canada. I know we in Canada love to complain how much more expensive things are compared to the States…well, we have it pretty easy it turns out. That being said, there are a few things working in New Zealand’s favour (their dollar is worth less than ours, their minimum wage is higher). Plus, one thing that I really like – they have a sales tax much like Canada, but all their prices shown are tax inclusive! This is one thing I wish Canada would move to, it makes things 100x easier when pricing out.
What I’ve noticed so far:
Transit, Sushi, Mobile Internet and Cell phone plans are much cheaper in NZ than in Canada. I’ve opted for Mobile internet rather than struggling to find cheap/free wifi, and at $25NZD/month for 500MB, it’s fairly reasonable and usable throughout New Zealand. Compare that to what you have to pay in Canada for similar ($30CAD+/month for 500MB, considerably more if using prepaid like me), and it’s a definite bargain. Sushi simply is due to demand and competition – there are a TON of sushi places here. I’m not lacking for my tasty raw fish, and $5-10NZD will easily constitute a relatively decent, filling sushi dinner. $10CAD won’t go very far in Canada when it comes to sushi. As for Cell Phone plans…well, Canada is considered one of the most expensive mobile phone providers, and for good reason. One huge perk here in New Zealand – while I have similar minutes to what I’d get in Canada, incoming calls, regardless of where they come from, are *always* free. Canada and the US are pretty much the only places that charge you for both incoming and outgoing calls. I didn’t know that until just now! On top of that, there is no ‘roaming’ nonsense in NZ – regardless of where I am in New Zealand, my rate is the same.
That being said, there are many things MORE expensive here that I’ve seen. Pretty much universally, food is expensive. Fast food, snacks, milk, cereal, bread, you name it, it’s mostly all more expensive. On the ‘considerably more’ category, I’d put stuff like bathroom stuff – toothpaste, shaving cream, shampoo and the like seem to be obscenely expensive (I’d say twice as much as in Canada). And I was looking at the prices in their supermarkets, corner stores are even more. Luckily, someone had mentioned to bring a bit of extra toiletry supplies, so I’m decently well stocked there. The aforementioned wifi in cafes is also noticeably more expensive, as are tourist activities – I’ve taken a peak at a few things, and many start around $100NZD here in Auckland – for a large group day tour, that seems *expensive* (I’ll just be walking myself anyways). I’ll save up my money for the activities anyways (rafting and the like seem more reasonable for their prices).
Oh, and as for different (and yes, these are the genuine article, not a knockoff).