Cost of Living

The cost of living in New Zealand is relatively cheap. Queenstown is a tourist destination so there is a tourist price at tourist shops and cheaper local prices at shops for locals. We help students to find the local prices and also offer cheaper accommodation options in the very centre of Queenstown. Below are some examples of approximate prices. Please note that the prices do fluctuate.


Rental accommodation is approximately $200-250 per week in a shared apartment. The cost of electricity/bills are usually at a extra cost so it’s important to check what is included and also add this to the weekly cost. Most rooms in the centre of Queenstown will cost extra and the prices will fluctuate depending on the season. Refer to SLEC’s special accommodation options in the very centre of Queenstown.


We recommend the Remarkable’s Park shopping centre in Frankton for the best value and specials on clothing.

    • T shirt NZ$15+
    • Jeans NZ$30+
    • Sports shoes NZ$30+
    • Sweatshirt NZ$30+
    • Rain jacket NZ30+
    • Winter Jacket NZ$50+
    • Ski gloves NZ$20+



A Go Card with unlimited weekly travel in Queenstown and suburbs costs $47 per week plus a one-off fee off $5 for the Go Card. The minimum one way fare is $6 so the weekly pass is the cheapest option especially for those students living outside of Queenstown.


Its relatively cheap to rent a car for the day and there is plenty of specials deals across Queenstown which you can utilise. You can rent a car from $55 per day. Students can also buy a second-hand bicycle for around $100 or a cheap second hand car for as low as $1200.

Leisure & Entertainment

  • Movies – Students can get discounts on movie tickets at the Reading Cinema;
  • Game of Pool $2.50;
  • Game of Mini Golf $15;
  • Public Swimming pool swim pass $8 per day plus $5 to access to Hydro slides;
  • Gym Pass $27 per day – discounts for students apply.

Food & Drinks

The best/cheapest supermarkets in Queenstown is Pak N Save, New world and Fresh Choice. They are also smaller markets in Queenstown like Asian Mart and Mediterranean Market. All the main cafes and restaurants are located in the centre around Shotover Street and buying specials will help to reduce cost.

    • Cup of Coffee NZ$4. Cookie time have a pre 9am special for $1;
    • Can of coke NZ$1.50;
    • A Beer NZ$3-5 – refer Happy Hours for discounts or buy at supermarkets;
    • A bottle of wine – $8 upwards;
    • McDonalds – $2 minimum for a burger and $1 for an ice-cream or drink;
    • Fergburger (voted the best burger in the world) – $10.50 upwards;
    • Subway costs $5 upwards;
    • Packet of Instant Noodles 75 cents;
    • Bread NZ$1 upwards per loaf;
    • Apples NZ$3 per kg;
    • Pizza medium size NZ$5-8 at Domino’s Pizza;
    • Beef Mince NZ$13 per kg;
    • Beef Steak NZ$15 per kg;
    • Chicken NZ$15 per kg;
    • Lamb NZ$14 per kg;
    • Mussels $5 per kg;
    • Rice $3 per kg;
    • Potatoes $3 per kg.