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 NZ$180 per week in a shared apartment or house. The cost of electricity and some extra charges will often apply as an extra so check what is included and add this to the weekly cost as well as the costs of transport. 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.

Leisure & Entertainment

    • Video/DVD rental NZ$8 or $1 rental on special days.
    • Game of Pool NZ$2
    • Game of Mini golf NZ$10
    • Public Swimming pool NZ$8 for a day swim – Website -NZ$2 for a hydroslide day pass and $65 for 10-swim pass.


A Go Card with unlimited weekly travel anywhere in Queenstown and the suburbs costs $47/week and for students who are 15 and under the cost is $30/week. There is a one-time $5 fee for the Go Card. The minimum one-way fare is $4.50 so the weekly pass is the cheapest bus transport for students travelling to the college from accommodation outside the very centre of Queenstown.

It is relatively cheap to rent a car for a day at weekends and this can be from NZ$39 per day. Students can also buy a second-hand bicycle for about $100 or a cheap second-hand car for as low as $1,000.


We recommend the Remarkables Park Shopping Centre in Frankton for the best value and specials.

  • 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+

Food & Drinks

The best supermarkets are Fresh Choice in downtown Queenstown and New World in Frankton. There are also smaller markets in or near Shotover Street including the Asian Mart, the Alpine supermarket and the Mediterranean market. All the main cafes and restaurants are located in the centre around Shotover Street. Buying ‘on special’ will help reduce costs.

  • 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
  • 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