Before we got here, I thought I was prepared for New Zealand living. I knew from other people and reading other blogs that some things would be more expensive like booze, eating out, cosmetics, and sporting equipment. I knew New Zealand had a ” interesting” take on Mexican food, different slang such as “sweet as”, and roundabouts were the scariest thing on the planet when you first start driving. But low and behold Tyler and I still were slightly surprised at some New Zealand differences to California.
1. No really, it is EXPENSIVE to eat out here. Our first day in Auckland when we to a take away kebab place and each got a kebab, fries, and a drink, and it was over $30.00. If you want a medium fries from Burger King it will cost you over $3.00. Take away decent coffee is around $4.00, and that is just for a cup of black coffee, not a fancy latte or anything. Restaurants actually advertise $12.00 lunches.. like it supposed to be cheap for a $12.00 main.
2. Pretty much every town (except for the really tiny ones) will have a Subway, a McDonald’s, and a Irish Bar. You Kiwi’s really like your Subway, they are everywhere.
3. The cost of a cooler is outrageous. They call them chilly bins here, but when we first arrived and went to Warehouse to get a cooler for camping, the cheapest we could find was $120.00. That is almost triple what they cost in the US. Word to the wise, if you are moving here pack your clothes in a cooler and check it as a bag.
4. Movies start at the time they are supposed to. We went to the movies in Gisborne and we were so happy to find out that they played the previews before the 6:00 start time. Good job New Zealand, I hate waiting 25 minutes to see the actual movie.
5. Clothes are actually quite reasonable, depending where you go. While the cost of food was a shock, you can find clothing for pretty close to what it will cost you in the US.
6. Kiwi’s make California Drivers look like amateurs. I always thought we California drivers were the craziest. That is until I set foot in New Zealand. Holy Sh*T they drive fast. For such a laid back country you guys sure have somewhere to be.
7. You don’t buy fruit and veggies at the supermarket, you get them on fruit and veggies stand on the side of the road or in small veges shops…. if you want the best prices anyways.
8. No one sits at the bar. It’s funny a lot of restaurants do not even have seats at the bar. Kiwi’s like to sit at tables together, even if someone is alone they will usually sit at a table.
9. While all other groceries in New Zealand are definitely more expensive than the states, chicken breast is the same price. When it goes on special it can be dirt cheap. I saw a ton of sheep on the road but didn’t notice a ton of chicken farms….
10. As I mentioned in another post, not a single campsite we have been to allow bonfires… they don’t even have fire rings even if it’s beach side.
11. I knew New Zealand was going to be pretty, but nothing prepared me for how drop dead gorgeous this country is. We cannot wait to see more of it as it seriously has the best road trip scenery I have ever seen.
Overall, we are super stoked to be here. The people have been so friendly and we have enjoyed getting to know all the locals we have met so far.