What is the cost of living in New Zealand vs Australia? (April 2022)

/ / Latest posts, Life in New Zealand

cost of living in new zealand vs australia

When comparing the cost of living in New Zealand vs Australia, New Zealand is the more affordable country to live in.

On average, consumer prices in New Zealand are 3.96% lower than in Australia. Rent and groceries cost 17.70% and 5.92% less. Eating out at a restaurant will also cost less in New Zealand.

Percentages means little though. Let’s look at actual numbers instead.

The cost of everyday goods and services in New Zealand compared to Australia

According to cost-of-living comparison website Numbeo, the costs below are how much you’ll spend on rent, groceries and dining out in New Zealand versus Australia.

All costs are in New Zealand dollars for a side-by-side comparison but we’ve also added the Australian costs in brackets.

Rent

RentNew ZealandAustralia 

1-bedroom apartment in the city centre

1,680.84

2,071.69 (A$1,913.50)

+23.25%

1-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

1,334.07

1,602.70 (A$1,480.32)

+20.14%


3-bedroom apartment in the city centre

2,782.55

3,552.98 (A$3,281.67)

+27.69%

3-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

2,244.46

2,444.50 (A$2,257.83)

+8.91%

Groceries

GroceriesNew ZealandAustralia 

Milk, 1L

2.78

1.82 (A$1.68)

-34.35

Loaf of fresh white bread

3.06

3.10 (A$2.86)

+1.28%


White rice, 1kg

3.04

2.91 (A$2.69)

-4.36%

Eggs, 12

6.43

5.23 (A$4.83)

-18.66%

Local cheese, 1kg

12.96

12.09 (A$11.17)

-6.71%

Chicken fillets, 1kg

13.27

11.84 (A$10.94)

-10.78%

Beef round, 1kg

20.18

20.05 (A$18.52)

-0.64%

Apples, 1kg

3.98

4.80 (A$4.43)

+20.49%

Bananas, 1kg

3.13

3.89 (A$3.59)

+24.25%

Oranges, 1kg

4.38

4.05 (A$3.74)

-7.58%

Tomato, 1kg

4.67

5.71 (A$5.27)

+22.20%

Potato, 1kg

2.93

3.49 (A$3.23)

+19.22%

Onion, 1kg

2.58

2.80 (A$2.58)

+8.63%

Lettuce

3.65

2.93 (A$2.70)

-19.93%

Dining out

Eating OutNew ZealandAustralia 

Meal, inexpensive restaurant

22.00

21.65 (A$20.00)

-1.57%

3-course meal for two people, mid-range restaurant

110.00

108.27 (A$100.00)

-1.57%


McMeal at McDonalds

13.00

13.67 (A$12.62)

+5.14%

Domestic beer, 500ml

9.00

8.66 (A$8.00)

-3.76%

Imported beer, 300ml

10.00

9.74 (A$9.00)

-2.56%

Cappuccino

4.89

4.97 (A$4.59)

+1.58%

Coke, 300ml

3.46

3.71 (A$3.42)

+7.03%

Water, 300ml bottle

2.84

3.13 (A$2.89)

+10.23%

Let’s also look at salaries to get the full picture

It’s not enough to only consider everyday costs when investigating the cost of living in a country.

You must also know how much you’ll to earn to get the full picture. A basket of groceries totaling $100 won’t affect someone earning $5,000 a month the same as someone who earns $10,000 a month.

That’s why we turned to Payscale to determine the annual average salaries for 22 skilled occupations.

The salaries are listed in New Zealand dollars but you’ll find the Australian salaries in brackets.

You can search for your own occupation on Payscale if you don’t see it on our list.

Job categoryNew Zealand (Annual)Australia (Annual)
Architect67,66762,134 (A$67,765)
Actuary147,470135,411 (A$102,331)
Audiologist81,81175,121 (A$76,932)
Carpenter59,736
54,851 (A$62,723)
Chemical Engineer64,99659,681 (A$71,710)
Diesel Mechanic*71,21665,393 (A$74,860)
Early Childhood Educator*53,08948,748 (A$51,102)
Electrician69,817
64,108 (A$72,569)
General Practitioner*148,202136,083 (A$129,379)
Industrial Engineer 77,51171,173 (A$66,783)
Maintenance Planner*76,97870,684 (A$93,522)
Mechanical Engineer* 66,55061108 (A$73,628)
Optometrist82,99576,209 (A$86,776)
Psychiatrist*175,542161,188 (A$141,784)
Quantity Surveyor73,30167,307 (A$73,585)
Registered Nurse*62,43357,328 (A$66,091)
Social Worker56,163
51,571 (A$68,673)
Software Engineer*73,820
67,784 (A$79,844)
Speech Therapist67,80662,262 (A$70,589)
Veterinarian78,87472,424 (A$68,166)
Welder 52,38148,098 (A$57,199)

In closing

The cost of living in New Zealand is lower than in Australia. You’ll spend less at the tills when doing your monthly grocery shopping, and you’ll also spend less at restaurants and when paying your rent.

When considering these costs, it’s also important to factor in how much you’ll earn to get a realistic idea of how much buying power your salary gives you.

Discover your
visa options

Sign up for our monthly newsletter

You'll get immigration advice and be the first to know about visa changes

Return to our blog

TOP