There is not much to report on Day 7 of our journey. We woke up to a bunch of wind and heavy rain. Earlier in the trip we had also made the comment “I wonder if New Zealand gets lightning and/or thunder” because we hadn’t seen or heard any yet. We got that answer yesterday with plenty of both. At pretty much all of our stops with the exception of the upcoming Milford Sound we could hop in the car and head somewhere to do inside activities, but Mt. Cook village is pretty secluded so the day served as a relaxation day with a trip to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Center. Sir Edmund Hillary was from New Zealand and is famous for being the first individual to scale Mt. Everest. He used Mt. Cook as a training ground for Everest and is now on New Zealand’s $5 bill.
What Things Cost In New Zealand
We got some questions about what prices were like over here so I thought this would be a good post to address that in. The exchange rate is in our favor, $1 NZD = $0.73 USD. However, we have noticed that everything is just jacked up in price to make up for that favorable rate. Just a black coffee for example is around $4 a cup as opposed to around $2 in the US. A value meal at a BK or McDonalds (yes, we have been to both for the Wifi and may have eaten there also) will run you about $10 as compared to $6ish back home.
Gas over here is definitely pricier sitting around $1.75 NZD/Liter. Our car has a 60 liter tank so to fill a complete tank you are looking at $105 NZD. The only thing we’ve seen thus far that seems to be a “steal” is clothing and we are going off a very small sample size. In Auckland, Caitlin was cold so we jumped in a department store that looked like a Gap and their prices were VERY reasonable. There were huge racks of things for $10 ($7.33 USD) and it was filled with really nice stuff. Caitlin decided to go with a Run DMC sweatshirt that I think she has worn at least once a day since it was purchased.
We’ve seen that not only are prices a bit higher but when it comes to coffees, meals, and just portions in general—New Zealand tends to provide smaller (or, more reasonable) serving sizes. I am going to go out on a limb and say that it may be the same in every country because America is plain ridiculous. I told our AirBnb host the other day that in the U.S. you can buy a pop bigger than your head for $1 at gas stations. Also just a small observation after having gone to numerous restaurants, no to-go boxes. And the best part about restaurants is that there is no tipping, meaning that there is no reason to wait for a check. You just get up when you are done and head for the register.
That’s about it for day 7. We are up right now at 6:30 and it’s clear out so we are going to do our hike this morning and then take off for Queenstown.