View Electra's stories

New2NZ: Exchange rates


When you're visiting a new country there will always be comparisons made to what it's like back home, not in the least what things cost.

You can use the grocery prices we posted in our Cost of Living post to compare to what you know you pay.


An interesting community called Expatistan is collecting costs from around the world to draw comparisons of the cost of living between each town. 

From their current data, this is what they say are the differences between living in one of the top 7 countries (& Germany) from whence New Zealand receives the most visitors, and living in New Zealand itself.


  • Australia is 9% more expensive
  • China is 29% cheaper than living in NZ
  • United States of America is 7% more expensive
  • Japan is 26% cheaper to live in
  • Singapore is 31% more expensive than NZ
  • India is a whopping 74% cheaper 
  • Korea is 16% cheaper
  • Germany is 13% more expensive than in NZ


With the growth of this project the data will get more and more accurate, and more helpful for budgeting overseas travel.  It contrasts with other data like the Cost of Living Index at Numbeo though.  So while one may be technically more correct (for those resident long-term), the other seems possibly more humanly correct (for a traveller).


Not-withstanding here are some major currency exchange rates for easy reference:

    How much NZ$1 would buy overseas 2l of milk NZ$2.99
Australia (dollar)   0.90962 2.72
China (yuan)   5.29276 15.82
United States (dollar)   0.85539 2.56
UK (pound)   0.55372 1.66
Japan (yen)   87.1195 260.49
Singapore (dollar)   1.06246 3.18
India (rupee)   51.4039 153.70
Korea (won)   878.138 2625.63
Euro   0.63659 1.90


For those new to foreign exchange, the first column of numbers is what one New Zealand dollar would change to, to spend overseas in those countries.  ie one NZ dollar would change into €0.64 in Europe.   

The last column is what the cost of 2l of milk currently can be purchased for in New Zealand ($2.99) and what that converts to in the above currencies.


A popular foreign exchange rate calculator online is or download one of the many applications for your cellular phone: Android or Iphone.


While this is over-simplified, the complex version would take into account that the charges for good and services are related to the local wage, interest rates and so many other financial indicators that sometimes we simply can't compare apples with apples.

Here is a video that I found useful in getting my head around the complexities in a simplified way!!
Last but not least New Zealand has 10, 20, 50 cent coins, as well as $1 and $2 coins.  Paper notes come in denominations of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100.  You can see a few of these in the What's our Budget? post.