Cycling in New Zealand can be as cheap or expensive as you’d like to make it.
On the lower end of the scale, the frugal cyclist can get by on as little as NZ$20 a day. A tent site will take up about half of that budget (a little more in popular areas), leaving just enough to buy a day’s ration of food at the supermarket. You won’t be doing any bungy jumping on that budget and you’ll be eating a lot of pasta but you can certainly see much of New Zealand’s amazing outdoors for free.
Double that budget and you’ll have enough to get a bed each night, usually in a hostel dormitory or campground lodge, and to treat yourself to things like an occasional coffee, ice cream or beer after a long day on the road.
If you’d like to have a private room and eat most of your meals out, then you’re looking at spending NZ$100-150 each day. Single travellers tend to pay the same or just a bit less than couples for rooms in B&Bs and hotels so teaming up with a friend will yield significant savings.
Any adventure sports you’d like to try, including extras like helicopter flights over the South Island glaciers, will run you anywhere from NZ$100-300 each.
In addition to all of this, remember to set cash aside for any transport you might want to take, like the ferry ride between the two islands (NZ$55/person plus NZ$10/bike).