The cost of living in Auckland is fairly high when compared to cities such as Brisbane and Stockholm. The city ranks 95th out of 227 cities in the Mercer Cost of Living Survey in 2022. In comparison, Wellington ranks 120th, and Perth ranks 97th.

With New Zealand being an island, food cost ends up being higher than one may be used to, as many products have to be imported. The cost of accommodation has also skyrocketed in recent years, with more expats choosing to settle in Auckland. Luckily, the competitive salaries offered in this economic hub tend to make up for the high cost of living. The standard of living is also excellent, which also makes high prices more bearable. Most expats feel like the prices they pay justify the feeling of safety and well-being that comes with life in Auckland.

Cost of accommodation in Auckland

Accommodation is likely to be the biggest expense for anyone moving to Auckland. Rental prices in any city centre tend to be more expensive than those in the suburbs, and as something of an economic hub, Auckland is known for having high rental prices compared to other cities in New Zealand. It can also be challenging for expats to find suitable accommodation due to the high demand for properties in the city. However, there are various online platforms and real estate agents available to help with the search. We cover this in more depth in Accommodation in New Zealand.

It's worth noting that utilities are largely not included in the rental price of a property, so expats should budget accordingly. While the cost of accommodation may be high, Auckland tends to offer spacious living spaces that provide good value for money. When searching for a rental property, expats should consider factors such as proximity to public transport, safety and access to amenities.

Cost of groceries in Auckland

The cost of groceries in Auckland can be a significant expense for expats. As an island country, New Zealand is relatively remote, and many products need to be imported, driving up prices. For example, meat and dairy products in Auckland are often imported, making them more expensive than what expats may be used to. However, expats can manage their shopping budget by purchasing locally grown or produced goods and taking advantage of special offers that commonly run at supermarkets and convenience stores.

To save money, it's recommended that expats compare prices between different, and shop around for the best deals. Additionally, purchasing in-season produce can be a cost-effective way to eat healthily while keeping within a budget. With some planning and smart shopping, expats can manage the cost of groceries in Auckland.

Cost of transport in Auckland

Getting around in Auckland can be affordable, especially when using public transport. The city has a reliable public transport system that includes buses, trains and ferries, with reasonably priced fares. Monthly and annual transport passes are also available, which can save expats money on transport costs.

While car prices in Auckland may be relatively inexpensive, expats should consider the additional costs of car ownership, such as petrol, insurance and maintenance. In many cases, it may not be necessary for expats to own a car, particularly if they live in the city centre where public transport is readily available. However, for expats with families or those who travel regularly for work, owning a car may be more convenient. It's worth noting that traffic can be heavy during peak hours, so expats should factor in travel time when planning their journeys.

Cost of entertainment and eating out in Auckland

Auckland offers a wide variety of entertainment options for expats, including museums, galleries and theatres, as well as numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, beaches and parks. While some entertainment options, such as attending concerts or shows, can be expensive, there are many free or low-cost activities available. For example, many museums and galleries offer free entry, and Auckland's parks and beaches are free to access.

Eating out in Auckland can be expensive, but there are also many affordable options available, especially in the city's different neighbourhoods. Auckland is known for its diverse culinary scene, which reflects the city's multicultural population. From street food to high-end restaurants, Auckland has something to offer for every budget and taste. Many restaurants and cafés also offer special deals and discounts, particularly during the off-peak season, which can help reduce the cost of eating out in Auckland. Overall, while entertainment and eating out can be expensive, expats can still enjoy a range of activities and experiences in Auckland without breaking the bank.

Cost of education in Auckland

Auckland offers a range of options for expats who are looking to enrol their children in schools. Public schools in New Zealand are generally of high quality and are free for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, as well as for those holding a dependent child student visa. Expats who are considering enrolling their children in public schools should research the school zoning system to ensure that they choose a school that is in their catchment area.

Private and international schools are also available in Auckland, but they can be much more expensive than public schools. Tuition fees for private and international schools can vary widely, depending on the school and the age of the child. Additionally, many private and international schools charge additional fees for activities and materials, such as textbooks, uniforms and extracurricular activities. Expats who are considering enrolling their children in private or international schools should research the schools thoroughly to ensure that they select a school that is a good fit for their budget and their children's needs.

Cost of healthcare in Auckland

New Zealand has a public healthcare system that provides free or low-cost medical care to citizens and permanent residents. Expats who are not permanent residents or citizens are not eligible for free healthcare and will need to pay for medical treatment. Private healthcare is available in Auckland and is often of a high standard, but it can be expensive.

Expats should consider purchasing health insurance to help cover the cost of medical treatment, especially if they're not yet permanent residents. Health insurance policies in New Zealand can vary widely, so expats should shop around to find a policy that suits their needs and budget.

In addition to health insurance, expats should also be aware of the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). The ACC is a government-run scheme that provides no-fault personal injury cover for all residents and visitors to New Zealand. However, the ACC only covers accidents, not illnesses or pre-existing conditions, so expats should still consider purchasing health insurance to cover these costs.

Cost of living in Auckland chart

Note that prices may vary depending on the product and service provider. The list below shows average prices in Auckland in March 2023.

Accommodation (monthly rent)

Three-bedroom apartment in the city centre

NZD 3,900

Three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

NZD 3,100

One-bedroom apartment in the city centre

NZD 2,100

One-bedroom apartment outside the city centre

NZD 1,880

Food and drink

Dozen eggs


Milk (1 litre)

NZD 2.61

Rice (1kg)

NZD 3.45

Loaf of white bread

NZD 3.32

Chicken breasts (1kg)

NZD 14

Pack of cigarettes (Marlboro)

NZD 36

Eating out

Three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant

NZD 120

Big Mac meal

NZD 14

Coca-Cola (330ml)

NZD 3.90


NZD 5.50

Bottle of beer (local)

NZD 4.13


Mobile call rate (per minute – mobile to mobile)

NZD 0.34

Internet (uncapped ADSL or cable – average per month)

NZD 73

Basic utilities (average per month for a standard household)

NZD 330


Taxi rate/km

NZD 3.30

City-centre public transport fare


Gasoline (per litre)

NZD 2.98