How Much Does It Cost to Live In Christchurch?

Christchurch, or the Garden City, as they like to call it, is the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand

The cost of living in Christchurch is reasonable compared to other cities in New Zealand, and this is mostly due to the fact that houses are mid range and nowhere near as expensive as Auckland.

Christchurch also offers good job opportunities, and it’s probably one of the best places for Engineers in New Zealand due to the reputation of the Engineering School at the UC (University of Canterbury).

Cost of Living Index:


Eating out will, without a doubt, cost you more than cooking by yourself. Though in Christchurch prices are lower than in major cities, the restaurants here are still expensive and you can expect to eat in an inexpensive restaurant for no less than 13$. A meal for two at a mid-range restaurant will cost you around 60$, while for a pint of domestic beer, you will pay around 6$.



As for grocery shopping, your groceries and amount of money you spend on food depends on your eating habit and may vary from $80 per week onwards. Food prices are good particularly if you use direct growers for fruit and veg. Be very careful, though, as prices of vegetables tend to skyrocket during winter.



Bus service is good and reliable in Christchurch. If your university or college is near and you can walk or bike, then you won’t have to spend any money on public transport – you just have to invest in buying a bike. However, if you need to use public transport, a one-way ticket will cost you around 2$.



Utilities are not too expensive in Christchurch, if you look at the price of all included utilities for an apartment of a larger structure (85m2): for such an apartment, all basic utilities – including electricity, along with heating and cooling, water, gas and garbage services – costs around 120$. Internet is pretty pricey though, amounting up to 60$.

Sports and leisure


Comparing with the prices of everything else, enjoying some sports and fitness activities isn’t as expensive in Christchurch as it is in Auckland, for example. Becoming a member of a gym or a fitness club will cost you around 40$ a month. Going to the cinema costs nearly the same as it does in most popular European destinations – around 12$ per ticket.

Clothing and shoes


Christchurch is a city where there are less shopping malls than in Auckland, for example, but that doesn’t mean that the prices are lower. For example, a pair of quality jeans like Levi’s costs more than 70$, a pair of quality running sneakers like Nike are around 95$, while simpler items of clothing like shirts cost around 40$. The best thing to do when it comes to shopping for clothes is to wait for a sale!

Rent per month


Before you rent out an apartment in Christchurch, be aware that houses and apartments in New Zealand are generally unfurnished and rent is quoted per week. If you want to live in the center of Christchurch, the apartment will cost you around 800$ (which is actually very cheap compared to many other cities in New Zealand).

Cost of Living Averages Table for Christchurch

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $13.50
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $5.40
Water (0.33 Liter) $1.57
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $1.92
Loaf Bread (500g) $1.43
Eggs (12) $3.26
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $2.24
Monthly Pass $73.37
Gasoline $1.52
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $123.79
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.24
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $57.57
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $42.02
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $6.85
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $8.10
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $73.66
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $44.85
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $95.85
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $833.66
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $728.07
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $1254.86

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Christchurch?

Food is the biggest expense of anyone living in Christchurch, along with the rent.

This goes to show that rent is definitely one of the most expensive aspects of living in this country, if not the most expensive one.

Apart from food and rent, people spend a lot of money on transportation and restaurants – since there are many people who are used to eating all three meals in restaurants.

Utilities are also a big expense for an average person living in Christchurch- as this is something that just has to be paid, like it or not.


Christchurch: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Salaries in Christchurch are definitely high and make living in this city very pleasant and comfortable experience, since they enable the citizens of this city to pay for everything they need and have enough even for the things that aren’t necessities.

Minimum wage in Christchurch is around 1800$ – and though the prices are higher in this country too, this is still a reasonable amount of money that just goes in line with the high standard of living here.

Though it certainly isn’t the most expensive place to be, people in Christchurch are certain there’s room for improvement.

Average Salary$2570.40
Minimum Wage$1868.3
Mortgage Interest Rate4.82%

Cost of Living by City in New Zealand

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Auckland 76.63
Christchurch 70.23
Dunedin 70.16
Hamilton 71.91
Wellington 71.52

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