How much does it cost to landscape your backyard in New Zealand?

A beautiful landscaped backyard with a pergola at night
ARTICLE Joanna Mathers

Beautiful and practical outdoor areas are something most New Zealand homeowners aspire to. We love the outdoors and there is a growing awareness around how form and function can combine elegantly to create gardens that are a seamless extension of our interior spaces. 

Zones Landscaping Specialists are new landscaping franchises that draw on the services of top landscape architects and landscape designers to help create garden space to suit any requirements. Franchisee Matt Gillespie says that there is a lot of demand for garden revamps. 

“I’ve worked in the building industry for many years and noticed that more people want to get landscaping done on their property, but don’t really know where to start. Zones offers people a full range of services and project managers to oversee any work that’s being done in the garden.” 

If you are considering a landscaping job on your property, here are some facts (and more importantly figures) to help you make an informed decision.

How much does it cost for plants?

As there are so many variables when it comes to plants, it’s hard to give an estimate as to how much they will cost overall. Large specimen trees, for example, cost upwards of $6,000, and even smaller plants can be pricey, so the cost of planting will need to be taken on a case-by-case basis.

Monica Bainbridge is a landscape architect who works with Designer Jules Moore. She says that some planting styles are particularly popular at the moment.

“Subtropical plants are very popular at the moment as they give a layered, lush look with lower maintenance than a formal or clipped style garden. The subtropical palette can be a mix of NZ natives and exotic’s, which is appealing to both the owner of the garden plus the designer.”

She says that Zen or oriental gardens are increasing in popularity too, as clients are attracted to their simplicity and tranquil atmosphere they evoke.

“Then there’s the fusion gardens of subtropical/formal, subtropical/Zen, where you take elements of both styles to create a new look entirely. We use literally 100’s of plants for these looks depending on the environment, space and budget,” she says.  

See how Zones planted low maintenance ornamental plants, shrubs, and trees fill out this homeowners space without making it look overcrowded — a perfect balance.

Nigel Ramsden - An Artfully Designed, Attention-Grabber in Papamoa, Tauranga

How much does lawn cost?

For a lawn of 100m2 expect to pay between $3,000 - $5,000. The cost of the lawn will depend on the ground preparation required, the type of grass you choose, plus roller hire and labour. Artificial turf will cost around $3,500 for the same sized space.

There are a number of different options for lawns, including hand seeding, hydro seeding, ready lawn and artificial turf. 

“For the first three there is a very similar ground preparation which needs to happen to ensure the lawns will thrive,” says Bainbridge.

“Firstly you need 100m of good lawn mix which is essential as it provides an appropriate medium for good drainage, slow release fertiliser and a healthy base.”

She says that a 100m2 hand seeded lawn would cost $3,500+, a hydro-seeded lawn (where seed is sprayed on in a pulp and is resilient to birds) would cost $4,000+, and ready lawn for the same sized section would cost $5,500+.

See how Zones transformed this muddy backyard into a stylish space with new lawn in Auckland for $31,000.

Freda Yang - Transforming a muddy backyard into a stylish space for year-round outdoor living in Stonefields, Auckland

You might be interested in reading: How much new lawns cost in NZ

How much does deck cost?

Decks are a big investment. A deck ranging from 25m2 - 45m2 will cost you between $10,000 - $20,000. Price depends on materials and specifications – each job will need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If you are wanting to get more bang for your buck, going for a cost-effective material, such as pine will help.

Matt Gillespie of Zones Landscaping Specialists says, “I recently completed a large simple deck that was built close to the ground, which meant there were no costs for consent, added stairs or balustrades. Because this was close to the ground, the framing used was all H4 treated.”

See how Zones built this family a large, hardwood, Garapa deck for $18,500.

Nigel Ramsden - Building A Garapa Deck for Outdoor Entertaining in Pyes Pa, Tauranga

See how Zones built a new pine deck in Auckland for $20,000.

Judd Stratful - Building a deck in Auckland, New Zealand

How much does a patio cost?

Patios made from paving of around 4 m x 4 m on a flat site with no excavation needed will cost around $2,500 - $3,500. The more work required to prepare the site, the higher the cost of the patio will be. The type of paving stone used will also have an impact on cost.

Pavers come in a wide range of colours and styles, and will need to be non-slip to adhere to safety requirements for outdoor paving. The contractor installing the concrete will create texture to make it slip resistant. This can be patterned to look like tiles and is available in a wide range of colours. 

See how Zones created a backyard paradise with a pebble stone patio for these Auckland homeowners.

Sandy & Kyle Lochhead - An idyllic landscape transformation in Kumeū, Auckland

See how a new patio, deck and lawn has transformed this property for $31,000

How much does an outdoor kitchen cost?

Just as the kitchen is one of the most expensive homes in the house, so too is an outdoor kitchen. New outdoor kitchen appliances come on the market every day, so if money’s no option, the sky’s the limit when it comes to high-spec outdoor kitchens. 

Designer Jules more says that outdoor kitchens start from around $16,000+.

“But this will be for a very basic wooden kitchen, with only one barbeque.” She says that once you start installing permanent outdoor ovens, sinks, and other kitchen necessities, the costs can skyrocket. (An inbuilt DCS stainless steel grill by Fisher and Paykel will cost up to $10,500, for example). 

You will also need to consider roofing – how will your guests be sheltered from the elements on wet days. Flooring and heating are also key considerations – so be prepared to pay a premium for the enjoyment of outdoor dining.

Modern outdoor kitchen

See how Zones revamped this outdoor entertaining area for $100,000.

Nigel Ramsden - Entertainment Area Renovation in Te Puna

How much do retaining walls cost?

An average sized retaining wall (around 5m) using concrete blocks that is under a metre high should cost you around $1,500+.

Retaining walls can be made from a number of different materials – wood (posts and horizontal rails), concrete blocks, or even gabions (large cage-like structures filled with rocks). The material used will have an impact on price, with wooden retaining walls costing more gabions, but both being cheaper than concrete blocks. Anything under 1.5m high won’t need council consent, but it pays to check any rules and regulations before embarking on any project.

Stuart Girvan from Firth says that retaining walls higher than 1.5m or those near a building or driveways, will need council consent and will be more pricey.

See how for $52,000 Zones installed a retaining wall and irrigation for this Auckland home owner.

Kate Ryan - Inaccessible Home Garden Transformed into a Contemporary Landscape Design in Orakei, Auckland

How much does fencing cost?

Depending on the materials used, a 20m front boundary fence should cost upwards of $10,000. There are much cheaper options, however, depending on the product you wish to use. Fences of over 2.5m will generally require resource consent, so you will need to check with you local council to make sure of your responsibilities.

Matt Gillespie of Zones Landscaping Specialists says that you should be able to install a 20m boundary fence for as little as $5,000 + GST. This would be a paling fence, which may also need to be painted or stained. He has at the top of the range, a detailed concrete block fence which could cost up to $12,000 + GST. Sitting in the middle of the price range is a light concrete panel fence – a 20m fence made out of this material would be priced at around $7,000 + GST.

See how for $20,000 Zones installed a new fence with a gate and new lawn.

You might be interested in reading: How much does a basic deck and pergola cost in New Zealand?

Get in touch with Zones to discuss your landscaping project

Please use the enquiry form on this page to provide us with your contact details. We will get in touch with you at a time that suits you to discuss your landscaping design and build. If you would like to provide us with more information about your project, we have a more comprehensive enquiry form on our "Get in touch" page too.

*Costs are rough estimates and are subject to change. For a fixed-quote accurate to your specific project, please consult your local Zones landscaping specialist. All Zones franchises are independently owned and operated.

Read Next

All Zones Landscaping franchises are independently owned and operated.

Landscaping Enquiry

We're ready to help you with your landscaping project.

If your enquiry is not related to renovating your home, you may wish to use one of our other enquiry forms to ensure your message reaches the right team:

Please Wait ...


Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Are you ready to discuss your ideas?

Please fill out your details in the online form provided and we’ll get back to you within 48 hours to arrange a free, no obligation consultation.

Get in touch