A Guide to Buying Firewood

A Quick & Comprehensive Guide to Buying Firewood in New Zealand and Australia

As the chill of winter sets in, there's nothing quite like the warmth and comfort of a crackling fire. But before you cozy up, it's essential to ensure you have the right kind of firewood. In New Zealand and Australia, where wood burning for heating is common, understanding the types of firewood, drying times, and prices can make all the difference. In this guide, we'll take you through everything you need to know about buying firewood.

Getting the right firewood at a fair price is the goal. It's easy to be convinced that you're getting a good deal based on the price, when in reality you could well end up with a truckload of wood that is:

  1. Wet and won't burn at all this winter.
  2. Dry, light and burns too fast so that you'll need more.
  3. You thought you were buying a cord but ended up with 1sq/m.
  4. You have an open fire and the wood keeps cracking & throwing embers out. 


What wood is best and what should I pay for it?

The rule is: Harder woods, burn hotter and longer where softer woods burn less-hot and faster. Hardwood = dense woods and softwoods = less dense.

Hardwoods pack more potential heat energy per volume of firewood. Therefore they tend to be the best firewood types for heat and for cooking. However, they are more difficult to get ignited in the first place. Hardwood usually costs more, gives off more heat but takes longer to dry than softwood. Usually people would say use softwoods to get your fire going but of course this is redundant as you will have our Fire Starter product which means any logs can stack immediately on the fire lighter and your fire will be away and laughing.

We've categorised the most common firewoods here in New Zealand & Australia into hot, medium and mild burners.




Firewood prices can vary depending on factors such as wood type, season, region, and supplier. Prices are often quoted per cord, cubic meter or per bag. Here's a rough estimate of firewood prices in New Zealand and Australia:

  • Hardwoods: Expect to pay between $100 to $200 per cubic meter for seasoned hardwoods. Prices may fluctuate based on availability and demand. Note: 1 Cord is ~3.6cubic meters of wood.
  • Softwoods: Softwood prices are generally lower, ranging from $70 to $150 per cubic meter.

Alternatively, firewood suppliers may sell pre-packaged bags of firewood for convenience, typically ranging from $10 to $20 per bag.


When should I get my winter firewood?

The earlier the better and ideally the summer before so that the wood has time to dry. Properly seasoned firewood is crucial for efficient burning and minimal creosote buildup in your chimney. Freshly cut or green wood contains a high moisture content, which inhibits combustion and creates excess smoke. Here's a general guide to drying times for firewood:

  1. Hardwoods: Hardwoods typically require a longer seasoning period due to their density. On average, hardwoods should be seasoned for 6 to 12 months to achieve a moisture content of around 20%.
  2. Softwoods: Softwoods have a lower density and may season more quickly than hardwoods. They generally require 3 to 6 months of seasoning for optimal burning.

Try and stick to using the same wood each year so that you know on average how much you go through/winter and you can account for the next years firewood for when buying again.


How to stack your wood

  • Stack firewood loosely enough so that air can blow through it.
  • Secure your stack, as wood pieces will shrink and shift as they dry.
  • Split your wood – smaller pieces dry faster.
  • Firewood needs to have less than 25% moisture content to burn efficiently.



Quick Tips:

  1. Buy in Bulk: Purchasing firewood in larger quantities can often result in cost savings. Consider buying a full cord or a truckload if you have adequate storage space.

  2. Check Moisture Content: Seasoned firewood should have a moisture content of around 25%. You can use a moisture meter to verify the moisture content before purchasing.

  3. Ask About Delivery: Many firewood suppliers offer delivery services for added convenience. Inquire about delivery options and any associated fees.

  4. Consider Sustainability: Opt for firewood sourced from sustainable sources to minimize environmental impact. Look for suppliers who practice responsible forestry practices or offer certified sustainable wood options.

  5. Plan Ahead: Stock up on firewood well before the onset of winter to ensure you have an ample supply for the colder months.

  6. Our Fire Starter is the best tool for starting a fire. It means you need no kindling, no newspaper and it works all winter.



With the right knowledge and preparation, buying firewood in New Zealand and Australia can be a straightforward process. Whether you prefer the long-lasting heat of hardwoods or the quick ignition of softwoods, understanding the types of wood, drying times, and prices will help you make informed decisions. By following these guidelines and tips, you can enjoy cozy fireside evenings throughout the winter months. Stay warm and safe!


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