Cities in the Pacific: Travel Cost Rankings

What are the cheapest cities to visit in the Pacific?

The following travel cost rankings for cities in the Pacific are calculated based on the travel budgets of real travelers. Also referred to as a Travel Cost Index, or a Backpacker Index, the cities below are in order from least to most expensive by their average daily travel price, per person, per day.

  • 1
    Picton, New Zealand
    $55.25
  • 2
    Te Anau, New Zealand
    $56.08
  • 3
    Adelaide, Australia
    $58.26
  • Adelaide Rundle Mall, Adelaide (South Australian Tourism Commission)
    Adelaide is the often overlooked capital city of the State of South Australia. It's also the fifth largest city in the country. Despite being skipped by most travelers, Adelaide is an interesting city to explore and has a decent amount to offer open minded travelers. It has some fascinating architecture, unique shopping, and wonderful cafes and restaurants. Part of the appeal of Adelaide is its location in the midst of...
  • 4
    Nelson, New Zealand
    $64.17
  • 5
    Dunedin, New Zealand
    $66.40
  • 6
    Paihia, New Zealand
    $69.47
  • 7
    Alice Springs, Australia
    $72.41
  • 8
    Cairns, Australia
    $74.19
  • 9
    Torquay, Australia
    $76.68
  • 10
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    $78.56
  • Christchurch Christchurch, New Zealand
    Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand, right beside the Canterbury Plains. Most people begin their South Island travels here. The city itself can be fascinating to explore so it is worth allowing yourself several days in town as an introduction to the region. The River Avon flows through the city center, twisting through the old buildings. Christchurch is referred to in New Zealand as...
  • 11
    Newcastle, Australia
    $80.40
  • 12
    Wellington, New Zealand
    $82.76
  • 13
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    $84.92
  • 14
    Taupo, New Zealand
    $88.87
  • 15
    $89.49
  • 16
    Queenstown, New Zealand
    $91.59
  • 17
    Aoraki Mount Cook, New Zealand
    $91.80
  • 18
    Surfers Paradise, Australia
    $91.97
  • 19
    Tauranga, New Zealand
    $95.60
  • 20
    Noosa Heads, Australia
    $97.26
  • 21
    Darwin, Australia
    $98.22
  • Darwin The Ghan, near Darwin (Great Southern Rail)
    Darwin is a tropical city set against the Timor Sea in north central Australia. It is also the capital city of the Northern Territory. Despite being a relatively small city, Darwin is very diverse with residents from all over the world. The city itself has a very relaxed vibe with plenty to do. Visitors can enjoy everything from traditionally Asian style markets to culturally diverse events such as concerts, festivals...
  • 22
    $100.67
  • 23
    Arrowtown, New Zealand
    $105.94
  • 24
    Hobart, Australia
    $108.53
  • 25
    Canberra, Australia
    $114.65
  • 26
    Melbourne, Australia
    $115.10
  • 27
    Brisbane, Australia
    $115.24
  • 28
    Whitsundays, Australia
    $117.01
  • Whitsundays Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays Islands (Tourism Whitsundays)
    Just off the coast of Queensland, Australia is a cluster of 74 different islands. These islands, the Whitsunday Islands, welcome over a half a million visitors every year to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Barrier Reef. As one of the most famous destinations in the world, it's not uncommon to see expensive yachts sailing around among the private ferries. Most of the islands...
  • 29
    Byron Bay, Australia
    $118.93
  • 30
    Coffs Harbour, Australia
    $119.89
  • 31
    Airlie Beach, Australia
    $124.91
  • 32
    Auckland, New Zealand
    $125.23
  • Auckland Auckland, New Zealand
    Auckland is located on the North Island of New Zealand on an isthmus between the Northland Peninsula and the other parts of the North Island. Auckland is not only a city but also a region. In 2010 New Zealand combined what had previously been four separate cities into one region. These cities include the southern city of Manukau, the western city of Waitakere, the North Shore in the north, and...
  • 33
    Sydney, Australia
    $127.01
  • Sydney Sydney, Australia
    Sydney, known as the harbour city, is the most famous and frequently visited city in Australia. It is at the economical and cultural heart of the country, and is one of the most beautiful and livable cities in the world. It's situated on the water with stunning views of the famous harbour throughout the city. It's most famous landmarks include the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It...
  • 34
    $133.74
  • 35
    Perth, Australia
    $139.97
  • 36
    $141.42
  • 37
    Napier, New Zealand
    $233.72
What are the cheapest cities to visit in the Pacific?

The most affordable cities for travel in the Pacific are currently Picton (New Zealand), Te Anau (New Zealand), and Adelaide (Australia).


Affordable Travel in the Pacific
With its vast and varied landscapes, unique wildlife, and white-sand beaches, Australia is one of the most interesting continents around. The sheer variety and quality of Australia's beaches is hard to beat. If you are a sport fan, love the beach activities like swimming, surfing or scuba diving and want to spend your holiday doing your favorite outdoor activity, Australia is your perfect destination. If you want to learn how to surf or adventure yourself into something new, Australia offers you a wide range of courses for all levels from beginners to expert covering from surfing, snorkeling, sailing, diving, kayaking, abseiling, trekking, climbing, golf, horse riding, and more. Australian exotic animals are a big draw for many travelers. Public and private zoos and natural reserves across the country make it easy to learn about the mammals, reptiles, fish, and insects that populate the Australian continent. The world's biggest single structure made by living organisms and the world's largest coral system in the world is found right here in Australia: the Great Barrier Reef. Australia is one of the most remote countries in the world and, ironically, one of the most popular places to visit, especially among backpackers and budget travelers. Traveling in Australia doesn't come cheap. The flights are long and expensive, and wasting a few days flying only to stay a week or two in Australia usually doesn't make sense to a lot of travelers. Hotels in Australia are expensive, but what many do is buy and then resell a camper van and road trip through, saving on accommodation costs as well as public transportation costs. Australia is a massive country, so budget in higher costs for gas and flights. Accommodation for hostels is around $15-$20 for a dorm bed, and many have kitchens where you can cook your own food to save money. Expect to spend upwards of $20 per plate at mid-range restaurants and especially high prices on alcoholic beverages, even at grocery stores and bottle shops. Sydney is the first stop of most international tourists arriving in Australia, and prices here can be reasonable. Finding bargains in terms of restaurants can be a little challenging. Once you get outside the largest Australian cities the prices go down by a bit, but only by a bit. Melbourne also has a wide variety of hostels, but bunk prices for central places tend to be fairly high. Fortunately, there are plenty of free things to do in both Melbourne as well as Sydney. However most of the major popular attractions are fairly expensive in both cities. Cairns is most popular as the staging area for visits to the nearby Great Barrier Reef. As a smaller city with lower real estate prices, Cairns tends to be a bit cheaper than the huge cities on the list. Still, prices of most things tend to be quite uniform throughout Australia, so hostels and pints of beer are among the few things that are a bit cheaper here. Far more popular with Australians than international travelers, Brisbane is known for its warm and pleasant climate most of the year. The beaches through the whole area are among the best public beaches in the world, but they may not make up for a lack of cultural attractions for some visitors. And again, prices all over Australia tend to be similar, and Brisbane is not a cheap place for most things.

The South Pacific is thought of as an expensive travel destination, with overwater bungalows in fancy resorts, but it's actually not as budget-breaking as you might expect. The good news is that there are plenty of free outdoors activities to do in the South Pacific islands like swim, snorkel, or hike. Accommodation is where most of your money will be spent, with hotels starting at around $100 on some islands, and closer to $10 on others. Food can be as cheap as $10. If you're a beach lover, want some tropical warmth and are willing to spend a bit more than you would in Asia, this could be a great region to focus on.The Pacific islands are known to be expensive mainly because of the distance and price of airfare to travel there, but once you actually arrive, they are surprisingly affordable! Known for their unbelievable natural beauty, insanely gorgeous beaches, and the clearest water you've ever seen, it is nice to know that budget options are out there. The South Pacific is definitely not just for the rich and famous or for honeymooners. The Cook Islands are currently known as one of the cheapest South Pacific paradise for travellers. Famous for their amazing blue waters and white sandy beaches, as well as cool caves to explore and amazing snorkelling on every island, the Cook Islands are made up of 15 smaller islands scattered across a large area of the Pacific Ocean. Tonga is one of the most biodiverse places in the world, and completely affordable for travellers! Head to Vava'u to swim with the giant humpback whales, Nuku'alofa for markets, nightlife and beaches, or visit 'Eua for luscious rainforests, deep caves to explore and hiking! You probably believe the Fiji is a destination only suitable for your dreams, but in reality these islands are actually affordable! Known for their clear blue waters, bright blue lagoons, and palm tree lined beaches, perfect for a relaxing vacation, the most populated islands are Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Now, it is important to set expectations with yourself and to remember that the remoteness of the islands and other factors greatly add to the usual costs of travelling.

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