A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Arrowtown vs. Cromwell for Hiking, Skiing, Food, and Families

Should you visit Arrowtown or Cromwell?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Arrowtown and Cromwell can help you decide which place is right for you.

Arrowtown

Arrowtown is a quirky, historic, and charming town. You'll find plenty of local activities in this small town. This destination also has one of those special and quaint feelings. Visitors also love the nightlife, food, and hiking.

Cromwell

Cromwell is a historical, cultural, and outdoorsy town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and museums.

Arrowtown and Cromwell: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Arrowtown or Cromwell?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Arrowtown. Although Arrowtown and Cromwell are popular destinations, Arrowtown has more sights and attractions for tourists. Arrowtown is more touristy than Cromwell and is known for its gold rush history, impressive ski slopes, and famous hikes. It is also well known for the Chinese Settlement. Cromwell is famous for its fruit farms, orchards, and vineyards.

How is Arrowtown different from Cromwell?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Cromwell and Arrowtown. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Arrowtown or Cromwell Better for Skiing?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

Arrowtown is a great town for skiing. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for snow skiing.

Visitors travel far to experience snow skiing in Arrowtown. In the area you'll find amazing skiing that ranges from professional level to family-friendly.

Head to Cromwell for some great skiing and other winter activities. The town isn't far from several ski fields, so it attracts winter sports enthusiasts when the weather gets cold.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Arrowtown or Cromwell?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

Spend time exploring the nice sights and museums in either Arrowtown or Cromwell.

Arrowtown is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. The town feels likes a living museum with its historic sights. There's also the Lakes District Museum in town that you can visit.

Cromwell offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are some interesting historical activities around town like Goldfields Mining Centre.

Is the Food Better in Arrowtown or Cromwell? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

Arrowtown is a great town for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Arrowtown has a huge number of terrific restaurants. For such a small town, there's a surprising number of great restaurants with award winning chefs. You'll find quaint cafes, traditional eateries, and casual restaurants where you can sample the local dishes.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Cromwell area. There are charming cafes and bakeries where you can grab a light meal or snack. There are also quaint restaurants and wineries with nice meals available.

Is Arrowtown or Cromwell Better for Nightlife?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

Both Arrowtown and Cromwell have nice vibes after the sun sets.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Arrowtown. For such a small town, there's a surprisingly bustling nightlife scene with casual pubs and waterfront bars.

Cromwell has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. There are a few breweries and a number of wineries around town where you can have a relaxing night out.


Is Arrowtown or Cromwell Better for its Old Town?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

Arrowtown is a great town for its old town. However, Cromwell does not have a historic old town.

Arrowtown is an extremely popular place to visit the historic old town area. This is a quirky and charming historic mining town that has many cottages and historic buildings. Many places have been restored to maintain their original character.

Cromwell does not have a historic old town.

Is Arrowtown or Cromwell Better for Hiking?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

Arrowtown is very popular for hiking. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for the nearby hiking options.

Around Arrowtown visitors will find world-class hiking trails. Many people use this town as a jumping off point for some of the world's most iconic hikes. You can explore Lord of the Rings country or do one of fifteen different listed walks in the area.

Cromwell is a popular spot for hiking. There are many beautiful walks in the area that take you through diverse landscapes and to impressive views.

Is the Shopping Better in Arrowtown or Cromwell?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

Arrowtown is a great town for its shopping opportunities. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its shopping areas.

Arrowtown is well-known for its shopping. Shopping is an experience in town. Head to Buckingham Street, which is the main street in town. You can wander through a wild west setting with local vendors and quirky galleries.

Many visitors go to Cromwell to go shopping. There's a farmers market in town as well as several local vendors and cute shops.


Is Arrowtown or Cromwell Better for Families?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

You'll find superb kid-friendly activities in either Arrowtown or Cromwell.

Arrowtown is a very family-friendly destination. Kids will enjoy the old world charm as much as adults. There's gold panning, bike trails, and even a historic Chinese village. During the winter there are snow sports and during the summer there are outdoor activities that take advantage of the nice weather.

Cromwell is a very kid-friendly town. The lakefront setting means that there are water activities during the warmer months. There are also ski fields nearby for the winter months. Biking and walking are also popular in the area.

Is Arrowtown or Cromwell Better for Couples?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

Both Arrowtown and Cromwell are superb destinations to visit as a couple.

Arrowtown makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The charming atmosphere and beautiful walks make this a great weekend destination for couples. You can take a stroll on the Arrow River Walkway or grab a meal at a quaint cafe followed by ice cream at a classic ice cream parlor.

Couples visit Cromwell frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Cycling, walking, kayaking, and skiing all make this a romantic a charming town to visit as a couple. There are also wineries in the area with beautiful vineyards.

Is Arrowtown or Cromwell Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

Arrowtown is a great town for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Arrowtown. There are a couple of hostels in town and backpackers love the frequent festivals and activities that the town hosts.

Plenty of backpackers visit Cromwell. There are a handful of great hostels in the area and plenty of things to keep backpackers entertained.


Is Arrowtown or Cromwell Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

Arrowtown is a town with good options for times when you don't have a car. However, Cromwell is not known for its public transit.

While Arrowtown offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There are public buses throughout the region.

Public transit is generally limited in Cromwell. Public transit around town is limited to a couple of buses.

Is Arrowtown or Cromwell a more walkable city?

Arrowtown
Cromwell

Arrowtown and Cromwell are nice when it comes to walkability.

Arrowtown is somewhat walkable. Parts of the town are fun to explore on foot.

Cromwell is a somewhat walkable place. Parts of the town are walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Arrowtown Worth Visiting? and Is Cromwell Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Cromwell or Arrowtown?

How long in Arrowtown or Cromwell?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Arrowtown or Cromwell to fill your time. In our opinion, Arrowtown has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Arrowtown than Cromwell. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Arrowtown than Cromwell. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Arrowtown, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Arrowtown than Cromwell. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Arrowtown that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Arrowtown than Cromwell if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Arrowtown.


  • How many days in Arrowtown or Cromwell? Ideal Length of Stay
    Arrowtown 1-2 
    Cromwell 1-2

One day in Arrowtown or Cromwell?

Arrowtown is a small town where visitors enjoy the museums and skiing. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find skiing and nightlife around the town of Cromwell. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One day is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Cromwell has to offer. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A weekend in Arrowtown or Cromwell?

Arrowtown is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. Make sure you visit the old town while you're here. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Arrowtown, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

You'll find nightlife and food around the cultural destination of Cromwell. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Arrowtown or Cromwell?

Arrowtown is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the outdoorsy town of Cromwell. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Arrowtown or Cromwell?

Arrowtown is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.

Cromwell is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Contiki Tours to New Zealand, The Best G Adventures Tours to New Zealand, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Auckland, and The Best Family-Friendly Tours to New Zealand.


Which place is cheaper, Cromwell or Arrowtown?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Arrowtown is $114, while the average daily cost in Cromwell is $81. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Arrowtown and Cromwell in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Arrowtown $67
    Cromwell $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Arrowtown $134
    Cromwell $78
Compare Hotels in Arrowtown and Cromwell

Looking for a hotel in Arrowtown or Cromwell? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Arrowtown


Hotels in Cromwell


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Arrowtown Hotel Prices and Cromwell Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Arrowtown $27
    Cromwell $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Arrowtown or Cromwell?

Prices for flights to both Cromwell and Arrowtown change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Arrowtown $30
    Cromwell $26

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Arrowtown $15
    Cromwell $16

Tours and Activities in Arrowtown

For Arrowtown, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Queenstown: Arrowtown Mountain Biking Adventure: $53

Tours and Activities in Cromwell

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Cromwell.

  • Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour: $147
  • Ultimate Lake Dunstan Trail Experience Bike & Boat Return: $171

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Arrowtown $13
    Cromwell $9.14

Sample the Local Flavors in Arrowtown

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Arrowtown:

  • From Scenic Valley of the Vines Bike & Wine Tour: $88

Sample the Local Flavors in Cromwell

Also in Cromwell, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Wines and Views: Private Wine Tour of Otago from Queenstow: $1,483


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Arrowtown and Cromwell, we can see that Arrowtown is more expensive. And not only is Cromwell much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cromwell would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cromwell and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Arrowtown would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arrowtown than you might in Cromwell.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Arrowtown Expensive? and Is Cromwell Expensive?.


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