Should you visit Arrowtown or Rotorua?
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 Rotorua can help you decide which place is right for you.
Historically, Arrowtown is an old gold mining town that is located on the South Island of New Zealand. The town was established during the Otago gold rush of 1862. It is very close to Queenstown, which is a very popular destination among travelers, and it is definitely worth visiting if you are in the Otago region of New Zealand. It is a very tiny town, with a population of just over 2,000 people. The town has a lot of character and history and is a perfect place to go if you wish to get out of the touristy areas like Queenstown.
Located on the banks of Lake Rotorua, Rotorua is famous as the thermal wonderland of New Zealand. The area has a variety of geothermal sights, but it is also close to several lakes and has more traditional activities as well, including fishing, boating and white water rafting.
Rotorua is located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, which is the largest volcano in the area. There are four major volcanic calderas that now have lakes, and several other volcanoes in the area. Rotorua sits on top of a thermal hot spring, and there are many vents and hot pools throughout the area. Many of the hot pools and sights are located within parks, with some of the best being Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Rainbow Springs Nature Park, and Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.
Rotorua has a warm, temperate climate. Because of the area's inland location, it has less wind than many places in New Zealand. Temperatures during the winter months can fall to below freezing, but snow is incredibly rare.
Which city is cheaper, Rotorua or Arrowtown?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Arrowtown is $112, while the average daily cost in Rotorua is $90. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Arrowtown and Rotorua in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $132 in Arrowtown For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Travelers usually pay around $94 for a double occupancy room in Rotorua If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Food in Arrowtown costs travelers about $29 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.
On average, meal and food prices in Rotorua cost around $26 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $10.
Meals for one day
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rotorua
For Rotorua, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Rotorua Maori Hangi Dinner and Performance:
Lake Rotoiti Evening Kayak Tour including Hot Springs, Glowworm Caves and BBQ Dinner:
To get around in Arrowtown, the average visitor spends $27 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Rotorua's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $4.89 per person, per day on transportation in Rotorua.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rotorua
Also for Rotorua, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Rotorua to Auckland Afternoon Transfer with Waitomo Glow Worms:
Departure Transfer: Rotorua City Centre Hotels to Rotorua Airport:
In Arrowtown, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $14 per person, per day.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Rotorua can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $34 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Arrowtown
For Arrowtown, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Queenstown: Self-Guided Biking Experience from Arrowtown:
Typical Entertainment prices in Rotorua
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Rotorua's activities, tours, and tickets:
Tours and Activities in Rotorua
For Rotorua, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Auckland to Rotorua Private Tour:
Auckland: Full Day Rotorua Private Tour:
Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour:
Combo Day Tour Wai-O-Tapu, Lady Knox Geyser, Champagne Lake, Polynesian:
From Eco Cultural & Wildlife Full-Day Tour:
Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Small-Group Day Tour From Rotorua:
Kahukiwi Experiences Luxury 4WD 3hour Guided Maori Tour:
Kaituna River: 3.5-Hour Whitewater Rafting Experience:
Kaituna White-Water Rafting Adventure:
Katoa Jet Boat & guided tour of the sacred Mokoia Island:
Katoa Jet Boat tour on Lake Rotorua:
Lake Rotorua Paddle Boat Cruise:
Typically, people visiting Arrowtown spend on average $13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Rotorua spend on average $11 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typical Alcohol prices in Rotorua
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Rotorua:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Arrowtown and Rotorua, we can see that Arrowtown is more expensive. And not only is Rotorua much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Rotorua would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Rotorua 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 Rotorua.
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