A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Auckland vs. Queenstown

Should you visit Auckland or Queenstown?

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 Auckland and Queenstown can help you decide which place is right for you.

Auckland

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 Auckland City. The City of Auckland is the largest city in Polynesia and is very diverse with many expatriates from elsewhere in Polynesia. This diversity becomes most apparent in Auckland's many festivals and sporting events.

Queenstown

Queenstown is a popular tourist destination on New Zealand's South Island. It is beautifully surrounded by the Southern Alps and sits on the banks of Lake Wakatipu. Across the lake you will find a stunning view of the Remarkables, a dramatic mountain range. The town itself is quite touristy, but prices still remain reasonable. There are options for all travel budgets, whether you're a backpacker hoping to save a few dollars or a family looking for some luxury accommodation. Despite its natural and tranquil setting, Queenstown is actually very much a party town, particularly during the peak seasons. Don't be surprised to find people out enjoying themselves until the early hours of the morning. If you're not into the party scene and are hoping to get a decent night's sleep, consider staying a little outside of town. About an hour outside of Queenstown you'll find Wanaka, which is a much smaller and peaceful town without the party scene.

Which city is cheaper, Queenstown or Auckland?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Auckland is $135, while the average daily cost in Queenstown is $102. 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 Auckland and Queenstown in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $174 in Auckland For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $108 for a double occupancy room in Queenstown.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Auckland $87
    Queenstown $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Auckland $174
    Queenstown $108

Food

Auckland food costs typically run travelers around $24 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

The average traveler spends about $35 per day in Queenstown for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Auckland $24
    Queenstown $35
Typical Food prices in Auckland

For Auckland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Breakfast
    $5.81

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Auckland

For Auckland, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner: $107

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Queenstown

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Queenstown.

  • Dinner at Walter Peak High Country Farm and Cruise from Queenstown: $110
  • Queenstown Progressive Dinner & Wine Tour - 3 iconic locations: $207

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Auckland than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $15 on transportation in Auckland on average per day.

The cost of a taxi ride in Queenstown is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $9.96 per person, per day, on local transportation in Queenstown.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Auckland $15
    Queenstown $9.96
Typical Local Transportation prices in Auckland

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Auckland:


  • Bus from Airport
    $12
  • Airport Shuttle
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Auckland

Also for Auckland, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Arrival Transfer: Auckland Airport to Auckland Central City Centre: $21
  • Auckland Airport: Express Bus Transfer to Auckland City: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: Auckland Airport (AKL) to Auckland: $27
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Auckland to Auckland Airport (AKL): $27
  • Private 1-Way Transfer to/from Airport: $32
  • Private Transfer From Auckland City To Auckland Airport: $41
  • Private Transfer From Auckland Domestic Airport To Auckland City: $44
  • Private Transfer From Auckland International Airport To Auckland City: $44
  • Departure Private Transfer Auckland City to Auckland Airport AKL by Sedan Car: $68
  • Auckland Airport transfers: $70
  • Private transfer: Auckland Airport (AKL) to Auckland: $71
  • Auckland Airport Private airport transfer: $74

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Queenstown

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Queenstown:

  • Ski Transfer To Remarkables Ski Area (Round Trip): $27
  • Ski Transfer To Coronet Peak (Round Trip): $27
  • Queenstown and Fox Glacier 1-Way Transfer: $112
  • Private Ski Transfer to The Remarkables Ski Field: $370
  • Private Ski Transfer to Coronet Peak Ski Field: $333
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Queenstown Airport to Hotel by Jet Boat: $342
  • Private & Exclusive One-Way Transfer Queenstown to Christchurch: $1,264
  • Departure Transfer: Queenstown Central City Centre Hotels to Queenstown Airport: $13
  • Arrival Transfer: Queenstown Airport to Central Queenstown City Centre: $13

Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Auckland, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $27 per day, per person.

Entertainment and activities in Queenstown typically cost an average of $21 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Auckland $27
    Queenstown $21
Typical Entertainment prices in Auckland

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Auckland's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Auckland Sky Tour (for 2)
    $40
  • Waiheke Island Tour (for 2)
    $146

Tours and Activities in Auckland

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

  • Auckland Self Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Maritime Museum Entry Ticket: $14
  • Hīkoi To Britomart Māori Art Walking Tour: $18
  • Vibrosaun Therapy Experience: $19
  • Sky Tower General Admission Ticket: $23
  • The Hunt for the Missing Monarch - An Auckland Adventure: $30
  • Auckland Welcome Tour: Private Tour with a Local: $30
  • Clue Zealand - The Hunt for the Missing Monarch - An Auckland Adventure: $31
  • Auckland Harbour Cruise: $33
  • Escape Game Adventure: $36
  • Cultural Guided Walking Tour of Mount Eden: $37
  • Axe Throwing - 2 hour experience: $37

Typical Entertainment prices in Queenstown

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Queenstown are as follows:


  • Skyline Gondola (for 2)
    $37

Tours and Activities in Queenstown

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Queenstown are as follows:

  • 10 Day Explorer tour: Ziplines, Hikes, Canyoning, Kayaking, Rafting & Glaciers.: $4,219
  • 12-Day Snow Odyssey Tour: $2,444
  • 20-Minute Remarkables Helicopter Tour from Queenstown: $166
  • 3 Day Queenstown Adventure: Jet Boat, Helicopter, Bungy and Milford Sound Cruise: $1,241
  • 3 day Private Wanaka and Otago Photography Tour: $2,888
  • 4 Day Southern Circuit: Glaciers, Christchurch and Mt Cook Tour from Queenstown: $1,140
  • 5-Day The Great Walks of New Zealand Tour from Queenstown: $4,150
  • Alpine Adventure Helicopter Flight from Queenstown: $267
  • Arrowtown and Wanaka Premium Tour from Queenstown: $178
  • Arrowtown and Wanaka Tour from Queenstown: $133
  • AuthenticAs Discover Queenstown - Professional Photography & Exclusive 4WD Tour: $501
  • AuthenticAs Paradise - Professional Photography & Exclusive Guided 4WD Tour: $1,373

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Auckland spend on average $7.63 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $8.70 on alcoholic beverages in Queenstown per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Auckland $7.63
    Queenstown $8.70

Sample the Local Flavors in Auckland

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

  • Tour and Tastings in an Urban Craft Beer Brewery: $23
  • Wild West Coast & Black Sand Beach Tour incl Craft Beer Brewery Lunch & Tasting: $100
  • Premium Full Day Waiheke Wine Tour: $125
  • Small-Group Wine Tasting Experience on Waiheke Island: $131
  • Waiheke Island Premium Food & Wine Tour with Platter Lunch: $147
  • Waiheke Island: Private Wine Tour with Tastings: $151
  • The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour: $157
  • Waiheke Island: Afternoon Small Group Wine Tour with Lunch: $158
  • Full-Day Waiheke Island Food and Wine Tour: $165
  • Matakana: Full-Day Food and Wine Tour: $169
  • The Afternoon Artisan Food and Wine Tour: $169
  • Auckland Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing, Harbour Cruise and Waiheke Island Wine Tasting: $171

Sample the Local Flavors in Queenstown

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Queenstown:

  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Queenstown: $40
  • Wine Tour from Full Day: $103
  • Queenstown Classic Wine Tour - 3 Vineyards, Cave Tour and Cheeseboard: $116
  • Afternoon Boutique Wine Tour: $122
  • Original Wine Tour: $125
  • Vine Hopper: Queenstown's Ultimate Wine & Microbrewery Adventure: $133
  • Valley of the Vines Afternoon Wine Tour includes a Winery Tour: $133
  • Central Otago Wine Tour from Queenstown - Includes 4 Vineyards, Lunch & Wine: $136
  • Valley of the Vines Lunch & Wine Tour with a Wine Cave Adult Tour: $147
  • Wine Tour & Maori Culture Queenstown: $159
  • Queenstown Guided Ebike Wine Tour: $163
  • Full-Day Small-Group Central Otago Wine Tour: $167


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Auckland and Queenstown, we can see that Auckland is more expensive. And not only is Queenstown much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Queenstown would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Queenstown 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 Auckland would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Auckland than you might in Queenstown.

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Auckland vs. Queenstown Travel Comparison

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