A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Auckland vs. Rotorua for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Auckland or Rotorua?

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

Where Should I go: Auckland or Rotorua?

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.

Rotorua

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 Auckland?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Auckland is $108, while the average daily cost in Rotorua is $71. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Auckland and Rotorua in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Auckland $68
    Rotorua $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Auckland $136
    Rotorua $74
Compare Hotels in Auckland and Rotorua

Looking for a hotel in Auckland or Rotorua? 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 Auckland


Hotels in Rotorua


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Auckland $12
    Rotorua $3.87
Typical Local Transportation prices in Auckland

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


  • Bus from Airport
    $9.19
  • Airport Shuttle
    $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Auckland

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

  • Private transfer: Auckland Airport (AKL) to Auckland: $71
  • Private Transfer North Shore or Henderson to Auckland Airport AKL by Luxury Van: $97
  • Private Transfer North Shore or Henderson to Auckland Airport AKL by Luxury Car: $101
  • Private Transfer From Auckland International Airport To Auckland City: $44
  • Private Transfer From Auckland Domestic Airport To Auckland City: $44
  • Private Transfer From Auckland City To Auckland Airport: $41
  • Private Inter City Transfer From Auckland To Hamilton: $148
  • Private Auckland Airport to City Transfer for up to 5 passengers: $96
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Auckland to Auckland Airport (AKL): $27
  • Private Airport Transfer: Auckland Airport (AKL) to Auckland: $27
  • Intercity (Tauranga, Whangarei, Hamilton etc) /Auckland Airport Transfers: $76
  • Great Barrier transfer - fly directly from Waiheke Island: $185

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: $148
  • Departure Transfer: Rotorua City Centre Hotels to Rotorua Airport: $18

Is it cheaper to fly into Auckland or Rotorua?

Prices for flights to both Rotorua and Auckland 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
    Auckland $20
    Rotorua $21
Typical Food prices in Auckland

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


  • Breakfast
    $4.60

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 Rotorua

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

  • Rotorua Maori Hangi Dinner and Performance: $100
  • Lake Rotoiti Evening Kayak Tour including Hot Springs, Glowworm Caves and BBQ Dinner: $140

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Auckland $21
    Rotorua $27
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)
    $32
  • Waiheke Island Tour (for 2)
    $116

Tours and Activities in Auckland

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

  • 10-Day 'Vibe of the North' Epic Summer Tour for 18-30s!: $1,177
  • 13,000 Feet Tandem Skydive & Gannet Experience: $481
  • 14 Day - North to South Island Tour (All inclusive): $1,992
  • 16,000 Feet Tandem Skydive & Gannet Experience: $592
  • 17 day - North to South Island Tour (All inclusive): $2,333
  • 2 Day Rotorua Experience: Waitomo Caves, Maori Culture & Ziplining from Auckland: $733
  • 2 Day Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set and Rotorua Tour from Auckland: $859
  • 20,000 Feet Tandem Skydive & Gannet Experience: $740
  • 23-Day Epic New Zealand Tour: $3,630
  • 3 Day Bay Of Islands Tour from Auckland including Waitangi and Cape Reinga: $703
  • 3 Day Bay of Islands Winterless North Tour: $370
  • 3 Day Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set and Rotorua Tour from Auckland: $933

Typical Entertainment prices in Rotorua

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


  • Lunch Out for Two
    $26

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: $488
  • Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour: $19
  • Combo Day Tour Wai-O-Tapu, Lady Knox Geyser, Champagne Lake, Polynesian: $138
  • Hells Gate Mud Bath and Sulphur Spa Experience: $52
  • Hobbiton Movie Set and Waitomo Glowworm Caves Small-Group Day Tour From Rotorua: $204
  • Kahukiwi Experiences Luxury 4WD 3hour Guided Maori Tour: $118
  • Kaituna River: 3.5-Hour White Water Sledging Experience: $80
  • Kaituna River: 3.5-Hour Whitewater Rafting Experience: $72
  • Kaituna White-Water Rafting Adventure: $62
  • Katoa Jet Boat & guided tour of the sacred Mokoia Island: $73
  • Katoa Jet Boat tour on Lake Rotorua: $63
  • Lake Rotorua Paddle Boat Cruise: $14

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Auckland $10
    Rotorua $8.96

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: $146
  • Waiheke Island: Afternoon Small Group Wine Tour with Lunch: $157
  • The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour: $157
  • 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
  • Small-Group Kumeu Wine Country Tour Includes Wine Tastings & Lunch: $189

Typical Alcohol prices in Rotorua

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Rotorua:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $11


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Auckland and Rotorua, we can see that Auckland 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 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 Rotorua.


When is the best time to visit Auckland or Rotorua?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Auckland or Rotorua in the Summer?

Both Rotorua and Auckland are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities.

In the summer, Auckland is much warmer than Rotorua. Typically, the summer temperatures in Auckland in January are around 20°C (68°F), and Rotorua is about 12°C (54°F).

In January, Auckland usually receives more rain than Rotorua. At this time of the year, Auckland gets 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Rotorua receives 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Auckland 20°C (68°F) 
    Rotorua 12°C (54°F)

Should I visit Auckland or Rotorua in the Autumn?

Both Rotorua and Auckland during the autumn are popular places to visit.

In April, Auckland is generally around the same temperature as Rotorua. Temperatures in Auckland average around 16°C (61°F), and Rotorua stays around 16°C (61°F).

Auckland usually gets more rain in April than Rotorua. Auckland gets 95 mm (3.7 in) of rain, while Rotorua receives 34 mm (1.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Auckland 16°C (61°F) 
    Rotorua 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Auckland or Rotorua in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Auckland and Rotorua.

Auckland is much colder than Rotorua in the winter. The temperature in Auckland is usually 11°C (52°F) in July, and Rotorua stays around 26°C (79°F).

Auckland gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Auckland usually receives more rain than Rotorua. At this time of the year, Auckland gets 135 mm (5.3 in) of rain, while Rotorua receives 3 mm (0.1 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Auckland 11°C (52°F) 
    Rotorua 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Auckland or Rotorua in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Auckland as well as Rotorua.

In the spring, Auckland is cooler than Rotorua. Typically, the spring temperatures in Auckland in October are around 14°C (58°F), and Rotorua is about 19°C (66°F).

Auckland usually gets more rain in October than Rotorua. Auckland gets 83 mm (3.3 in) of rain, while Rotorua receives 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Auckland 14°C (58°F) 
    Rotorua 19°C (66°F)

Typical Weather for Rotorua and Auckland

Auckland Rotorua
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 20°C (68°F) 67 mm (2.6 in) 12°C (54°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Feb 20°C (68°F) 65 mm (2.6 in) 13°C (55°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Mar 19°C (66°F) 82 mm (3.2 in) 15°C (59°F) 32 mm (1.3 in)
Apr 16°C (61°F) 95 mm (3.7 in) 16°C (61°F) 34 mm (1.3 in)
May 14°C (57°F) 92 mm (3.6 in) 19°C (66°F) 16 mm (0.6 in)
Jun 12°C (53°F) 116 mm (4.6 in) 23°C (73°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Jul 11°C (52°F) 135 mm (5.3 in) 26°C (79°F) 3 mm (0.1 in)
Aug 11°C (53°F) 108 mm (4.3 in) 26°C (79°F) 1 mm (0 in)
Sep 13°C (55°F) 97 mm (3.8 in) 24°C (75°F) 10 mm (0.4 in)
Oct 14°C (58°F) 83 mm (3.3 in) 19°C (66°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Nov 16°C (61°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 16°C (61°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Dec 18°C (65°F) 83 mm (3.3 in) 13°C (55°F) 41 mm (1.6 in)


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Auckland vs. Rotorua Travel Comparison

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