A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Christchurch vs. Aoraki Mount Cook for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Christchurch or Aoraki Mount Cook?

Should I visit Christchurch or Aoraki Mount Cook? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Christchurch

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 the Garden City and it is easy to see why. It's quite a nice city with trees spread throughout. The economy is centered around international tourism as well as foreign education. There is a high Asian student population here, giving the city a diverse feel.

Christchurch's climate is temperate and the city receives moderate rainfall. In January average high temperatures are around 73 degrees Fahrenheit with averages around 52 degrees Fahrenheit in July. There is a sea breeze during the summer months that keep temperatures pleasant. Temperatures can drop below freezing at night during the winter months. Snow may also fall several times a year.

Aoraki Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is located on the South Island of New Zealand. It was declared a national park in 1953 to protect and preserve the landscape. The park is home to the country's highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook. In Maori, Aoraki means, "cloud piercer", and the English name, Mt Cook, refers to the navigator James Cook, who discovered New Zealand in the 18th century. Mt Cook was the training location for Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first person to summit Everest in 1953. Other peaks in the park include Mount Tasman, Mount Sefton, and Mount Hicks. Not only can you find lush greenery all over the park, but also, glaciers cover 40% of the parks area.

Which city is cheaper, Aoraki Mount Cook or Christchurch?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Christchurch is $91, while the average daily cost in Aoraki Mount Cook is $101. 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 Christchurch and Aoraki Mount Cook in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $47. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Christchurch the cost is $94 on average.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Aoraki Mount Cook, $114 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Aoraki Mount Cook, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $57, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Christchurch $47
    Aoraki Mount Cook $57
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Christchurch $94
    Aoraki Mount Cook $114

Food

Food in Christchurch 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.

In Aoraki Mount Cook travelers spend around $25 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Christchurch $29
    Aoraki Mount Cook $25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Christchurch

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

  • Queenstown Skyline Gondola and Luge Ride with Optional Buffet Lunch or Dinner: $47
  • Tramway Restaurant 4 Course Dinner Service through Christchurch: $92
  • Taste Auckland Group Food Tour: $98
  • Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise: $102
  • Sunset / Night Kayak to Rangitoto Island with BBQ Dinner: $138
  • Queenstown Wine and Food Tour: $141
  • Willowbank Kiwi Tour and Maori Concert Including Hangi Dinner from Christchurch: $174

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Aoraki Mount Cook

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

  • Queenstown Skyline Gondola and Luge Ride with Optional Buffet Lunch or Dinner: $47
  • Taste Auckland Group Food Tour: $98
  • Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise: $102
  • Sunset / Night Kayak to Rangitoto Island with BBQ Dinner: $138
  • Queenstown Wine and Food Tour: $141

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Christchurch is $14 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

Aoraki Mount Cook'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 $26 per person, per day on transportation in Aoraki Mount Cook.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Christchurch $14
    Aoraki Mount Cook $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Christchurch

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Christchurch:

  • Private & Exclusive One-Way Transfer Christchurch to Queenstown: $1,264
  • Christchurch to Franz Josef or Fox Glacier One-Way Transfer: $1,185
  • Private Transfer: Christchurch to Mount Cook: $790
  • Christchurch To Lake Tekapo One-way Transfer: $672
  • Private Transfers to Cardrona Ski Field or Treble Cone Ski Field: $629
  • Private Luxury Transfers to The Remarkables: $445
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to The Remarkables: $431
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to Coronet Peak: $389
  • Private Luxury Transfers to Coronet Peak: $375
  • Christchurch to Akaroa transfer up to 4 people: $186
  • Christchurch to Methven Private Transfer(Or Methven to Christchurch): $163
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Christchurch to Airport CHC in Luxury Car: $121

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Aoraki Mount Cook

Also for Aoraki Mount Cook, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium Entry Ticket and Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer: $40
  • Private Luxury Transfers to Coronet Peak: $375
  • Private Luxury Transfers to The Remarkables: $445
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to Coronet Peak: $389
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to The Remarkables: $431
  • Private Transfers to Cardrona Ski Field or Treble Cone Ski Field: $629
  • Shared Queenstown Airport (ZQN) Transfers for Queenstown CBD: $11
  • Shared and Private Auckland Airport (AKL) Transfers to/from Auckland CBD: $18
  • Shared and Private Christchurch Airport (CHC) Transfers for Christchurch CBD: $13
  • Shared and Private Dunedin Airport (DUD) Transfers for Dunedin CBD: $14
  • Shared and Private Nelson Airport (NSN) Transfers for Nelson CBD: $7.09
  • Shared and Private Rotorua Airport (ROT) Transfers for Rotorua CBD: $16

Is it cheaper to fly into Christchurch or Aoraki Mount Cook?

Prices for flights to both Aoraki Mount Cook and Christchurch 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.





Entertainment

Christchurch's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $17 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Aoraki Mount Cook can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Christchurch $17
    Aoraki Mount Cook $22

Tours and Activities in Christchurch

Here are a few actual costs in Christchurch for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 4WD-U Drive Experience: $232
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Day Tour from Auckland: $140
  • Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves Tour from Auckland: $211
  • Kaituna Whitewater Rafting Experience : $84
  • Kaituna Whitewater Sledging Experience: $91
  • Milford Sound Vista Day Tour from Queenstown or Te Anau: $127
  • Mt Tarawera Volcanic Crater Hiking Experience: $131
  • Putt and Glow Indoor Mini Golf Experience in Queenstown: $12
  • Queenstown Scenic Cruise - Spirit of Queenstown: $28
  • Queenstown Tiki Tour: $70
  • Rotorua Day Tour from Auckland: $188
  • Ultimate Queenstown Highlights Tour: $77

Tours and Activities in Aoraki Mount Cook

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Aoraki Mount Cook.

  • Time Tripper Queenstown Virtual Journey Through Time Experience: $7.09
  • Te Papa Museum Ticket in Wellington: $11
  • Devonport Ferry Tickets in Auckland: $11
  • Putt and Glow Indoor Mini Golf Experience in Queenstown: $12
  • Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Entry Ticket: $14
  • Hamilton Gardens Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • 3D Trick Art Gallery Entry Ticket: $16
  • Auckland Zoo Ticket: $16
  • SheepWorld Admission Ticket: $16
  • Puzzling World Ticket in Wanaka: $17
  • Rotorua Heritage Farm Tour: $17
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds Experience Pass in Bay of Islands: $18

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Christchurch may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Aoraki Mount Cook, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $20.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Christchurch $11
    Aoraki Mount Cook $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Christchurch

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

  • Sip Marlborough Wine Tour: $69
  • Wine Tours from Queenstown: $71
  • Gibbston Valley Ride and Wine Tours: $88
  • Bubbly Grape Marlborough Wine Tours: $92
  • A Waipara Wine Experience with Giles Tours, includes wine tastings and lunch: $95
  • All-Inclusive Waipara Region Wine Tour from Christchurch: $100
  • Akaroa Eco-Safari with Alpaca Farm Tour and Wine Tasting: $103
  • Full-day Akaroa Tour with Penguins Safari and Wine Tasting: $114
  • Lyttelton Shore Excursion - Waipara Wine Tour With Lunch: $115
  • Afternoon Brewery Tour with Lunch in Queenstown: $117
  • Wine Tasting Sampler Tour from Queenstown: $119
  • Queenstown’s Original Wine Tour: $119

Sample the Local Flavors in Aoraki Mount Cook

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Aoraki Mount Cook:

  • Sip Marlborough Wine Tour: $69
  • Wine Tours from Queenstown: $71
  • Gibbston Valley Ride and Wine Tours: $88
  • Bubbly Grape Marlborough Wine Tours: $92
  • Afternoon Brewery Tour with Lunch in Queenstown: $117
  • Wine Tasting Sampler Tour from Queenstown: $119
  • Queenstown’s Original Wine Tour: $119
  • Taste Marlborough Wine Tour: $138
  • Queenstown E-Bikes Wine Tour: $147
  • Spa and Wine Tasting Experience in Queenstown: $293
  • Queenstown Private Helicopter and Wine Tour: $672


When comparing the travel costs between Christchurch and Aoraki Mount Cook, we can see that Aoraki Mount Cook is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Pacific, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Christchurch vs. Aoraki Mount Cook Travel Comparison

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