A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Christchurch vs. Arrowtown for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Christchurch or Arrowtown?

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

Should I visit Christchurch or Arrowtown? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Christchurch or Arrowtown?


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.


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.

Which place is cheaper, Arrowtown or Christchurch?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Christchurch is $95, while the average daily cost in Arrowtown is $114. 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 Christchurch and Arrowtown in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Christchurch $49
    Arrowtown $67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Christchurch $98
    Arrowtown $134
Compare Hotels in Christchurch and Arrowtown

Looking for a hotel in Christchurch or Arrowtown? 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 Christchurch

Hotels in Arrowtown

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: Christchurch Hotel Prices and Arrowtown Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Christchurch $14
    Arrowtown $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Christchurch

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Christchurch:

  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Christchurch HTL-APT (CHC): $90
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer in Christchurch APT-HTL (CHC): $90
  • Private Transfer: Christchurch to Mount Cook: $3,633
  • Private Transfer from Lyttelton Port to Christchurch Airport CHC: $29
  • Private Transfer from Lyttelton Cruise Port to Christchurch City: $29
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch City to Lyttelton Cruise Port: $29
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch City to Akaroa Cruise Port: $53
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch Airport CHC to Lyttelton Port: $29
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch Airport (CHC) to Akaroa Port: $53
  • Private Transfer - Central Christchurch to Airport: $48
  • Private Minibus Airport Transfer - Pickup Hotel / Residence to Airport (11 Pax): $91
  • Private Minibus Airport Transfer - Pickup Airport to Hotel / Residence (11 Pax): $91

Is it cheaper to fly into Christchurch or Arrowtown?

Prices for flights to both Arrowtown 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.

  • Food Meals for one day
    Christchurch $30
    Arrowtown $30

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Christchurch $17
    Arrowtown $15

Tours and Activities in Christchurch

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

  • Christchurch Gondola Ride Ticket: $24
  • 10 Day Adrenalin Tour. Skydiving, Bungy, Rafting, Climbing, Heli MTB & more.: $3,448
  • 10 Southern Pioneer Haka Plus Tour: $2,663
  • 14 Day South Island Grand Adventure Tour (Small Group & Carbon Neutral): $1,816
  • 2 Day Kaikoura Whale and Dolphin Tour from Christchurch: $466
  • 2-Day Christchurch to Queenstown Tour via West Coast: $1,498
  • 3 Day Kaikoura Sealife and Coach Tour from Christchurch: $851
  • 4-Day Great Southern Island Circle Tour from Christchurch: $1,127
  • 4-Day South Island Southern Discovery Tour from Christchurch: $882
  • 5-Day South Island Tour from Christchurch: $1,208
  • 7 Day South Island Lick Tour: $1,210
  • 9-Hour Private Tour in Akaroa: $605

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: $54

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Christchurch $11
    Arrowtown $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Christchurch

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

  • Lyttelton Shore Excursion - Waipara Wine Tour With Lunch: $97
  • All-Inclusive Waipara Region Wine Tour from Christchurch: $106
  • Lyttelton Shore Excursion - City Highlights & Waipara Wine Tour : $118
  • Akaroa Eco-Safari with Alpaca Farm Tour and Wine Tasting: $122
  • Full-day Akaroa Tour with Penguins Safari and Wine Tasting: $132
  • Giles Guided Tour - Local Wine Tours: $238
  • Hanmer Springs Private Day Tour Including Hot Pool & Wine Tasting: $363
  • Private Waipara Valley Wine Tasting Tour with optional Gourmet Lunch: $394
  • Akaroa Craft Distillery HeliGin Experience: $542

Sample the Local Flavors in Arrowtown

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Arrowtown:

  • From Scenic Valley of the Vines Bike & Wine Tour: $69

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Christchurch and Arrowtown, we can see that Arrowtown is more expensive. And not only is Christchurch much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Christchurch would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Christchurch 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 Christchurch.

Which is Bigger, Christchurch or Arrowtown?

Christchurch is bigger, and its population is about 169.2 times larger than the population of Arrowtown. When comparing the population of Christchurch vs. Arrowtown, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Christchurch vs. Arrowtown Travel Comparison

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