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

Should you visit Christchurch or Picton?

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

Should I visit Christchurch or Picton? 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 Picton?


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.


Picton, New Zealand is located in the picturesque Marlborough Region on the South Island. With beachfront access in a central location and near the Marlborough Sounds, Picton is an ideal place for anyone looking for both adventure and relaxation in one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world.

The weather in Picton is fairly mild, ranging from the low fifties to high sixties, Fahrenheit, throughout the year. Their summer months are December through March, this is when you'll find temperatures in the high sixties. During the winter, June through August, Picton experiences averages of fifty degree Fahrenheit. This means you can visit any time of the year without having to worry about weather inhibiting any of your outdoor activities!

Which city is cheaper, Picton or Christchurch?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Christchurch is $82, while the average daily cost in Picton is $74. 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 Christchurch and Picton in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Christchurch $42
    Picton $32
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Christchurch $84
    Picton $64
Compare Hotels in Christchurch and Picton

Looking for a hotel in Christchurch or Picton? 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 Picton

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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 Picton Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Christchurch $12
    Picton -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Christchurch

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Christchurch:

  • Transfer from Christchurch Central City to Christchurch Airport: $21
  • Arrival Transfer: Christchurch Airport to Christchurch Central City Hotels: $21
  • Christchurch City Hotels to Airport Transfer - Lowest price 1 to 4 Pax & 2 Bags: $43
  • Private Transfer - Airport to Central Christchurch: $44
  • Private Departure Transfer: Central Christchurch to Christchurch Airport: $59
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Christchurch Airport to Central Christchurch: $59
  • Executive Sedan Airport Transfer(Pickup Airport to Hotel/Residence) Christchurch: $60
  • Executive Sedan Airport Transfer (Pickup Hotel / Residence to Airport): $60
  • Christchurch City Hotels to Airport Transfer - Lowest price 1 to 9 Passengers: $67
  • Departure Private Transfers from Christchurch to Airport CHC in Business Car: $71
  • Private Airport Round-Trip Transfer:Christchurch Airport to Central Christchurch: $74
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Airport CHC to Christchurch in Business Car: $75

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Picton

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Picton:

  • Private One Way Transfer Tour between Picton & Christchurch: $1,264

Is it cheaper to fly into Christchurch or Picton?

Prices for flights to both Picton 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 $26
    Picton $17

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Christchurch

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

  • Tramway Restaurant 4 Course Dinner Service through Christchurch: $92
  • Willowbank Kiwi Tour and Maori Concert Including Hangi Dinner from Christchurch: $174

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Christchurch $15
    Picton $94

Tours and Activities in Christchurch

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

  • Chairlift Sightseeing Pass at the Christchurch Adventure Park: $15
  • Punting on the Avon River with Optional Christchurch Gondola and Botanic Gardens Tour: $21
  • Christchurch Gondola Ride Ticket: $22
  • Christchurch International Antarctic Center Entry Tickets: $33
  • International Antarctic Center General Admission Ticket: $36
  • Urban Explorer Tour: $41
  • Christchurch Gondola and Tram City Tour Combo: $41
  • Christchurch Tram City Tour & Punting Combo: $41
  • Discover Christchurch Sightseeing Tour with optional International Antarctic Center Admission: $52
  • Waipara Wine Trail Afternoon Tour from Christchurch: $74
  • Waipara Wine Trail Morning Tour from Christchurch: $74
  • City to Sea Electric Bike Tour: $78

Tours and Activities in Picton

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

  • Picton Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Koru Native Wildlife Centre Tour: $16
  • Ecoworld New Zealand tour from Marlborough Sounds: $18
  • Queen Charlotte Track: Cruise & Self-Guided Hike from Picton: $58
  • Half-Day Cruise in Marlborough Sounds from Picton: $66
  • Marlborough Sounds Cruise & 3-Hour Scenic Walk: $67
  • Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary and Ship Cove Cruise from Picton: $69
  • Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton: $70
  • 3 Hour Marlborough Sounds Delivery Cruise: $72
  • Half day Sea Kayak Guided Tour from Picton: $72
  • Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise: $78
  • Early Bird Eco Cruise: $79

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Christchurch $9.53
    Picton $30

Sample the Local Flavors in Christchurch

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

  • 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
  • Full-day Akaroa Tour with Dolphin Cruise & Wine Tasting: $133
  • Private Waipara Valley Wine Tasting Tour with optional Gourmet Lunch: $190
  • Hanmer Springs Private Day Tour Including Hot Pool & Wine Tasting: $356

Sample the Local Flavors in Picton

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Picton:

  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Marlborough: $53
  • Half-Day Wine Tour from Picton: $80
  • Full-Day Wine Tour from Picton: $110
  • Picton Shore Excursion : Marlborough Wine Tour: $113
  • Picton Shore Excursion: Wings of Omaka and Marlborough Wine Tour: $129
  • Full-Day Marlborough Wine Tour from Picton or Blenheim: $144
  • Marlborough Wine Tour and Cruise from Picton or Blenheim: $163

When comparing the travel costs between Christchurch and Picton, we can see that Christchurch 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.

When is the best time to visit Christchurch or Picton?

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 Christchurch or Picton in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Christchurch and Picton.

In the summer, Christchurch is around the same temperature as Picton. Typically, the summer temperatures in Christchurch in January are around 18°C (64°F), and Picton is about 18°C (64°F).

In January, Christchurch usually receives less rain than Picton. Christchurch gets 46 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Picton receives 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.

  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Christchurch 18°C (64°F) 
    Picton 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Christchurch or Picton in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Christchurch as well as Picton.

In April, Christchurch is generally cooler than Picton. Temperatures in Christchurch average around 12°C (54°F), and Picton stays around 15°C (58°F).

Christchurch usually gets less rain in April than Picton. Christchurch gets 53 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Picton receives 82 mm (3.2 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Christchurch 12°C (54°F) 
    Picton 15°C (58°F)

Should I visit Christchurch or Picton in the Winter?

Both Picton and Christchurch are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.

Christchurch is much colder than Picton in the winter. The temperature in Christchurch is usually 6°C (43°F) in July, and Picton stays around 10°C (49°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Picton. In July, Christchurch usually receives less rain than Picton. Christchurch gets 68 mm (2.7 in) of rain, while Picton receives 111 mm (4.4 in) of rain each month for the winter.

  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Christchurch 6°C (43°F) 
    Picton 10°C (49°F)

Should I visit Christchurch or Picton in the Spring?

Both Picton and Christchurch during the spring are popular places to visit.

In the spring, Christchurch is around the same temperature as Picton. Typically, the spring temperatures in Christchurch in October are around 12°C (54°F), and Picton is about 13°C (55°F).

Christchurch usually gets less rain in October than Picton. Christchurch gets 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain, while Picton receives 93 mm (3.7 in) of rain this time of the year.

  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Christchurch 12°C (54°F) 
    Picton 13°C (55°F)

Typical Weather for Picton and Christchurch

Christchurch Picton
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 18°C (64°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 18°C (64°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Feb 17°C (63°F) 42 mm (1.7 in) 18°C (64°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Mar 16°C (60°F) 57 mm (2.2 in) 17°C (62°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Apr 12°C (54°F) 53 mm (2.1 in) 15°C (58°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
May 9°C (49°F) 58 mm (2.3 in) 12°C (54°F) 92 mm (3.6 in)
Jun 6°C (44°F) 51 mm (2 in) 10°C (51°F) 113 mm (4.4 in)
Jul 6°C (43°F) 68 mm (2.7 in) 10°C (49°F) 111 mm (4.4 in)
Aug 7°C (45°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 10°C (50°F) 98 mm (3.9 in)
Sep 10°C (49°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Oct 12°C (54°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 13°C (55°F) 93 mm (3.7 in)
Nov 14°C (58°F) 50 mm (2 in) 15°C (58°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Dec 16°C (61°F) 45 mm (1.8 in) 17°C (62°F) 69 mm (2.7 in)

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Christchurch vs. Picton Travel Comparison

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