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

Should you visit Christchurch or Queenstown?

Should I visit Christchurch or Queenstown? 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.

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 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 Queenstown is $100. 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 Queenstown 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $106 for a double occupancy room in Queenstown.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Christchurch $47
    Queenstown $53
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Christchurch $94
    Queenstown $106

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.

The average traveler spends about $34 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
    Christchurch $29
    Queenstown $34

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 Queenstown

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

  • Queenstown Skyline Gondola and Luge Ride with Optional Buffet Lunch or Dinner: $47
  • Taste Auckland Group Food Tour: $98
  • Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise: $102
  • Dinner at Walter Peak High Country Farm and Cruise from Queenstown: $110
  • Sunset / Night Kayak to Rangitoto Island with BBQ Dinner: $138
  • Queenstown Wine and Food Tour: $141
  • Queenstown Progressive Dinner & Wine Tour - 3 iconic locations: $207

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.

The cost of a taxi ride in Queenstown is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $9.76 per person, per day, on local transportation in Queenstown.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Christchurch $14
    Queenstown $9.76

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Christchurch

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Christchurch:

  • Shared and Private Nelson Airport (NSN) Transfers for Nelson CBD: $7.09
  • SkyBus Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer Ticket: $11
  • Shared and Private Wellington Airport (WLG) Transfers for Wellington CBD: $11
  • Shared Queenstown Airport (ZQN) Transfers for Queenstown CBD: $11
  • 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 Rotorua Airport (ROT) Transfers for Rotorua CBD: $16
  • Shared and Private Auckland Airport (AKL) Transfers to/from Auckland CBD: $18
  • Transfer from Christchurch Central City to Christchurch Airport: $21
  • Arrival Transfer: Christchurch Airport to Christchurch Central City Hotels: $21
  • SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium Entry Ticket and Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer: $40
  • Christchurch City Hotels to Airport Transfer - Lowest price 1 to 4 Pax & 2 Bags: $43

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Queenstown

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Queenstown:

  • SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium Entry Ticket and Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer: $40
  • Arrival Transfer: Queenstown Airport to Central Queenstown City Centre: $13
  • Departure Transfer: Queenstown Central City Centre Hotels to Queenstown Airport: $13
  • Private & Exclusive One-Way Transfer Queenstown to Christchurch: $1,264
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Queenstown Airport to Hotel by Jet Boat: $342
  • 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 Ski Transfer to Coronet Peak Ski Field: $333
  • Private Ski Transfer to The Remarkables Ski Field: $370
  • Private Transfers to Cardrona Ski Field or Treble Cone Ski Field: $629

Is it cheaper to fly into Christchurch or Queenstown?

Prices for flights to both Queenstown 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.

Entertainment and activities in Queenstown typically cost an average of $20 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.
    Christchurch $17
    Queenstown $20

Tours and Activities in Christchurch

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

  • 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
  • Hamilton Gardens Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Entry Ticket: $14
  • Christchurch Botanic Gardens Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: $15
  • Chairlift Sightseeing Pass at the Christchurch Adventure Park: $15
  • 3D Trick Art Gallery Entry Ticket: $16
  • Auckland Zoo Ticket: $16
  • SheepWorld Admission Ticket: $16
  • Puzzling World Ticket in Wanaka: $17

Typical Entertainment prices in Queenstown

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


  • Skyline Gondola (for 2)
    $36

Tours and Activities in Queenstown

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

  • Time Tripper Queenstown Virtual Journey Through Time Experience: $7.09
  • Te Papa Museum Ticket in Wellington: $11
  • Full & Half Day Hardtail Cruiser Bike Hire (Giant Talon 3 - 2020 model): $11
  • Devonport Ferry Tickets in Auckland: $11
  • Putt and Glow Indoor Mini Golf Experience in Queenstown: $12
  • Hamilton Gardens Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Entry Ticket: $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

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.

The average person spends about $8.52 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
    Christchurch $11
    Queenstown $8.52

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 Queenstown

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Queenstown:

  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Queenstown: $40
  • Sip Marlborough Wine Tour: $69
  • Wine Tours from Queenstown: $71
  • Gibbston Valley Ride and Wine Tours: $88
  • Bubbly Grape Marlborough Wine Tours: $92
  • Wine Tour from Full Day: $103
  • Queenstown Classic Wine Tour - 3 Vineyards, Cave Tour and Cheeseboard: $116
  • Afternoon Brewery Tour with Lunch in Queenstown: $117
  • Wine Tasting Sampler Tour from Queenstown: $119
  • Queenstown’s Original Wine Tour: $119
  • Afternoon Boutique Wine Tour: $122
  • Original Wine Tour: $125


When comparing the travel costs between Christchurch and Queenstown, we can see that Queenstown 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. Queenstown Travel Comparison

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