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

Should you visit Christchurch or Tauranga?

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

Should I visit Christchurch or Tauranga? 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 Tauranga?


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.


Tauranga is a city on the North Island of New Zealand. It is situated on the western side of the Bay of Plenty, which is on the east coast of the island. Its population of 130,000 makes it the fifth largest city in the country. Tauranga is a Maori word translated roughly to 'a sheltered anchorage'. This makes sense as the town is located near a very large harbor and protected by Matakana Island. Mount Maunganui is at the headland of the town and regarded as a suburb of Tauranga. The beach at Mt Maunganui is a surfing hot spot. The climate is mostly warm and dry because of the town's sheltered position.

Which place is cheaper, Tauranga 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 Tauranga is $103. 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 Tauranga in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Christchurch $49
    Tauranga $74
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Christchurch $98
    Tauranga $148
Compare Hotels in Christchurch and Tauranga

Looking for a hotel in Christchurch or Tauranga? 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 Tauranga

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 Tauranga Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Christchurch $14
    Tauranga $6.73

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Christchurch

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Christchurch:

  • Arrival Transfer: Christchurch Airport to Christchurch Central City Hotels: $18
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch City to Lyttelton Cruise Port: $29
  • Private Transfer from Lyttelton Port to Christchurch Airport CHC: $29
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch Airport CHC to Lyttelton Port: $29
  • Private Transfer from Lyttelton Cruise Port to Christchurch City: $29
  • Christchurch to Christchurch Airport(CHC)- Departure Transfer: $31
  • Christchurch Airport(CHC) to Christchurch-Arrival PrivateTransfer: $31
  • Christchurch City Hotels to Airport Transfer - Lowest price 1 to 4 Pax & 2 Bags: $48
  • Christchurch Airport: 1-Way Private Transfer to Christchurch: $48
  • Private Transfer - Central Christchurch to Airport: $48
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch Airport (CHC) to Akaroa Port: $53
  • Private Transfer from Christchurch City to Akaroa Cruise Port: $53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tauranga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tauranga:

  • Private Transfer from Tauranga Cruise Port to Auckland city: $92
  • Private Transfer from Tauranga Port to Auckland Airport (AKL): $92
  • Roundtrip Transfer from Port of Tauranga Omanu Golf Club: $73

Is it cheaper to fly into Christchurch or Tauranga?

Prices for flights to both Tauranga 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
    Tauranga $21

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Christchurch $17
    Tauranga $10

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: $12
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Tour by Vintage Tram: $21
  • Christchurch Gondola Ride Ticket: $24
  • International Antarctic Center General Admission Ticket: $36
  • Christchurch Gondola and Tram City Tour Combo: $42
  • Christchurch Tram City Tour & Punting Combo: $42
  • Gondola Ticket and Punt Ride on the Avon River: $45
  • Discover Christchurch Sightseeing Tour with optional International Antarctic Center Admission: $48
  • Private Walking Tour Christchurch: $61
  • Tram, Punt and Gondola Ride Combo Ticket: $63
  • Waipara Wine Trail Afternoon Tour from Christchurch: $76
  • Lyttelton Shore Excursion: Christchurch Sightseeing with Antarctic Center: $97

Tours and Activities in Tauranga

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

  • Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Mount Maunganui Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Mount Maunganui Harbour Sightseeing Cruise: $24
  • Tauranga Harbour Scenic One Hour Historical Boat Cruise : $24
  • Harley Tour of the Mount 20mins: $25
  • Waimarino Adventure Park: $30
  • 2-Hour Tauranga and Mount Maunganui Minibus Private Tour: $39
  • 3hr Tauranga Sun-downer History Tour COMPLIMENTARY Wine or Beer: $48
  • 4hr Shore Excursion - History and Tasting Tour FREE Kiwifruit Tasting: $54
  • 4hr Tauranga Scenic History and Tasting Tour FREE Kiwifruit Tasting: $54
  • Tauranga Shore Excursion: Small-Group Bay of Plenty and Tauranga Tour: $59

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Christchurch $11
    Tauranga $10

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

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

Which is Bigger, Christchurch or Tauranga?

Christchurch is bigger, and its population is about 3.3 times larger than the population of Tauranga. When comparing the population of Christchurch vs. Tauranga, 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. Tauranga Travel Comparison

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