A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Cromwell vs. Picton for Food, Hiking, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Cromwell or Picton?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Cromwell and Picton can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.


Cromwell is a outdoorsy, historical, and cultural town. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. Other popular activities here include food, hiking, and shopping.


Picton is a picturesque, scenic, and quaint town. With fun activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and hiking.

Cromwell and Picton: Pros and Cons

  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife

Is there more to do in Cromwell or Picton?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Picton. Although Cromwell and Picton are both popular with visitors, Picton has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Picton is more popular for its food and beaches, while Cromwell is known for its skiing and nightlife. Picton is more touristy than Cromwell and is popular for its picturesque scenery, laid back setting, and beautiful walking trails. It is also home to the Queen Charlotte Track. Cromwell is popular for its fruit farms, orchards, and vineyards.

How is Cromwell different from Picton?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Picton and Cromwell. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Cromwell or Picton Better for Skiing?


Cromwell is a good destination for snow skiing. However, Picton is not a skiing destination.

Head to Cromwell for some great skiing and other winter activities. The town isn't far from several ski fields, so it attracts winter sports enthusiasts when the weather gets cold.

Picton is not a skiing destination.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Cromwell or Picton?


Visiting museums and landmarks is a fun activity in both Cromwell and Picton.

Cromwell offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are some interesting historical activities around town like Goldfields Mining Centre.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Picton. There are a few local museums around town that are fun to visit with the weather isn't cooperating. Edwin Fox Ship is the world's oldest merchant ship. You can also learn about the town's whaling past at the Picton Heritage and Whaling Museum.

Is the Food Better in Cromwell or Picton? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?


Picton is a great town for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Picton has a huge number of terrific restaurants. The town is filled with restaurants that stay true to New Zealand's culinary traditions. Mussels and salmon are common on menus, and there are many bakeries and waterfront cafes to try.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Cromwell area. There are charming cafes and bakeries where you can grab a light meal or snack. There are also quaint restaurants and wineries with nice meals available.

Is Cromwell or Picton Better for Nightlife?


Cromwell is a good destination for its evening party scene. However, Picton is not a good town for nightlife.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Cromwell. There are a few breweries and a number of wineries around town where you can have a relaxing night out.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Picton. It's a small town with a quiet and calm atmosphere.

Is Cromwell or Picton Better for Beaches?


Picton is a great town for the beache. However, Cromwell is not a beach destination.

The beaches at Picton attract visitors from all over. There are four beaches in the area. Picton Beach is by the town center and near many restaurants and cafes. About a ten minute walk from town is Shelley Beach and if you're up for more walking, Bob's Bay is secluded and nice. If you have a car you can make it to Governer's Bay.

Cromwell is not a beach destination.

Is Cromwell or Picton Better for Hiking?


Both Cromwell and Picton are destinations which offer very good hiking.

Many visitors go to Cromwell for the hiking trails. There are many beautiful walks in the area that take you through diverse landscapes and to impressive views.

Picton is a popular spot for hiking. There are many nice walking paths in the area and this is a great way to explore, reach beaches, and see the surrounding landscapes. If you're up for a longer trip, Queen Charlotte Track is a popular trail.

Is the Shopping Better in Cromwell or Picton?


If you're looking to go shopping, Cromwell and Picton both offer plenty of good spots.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Cromwell. There's a farmers market in town as well as several local vendors and cute shops.

Many visitors go to Picton to go shopping. There are a few galleries and local shops around town.

Is Cromwell or Picton Better for Families?


Both Cromwell and Picton are very good to visit with kids.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Cromwell is very family-friendly. The lakefront setting means that there are water activities during the warmer months. There are also ski fields nearby for the winter months. Biking and walking are also popular in the area.

Picton is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. Kids will enjoy taking a boat cruise to Motuara Island. You can see dolphins, birds, and other wildlife. There are also wildlife centers in the area, family-friendly walking trails, museums, aquariums, and kayaking opportunities.

Is Cromwell or Picton Better for Couples?


Both Cromwell and Picton are very good destinations for a couple's getaway.

Cromwell is a great town if you're traveling as a couple. Cycling, walking, kayaking, and skiing all make this a romantic a charming town to visit as a couple. There are also wineries in the area with beautiful vineyards.

Picton is a very popular place to visit for couples. There are romantic and quaint bed and breakfasts, beautiful walking paths, wildlife encounters, and many more fun activities for couples. Kayak trips, vineyard tours, and local spas make this a great couple's getaway destination.

Is Cromwell or Picton Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?


Picton is a great town for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Picton. There are plenty of hostels in the area as well as great transportation links, making this a great spot for backpackers.

Plenty of backpackers visit Cromwell. There are a handful of great hostels in the area and plenty of things to keep backpackers entertained.

Is Cromwell or Picton Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?


Picton is a town with good options for times when you don't have a car. However, Cromwell is not known for its public transit.

While Picton offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There are water taxis but no buses around town.

Public transit is generally limited in Cromwell. Public transit around town is limited to a couple of buses.

Is Cromwell or Picton a more walkable city?


Picton is a great town for its high level of walkability. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its ease of walking around.

Picton is a very walkable town. It's a quaint and compact town that's easy to explore on foot.

Cromwell is a somewhat walkable town. Parts of the town are walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Cromwell Worth Visiting? and Is Picton Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Picton or Cromwell?

How long in Cromwell or Picton?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Cromwell or Picton to fill your time. In our opinion, Picton has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Picton than Cromwell. However, 1-2 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Picton than Cromwell. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Picton, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Picton than Cromwell. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Picton that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Picton than Cromwell if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Picton.

  • How many days in Cromwell or Picton? Ideal Length of Stay
    Cromwell 1-2 
    Picton 1-2

One day in Cromwell or Picton?

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Cromwell. Hikers are also drawn to this area. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

The town of Picton offers food and shopping. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

A weekend in Cromwell or Picton?

Cromwell is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Picton is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Picton, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Five days in Cromwell or Picton?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Cromwell. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Picton is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A week in Cromwell or Picton?

Travelers enjoy the skiing and nightlife when visiting the cultural destination of Cromwell. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Picton is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.

For some great organized tour ideas, see Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in New Zealand, The Best Adventure Tours to New Zealand, The Best Eco Tours in New Zealand, and The Best Thrill-Seeking Tours in New Zealand.

Which place is cheaper, Picton or Cromwell?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Cromwell is $81, while the average daily cost in Picton is $87. 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 Cromwell and Picton in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Cromwell $39
    Picton $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Cromwell $78
    Picton $74
Compare Hotels in Cromwell and Picton

Looking for a hotel in Cromwell 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 Cromwell

Hotels in Picton

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: Cromwell Hotel Prices and Picton Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Cromwell $25
    Picton -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Picton

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Picton:

  • Private Transfer from Blenheim Airport (BHE) to Picton Port: $46
  • Private Transfer from Picton Port to Blenheim Airport (BHE): $46
  • Private Transfer from Blenheim city hotels to Picton Cruise Port: $38
  • Private Transfer from Picton Cruise Port to Blenheim City Hotels: $38

Is it cheaper to fly into Cromwell or Picton?

Prices for flights to both Picton and Cromwell 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
    Cromwell $26
    Picton $20

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Cromwell $16
    Picton $109

Tours and Activities in Cromwell

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Cromwell.

  • Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour: $147
  • Ultimate Lake Dunstan Trail Experience Bike & Boat Return: $171

Tours and Activities in Picton

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

  • 1-Day Cruise in Queen Charlotte Track & Kupes Trail Walk: $118
  • 2 hour Dolphin Viewing Eco-Tour from Picton: $90
  • 3.5 Hour Marlborough Sounds Delivery Cruise: $67
  • Bays and Bush Scenic Tour: $96
  • Bird Watching and Dolphin Eco-Tour from Picton: $90
  • CRUISE SHIP DAY Hop on Hop off Yealands & Marlborough tour: $121
  • Captain Cook and Dolphin Cruise: $90
  • Cruise Excursion - Wines of Marlborough Tour: $103
  • Cruise Ship Day - Marlborough: $60
  • Cruise and Lunch at Furneaux Lodge: $82
  • Day Cruise & Lunch at Punga Cove Resort: $82
  • Early Bird Eco Cruise: $73

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Cromwell $9.14
    Picton $35

Sample the Local Flavors in Cromwell

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

  • Wines and Views: Private Wine Tour of Otago from Queenstow: $1,483

Sample the Local Flavors in Picton

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

  • Self-Guided Biking Wine Tour (full day) in the Marlborough Region.: $36
  • Self-Guided Wine Tours by Bike with Steve & Jo in Marlborough : $39
  • Marlborough: Hop On Hop Off Wine, Brewery, and Wonders Tour: $53
  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Marlborough: $54
  • Marlborough Afternoon Wine Tour with Tastings: $69
  • Half-Day Wine Tour from Blenheim: $87
  • Half-Day Wine Tour from Picton: $88
  • Morning Guided with Afternoon Self-Guided Biking Wine Tour: $90
  • Discover Marlborough Wine - Afternoon Marlborough Wine Tour : $91
  • Marlborough Discovery Sampler Wine Tour - 1/2Day Blenheim: $96
  • Taste the Valley Wine Tour in Marlborough with Wine Tasting: $99
  • Half-Day Marlborough Wine Tour & Beer Tour : $108

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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Cromwell Expensive? and Is Picton Expensive?.