A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Dunedin vs. Aoraki Mount Cook

Should you visit Dunedin or Aoraki Mount Cook?

Should I visit Dunedin or Aoraki Mount Cook? 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.

Dunedin

Dunedin is the second largest city on the South Island of New Zealand. It is situated on the southeast coast and is largely Scottish in its heritage. It is part of the Otago region and has mild temperatures during the spring and summer, but extremely cold temperatures during the end of fall and winter. Dunedin is a university town; The University of Otago is the oldest in New Zealand, established in 1869. The students make up over a tenth of the entire city's population.

Aoraki Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is located on the South Island of New Zealand. It was declared a national park in 1953 to protect and preserve the landscape. The park is home to the country's highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook. In Maori, Aoraki means, "cloud piercer", and the English name, Mt Cook, refers to the navigator James Cook, who discovered New Zealand in the 18th century. Mt Cook was the training location for Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first person to summit Everest in 1953. Other peaks in the park include Mount Tasman, Mount Sefton, and Mount Hicks. Not only can you find lush greenery all over the park, but also, glaciers cover 40% of the parks area.

Which city is cheaper, Aoraki Mount Cook or Dunedin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dunedin is $100, while the average daily cost in Aoraki Mount Cook 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Dunedin and Aoraki Mount Cook in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $50. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Dunedin the cost is $100 on average.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Aoraki Mount Cook, $116 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Aoraki Mount Cook, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $58, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dunedin $50
    Aoraki Mount Cook $58
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dunedin $100
    Aoraki Mount Cook $116

Food

In Dunedin travelers spend around $28 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

In Aoraki Mount Cook travelers spend around $26 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Dunedin $28
    Aoraki Mount Cook $26

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $27 per day to get around in Dunedin.

Aoraki Mount Cook's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $27 per person, per day on transportation in Aoraki Mount Cook.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dunedin $27
    Aoraki Mount Cook $27

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dunedin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dunedin:

  • Arrival Transfer: Dunedin Airport to Central Dunedin City Centre Hotels: $17
  • Departure Transfer: Dunedin Central City Centre Hotels to Dunedin Airport: $17

Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $17 per person, per day in Dunedin. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Aoraki Mount Cook can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $23 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dunedin $17
    Aoraki Mount Cook $23

Tours and Activities in Dunedin

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

  • 1 Day Private Tour with Basic Landscape Photography Around Dunedin: $341
  • 5-Day Stewart Island Tour with Small Group from Dunedin: $2,666
  • A 2 hour Small Group Dunedin City Highlights Tour: $48
  • Carbon-free transport and tour through Orokonui Ecosanctuary: $96
  • Culture in Context Tour on the Otago Peninsula: $114
  • Dunedin City Highlights, Otago Peninsula Scenery & Albatross Guided Tour: $178
  • Dunedin City and Coastal Views 3-Hour Small-Group Guided Tour: $72
  • Dunedin City and Otago Peninsula Small-Group Tour: $156
  • Dunedin City, Wildlife and Scenery Tour: $119
  • Dunedin Gardens and City Highlights Tour: $148
  • Dunedin Onshore Cruise Group Tour: $118
  • Dunedin Shore Excursion: Half-Day Wildlife Cruise and Portobello Village: $114

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Dunedin may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $14 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Aoraki Mount Cook, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $20.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dunedin $14
    Aoraki Mount Cook $20

Sample the Local Flavors in Dunedin

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

  • Speight's Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $18
  • Speight Brewery Small Group Guided Tour from Dunedin: $19


When comparing the travel costs between Dunedin and Aoraki Mount Cook, we can see that Aoraki Mount Cook 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.

Budget Your Trip

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Dunedin vs. Aoraki Mount Cook Travel Comparison

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