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

Should you visit Dunedin or Christchurch?

Should I visit Dunedin or Christchurch? 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.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Christchurch or Dunedin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dunedin is $98, while the average daily cost in Christchurch is $91. 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 Christchurch in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $49. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Dunedin the cost is $98 on average.

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 Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dunedin $49
    Christchurch $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dunedin $98
    Christchurch $94

Food

In Dunedin travelers spend around $27 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 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Dunedin $27
    Christchurch $29

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dunedin

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

  • Queenstown Skyline Gondola and Luge Ride with Optional Buffet Lunch or Dinner: $47
  • 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

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

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $26 per day to get around in Dunedin.

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dunedin $26
    Christchurch $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dunedin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dunedin:

  • SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium Entry Ticket and Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer: $40
  • Arrival Transfer: Dunedin Airport to Central Dunedin City Centre Hotels: $17
  • Departure Transfer: Dunedin Central City Centre Hotels to Dunedin Airport: $17
  • 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 Transfers to Cardrona Ski Field or Treble Cone Ski Field: $629
  • Shared Queenstown Airport (ZQN) Transfers for Queenstown CBD: $11
  • Shared and Private Auckland Airport (AKL) Transfers to/from Auckland CBD: $18
  • Shared and Private Christchurch Airport (CHC) Transfers for Christchurch CBD: $13
  • Shared and Private Dunedin Airport (DUD) Transfers for Dunedin CBD: $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Christchurch

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Christchurch:

  • SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium Entry Ticket and Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer: $40
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Airport CHC to Christchurch in Business Car: $75
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Airport CHC to Christchurch in Luxury Van: $98
  • Arrival Transfer: Christchurch Airport to Christchurch Central City Hotels: $21
  • Christchurch Airport (CHC) to City Center to Airport - Private Transfer: $87
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers: $99
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Airport CHC to Christchurch in Business Car: $75
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Airport CHC to Christchurch in Luxury Car: $121
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Airport CHC to Christchurch in Luxury Van: $98
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Christchurch to Airport CHC in Business Car: $75
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Christchurch to Airport CHC in Luxury Car: $121
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Christchurch to Airport CHC in Luxury Van: $98

Is it cheaper to fly into Dunedin or Christchurch?

Prices for flights to both Christchurch and Dunedin 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $16 per person, per day in Dunedin. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

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 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dunedin $16
    Christchurch $17

Tours and Activities in Dunedin

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

  • Otago Peninsula's remote and craggy coastline driving audio tour: $5.00
  • Time Tripper Queenstown Virtual Journey Through Time Experience: $7.09
  • Dunedin's Renowned OCHO Chocolate Tasting Experience: $8.89
  • 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
  • Self-Guided Street Art Adventure Game in Dunedin | The Tagger's Influence: $15
  • Self-Guided City Adventure Game in Dunedin | The Tailor's Secrets: $15
  • Self-Guided City Adventure Game in Dunedin | The Temporal Incident: $15
  • 3D Trick Art Gallery Entry Ticket: $16

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

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Dunedin may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.

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.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dunedin $13
    Christchurch $11

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
  • Sip Marlborough Wine Tour: $69
  • Wine Tours from Queenstown: $71
  • Gibbston Valley Ride and Wine Tours: $88
  • Bubbly Grape Marlborough Wine Tours: $92
  • Afternoon Brewery Tour with Lunch in Queenstown: $117
  • Wine Tasting Sampler Tour from Queenstown: $119
  • Queenstown’s Original Wine Tour: $119
  • Taste Marlborough Wine Tour: $138
  • Queenstown E-Bikes Wine Tour: $147
  • Spa and Wine Tasting Experience in Queenstown: $293

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


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

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