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

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 $100, while the average daily cost in Christchurch is $93. 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 $50. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Dunedin the cost is $100 on average.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $48. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Christchurch the cost is $96 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dunedin $50
    Christchurch $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dunedin $100
    Christchurch $96


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.

Food in Christchurch costs travelers about $30 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 $28
    Christchurch $30

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Christchurch

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

  • Tramway Restaurant 4 Course Dinner Service through Christchurch: $92
  • 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 $27 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 $27
    Christchurch $14

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Christchurch

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Christchurch:

  • 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
  • Christchurch City Hotels to Airport Transfer - Lowest price 1 to 4 Pax & 2 Bags: $43


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.

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 $17
    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
  • Dunedin's Renowned OCHO Chocolate Tasting Experience: $8.89
  • 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
  • Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour: $18
  • Skip the Line: Larnach Castle & Gardens Admission Ticket: $26
  • Glow Worm Tours Dunedin: $38
  • Forest walk, Natural Heritage - Join us on our URBAN ESCAPE tour: $46
  • A 2 hour Small Group Dunedin City Highlights Tour: $48
  • Private Zoom Tour of World's Steepest Street!: $50
  • Morning Historical Bicycle Tour of Dunedin: $50

Tours and Activities in Christchurch

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

  • Christchurch Botanic Gardens Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: $15
  • Chairlift Sightseeing Pass at the Christchurch Adventure Park: $15
  • Punting on the Avon River with Optional Christchurch Gondola and Botanic Gardens Tour: $21
  • Christchurch Gondola Ride Ticket: $22
  • 1-Hour City Highlights Tour by Bus: $26
  • Christchurch Tram City and Botanic Gardens Full–Day Tour: $30
  • Christchurch International Antarctic Center Entry Tickets: $35
  • Christchurch Tram City Tour & Punting Combo: $36
  • Christchurch Gondola and Tram City Tour Combo: $36
  • International Antarctic Center General Admission Ticket: $36
  • Urban Explorer Tour: $41
  • Discover 3-Hour Double Decker Bus Tour: $51


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.

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 $14
    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

Sample the Local Flavors in Christchurch

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

  • 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
  • Full-day Akaroa Tour with Dolphin Cruise & Wine Tasting: $133
  • Private Waipara Valley Wine Tasting Tour with optional Gourmet Lunch: $190
  • Hanmer Springs Private Day Tour Including Hot Pool & Wine Tasting: $356



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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