A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Dunedin vs. Cromwell for Attractions, Nightlife, Hiking, and Families

Should you visit Dunedin or Cromwell?

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

Should I visit Dunedin or Cromwell? 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.

Dunedin

Dunedin is a hilly, cultural, and vibrant city. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and hiking.

Cromwell

Cromwell is a outdoorsy, historical, and cultural town. Don't miss this spot, as it's a charming small town with plenty of activities. Other popular activities here include food, hiking, and shopping.

Dunedin and Cromwell: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
Pros
  • 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


Is there more to do in Dunedin or Cromwell?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Dunedin. Although Dunedin and Cromwell are both popular with visitors, Dunedin has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Dunedin is more popular for its museums, nightlife, beaches, and shopping, while Cromwell is known for its skiing, hiking, and small town charm. Dunedin is popular for its wildlife and proximity to the Otago Peninsula. It is also home to . Cromwell is popular for its fruit farms, orchards, and vineyards.


How is Dunedin different from Cromwell?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Dunedin or Cromwell Better for Skiing?

Dunedin
Cromwell

Cromwell is a popular place for winter skiing. However, Dunedin 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.

Dunedin is not a skiing destination.


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

Dunedin
Cromwell

Dunedin is a great city for its historical sights. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its sights and museums.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Dunedin. The city has cultural scene that is centered around both Scottish and Maori heritage. Top sights around town include the Larnach Castle, the Dunedin Railway Station, Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, and the Otago Museum.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Cromwell. There are some interesting historical activities around town like Goldfields Mining Centre.

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

Dunedin
Cromwell

Dining out at restaurants in both Dunedin and Cromwell can be an enjoyable experience.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Dunedin area. The culinary scene in town continues to grow and improve. There are local eateries that have charm and character and serve interesting and local dishes.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Cromwell. 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 Dunedin or Cromwell Better for Nightlife?

Dunedin
Cromwell

Dunedin is a great city for nightlife and partying. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Dunedin has something for everybody. The town has eclectic bars and a diverse club scene that is fun to experience. It has a lively nightlife scene that is driven, in part, by the large student population.

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.


Is Dunedin or Cromwell Better for Beaches?

Dunedin
Cromwell

Dunedin is a city with good options for the beache. However, Cromwell is not a beach destination.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Dunedin. Many of the beaches are just a short drive from the city center. The surf is surprisingly good and the beaches are fun during the warmer summer months.

Cromwell is not a beach destination.

Is Dunedin or Cromwell Better for Hiking?

Dunedin
Cromwell

Cromwell is well known for its hiking experiences. Also, Dunedin is still popular, but not quite as popular for hiking.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Cromwell. There are many beautiful walks in the area that take you through diverse landscapes and to impressive views.

Many people include a hike when visiting Dunedin. There are biking and hiking trails that travel around town and through the surrounding landscapes.

Is the Shopping Better in Dunedin or Cromwell?

Dunedin
Cromwell

Dunedin is a great city for its shopping opportunities. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its shopping areas.

Dunedin is well-known for its shopping. The shopping scene is diverse and eclectic with everything from vintage shops to fashion boutiques. Some of the most popular shopping areas are Edinburgh Way, Octagon Entertainment Precinct, Moray Place, and the Warehouse Precinct.

Many visitors go to Cromwell to go shopping. There's a farmers market in town as well as several local vendors and cute shops.


Is Dunedin or Cromwell Better for Families?

Dunedin
Cromwell

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Dunedin or Cromwell.

Dunedin is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. It's one of the largest cities on the South Island, and there are many educational opportunities and unique experiences available to kids. You can visit the Otago Museum or the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, take a wildlife cruise, or visit the Larnach Castle. You can also take a ride on the Inlander or simply hang out at a playground.

Cromwell is a very family-friendly destination. 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.

Is Dunedin or Cromwell Better for Couples?

Dunedin
Cromwell

Cromwell is well known for couples. Also, Dunedin is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Couples visit Cromwell frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. 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.

Dunedin is a nice destination for couples. You can wander through the castle or explore one of the city's markets. There are also romantic restaurants and many opportunities to see wildlife.

Is Dunedin or Cromwell Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Dunedin
Cromwell

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

Many backpackers visit Dunedin. There are many hostels around town and plenty of activities that keep backpackers entertained.

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


Is Dunedin or Cromwell Better for Students?

Dunedin
Cromwell

Dunedin is a great city for its student-friendly activities. However, Cromwell is not popular with students.

Students come from all over to stay in Dunedin. This is a large student city that is welcoming to international students and a popular place to study.

Cromwell is not popular with students.

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

Dunedin
Cromwell

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

While Dunedin offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There a relatively decent bus system that travels through town.

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

Is Dunedin or Cromwell a more walkable city?

Dunedin
Cromwell

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

Dunedin is a very walkable city. Parts of the town are easy to explore on foot.

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


Should I spend more time in Cromwell or Dunedin?

How long in Dunedin or Cromwell?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Dunedin or Cromwell to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Dunedin than Cromwell because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Dunedin, and 1-2 days is enough time in Cromwell.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Dunedin 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 Dunedin.


  • How many days in Dunedin or Cromwell? Ideal Length of Stay
    Dunedin 1-3 
    Cromwell 1-2

One day in Dunedin or Cromwell?

The city of Dunedin offers food and shopping. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Cromwell, you'll find shopping and museums. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This town offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

A weekend in Dunedin or Cromwell?

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

In Cromwell, you'll find museums and skiing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Cromwell has to offer.

Five days in Dunedin or Cromwell?

Dunedin 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.

Cromwell is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.


A week in Dunedin or Cromwell?

Dunedin is a great place to explore. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This city offers something for everyone.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Cromwell. Many people enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting Cromwell. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Which place is cheaper, Cromwell or Dunedin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dunedin is $105, while the average daily cost in Cromwell is $84. 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 Dunedin and Cromwell in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dunedin $53
    Cromwell $40
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dunedin $106
    Cromwell $80
Compare Hotels in Dunedin and Cromwell

Looking for a hotel in Dunedin or Cromwell? 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 Dunedin


Hotels in Cromwell


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: Dunedin Hotel Prices and Cromwell Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dunedin $28
    Cromwell $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dunedin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dunedin:

  • ONE WAY MOMONA: Transfer from /to Dunedin Airport: $125
  • Momona Airport: One-Way Private Transfer to Momona: $88
  • Dunedin Int Airport(DUD) to Dunedin - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $72
  • Private Transfer from Dunedin Airport (DUD) to Chalmers Port: $44
  • Private Transfer from Chalmers Port to Dunedin Airport (DUD): $44
  • Private Transfer from Chalmers Cruise Port to Dunedin City Hotels: $44
  • Dunedin to Dunedin Int Airport (DUD) - Departure Private Transfer: $36
  • Arrival Private Transfer in Dunedin Intl Airport to Dunedin : $36

Is it cheaper to fly into Dunedin or Cromwell?

Prices for flights to both Cromwell 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.





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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dunedin $18
    Cromwell $17

Tours and Activities in Dunedin

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

  • Half-Day Guided Tour: City, Sights, & Larnach Castle: $125
  • Shore Excursion: V8 Trike, Peninsula and City Tour: $50
  • A 2 hour Small Group Dunedin City Highlights Tour: $60
  • Albatross, Wildlife and Harbour Cruise: $101
  • All in Dunedin - Nature & City Tour: $536
  • Blue Penguins Pukekura- Late Tour Penguin Viewing : $28
  • Brews and Views: A Private Tour of Dunedin’s Craft Beer Scene: $530
  • Brews and Views: Private Tour of Dunedin’s Craft Beer Scene: $1,042
  • Captivating Side of Dunedin Walking Tour for Couples: $274
  • Castle to Cruise Tour: $101
  • Cruise Dunedin City and Castle Tour: $116
  • Cruise Ship Shore Excursion: Nature viewing + penguin monitoring: $201

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: $140
  • Ultimate Lake Dunstan Trail Experience Bike & Boat Return: $178

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dunedin $15
    Cromwell $9.43

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
  • Emerson's Brewery Tour: $24
  • Emerson's Brewery Tour: $25

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: $1,499


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Dunedin and Cromwell, we can see that Dunedin is more expensive. And not only is Cromwell much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cromwell would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cromwell and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Dunedin would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Dunedin than you might in Cromwell.

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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Dunedin vs. Cromwell Travel Comparison

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