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

Should you visit Dunedin or Queenstown?

Should I visit Dunedin or Queenstown? 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.

Queenstown

Queenstown is a popular tourist destination on New Zealand's South Island. It is beautifully surrounded by the Southern Alps and sits on the banks of Lake Wakatipu. Across the lake you will find a stunning view of the Remarkables, a dramatic mountain range. The town itself is quite touristy, but prices still remain reasonable. There are options for all travel budgets, whether you're a backpacker hoping to save a few dollars or a family looking for some luxury accommodation. Despite its natural and tranquil setting, Queenstown is actually very much a party town, particularly during the peak seasons. Don't be surprised to find people out enjoying themselves until the early hours of the morning. If you're not into the party scene and are hoping to get a decent night's sleep, consider staying a little outside of town. About an hour outside of Queenstown you'll find Wanaka, which is a much smaller and peaceful town without the party scene.

Which city is cheaper, Queenstown or Dunedin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Dunedin is $95, while the average daily cost in Queenstown is $97. 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 Queenstown in more detail.



Accommodation

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 Dunedin the cost is $96 on average.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $104 for a double occupancy room in Queenstown.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dunedin $48
    Queenstown $52
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dunedin $96
    Queenstown $104

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.

The average traveler spends about $33 per day in Queenstown for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Dunedin $27
    Queenstown $33

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Queenstown

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

  • Dinner at Walter Peak High Country Farm and Cruise from Queenstown: $110
  • Queenstown Progressive Dinner & Wine Tour - 3 iconic locations: $207

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 cost of a taxi ride in Queenstown is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $9.51 per person, per day, on local transportation in Queenstown.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dunedin $26
    Queenstown $9.51

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 Queenstown

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Queenstown:

  • Arrival Transfer: Queenstown Airport to Central Queenstown City Centre: $13
  • Departure Transfer: Queenstown Central City Centre Hotels to Queenstown Airport: $13
  • Private & Exclusive One-Way Transfer Queenstown to Christchurch: $1,264
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Queenstown Airport to Hotel by Jet Boat: $342
  • Private Ski Transfer to Coronet Peak Ski Field: $333
  • Private Ski Transfer to The Remarkables Ski Field: $370
  • Queenstown and Fox Glacier 1-Way Transfer: $112
  • Ski Transfer To Coronet Peak (Round Trip): $27
  • Ski Transfer To Remarkables Ski Area (Round Trip): $27

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.

Entertainment and activities in Queenstown typically cost an average of $20 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dunedin $16
    Queenstown $20

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Queenstown

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Queenstown are as follows:


  • Skyline Gondola (for 2)
    $35

Tours and Activities in Queenstown

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

  • Full & Half Day Hardtail Cruiser Bike Hire (Giant Talon 3 - 2020 model): $11
  • Escape Adventure AR Experience in Queenstown: $19
  • Odyssey Sensory Maze Entrance Ticket: $23
  • Skip the Line: Odyssey Sensory Maze Entry Queenstown Ticket: $24
  • Lake Wakatipu Scenic Catamaran Cruise from Queenstown: $29
  • Glenorchy Kiwi Special Tour: $29
  • Million Dollar Cruise in Queenstown: $36
  • Gibbston Valley Cave Guided Tour from Queenstown: $37
  • Queenstown Hop-on Hop-off Evening Beer Tour: $40
  • Queenstown VIP Wine Drop and Hop Tour: $40
  • TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise from Queenstown: $52
  • Self Guided Bike Experience - Frankton/Kelvin Heights/Jack’s Point to Queenstown: $61

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.

The average person spends about $8.31 on alcoholic beverages in Queenstown per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Dunedin $13
    Queenstown $8.31

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 Queenstown

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Queenstown:

  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Queenstown: $40
  • Wine Tour from Full Day: $103
  • Queenstown Classic Wine Tour - 3 Vineyards, Cave Tour and Cheeseboard: $116
  • Afternoon Boutique Wine Tour: $122
  • Original Wine Tour: $125
  • Vine Hopper: Queenstown's Ultimate Wine & Microbrewery Adventure: $133
  • Valley of the Vines Afternoon Wine Tour includes a Winery Tour: $133
  • Central Otago Wine Tour from Queenstown - Includes 4 Vineyards, Lunch & Wine: $136
  • Valley of the Vines Lunch & Wine Tour with a Wine Cave Adult Tour: $147
  • Wine Tour & Maori Culture Queenstown: $159
  • Queenstown Guided Ebike Wine Tour: $163
  • Full-Day Small-Group Central Otago Wine Tour: $167


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

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