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

Should you visit Dunedin or Tauranga?

Should I visit Dunedin or Tauranga? 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.

Tauranga

Tauranga is a city on the North Island of New Zealand. It is situated on the western side of the Bay of Plenty, which is on the east coast of the island. Its population of 130,000 makes it the fifth largest city in the country. Tauranga is a Maori word translated roughly to 'a sheltered anchorage'. This makes sense as the town is located near a very large harbor and protected by Matakana Island. Mount Maunganui is at the headland of the town and regarded as a suburb of Tauranga. The beach at Mt Maunganui is a surfing hot spot. The climate is mostly warm and dry because of the town's sheltered position.

Which city is cheaper, Tauranga 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 Tauranga is $99. 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 Tauranga 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 $71. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Tauranga the cost is $142 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Dunedin $49
    Tauranga $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Dunedin $98
    Tauranga $142

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 $21 per day in Tauranga 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
    Tauranga $21

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 Tauranga

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

  • 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

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.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.49 per day to get around in Tauranga.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Dunedin $26
    Tauranga $6.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dunedin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dunedin:

  • Shared and Private Nelson Airport (NSN) Transfers for Nelson CBD: $7.09
  • SkyBus Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer Ticket: $11
  • Shared and Private Wellington Airport (WLG) Transfers for Wellington CBD: $11
  • Shared Queenstown Airport (ZQN) Transfers for Queenstown CBD: $11
  • Shared and Private Christchurch Airport (CHC) Transfers for Christchurch CBD: $13
  • Shared and Private Dunedin Airport (DUD) Transfers for Dunedin CBD: $14
  • Shared and Private Rotorua Airport (ROT) Transfers for Rotorua CBD: $16
  • Arrival Transfer: Dunedin Airport to Central Dunedin City Centre Hotels: $17
  • Departure Transfer: Dunedin Central City Centre Hotels to Dunedin Airport: $17
  • Shared and Private Auckland Airport (AKL) Transfers to/from Auckland CBD: $18
  • SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium Entry Ticket and Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer: $40
  • Private Luxury Transfers to Coronet Peak: $375

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tauranga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tauranga:

  • SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium Entry Ticket and Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer: $40
  • 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
  • Shared and Private Nelson Airport (NSN) Transfers for Nelson CBD: $7.09
  • Shared and Private Rotorua Airport (ROT) Transfers for Rotorua CBD: $16

Is it cheaper to fly into Dunedin or Tauranga?

Prices for flights to both Tauranga 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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $9.90 per person, per day in Tauranga. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Dunedin $16
    Tauranga $9.90

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 Tauranga

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

  • 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
  • Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Mount Maunganui Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Mount Maunganui: Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Entry Ticket: $14
  • Hamilton Gardens Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Auckland Zoo Ticket: $16
  • 3D Trick Art Gallery Entry Ticket: $16

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 $9.80 on alcoholic beverages in Tauranga 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
    Tauranga $9.80

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 Tauranga

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

  • 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
  • Queenstown Private Helicopter and Wine Tour: $672


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

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