A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Fiordland National Park vs. Arrowtown for Hiking, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Fiordland National Park and Arrowtown can help you decide which place is right for you.

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park is a stunning, iconic, and breathtaking national park. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include hiking.

Arrowtown

Arrowtown is a charming, quaint, and quirky town. Since it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. This is a quaint and attractive place to visit, too. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and museums.

Fiordland National Park and Arrowtown: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
  • Home to the Milford Track
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Scenic old town
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Small town charm


Is there more to do in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Arrowtown. Although Fiordland National Park and Arrowtown are both popular with visitors, Arrowtown has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Arrowtown is more popular for its skiing, museums, food, nightlife, historical sights, shopping, small town charm, and quaint atmosphere, while Fiordland National Park is known for its impressive beauty. Fiordland National Park is popular for its world renowned hiking trails and stunning natural environments. Arrowtown is popular for its gold rush history, impressive ski slopes, and famous hikes. It is also home to the Chinese Settlement.

How is Fiordland National Park different from Arrowtown?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown Better for Skiing?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

Arrowtown is a very popular place for skiing and snowboarding. However, Fiordland National Park is not a skiing destination.

Arrowtown offers world-class skiing that is fun for everyone. In the area you'll find amazing skiing that ranges from professional level to family-friendly.

Fiordland National Park is not a skiing destination.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

Arrowtown is very good for its museums and history. However, Fiordland National Park does not have museums and landmarks.

Arrowtown is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. The town feels likes a living museum with its historic sights. There's also the Lakes District Museum in town that you can visit.

Fiordland National Park does not have museums and landmarks.

Is the Food Better in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

Arrowtown is a very popular place for its restaurants. However, Fiordland National Park is lacking in good options for its restaurant scene.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Arrowtown. For such a small town, there's a surprising number of great restaurants with award winning chefs. You'll find quaint cafes, traditional eateries, and casual restaurants where you can sample the local dishes.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Fiordland National Park. Te Anau is a town that serves as the basecamp for the park, and there are a range of restaurants and cafes there. Once you're in the park the dining options are limited, so it's best to come prepared with your own food supplies.

Is Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown Better for Nightlife?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

Arrowtown is very good for nightlife. However, Fiordland National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Arrowtown. For such a small town, there's a surprisingly bustling nightlife scene with casual pubs and waterfront bars.

Fiordland National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.


Is Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown Better for its Old Town?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

Arrowtown is a very popular place for its historic old town. However, Fiordland National Park does not have a historic old town.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Arrowtown. This is a quirky and charming historic mining town that has many cottages and historic buildings. Many places have been restored to maintain their original character.

Fiordland National Park does not have a historic old town.

Is Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown Better for Hiking?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

You'll find fantastic hiking in both Fiordland National Park and Arrowtown.

Many people visit Fiordland National Park specifically for its hiking. The park has world class hiking, and this is the main activity for most visitors. There are three main trails in the park, as well as many shorter hikes that you can do. Milford Track is probably the most famous hike, and it is often considered one of the best hikes in the world. Routeburn Track is a multi-day trek that passes through a variety of environments and landscapes. Other popular trails include Kepler Track, Hollyford Track, and Dusky Track.

Known for its hiking, Arrowtown draws a crowd to experience the nature and the trails. Many people use this town as a jumping off point for some of the world's most iconic hikes. You can explore Lord of the Rings country or do one of fifteen different listed walks in the area.

Is the Shopping Better in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

Arrowtown is a very popular place for shopping. However, Fiordland National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Arrowtown. Shopping is an experience in town. Head to Buckingham Street, which is the main street in town. You can wander through a wild west setting with local vendors and quirky galleries.

Fiordland National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown Better for Families?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

Fiordland National Park is terrific for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Arrowtown is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Fiordland National Park is one of the most popular family destinations. It's the largest national park in New Zealand, and it makes a great playground for the whole family. It's the perfect place to go for a hike or learn about the natural world. There are dolphins and seals, waterfalls, and glowworm caves. There are also fun adventures like kayaking and jet skiing.

Arrowtown is a very kid-friendly national park. Kids will enjoy the old world charm as much as adults. There's gold panning, bike trails, and even a historic Chinese village. During the winter there are snow sports and during the summer there are outdoor activities that take advantage of the nice weather.

Is Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown Better for Couples?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

Fiordland National Park is terrific for romance. Also, Arrowtown is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

For those traveling as a couple, Fiordland National Park has plenty to offer. Couples who love the great outdoors will be in heaven in this stunning national park. There's gorgeous scenery, romantic boat trips, and world class hikes that are not to be missed.

Couples visit Arrowtown frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. The charming atmosphere and beautiful walks make this a great weekend destination for couples. You can take a stroll on the Arrow River Walkway or grab a meal at a quaint cafe followed by ice cream at a classic ice cream parlor.

Is Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

Fiordland National Park is terrific for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Arrowtown is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Many backpackers frequent Fiordland National Park. As the largest national park in New Zealand, this is a world class backpackers destination and it is filled with amazing multi-day treks and once in a lifetime experiences.

Arrowtown is a great national park to visit for backpackers. There are a couple of hostels in town and backpackers love the frequent festivals and activities that the town hosts.


Is Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

Arrowtown is very good for times when you don't have a car. However, Fiordland National Park is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Arrowtown has some public transit options. There are public buses throughout the region.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Fiordland National Park. Public transit is basically nonexistent in the park and there are few roads as well. Even so, having your own car is important as it gives you the flexibility to reach the sections that you want to visit.

Is Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown a more walkable city?

Fiordland National Park
Arrowtown

Arrowtown is very good for its walkability. However, Fiordland National Park is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.

Arrowtown is somewhat walkable. Parts of the town are fun to explore on foot.

Fiordland National Park is generally not very walkable. There are trails throughout the park and it's possible to access it on foot via Routeburn Track from Mt. Aspiring National Park.

For even more information, also check out Is Fiordland National Park Worth Visiting? and Is Arrowtown Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Arrowtown or Fiordland National Park?

How long in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Fiordland National Park than Arrowtown because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 3-6 days is a good amount of time for Fiordland National Park, and 1-2 days is enough time in Arrowtown.

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

Couples should spend more time in Arrowtown than Fiordland National Park. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Arrowtown that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Arrowtown than Fiordland National Park 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 Arrowtown.


  • How many days in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown? Ideal Length of Stay
    Fiordland National Park 3-6 
    Arrowtown 1-2

One day in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown?

You'll find around the national park of Fiordland National Park. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Arrowtown is a small town with plenty to do. Exploring the old town is a popular activity. Most people head to the area for the hiking. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. In one day, you should have a good grasp of this town.


A weekend in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown?

You'll find around the breathtaking destination of Fiordland National Park. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This national park offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Arrowtown is a popular choice for travelers. A weekend here is typical. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. So, a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Five days in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown?

You'll find around the world famous national park of Fiordland National Park. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this national park makes for a great vacation. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Most people head to the area for the hiking. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this national park has to offer.

Arrowtown is a great place to explore. Most people head to the area for the hiking. 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. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

A week in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown?

Fiordland National Park is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. One week 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Arrowtown. Most people head to the area for the hiking. Visiting the old town is also a must. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Eco Tours in New Zealand, The Best Thrill-Seeking Tours in New Zealand, The Best Romantic Tours for Couples in New Zealand, and The Best Luxury Tours to New Zealand.


Which place is cheaper, Arrowtown or Fiordland National Park?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Fiordland National Park is $97, while the average daily cost in Arrowtown is $114. 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 Fiordland National Park and Arrowtown in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Fiordland National Park $48
    Arrowtown $67
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fiordland National Park $96
    Arrowtown $134
Compare Hotels in Fiordland National Park and Arrowtown

Looking for a hotel in Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown? 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 Fiordland National Park


Hotels in Arrowtown


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: Arrowtown Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fiordland National Park $42
    Arrowtown $27

Is it cheaper to fly into Fiordland National Park or Arrowtown?

Prices for flights to both Arrowtown and Fiordland National Park 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
    Fiordland National Park $23
    Arrowtown $30

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Fiordland National Park $20
    Arrowtown $15

Tours and Activities in Fiordland National Park

For Fiordland National Park, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Te Anau: River Jet Boat and Bike Ride Tour with Local Guide: $129

Tours and Activities in Arrowtown

For Arrowtown, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Queenstown: Arrowtown Mountain Biking Adventure: $53

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Fiordland National Park $8.07
    Arrowtown $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Arrowtown

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Arrowtown:

  • From Scenic Valley of the Vines Bike & Wine Tour: $88


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Fiordland National Park and Arrowtown, we can see that Arrowtown is more expensive. And not only is Fiordland National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Fiordland National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Fiordland National Park 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 Arrowtown would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Arrowtown than you might in Fiordland National Park.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Fiordland National Park Expensive? and Is Arrowtown Expensive?.