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

Should you visit Fiordland National Park or Picton?

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 Picton can help you decide which place is right for you.

Fiordland National Park

Fiordland National Park is a world famous, stunning, and iconic national park. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include hiking.

Picton

Picton is a quaint, relaxing, and picturesque town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and food.

Fiordland National Park and Picton: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
  • Public transit not as usable
  • Less walkable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Very walkable


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

Visitors will usually find more to do in Picton than Fiordland National Park, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Picton is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, beaches, shopping, and small town charm, while Fiordland National Park is more popular for its hiking and impressive beauty. Fiordland National Park is well known for its world renowned hiking trails and stunning natural environments. Picton is well known for its picturesque scenery, laid back setting, and beautiful walking trails. Also, Picton is famous for the Queen Charlotte Track.

How is Fiordland National Park different from Picton?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Fiordland National Park
Picton

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

Picton is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. There are a few local museums around town that are fun to visit with the weather isn't cooperating. Edwin Fox Ship is the world's oldest merchant ship. You can also learn about the town's whaling past at the Picton Heritage and Whaling Museum.

Fiordland National Park does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Fiordland National Park
Picton

Picton 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 Picton. The town is filled with restaurants that stay true to New Zealand's culinary traditions. Mussels and salmon are common on menus, and there are many bakeries and waterfront cafes to try.

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 Picton Better for Nightlife?

Fiordland National Park
Picton

Picton is a decent place to visit for nightlife. However, Fiordland National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Those looking for nightlife will find a few places to hang out in Picton. It's a small town with a quiet and calm atmosphere.

Fiordland National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Fiordland National Park or Picton Better for Beaches?

Fiordland National Park
Picton

Picton is a very popular place for its beaches. However, Fiordland National Park is not a beach destination.

Picton is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. There are four beaches in the area. Picton Beach is by the town center and near many restaurants and cafes. About a ten minute walk from town is Shelley Beach and if you're up for more walking, Bob's Bay is secluded and nice. If you have a car you can make it to Governer's Bay.

Fiordland National Park is not a beach destination.


Is Fiordland National Park or Picton Better for Hiking?

Fiordland National Park
Picton

Fiordland National Park is very popular for the nearby hiking options. Also, Picton is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its hiking trails.

Fiordland National Park is well-known for its hiking and trekking. 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.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Picton. There are many nice walking paths in the area and this is a great way to explore, reach beaches, and see the surrounding landscapes. If you're up for a longer trip, Queen Charlotte Track is a popular trail.

Is the Shopping Better in Fiordland National Park or Picton?

Fiordland National Park
Picton

Picton is very good for shopping. However, Fiordland National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Picton. There are a few galleries and local shops around town.

Fiordland National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Fiordland National Park or Picton Better for Families?

Fiordland National Park
Picton

Fiordland National Park is very popular for its family-friendly activities. Also, Picton is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Fiordland National Park is very family-friendly. 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.

Picton is a very family-friendly destination. Kids will enjoy taking a boat cruise to Motuara Island. You can see dolphins, birds, and other wildlife. There are also wildlife centers in the area, family-friendly walking trails, museums, aquariums, and kayaking opportunities.


Is Fiordland National Park or Picton Better for Couples?

Fiordland National Park
Picton

Fiordland National Park is very popular for couples. Also, Picton is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for romance.

Fiordland National Park is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. 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.

Picton makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. There are romantic and quaint bed and breakfasts, beautiful walking paths, wildlife encounters, and many more fun activities for couples. Kayak trips, vineyard tours, and local spas make this a great couple's getaway destination.

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

Fiordland National Park
Picton

Fiordland National Park is very popular for backpackers. Also, Picton is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Fiordland National Park is a very popular national park to visit for backpackers. 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.

Picton is very popular with the backpacker crowd. There are plenty of hostels in the area as well as great transportation links, making this a great spot for backpackers.

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

Fiordland National Park
Picton

Picton 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.

Picton has some public transit options. There are water taxis but no buses around town.

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 Picton a more walkable city?

Fiordland National Park
Picton

Picton is a very popular place for its walkability. However, Fiordland National Park is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.

Picton is very walkable. It's a quaint and compact town that's easy 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 Picton Worth Visiting?.

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

How long in Fiordland National Park or Picton?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Fiordland National Park or Picton to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Fiordland National Park than Picton 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 Picton.

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

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


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

One day in Fiordland National Park or Picton?

Many travelers enjoy the when visiting the destination of Fiordland National Park. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

You'll find food and shopping around the picturesque town of Picton. It's also a great beach destination, too. 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 Picton?

Fiordland National Park is a great place to explore. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Picton 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 Picton?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Fiordland National Park. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Picton is a great place to explore. 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 Picton?

Travelers enjoy the when visiting the iconic destination of Fiordland National Park. This national park offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Picton. Most people come for the beaches. 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.


Which place is cheaper, Picton 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 $101, while the average daily cost in Picton is $90. 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 Picton in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Fiordland National Park $50
    Picton $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Fiordland National Park $100
    Picton $78
Compare Hotels in Fiordland National Park and Picton

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


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: Picton Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fiordland National Park $43
    Picton -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Picton

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Picton:

  • Private Transfer from Picton Port to Blenheim Airport (BHE): $46
  • Private Transfer from Picton Cruise Port to Blenheim City Hotels: $38
  • Private Transfer from Blenheim city hotels to Picton Cruise Port: $38
  • Private Transfer from Blenheim Airport (BHE) to Picton Port: $46

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

Prices for flights to both Picton 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 $24
    Picton $21

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Fiordland National Park $21
    Picton $114

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: $134

Tours and Activities in Picton

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

  • 1-Day Cruise in Queen Charlotte Track & Kupes Trail Walk: $247
  • 2 hour Dolphin Viewing Eco-Tour from Picton: $93
  • 3 Hour Marlborough Sounds Delivery Cruise: $69
  • Bays and Bush Scenic Tour: $99
  • Bird Watching and Dolphin Eco-Tour from Picton: $93
  • CRUISE SHIP DAY Hop on Hop off Yealands & Marlborough tour: $125
  • Captain Cook and Dolphin Cruise: $93
  • Cruise Excursion - Wines of Marlborough Tour: $106
  • Cruise Ship Day - Marlborough: $62
  • Cruise Ship Half-Day Marlborough Wine Region Tour from Picton: $125
  • Cruise and Lunch at Furneaux Lodge: $84
  • Day Cruise & Lunch at Punga Cove Resort: $84

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Fiordland National Park $8.40
    Picton $36

Sample the Local Flavors in Picton

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

  • Self-Guided Biking Wine Tour (full day) in the Marlborough Region.: $37
  • Self-Guided Wine Tours by Bike with Steve & Jo in Marlborough : $41
  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Marlborough: $56
  • Marlborough Afternoon Wine Tour with Tastings: $72
  • Half-Day Wine Tour from Blenheim: $91
  • Half-Day Wine Tour from Picton: $91
  • Morning Guided with Afternoon Self-Guided Biking Wine Tour: $94
  • Marlborough Discovery Sampler Wine Tour - 1/2Day Blenheim: $100
  • Taste the Valley Wine Tour in Marlborough with Wine Tasting: $103
  • Half-Day Marlborough Wine Tour & Beer Tour : $109
  • Full-Day Wine Tour from Blenheim: $116
  • Full-Day Wine Tour from Picton: $116


When comparing the travel costs between Fiordland National Park and Picton, we can see that Fiordland National Park 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.

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 Picton Expensive?.