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

Should you visit Fiordland National Park or Rotorua?

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 Rotorua 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. It's also popular because of the hiking.

Rotorua

Rotorua is a cultural, natural, and world-renowned town. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Fiordland National Park and Rotorua: 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 museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit
  • Impressive beauty


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

Visitors will usually find more to do in Rotorua than Fiordland National Park, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Rotorua is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, and shopping, 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. Rotorua is well known for its geothermal activity, Maori cultural influence, and its role in the famous Lord of the Rings movies. Also, Rotorua is famous for Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

How is Fiordland National Park different from Rotorua?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Rotorua 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 Rotorua?

Fiordland National Park
Rotorua

Rotorua is a very popular place for its museums and history. However, Fiordland National Park does not have museums and landmarks.

Many visitors head to Rotorua specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The area is filled with opportunities to learn about the Maori culture. The Maori village of Whakarewarewa is a highlight and you should also visit Te Wairoa. Fans of Lord of the Rings won't want to miss Hobbiton either. Finally, Rotorua Museum well worth a visit.

Fiordland National Park does not have museums and landmarks.


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

Fiordland National Park
Rotorua

Rotorua 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 Rotorua. There's a wide selection of culinary options in the area that include steambox (food prepared with the geothermal heat), and hāngī, which is a traditional Maori cooking technique. Many restaurants also make use of the local fruit, vegetables, and meats.

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 Rotorua Better for Nightlife?

Fiordland National Park
Rotorua

Rotorua 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 Rotorua. You'll find the best concentration of bars and restaurants around Tutankei Street, which is often referred to as "Eat Street".

Fiordland National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Fiordland National Park or Rotorua Better for Hiking?

Fiordland National Park
Rotorua

Fiordland National Park is an amazing national park to visit for its hiking trails. Also, Rotorua is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Around Fiordland National Park visitors will find world-class hiking trails. 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.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Rotorua. The area is filled with beautiful walking trails that take you by lakes, volcanoes, and geothermal hot springs. A favorite route in the area is Tarawera Trail, which is 15 kilometers long and ends at a natural hot water beach.


Is the Shopping Better in Fiordland National Park or Rotorua?

Fiordland National Park
Rotorua

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

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Rotorua. You'll find stores and galleries selling art and crafts around the main town center.

Fiordland National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Fiordland National Park or Rotorua Better for Families?

Fiordland National Park
Rotorua

You'll find amazing kid-friendly activities in either Fiordland National Park or Rotorua.

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.

Rotorua is an amazing family-friendly national park to visit. The geothermal activity is fascinating for kids and adults alike. There are also many activities that will teach kids about the Maori culture and for animal lovers, there are farms and wildlife tours. Lord of the Rings fans won't want to miss Hobbiton, and there are many thrilling activities in the area such as white water rafting.

Is Fiordland National Park or Rotorua Better for Couples?

Fiordland National Park
Rotorua

Both Fiordland National Park and Rotorua are amazing destinations to visit as a couple.

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.

Rotorua has so much to offer for a romantic couple's vacation. The unique environment and beautiful natural setting make this a wonderful honeymoon destination. Couples will appreciate the geothermal activity, beautiful walking trails, and diverse outdoor activities. There's also horseback riding, hot springs, and helicopter rides.


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

Fiordland National Park
Rotorua

Fiordland National Park and Rotorua are both amazing destinations 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.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Rotorua. Well established on the backpacker trail, there are plenty of hostels in the area and tons of activities that backpackers will enjoy.

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

Fiordland National Park
Rotorua

Rotorua 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.

Rotorua has some public transit options. There are buses and shuttles that travel around town and through the area.

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 Rotorua a more walkable city?

Fiordland National Park
Rotorua

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

Rotorua is somewhat walkable. The town itself is fairly walkable but if you want to get into the surrounding areas, having a vehicle provides the most flexibility.

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 Rotorua Worth Visiting?.

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

How long in Fiordland National Park or Rotorua?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Fiordland National Park and Rotorua. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Fiordland National Park than in Rotorua. Usually, 3-6 days is a good amount of time for Fiordland National Park, and 2-3 days is enough time in Rotorua.

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

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

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


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

One day in Fiordland National Park or Rotorua?

In Fiordland National Park, you'll find . Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. This national park offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

You'll find nightlife and food around the natural town of Rotorua. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Fiordland National Park or Rotorua?

In Fiordland National Park, you'll find . The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Rotorua 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 Rotorua?

Fiordland National Park is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Fiordland National Park has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Rotorua 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 Rotorua?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Fiordland National Park. Many people enjoy the when visiting Fiordland National Park. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. 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.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Rotorua. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. 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, Rotorua 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 Rotorua is $93. 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 Rotorua in more detail.



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

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


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: Rotorua Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Fiordland National Park $42
    Rotorua $5.01

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rotorua

Also for Rotorua, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Rotorua to Auckland Afternoon Transfer with Waitomo Glow Worms: $181

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

Prices for flights to both Rotorua 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
    Rotorua $29

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rotorua

For Rotorua, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Mitai Maori Village: Cultural Experience and Dinner Buffet: $91
  • Te Pa Tu Māori Cultural Experience with Dinner: $153

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Fiordland National Park $20
    Rotorua $34

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

Typical Entertainment Prices in Rotorua

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Rotorua's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Lunch Out for Two
    $27

Tours and Activities in Rotorua

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

  • Agrodome Farm Experience including Farm Show and Farm Tour - Rotorua: $30
  • Cultural Experience & Seasonal Māori Cuisine at Te Pā Tū : $157
  • From Hobbiton Movie Set Tour with Festive Lunch: $153
  • From Wai O Tapu & Waimangu Eco Thermal Morning Tour: $90
  • From Wai-O-Tapu, Waimangu and Te Puia Full-Day Tour: $191
  • Geothermal Adults Only Mineral Bathing - Pavilion Pools Bathing Ticket: $27
  • Geothermal Lakeside Bathing Experience - Deluxe Lake Spa: $45
  • Geothermal Mineral Baths Experience: Pavilion Pools for 12+: $26
  • Hells Gate Mud Bath and Sulphur Spa Experience: $50
  • Hobbiton Day Tour from Rotorua with lunch at Hobbiton: $156
  • Kaituna River: 3.5-Hour White Water Sledging Experience: $76
  • Kaituna River: Whitewater Rafting Experience: $64

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Fiordland National Park $8.07
    Rotorua $12

Typical Alcohol Prices in Rotorua

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Rotorua:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $11


When comparing the travel costs between Fiordland National Park and Rotorua, 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 Rotorua Expensive?.