A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Kaikoura vs. Arrowtown for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Kaikoura or Arrowtown?

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

Should I visit Kaikoura or Arrowtown? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Kaikoura or Arrowtown?


Kaikoura is a town on the east coast of the South Island, situated between Christchurch and Belnheim. It has a permanent resident population of 1,971. The Seaward Kaikoura Mountains that surround this town collide with the Pacific Ocean, and the continental shelf edge is just offshore. The ocean in Kaikoura is very rich in marine life, especially seals and whales.


Historically, Arrowtown is an old gold mining town that is located on the South Island of New Zealand. The town was established during the Otago gold rush of 1862. It is very close to Queenstown, which is a very popular destination among travelers, and it is definitely worth visiting if you are in the Otago region of New Zealand. It is a very tiny town, with a population of just over 2,000 people. The town has a lot of character and history and is a perfect place to go if you wish to get out of the touristy areas like Queenstown.

Which place is cheaper, Arrowtown or Kaikoura?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kaikoura is $134, 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 Kaikoura and Arrowtown in more detail.

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

Looking for a hotel in Kaikoura 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 Kaikoura

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: Kaikoura Hotel Prices and Arrowtown Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kaikoura $17
    Arrowtown $27

Is it cheaper to fly into Kaikoura or Arrowtown?

Prices for flights to both Arrowtown and Kaikoura 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 Meals for one day
    Kaikoura $38
    Arrowtown $30

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kaikoura $151
    Arrowtown $15

Tours and Activities in Kaikoura

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

  • Llama Trek (Taster) - Kowhai River Valley and Native Woodland Tour: $72
  • 1-Hour Private Heli-Picnic Tour in Kaikoura : $236
  • 40-minute Mt Fyffe Summit Heli Tour in Kaikoura : $221
  • Kaikoura Helicopters ATV Adventure: $436
  • Kaikoura Helicopters Grand Alpine Helicopter Tour: $436
  • Kaikoura Swim with Dolphins Tour from Christchurch: $230
  • Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch: $212
  • 1-Hour Whale Watching Helicopter Tour: $620
  • Dolphin Encounter Cruise: $68
  • Guided Family Kayaking Adventure: $83
  • Half-Day Wildlife Kayaking Tour: $83
  • Seal-Watching Pedal Kayak Tour: $71

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 Drinks for one day
    Kaikoura -
    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: $68

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

Which is Bigger, Kaikoura or Arrowtown?

Arrowtown is bigger, and its population is about 3.1 times larger than the population of Kaikoura. When comparing the population of Kaikoura vs. Arrowtown, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Kaikoura vs. Arrowtown Travel Comparison

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