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

Should you visit Kaikoura or Arrowtown?

Should I visit Kaikoura or Arrowtown? 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.

Kaikoura

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.

Arrowtown

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 city 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 $127, while the average daily cost in Arrowtown is $108. 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 Kaikoura and Arrowtown in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $45. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Kaikoura the cost is $90 on average.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $126 in Arrowtown For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kaikoura $45
    Arrowtown $63
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kaikoura $90
    Arrowtown $126

Food

The average traveler spends about $36 per day in Kaikoura 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 in Arrowtown costs travelers about $28 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Kaikoura $36
    Arrowtown $28

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Kaikoura is $16 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

To get around in Arrowtown, the average visitor spends $26 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kaikoura $16
    Arrowtown $26

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.





Entertainment

Kaikoura's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $143 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

In Arrowtown, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $14 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kaikoura $143
    Arrowtown $14

Tours and Activities in Kaikoura

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

  • 30-Minute Whale Watching Helicopter Tour: $252
  • Guided Family Kayaking Adventure: $86
  • Half-Day Seal Kayaking Guided Tour: $86
  • Kayaking Adventure in Kaikoura: $70
  • Private Wildlife Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura: $178
  • Seal Swimming Tour from Kaikoura: $89
  • Wildlife Sea Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura: $89

Tours and Activities in Arrowtown

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

  • Queenstown: Self-Guided Biking Experience from Arrowtown: $31

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Arrowtown spend on average $12 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kaikoura -
    Arrowtown $12


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.

Budget Your Trip

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Kaikoura vs. Arrowtown Travel Comparison

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