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

Should you visit Kaikoura or Auckland?

Should I visit Kaikoura or Auckland? 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.

Auckland

Auckland is located on the North Island of New Zealand on an isthmus between the Northland Peninsula and the other parts of the North Island. Auckland is not only a city but also a region. In 2010 New Zealand combined what had previously been four separate cities into one region. These cities include the southern city of Manukau, the western city of Waitakere, the North Shore in the north, and Auckland City. The City of Auckland is the largest city in Polynesia and is very diverse with many expatriates from elsewhere in Polynesia. This diversity becomes most apparent in Auckland's many festivals and sporting events.

Which city is cheaper, Auckland or Kaikoura?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kaikoura is $129, while the average daily cost in Auckland is $133. 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 Auckland in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $46. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Kaikoura the cost is $92 on average.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $168 in Auckland For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kaikoura $46
    Auckland $84
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kaikoura $92
    Auckland $168

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.

Auckland food costs typically run travelers around $25 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Kaikoura $36
    Auckland $25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Kaikoura

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Kaikoura.

  • Queenstown Skyline Gondola and Luge Ride with Optional Buffet Lunch or Dinner: $47
  • Taste Auckland Group Food Tour: $98
  • Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise: $102
  • Sunset / Night Kayak to Rangitoto Island with BBQ Dinner: $138
  • Queenstown Wine and Food Tour: $141

Typical Food prices in Auckland

For Auckland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Breakfast
    $5.69

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Auckland

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

  • Queenstown Skyline Gondola and Luge Ride with Optional Buffet Lunch or Dinner: $47
  • Taste Auckland Group Food Tour: $98
  • Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise: $102
  • Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner: $107
  • Sunset / Night Kayak to Rangitoto Island with BBQ Dinner: $138
  • Queenstown Wine and Food Tour: $141

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Kaikoura is $17 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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Auckland than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $15 on transportation in Auckland on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kaikoura $17
    Auckland $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Kaikoura

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Kaikoura:

  • SkyBus Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer Ticket: $11
  • Shared and Private Wellington Airport (WLG) Transfers for Wellington CBD: $11
  • Shared and Private Rotorua Airport (ROT) Transfers for Rotorua CBD: $16
  • Shared and Private Nelson Airport (NSN) Transfers for Nelson CBD: $7.09
  • Shared and Private Dunedin Airport (DUD) Transfers for Dunedin CBD: $14
  • Shared and Private Christchurch Airport (CHC) Transfers for Christchurch CBD: $13
  • Shared and Private Auckland Airport (AKL) Transfers to/from Auckland CBD: $18
  • Shared Queenstown Airport (ZQN) Transfers for Queenstown CBD: $11
  • Private Transfers to Cardrona Ski Field or Treble Cone Ski Field: $629
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to The Remarkables: $431
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to Coronet Peak: $389
  • Private Luxury Transfers to The Remarkables: $445

Typical Local Transportation prices in Auckland

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Auckland:


  • Bus from Airport
    $11
  • Airport Shuttle
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Auckland

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

  • Shared and Private Nelson Airport (NSN) Transfers for Nelson CBD: $7.09
  • SkyBus Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer Ticket: $11
  • Shared and Private Wellington Airport (WLG) Transfers for Wellington CBD: $11
  • Shared Queenstown Airport (ZQN) Transfers for Queenstown CBD: $11
  • Shared and Private Christchurch Airport (CHC) Transfers for Christchurch CBD: $13
  • Shared and Private Dunedin Airport (DUD) Transfers for Dunedin CBD: $14
  • Shared and Private Rotorua Airport (ROT) Transfers for Rotorua CBD: $16
  • Shared and Private Auckland Airport (AKL) Transfers to/from Auckland CBD: $18
  • Arrival Transfer: Auckland Airport to Auckland Central City Centre: $21
  • Auckland Airport: Express Bus Transfer to Auckland City: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Auckland to Auckland Airport (AKL): $27
  • Private Airport Transfer: Auckland Airport (AKL) to Auckland: $27

Is it cheaper to fly into Kaikoura or Auckland?

Prices for flights to both Auckland 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 $146 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.

Sightseeing expenses in Auckland, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $26 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kaikoura $146
    Auckland $26

Tours and Activities in Kaikoura

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

  • 4WD-U Drive Experience: $232
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Day Tour from Auckland: $140
  • Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves Tour from Auckland: $211
  • Kaituna Whitewater Rafting Experience : $84
  • Kaituna Whitewater Sledging Experience: $91
  • Milford Sound Vista Day Tour from Queenstown or Te Anau: $127
  • Mt Tarawera Volcanic Crater Hiking Experience: $131
  • Putt and Glow Indoor Mini Golf Experience in Queenstown: $12
  • Queenstown Scenic Cruise - Spirit of Queenstown: $28
  • Queenstown Tiki Tour: $70
  • Rotorua Day Tour from Auckland: $188
  • Ultimate Queenstown Highlights Tour: $77

Typical Entertainment prices in Auckland

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


  • Auckland Sky Tour (for 2)
    $39
  • Waiheke Island Tour (for 2)
    $143

Tours and Activities in Auckland

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

  • Time Tripper Queenstown Virtual Journey Through Time Experience: $7.09
  • Te Papa Museum Ticket in Wellington: $11
  • Devonport Ferry Tickets in Auckland: $11
  • Putt and Glow Indoor Mini Golf Experience in Queenstown: $12
  • Auckland Self Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Hamilton Gardens Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Entry Ticket: $14
  • Maritime Museum Entry Ticket: $14
  • 3D Trick Art Gallery Entry Ticket: $16
  • Auckland Zoo Ticket: $16
  • SheepWorld Admission Ticket: $16
  • Puzzling World Ticket in Wanaka: $17

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Auckland spend on average $13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kaikoura -
    Auckland $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Kaikoura

Also in Kaikoura, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Sip Marlborough Wine Tour: $69
  • Wine Tours from Queenstown: $71
  • Gibbston Valley Ride and Wine Tours: $88
  • Bubbly Grape Marlborough Wine Tours: $92
  • Afternoon Brewery Tour with Lunch in Queenstown: $117
  • Wine Tasting Sampler Tour from Queenstown: $119
  • Queenstown’s Original Wine Tour: $119
  • Taste Marlborough Wine Tour: $138
  • Queenstown E-Bikes Wine Tour: $147
  • Spa and Wine Tasting Experience in Queenstown: $293
  • Queenstown Private Helicopter and Wine Tour: $672

Sample the Local Flavors in Auckland

Also in Auckland, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Tour and Tastings in an Urban Craft Beer Brewery: $23
  • Sip Marlborough Wine Tour: $69
  • Wine Tours from Queenstown: $71
  • Gibbston Valley Ride and Wine Tours: $88
  • Bubbly Grape Marlborough Wine Tours: $92
  • Wild West Coast & Black Sand Beach Tour incl Craft Beer Brewery Lunch & Tasting: $100
  • Afternoon Brewery Tour with Lunch in Queenstown: $117
  • Wine Tasting Sampler Tour from Queenstown: $119
  • Queenstown’s Original Wine Tour: $119
  • Premium Full Day Waiheke Wine Tour: $125
  • Small-Group Wine Tasting Experience on Waiheke Island: $131
  • Taste Marlborough Wine Tour: $138


When comparing the travel costs between Kaikoura and Auckland, we can see that Auckland 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.

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Kaikoura vs. Auckland Travel Comparison

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