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

Should you visit Kaikoura or Cromwell?

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

Should I visit Kaikoura or Cromwell? 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 Cromwell?


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.


Cromwell is a town in the Otago region of the South Island of New Zealand. It is situated between two of the main highways on the South Island and is close to Queenstown and Wanaka. Luckily, the town is surrounded by Lake Dunstan, which is good for those who love being near water as Cromwell is the furthest point from the sea in the entire country.

Which place is cheaper, Cromwell 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 Cromwell is $81. 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 Cromwell in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kaikoura $48
    Cromwell $38
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kaikoura $96
    Cromwell $76
Compare Hotels in Kaikoura and Cromwell

Looking for a hotel in Kaikoura or Cromwell? 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 Cromwell

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 Cromwell Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kaikoura $17
    Cromwell $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Kaikoura or Cromwell?

Prices for flights to both Cromwell 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
    Cromwell $26

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kaikoura $151
    Cromwell $16

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 Cromwell

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Cromwell.

  • Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour: $135
  • Ultimate Lake Dunstan Trail Experience Bike & Boat Return: $171

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kaikoura -
    Cromwell $9.07

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kaikoura and Cromwell, we can see that Kaikoura is more expensive. And not only is Cromwell much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cromwell would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cromwell 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 Cromwell.

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. Cromwell Travel Comparison

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