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

Should you visit Kaikoura or Cromwell?

Should I visit Kaikoura or Cromwell? 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.

Cromwell

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 city 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 $127, while the average daily cost in Cromwell is $77. 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 Cromwell 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.

Travelers usually pay around $74 for a double occupancy room in Cromwell If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kaikoura $45
    Cromwell $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kaikoura $90
    Cromwell $74

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.

While meal prices in Cromwell can vary, the average travelers spends about $25 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Cromwell should cost around $10 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Cromwell is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


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

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.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Cromwell than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $23 on transportation in Cromwell on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kaikoura $16
    Cromwell $23

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.





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.

Sightseeing expenses in Cromwell, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $15 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kaikoura $143
    Cromwell $15

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 Cromwell

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

  • Go Karts - Highlands Motorsport and Tourism Park: $37
  • Highlands Taxi - Highlands Motorsport and Tourism Park: $98
  • Supercar Fast Dash - Highlands Motorsport and Tourism Park: $136
  • Mustang V8 U-Drive - Highlands Motorsport and Tourism Park: $300
  • Radical U-Drive - Highlands Motorsport and Tourism Park: $326

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Cromwell, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $8.61.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kaikoura -
    Cromwell $8.61

Sample the Local Flavors in Cromwell

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

  • THE TIGER TOUR - Full-Day Guided Wine Tour of the Central Otago Wine Region.: $186
  • Wine Tasting at Altitude: $1,111
  • Heli Jeep Wine Tour from Cromwell, Central Otago: $2,371


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.

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Kaikoura vs. Cromwell Travel Comparison

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