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

Should you visit Kaikoura or Dunedin?

Should I visit Kaikoura or Dunedin? 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.

Dunedin

Dunedin is the second largest city on the South Island of New Zealand. It is situated on the southeast coast and is largely Scottish in its heritage. It is part of the Otago region and has mild temperatures during the spring and summer, but extremely cold temperatures during the end of fall and winter. Dunedin is a university town; The University of Otago is the oldest in New Zealand, established in 1869. The students make up over a tenth of the entire city's population.

Which city is cheaper, Dunedin or Kaikoura?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Kaikoura is $118, while the average daily cost in Dunedin is $89. 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 Dunedin in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $42. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Kaikoura the cost is $84 on average.

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 Dunedin the cost is $90 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kaikoura $42
    Dunedin $45
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kaikoura $84
    Dunedin $90

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Kaikoura is $15 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.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $24 per day to get around in Dunedin.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kaikoura $15
    Dunedin $24

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dunedin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dunedin:

  • Arrival Transfer: Dunedin Airport to Central Dunedin City Centre Hotels: $17
  • Departure Transfer: Dunedin Central City Centre Hotels to Dunedin Airport: $17

Is it cheaper to fly into Kaikoura or Dunedin?

Prices for flights to both Dunedin 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

The average traveler spends about $33 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.

In Dunedin travelers spend around $25 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Kaikoura $33
    Dunedin $25

Entertainment

Kaikoura's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $132 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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $15 per person, per day in Dunedin. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kaikoura $132
    Dunedin $15

Tours and Activities in Kaikoura

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

  • Kayaking Adventure in Kaikoura: $70
  • Half-Day Wildlife Kayaking Tour: $85
  • Sunset Kayaking Tour: $89
  • Guided Family Kayaking Adventure: $89
  • Wildlife Sea Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura: $89
  • Seal Swimming Tour from Kaikoura: $89
  • Private Wildlife Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura: $178
  • 30-Minute Whale Watching Helicopter Tour: $269

Tours and Activities in Dunedin

Here are a few actual costs in Dunedin for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Otago Peninsula's remote and craggy coastline driving audio tour: $5.00
  • Dunedin's Renowned OCHO Chocolate Tasting Experience: $8.89
  • Self-Guided Street Art Adventure Game in Dunedin | The Tagger's Influence: $15
  • Self-Guided City Adventure Game in Dunedin | The Tailor's Secrets: $15
  • Self-Guided City Adventure Game in Dunedin | The Temporal Incident: $15
  • Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour: $18
  • Skip the Line: Larnach Castle & Gardens Admission Ticket: $26
  • Otago Peninsula: Royal Albatross Centre Tour: $35
  • Glow Worm Tours Dunedin: $38
  • Forest walk, Natural Heritage - Join us on our URBAN ESCAPE tour: $46
  • A 2 hour Small Group Dunedin City Highlights Tour: $48
  • Private Zoom Tour of World's Steepest Street!: $50

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Dunedin may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $12 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kaikoura -
    Dunedin $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Dunedin

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Dunedin:

  • Speight Brewery Small Group Guided Tour from Dunedin: $19


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Kaikoura vs. Dunedin Travel Comparison

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