Should you visit Kaikoura or Fiordland National Park?
Should I visit Kaikoura or Fiordland National Park? 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 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.
Fiordland National Park
One of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, Fiordland National Park is New Zealand's largest park, as well as one of the largest in the world. Although it may be the largest, it is the least explored park in the country. The park takes up the southwest region of the south island. The Department of Conservation manages the park (like all of the other parks in the country) and they try to keep development minimal in efforts to protect the environment and manage human activity. When visiting the park, prepare for rain as the park as over 200 days of rain per year.
Which city is cheaper, Fiordland National Park 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 Fiordland National Park is $91. 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 Fiordland National Park in more detail.
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 $90 in Fiordland National Park For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Fiordland National Park $45
Typical double-occupancy room
Fiordland National Park
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.
The average traveler spends about $22 per day in Fiordland National Park 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.
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 Fiordland National Park, the average visitor spends $39 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.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
Fiordland National Park $39
Is it cheaper to fly into Kaikoura or Fiordland National Park?
Prices for flights to both Fiordland National Park 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.
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 Fiordland National Park, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $19 per person, per day.
Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
Fiordland National Park $19
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:
Guided Family Kayaking Adventure:
Half-Day Seal Kayaking Guided Tour:
Kayaking Adventure in Kaikoura:
Private Wildlife Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura:
Seal Swimming Tour from Kaikoura:
Wildlife Sea Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura:
Tours and Activities in Fiordland National Park
For Fiordland National Park, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Milford Sound Nature Cruise:
Milford Sound Nature Cruise on Premium Glass-Roof Catamaran:
From Te Anau: 1-Day Milford Sound Coach & Cruise:
Milford Sound Coach, Cruise, and Walk from Te Anau:
Cruise & Kayak Milford Sound:
Milford Sound Flight and Cruise:
Typically, people visiting Fiordland National Park spend on average $7.60 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Kaikoura and Fiordland National Park, we can see that Kaikoura is more expensive. And not only is Fiordland National Park much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Fiordland National Park would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Fiordland National Park 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 Fiordland National Park.
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