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

Should you visit Kaikoura or Picton?

Should I visit Kaikoura or Picton? 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.

Picton

Picton, New Zealand is located in the picturesque Marlborough Region on the South Island. With beachfront access in a central location and near the Marlborough Sounds, Picton is an ideal place for anyone looking for both adventure and relaxation in one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world.

The weather in Picton is fairly mild, ranging from the low fifties to high sixties, Fahrenheit, throughout the year. Their summer months are December through March, this is when you'll find temperatures in the high sixties. During the winter, June through August, Picton experiences averages of fifty degree Fahrenheit. This means you can visit any time of the year without having to worry about weather inhibiting any of your outdoor activities!

Which city is cheaper, Picton 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 Picton is $82. 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 Picton 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.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $70 for a double occupancy room in Picton.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Kaikoura $45
    Picton $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Kaikoura $90
    Picton $70

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 Picton can vary, the average travelers spends about $19 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Picton should cost around $7.60 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Picton is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Kaikoura $36
    Picton $19

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Kaikoura $16
    Picton -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Picton

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Picton:

  • Private One Way Transfer Tour between Picton & Christchurch: $1,264

Is it cheaper to fly into Kaikoura or Picton?

Prices for flights to both Picton 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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $103 per person, per day in Picton. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Kaikoura $143
    Picton $103

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 Seal Kayaking Guided Tour: $86
  • Guided Family Kayaking Adventure: $86
  • Wildlife Sea Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura: $89
  • Seal Swimming Tour from Kaikoura: $89
  • Private Wildlife Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura: $178
  • 30-Minute Whale Watching Helicopter Tour: $252

Tours and Activities in Picton

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

  • Picton Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Koru Native Wildlife Centre Tour: $16
  • Ecoworld New Zealand tour from Marlborough Sounds: $18
  • Queen Charlotte Track: Cruise & Self-Guided Hike from Picton: $63
  • Half-Day Cruise in Marlborough Sounds from Picton: $66
  • Marlborough Sounds Cruise & 3-Hour Scenic Walk: $67
  • Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary and Ship Cove Cruise from Picton: $69
  • 3 Hour Marlborough Sounds Delivery Cruise: $72
  • Half day Sea Kayak Guided Tour from Picton: $72
  • Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton: $76
  • Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise: $78
  • Early Bird Eco Cruise: $79

Alcohol

The average person spends about $33 on alcoholic beverages in Picton per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Kaikoura -
    Picton $33

Sample the Local Flavors in Picton

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

  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Marlborough: $53
  • Half-Day Wine Tour from Picton: $80
  • Full-Day Wine Tour from Picton: $110
  • Picton Shore Excursion : Marlborough Wine Tour: $113
  • Picton Shore Excursion: Wings of Omaka and Marlborough Wine Tour: $129
  • Full-Day Marlborough Wine Tour from Picton or Blenheim: $144
  • Marlborough Sounds Icons: Wine Tour and Seafood Cruise: $156
  • Marlborough Wine Tour and Cruise from Picton or Blenheim: $163


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

Budget Your Trip

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Kaikoura vs. Picton Travel Comparison

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