A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Lake Tekapo vs. Aoraki Mount Cook for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Lake Tekapo or Aoraki Mount Cook?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Lake Tekapo and Aoraki Mount Cook. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.

Lake Tekapo

Tekapo is a lakeside town on the South Island of New Zealand, and it is part of the Mackenzie District of Canterbury. This is one of the bluest lakes in the country and is surrounded by the mighty mountains of the Southern Alps.

Aoraki Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is located on the South Island of New Zealand. It was declared a national park in 1953 to protect and preserve the landscape. The park is home to the country's highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook. In Maori, Aoraki means, "cloud piercer", and the English name, Mt Cook, refers to the navigator James Cook, who discovered New Zealand in the 18th century. Mt Cook was the training location for Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first person to summit Everest in 1953. Other peaks in the park include Mount Tasman, Mount Sefton, and Mount Hicks. Not only can you find lush greenery all over the park, but also, glaciers cover 40% of the parks area.

Which city is cheaper, Aoraki Mount Cook or Lake Tekapo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lake Tekapo is $69, while the average daily cost in Aoraki Mount Cook is $96. 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 Lake Tekapo and Aoraki Mount Cook in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $108 for a double occupancy room in Lake Tekapo.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Aoraki Mount Cook, $108 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Aoraki Mount Cook, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $54, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lake Tekapo $54
    Aoraki Mount Cook $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lake Tekapo $108
    Aoraki Mount Cook $108

Food

Food in Lake Tekapo costs travelers about $12 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

In Aoraki Mount Cook travelers spend around $24 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
    Lake Tekapo $12
    Aoraki Mount Cook $24

Local Transportation

Aoraki Mount Cook's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $25 per person, per day on transportation in Aoraki Mount Cook.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lake Tekapo -
    Aoraki Mount Cook $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Lake Tekapo or Aoraki Mount Cook?

Prices for flights to both Aoraki Mount Cook and Lake Tekapo 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

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Aoraki Mount Cook can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $21 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lake Tekapo -
    Aoraki Mount Cook $21

Tours and Activities in Lake Tekapo

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

  • Crater Experience at Cowan's Observatory: $96
  • Dark Sky Experience: $33
  • Summit Experience - University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory: $133

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 Aoraki Mount Cook, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $19.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lake Tekapo -
    Aoraki Mount Cook $19


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Lake Tekapo and Aoraki Mount Cook, we can see that Aoraki Mount Cook is more expensive. And not only is Lake Tekapo much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Lake Tekapo would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Lake Tekapo 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 Aoraki Mount Cook would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Aoraki Mount Cook than you might in Lake Tekapo.

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Lake Tekapo vs. Aoraki Mount Cook Travel Comparison

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