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

Should you visit Lake Tekapo or Christchurch?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Lake Tekapo and Christchurch. 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.

Christchurch

Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand, right beside the Canterbury Plains. Most people begin their South Island travels here. The city itself can be fascinating to explore so it is worth allowing yourself several days in town as an introduction to the region.

The River Avon flows through the city center, twisting through the old buildings. Christchurch is referred to in New Zealand as the Garden City and it is easy to see why. It's quite a nice city with trees spread throughout. The economy is centered around international tourism as well as foreign education. There is a high Asian student population here, giving the city a diverse feel.

Christchurch's climate is temperate and the city receives moderate rainfall. In January average high temperatures are around 73 degrees Fahrenheit with averages around 52 degrees Fahrenheit in July. There is a sea breeze during the summer months that keep temperatures pleasant. Temperatures can drop below freezing at night during the winter months. Snow may also fall several times a year.

Which city is cheaper, Christchurch or Lake Tekapo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lake Tekapo is $71, while the average daily cost in Christchurch is $90. 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 Christchurch in more detail.



Accommodation

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $112 for a double occupancy room in Lake Tekapo.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $46. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Christchurch the cost is $92 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lake Tekapo $56
    Christchurch $46
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lake Tekapo $112
    Christchurch $92

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.

Food in Christchurch costs travelers about $29 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Lake Tekapo $12
    Christchurch $29

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Christchurch

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Christchurch.

  • Tramway Restaurant 4 Course Dinner Service through Christchurch: $92
  • Willowbank Kiwi Tour and Maori Concert Including Hangi Dinner from Christchurch: $174

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Christchurch is $14 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.
    Lake Tekapo -
    Christchurch $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Christchurch

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Christchurch:

  • Arrival Private Transfer from Airport CHC to Christchurch in Business Car: $75
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Airport CHC to Christchurch in Luxury Van: $98
  • Arrival Transfer: Christchurch Airport to Christchurch Central City Hotels: $21
  • Christchurch Airport (CHC) to City Center to Airport - Private Transfer: $87
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers: $99
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Airport CHC to Christchurch in Business Car: $75
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Airport CHC to Christchurch in Luxury Car: $121
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Airport CHC to Christchurch in Luxury Van: $98
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Christchurch to Airport CHC in Business Car: $75
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Christchurch to Airport CHC in Luxury Car: $121
  • Christchurch Airport Transfers : Christchurch to Airport CHC in Luxury Van: $98
  • Christchurch City Hotels to Airport Transfer - Lowest price 1 to 4 Pax & 2 Bags: $43

Is it cheaper to fly into Lake Tekapo or Christchurch?

Prices for flights to both Christchurch 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

Christchurch's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $16 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.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lake Tekapo -
    Christchurch $16

Tours and Activities in Lake Tekapo

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

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

Tours and Activities in Christchurch

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

  • Christchurch Botanic Gardens Hop-On Hop-Off Tour: $15
  • Chairlift Sightseeing Pass at the Christchurch Adventure Park: $15
  • Punting on the Avon River with Optional Christchurch Gondola and Botanic Gardens Tour: $21
  • Christchurch Gondola Ride Ticket: $22
  • 1-Hour City Highlights Tour by Bus: $26
  • Christchurch Tram City and Botanic Gardens Full–Day Tour: $30
  • Christchurch International Antarctic Center Entry Tickets: $35
  • Christchurch Tram City Tour & Punting Combo: $36
  • Christchurch Gondola and Tram City Tour Combo: $36
  • International Antarctic Center General Admission Ticket: $36
  • Urban Explorer Tour: $41
  • Discover 3-Hour Double Decker Bus Tour: $51

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Christchurch may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lake Tekapo -
    Christchurch $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Christchurch

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

  • A Waipara Wine Experience with Giles Tours, includes wine tastings and lunch: $95
  • All-Inclusive Waipara Region Wine Tour from Christchurch: $100
  • Akaroa Eco-Safari with Alpaca Farm Tour and Wine Tasting: $103
  • Full-day Akaroa Tour with Penguins Safari and Wine Tasting: $114
  • Lyttelton Shore Excursion - Waipara Wine Tour With Lunch: $115
  • Full-day Akaroa Tour with Dolphin Cruise & Wine Tasting: $133
  • Private Waipara Valley Wine Tasting Tour with optional Gourmet Lunch: $190
  • Hanmer Springs Private Day Tour Including Hot Pool & Wine Tasting: $356


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Lake Tekapo and Christchurch, we can see that Christchurch 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 Christchurch would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Christchurch than you might in Lake Tekapo.

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Lake Tekapo vs. Christchurch Travel Comparison

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