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

Should you visit Lake Tekapo or Dunedin?

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

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 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 Dunedin is $93. 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 Dunedin 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.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $47. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Dunedin the cost is $94 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lake Tekapo $54
    Dunedin $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lake Tekapo $108
    Dunedin $94

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 Dunedin travelers spend around $26 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
    Dunedin $26

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $25 per day to get around in Dunedin.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lake Tekapo -
    Dunedin $25

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 Lake Tekapo or Dunedin?

Prices for flights to both Dunedin 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $16 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.
    Lake Tekapo -
    Dunedin $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 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 $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lake Tekapo -
    Dunedin $13

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 Lake Tekapo and Dunedin, we can see that Dunedin 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 Dunedin would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Dunedin than you might in Lake Tekapo.

Budget Your Trip

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Lake Tekapo vs. Dunedin Travel Comparison

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