Should you visit Lake Tekapo or Fiordland National Park?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Lake Tekapo and Fiordland National Park. 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.
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.
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 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 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 Lake Tekapo and Fiordland National Park in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $112 for a double occupancy room in Lake Tekapo.
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
Lake Tekapo $56
Fiordland National Park $45
Typical double-occupancy room
Fiordland National Park
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.
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.
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 Lake Tekapo or Fiordland National Park?
Prices for flights to both Fiordland National Park 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.
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 Lake Tekapo
Here are a few actual costs in Lake Tekapo for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:
Crater Experience at Cowan's Observatory:
Dark Sky Experience:
Summit Experience - University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory:
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 Lake Tekapo and Fiordland National Park, we can see that Fiordland National Park 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 Fiordland National Park would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Fiordland National Park than you might in Lake Tekapo.
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