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

Should you visit Lake Tekapo or Queenstown?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Lake Tekapo and Queenstown. 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, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Where Should I go: Lake Tekapo or Queenstown?

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.

Queenstown

Queenstown is a popular tourist destination on New Zealand's South Island. It is beautifully surrounded by the Southern Alps and sits on the banks of Lake Wakatipu. Across the lake you will find a stunning view of the Remarkables, a dramatic mountain range. The town itself is quite touristy, but prices still remain reasonable. There are options for all travel budgets, whether you're a backpacker hoping to save a few dollars or a family looking for some luxury accommodation. Despite its natural and tranquil setting, Queenstown is actually very much a party town, particularly during the peak seasons. Don't be surprised to find people out enjoying themselves until the early hours of the morning. If you're not into the party scene and are hoping to get a decent night's sleep, consider staying a little outside of town. About an hour outside of Queenstown you'll find Wanaka, which is a much smaller and peaceful town without the party scene.

Which city is cheaper, Queenstown or Lake Tekapo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Lake Tekapo is $63, while the average daily cost in Queenstown is $88. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Lake Tekapo and Queenstown in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Lake Tekapo $50
    Queenstown $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Lake Tekapo $100
    Queenstown $94
Compare Hotels in Lake Tekapo and Queenstown

Looking for a hotel in Lake Tekapo or Queenstown? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Lake Tekapo


Hotels in Queenstown


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Lake Tekapo Hotel Prices and Queenstown Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Lake Tekapo -
    Queenstown $8.57

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Queenstown

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Queenstown:

  • Arrival Transfer: Queenstown Airport to Central Queenstown City Centre: $13
  • Departure Transfer: Queenstown Central City Centre Hotels to Queenstown Airport: $13
  • Private & Exclusive One-Way Transfer Queenstown to Christchurch: $1,264
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Queenstown Airport to Hotel by Jet Boat: $342
  • Private Ski Transfer to Coronet Peak Ski Field: $333
  • Private Ski Transfer to The Remarkables Ski Field: $370
  • Ski Transfer To Coronet Peak (Round Trip): $27
  • Ski Transfer To Remarkables Ski Area (Round Trip): $27

Is it cheaper to fly into Lake Tekapo or Queenstown?

Prices for flights to both Queenstown 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Lake Tekapo $11
    Queenstown $30

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Queenstown

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

  • Dinner at Walter Peak High Country Farm and Cruise from Queenstown: $110
  • Queenstown Progressive Dinner & Wine Tour - 3 iconic locations: $207

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Lake Tekapo -
    Queenstown $18

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Queenstown

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Queenstown are as follows:


  • Skyline Gondola (for 2)
    $31

Tours and Activities in Queenstown

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

  • Time Tripper Underwater Experience: $6.58
  • Full & Half Day Hardtail Cruiser Bike Hire (Giant Talon 3 - 2020 model): $11
  • Escape Adventure AR Experience in Queenstown: $19
  • Skip the Line: Odyssey Sensory Maze Entry Queenstown Ticket: $24
  • Lake Wakatipu Scenic Catamaran Cruise from Queenstown: $29
  • Glenorchy Kiwi Special Tour: $29
  • Million Dollar Cruise in Queenstown: $36
  • Gibbston Valley Cave Guided Tour from Queenstown: $37
  • Queenstown Hop-on Hop-off Evening Beer Tour: $40
  • Queenstown VIP Wine Drop and Hop Tour: $40
  • TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise from Queenstown: $52
  • Self Guided Bike Experience - Frankton/Kelvin Heights/Jack’s Point to Queenstown: $61

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Lake Tekapo -
    Queenstown $7.49

Sample the Local Flavors in Queenstown

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Queenstown:

  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Queenstown: $40
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Wine Tour: $52
  • Wine Tour from Full Day: $103
  • Queenstown Classic Wine Tour - 3 Vineyards, Cave Tour and Cheeseboard: $116
  • Afternoon Boutique Wine Tour: $122
  • Original Wine Tour: $125
  • Vine Hopper: Queenstown's Ultimate Wine & Microbrewery Adventure: $133
  • Valley of the Vines Afternoon Wine Tour includes a Winery Tour: $133
  • Central Otago Wine Tour from Queenstown - Includes 4 Vineyards, Lunch & Wine: $136
  • Valley of the Vines Lunch & Wine Tour with a Wine Cave Adult Tour: $147
  • Wine Tour & Maori Culture Queenstown: $159
  • Boutique Wine Tour in Central Otago Wine Region: $161


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Lake Tekapo vs. Queenstown Travel Comparison

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