A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Melbourne vs. Auckland for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Melbourne or Auckland?

Should I visit Melbourne or Auckland? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Melbourne

Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia, after Sydney. It is also the capital city of the state of Victoria, in southeastern Australia. Melbourne is arguably the best city to experience culture and the arts in Australia. There is a friendly rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney over livability and popularity and Melbourne is definitely the city to visit for its parks, shopping, restaurants, galleries and theaters. Like Sydney, it is situated on the water, at the head of Port Phillip Bay. It's a beautiful city, and although it lacks the major sights that you'll find in Sydney such as the Sydney Opera House or the Harbour Bridge, you will never find yourself lacking for entertainment. It is also a wonderful base for exploring many of the nearby highlights, including Grampians National Park, The Great Ocean Road, and Phillip Island where you can view the penguin parade.

Auckland

Auckland is located on the North Island of New Zealand on an isthmus between the Northland Peninsula and the other parts of the North Island. Auckland is not only a city but also a region. In 2010 New Zealand combined what had previously been four separate cities into one region. These cities include the southern city of Manukau, the western city of Waitakere, the North Shore in the north, and Auckland City. The City of Auckland is the largest city in Polynesia and is very diverse with many expatriates from elsewhere in Polynesia. This diversity becomes most apparent in Auckland's many festivals and sporting events.

Which city is cheaper, Auckland or Melbourne?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Melbourne is $154, while the average daily cost in Auckland is $120. 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 Melbourne and Auckland in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $208 in Melbourne For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $152 in Auckland For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Melbourne $104
    Auckland $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Melbourne $208
    Auckland $152

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Melbourne than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $17 on transportation in Melbourne on average per day.

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Auckland than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $14 on transportation in Auckland on average per day.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Melbourne $17
    Auckland $14
Typical Local Transportation prices in Melbourne

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Melbourne:


  • Airport Bus
    $11
  • Tram Ride
    $2.67

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Melbourne

Also for Melbourne, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Transfer in private vehicle from Melbourne Downtown City to Airport: $53
  • Transfer in private Minivan from Melbourne City Downtown to Airport: $65
  • Private Transfer: Melbourne to Moorabbin Airport (MBW): $622
  • Private Transfer: Melbourne to Melbourne Airport (MEL): $80
  • Private Transfer: Melbourne to Essendon Fields Airport (MEB): $106
  • Private Transfer: Melbourne to Avalon International Airport (AVV): $212
  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Port Canaveral: $246
  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $333
  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $319
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Melbourne Airports: $45
  • Private Car Transfer Melbourne Airport To CBD: $78
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Melbourne to Tullamarine Airport (MEL): $39

Typical Local Transportation prices in Auckland

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Auckland:


  • Bus from Airport
    $10
  • Airport Shuttle
    $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Auckland

Also for Auckland, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private transfer: Auckland Airport (AKL) to Auckland: $71
  • Private Transfer North Shore or Henderson to Auckland Airport AKL by Luxury Van: $97
  • Private Transfer North Shore or Henderson to Auckland Airport AKL by Luxury Car: $101
  • Private Transfer From Auckland International Airport To Auckland City: $44
  • Private Transfer From Auckland Domestic Airport To Auckland City: $44
  • Private Transfer From Auckland City To Auckland Airport: $41
  • Private Inter City Transfer From Auckland To Hamilton: $148
  • Private Auckland Airport to City Transfer for up to 5 passengers: $96
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Auckland to Auckland Airport (AKL): $27
  • Private Airport Transfer: Auckland Airport (AKL) to Auckland: $27
  • Intercity (Tauranga, Whangarei, Hamilton etc) /Auckland Airport Transfers: $76
  • Great Barrier transfer - fly directly from Waiheke Island: $185

Is it cheaper to fly into Melbourne or Auckland?

Prices for flights to both Auckland and Melbourne 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

While meal prices in Melbourne can vary, the average travelers spends about $26 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Melbourne should cost around $10 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Melbourne is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

Auckland food costs typically run travelers around $23 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Melbourne $26
    Auckland $23
Typical Food prices in Melbourne

For Melbourne, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Coffee
    $2.81
  • Pizza
    $4.93

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Melbourne

For Melbourne, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • The Eynesbury Homestead: Dinner and 1.5-Hour Ghost Tour: $54
  • Eynesbury Homestead Dinner and Ghost Tour: $63
  • Traditional Sri Lankan Cooking Class: $72
  • Spice Factory 3-Hour Indian Cooking Class: $90
  • Private Australian Cooking Class in Melbourne using Native Produce: $125
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Melbourne Private Food Tour: $131
  • Vegan Cooking Class: $146
  • Private Modern Australian Cooking Class with a Professional Chef in Melbourne: $166
  • Private Market Tour and Australian Cooking Class with a Local Chef in her Home: $203
  • [PRIVATE TOUR] Best Of Melbourne Food Tours: $462

Typical Food prices in Auckland

For Auckland, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Breakfast
    $5.11

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Auckland

For Auckland, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner: $107

Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Melbourne, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $24 per day, per person.

Sightseeing expenses in Auckland, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $24 per day, per person.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Melbourne $24
    Auckland $24

Tours and Activities in Melbourne

For Melbourne, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • '56 Chevrolet 3-Hour Bespoke Melbourne Classic Car Private Tour (4 person): $379
  • '56 Chevrolet 6-Hour Bespoke Melbourne Classic Car Private Tour (4 person): $683
  • '56 Chevrolet 6-Hour Dandenong Ranges Classic Car Private Tour (4 person): $683
  • '56 Chevrolet 6-Hour Yarra Valley Indulgence Classic Car Private Tour (4 person): $683
  • 12 Apostles Eco-Friendly Great Ocean Road Iconic Adventure from Melbourne: $119
  • 12 Apostles and Shipwreck Coast Express Private Tour: $375
  • 2 Day Exclusively Private Tour Of Phillip Island & The Great Ocean Road: $1,276
  • 2 Day Great Ocean Road Tour and Platypus paddle: $351
  • 2 Day Great Ocean Road Tour from Melbourne: $210
  • 2-Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour Roundtrip from Melbourne: $257
  • 2-Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour from Melbourne: $217
  • 2-Day Great Ocean Road and Phillip Island Tour with Penguin Parade: $348

Typical Entertainment prices in Auckland

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Auckland's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Auckland Sky Tour (for 2)
    $35
  • Waiheke Island Tour (for 2)
    $129

Tours and Activities in Auckland

For Auckland, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 10-Day 'Vibe of the North' Epic Summer Tour for 18-30s!: $1,177
  • 13,000 Feet Tandem Skydive & Gannet Experience: $481
  • 14 Day - North to South Island Tour (All inclusive): $1,992
  • 16,000 Feet Tandem Skydive & Gannet Experience: $592
  • 17 day - North to South Island Tour (All inclusive): $2,333
  • 2 Day Rotorua Experience: Waitomo Caves, Maori Culture & Ziplining from Auckland: $733
  • 2 Day Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set and Rotorua Tour from Auckland: $859
  • 20,000 Feet Tandem Skydive & Gannet Experience: $740
  • 23-Day Epic New Zealand Tour: $3,630
  • 3 Day Bay Of Islands Tour from Auckland including Waitangi and Cape Reinga: $703
  • 3 Day Bay of Islands Winterless North Tour: $370
  • 3 Day Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set and Rotorua Tour from Auckland: $933

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Melbourne spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Typically, people visiting Auckland spend on average $12 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Melbourne $14
    Auckland $12
Typical Alcohol prices in Melbourne

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Melbourne from other travelers:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $5.45

Sample the Local Flavors in Melbourne

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

  • Melbourne Bar Hunt: Melbourne Breakout Bar Crawl: $12
  • Melbourne CBD Pub Crawl: $16
  • Carlton Brewhouse Brewery Tour with Beer Tasting: $24
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Day Tour from Melbourne: $78
  • Hops and Barrels- Hop on Hop off Wine Tour Mornington Peninsula.: $83
  • Small-Group Guided Yarra Valley Winery Tour with Wine Tasting: $104
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tour with Local Harvest Tastings from Melbourne: $115
  • Yarra Valley Local Produce and Wine Tasting Tour: $115
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tour inc lunch with a glass of wine, tastings and chocolate: $115
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Tour Departing from Melbourne: $118
  • Mornington Peninsula Winery Tour Including Wine Tastings and 2-Course Lunch: $118
  • Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries Food and Wine Tour: $134

Sample the Local Flavors in Auckland

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

  • Tour and Tastings in an Urban Craft Beer Brewery: $23
  • Wild West Coast & Black Sand Beach Tour incl Craft Beer Brewery Lunch & Tasting: $100
  • Premium Full Day Waiheke Wine Tour: $125
  • Small-Group Wine Tasting Experience on Waiheke Island: $131
  • Waiheke Island Premium Food & Wine Tour with Platter Lunch: $146
  • Waiheke Island: Afternoon Small Group Wine Tour with Lunch: $157
  • The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour: $157
  • Full-Day Waiheke Island Food and Wine Tour: $165
  • Matakana: Full-Day Food and Wine Tour: $169
  • The Afternoon Artisan Food and Wine Tour: $169
  • Auckland Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing, Harbour Cruise and Waiheke Island Wine Tasting: $171
  • Small-Group Kumeu Wine Country Tour Includes Wine Tastings & Lunch: $189


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

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Melbourne vs. Auckland Travel Comparison

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