A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Mount Aspiring National Park vs. Kaikoura for Hiking, Families, Backpackers, and Couples

Should you visit Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Mount Aspiring National Park

Mount Aspiring National Park is a rugged, breathtaking, and undeveloped national park. You'll find world class beauty here as well. And you can't forget about the hiking.

Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a unique, nature-oriented, and biologically diverse town. And you can't forget about the shopping, nightlife, and food.

Mount Aspiring National Park and Kaikoura: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for food
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Fun shopping
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Kaikoura than Mount Aspiring National Park, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Kaikoura is better known for its museums, food, nightlife, beaches, and shopping, while Mount Aspiring National Park is more popular for its hiking and impressive beauty. Kaikoura is more touristy than Mount Aspiring National Park and is known for its local Sperm Whale population, abundance of marine life, and local crayfish (lobster) recipes. Also, Kaikoura is famous for its whale watching trips. Mount Aspiring National Park is well known for its mountains, glaciers, and alpine lakes.

How is Mount Aspiring National Park different from Kaikoura?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Kaikoura and Mount Aspiring National Park . Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a moderate town for its sights and museums. However, Mount Aspiring National Park does not have museums and landmarks.

Kaikoura offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. There aren't many museums in the area, but it's worth learning more about the region's history with a visit to Kaikoura Museum.

Mount Aspiring National Park does not have museums and landmarks.


Is the Food Better in Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Mount Aspiring National Park is not a good national park for its restaurants.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Kaikoura. Seafood lovers will be in heaven in this town! There are many local, freshly caught favorites such as cod, mussels, and crayfish (which is actually lobster). You'll find plenty of casual eateries, including an authentic American diner.

Mount Aspiring National Park has a small number of restaurants to choose from. Bring plenty of food supplies, because amenities are in short supply in many parts of the park.

Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura Better for Nightlife?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a nice place to visit for nightlife and partying. However, Mount Aspiring National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Kaikoura. This is a small town so the nightlife scene is limited, but there are a few restaurants with bars around town.

Mount Aspiring National Park is not a destination with noteworthy nightlife.

Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura Better for Beaches?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a well-known place for the beache. However, Mount Aspiring National Park is not a beach destination.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Kaikoura. There are many black pebble beaches in the area, which are great for wildlife spotting, but not so good for swimming. Gooch's Beach is one of the most popular, and it's sandier than many of the other beaches. South Bay is another popular area to visit.

Mount Aspiring National Park is not a beach destination.


Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura Better for Hiking?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Kaikoura

Mount Aspiring National Park is a world-class destination for the nearby hiking options. Also, Kaikoura is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its hiking trails.

People visit Mount Aspiring National Park specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. There are many different types of trails in the park that range from shorter day hikes to multi-day hikes. The difficulty level doesn't always correspond to the length of the hike, so do your research before you set out. Some of the most known hikes in the area are the Blue Pools Track, the Rob Roy Track, the Routeburn Track, and the challenging Cascade Saddle Route.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Kaikoura. There are many coastal walks in the area that will take you through a variety of landscapes. This is also a great way to see the many diverse types of wildlife throughout the peninsula.

Is the Shopping Better in Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Kaikoura

Kaikoura is a nice place to visit for its shopping opportunities. However, Mount Aspiring National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Kaikoura offers some nice shopping areas. There are local shops where you can pick up some interesting products that are unique to the area.

Mount Aspiring National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura Better for Families?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Kaikoura

Kaikoura is very popular for its family-friendly activities. Also, Mount Aspiring National Park is not as famous, but is still a good national park to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Kaikoura is an amazing family-friendly town to visit. Kids who love animals will appreciate all of the wildlife in the area. This is one of the best places in the country to see dolphins, whales, and seals. There are world class whale watching trips as well as opportunities to swim with the dolphins and get close to the seals. There is also kayaking, a coastal train, and even sheep shearing. Minigolf is also a fun activity in the area.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Mount Aspiring National Park. The park offers a stunning natural setting that will inspire a child's love of nature. There are a number of kid-friendly hikes in the park with some of the most popular being the Blue Pools Track, Routeburn Nature Walk, the Roaring Billy Falls Walk, and the Thunder Creek Falls Walk.


Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura Better for Couples?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Kaikoura

Mount Aspiring National Park and Kaikoura are both very good to visit as a couple.

Mount Aspiring National Park is a very popular place to visit for couples. Filled with inspiring scenery and a breathtaking mountain setting, this park is perfect for couples who appreciate nature's beauty. There are hiking trails, waterfalls, and striking views that will spark the romance in any relationship.

Kaikoura makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The town is all about wildlife, so if whale watching trips, dolphin spotting, and experiencing amazing local wildlife is your thing, then this is your spot! There are also beautiful coastal sights with a dramatic mountain backdrop.

Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Kaikoura

Mount Aspiring National Park is a world-class destination for backpackers. Also, Kaikoura is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.

Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Mount Aspiring National Park . Set in the beautiful Southern Alps, backpackers will love exploring the impressive mountain scenery and breathtaking views.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Kaikoura. There are a decent number of hostels in the area and plenty of fun activities that backpackers will enjoy.

Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Kaikoura

Mount Aspiring National Park is a moderate national park for its public transit. However, Kaikoura is not a good town for times when you don't have a car.

Public transit is generally limited in Mount Aspiring National Park . It's possible to arrange transportation to the trailheads from Te Anau or Wanaka.

Public transit is quite limited in Kaikoura. The town is very small and there is no real public transit in the area.


Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura a more walkable city?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Kaikoura

Mount Aspiring National Park and Kaikoura both are notable when exploring on foot.

Mount Aspiring National Park is a somewhat walkable place. There are day hikes as well as mult-day back country hikes through the park.

Kaikoura is a somewhat walkable national park. There are many coastal walks in the area, which is a great way to soak up the beauty and see the wildlife. The town itself is small and most of the accommodation is along Beach Road, so it's relatively easy to reach places on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Mount Aspiring National Park Worth Visiting? and Is Kaikoura Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Kaikoura or Mount Aspiring National Park ?

How long in Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura?

It's fun to spend time in either Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Mount Aspiring National Park due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Mount Aspiring National Park , and 2-4 days is enough time in Kaikoura.

Families should spend more time in Kaikoura than Mount Aspiring National Park . Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Kaikoura, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Kaikoura than Mount Aspiring National Park . You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Kaikoura that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Mount Aspiring National Park than Kaikoura if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Mount Aspiring National Park .


  • How many days in Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura? Ideal Length of Stay
    Mount Aspiring National Park 2-5 
    Kaikoura 2-4

One day in Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura?

The beautiful national park of Mount Aspiring National Park offers . Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

The unique destination of Kaikoura offers nightlife and food. It's also a great beach destination, too. This town offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura?

Mount Aspiring National Park is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this national park makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Mount Aspiring National Park, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Kaikoura. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Hikers are also drawn to this area. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Kaikoura has to offer.


Five days in Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura?

Mount Aspiring National Park is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Mount Aspiring National Park, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Kaikoura is a fun place to experience. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

A week in Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura?

Mount Aspiring National Park is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This national park offers something for everyone.

You'll find nightlife and food around the unique town of Kaikoura. Most people come for the beaches. It offers something for everyone. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in New Zealand, The Best 2-Week Tours in New Zealand, The Best Bicycle Tours in New Zealand, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in New Zealand.


Which place is cheaper, Kaikoura or Mount Aspiring National Park ?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Mount Aspiring National Park is $110, while the average daily cost in Kaikoura is $137. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Mount Aspiring National Park and Kaikoura in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mount Aspiring National Park $59
    Kaikoura $49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mount Aspiring National Park $118
    Kaikoura $98
Compare Hotels in Mount Aspiring National Park and Kaikoura

Looking for a hotel in Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura? 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 Mount Aspiring National Park


Hotels in Kaikoura


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: Mount Aspiring National Park Hotel Prices and Kaikoura Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mount Aspiring National Park $50
    Kaikoura $17

Is it cheaper to fly into Mount Aspiring National Park or Kaikoura?

Prices for flights to both Kaikoura and Mount Aspiring National Park 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
    Mount Aspiring National Park $19
    Kaikoura $38

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mount Aspiring National Park $29
    Kaikoura $154

Tours and Activities in Kaikoura

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

  • Sunset Kayak tour in Kaikoura: $83
  • Llama Trek (Taster) - Kowhai River Valley and Native Woodland Tour: $83
  • Seal Kayaking Adventure in Kaikoura: $84
  • Wildlife Sea Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura: $93
  • Sunset Evening Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura: $93
  • Half Day Zipline Adventure in Kaikoura: $99
  • Private Wildlife Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura: $185
  • Kaikoura Whale Watch Day Tour from Christchurch: $218
  • 40-minute Mt Fyffe Summit Heli Tour in Kaikoura : $227
  • 1-Hour Private Heli-Picnic Mountain top tour in Kaikoura : $243
  • Kaikoura Swim with Dolphins Tour from Christchurch: $246

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mount Aspiring National Park $5.15
    Kaikoura -


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Mount Aspiring National Park Expensive? and Is Kaikoura Expensive?.