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

Should you visit Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo?

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 Lake Tekapo, 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 undeveloped, remote, and rugged national park. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. Other popular activities here include hiking.

Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo is a small, remote, and basic town. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the hiking.

Mount Aspiring National Park and Lake Tekapo: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less popular with backpackers


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

Tourists will generally find more to do in Lake Tekapo. Although Mount Aspiring National Park and Lake Tekapo are both popular with visitors, Lake Tekapo has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Lake Tekapo is more popular for its food, nightlife, shopping, and small town charm, while Mount Aspiring National Park is known for its hiking and impressive beauty. Lake Tekapo is more touristy than Mount Aspiring National Park and is known for its hot springs, remote location, and beautiful night sky. It is also home to the Church of the Good Shepherd. Mount Aspiring National Park is popular for its mountains, glaciers, and alpine lakes.

How is Mount Aspiring National Park different from Lake Tekapo?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

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

Mount Aspiring National Park
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo is a moderate town for its local cuisine and restaurants. However, Mount Aspiring National Park is not a good national park for its restaurants.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in Lake Tekapo. The town is very small with just a couple of restaurants and fast food joints.

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 Lake Tekapo Better for Nightlife?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Lake Tekapo

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

People don't go to Lake Tekapo for the nightlife. This is a very small town and there isn't a real nightlife scene. The night sky is incredible though, and you should absolutely do some stargazing.

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

Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo Better for Hiking?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Lake Tekapo

Mount Aspiring National Park is terrific for its hiking experiences. Also, Lake Tekapo is still popular, but not quite as popular for hiking.

Mount Aspiring National Park is well-known for its hiking and trekking. 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 go to Lake Tekapo for the hiking trails. There are many beautiful hikes in the area with some of the most popular being the Mount John Summit Track, the Richmond Trail, and Cowan's Hill Walkway.

Is the Shopping Better in Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Lake Tekapo

Lake Tekapo is not a good place to visit for its shopping opportunities. However, Mount Aspiring National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Lake Tekapo has some shopping areas for those that seek them out. There are a couple of shops where you can pick up basic necessities.

Mount Aspiring National Park is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo Better for Families?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Lake Tekapo

Mount Aspiring National Park and Lake Tekapo are both great destinations for the whole family.

Mount Aspiring National Park is a very kid-friendly 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.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Lake Tekapo. Kids will enjoy a visit to Tekapo Springs, which is particularly fun in the winter months. There's snow tubing, ice skating, and, of course, the hot pools. There are also short hikes in the area like the Mount John Summit Walk. Biking, paddleboarding, and kayaking are also popular in the area.

Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo Better for Couples?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Lake Tekapo

Mount Aspiring National Park is a great destination for couples. Also, Lake Tekapo is still popular, but not quite as popular for romance.

Couples visit Mount Aspiring National Park frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. 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.

Lake Tekapo is a nice destination for couples. Couples will enjoy the stunning scenery, beautiful hikes, and the romantic hot springs. Stargazing is another popular activity in the area.

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

Mount Aspiring National Park
Lake Tekapo

Mount Aspiring National Park is terrific for backpackers. Also, Lake Tekapo is still popular, but not quite as popular for backpackers and budget travelers.

Mount Aspiring National Park is a very popular national park to visit for backpackers. Set in the beautiful Southern Alps, backpackers will love exploring the impressive mountain scenery and breathtaking views.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Lake Tekapo. It's a small town with a couple of cheap places to stay that backpackers will appreciate.


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

Mount Aspiring National Park
Lake Tekapo

Mount Aspiring National Park is a national park with a few options for its public transit. However, Lake Tekapo is a town with minimal options 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 Lake Tekapo. Public transportation in the area is very limited. If you don't have a car, you'll want to arrange tours to get out and about.

Is Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo a more walkable city?

Mount Aspiring National Park
Lake Tekapo

Mount Aspiring National Park and Lake Tekapo both are good 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.

Lake Tekapo is a somewhat walkable national park. The town is small enough to get around on foot, and you can hire a tour to get out into the region.

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

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

How long in Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Mount Aspiring National Park than Lake Tekapo because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-5 days is a good amount of time for Mount Aspiring National Park , and 1-2 days is enough time in Lake Tekapo.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Mount Aspiring National Park than Lake Tekapo 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 Lake Tekapo? Ideal Length of Stay
    Mount Aspiring National Park 2-5 
    Lake Tekapo 1-2

One day in Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the remote national park of Mount Aspiring National Park. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Most people visit for the hiking. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

The basic destination of Lake Tekapo offers . Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. This town offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.


A weekend in Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the breathtaking destination of Mount Aspiring National Park. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This national park offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Lake Tekapo. 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 Lake Tekapo has to offer.

Five days in Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo?

Visitors enjoy the when visiting the rugged national park of Mount Aspiring National Park. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Lake Tekapo is a fun place to experience. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. 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 Lake Tekapo?

Many people enjoy the when visiting Mount Aspiring National Park. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people visit for the hiking. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find around the small town of Lake Tekapo. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. 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, Lake Tekapo 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 $112, while the average daily cost in Lake Tekapo is $77. 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 Lake Tekapo in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Mount Aspiring National Park $60
    Lake Tekapo $61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Mount Aspiring National Park $120
    Lake Tekapo $122
Compare Hotels in Mount Aspiring National Park and Lake Tekapo

Looking for a hotel in Mount Aspiring National Park or Lake Tekapo? 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 Lake Tekapo


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 Lake Tekapo Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Mount Aspiring National Park $51
    Lake Tekapo -

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

Prices for flights to both Lake Tekapo 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
    Lake Tekapo $13

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Mount Aspiring National Park $29
    Lake Tekapo -

Tours and Activities in Lake Tekapo

Here are a few actual costs in Lake Tekapo for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Indoor Māori Cultural Astronomy Experience: $31
  • Dark Sky Indoor Cultural Astronomy Experience: $32
  • Dark Sky Virtual Stargazing Experience: $42
  • 45 Minutes Virtual Stargazing Experience in Lake Tekapo: $44
  • High Country Farm Tour - Lake Tekapo: $61
  • Alpine Stargazing Experience with a Guide: $61
  • Chameleon Stargazing Shared Tour: $62
  • Stargazing Experience: $67
  • Crater Experience at Cowan's Observatory: $88
  • Summit Experience - University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory: $119
  • Mt Cook Day Tour From Tekapo (Small Group, Carbon Neutral): $156
  • Lake Tekapo Fishing Tour: $183

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Mount Aspiring National Park $5.25
    Lake Tekapo -


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

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 Lake Tekapo Expensive?.