A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Napier vs. Cromwell for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Hiking

Should you visit Napier or Cromwell?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Napier and Cromwell can help you decide which place is right for you.


Napier is a relaxed, character-filled, and coastal town. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and hiking.


Cromwell is a historical, cultural, and outdoorsy town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and museums.

Napier and Cromwell: Pros and Cons

  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers

Is there more to do in Napier or Cromwell?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Napier. Although Napier and Cromwell are popular destinations, Napier has more sights and attractions for tourists. Napier is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, and beaches, while Cromwell attracts visitors for its skiing and small town charm. Napier is more touristy than Cromwell and is known for its many art deco buildings, its beautiful vineyards, and the area's long sandy beaches. It is also well known for the art deco architecture. Cromwell is famous for its fruit farms, orchards, and vineyards.

How is Napier different from Cromwell?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Cromwell and Napier. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is Napier or Cromwell Better for Skiing?


Cromwell is very good for skiing and snowboarding. However, Napier is not a skiing destination.

Cromwell is a great destination for skiing with plenty areas to explore. The town isn't far from several ski fields, so it attracts winter sports enthusiasts when the weather gets cold.

Napier is not a skiing destination.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Napier or Cromwell?


Napier is a great town for its historical sights. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its sights and museums.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Napier. Considered an "Art Deco capital", there are many interesting buildings around town and it's worth taking an Art Deco Walk. The National Aquarium of New Zealand is also impressive as is the MTG Hawke's Bay, which is a museum, gallery, and theater in one. For something a little outside the box, you can visit the Napier Prison, which is New Zealand's oldest place of incarceration, dating back to 1862.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Cromwell. There are some interesting historical activities around town like Goldfields Mining Centre.

Is the Food Better in Napier or Cromwell? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?


Napier is a great town for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Napier has a huge number of terrific restaurants. With its many wineries and big mix of fine dining restaurants, there is plenty for a foodie to enjoy around town. You'll find restaurants that serve up New Zealand favorites as well as those that experiment with modern and trendy recipes.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Cromwell area. There are charming cafes and bakeries where you can grab a light meal or snack. There are also quaint restaurants and wineries with nice meals available.

Is Napier or Cromwell Better for Nightlife?


Napier is a great town for nightlife and partying. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Napier has something for everybody. The nightlife scene is diverse and fun. Whether you're looking for a wild party or just want to relax with a drink and some friends, there are plenty of places where you can hang out.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Cromwell. There are a few breweries and a number of wineries around town where you can have a relaxing night out.

Is Napier or Cromwell Better for Beaches?


Napier is very popular for the beache. However, Cromwell is not a beach destination.

Napier is considered to be a world-class beach destination. It's a popular beach destination and you'll find plenty of beaches for swimming, sunbathing, and playing with the kids. You'll want to head out of town to find the best and most beautiful beaches. For hidden beaches and some of the area's best surf, head to Mahia Peninsula. To escape the tourists and hang out with the locals, go to Waipatiki Beach. And for a picnic, Westshore Beach is a favorite. Waimarama Beach is another favorite in the area as well.

Cromwell is not a beach destination.

Is Napier or Cromwell Better for Hiking?


You'll find superb hiking in both Napier and Cromwell.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Napier. Hawke's Bay is filled with wonderful walks and hikes. There are easy coastal paths as well as mult-day treks around Lake Waikaremoana. It's not hard to find somewhere to stretch your legs and explore the scenery.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Cromwell. There are many beautiful walks in the area that take you through diverse landscapes and to impressive views.

Is the Shopping Better in Napier or Cromwell?


Shoppers can find a variety of nice stores in both Napier and Cromwell.

Plenty of visitors enjoy shopping while in Napier. You'll find all of the standard New Zealand retail chains as well antique and boutique shops. With its many Art Deco buildings, the city has character and personality.

Cromwell offers some nice shopping areas. There's a farmers market in town as well as several local vendors and cute shops.

Is Napier or Cromwell Better for Families?


You'll find superb kid-friendly activities in either Napier or Cromwell.

Napier is a very family-friendly destination. This coastal city has a waterpark, a waterfall walk, and plenty of beaches where the family can hang out. There's also a waterfront promenade that is filled with water features and playgrounds where the kids can run around. You can also check out Hawke's Bay Farmyard Zoo or on a rainy day head to the Faraday Museum of Technology.

Cromwell is a very kid-friendly town. The lakefront setting means that there are water activities during the warmer months. There are also ski fields nearby for the winter months. Biking and walking are also popular in the area.

Is Napier or Cromwell Better for Couples?


Both Napier and Cromwell are superb destinations to visit as a couple.

Napier makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Surrounded by vineyards and lined with beaches, this is a great place for a romantic getaway or a honeymoon. Hop on a bike and explore the wineries or enjoy a beautiful hike through nature. There are also adrenaline-filled activities for thrill seekers or fine dining restaurants for the foodies.

Couples visit Cromwell frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Cycling, walking, kayaking, and skiing all make this a romantic a charming town to visit as a couple. There are also wineries in the area with beautiful vineyards.

Is Napier or Cromwell Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?


Napier is a great town for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Napier. There are a couple of hostels around town and plenty of fun activities like mountain biking or white water rafting that you can enjoy.

Plenty of backpackers visit Cromwell. There are a handful of great hostels in the area and plenty of things to keep backpackers entertained.

Is Napier or Cromwell Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?


Visitors will find reasonable public transit in both Napier and Cromwell.

Public transit is mostly limited in Napier. Public transit to most of the beaches is limited or nonexistent, so you really need a car if you want to get around and see everything.

Public transit is generally limited in Cromwell. Public transit around town is limited to a couple of buses.

Is Napier or Cromwell a more walkable city?


Cromwell is very good for its walkability. However, Napier is lacking in good options for its high level of walkability.

Cromwell is somewhat walkable. Parts of the town are walkable.

Napier is generally not very walkable. If you stay in town you can walk to cafes and restaurants, but you really need a car if you're planning to visit beaches or explore the area in depth.

Should I spend more time in Cromwell or Napier?

How long in Napier or Cromwell?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Napier or Cromwell to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Napier than Cromwell because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Napier, and 1-2 days is enough time in Cromwell.

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

Couples should spend more time in Napier than Cromwell. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Napier that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Napier than Cromwell 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 Napier.

  • How many days in Napier or Cromwell? Ideal Length of Stay
    Napier 2-3 
    Cromwell 1-2

One day in Napier or Cromwell?

The town of Napier offers food and shopping. 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.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Cromwell. Hikers are also drawn to this area. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

A weekend in Napier or Cromwell?

Napier is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Napier, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Cromwell is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Napier or Cromwell?

Napier is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. Five days 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. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Cromwell. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Napier or Cromwell?

Napier is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that beaches 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 town offers something for everyone.

Travelers enjoy the skiing and nightlife when visiting the outdoorsy destination of Cromwell. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Which place is cheaper, Cromwell or Napier?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Napier is $168, while the average daily cost in Cromwell is $82. 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 Napier and Cromwell in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Napier $102
    Cromwell $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Napier $204
    Cromwell $78
Compare Hotels in Napier and Cromwell

Looking for a hotel in Napier or Cromwell? 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 Napier

Hotels in Cromwell

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: Napier Hotel Prices and Cromwell Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Napier $30
    Cromwell $25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Napier

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

  • Customised Private One Day Tour or Transfer (up to 8 hours): $1,134
  • Arrival Transfer: Hawkes Bay Airport to Central Napier City Centre: $19

Is it cheaper to fly into Napier or Cromwell?

Prices for flights to both Cromwell and Napier 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 Meals for one day
    Napier $37
    Cromwell $27
Typical Food prices in Napier

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

  • Casural Lunch

  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Napier $27
    Cromwell $16

Tours and Activities in Napier

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

  • 2.5-Hour Napier Art Deco Tour: $55
  • Art Deco City & Wine Private Tour - 5hrs - up to 10 people: $882
  • Beer, Wine, Cider and Gin Tour in New Zealand: $123
  • Best of Napier & Hawkes Bay Tour: $79
  • Cape Coast Wineries Self-Guided Scenic Bike Tour from Napier: $50
  • Cape Winery Cycle Tour - 6 wineries, self-guided: $72
  • Country Experience at Mohaka River Farm: $113
  • Deco City Black Cab Tours and Shuttles: $110
  • Hastings Earthquake Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Hawke's Bay: Coastal Winery Cycle Tour - self-guided: $49
  • Hawkes Bay A Grand Day Out Tour: $111
  • Hawkes Bay Wineries Electric Self-Guided Bike Tour: $57

Tours and Activities in Cromwell

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Cromwell.

  • Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour: $139
  • Ultimate Lake Dunstan Trail Experience Bike & Boat Return: $176

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Napier $16
    Cromwell $9.22
Typical Alcohol prices in Napier

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Napier are as follows:

  • Wine

Sample the Local Flavors in Napier

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Napier:

  • Hawkes Bay Wine Tour - 3 wineries in an afternoon: $90
  • Half Day Small-Group Hawkes Bay Wine Tour: $98
  • Wine Tour and Tastings in Hawkes Bay: $167
  • Private Sightseeing Tour + wine tasting (4 hrs): $520
  • Private Sightseeing Tour + Wine Tasting: $526
  • Napier City Art Deco & Private Wine Tour - 5hrs - up to 5 people: $787
  • Private Prestigious Wine Tour in Napier: $1,131

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

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.
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Napier vs. Cromwell Travel Comparison

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