A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Nelson vs. Aoraki Mount Cook for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Nelson or Aoraki Mount Cook?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Nelson and Aoraki Mount Cook can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Nelson

Nelson is a city that sits on Tasman Bay on the South Island of New Zealand. Travelers, especially ones that are heading to explore Abel Tasman National Park, frequently visit this town. Nelson has a population of about 46,000 people and, geographically speaking, it is the center of New Zealand as a whole.

Aoraki Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is located on the South Island of New Zealand. It was declared a national park in 1953 to protect and preserve the landscape. The park is home to the country's highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook. In Maori, Aoraki means, "cloud piercer", and the English name, Mt Cook, refers to the navigator James Cook, who discovered New Zealand in the 18th century. Mt Cook was the training location for Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first person to summit Everest in 1953. Other peaks in the park include Mount Tasman, Mount Sefton, and Mount Hicks. Not only can you find lush greenery all over the park, but also, glaciers cover 40% of the parks area.

Which city is cheaper, Aoraki Mount Cook or Nelson?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nelson is $86, while the average daily cost in Aoraki Mount Cook is $96. 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 Nelson and Aoraki Mount Cook in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Nelson is $74. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Aoraki Mount Cook, $108 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Aoraki Mount Cook, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $54, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nelson $37
    Aoraki Mount Cook $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nelson $74
    Aoraki Mount Cook $108

Food

The price of a meal in Nelson can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $25 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $10 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.

In Aoraki Mount Cook travelers spend around $24 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Nelson $25
    Aoraki Mount Cook $24

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Nelson is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $26 per person, per day, on local transportation in Nelson.

Aoraki Mount Cook's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $25 per person, per day on transportation in Aoraki Mount Cook.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nelson $26
    Aoraki Mount Cook $25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nelson

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nelson:

  • Departure Transfer: Nelson City Centre Hotels to Nelson Airport: $43
  • Arrival Transfer: Nelson Airport to Nelson City Centre Hotels: $43

Is it cheaper to fly into Nelson or Aoraki Mount Cook?

Prices for flights to both Aoraki Mount Cook and Nelson 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.





Entertainment

Entertainment and activities in Nelson typically cost an average of $22 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Aoraki Mount Cook can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $21 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nelson $22
    Aoraki Mount Cook $21

Tours and Activities in Nelson

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

  • Abel Tasman and Golden Bay Tour: $149
  • Dragon Hunt Archery Experience in Pristine Native Forest: $115
  • Fly Golden Bay & Cruise Abel Tasman Day Tour from Nelson: $341
  • Full-Day Abel Tasman National Park Hiking Tour with Cruise: $354
  • Nelson City Walking Tour - Guided: $36
  • Nelson to Mapua: Full-Day Cycling Self-Guided Adventure: $67
  • Skywire Experience: $72
  • SKYWIRE Experience: $78
  • Self-Guided Nelson to Mapua Cycle Adventure: $75
  • Tunnel to Town - Day Adventure - Option A Via Mapua: $125
  • Tunnel to Town - Day Adventure Option B Nelson City: $100

Alcohol

The average person spends about $12 on alcoholic beverages in Nelson per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Aoraki Mount Cook, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $19.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nelson $12
    Aoraki Mount Cook $19

Sample the Local Flavors in Nelson

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Nelson:

  • Half Day Wine Tour: $114


When comparing the travel costs between Nelson and Aoraki Mount Cook, we can see that Aoraki Mount Cook is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Pacific, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Nelson vs. Aoraki Mount Cook Travel Comparison

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