A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Nelson vs. Dunedin for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Nelson or Dunedin?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Nelson and Dunedin 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.

Dunedin

Dunedin is the second largest city on the South Island of New Zealand. It is situated on the southeast coast and is largely Scottish in its heritage. It is part of the Otago region and has mild temperatures during the spring and summer, but extremely cold temperatures during the end of fall and winter. Dunedin is a university town; The University of Otago is the oldest in New Zealand, established in 1869. The students make up over a tenth of the entire city's population.

Which city is cheaper, Dunedin or Nelson?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nelson is $90, while the average daily cost in Dunedin is $98. 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 Dunedin in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Nelson is $78. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $49. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Dunedin the cost is $98 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nelson $39
    Dunedin $49
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nelson $78
    Dunedin $98

Food

The price of a meal in Nelson can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $26 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 Dunedin travelers spend around $27 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 $26
    Dunedin $27

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Nelson

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Nelson.

  • Queenstown Skyline Gondola and Luge Ride with Optional Buffet Lunch or Dinner: $47
  • Taste Auckland Group Food Tour: $98
  • Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise: $102
  • Sunset / Night Kayak to Rangitoto Island with BBQ Dinner: $138
  • Queenstown Wine and Food Tour: $141

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Dunedin

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Dunedin.

  • Queenstown Skyline Gondola and Luge Ride with Optional Buffet Lunch or Dinner: $47
  • Taste Auckland Group Food Tour: $98
  • Auckland Harbour Dinner Cruise: $102
  • Sunset / Night Kayak to Rangitoto Island with BBQ Dinner: $138
  • Queenstown Wine and Food Tour: $141

Local Transportation

The cost of a taxi ride in Nelson is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $27 per person, per day, on local transportation in Nelson.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $26 per day to get around in Dunedin.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nelson $27
    Dunedin $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nelson

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nelson:

  • SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium Entry Ticket and Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer: $40
  • Arrival Transfer: Nelson Airport to Nelson City Centre Hotels: $43
  • Departure Transfer: Nelson City Centre Hotels to Nelson Airport: $43
  • Private Luxury Transfers to Coronet Peak: $375
  • Private Luxury Transfers to The Remarkables: $445
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to Coronet Peak: $389
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to The Remarkables: $431
  • Private Transfers to Cardrona Ski Field or Treble Cone Ski Field: $629
  • Shared Queenstown Airport (ZQN) Transfers for Queenstown CBD: $11
  • Shared and Private Auckland Airport (AKL) Transfers to/from Auckland CBD: $18
  • Shared and Private Christchurch Airport (CHC) Transfers for Christchurch CBD: $13
  • Shared and Private Dunedin Airport (DUD) Transfers for Dunedin CBD: $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dunedin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dunedin:

  • Shared and Private Nelson Airport (NSN) Transfers for Nelson CBD: $7.09
  • SkyBus Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer Ticket: $11
  • Shared and Private Wellington Airport (WLG) Transfers for Wellington CBD: $11
  • Shared Queenstown Airport (ZQN) Transfers for Queenstown CBD: $11
  • Shared and Private Christchurch Airport (CHC) Transfers for Christchurch CBD: $13
  • Shared and Private Dunedin Airport (DUD) Transfers for Dunedin CBD: $14
  • Shared and Private Rotorua Airport (ROT) Transfers for Rotorua CBD: $16
  • Arrival Transfer: Dunedin Airport to Central Dunedin City Centre Hotels: $17
  • Departure Transfer: Dunedin Central City Centre Hotels to Dunedin Airport: $17
  • Shared and Private Auckland Airport (AKL) Transfers to/from Auckland CBD: $18
  • SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium Entry Ticket and Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer: $40
  • Private Luxury Transfers to Coronet Peak: $375

Is it cheaper to fly into Nelson or Dunedin?

Prices for flights to both Dunedin 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 $23 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $16 per person, per day in Dunedin. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nelson $23
    Dunedin $16

Tours and Activities in Nelson

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

  • Time Tripper Queenstown Virtual Journey Through Time Experience: $7.09
  • Te Papa Museum Ticket in Wellington: $11
  • Devonport Ferry Tickets in Auckland: $11
  • Putt and Glow Indoor Mini Golf Experience in Queenstown: $12
  • Hamilton Gardens Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Entry Ticket: $14
  • 3D Trick Art Gallery Entry Ticket: $16
  • Auckland Zoo Ticket: $16
  • SheepWorld Admission Ticket: $16
  • Puzzling World Ticket in Wanaka: $17
  • Rotorua Heritage Farm Tour: $17
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds Experience Pass in Bay of Islands: $18

Tours and Activities in Dunedin

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

  • Otago Peninsula's remote and craggy coastline driving audio tour: $5.00
  • Time Tripper Queenstown Virtual Journey Through Time Experience: $7.09
  • Dunedin's Renowned OCHO Chocolate Tasting Experience: $8.89
  • Te Papa Museum Ticket in Wellington: $11
  • Devonport Ferry Tickets in Auckland: $11
  • Putt and Glow Indoor Mini Golf Experience in Queenstown: $12
  • Hamilton Gardens Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Entry Ticket: $14
  • Self-Guided Street Art Adventure Game in Dunedin | The Tagger's Influence: $15
  • Self-Guided City Adventure Game in Dunedin | The Tailor's Secrets: $15
  • Self-Guided City Adventure Game in Dunedin | The Temporal Incident: $15
  • 3D Trick Art Gallery Entry Ticket: $16

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.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Dunedin may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nelson $12
    Dunedin $13

Sample the Local Flavors in Nelson

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Nelson:

  • Sip Marlborough Wine Tour: $69
  • Wine Tours from Queenstown: $71
  • Gibbston Valley Ride and Wine Tours: $88
  • Bubbly Grape Marlborough Wine Tours: $92
  • Half Day Wine Tour: $114
  • Afternoon Brewery Tour with Lunch in Queenstown: $117
  • Wine Tasting Sampler Tour from Queenstown: $119
  • Queenstown’s Original Wine Tour: $119
  • Taste Marlborough Wine Tour: $138
  • Queenstown E-Bikes Wine Tour: $147
  • Spa and Wine Tasting Experience in Queenstown: $293
  • Queenstown Private Helicopter and Wine Tour: $672

Sample the Local Flavors in Dunedin

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Dunedin:

  • Speight's Brewery Guided Tour with Tasting: $18
  • Speight Brewery Small Group Guided Tour from Dunedin: $19
  • Sip Marlborough Wine Tour: $69
  • Wine Tours from Queenstown: $71
  • Gibbston Valley Ride and Wine Tours: $88
  • Bubbly Grape Marlborough Wine Tours: $92
  • Afternoon Brewery Tour with Lunch in Queenstown: $117
  • Wine Tasting Sampler Tour from Queenstown: $119
  • Queenstown’s Original Wine Tour: $119
  • Taste Marlborough Wine Tour: $138
  • Queenstown E-Bikes Wine Tour: $147
  • Spa and Wine Tasting Experience in Queenstown: $293


When comparing the travel costs between Nelson and Dunedin, we can see that Dunedin 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. Dunedin Travel Comparison

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