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 $86, while the average daily cost in Dunedin is $93. 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 $74. 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 $47. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Dunedin the cost is $94 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nelson $37
    Dunedin $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nelson $74
    Dunedin $94

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 Dunedin travelers spend around $26 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
    Dunedin $26

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.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $25 per day to get around in Dunedin.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nelson $26
    Dunedin $25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nelson

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nelson:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Dunedin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Dunedin:

  • Arrival Transfer: Dunedin Airport to Central Dunedin City Centre Hotels: $17
  • Departure Transfer: Dunedin Central City Centre Hotels to Dunedin Airport: $17

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 $22 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 $22
    Dunedin $16

Tours and Activities in Nelson

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

  • Nelson City Walking Tour - Guided: $36
  • Self-Guided Nelson to Mapua Cycle Adventure: $75
  • Skywire Experience: $76
  • SKYWIRE Experience: $78
  • Tunnel to Town - Day Adventure Option B Nelson City: $100
  • Dragon Hunt Archery Experience in Pristine Native Forest: $115
  • Tunnel to Town - Day Adventure - Option A Via Mapua: $125
  • Abel Tasman and Golden Bay Tour: $149
  • Abel Tasman National Park: Day Trip with 1.5-Hour Cruise: $150
  • Fly Golden Bay & Cruise Abel Tasman Day Tour from Nelson: $341
  • Full-Day Abel Tasman National Park Hiking Tour with Cruise: $354

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
  • Dunedin's Renowned OCHO Chocolate Tasting Experience: $8.89
  • 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
  • Olveston Historic Home Guided Tour: $18
  • Skip the Line: Larnach Castle & Gardens Admission Ticket: $26
  • Glow Worm Tours Dunedin: $38
  • Forest walk, Natural Heritage - Join us on our URBAN ESCAPE tour: $46
  • A 2 hour Small Group Dunedin City Highlights Tour: $48
  • Private Zoom Tour of World's Steepest Street!: $50
  • Morning Historical Bicycle Tour of Dunedin: $50

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:

  • Half Day Wine Tour: $114

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


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.

Budget Your Trip

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Nelson vs. Dunedin Travel Comparison

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