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

Should you visit Nelson or Lake Tekapo?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Nelson and Lake Tekapo can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Where Should I go: Nelson or Lake Tekapo?

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.

Lake Tekapo

Tekapo is a lakeside town on the South Island of New Zealand, and it is part of the Mackenzie District of Canterbury. This is one of the bluest lakes in the country and is surrounded by the mighty mountains of the Southern Alps.

Which city is cheaper, Lake Tekapo or Nelson?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nelson is $75, while the average daily cost in Lake Tekapo is $60. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Nelson and Lake Tekapo in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nelson $32
    Lake Tekapo $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nelson $64
    Lake Tekapo $94
Compare Hotels in Nelson and Lake Tekapo

Looking for a hotel in Nelson 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 Nelson


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: Nelson Hotel Prices and Lake Tekapo Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nelson $23
    Lake Tekapo -

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Nelson or Lake Tekapo?

Prices for flights to both Lake Tekapo 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Nelson $22
    Lake Tekapo $10

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nelson $19
    Lake Tekapo -

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
  • Nelson to Mapua: Full-Day Cycling Self-Guided Adventure: $67
  • Skywire Experience: $72
  • Self-Guided Nelson to Mapua Cycle Adventure: $75
  • 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
  • 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 Lake Tekapo

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

  • Dark Sky Experience: $33
  • Crater Experience at Cowan's Observatory: $96
  • Summit Experience - University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory: $133

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nelson $10
    Lake Tekapo -

Sample the Local Flavors in Nelson

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Nelson:

  • Half Day Wine Tour: $114


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Nelson vs. Lake Tekapo Travel Comparison

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