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

Should you visit Nelson or Napier?

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 Napier 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 Napier?


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.


Napier is city on the eastern coast of the North Island of New Zealand. It is part of the Hawke's Bay Region, a famous area for wine vineyards. Napier has a population of 61,000 people and is known for its Art Deco architecture and of course, wine.

Which place is cheaper, Napier or Nelson?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nelson is $94, while the average daily cost in Napier is $166. 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 Nelson and Napier in more detail.

  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nelson $40
    Napier $100
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nelson $80
    Napier $200
Compare Hotels in Nelson and Napier

Looking for a hotel in Nelson or Napier? 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 Napier

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 Napier Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nelson $28
    Napier $30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Napier

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

  • Arrival Transfer: Hawkes Bay Airport to Central Napier City Centre: $18
  • Customised Private One Day Tour or Transfer (up to 8 hours): $1,095

Is it cheaper to fly into Nelson or Napier?

Prices for flights to both Napier 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 Meals for one day
    Nelson $27
    Napier $36

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.
    Nelson $23
    Napier $27

Tours and Activities in Nelson

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

  • Cable Bay Adventure Park: E-bike hire: $57
  • Cruise, Walk, and Sail in Abel Tasman National Park: $113
  • Dragon Hunt Archery Experience in Pristine Native Forest: $107
  • Full-Day Abel Tasman National Park Hiking Tour with Cruise: $292
  • Full-Day Sailing Adventure in the Abel Tasman National Park: $150
  • Great Taste Beer Tour by Bicycle: $67
  • Heli-Cruise Abel Tasman - The Best of Both Worlds : $4,774
  • Heli-Scenic Abel Tasman Experience: $882
  • Heli-Scenic Nelson Mountain Adventure: $1,141
  • Nelson City Walking Tour - Guided: $29
  • Nelson to Mapua: Full-Day Cycling Self-Guided Adventure: $71
  • Abel Tasman Cruise-Fly Day Tour: $359

Tours and Activities in Napier

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

  • Hastings Earthquake Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Napier Art Deco Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Napier Earthquake Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Hawkes Bay Wineries Self-Guided Bike Tour: $36
  • Cape Coast Wineries Self-Guided Scenic Bike Tour from Napier: $46
  • 2.5-Hour Napier Art Deco Tour: $53
  • Small Group 2.5-Hour Napier History and Art Deco Tour : $53
  • Hawkes Bay Wineries Electric Self-Guided Bike Tour: $59
  • Napier Shore Excursion: City Sights and Hawke's Bay Tour: $70
  • Shore Excursion: 4-Hour Discover Hawkes Bay and Napier Tour: $70
  • Shore Excursion: 4 Hour Premium Hawkes Bay and Napier Tour: $70
  • Cape Winery Cycle Tour - 6 wineries, self-guided: $70

  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nelson $13
    Napier $16

Sample the Local Flavors in Nelson

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Nelson:

  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Nelson: $61
  • Self-guided E-bike cycle tour with private wine tasting : $97
  • Kiwi Spirit Distillery Golden Bay - Visit New Zealand's only Tequila Farm!: $2,282

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: $91
  • Half Day Small-Group Hawkes Bay Wine Tour: $94
  • Wine Tour and Tastings in Hawkes Bay: $161
  • Private Sightseeing Tour + wine tasting (4 hrs): $502
  • Napier City Art Deco & Private Wine Tour - 5hrs - up to 5 people: $761
  • Private Prestigious Wine Tour in Napier: $1,092

When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Nelson and Napier, we can see that Napier is more expensive. And not only is Nelson much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Nelson would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Nelson 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 Nelson.

Which is Bigger, Nelson or Napier?

Nelson is bigger, and its population is about 4% larger than the population of Napier. When comparing the population of Nelson vs. Napier, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit and the activities that interest you.

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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Nelson vs. Napier Travel Comparison

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