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

Should you visit Nelson or Napier?

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

Napier

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 city 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 $90, while the average daily cost in Napier is $160. 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 Napier 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.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $194 in Napier For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nelson $39
    Napier $97
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nelson $78
    Napier $194

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.

Napier food costs typically run travelers around $35 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Nelson $26
    Napier $35

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

Typical Food prices in Napier

For Napier, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Casural Lunch
    $9.96

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Napier

For Napier, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • 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.

To get around in Napier, the average visitor spends $29 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nelson $27
    Napier $29

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nelson

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nelson:

  • SkyBus Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer Ticket: $11
  • Shared and Private Wellington Airport (WLG) Transfers for Wellington CBD: $11
  • Shared and Private Rotorua Airport (ROT) Transfers for Rotorua CBD: $16
  • Shared and Private Nelson Airport (NSN) Transfers for Nelson CBD: $7.09
  • Shared and Private Dunedin Airport (DUD) Transfers for Dunedin CBD: $14
  • Shared and Private Christchurch Airport (CHC) Transfers for Christchurch CBD: $13
  • Shared and Private Auckland Airport (AKL) Transfers to/from Auckland CBD: $18
  • Shared Queenstown Airport (ZQN) Transfers for Queenstown CBD: $11
  • Private Transfers to Cardrona Ski Field or Treble Cone Ski Field: $629
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to The Remarkables: $431
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to Coronet Peak: $389
  • Private Luxury Transfers to The Remarkables: $445

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Napier

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

  • 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
  • Shared and Private Auckland Airport (AKL) Transfers to/from Auckland CBD: $18
  • Arrival Transfer: Hawkes Bay Airport to Central Napier City Centre: $21
  • Departure Transfer: Napier and Hastings City Centre to Hawkes Bay Airport: $21
  • 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 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.





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.

In Napier, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $26 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nelson $23
    Napier $26

Tours and Activities in Nelson

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

  • 4WD-U Drive Experience: $232
  • Hobbiton Movie Set Day Tour from Auckland: $140
  • Hobbiton and Waitomo Caves Tour from Auckland: $211
  • Kaituna Whitewater Rafting Experience : $84
  • Kaituna Whitewater Sledging Experience: $91
  • Milford Sound Vista Day Tour from Queenstown or Te Anau: $127
  • Mt Tarawera Volcanic Crater Hiking Experience: $131
  • Putt and Glow Indoor Mini Golf Experience in Queenstown: $12
  • Queenstown Scenic Cruise - Spirit of Queenstown: $28
  • Queenstown Tiki Tour: $70
  • Rotorua Day Tour from Auckland: $188
  • Ultimate Queenstown Highlights Tour: $77

Tours and Activities in Napier

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

  • 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
  • Napier Earthquake Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Napier Art Deco Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Napier Prison Self-Guided Audio Tour: $13
  • Hamilton Gardens Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Entry Ticket: $14
  • Auckland Zoo Ticket: $16
  • 3D Trick Art Gallery Entry Ticket: $16
  • SheepWorld Admission 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.

Typically, people visiting Napier spend on average $16 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nelson $12
    Napier $16

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

Typical Alcohol prices in Napier

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Napier are as follows:


  • Wine
    $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Napier

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Napier:

  • Sip Marlborough Wine Tour: $69
  • Wine Tours from Queenstown: $71
  • Hawke's Bay Wine Tour Including Pick Up From Napier or Hastings: $78
  • Wine Tour - 3 wineries in an afternoon: $81
  • Half Day Small-Group Hawkes Bay Wine Tour: $84
  • Gibbston Valley Ride and Wine Tours: $88
  • Bubbly Grape Marlborough Wine Tours: $92
  • Full Day Small-Group Hawke's Bay Wine Tour: $95
  • Napier Afternoon Wine Tour + Optional Beer Tasting: $100
  • Afternoon Brewery Tour with Lunch in Queenstown: $117
  • Wine Tasting Sampler Tour from Queenstown: $119
  • Queenstown’s Original Wine Tour: $119


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.

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Nelson vs. Napier Travel Comparison

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