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

Should you visit Nelson or Picton?

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

Picton

Picton, New Zealand is located in the picturesque Marlborough Region on the South Island. With beachfront access in a central location and near the Marlborough Sounds, Picton is an ideal place for anyone looking for both adventure and relaxation in one of the most naturally beautiful countries in the world.

The weather in Picton is fairly mild, ranging from the low fifties to high sixties, Fahrenheit, throughout the year. Their summer months are December through March, this is when you'll find temperatures in the high sixties. During the winter, June through August, Picton experiences averages of fifty degree Fahrenheit. This means you can visit any time of the year without having to worry about weather inhibiting any of your outdoor activities!

Which city is cheaper, Picton or Nelson?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Nelson is $89, while the average daily cost in Picton is $82. 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 Picton in more detail.



Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Nelson is $76. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $70 for a double occupancy room in Picton.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nelson $38
    Picton $35
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nelson $76
    Picton $70

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.

While meal prices in Picton can vary, the average travelers spends about $19 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Picton should cost around $7.60 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Picton is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Nelson $26
    Picton $19

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nelson $27
    Picton -

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nelson

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nelson:

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

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Picton

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Picton:

  • Private One Way Transfer Tour between Picton & Christchurch: $1,264

Is it cheaper to fly into Nelson or Picton?

Prices for flights to both Picton 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 $103 per person, per day in Picton. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nelson $22
    Picton $103

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 Picton

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

  • Picton Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Koru Native Wildlife Centre Tour: $16
  • Ecoworld New Zealand tour from Marlborough Sounds: $18
  • Queen Charlotte Track: Cruise & Self-Guided Hike from Picton: $63
  • Half-Day Cruise in Marlborough Sounds from Picton: $66
  • Marlborough Sounds Cruise & 3-Hour Scenic Walk: $67
  • Motuara Island Bird Sanctuary and Ship Cove Cruise from Picton: $69
  • 3 Hour Marlborough Sounds Delivery Cruise: $72
  • Half day Sea Kayak Guided Tour from Picton: $72
  • Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise from Picton: $76
  • Queen Charlotte Sound Mail Boat Cruise: $78
  • Early Bird Eco Cruise: $79

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.

The average person spends about $33 on alcoholic beverages in Picton per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Nelson $12
    Picton $33

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 Picton

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

  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Marlborough: $53
  • Half-Day Wine Tour from Picton: $80
  • Full-Day Wine Tour from Picton: $110
  • Picton Shore Excursion : Marlborough Wine Tour: $113
  • Picton Shore Excursion: Wings of Omaka and Marlborough Wine Tour: $129
  • Full-Day Marlborough Wine Tour from Picton or Blenheim: $144
  • Marlborough Sounds Icons: Wine Tour and Seafood Cruise: $156
  • Marlborough Wine Tour and Cruise from Picton or Blenheim: $163


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

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