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

Should you visit Nelson or Tauranga?

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

Tauranga

Tauranga is a city on the North Island of New Zealand. It is situated on the western side of the Bay of Plenty, which is on the east coast of the island. Its population of 130,000 makes it the fifth largest city in the country. Tauranga is a Maori word translated roughly to 'a sheltered anchorage'. This makes sense as the town is located near a very large harbor and protected by Matakana Island. Mount Maunganui is at the headland of the town and regarded as a suburb of Tauranga. The beach at Mt Maunganui is a surfing hot spot. The climate is mostly warm and dry because of the town's sheltered position.

Which city is cheaper, Tauranga 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 Tauranga is $99. 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 Tauranga 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.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $71. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Tauranga the cost is $142 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Nelson $39
    Tauranga $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Nelson $78
    Tauranga $142

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.

The average traveler spends about $21 per day in Tauranga for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Nelson $26
    Tauranga $21

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Tauranga

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Tauranga.

  • 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.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.49 per day to get around in Tauranga.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Nelson $27
    Tauranga $6.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nelson

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nelson:

  • 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
  • SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium Entry Ticket and Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer: $40
  • Departure Transfer: Nelson City Centre Hotels to Nelson Airport: $43
  • Arrival Transfer: Nelson Airport to Nelson City Centre Hotels: $43
  • Private Luxury Transfers to Coronet Peak: $375

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tauranga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tauranga:

  • 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
  • SEA LIFE Kelly Tarlton's Aquarium Entry Ticket and Auckland Airport (AKL) Express Transfer: $40
  • Private Luxury Transfers to Coronet Peak: $375
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to Coronet Peak: $389
  • Private Return Transfers from Queenstown to The Remarkables: $431

Is it cheaper to fly into Nelson or Tauranga?

Prices for flights to both Tauranga 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.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $9.90 per person, per day in Tauranga. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Nelson $23
    Tauranga $9.90

Tours and Activities in Nelson

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

  • 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
  • Hamilton Gardens Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Entry Ticket: $14
  • 3D Trick Art Gallery Entry Ticket: $16
  • Auckland Zoo Ticket: $16
  • SheepWorld Admission Ticket: $16
  • Puzzling World Ticket in Wanaka: $17
  • Rotorua Heritage Farm Tour: $17
  • Waitangi Treaty Grounds Experience Pass in Bay of Islands: $18

Tours and Activities in Tauranga

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

  • 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
  • Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Mount Maunganui Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Tauranga Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Mount Maunganui: Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Waikite Valley Thermal Pools Entry Ticket: $14
  • Hamilton Gardens Guided Walking Tour: $14
  • Auckland Zoo Ticket: $16
  • 3D Trick Art Gallery Entry 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.

The average person spends about $9.80 on alcoholic beverages in Tauranga 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
    Tauranga $9.80

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

Sample the Local Flavors in Tauranga

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

  • Sip Marlborough Wine Tour: $69
  • Wine Tours from Queenstown: $71
  • Gibbston Valley Ride and Wine Tours: $88
  • Bubbly Grape Marlborough Wine Tours: $92
  • 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


When comparing the travel costs between Nelson and Tauranga, we can see that Tauranga 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.

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Nelson vs. Tauranga Travel Comparison

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