A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Paihia vs. Auckland for Beaches, Families, Couples, and Attractions

Should you visit Paihia or Auckland?

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

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the activities as well as the prices of travel for Paihia and Auckland. We'll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget, schedule, and interests. So, let's dig into it.

Paihia

Paihia is a relaxing, fun-filled, and beautiful coastal town. Visitors also love the beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Auckland

Auckland is a adrenaline-filled, thrill-seeking, and cosmopolitan city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and hiking.

Paihia and Auckland: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Paihia or Auckland?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Auckland than Paihia, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Auckland is better known for its museums, nightlife, shopping, and big city activities, while Paihia is more popular for its scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and hiking. Paihia is more touristy than Auckland and is known for its warm year round climate, impressive beaches, and world class snorkeling and scuba diving. Auckland is well known for its waterfront setting, diverse beaches, and active and adrenaline-filled environment. Also, Auckland is famous for the Sky Tower.

How is Paihia different from Auckland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Auckland and Paihia. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Paihia or Auckland?

Paihia
Auckland

Auckland is a very popular place for its museums and history. Also, Paihia is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

Visitors can fill many days exploring the museums and attractions around Auckland. The waterfront is filled with sights for tourists, and many of the city's attractions are geared towards thrill seekers. The Sky Tower is a popular landmark with its Sky Walk and Sky Jump. There are also many thrilling experiences that you can have along the Harbour Bridge. For museums, head to the New Zealand Maritime Museum, the Auckland Art Gallery, or the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Paihia. There are some interesting cultural sights in the area like the Waitangi Treaty Grounds and the Museum of Waitangi.


Is the Food Better in Paihia or Auckland? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Paihia
Auckland

Both Paihia and Auckland offer a number of high quality restaurants to choose from.

Paihia has a huge number of terrific restaurants. Local seafood, regional produce, and fresh ingredients make dining in the area a rewarding experience. You'll find fine dining restaurants, pizzerias, and local cafes to choose from.

Dining out in Auckland is an experience not to be missed. The city has a diverse selection of restaurants, but you'll also find many places that highlight local ingredients such as seafood and lamb. You'll often find the standard dishes such as fish and chips, oysters, and green-lipped mussels on the menus.

Is Paihia or Auckland Better for Nightlife?

Paihia
Auckland

Auckland is a very popular place for nightlife and partying. Also, Paihia is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its evening party scene.

Auckland has a large number of nightlife venues. The city has a cosmopolitan atmosphere and there are many bars and clubs that you can explore in the evening. Some of the best nightlife options are found in the vibrant Britomart precinct and around the trendy Ponsonby Road. Other popular areas include Viaduct Harbour and Wynyard Quarter.

Paihia has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. As a holiday spot, there are a number of clubs and bars that cater to tourists in the area.

Is Paihia or Auckland Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Paihia
Auckland

Paihia is an excellent place to visit for its diving and snorkeling. However, Auckland is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

There is a nice variety of marine life that makes scuba diving and snorkeling great in Paihia. There are scuba diving and snorkel shops available around town where you can organize trips and excursions to experience the undersea world.

Auckland is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is Paihia or Auckland Better for Beaches?

Paihia
Auckland

Paihia is a must-visit destination for the beache. Also, Auckland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for the beach.

With world-famous beaches, Paihia is a very popular vacation destination. There are stunning beaches both in Paihia and throughout the Bay of Islands. Paihia Beach is in town. It's small but nice and makes a great picnic spot. For a more secluded spot head to Matauri Bay Beach or Takou Bay.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Auckland. You don't have to head too far from the city to find some impressive beaches that are diverse and beautiful. There are beaches that are secluded and private as well as more lively beaches with all of the amenities and activities that you might want.

Is Paihia or Auckland Better for Hiking?

Paihia
Auckland

Paihia is an excellent place to visit for its hiking trails. Also, Auckland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Paihia. The Bay of Islands is filled with coastal walks and peaceful hikes. This is a great way to soak up the area's atmosphere and take in some spectacular views.

Auckland has hiking trails worth exploring. Locals love to get outdoors, and you'll find many local hikes in the area. There are easy paths that are family-friendly and perfect for a stroll, as well as longer stretches that present more of a challenge.

Is the Shopping Better in Paihia or Auckland?

Paihia
Auckland

Auckland is a very popular place for its shopping opportunities. Also, Paihia is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its shopping areas.

Auckland is well-known for its shopping. The city centre is cosmopolitan and full of diverse shopping venues that sell international brands as well as local designers. Some of the most popular shopping areas are Britomart, High Street, and Queen Street.

Many visitors go to Paihia to go shopping. There are plenty of retail stores around town where you can pick up clothes or enjoy some souvenir shopping.


Is Paihia or Auckland Better for Families?

Paihia
Auckland

Paihia is a must-visit destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Auckland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Paihia is one of the most popular family destinations. Beaches, dolphin spotting, ice cream, and chocolate factories make the Bay of Islands the perfect place for a family vacation. There are amazing walking trails like the Manginangina Kauri Walk and opportunities to learn about the Maori culture. There are also adventure spots and great beaches.

Auckland is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. There's a big focus on getting kids outside in the city, so you'll find many outdoor parks and play spaces. Popular activities for families include visiting the Huia Lodge Discovery Centre, going to the Museum of Transport and Technology, and wandering through the botanical garden.

Is Paihia or Auckland Better for Couples?

Paihia
Auckland

Paihia is a must-visit destination for its romantic activities. Also, Auckland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for couples.

For those traveling as a couple, Paihia has plenty to offer. You can enjoy sunset boat cruises, sip wine with a waterfront view, or walk through pristine natural areas. For thrill seekers there are adrenaline filled activities like parasailing or scuba diving.

Couples visit Auckland frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. There are many romantic restaurants in the city, as well as spas, cocktail bars, and evening venues. Couples will also enjoy one of the many thrill-seeking activities that New Zealand is famous for.

Is Paihia or Auckland Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Paihia
Auckland

Paihia and Auckland are both high quality destinations for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Paihia. There are a handful of hostels around town as well as many great activities for backpackers like scuba diving or parasailing.

Auckland is a very popular coastal town for backpackers and budget travelers. Auckland is high on many backpackers' wish list, and usually they pass through the city at some point during their trip. You'll find a number of hostels in the city that are perfect for socializing and saving money.


Is Paihia or Auckland Better for Students?

Paihia
Auckland

Auckland is a very popular place for its student-friendly activities. However, Paihia is not popular with students.

Many students visit Auckland. Some of the country's best universities are found in the city, many of which are popular with international students.

Paihia is not popular with students.

Is Paihia or Auckland Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Paihia
Auckland

Visitors will find notable public transit in both Paihia and Auckland.

Paihia has some public transit options. There are ferries and some intercity buses through the Bay of Islands.

You'll find some public transit in Auckland, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There's a mishmash of different public transit options, and trips often include a variety of modes of transport. In the city you'll find ferries, trains, and buses to help you get around.

Is Paihia or Auckland a more walkable city?

Paihia
Auckland

Paihia is very good for its high level of walkability. However, Auckland is lacking in options for its ease of walking around.

Paihia is a somewhat walkable place. It's possible to explore parts of the town on foot.

Auckland is generally not very walkable. It is a very car-centric city and it can be challenging to explore on foot alone.


For even more information, also check out Is Paihia Worth Visiting? and Is Auckland Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Auckland or Paihia?

How long in Paihia or Auckland?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Paihia and Auckland. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Paihia than in Auckland. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Paihia, and 2-3 days is enough time in Auckland.

Families should spend more time in Paihia than Auckland. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Paihia, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Paihia than Auckland. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Paihia that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.


  • How many days in Paihia or Auckland? Ideal Length of Stay
    Paihia 3-5 
    Auckland 2-3

One day in Paihia or Auckland?

The coastal town of Paihia offers museums and nightlife. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Auckland is a bustling city that offers something for everyone. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

A weekend in Paihia or Auckland?

Paihia is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Auckland is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Paihia or Auckland?

Paihia is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Paihia, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Auckland. Most people come for the beaches. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A week in Paihia or Auckland?

Paihia is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This coastal town offers something for everyone.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the adrenaline-filled big city of Auckland. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in New Zealand, The Best Adventure Tours to New Zealand, The Best Eco Tours in New Zealand, and The Best Thrill-Seeking Tours in New Zealand.


Which place is cheaper, Auckland or Paihia?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Paihia is $82, while the average daily cost in Auckland is $144. 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 Paihia and Auckland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Paihia $35
    Auckland $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Paihia $70
    Auckland $182
Compare Hotels in Paihia and Auckland

Looking for a hotel in Paihia or Auckland? 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 Paihia


Hotels in Auckland


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: Paihia Hotel Prices and Auckland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Paihia $12
    Auckland $16

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Auckland

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Auckland:


  • Bus from Airport
    $9.85
  • Airport Shuttle
    $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Auckland

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

  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service Auckland APT-HTL (AKL): $58
  • Skip the Wait: Direct Auckland Airport Transfer to Your Hotel-SUV: $63
  • Private Transfers to and from Auckland Airport: $68
  • Private Transfer from Auckland city to Bay Of Islands Cruise Port: $116
  • Private Transfer from Auckland Port to Auckland Airport (AKL): $55
  • Private Transfer from Auckland City to Auckland Cruise Port: $40
  • Private Transfer from Auckland Airport (AKL) to Tauranga Port: $146
  • Private Transfer from Auckland Airport (AKL) to Auckland Port: $55
  • Private Transfer From Cruise Ships To Auckland Airport : $126
  • Private Transfer From Auckland Domestic Airport To Auckland City : $92
  • Private Transfer From Auckland City To Auckland Airport Oaks: $60
  • Private Transfer From Auckland City To Auckland Airport : $79

Is it cheaper to fly into Paihia or Auckland?

Prices for flights to both Auckland and Paihia 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
    Paihia $29
    Auckland $28

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Paihia

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

  • Private Modern Vegetarian Cooking Class with Anna in Northland: $195

Typical Food Prices in Auckland

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


  • Breakfast
    $4.92

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Auckland

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

  • Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner: $95
  • Auckland Harbour 3-Course Dinner Cruise with Welcome Drink: $98
  • Flavours of the City Walking Food Tour: $107

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Paihia $36
    Auckland $28

Tours and Activities in Paihia

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

  • Adrenalin Junkie Tour - 60 mins (min 2): $113
  • *Popular Cruise Ship Tour* Bay of Islands and Glow Worm Caves Shore Excursion: $133
  • 3 Hours // Hole in the Rock Cruise & Bay of Islands Tour: $79
  • 3 Hours // Hole in the Rock Cruise & Island Stopover: $79
  • Bay Combo Tour - 60 mins (min 2): $113
  • Bay of Islands 2-Hour Sundowner Evening Sailing Cruise: $49
  • Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Tour - Snorkel, Hike,Swim,Wildlife: $94
  • Bay of Islands Discover the Bay cruise including Dolphins: $95
  • Bay of Islands Half-Day Private Tour: $266
  • Bay of Islands and Hole in the Rock Scenic Helicopter Tour: $181
  • Bay of Islands: 4.5 Hour Day Cruise and Island Getaway Tour: $77
  • Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over: $92

Typical Entertainment Prices in Auckland

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Auckland's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Auckland Sky Tour (for 2)
    $34
  • Waiheke Island Tour (for 2)
    $124

Tours and Activities in Auckland

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

  • 4 Hour Auckland Premium All inclusive Tour For 4 People: $221
  • Hobbiton Lord Of Rings Movie Set tour Private Driver : $208
  • 11-Day North Island Revive Small Group Tour: $2,026
  • 3-Day - Hobbiton, Rotorua, Waiotapu, Taupo & Waitomo Tour: $1,075
  • 4 Hours Private Tour in Auckland : $252
  • 6 Hours Sightseeing Tour in Auckland: $133
  • Afternoon Piha Beach and Rainforest Tour from Auckland: $117
  • America’s Cup 2-Hour Sailing Experience Waitemata Harbour: $120
  • Auckland City & West Coast Luxury Tour: $212
  • Auckland City Highlights Full Day Tour: $189
  • Auckland City Highlights Half Day Tour: $107
  • Auckland City Small Group Morning Discovery Tour: $58

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Paihia $23
    Auckland $14

Sample the Local Flavors in Paihia

Also in Paihia, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Bay of Islands Wine Tour with Lunch: $110

Sample the Local Flavors in Auckland

Also in Auckland, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Waiheke Island: Scenic Wine Tour Tasting Wines on Waiheke: $95
  • Full-Day Wine Tasting Tour in Auckland with 3-Course Vineyard Lunch: $107
  • Muriwai Scenic Wine Tour from Auckland: $110
  • Waiheke Island: The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour: $135
  • Waiheke Island: Tour with Wine Tastings and Restaurant Lunch: $154
  • From Waiheke Island Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch: $157
  • Waiheke Island Gourmet Food and Wine Tour with Platter Lunch: $169
  • Kumeu Wine Tour: $174
  • From Small Group Kumeu Wine Tour with Lunch: $175
  • Small-Group Kumeu Wine Country Tour Includes Wine Tastings & Lunch: $180
  • Auckland City Tour & Kumeu Wine Country Includes Wine Tastings & Lunch : $230


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Paihia and Auckland, we can see that Auckland is more expensive. And not only is Paihia much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Paihia would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Paihia 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 Auckland would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Auckland than you might in Paihia.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Paihia Expensive? and Is Auckland Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Paihia or Auckland?

Auckland has a larger population, and is about 210 times larger than the population of Paihia. When comparing the sizes of Paihia and Auckland, 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 along with the activities and attractions that interest you.