A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Paihia vs. Christchurch for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Paihia or Christchurch?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Paihia and Christchurch. 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. So, let's dig into it.

Paihia

Paihia is a town on the North Island of New Zealand in the Bay of Islands region. It is about a three hours north of Auckland by car. For those visiting the Bay of Islands, it is the main town in the area and is located near the town of Russell and Kerikeri. There is a wharf in town where most ships depart from if you are planning on going out to explore the Bay of Islands. Paihia is a very small town with a population of about 1800 people. There is a fair climate all year round with temperatures ranging from sixty to seventy degrees Fahrenheit.

Christchurch

Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand, right beside the Canterbury Plains. Most people begin their South Island travels here. The city itself can be fascinating to explore so it is worth allowing yourself several days in town as an introduction to the region.

The River Avon flows through the city center, twisting through the old buildings. Christchurch is referred to in New Zealand as the Garden City and it is easy to see why. It's quite a nice city with trees spread throughout. The economy is centered around international tourism as well as foreign education. There is a high Asian student population here, giving the city a diverse feel.

Christchurch's climate is temperate and the city receives moderate rainfall. In January average high temperatures are around 73 degrees Fahrenheit with averages around 52 degrees Fahrenheit in July. There is a sea breeze during the summer months that keep temperatures pleasant. Temperatures can drop below freezing at night during the winter months. Snow may also fall several times a year.

Which city is cheaper, Christchurch or Paihia?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Paihia is $71, while the average daily cost in Christchurch is $90. 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 Paihia and Christchurch in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Paihia, $64 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Paihia, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $32, such as in a hostel.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $46. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Christchurch the cost is $92 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Paihia $32
    Christchurch $46
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Paihia $64
    Christchurch $92

Food

Paihia food costs typically run travelers around $25 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 in Christchurch costs travelers about $29 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Paihia $25
    Christchurch $29

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Paihia

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

  • Bay of Islands 3-Hours Sailing & Gourmet Dinner Burger Buffet: $74
  • 3 Hour Bay of Islands Sailing Cruise with Gourmet Dinner: $89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Christchurch

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

  • Tramway Restaurant 4 Course Dinner Service through Christchurch: $92
  • Willowbank Kiwi Tour and Maori Concert Including Hangi Dinner from Christchurch: $174

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Paihia than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $11 on transportation in Paihia on average per day.

The average price of local transportation around Christchurch is $14 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Paihia $11
    Christchurch $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Christchurch

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Christchurch:

  • VIP Sedan Christchurch Airport Transfer to or from Central Christchurch: $80
  • VIP Range Rover Christchurch Airport Transfer to or from Central Christchurch: $108
  • Transfer from Christchurch Central City to Christchurch Airport: $21
  • Private Transfer: Christchurch to Mount Cook: $790
  • Private Transfer - Airport to Central Christchurch: $44
  • Private Minibus Airport Transfer - Pickup Hotel / Residence to Airport (11 Pax): $120
  • Private Minibus Airport Transfer - Pickup Airport to Hotel / Residence (11 Pax): $120
  • Private Departure Transfer: Central Christchurch to Christchurch Airport: $59
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Christchurch Airport to Central Christchurch: $59
  • Private Airport Round-Trip Transfer:Christchurch Airport to Central Christchurch: $74
  • Private & Exclusive One-Way Transfer Christchurch to Queenstown: $1,264
  • Executive Sedan Airport Transfer(Pickup Airport to Hotel/Residence) Christchurch: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Paihia or Christchurch?

Prices for flights to both Christchurch 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Paihia, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $32 per day, per person.

Christchurch's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $16 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Paihia $32
    Christchurch $16

Tours and Activities in Paihia

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

  • Skip the Line: Waitangi Treaty Grounds Experience Pass: $37
  • Sundowner Evening Cruise: $46
  • Bay of Islands: Late Afternoon Sailing Cruise: $49
  • Bay of Islands Waterfall Cruise Kayak or Paddle board: $50
  • Parasailing Adventure Over the Bay of Islands: $78
  • Bay of Islands Cruise & Island Tour - Snorkel, Hike, Swim, Paddleboard, Wildlife: $84
  • Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over: $86
  • Dolphin Cruise to the Hole in the Rock with Island Stopover - Afternoon Cruise: $89
  • Dolphin Cruise to the Hole in the Rock with Island Stopover - Morning Cruise: $89
  • V8 Trike Tours - Bay of Islands 30 minute Scenic Tour (x 2 Passengers): $91
  • V8 Trike Tours 30 minute Bay of Islands Thriller Tour - 2 Passengers: $91
  • Waipoua Forest: Giants and Glow Worms Full Day Tour: $100

Tours and Activities in Christchurch

Here are a few actual costs in Christchurch for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • 1 day private tour from Christchurch to Queenstown via Mt.Cook: $322
  • 1-Day Guided Walking Tour and Picnic on Banks Peninsula: $138
  • 10 Day Adrenalin Tour. Skydiving, Bungy, Rafting, Climbing, Heli MTB & more.: $4,219
  • 10 Day Adventure Tour. Hiking, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Jet Boating & more.: $4,219
  • 2 days tour from Christchurch to Queenstown: $595
  • 2 hour Christchurch City Tour with scenic Chairlift ride: $99
  • 3 Day Christchurch and Akaroa Exclusive Private Tour: $2,026
  • 3 hour Christchurch City Tour with Ziplining at Christchurch Adventure Park: $237
  • 3-Day Christchurch City Break Tour For Locals: $337
  • 3-Day Christchurch and Akaroa Arrival Tour with Harbor Cruise: $668
  • 3-Day South Island Circle Tour from Christchurch: $1,158
  • 4 Day Kaikoura and Pancake Rocks Private Tour: $3,317

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Paihia spend on average $21 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Christchurch may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Paihia $21
    Christchurch $11

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 Craft Beer & Wine Tour: $93
  • Private Wine Tour in a Mustang or 4x4: $148
  • Private Shore Excursion: Bay of Islands Tour with Wine Tasting: $236
  • Private Tour: Bay of Islands Tour with Wine Tasting: $236

Sample the Local Flavors in Christchurch

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

  • A Waipara Wine Experience with Giles Tours, includes wine tastings and lunch: $95
  • All-Inclusive Waipara Region Wine Tour from Christchurch: $100
  • Akaroa Eco-Safari with Alpaca Farm Tour and Wine Tasting: $103
  • Full-day Akaroa Tour with Penguins Safari and Wine Tasting: $114
  • Lyttelton Shore Excursion - Waipara Wine Tour With Lunch: $115
  • Full-day Akaroa Tour with Dolphin Cruise & Wine Tasting: $133
  • Private Waipara Valley Wine Tasting Tour with optional Gourmet Lunch: $190
  • Hanmer Springs Private Day Tour Including Hot Pool & Wine Tasting: $356


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Paihia and Christchurch, we can see that Christchurch 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 Christchurch would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Christchurch than you might in Paihia.

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Paihia vs. Christchurch Travel Comparison

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