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

Should you visit Paihia or Tauranga?

Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Paihia and Tauranga. 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.

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 Paihia?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Paihia is $65, while the average daily cost in Tauranga 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 Tauranga in more detail.



Accommodation

For a normal double-occupancy room in Paihia, $60 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Paihia, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $30, such as in a hostel.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $65. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Tauranga the cost is $130 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Paihia $30
    Tauranga $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Paihia $60
    Tauranga $130

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 $10 on transportation in Paihia on average per day.

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $5.90 per day to get around in Tauranga.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Paihia $10
    Tauranga $5.90

Is it cheaper to fly into Paihia or Tauranga?

Prices for flights to both Tauranga 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

Paihia food costs typically run travelers around $23 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.

The average traveler spends about $19 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
    Paihia $23
    Tauranga $19

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

Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Paihia, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $30 per day, per person.

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $9.00 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.
    Paihia $30
    Tauranga $9.00

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: $46
  • 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
  • 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 30 minute Bay of Islands Thriller Tour - 2 Passengers: $91
  • V8 Trike Tours - Bay of Islands 30 minute Scenic Tour (x 2 Passengers): $91
  • Bay of Islands: Bay Discovery Cruise with Island Stop-Over: $92
  • Waipoua Forest: Giants and Glow Worms Full Day Tour: $100

Tours and Activities in Tauranga

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

  • 3hr Tauranga Sun-downer History Tour COMPLIMENTARY Wine or Beer: $43
  • 4hr Shore Excursion - History and Tasting Tour FREE Kiwifruit Ice Cream: $61
  • 6hr Hobbiton Movie Set Tour: $133
  • Best of Rotorua Tour: $118
  • Craft Beer Tour from Tauranga: $122
  • Deluxe small group Cruise Day Tour, Rotorua, Tauranga & Mt Maunganui highlights: $83
  • Evening Glow Worm Kayak Tour in Tauranga: $100
  • Exclusive Rotorua Cultural and Geothermal Experience from Tauranga: $729
  • From Half Day Swimming with Dolphins Tour: $102
  • Geo Thermal Rotorua Tours: $128
  • Half-Day Tauranga Guided Tour by Minivan with port Pickup: $104
  • Harley Tour of the Mount 20mins: $30

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Paihia spend on average $19 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $8.90 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
    Paihia $19
    Tauranga $8.90

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


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

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Paihia vs. Tauranga Travel Comparison

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