A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Queenstown vs. Cromwell for Skiing, Food, Hiking, and Couples

Should you visit Queenstown or Cromwell?

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 Queenstown and Cromwell. 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.

Queenstown

Queenstown is a outdoorsy, nature-oriented, and spirited city. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the skiing, nightlife, and food.

Cromwell

Cromwell is a historical, cultural, and outdoorsy town. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. It's also known for skiing, nightlife, and food.

Queenstown and Cromwell: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Popular for food and cuisine
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for skiing
  • Less popular for food
  • Less popular with backpackers


Is there more to do in Queenstown or Cromwell?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Queenstown. Although Queenstown and Cromwell are popular destinations, Queenstown has more sights and attractions for tourists. Queenstown is very popular for its skiing, food, nightlife, hiking, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Cromwell attracts visitors for its museums and small town charm. Queenstown is more touristy than Cromwell and is popular for its world class skiing, adrenaline-filled adventure sports, and stunning mountain scenery. It is also well known for Kawarau Bridge. Cromwell is famous for its fruit farms, orchards, and vineyards.

How is Queenstown different from Cromwell?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Queenstown or Cromwell Better for Skiing?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Queenstown is very popular for skiing. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for snow skiing.

Visitors will find world class skiing in Queenstown. There are four ski areas that are near the city, and many consider these among the best ski fields in New Zealand. The ski season runs from June until October and the skiing is world class.

Head to Cromwell for some great skiing and other winter activities. The town isn't far from several ski fields, so it attracts winter sports enthusiasts when the weather gets cold.


Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Queenstown or Cromwell?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Cromwell is a good destination for its sights and museums. However, Queenstown is not a good city for its museums and history.

Cromwell is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. There are some interesting historical activities around town like Goldfields Mining Centre.

While most people don't head to Queenstown specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. People head to this city for its amazing outdoor activities, but you won't find much if you're looking for museums. You can check out the Lakes District Museum though.

Is the Food Better in Queenstown or Cromwell? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Queenstown is very popular for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Many restaurants in Queenstown have been singled out for their culinary prowess. Located in the heart of the Otago wine region, this city has many award-winning restaurants. Local dishes, vegan cafes, and international flavors all make for a cosmopolitan and world class dining scene.

There are many up and coming restaurants in the Cromwell area. There are charming cafes and bakeries where you can grab a light meal or snack. There are also quaint restaurants and wineries with nice meals available.

Is Queenstown or Cromwell Better for Nightlife?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Queenstown is a great city for nightlife and partying. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its evening party scene.

The nightlife in Queenstown has something for everybody. This cosmopolitan town has some of the best nightlife in the country. There are laid back pubs, trendy cocktail bars, and live music venues that make for a fun night out.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Cromwell. There are a few breweries and a number of wineries around town where you can have a relaxing night out.


Is Queenstown or Cromwell Better for Hiking?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Queenstown is very popular for hiking. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for the nearby hiking options.

Around Queenstown visitors will find world-class hiking trails. The city is ideally located near some of the country's best hiking. There are walks through beech forests, along rugged mountains, and to stunning views. Several of the Great Walks are in the area as well, but if you're looking for something a little simpler, then there are many options also.

Cromwell is a popular spot for hiking. There are many beautiful walks in the area that take you through diverse landscapes and to impressive views.

Is the Shopping Better in Queenstown or Cromwell?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Queenstown is a great city for its shopping opportunities. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its shopping areas.

Queenstown is well-known for its shopping. It's a bustling city with designer brands and boutique shopping. There are also souvenir shops and retail outlets.

Many visitors go to Cromwell to go shopping. There's a farmers market in town as well as several local vendors and cute shops.

Is Queenstown or Cromwell Better for Families?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Both Queenstown and Cromwell are very good family-friendly destinations.

Queenstown is a very family-friendly place to visit. Kids will enjoy the Queenstown cable car and the Skyline Gondola. After a ride on the gondola, you can even take the luge back down! The city also offers lake cruises, family-friendly farm tours, boat tours, and kayaking.

Because of its large number of kid-friendly activities, Cromwell is very family-friendly. The lakefront setting means that there are water activities during the warmer months. There are also ski fields nearby for the winter months. Biking and walking are also popular in the area.


Is Queenstown or Cromwell Better for Couples?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Queenstown is very popular for its romantic activities. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for couples.

Queenstown is a great city for couples, as it has plenty to offer. The city is known for its adrenaline-filled adventure activities and couples who enjoy a thrill will appreciate the fun. There are also hot springs, boat cruises, and wine tours in the area. One of the most romantic activities is dinner at the Skyline.

Cromwell is a very popular place to visit for couples. Cycling, walking, kayaking, and skiing all make this a romantic a charming town to visit as a couple. There are also wineries in the area with beautiful vineyards.

Is Queenstown or Cromwell Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Queenstown is very popular for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for backpackers.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Queenstown is extremely popular for backpackers. With its thrill-seeking activities and nearby skiing, this is a great backpacker destination year round.

Plenty of backpackers visit Cromwell. There are a handful of great hostels in the area and plenty of things to keep backpackers entertained.

Is Queenstown or Cromwell Better for Students?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Queenstown is a great city for its student-friendly activities. However, Cromwell is not popular with students.

Students come from all over to stay in Queenstown. There are excellent universities in the area as well as fun activities and a lively energy that students enjoy.

Cromwell is not popular with students.


Is Queenstown or Cromwell Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Queenstown is a city with good options for times when you don't have a car. However, Cromwell is not known for its public transit.

While Queenstown offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's a decent bus system that travels around town.

Public transit is generally limited in Cromwell. Public transit around town is limited to a couple of buses.

Is Queenstown or Cromwell a more walkable city?

Queenstown
Cromwell

Queenstown is a great city for its high level of walkability. Also, Cromwell is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its ease of walking around.

Queenstown is a very walkable city. In town, many of the sights and activities can be reached on foot.

Cromwell is a somewhat walkable city. Parts of the town are walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Queenstown Worth Visiting? and Is Cromwell Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Cromwell or Queenstown?

How long in Queenstown or Cromwell?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Queenstown or Cromwell to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Queenstown than Cromwell because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-7 days is a good amount of time for Queenstown, and 1-2 days is enough time in Cromwell.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Queenstown than Cromwell if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Queenstown.


  • How many days in Queenstown or Cromwell? Ideal Length of Stay
    Queenstown 2-7 
    Cromwell 1-2

One day in Queenstown or Cromwell?

The beautiful city of Queenstown offers nightlife and food. 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.

With nightlife and food around the historical town of Cromwell, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Cromwell, one day is sufficent for most.


A weekend in Queenstown or Cromwell?

Queenstown is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Queenstown, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

With food and shopping around the destination of Cromwell, there's plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this town.

Five days in Queenstown or Cromwell?

Queenstown is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Queenstown, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Cromwell, a popular town, is full of activities for travelers. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

A week in Queenstown or Cromwell?

Queenstown is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Queenstown has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.

Cromwell is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


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


Which place is cheaper, Cromwell or Queenstown?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Queenstown is $104, while the average daily cost in Cromwell is $81. 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 Queenstown and Cromwell in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Queenstown $55
    Cromwell $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Queenstown $110
    Cromwell $78
Compare Hotels in Queenstown and Cromwell

Looking for a hotel in Queenstown or Cromwell? 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 Queenstown


Hotels in Cromwell


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: Queenstown Hotel Prices and Cromwell Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Queenstown $10
    Cromwell $25

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Queenstown

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Queenstown:

  • Tasman Glacier Helihike with Flight Transfers: $891
  • Milford Sound Cruise with Helicopter Transfer: $737
  • Private Transfer from Queenstown Central to Wanaka: $181
  • Private Transfer from Wanaka to Queenstown Airport: $181
  • Private Transfer from Wanaka to Queenstown Central: $181
  • Private Transfer from Queenstown to Milford Sound Cruise Port: $166
  • From Mount Cook Transfer w/ Guided Landmark Tour: $104
  • Queenstown Airport: One-Way Private Transfer to Queenstown: $68

Is it cheaper to fly into Queenstown or Cromwell?

Prices for flights to both Cromwell and Queenstown 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
    Queenstown $36
    Cromwell $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Queenstown

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

  • Bar Crawl with 5 Free Shots and Pizza: $18
  • Dinner at Walter Peak High Country Farm and Cruise from Queenstown: $116

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Queenstown $21
    Cromwell $16
Typical Entertainment Prices in Queenstown

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Queenstown are as follows:


  • Skyline Gondola (for 2)
    $30

Tours and Activities in Queenstown

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

  • 5-Hour Wine and Food Sampler Tour from Queenstown: $138
  • Arrowtown and Wanaka Highlights Tour from Queenstown: $128
  • Boutique Winery Half-Day Tour & Vineyard Platter-Style Lunch: $142
  • Cruise Milford Small Group Day Tour from Queenstown : $168
  • Dart River Canoe and Jet Boat Experience from Queenstown: $269
  • Dart River Jet Boat and Wilderness Experience: $188
  • Dirt Bike Tour - Queenstown : $238
  • Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Queenstown: $263
  • E-Bike Adventures Through the Wineries in Gibbston: $101
  • E-Bike Rental for Lake Dunstan Trail Experience : $113
  • Escape Adventure AR Experience in Queenstown: $24
  • Family Adventures Rafting and Sightseeing Trip in Queenstown: $140

Tours and Activities in Cromwell

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Cromwell.

  • Queenstown: Mount Cook Premium Guided Day Tour: $148
  • Ultimate Lake Dunstan Trail Experience Bike & Boat Return: $172

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Queenstown $8.90
    Cromwell $9.14

Sample the Local Flavors in Queenstown

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Queenstown:

  • Ice Bar Crawl: $24
  • Queenstown & Gibbston Valley: Hop-On Hop-Off Wine Tours: $53
  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Bannockburn - departing Queenstown: $61
  • Afternoon brewery tour with lunch: $110
  • Afternoon Wine Tasting Tour with 3 Wineries: $110
  • Classic Wine Tour: $118
  • Queenstown Classic Wine Tour: 3 Vineyards, Caves and Cheeseboard: $122
  • Wine Tasting Tour: $130
  • Afternoon Boutique Wine Tour: $134
  • Central Otago Wine Tour from Queenstown Including Lunch: $146
  • Wine Tour & Maori Culture Queenstown: $153
  • Gourmet Food and Wine Tour with Lunch and Wine Tastings: $172

Sample the Local Flavors in Cromwell

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

  • Wines and Views: Private Wine Tour of Otago from Queenstow: $1,483


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

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