A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Taupo vs. Aoraki Mount Cook for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Taupo or Aoraki Mount Cook?

Should I visit Taupo or Aoraki Mount Cook? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Taupo

Taupo is a town located in the center of the North Island, situated on the shores of Lake Taupo, which is New Zealand's largest lake. It is also the caldera of the Taupo Volcano. It has a population of 23,700 people and is visited by many people interested in fishing, boating, and other water activities. There are many hiking and biking trails that take you around the water as well.

Aoraki Mount Cook

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is located on the South Island of New Zealand. It was declared a national park in 1953 to protect and preserve the landscape. The park is home to the country's highest peak, Aoraki/Mount Cook. In Maori, Aoraki means, "cloud piercer", and the English name, Mt Cook, refers to the navigator James Cook, who discovered New Zealand in the 18th century. Mt Cook was the training location for Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first person to summit Everest in 1953. Other peaks in the park include Mount Tasman, Mount Sefton, and Mount Hicks. Not only can you find lush greenery all over the park, but also, glaciers cover 40% of the parks area.

Which city is cheaper, Aoraki Mount Cook or Taupo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Taupo is $107, while the average daily cost in Aoraki Mount Cook is $101. 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 Taupo and Aoraki Mount Cook in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $60. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Taupo the cost is $120 on average.

For a normal double-occupancy room in Aoraki Mount Cook, $114 is the average cost for a hotel room. Also in Aoraki Mount Cook, the typical price for a place to stay for one person is $57, such as in a hostel.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Taupo $60
    Aoraki Mount Cook $57
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Taupo $120
    Aoraki Mount Cook $114

Food

Taupo food costs typically run travelers around $22 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.

In Aoraki Mount Cook travelers spend around $25 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Taupo $22
    Aoraki Mount Cook $25

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Taupo is $24 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.

Aoraki Mount Cook's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $26 per person, per day on transportation in Aoraki Mount Cook.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Taupo $24
    Aoraki Mount Cook $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Taupo

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Taupo:

  • Taupo Tandem Skydive with Rotorua Transfer: $258

Is it cheaper to fly into Taupo or Aoraki Mount Cook?

Prices for flights to both Aoraki Mount Cook and Taupo 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

Taupo's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $33 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.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Aoraki Mount Cook can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Taupo $33
    Aoraki Mount Cook $22
Typical Entertainment prices in Taupo

Here are a few typical costs in Taupo for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Bungy Jumping
    $181
  • Jet Boating
    $68

Tours and Activities in Taupo

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

  • Cruise Kakariki to the Maori Rock Carvings: $30
  • Daily Scenic Maori Rock Carving Cruise Taupo: $26
  • Great Lake Trail Lake Taupo 2-Day Mountain Biking Tour: $175
  • Hukafalls: 30-Minute Jet Boat Experience: $65
  • Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving 2.5-Hour Sailing Cruise: $35
  • Lake Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise: $25
  • Maori Rock Carvings Scenic Cruise: $26
  • Self-Guided Geothermal Tour in Orakei Korako: $30
  • Taupo Highlights Tour - Go Explore Scenic: $182
  • 15,000 Foot Tandem Skydive Experience: $266

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Taupo may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Aoraki Mount Cook, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $20.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Taupo $13
    Aoraki Mount Cook $20
Typical Alcohol prices in Taupo

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Taupo from other travelers:


  • Wine
    $6.04


When comparing the travel costs between Taupo and Aoraki Mount Cook, we can see that Taupo 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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Taupo vs. Aoraki Mount Cook Travel Comparison

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