A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Taupo vs. Auckland for Families, Couples, Backpackers, and Food

Should you visit Taupo or Auckland?

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

Should I visit Taupo or Auckland? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Taupo

Taupo is a stunning, otherworldly, and striking town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the hiking, shopping, and skiing.

Auckland

Auckland is a thrill-seeking, cosmopolitan , and adventurous city. Travelers will also find plenty of sights and attractions here, as it's a big city that attracts lots of visitors. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Taupo and Auckland: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
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 Taupo or Auckland?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Auckland than Taupo, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Auckland is better known for its museums, nightlife, beaches, shopping, and big city activities, while Taupo is more popular for its skiing, hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Taupo is well known for its thermal hot springs, dramatic landscapes, and world class hikes. 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 Taupo different from Auckland?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Taupo or Auckland Better for Skiing?

Taupo
Auckland

Taupo is a must-visit destination for skiing and snowboarding. However, Auckland is not a skiing destination.

Taupo is among the world's best ski destinations. Nearby Mount Ruapehu offers access to the longest running ski season in both Australia and New Zealand. From June until October you can enjoy the largest commercial ski areas around. There are options for everyone from young beginners to experts. The two main ski resorts in the area are Whakapapa Ski Area and Tūroa Ski Area.

Auckland is not a skiing destination.


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

Taupo
Auckland

Auckland is a great destination for its museums and landmarks. However, Taupo is a town with minimal options for its historical sights.

Auckland offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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 to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Taupo. Stunning natural beauty and adventure-filled activities are what Taupo is all about, but you won't find much in the form of museums.

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

Taupo
Auckland

Both Taupo and Auckland offer a number of great restaurants to choose from.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Taupo. The town is filled with local restaurants that make use of local ingredients such as fresh caught trout, local produce, and wild game. The town also has many farmers markets and a strong cafe culture.

Auckland has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. 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 Taupo or Auckland Better for Nightlife?

Taupo
Auckland

Auckland is a great destination for nightlife and partying. Also, Taupo is still popular, but not quite as popular for its evening party scene.

The people in Auckland know how to have a good time. 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.

If you're looking for night time activities Taupo has a few options to choose from. It's a small resort town that is active during the day and night. There are low key activities in the evening like soaking in the thermal hot pools or grabbing a drink at a bar.


Is Taupo or Auckland Better for Beaches?

Taupo
Auckland

Auckland is a great destination for the beache. However, Taupo is not a beach destination.

Auckland is considered a top beach destination. 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.

Taupo is not a beach destination.

Is Taupo or Auckland Better for Hiking?

Taupo
Auckland

Taupo 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 Taupo. The area is filled with beautiful hikes that take you through the natural beauty. During the fall season you can enjoy the fall foliage and during the summer months the wildlife and waterfront setting is at a peak.

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 Taupo or Auckland?

Taupo
Auckland

Auckland is a great destination for its shopping opportunities. Also, Taupo is still popular, but not quite as popular for its shopping areas.

Auckland is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. 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.

Taupo has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The lakefront town has a nice, pedestrian-friendly stretch with boutique shops, fashion outlets, and souvenir vendors.


Is Taupo or Auckland Better for Families?

Taupo
Auckland

Taupo 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.

Taupo is one of the most popular family destinations. Set on the edge of Lake Taupo, there are many family-friendly activities in the area like swimming, boating, and hiking. There are also thermal hot springs and in the winter months skiing. Families who enjoy outdoor adventures will find no shortage of options year round.

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 Taupo or Auckland Better for Couples?

Taupo
Auckland

Taupo 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, Taupo has plenty to offer. Honeymooners and couples who enjoy romantic scenery, beautiful sunsets, and outdoor adventure will fall in love with this area. You can soak in thermal hot springs and picnic next to beautiful waterfalls. There are also breathtaking hikes and great water activities.

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 Taupo or Auckland Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Taupo
Auckland

Taupo is a must-visit destination for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Auckland is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Taupo is extremely popular for backpackers. There's plenty of backpacker and hostel accommodation in the area. There are also free outdoor activities and adrenaline-filled adventures that backpackers will enjoy.

Auckland is a very popular 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 Taupo or Auckland Better for Students?

Taupo
Auckland

Auckland is a great destination for students. However, Taupo is not popular with students.

Auckland is a very popular city for students and younger travelers. Some of the country's best universities are found in the city, many of which are popular with international students.

Taupo is not popular with students.

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

Taupo
Auckland

You'll find somewhat comparable public transit options in both Taupo and Auckland.

You'll find some public transit in Taupo, but it may not be enough to take you everywhere. There are local bus service, the Taupo Connector, that travels around the town center. If you want to get outside of town, you'll need to have a car.

While Auckland offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. 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 Taupo or Auckland a more walkable city?

Taupo
Auckland

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

Taupo is a somewhat walkable place. The town is fairly compact, but if you want to efficiently get around and experience everything that the area has to offer, you'll want to have a car.

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 Taupo Worth Visiting? and Is Auckland Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Auckland or Taupo?

How long in Taupo or Auckland?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Taupo and Auckland. In our opinion, Taupo has more to see and do, so we recommend that you spend more time in Taupo than Auckland. However, 2-3 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Taupo than Auckland 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 Taupo.


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

One day in Taupo or Auckland?

The town of Taupo 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.

Each neighborhood in Auckland has its own distinct appeal, so there are pleny of areas to explore. It's also a great beach destination, too. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Taupo or Auckland?

Taupo is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town 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 Taupo, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Auckland. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Five days in Taupo or Auckland?

Taupo is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that skiing is why people visit. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Auckland is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the big city destination of Auckland. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.


A week in Taupo or Auckland?

Taupo is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that skiing 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 town offers something for everyone.

You'll find food and shopping around the adventurous big city of Auckland. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


Which place is cheaper, Auckland or Taupo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Taupo is $115, while the average daily cost in Auckland is $145. 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 Taupo and Auckland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Taupo $65
    Auckland $91
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Taupo $130
    Auckland $182
Compare Hotels in Taupo and Auckland

Looking for a hotel in Taupo 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 Taupo


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: Taupo Hotel Prices and Auckland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Taupo $26
    Auckland $16

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Auckland

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


  • Bus from Airport
    $9.90
  • Airport Shuttle
    $15

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Auckland

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

  • Auckland Airport Private Transfer: $86
  • Airport Transfer From Auckland Airport To Auckland City: $127
  • Airport Transfer by Private Minibus: $101
  • Arrival Private Transfer Auckland Airport to North Shore or Henderson Luxury Car: $121
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Auckland Airport AKL to Auckland in Business Car: $84
  • Arrival Private Transfer from Auckland Airport AKL to Auckland in Luxury Van: $111
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Auckland Airport AKL to Auckland City by Luxury Car: $108
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Auckland Airport AKL to Auckland City by Luxury Van: $108
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Auckland Airport AKL to Auckland City by Sedan Car: $84
  • Arrival Transfer: Auckland Airport to Auckland Central City Centre: $23
  • Auckland Airport & Ground Transfers - Private Luxury Car/ Van.: $124
  • Auckland Airport (AKL) to Downtown hotels - Arrival Private Transfer: $42

Is it cheaper to fly into Taupo or Auckland?

Prices for flights to both Auckland 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Taupo $24
    Auckland $28

Typical Food Prices in Auckland

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


  • Breakfast
    $4.95

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 3-Course Dinner Cruise with Welcome Drink: $93
  • Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner: $95
  • Flavours of the City Walking Food Tour: $108
  • Local Auckland Food Tour : Explore the suburbs!: $174

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Taupo $36
    Auckland $29
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
    $158
  • Jet Boating
    $59

Tours and Activities in Taupo

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

  • Daily Scenic Maori Rock Carving Cruise Taupo: $31
  • Escape Room Experience Taupo - Cabin in the Woods: $23
  • Escape Room Experience Taupo - The Candy Cottage: $23
  • Escape Room Experience Taupo - The Hunting Lodge: $23
  • Escape Room Experience Taupo - The Marvelous Circus: $23
  • Great Lake Trail Lake Taupo 2-Day Mountain Biking Tour: $101
  • Lake 1.5-Hour Maori Rock Carvings 5:00 PM Cruise: $28
  • Lake Maori Rock Carvings 10.30 AM 1.5-Hour Cruise: $30
  • Lake Māori Rock Carvings Scenic Boat Cruise: $30
  • Maori Rock Carvings - Taupo Sailing Adventures - Kindred Spirit: $37
  • Maori Rock Carvings - Taupo Sailing Adventures - Sail Fearless: $31
  • Maori Rock Carvings - Taupo Sailing Adventures -Tiua: $50

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)
    $125

Tours and Activities in Auckland

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

  • Auckland Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Maritime Museum Entry Ticket: $15
  • Auckland Self Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Hīkoi to Britomart Guided Walking Tour - Auckland Art Gallery: $16
  • Join the locals: 2-Hour Precinct Tour of Dealer Art Galleries: $16
  • Auckland War Memorial Museum Entry Ticket: $17
  • Skip the Line: Auckland Museum General Admission Entry Ticket: $18
  • Vibrosaun Therapy Experience: $19
  • Skip the Line: Odyssey Sensory Maze Entry Auckland Ticket: $20
  • Takapuna: Race Car Simulator Experience Entry Ticket: $21
  • Auckland Sky Tower General Admission Ticket : $25
  • The Hunt for the Missing Monarch - An Auckland Adventure: $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Taupo $14
    Auckland $14
Typical Alcohol Prices in Taupo

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


  • Wine
    $5.26

Sample the Local Flavors in Auckland

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

  • Wild West Coast & Black Sand Beach Tour incl Craft Beer Brewery Lunch & Tasting: $95
  • Waiheke Island: Guided Boutique Wine Tour with Wine & Views: $96
  • Full-Day Wine Tasting Tour in Auckland with 3-Course Vineyard Lunch: $98
  • Muriwai Scenic Wine Tour from Auckland: $111
  • Waiheke Island: The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour: $133
  • Waiheke Island Gourmet Food and Wine Tour with Platter Lunch: $146
  • Waiheke Island: Tour with Wine Tastings and Restaurant Lunch: $155
  • From Waiheke Island Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch: $158
  • From Small Group Kumeu Wine Tour with Lunch: $167
  • Kumeu Wineries / Brewery : $174
  • Kumeu Wine Tour: $174
  • Small-Group Kumeu Wine Country Tour Includes Wine Tastings & Lunch: $181


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Taupo and Auckland, we can see that Auckland is more expensive. And not only is Taupo much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Taupo would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Taupo 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 Taupo.

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


Which is Bigger, Taupo or Auckland?

Auckland has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Taupo. When comparing the sizes of Taupo 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.