A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Taupo vs. Lake Tekapo for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Taupo or Lake Tekapo?

Should I visit Taupo or Lake Tekapo? 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.

Lake Tekapo

Tekapo is a lakeside town on the South Island of New Zealand, and it is part of the Mackenzie District of Canterbury. This is one of the bluest lakes in the country and is surrounded by the mighty mountains of the Southern Alps.

Which city is cheaper, Lake Tekapo or Taupo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Taupo is $102, while the average daily cost in Lake Tekapo is $69. 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 Lake Tekapo in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $58. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Taupo the cost is $116 on average.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $108 for a double occupancy room in Lake Tekapo.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Taupo $58
    Lake Tekapo $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Taupo $116
    Lake Tekapo $108

Food

Taupo food costs typically run travelers around $21 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 Lake Tekapo costs travelers about $12 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
    Taupo $21
    Lake Tekapo $12

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Taupo is $23 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.
    Taupo $23
    Lake Tekapo -

Is it cheaper to fly into Taupo or Lake Tekapo?

Prices for flights to both Lake Tekapo 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 $32 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.
    Taupo $32
    Lake Tekapo -
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
    $173
  • Jet Boating
    $65

Tours and Activities in Taupo

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

  • Lake Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise: $24
  • Daily Scenic Maori Rock Carving Cruise Taupo: $26
  • Maori Rock Carvings Scenic Cruise: $26
  • Cruise Kakariki to the Maori Rock Carvings: $30
  • Self-Guided Geothermal Tour in Orakei Korako: $30
  • Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving 2.5-Hour Sailing Cruise: $33
  • Great Lake Trail Lake Taupo 2-Day Mountain Biking Tour: $175
  • Taupo Highlights Tour - Go Explore Scenic: $182

Tours and Activities in Lake Tekapo

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

  • Dark Sky Experience: $33
  • Crater Experience at Cowan's Observatory: $96
  • Summit Experience - University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory: $133

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Taupo may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $12 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Taupo $12
    Lake Tekapo -
Typical Alcohol prices in Taupo

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


  • Wine
    $5.78


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

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Taupo vs. Lake Tekapo Travel Comparison

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