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

Should you visit Taupo or Nelson?

Should I visit Taupo or Nelson? 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.

Nelson

Nelson is a city that sits on Tasman Bay on the South Island of New Zealand. Travelers, especially ones that are heading to explore Abel Tasman National Park, frequently visit this town. Nelson has a population of about 46,000 people and, geographically speaking, it is the center of New Zealand as a whole.

Which city is cheaper, Nelson 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 Nelson is $86. 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 Nelson 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.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Nelson is $74. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Taupo $58
    Nelson $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Taupo $116
    Nelson $74

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.

The price of a meal in Nelson can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $25 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $10 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Taupo $21
    Nelson $25

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.

The cost of a taxi ride in Nelson is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $26 per person, per day, on local transportation in Nelson.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Taupo $23
    Nelson $26

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nelson

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nelson:

  • Arrival Transfer: Nelson Airport to Nelson City Centre Hotels: $43
  • Departure Transfer: Nelson City Centre Hotels to Nelson Airport: $43

Is it cheaper to fly into Taupo or Nelson?

Prices for flights to both Nelson 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 and activities in Nelson typically cost an average of $22 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Taupo $32
    Nelson $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
    $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 Nelson

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

  • Nelson City Walking Tour - Guided: $36
  • Nelson to Mapua: Full-Day Cycling Self-Guided Adventure: $67
  • Skywire Experience: $72
  • Self-Guided Nelson to Mapua Cycle Adventure: $75
  • SKYWIRE Experience: $78
  • Tunnel to Town - Day Adventure Option B Nelson City: $100
  • Dragon Hunt Archery Experience in Pristine Native Forest: $115
  • Tunnel to Town - Day Adventure - Option A Via Mapua: $125
  • Abel Tasman and Golden Bay Tour: $149
  • Fly Golden Bay & Cruise Abel Tasman Day Tour from Nelson: $341
  • Full-Day Abel Tasman National Park Hiking Tour with Cruise: $354

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.

The average person spends about $12 on alcoholic beverages in Nelson per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Taupo $12
    Nelson $12
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

Sample the Local Flavors in Nelson

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Nelson:

  • Half Day Wine Tour: $114


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

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Taupo vs. Nelson Travel Comparison

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