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

Should you visit Taupo or Queenstown?

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

Should I visit Taupo or Queenstown? 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.

Where Should I go: Taupo or Queenstown?

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.

Queenstown

Queenstown is a popular tourist destination on New Zealand's South Island. It is beautifully surrounded by the Southern Alps and sits on the banks of Lake Wakatipu. Across the lake you will find a stunning view of the Remarkables, a dramatic mountain range. The town itself is quite touristy, but prices still remain reasonable. There are options for all travel budgets, whether you're a backpacker hoping to save a few dollars or a family looking for some luxury accommodation. Despite its natural and tranquil setting, Queenstown is actually very much a party town, particularly during the peak seasons. Don't be surprised to find people out enjoying themselves until the early hours of the morning. If you're not into the party scene and are hoping to get a decent night's sleep, consider staying a little outside of town. About an hour outside of Queenstown you'll find Wanaka, which is a much smaller and peaceful town without the party scene.

Which city is cheaper, Queenstown or Taupo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Taupo is $97, while the average daily cost in Queenstown is $91. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Taupo and Queenstown in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Taupo $55
    Queenstown $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Taupo $110
    Queenstown $96
Compare Hotels in Taupo and Queenstown

Looking for a hotel in Taupo or Queenstown? 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 Queenstown


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 Queenstown Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Taupo $22
    Queenstown $8.90

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Queenstown

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Queenstown:

  • Arrival Transfer: Queenstown Airport to Central Queenstown City Centre: $13
  • Departure Transfer: Queenstown Central City Centre Hotels to Queenstown Airport: $13
  • Private & Exclusive One-Way Transfer Queenstown to Christchurch: $1,264
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Queenstown Airport to Hotel by Jet Boat: $342
  • Private Ski Transfer to Coronet Peak Ski Field: $333
  • Private Ski Transfer to The Remarkables Ski Field: $370
  • Ski Transfer To Coronet Peak (Round Trip): $27
  • Ski Transfer To Remarkables Ski Area (Round Trip): $27

Is it cheaper to fly into Taupo or Queenstown?

Prices for flights to both Queenstown 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 $20
    Queenstown $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Queenstown

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

  • Dinner at Walter Peak High Country Farm and Cruise from Queenstown: $110
  • Queenstown Progressive Dinner & Wine Tour - 3 iconic locations: $207

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Taupo $30
    Queenstown $19
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
    $165
  • Jet Boating
    $62

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: $23
  • 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

Typical Entertainment prices in Queenstown

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


  • Skyline Gondola (for 2)
    $33

Tours and Activities in Queenstown

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

  • Time Tripper Underwater Experience: $6.58
  • Full & Half Day Hardtail Cruiser Bike Hire (Giant Talon 3 - 2020 model): $11
  • Escape Adventure AR Experience in Queenstown: $19
  • Skip the Line: Odyssey Sensory Maze Entry Queenstown Ticket: $24
  • Lake Wakatipu Scenic Catamaran Cruise from Queenstown: $29
  • Glenorchy Kiwi Special Tour: $29
  • Million Dollar Cruise in Queenstown: $36
  • Gibbston Valley Cave Guided Tour from Queenstown: $37
  • Queenstown Hop-on Hop-off Evening Beer Tour: $40
  • Queenstown VIP Wine Drop and Hop Tour: $40
  • TSS Earnslaw Steamship Cruise from Queenstown: $52
  • Self Guided Bike Experience - Frankton/Kelvin Heights/Jack’s Point to Queenstown: $61

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Taupo $11
    Queenstown $7.78
Typical Alcohol prices in Taupo

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


  • Wine
    $5.52

Sample the Local Flavors in Queenstown

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Queenstown:

  • Hop on Hop off Wine Tours Queenstown: $40
  • Hop-On Hop-Off Wine Tour: $52
  • Wine Tour from Full Day: $103
  • Queenstown Classic Wine Tour - 3 Vineyards, Cave Tour and Cheeseboard: $116
  • Afternoon Boutique Wine Tour: $122
  • Original Wine Tour: $125
  • Vine Hopper: Queenstown's Ultimate Wine & Microbrewery Adventure: $133
  • Valley of the Vines Afternoon Wine Tour includes a Winery Tour: $133
  • Central Otago Wine Tour from Queenstown - Includes 4 Vineyards, Lunch & Wine: $136
  • Valley of the Vines Lunch & Wine Tour with a Wine Cave Adult Tour: $147
  • Wine Tour & Maori Culture Queenstown: $159
  • Boutique Wine Tour in Central Otago Wine Region: $161


When comparing the travel costs between Taupo and Queenstown, 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.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Taupo vs. Queenstown Travel Comparison

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