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

Should you visit Taupo or Rotorua?

Should I visit Taupo or Rotorua? 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.

Rotorua

Located on the banks of Lake Rotorua, Rotorua is famous as the thermal wonderland of New Zealand. The area has a variety of geothermal sights, but it is also close to several lakes and has more traditional activities as well, including fishing, boating and white water rafting.

Rotorua is located in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, which is the largest volcano in the area. There are four major volcanic calderas that now have lakes, and several other volcanoes in the area. Rotorua sits on top of a thermal hot spring, and there are many vents and hot pools throughout the area. Many of the hot pools and sights are located within parks, with some of the best being Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Rainbow Springs Nature Park, and Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.

Rotorua has a warm, temperate climate. Because of the area's inland location, it has less wind than many places in New Zealand. Temperatures during the winter months can fall to below freezing, but snow is incredibly rare.

Which city is cheaper, Rotorua or Taupo?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Taupo is $105, while the average daily cost in Rotorua 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 Rotorua in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $59. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Taupo the cost is $118 on average.

Travelers usually pay around $92 for a double occupancy room in Rotorua If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Taupo $59
    Rotorua $46
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Taupo $118
    Rotorua $92

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.

On average, meal and food prices in Rotorua cost around $25 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $10.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Taupo $22
    Rotorua $25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Rotorua

For Rotorua, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Rotorua Maori Hangi Dinner and Performance: $100
  • Lake Rotoiti Evening Kayak Tour including Hot Springs, Glowworm Caves and BBQ Dinner: $140

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.

Rotorua'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 $4.72 per person, per day on transportation in Rotorua.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Taupo $23
    Rotorua $4.72

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Taupo

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Taupo:

  • Taupo Tandem Skydive with Rotorua Transfer: $258

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Rotorua

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

  • Departure Transfer: Rotorua City Centre Hotels to Rotorua Airport: $18
  • Rotorua to Auckland Afternoon Transfer with Waitomo Glow Worms: $148

Is it cheaper to fly into Taupo or Rotorua?

Prices for flights to both Rotorua 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 Rotorua can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $33 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Taupo $33
    Rotorua $33
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
    $178
  • Jet Boating
    $66

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

Typical Entertainment prices in Rotorua

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Rotorua's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Lunch Out for Two
    $32

Tours and Activities in Rotorua

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

  • Lake Rotorua Paddle Boat Cruise: $14
  • Whaka Geothermal Trails Self-Guided Tour: $19
  • Buried Village of Te Wairoa Tour: $19
  • Whakarewarewa Village Guided Tour: $26
  • The Farm Tour: $28
  • Rainbow Springs Ticket - Lite Pass: $33
  • Rainbow Springs Ticket - Essentials Pass: $44
  • Nocturnal adventure Glow-worm tour: $51
  • Rotorua Hot Lakes Bike Tour: $55
  • Rotorua Duck Boat Guided City and Lakes Tour: $56
  • Kaituna White-Water Rafting Adventure: $62
  • Tarawera and Lakes 2-Hour Duck Eco Tour: $63

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.

Typically, people visiting Rotorua spend on average $11 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Taupo $12
    Rotorua $11
Typical Alcohol prices in Taupo

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


  • Wine
    $5.95

Typical Alcohol prices in Rotorua

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Rotorua:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $13


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

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.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Taupo vs. Rotorua Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.