Should you visit Te Anau or Kaikoura?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Te Anau and Kaikoura can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
Te Anau is a town on the South Island of New Zealand, best-known as a gateway to Fiordland National Park and Milford Sound. The region is a major destination for ecotourism as it is home to rare species like the endangered flightless takahe bird and natural features like caves, waterfalls, forests, lakes, glacial valleys, and mountains.
Kaikoura is a town on the east coast of the South Island, situated between Christchurch and Belnheim. It has a permanent resident population of 1,971. The Seaward Kaikoura Mountains that surround this town collide with the Pacific Ocean, and the continental shelf edge is just offshore. The ocean in Kaikoura is very rich in marine life, especially seals and whales.
Which city is cheaper, Kaikoura or Te Anau?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Te Anau is $86, while the average daily cost in Kaikoura is $118. 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 Te Anau and Kaikoura in more detail.
Travelers usually pay around $76 for a double occupancy room in Te Anau If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $42. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Kaikoura the cost is $84 on average.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Te Anau than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $24 on transportation in Te Anau on average per day.
The average price of local transportation around Kaikoura is $15 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.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Te Anau
Also for Te Anau, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Te Anau to Queenstown Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Te Anau or Kaikoura?
Prices for flights to both Kaikoura and Te Anau 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.
The price of a meal in Te Anau can vary widely. However, the average price for food per day is $23 per person, and a typical meal will cost around $9.20 based on the spending of previous visitors. Less expensive dining options can be found by eating street food or at fast food restaurants.
The average traveler spends about $33 per day in Kaikoura for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Meals for one day
Te Anau $23
Sightseeing expenses in Te Anau, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $41 per day, per person.
Kaikoura's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $132 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.
Tours and Activities in Te Anau
For Te Anau, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour:
Morning Tea Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht from Te Anau:
Afternoon Te Anau Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht:
Champagne Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Te Anau:
Milford Sound Full-Day Tour from Te Anau:
Milford Sound Coach and Nature Cruise with Picnic Lunch from Te Anau:
Full-Day Milford Sound Hiking Tour with Cruise:
Milford Sound Coach and Scenic Cruise from Te Anau with Picnic Lunch:
Lord of the Rings and Te Anau Highlights Small Group Tour from Te Anau:
VIP Milford Sound All Inclusive Tour:
Milford Sound Experience Full Day from Te Anau:
Full-Day Milford Sound Extraordinaire Tour from Te Anau:
Tours and Activities in Kaikoura
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Kaikoura are as follows:
30-Minute Whale Watching Helicopter Tour:
Guided Family Kayaking Adventure:
Half-Day Wildlife Kayaking Tour:
Sunset Kayaking Tour:
Kayaking Adventure in Kaikoura:
Private Wildlife Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura:
Seal Swimming Tour from Kaikoura:
Wildlife Sea Kayaking Tour - Kaikoura:
Typically, people visiting Te Anau spend on average $12 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Te Anau and Kaikoura, we can see that Kaikoura is more expensive. And not only is Te Anau much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Te Anau would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Te Anau 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 Kaikoura would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Kaikoura than you might in Te Anau.
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