A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Te Anau vs. Napier for Hiking, Families, Couples, and Attractions

Should you visit Te Anau or Napier?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Te Anau and Napier can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Te Anau

Te Anau is a pristine, breathtaking, and stunning town. Since it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors, too. It's considered by many to be an absolutely beautiful destination, too. Other reasons to visit include food and hiking.

Napier

Napier is a relaxed, character-filled, and coastal town. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and hiking.

Te Anau and Napier: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Te Anau or Napier?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Napier. Although Te Anau and Napier are popular destinations, Napier has more sights and attractions for tourists. Napier is very popular for its museums, nightlife, beaches, and shopping, while Te Anau attracts visitors for its hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Te Anau is famous for being the gateway to Fiordland National Park. Napier is famous for its many art deco buildings, its beautiful vineyards, and the area's long sandy beaches. It is also well known for the art deco architecture.

How is Te Anau different from Napier?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Napier and Te Anau. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Te Anau or Napier?

Te Anau
Napier

Napier is a very popular place for its museums and history. However, Te Anau is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Napier. Considered an "Art Deco capital", there are many interesting buildings around town and it's worth taking an Art Deco Walk. The National Aquarium of New Zealand is also impressive as is the MTG Hawke's Bay, which is a museum, gallery, and theater in one. For something a little outside the box, you can visit the Napier Prison, which is New Zealand's oldest place of incarceration, dating back to 1862.

Te Anau offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. The town is about the surrounding outdoor activities but you will find the Te Anau Vintage Machinery Museum and the Te Anau Trout Observatory in town.


Is the Food Better in Te Anau or Napier? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Te Anau
Napier

There are opportunities to sample the local cuisine at superb restaurants in both Te Anau and Napier.

Te Anau has a huge number of terrific restaurants. The town makes a great spot to refuel after all of your hiking and outdoor adventures. There are plenty of cafes and food trucks around town where you can enjoy local dishes and a friendly atmosphere.

Dining out in Napier is an experience not to be missed. With its many wineries and big mix of fine dining restaurants, there is plenty for a foodie to enjoy around town. You'll find restaurants that serve up New Zealand favorites as well as those that experiment with modern and trendy recipes.

Is Te Anau or Napier Better for Nightlife?

Te Anau
Napier

Napier is a very popular place for nightlife and partying. However, Te Anau is lacking in good options for its evening party scene.

Napier has a large number of nightlife venues. The nightlife scene is diverse and fun. Whether you're looking for a wild party or just want to relax with a drink and some friends, there are plenty of places where you can hang out.

Te Anau is generally a quiet destination but there are options around. This is a small town that's focused on outdoor activities, but it does receive a number of tourists, so you'll find a few bars around town where you can hang out.

Is Te Anau or Napier Better for Beaches?

Te Anau
Napier

Napier is renowned for the beache. However, Te Anau is not a beach destination.

Napier is considered to be a world-class beach destination. It's a popular beach destination and you'll find plenty of beaches for swimming, sunbathing, and playing with the kids. You'll want to head out of town to find the best and most beautiful beaches. For hidden beaches and some of the area's best surf, head to Mahia Peninsula. To escape the tourists and hang out with the locals, go to Waipatiki Beach. And for a picnic, Westshore Beach is a favorite. Waimarama Beach is another favorite in the area as well.

Te Anau is not a beach destination.


Is Te Anau or Napier Better for Hiking?

Te Anau
Napier

Te Anau is a must-visit destination for its hiking trails. Also, Napier is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its hiking experiences.

Many people visit Te Anau specifically for its hiking. The town serves as basecamp for Fiordland National Park so there are many amazing hikes and walks in the area. Many of the hikes begin at the Fiordland National Park Visitor Centre and range in length and the required skill level.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Napier. Hawke's Bay is filled with wonderful walks and hikes. There are easy coastal paths as well as mult-day treks around Lake Waikaremoana. It's not hard to find somewhere to stretch your legs and explore the scenery.

Is the Shopping Better in Te Anau or Napier?

Te Anau
Napier

Napier is a town with good options for its shopping opportunities. However, Te Anau is lacking in good options for its shopping areas.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Napier. You'll find all of the standard New Zealand retail chains as well antique and boutique shops. With its many Art Deco buildings, the city has character and personality.

Te Anau has some good spots for those that want to go shopping. There are shops where you can pick up any outdoor supplies and food items that you may need.

Is Te Anau or Napier Better for Families?

Te Anau
Napier

Te Anau is a must-visit destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Napier is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

Te Anau is one of the most popular family destinations. The town's proximity to the Milford Sound make it a nice base for families who enjoy spending time outdoors. Kayaking or exploring the Te Anau Glowworm Caves are favorite activities in the area. There's also the Te Anau Bird Sanctuary and many hikes nearby.

Napier is a very kid-friendly town. This coastal city has a waterpark, a waterfall walk, and plenty of beaches where the family can hang out. There's also a waterfront promenade that is filled with water features and playgrounds where the kids can run around. You can also check out Hawke's Bay Farmyard Zoo or on a rainy day head to the Faraday Museum of Technology.


Is Te Anau or Napier Better for Couples?

Te Anau
Napier

Te Anau is a must-visit destination for romance. Also, Napier is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its romantic activities.

For those traveling as a couple, Te Anau has plenty to offer. The stunning scenery in the area, combined with small town charm, make this is a top couple's destination and a wonderful honeymoon spot. Couples who appreciate nature and outdoor adventure will fall in love with this amazing area.

Couples visit Napier frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. Surrounded by vineyards and lined with beaches, this is a great place for a romantic getaway or a honeymoon. Hop on a bike and explore the wineries or enjoy a beautiful hike through nature. There are also adrenaline-filled activities for thrill seekers or fine dining restaurants for the foodies.

Is Te Anau or Napier Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Te Anau
Napier

Te Anau and Napier are both superb destinations for backpackers.

Many backpackers visit Te Anau. For such a small town, there are a decent number of hostels and budget accommodation options in the area. The town makes a good base for exploring the region's stunning scenery.

Napier is a very popular town for backpackers and budget travelers. There are a couple of hostels around town and plenty of fun activities like mountain biking or white water rafting that you can enjoy.

Is Te Anau or Napier Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Te Anau
Napier

Napier is a decent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Te Anau is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Napier. Public transit to most of the beaches is limited or nonexistent, so you really need a car if you want to get around and see everything.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Te Anau. Public transit in the area is limited and most visitors have their own car or join one of the many tours in the area.


Is Te Anau or Napier a more walkable city?

Te Anau
Napier

Te Anau and Napier are reasonable when it comes to walkability.

Te Anau is generally not a very walkable town. Exploring the area requires a vehicle and, while there are many hikes in the area, it's not easy to walk to many places. There are tours available for those that don't have a vehicle.

Napier is generally not very walkable. If you stay in town you can walk to cafes and restaurants, but you really need a car if you're planning to visit beaches or explore the area in depth.

For even more information, also check out Is Te Anau Worth Visiting? and Is Napier Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Napier or Te Anau?

How long in Te Anau or Napier?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Te Anau and Napier. In our opinion, Napier has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Napier than Te Anau. In general, 1-3 days is a good amount of time for Te Anau, and 2-3 days is enough time in Napier.

Families should spend more time in Te Anau than Napier. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Te Anau, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Napier than Te Anau if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Napier.


  • How many days in Te Anau or Napier? Ideal Length of Stay
    Te Anau 1-3 
    Napier 2-3

One day in Te Anau or Napier?

Te Anau might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Hikers are also drawn to this area. One day is often enough time to do most activities.

In Napier, you'll find nightlife and food. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. This town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

A weekend in Te Anau or Napier?

Te Anau is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

In Napier, you'll find food and shopping. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Napier has to offer.


Five days in Te Anau or Napier?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Te Anau. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Napier is a great place to explore. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

A week in Te Anau or Napier?

Te Anau is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Napier. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Napier. One reason most visitors come is for the beaches. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


Which place is cheaper, Napier or Te Anau?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Te Anau is $103, while the average daily cost in Napier is $174. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Te Anau and Napier in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Te Anau $46
    Napier $105
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Te Anau $92
    Napier $210
Compare Hotels in Te Anau and Napier

Looking for a hotel in Te Anau or Napier? 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 Te Anau


Hotels in Napier


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: Te Anau Hotel Prices and Napier Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Te Anau $28
    Napier $31

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Te Anau

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

  • Kepler Water Taxi Transfer across Lake Te Anau: $15

Is it cheaper to fly into Te Anau or Napier?

Prices for flights to both Napier 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Te Anau $28
    Napier $38

Typical Food Prices in Napier

For Napier, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Casural Lunch
    $8.67

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Te Anau $49
    Napier $28

Tours and Activities in Te Anau

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

  • Afternoon Te Anau Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht: $92
  • Champagne Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Te Anau: $92
  • Doubtful Sound Wilderness Cruise from Te Anau: $221
  • Doubtful Sound Wilderness Day Cruise from Manapouri: $240
  • Fiordland: Jet Boat & Nature Walk Experience from Te Anau: $111
  • From 1-Day Milford Sound Coach & Cruise: $133
  • From Milford Sound Coach Tour and Cruise: $115
  • From Milford Sound Coach, Cruise, and Walks: $152
  • From Milford Sound Cruise and Coach Day Trip: $127
  • From Milford Sound Tour with Cruise and Lunch: $155
  • From Premium Doubtful Sound Coach & Cruise: $247
  • Full-Day Milford Sound Extraordinaire Tour from Te Anau: $158

Tours and Activities in Napier

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

  • 2.5-Hour Napier Art Deco Tour: $60
  • Beer, Wine, Cider and Gin Tour in New Zealand: $124
  • Best of Napier & Hawkes Bay Tour: $79
  • Cape Coast Wineries Self-Guided Scenic Bike Tour from Napier: $51
  • Cape Winery Cycle Tour - 6 wineries, self-guided: $73
  • Country Experience at Mohaka River Farm: $126
  • Deco City Black Cab Tours and Shuttles: $111
  • Half Day Sights and Tastes Tour in Napier : $101
  • Hastings Earthquake Self-Guided Audio Tour: $15
  • Hawke's Bay: Coastal Winery Cycle Tour - self-guided: $50
  • Hawkes Bay Wineries Electric Self-Guided Bike Tour: $62
  • Hawkes Bay Wineries Self-Guided Bike Tour: $37

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Te Anau $14
    Napier $17

Typical Alcohol Prices in Napier

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Napier are as follows:


  • Wine
    $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Napier

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Napier:

  • Half Day Small-Group Hawkes Bay Wine Tour: $98
  • Wine Tour and Tastings in Hawkes Bay: $174
  • Private Sightseeing Tour + Wine Tasting: $536


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Te Anau and Napier, we can see that Napier 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 Napier would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Napier than you might in Te Anau.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Te Anau Expensive? and Is Napier Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Te Anau or Napier?

Napier has a larger population, and is about 30 times larger than the population of Te Anau. When comparing the sizes of Te Anau and Napier, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.