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

Should you visit Te Anau or Nelson?

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

Te Anau

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.

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 Te Anau?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Te Anau is $90, 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 Te Anau and Nelson in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $80 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.

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
    Te Anau $40
    Nelson $37
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Te Anau $80
    Nelson $74

Food

The price of a meal in Te Anau 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.

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
    Te Anau $25
    Nelson $25

Local Transportation

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 $25 on transportation in Te Anau on average per day.

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.
    Te Anau $25
    Nelson $26

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: $41

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Nelson

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Nelson:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Te Anau or Nelson?

Prices for flights to both Nelson 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Te Anau, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $43 per day, per person.

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.
    Te Anau $43
    Nelson $22

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: $73
  • Morning Tea Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht from Te Anau: $94
  • Afternoon Te Anau Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht: $94
  • Champagne Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Te Anau: $94
  • Milford Sound Full-Day Tour from Te Anau: $96
  • Milford Sound Coach and Nature Cruise with Picnic Lunch from Te Anau: $103
  • Full-Day Milford Sound Hiking Tour with Cruise: $103
  • Milford Sound Coach and Scenic Cruise from Te Anau with Picnic Lunch: $103
  • Lord of the Rings and Te Anau Highlights Small Group Tour from Te Anau: $111
  • VIP Milford Sound All Inclusive Tour: $117
  • Milford Sound Experience Full Day from Te Anau: $124
  • Full-Day Milford Sound Extraordinaire Tour from Te Anau: $132

Tours and Activities in Nelson

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

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

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Te Anau spend on average $13 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

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
    Te Anau $13
    Nelson $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Nelson

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Nelson:

  • Half Day Wine Tour: $114


When comparing the travel costs between Te Anau and Nelson, we can see that Te Anau 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.

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Te Anau vs. Nelson Travel Comparison

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