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

Should you visit Te Anau or Taupo?

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 Taupo 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 breathtaking, stunning, and pristine town. It also offers plenty of small town charm and also has plenty of sights and activities. The famous beauty of this place is one of the main draws. And you can't forget about the food and hiking.

Taupo

Taupo is a stunning, otherworldly, and striking town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. Visitors also love the skiing, nightlife, and food.

Te Anau and Taupo: 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 popular for nightlife
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular for skiing
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good public transit


Is there more to do in Te Anau or Taupo?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Taupo than Te Anau, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Taupo is better known for its skiing, nightlife, and shopping, while Te Anau is more popular for its museums, hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Te Anau is well known for being the gateway to Fiordland National Park. Taupo is well known for its thermal hot springs, dramatic landscapes, and world class hikes. Also, Taupo is famous for the Craters of the Moon reserve.

How is Te Anau different from Taupo?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Te Anau or Taupo Better for Skiing?

Te Anau
Taupo

Taupo is renowned for skiing and snowboarding. However, Te Anau is not a skiing destination.

Visitors will find world class skiing in Taupo. Nearby Mount Ruapehu offers access to the longest running ski season in both Australia and New Zealand. From June until October you can enjoy the largest commercial ski areas around. There are options for everyone from young beginners to experts. The two main ski resorts in the area are Whakapapa Ski Area and Tūroa Ski Area.

Te Anau is not a skiing destination.


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

Te Anau
Taupo

Te Anau is a town with a few options for its museums and landmarks. However, Taupo is a town with minimal options for its historical sights.

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.

If you're looking to pass the time, head to a museum or historic sight in Taupo. Stunning natural beauty and adventure-filled activities are what Taupo is all about, but you won't find much in the form of museums.

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

Te Anau
Taupo

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

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 Taupo is an experience not to be missed. The town is filled with local restaurants that make use of local ingredients such as fresh caught trout, local produce, and wild game. The town also has many farmers markets and a strong cafe culture.

Is Te Anau or Taupo Better for Nightlife?

Te Anau
Taupo

Taupo is a town with good options for nightlife and partying. However, Te Anau is lacking in good options for its evening party scene.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Taupo. It's a small resort town that is active during the day and night. There are low key activities in the evening like soaking in the thermal hot pools or grabbing a drink at a bar.

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 Taupo Better for Hiking?

Te Anau
Taupo

Te Anau is a must-visit destination for its hiking experiences. Also, Taupo is still popular, but not quite as popular for hiking.

People visit Te Anau specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. 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.

Many visitors go to Taupo for the hiking trails. The area is filled with beautiful hikes that take you through the natural beauty. During the fall season you can enjoy the fall foliage and during the summer months the wildlife and waterfront setting is at a peak.

Is the Shopping Better in Te Anau or Taupo?

Te Anau
Taupo

Taupo 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 Taupo. The lakefront town has a nice, pedestrian-friendly stretch with boutique shops, fashion outlets, and souvenir vendors.

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 Taupo Better for Families?

Te Anau
Taupo

Both Te Anau and Taupo are terrific to visit with kids.

Te Anau is an extremely popular town to visit for families. 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.

With a huge array of activities for kids, Taupo is very family-friendly. Set on the edge of Lake Taupo, there are many family-friendly activities in the area like swimming, boating, and hiking. There are also thermal hot springs and in the winter months skiing. Families who enjoy outdoor adventures will find no shortage of options year round.


Is Te Anau or Taupo Better for Couples?

Te Anau
Taupo

Both Te Anau and Taupo are terrific destinations for a couple's getaway.

Te Anau is a great town for couples, as it 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.

Taupo is fantastic couple's destination with fun and romantic activities. Honeymooners and couples who enjoy romantic scenery, beautiful sunsets, and outdoor adventure will fall in love with this area. You can soak in thermal hot springs and picnic next to beautiful waterfalls. There are also breathtaking hikes and great water activities.

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

Te Anau
Taupo

Taupo is renowned for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Te Anau is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Taupo is extremely popular for backpackers. There's plenty of backpacker and hostel accommodation in the area. There are also free outdoor activities and adrenaline-filled adventures that backpackers will enjoy.

Te Anau is a very popular town for backpackers and budget travelers. 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.

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

Te Anau
Taupo

Taupo is a town with good options for times when you don't have a car. However, Te Anau is lacking in good options for its public transit.

Taupo has some public transit options. There are local bus service, the Taupo Connector, that travels around the town center. If you want to get outside of town, you'll need to have a car.

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 Taupo a more walkable city?

Te Anau
Taupo

Taupo is a town with good options for its high level of walkability. However, Te Anau is lacking in good options for its ease of walking around.

Taupo is a somewhat walkable place. The town is fairly compact, but if you want to efficiently get around and experience everything that the area has to offer, you'll want to have a car.

Te Anau is generally not very walkable. 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.

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

Should I spend more time in Taupo or Te Anau?

How long in Te Anau or Taupo?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Te Anau and Taupo. In our opinion, Taupo has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Taupo 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 Taupo.

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

Couples should spend more time in Taupo than Te Anau. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Taupo that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Taupo 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 Taupo.


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

One day in Te Anau or Taupo?

Even though Te Anau is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Lots of people come for the hiking. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here.

In Taupo, you'll find skiing and nightlife. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the skiing. 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 Taupo?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Te Anau. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

In Taupo, you'll find nightlife and food. 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 skiing. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Taupo has to offer.


Five days in Te Anau or Taupo?

Te Anau is a fun place to experience. Te Anau is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. Lots of people come for the hiking. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

Taupo is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this 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 Taupo?

Te Anau is a small town, so you can explore the area with less time. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Lots of people come for the hiking. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Taupo. Many people enjoy the shopping and skiing when visiting Taupo. One reason most visitors come is for the skiing. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.


Which place is cheaper, Taupo 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 Taupo is $116. 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 Taupo in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Te Anau $46
    Taupo $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Te Anau $92
    Taupo $130
Compare Hotels in Te Anau and Taupo

Looking for a hotel in Te Anau or Taupo? 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 Taupo


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 Taupo Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Te Anau $28
    Taupo $26

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 Taupo?

Prices for flights to both Taupo 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
    Taupo $25

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Te Anau $49
    Taupo $36

Tours and Activities in Te Anau

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

  • Glowworm Caves Guided Tour: $74
  • Te Anau Glow Worm Caves Tour: $75
  • Lake 3-Hour Boat Cruise with Guided Walk: $90
  • Evening Scenic Cruise: $90
  • Afternoon Te Anau Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht: $92
  • Morning Tea Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht from Te Anau: $92
  • Champagne Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Te Anau: $92
  • Fiordland: Jet Boat & Nature Walk Experience from Te Anau: $111
  • From Milford Sound Coach Tour and Cruise: $115
  • Full-Day National Park Tour with Cruise and Lunch: $115
  • Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Tour from Te Anau : $117
  • Premium Milford Sound Full Day Tour & Cruise: $123

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
    $158
  • Jet Boating
    $59

Tours and Activities in Taupo

Here are a few actual costs in Taupo for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Daily Scenic Maori Rock Carving Cruise Taupo: $31
  • Escape Room Experience Taupo - Cabin in the Woods: $23
  • Escape Room Experience Taupo - The Candy Cottage: $23
  • Escape Room Experience Taupo - The Hunting Lodge: $23
  • Escape Room Experience Taupo - The Marvelous Circus: $23
  • Great Lake Trail Lake Taupo 2-Day Mountain Biking Tour: $101
  • Lake 1.5-Hour Maori Rock Carvings 5:00 PM Cruise: $28
  • Lake Maori Rock Carvings 10.30 AM 1.5-Hour Cruise: $30
  • Lake Māori Rock Carvings Scenic Boat Cruise: $30
  • Maori Rock Carvings - Taupo Sailing Adventures - Kindred Spirit: $37
  • Maori Rock Carvings - Taupo Sailing Adventures - Sail Fearless: $31
  • Maori Rock Carvings - Taupo Sailing Adventures -Tiua: $50

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Te Anau $14
    Taupo $14

Typical Alcohol Prices in Taupo

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


  • Wine
    $5.26


When comparing the travel costs between Te Anau and Taupo, 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.

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 Taupo Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Te Anau or Taupo?

Taupo has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Te Anau. When comparing the sizes of Te Anau and Taupo, 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.