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

Should you visit Te Anau or Tauranga?

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 Tauranga 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 stunning, pristine, and breathtaking town. Because it offers so much small town charm with a variety of activities, it attracts plenty of visitors for a good reason. You'll find world class beauty here as well. Other popular activities here include food and hiking.

Tauranga

Tauranga is a relaxing, nature-filled, and coastal town. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and hiking.

Te Anau and Tauranga: 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
  • Public transit not as usable
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
  • Good public transit
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Te Anau or Tauranga?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Tauranga. Although Te Anau and Tauranga are both popular with visitors, Tauranga has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Tauranga is more popular for its museums, nightlife, beaches, and shopping, while Te Anau is known for its food, hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Te Anau is popular for being the gateway to Fiordland National Park. Tauranga is popular for its sandy beaches and beautiful walking trails. It is also home to Mount Maunganui.

How is Te Anau different from Tauranga?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Tauranga 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 Tauranga?

Te Anau
Tauranga

Tauranga is a town with good options for its museums and history. However, Te Anau is lacking in good options for its museums and landmarks.

Tauranga offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are a number of historic buildings in town like the Elms Mission Station which dates back to 1847.

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 Tauranga? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Te Anau
Tauranga

Te Anau is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Tauranga is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its restaurants.

Dining out in Te Anau is an experience not to be missed. 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.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Tauranga. You'll find a great mix of restaurants in the town's downtown area. There are international flavors as well as seafood and other local favorites.

Is Te Anau or Tauranga Better for Nightlife?

Te Anau
Tauranga

Tauranga 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 Tauranga. The city is known for its laid back bar scene. There are venues with casual live music as well as pubs where locals and tourists intermingle.

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 Tauranga Better for Beaches?

Te Anau
Tauranga

Tauranga is a very popular place for the beache. However, Te Anau is not a beach destination.

The beaches at Tauranga attract visitors from all over. Families and travelers head here for the sandy beaches and water activities. Surfing, kayaking, and fishing are all popular in the area. Some of the most popular beaches include Mount Maunganui Beach, Waihī Beach, and Anzac Bay.

Te Anau is not a beach destination.


Is Te Anau or Tauranga Better for Hiking?

Te Anau
Tauranga

Te Anau is a world-class destination for the nearby hiking options. Also, Tauranga is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its hiking trails.

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 explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Tauranga. The Bay of Plenty is filled with hiking trails that run along the coast or head inland through the mountains. There are forest and bush walks that range in length and skill level and there really is something for everyone.

Is the Shopping Better in Te Anau or Tauranga?

Te Anau
Tauranga

Tauranga 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 Tauranga. You'll find all of the standard shopping malls, retail outlets, and clothing boutiques around town.

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 Tauranga Better for Families?

Te Anau
Tauranga

Both Te Anau and Tauranga 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, Tauranga is very family-friendly. Check out the ropes courses at Adrenalin Forest or play in the water at Waimarino Adventure Park. There are also many different walking areas like McLaren Falls Park and Kaiate Falls. Kids will love hanging out at the beach around Mount Maunganui or Papamoa Beach. This is an affordable and kid-family destination for locals and international tourists alike.


Is Te Anau or Tauranga Better for Couples?

Te Anau
Tauranga

Te Anau is a world-class destination for couples. Also, Tauranga is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for romance.

Te Anau makes for a terrific place to visit as a couple. 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.

Tauranga makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It's a romantic destination with great beaches and beautiful waterfalls. You can enjoy a picnic in the park or dine at one of the local restaurants. Kayaking is also a popular activity in the area.

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

Te Anau
Tauranga

Tauranga 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, Tauranga is extremely popular for backpackers. This is one of the more affordable destinations in New Zealand. There are also a number of backpacker-friendly jobs that make it a great place to base yourself.

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 Tauranga Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Te Anau
Tauranga

Tauranga 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.

Tauranga has some public transit options. There are buses, trains, and ferries in the area.

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 Tauranga a more walkable city?

Te Anau
Tauranga

Tauranga 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.

Tauranga is a somewhat walkable place. There are many walking and cycling paths in the area, but you really need a car to explore the area in depth.

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 Tauranga Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Tauranga or Te Anau?

How long in Te Anau or Tauranga?

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

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

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


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

One day in Te Anau or Tauranga?

Te Anau is a small town where visitors enjoy the food. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one day here. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

In Tauranga, you'll find nightlife and food. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. 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 Tauranga?

Te Anau is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Te Anau, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

In Tauranga, 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. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Tauranga has to offer.


Five days in Te Anau or Tauranga?

Te Anau is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Tauranga 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 Tauranga?

Te Anau is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Tauranga. Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Tauranga. 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in New Zealand, The Best Adventure Tours to New Zealand, The Best Eco Tours in New Zealand, and The Best Thrill-Seeking Tours in New Zealand.


Which place is cheaper, Tauranga or Te Anau?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Te Anau is $100, while the average daily cost in Tauranga is $104. 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 Tauranga in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Te Anau $44
    Tauranga $75
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Te Anau $88
    Tauranga $150
Compare Hotels in Te Anau and Tauranga

Looking for a hotel in Te Anau or Tauranga? 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 Tauranga


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 Tauranga Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Te Anau $27
    Tauranga $6.85

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Tauranga

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Tauranga:

  • Roundtrip Transfer from Port of Tauranga Omanu Golf Club: $75

Is it cheaper to fly into Te Anau or Tauranga?

Prices for flights to both Tauranga 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 $27
    Tauranga $22

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Te Anau $48
    Tauranga $10

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: $74
  • Afternoon Te Anau Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht: $91
  • Morning Tea Cruise on Historic Motor Yacht from Te Anau: $91
  • Champagne Sightseeing Cruise on Lake Te Anau: $91
  • Milford Sound Coach & Cruise Tour from Te Anau : $122
  • Te Anau Highlights & Lord of the Rings Small Group Tour from Te Anau : $125
  • Milford Sound Full-Day Tour from Te Anau: $131
  • Milford Sound Full Day Tour from Te Anau with Cruise: $140
  • Full-Day Milford Sound Tour with Cruise and Walks from Te Anau: $153
  • Full-Day Milford Sound Extraordinaire Tour from Te Anau: $156
  • Milford Sound Coach and Nature Cruise with Buffet Lunch from Te Anau: $166
  • Milford Sound Coach, Cruise and Underwater Observatory with lunch ex Te Anau: $168

Tours and Activities in Tauranga

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

  • 2-Hour Tauranga & Mount Maunganui City & Scenic Local Tour: $49
  • 2hr Tauranga City Scenic History Tour: $34
  • 4hr Shore Excursion - History and Tasting Tour FREE Kiwifruit Tasting: $59
  • 4hr Tauranga Scenic History and Tasting Tour FREE Kiwifruit Tasting: $59
  • 6hr Hobbiton Movie Set Tour - Departs Tauranga: $147
  • 6hr Rotorua Geothermal Wonderland Tour - Departs Tauranga: $150
  • 7hr Waimangu Geothermal Valley & Lake Rotomahana Tour - Departs Tauranga: $143
  • Boutique tour , Mt Maunganui, NZ farm, Rotorua lakes/geothermal : $138
  • Half Day Dolphin & Wildlife Cruise - Tauranga: $109
  • Half Day Dolphin Watching Cruise: $109
  • Half Day Dolphin Watching Cruise (Departing from Rotorua): $109
  • MT. Maunganui and Rotorua Tour from Tauranga with Concert: $172

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Te Anau $14
    Tauranga $10


When comparing the travel costs between Te Anau and Tauranga, we can see that Tauranga 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 Tauranga Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Te Anau or Tauranga?

Tauranga has a larger population, and is about 50 times larger than the population of Te Anau. When comparing the sizes of Te Anau and Tauranga, 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.