A Travel Price Comparison for New Zealand Wellington vs. Auckland for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Wellington or Auckland?

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

Should I visit Wellington or Auckland? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Wellington or Auckland?

Wellington

Wellington is the capital and second largest city in New Zealand. It sits on the southwestern edge of the North Island between Cook Strait and the Rimutaka Range. It's a beautiful setting that is encircled by mountains giving it a beautiful backdrop. There are also many cultural sights and attractions around town. Wellington really is the perfect mix of New Zealand's natural beauty and a vibrant urban core. The film industry is also prevelant in the city. The city's production centers have helped create Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit trilogies, Avatar, Tin Tin, and District 9.

Auckland

Auckland is located on the North Island of New Zealand on an isthmus between the Northland Peninsula and the other parts of the North Island. Auckland is not only a city but also a region. In 2010 New Zealand combined what had previously been four separate cities into one region. These cities include the southern city of Manukau, the western city of Waitakere, the North Shore in the north, and Auckland City. The City of Auckland is the largest city in Polynesia and is very diverse with many expatriates from elsewhere in Polynesia. This diversity becomes most apparent in Auckland's many festivals and sporting events.

Which city is cheaper, Auckland or Wellington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Wellington is $84, while the average daily cost in Auckland is $117. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Wellington and Auckland in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Wellington $47
    Auckland $74
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Wellington $94
    Auckland $148
Compare Hotels in Wellington and Auckland

Looking for a hotel in Wellington or Auckland? 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 Wellington


Hotels in Auckland


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: Wellington Hotel Prices and Auckland Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Wellington $9.84
    Auckland $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Wellington

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

  • Departure Transfer: Wellington Central City Centre Hotels to Wellington Airport: $13
  • Arrival Transfer: Wellington Airport to Central Wellington City Centre Hotels: $13

Typical Local Transportation prices in Auckland

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Auckland:


  • Bus from Airport
    $10.00
  • Airport Shuttle
    $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Auckland

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

  • Private transfer: Auckland Airport (AKL) to Auckland: $71
  • Private Transfer North Shore or Henderson to Auckland Airport AKL by Luxury Van: $97
  • Private Transfer North Shore or Henderson to Auckland Airport AKL by Luxury Car: $101
  • Private Transfer From Auckland International Airport To Auckland City: $44
  • Private Transfer From Auckland Domestic Airport To Auckland City: $44
  • Private Transfer From Auckland City To Auckland Airport: $41
  • Private Inter City Transfer From Auckland To Hamilton: $148
  • Private Auckland Airport to City Transfer for up to 5 passengers: $96
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Auckland to Auckland Airport (AKL): $27
  • Private Airport Transfer: Auckland Airport (AKL) to Auckland: $27
  • Intercity (Tauranga, Whangarei, Hamilton etc) /Auckland Airport Transfers: $76
  • Great Barrier transfer - fly directly from Waiheke Island: $185

Is it cheaper to fly into Wellington or Auckland?

Prices for flights to both Auckland and Wellington 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
    Wellington $25
    Auckland $22
Typical Food prices in Wellington

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


  • Dinner
    $9.37

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Wellington

For Wellington, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Walking Food Tour Of Wellington: $148
  • Martinborough Wine and Food Tour with Lunch from Wellington: $203
  • Local Delicacies Half-Day Food Tour: $204
  • A Taste Of Wellington Food Tour (half Day): $227
  • Full Day Wellington Food Tour: $264
  • Full Day Wellington Food Tour: $295

Typical Food prices in Auckland

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


  • Breakfast
    $5.00

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Auckland

For Auckland, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Auckland Harbour Sailboat Cruise Including Three Course Dinner: $107

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Wellington $14
    Auckland $23

Tours and Activities in Wellington

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

  • 10 day - South Island Tour (All inclusive): $1,370
  • 2 Hour Comfort Cruiser Bike Hire: $22
  • 3-Day Wellington to Auckland Tour: $666
  • 30 Mins Lamborghini Supercar Experience: $133
  • 30-Minute Romantic Helicopter Tour from Wellington: $682
  • 4-Day Wellington to Auckland via Rotorua Tour: $814
  • 7 Day - South Island Tour (All inclusive): $1,029
  • Bay of Many Coves Helicopter Tour with 3-Course Lunch from Wellington: $622
  • Beer tours in a Bubble for 10 people: $996
  • Beer tours in a Bubble for 2 people: $319
  • Beer tours in a Bubble for 4 people: $515
  • Beer tours in a Bubble for 6 people: $719

Typical Entertainment prices in Auckland

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Auckland's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Auckland Sky Tour (for 2)
    $34
  • Waiheke Island Tour (for 2)
    $126

Tours and Activities in Auckland

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

  • 10-Day 'Vibe of the North' Epic Summer Tour for 18-30s!: $1,177
  • 13,000 Feet Tandem Skydive & Gannet Experience: $481
  • 14 Day - North to South Island Tour (All inclusive): $1,992
  • 16,000 Feet Tandem Skydive & Gannet Experience: $592
  • 17 day - North to South Island Tour (All inclusive): $2,333
  • 2 Day Rotorua Experience: Waitomo Caves, Maori Culture & Ziplining from Auckland: $733
  • 2 Day Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set and Rotorua Tour from Auckland: $859
  • 20,000 Feet Tandem Skydive & Gannet Experience: $740
  • 23-Day Epic New Zealand Tour: $3,630
  • 3 Day Bay Of Islands Tour from Auckland including Waitangi and Cape Reinga: $703
  • 3 Day Bay of Islands Winterless North Tour: $370
  • 3 Day Waitomo Caves, Hobbiton Movie Set and Rotorua Tour from Auckland: $933

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Wellington $10
    Auckland $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Wellington

Also in Wellington, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Wellington All-Inclusive Half-Day Brewery Tour: $92
  • Wellington Craft Brewery Half-Day Guided Tour with Tastings: $94
  • Wellington Craft Brewery Half Day Tour: $95
  • Craft Beer Tours NZ Half Day Brewery Experience: $102
  • Craft Beer Tours NZ Full Day Brewery Experience: $133
  • Martinborough Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch from Wellington: $189
  • Martinborough Wine Tour: $369

Sample the Local Flavors in Auckland

Also in Auckland, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Tour and Tastings in an Urban Craft Beer Brewery: $23
  • Wild West Coast & Black Sand Beach Tour incl Craft Beer Brewery Lunch & Tasting: $100
  • Premium Full Day Waiheke Wine Tour: $125
  • Small-Group Wine Tasting Experience on Waiheke Island: $131
  • Waiheke Island Premium Food & Wine Tour with Platter Lunch: $146
  • Waiheke Island: Afternoon Small Group Wine Tour with Lunch: $157
  • The Essence of Waiheke Wine Tour: $157
  • Full-Day Waiheke Island Food and Wine Tour: $165
  • Matakana: Full-Day Food and Wine Tour: $169
  • The Afternoon Artisan Food and Wine Tour: $169
  • Auckland Shore Excursion: City Sightseeing, Harbour Cruise and Waiheke Island Wine Tasting: $171
  • Small-Group Kumeu Wine Country Tour Includes Wine Tastings & Lunch: $189


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Wellington and Auckland, we can see that Auckland is more expensive. And not only is Wellington much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Wellington would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Wellington 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 Auckland would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Auckland than you might in Wellington.


When is the best time to visit Wellington or Auckland?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Wellington or Auckland in the Summer?

Both Auckland and Wellington are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities.

Wellington is cooler than Auckland in the summer. The temperature in Wellington is usually 18°C (64°F) in January, and Auckland stays around 20°C (68°F).

It's quite sunny in Auckland. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Wellington. Wellington usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Auckland during summer. Wellington gets 242 hours of sunny skies, while Auckland receives 240 hours of full sun in the summer.

In January, Wellington usually receives less rain than Auckland. Wellington gets 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain, while Auckland receives 67 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Wellington 18°C (64°F) 
    Auckland 20°C (68°F)

Should I visit Wellington or Auckland in the Autumn?

Both Auckland and Wellington during the autumn are popular places to visit.

In the autumn, Wellington is cooler than Auckland. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Wellington in April are around 15°C (58°F), and Auckland is about 16°C (61°F).

In the autumn, Wellington often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Auckland. Wellington gets 163 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Auckland receives 162 hours of full sun.

Wellington usually gets less rain in April than Auckland. Wellington gets 82 mm (3.2 in) of rain, while Auckland receives 95 mm (3.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Wellington 15°C (58°F) 
    Auckland 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Wellington or Auckland in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Wellington and Auckland.

In July, Wellington is generally cooler than Auckland. Temperatures in Wellington average around 10°C (49°F), and Auckland stays around 11°C (52°F).

Wellington usually receives less sunshine than Auckland during winter. Wellington gets 122 hours of sunny skies, while Auckland receives 141 hours of full sun in the winter.

Auckland receives a lot of rain in the winter. Wellington gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In July, Wellington usually receives less rain than Auckland. Wellington gets 111 mm (4.4 in) of rain, while Auckland receives 135 mm (5.3 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Wellington 10°C (49°F) 
    Auckland 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Wellington or Auckland in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Wellington as well as Auckland.

Wellington is cooler than Auckland in the spring. The temperature in Wellington is usually 13°C (55°F) in October, and Auckland stays around 14°C (58°F).

In the spring, Wellington often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Auckland. Wellington gets 180 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Auckland receives 192 hours of full sun.

Wellington usually gets more rain in October than Auckland. Wellington gets 93 mm (3.7 in) of rain, while Auckland receives 83 mm (3.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Wellington 13°C (55°F) 
    Auckland 14°C (58°F)

Typical Weather for Auckland and Wellington

Wellington Auckland
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 18°C (64°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 20°C (68°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Feb 18°C (64°F) 51 mm (2 in) 20°C (68°F) 65 mm (2.6 in)
Mar 17°C (62°F) 75 mm (3 in) 19°C (66°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Apr 15°C (58°F) 82 mm (3.2 in) 16°C (61°F) 95 mm (3.7 in)
May 12°C (54°F) 92 mm (3.6 in) 14°C (57°F) 92 mm (3.6 in)
Jun 10°C (51°F) 113 mm (4.4 in) 12°C (53°F) 116 mm (4.6 in)
Jul 10°C (49°F) 111 mm (4.4 in) 11°C (52°F) 135 mm (5.3 in)
Aug 10°C (50°F) 98 mm (3.9 in) 11°C (53°F) 108 mm (4.3 in)
Sep 12°C (53°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 13°C (55°F) 97 mm (3.8 in)
Oct 13°C (55°F) 93 mm (3.7 in) 14°C (58°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)
Nov 15°C (58°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 16°C (61°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Dec 17°C (62°F) 69 mm (2.7 in) 18°C (65°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)


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Wellington vs. Auckland Travel Comparison

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