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

Should you visit Wellington or Christchurch?

Should I visit Wellington or Christchurch? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

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.

Christchurch

Christchurch is the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand, right beside the Canterbury Plains. Most people begin their South Island travels here. The city itself can be fascinating to explore so it is worth allowing yourself several days in town as an introduction to the region.

The River Avon flows through the city center, twisting through the old buildings. Christchurch is referred to in New Zealand as the Garden City and it is easy to see why. It's quite a nice city with trees spread throughout. The economy is centered around international tourism as well as foreign education. There is a high Asian student population here, giving the city a diverse feel.

Christchurch's climate is temperate and the city receives moderate rainfall. In January average high temperatures are around 73 degrees Fahrenheit with averages around 52 degrees Fahrenheit in July. There is a sea breeze during the summer months that keep temperatures pleasant. Temperatures can drop below freezing at night during the winter months. Snow may also fall several times a year.

Which city is cheaper, Christchurch or Wellington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Wellington is $94, while the average daily cost in Christchurch is $90. 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 Wellington and Christchurch in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $106 in Wellington For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $46. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Christchurch the cost is $92 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Wellington $53
    Christchurch $46
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Wellington $106
    Christchurch $92

Food

Wellington food costs typically run travelers around $28 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

Food in Christchurch costs travelers about $29 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Wellington $28
    Christchurch $29
Typical Food prices in Wellington

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


  • Dinner
    $10

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: $204
  • Local Delicacies Half-Day Food Tour: $215
  • A Taste Of Wellington Food Tour (half Day): $227
  • Full Day Wellington Food Tour: $279
  • Full Day Wellington Food Tour: $295

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Christchurch

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Christchurch.

  • Tramway Restaurant 4 Course Dinner Service through Christchurch: $92
  • Willowbank Kiwi Tour and Maori Concert Including Hangi Dinner from Christchurch: $174

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Wellington than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $11 on transportation in Wellington on average per day.

The average price of local transportation around Christchurch is $14 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Wellington $11
    Christchurch $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Wellington

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

  • Arrival Transfer: Wellington Airport to Central Wellington City Centre Hotels: $13
  • Departure Transfer: Wellington Central City Centre Hotels to Wellington Airport: $13
  • Shared Transfer Between Airport & City CBD: $12

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Christchurch

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Christchurch:

  • VIP Sedan Christchurch Airport Transfer to or from Central Christchurch: $80
  • VIP Range Rover Christchurch Airport Transfer to or from Central Christchurch: $108
  • Transfer from Christchurch Central City to Christchurch Airport: $21
  • Private Transfer: Christchurch to Mount Cook: $790
  • Private Transfer - Airport to Central Christchurch: $44
  • Private Minibus Airport Transfer - Pickup Hotel / Residence to Airport (11 Pax): $120
  • Private Minibus Airport Transfer - Pickup Airport to Hotel / Residence (11 Pax): $120
  • Private Departure Transfer: Central Christchurch to Christchurch Airport: $59
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Christchurch Airport to Central Christchurch: $59
  • Private Airport Round-Trip Transfer:Christchurch Airport to Central Christchurch: $74
  • Private & Exclusive One-Way Transfer Christchurch to Queenstown: $1,264
  • Executive Sedan Airport Transfer(Pickup Airport to Hotel/Residence) Christchurch: $60

Is it cheaper to fly into Wellington or Christchurch?

Prices for flights to both Christchurch 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Wellington, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $15 per day, per person.

Christchurch's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $16 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Wellington $15
    Christchurch $16

Tours and Activities in Wellington

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

  • One-Way or Return Cable Car Ticket: $3.60
  • The Great War Exhibition Entry Ticket: $11
  • Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa: Gallipoli Early Entry Ticket: $11
  • Wellington Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Wellington Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa Twilight Express Tour: $14
  • Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa Maori Highlights Tour: $14
  • Museum of Te Papa Tongarewa Guided Tour: $14
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa: Small Group Guided Tour: $15
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa: Mana Māori Tour: $15
  • The Great War Exhibition Guided Tour: $18
  • Skip the Line: Staglands Wildlife Reserve Entry Ticket: $18

Tours and Activities in Christchurch

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

  • 1 day private tour from Christchurch to Queenstown via Mt.Cook: $322
  • 1-Day Guided Walking Tour and Picnic on Banks Peninsula: $138
  • 10 Day Adrenalin Tour. Skydiving, Bungy, Rafting, Climbing, Heli MTB & more.: $4,219
  • 10 Day Adventure Tour. Hiking, Kayaking, Mountain Biking, Jet Boating & more.: $4,219
  • 2 days tour from Christchurch to Queenstown: $595
  • 2 hour Christchurch City Tour with scenic Chairlift ride: $99
  • 3 Day Christchurch and Akaroa Exclusive Private Tour: $2,026
  • 3 hour Christchurch City Tour with Ziplining at Christchurch Adventure Park: $237
  • 3-Day Christchurch City Break Tour For Locals: $337
  • 3-Day Christchurch and Akaroa Arrival Tour with Harbor Cruise: $668
  • 3-Day South Island Circle Tour from Christchurch: $1,158
  • 4 Day Kaikoura and Pancake Rocks Private Tour: $3,317

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Wellington spend on average $12 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Christchurch may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Wellington $12
    Christchurch $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 Craft Brewery Half-Day Guided Tour with Tastings: $91
  • Wellington Craft Brewery Half Day Tour: $95
  • Wellington All-Inclusive Half-Day Brewery Tour: $97
  • 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 Christchurch

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

  • A Waipara Wine Experience with Giles Tours, includes wine tastings and lunch: $95
  • All-Inclusive Waipara Region Wine Tour from Christchurch: $100
  • Akaroa Eco-Safari with Alpaca Farm Tour and Wine Tasting: $103
  • Full-day Akaroa Tour with Penguins Safari and Wine Tasting: $114
  • Lyttelton Shore Excursion - Waipara Wine Tour With Lunch: $115
  • Full-day Akaroa Tour with Dolphin Cruise & Wine Tasting: $133
  • Private Waipara Valley Wine Tasting Tour with optional Gourmet Lunch: $190
  • Hanmer Springs Private Day Tour Including Hot Pool & Wine Tasting: $356


When comparing the travel costs between Wellington and Christchurch, we can see that Wellington 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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Wellington vs. Christchurch Travel Comparison

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