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

Should you visit Wellington or Lake Tekapo?

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

Should I visit Wellington or Lake Tekapo? 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 Lake Tekapo?

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.

Lake Tekapo

Tekapo is a lakeside town on the South Island of New Zealand, and it is part of the Mackenzie District of Canterbury. This is one of the bluest lakes in the country and is surrounded by the mighty mountains of the Southern Alps.

Which city is cheaper, Lake Tekapo or Wellington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Wellington is $77, while the average daily cost in Lake Tekapo is $58. 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 Lake Tekapo in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Wellington $44
    Lake Tekapo $46
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Wellington $88
    Lake Tekapo $92
Compare Hotels in Wellington and Lake Tekapo

Looking for a hotel in Wellington or Lake Tekapo? 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 Lake Tekapo


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Wellington $9.05
    Lake Tekapo -

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Wellington or Lake Tekapo?

Prices for flights to both Lake Tekapo 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 $23
    Lake Tekapo $9.91
Typical Food prices in Wellington

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


  • Dinner
    $8.62

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Wellington $13
    Lake Tekapo -

Tours and Activities in Wellington

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

  • Return Cable Car Ticket: $6.13
  • Museum of NZ Te Papa Tongarewa: Gallipoli Early Entry Ticket: $10
  • Wellington Self-Guided Audio Tour: $12
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa Guided Tour: $14
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa: Mana Māori Tour: $14
  • Museum of NZ Te Papa Tongarewa Twilight Express Tour: $14
  • Wellington Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa: Small Group Guided Tour: $15
  • Museum of New Zealand Te Papa: Mana Māori Tour: $15
  • Skip the Line: Staglands Wildlife Reserve Entry Ticket: $18
  • 2 Hour Comfort Cruiser Bike Hire: $22
  • Fear Factory Haunted House Admission Ticket: $24

Tours and Activities in Lake Tekapo

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

  • Crater Experience at Cowan's Observatory: $96
  • Dark Sky Experience: $33
  • Summit Experience - University of Canterbury Mt John Observatory: $133

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Wellington $9.47
    Lake Tekapo -

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


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

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

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Wellington vs. Lake Tekapo Travel Comparison

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