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

Should you visit Wellington or Taupo?

Should I visit Wellington or Taupo? 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.

Taupo

Taupo is a town located in the center of the North Island, situated on the shores of Lake Taupo, which is New Zealand's largest lake. It is also the caldera of the Taupo Volcano. It has a population of 23,700 people and is visited by many people interested in fishing, boating, and other water activities. There are many hiking and biking trails that take you around the water as well.

Which city is cheaper, Taupo or Wellington?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Wellington is $86, while the average daily cost in Taupo is $97. 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 Taupo in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $98 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 $55. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Taupo the cost is $110 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Wellington $49
    Taupo $55
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Wellington $98
    Taupo $110

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 $10 on transportation in Wellington on average per day.

The average price of local transportation around Taupo is $22 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 $10
    Taupo $22

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 Taupo?

Prices for flights to both Taupo 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

Wellington food costs typically run travelers around $26 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.

Taupo food costs typically run travelers around $20 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 Meals for one day
    Wellington $26
    Taupo $20
Typical Food prices in Wellington

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


  • Dinner
    $9.70

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

Sightseeing expenses in Wellington, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $14 per day, per person.

Taupo's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $30 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 $14
    Taupo $30

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

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
    $165
  • Jet Boating
    $61

Tours and Activities in Taupo

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

  • Cruise Kakariki to the Maori Rock Carvings: $30
  • Daily Scenic Maori Rock Carving Cruise Taupo: $26
  • Great Lake Trail Lake Taupo 2-Day Mountain Biking Tour: $175
  • Lake Taupo Maori Rock Carving 2.5-Hour Sailing Cruise: $33
  • Lake Maori Rock Carvings 1.5-Hour Scenic Cruise: $23
  • Maori Rock Carvings Scenic Cruise: $26
  • Self-Guided Geothermal Tour in Orakei Korako: $30
  • Taupo Highlights Tour - Go Explore Scenic: $182

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Wellington spend on average $11 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

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


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Wellington $11
    Taupo $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

Typical Alcohol prices in Taupo

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


  • Wine
    $5.49


When comparing the travel costs between Wellington 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.

Budget Your Trip

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Wellington vs. Taupo Travel Comparison

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