Travel Budget for Nelson Visit Nelson on a Budget or Travel in Style

Nelson, Nelson, New Zealand

How much does it cost to travel to Nelson?

You should plan to spend around $95 (NZ$159) per day on your vacation in Nelson. This is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors.

Past travelers have spent, on average for one day:

  • $27 (NZ$46) on meals
  • $29 (NZ$48) on local transportation
  • $82 (NZ$137) on hotels

A one week trip to Nelson for two people costs, on average, $1,334 (NZ$2,224). This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
  • One Week Per person
  • 2 Weeks Per person
  • One Month Per person
  • One Week For a couple
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
  • One Month For a couple
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

How much does a one week, two week, or one month trip to Nelson cost?

A one week trip to Nelson usually costs around $667 (NZ$1,112) for one person and $1,334 (NZ$2,224) for two people. This includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

A two week trip to Nelson on average costs around $1,334 (NZ$2,224) for one person and $2,667 (NZ$4,448) for two people. This cost includes accommodation, food, local transportation, and sightseeing.

Please note, prices can vary based on your travel style, speed, and other variables. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price per person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Nelson will often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.

A one month trip to Nelson on average costs around $2,858 (NZ$4,766) for one person and $5,715 (NZ$9,532) for two people. The more places you visit, the higher the daily price will become due to increased transportation costs.

Independent Travel

Traveling Independently to Nelson has many benefits including affordabilty, freedom, flexibility, and the opportunity to control your own experiences.

All of the travel costs below are based on the experiences of other independent travelers.

Is Nelson expensive to visit?

Prices in Nelson are reasonable and comparable to your average travel destination. Hotels, food, and sightseeing are generally within normal price ranges.

Within the Pacific, which is known to be an expensive region, Nelson is a reasonably affordable destination compared to other places. It is in the top 25% of cities in the Pacific for its affordability. You can find more affordable cities such as Paihia, but there are also more expensive cities, such as Sydney.

For more details, and to find out if it's within your travel budget, see Is Nelson Expensive?

How much money do I need for a trip to Nelson?

The average Nelson trip cost is broken down by category here for independent travelers. All of these Nelson travel prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Category Cost
Accommodation 1 (Double Occupancy) NZ$137 ($82)
Local Transportation 1 NZ$48 ($29)
Food 2 NZ$46 ($27)
Entertainment 1 NZ$40 ($24)
Tips and Handouts 1 NZ$0 - 0 ($0 - 0)
Alcohol 2 NZ$11 - 32 ($6 - 19)
Accommodation Budget in Nelson
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Nelson is $41 (NZ$68). For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Nelson is $82 (NZ$137). This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room

Hotel Prices in Nelson

Looking for a hotel in Nelson? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options.

Find the best hotel for your travel style.


Actual Hotel Prices
The average hotel room price in Nelson based on data provided by Kayak for actual hotel rooms is $88. (Prices in U.S. Dollars, before taxes & fees.)

Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world.

Recommended Properties

Transportation Budget in Nelson
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in Nelson is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $29 (NZ$48) per person, per day, on local transportation in Nelson.

  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.

Flights to Nelson
How much does it cost to go to Nelson? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all airlines.

Rental Cars in Nelson
The price of renting a car in Nelson will depends on dates, the type of car, the location, and your age. We recommend Kayak because they can find the best deals across all car rental companies.

Food Budget in Nelson
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in Nelson can vary, the average cost of food in Nelson is $27 (NZ$46) per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Nelson should cost around $11 (NZ$18) per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Nelson is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

  • Food2 Meals for one day

Entertainment Budget in Nelson
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in Nelson typically cost an average of $24 (NZ$40) per person, per day based on the spending of previous travelers. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.

  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.

Recommended Activities

Tips and Handouts Budget in Nelson
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average cost for Tips and Handouts in Nelson is $0.04 (NZ$0.06) per day. The usual amount for a tip in Nelson is 5% - 15%.

  • Tips and Handouts1 For guides or service providers

Alcohol Budget in Nelson
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about $13 (NZ$21) on alcoholic beverages in Nelson per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day


Water Budget in Nelson
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend $1.15 (NZ$1.92) on bottled water in Nelson per day. The public water in Nelson is considered safe to drink.

  • Water2 Bottled water for one day

Nelson On a Budget
Nelson Archway Islands, Wharariki Beach, New Zealand
Nelson is a city that sits on Tasman Bay on the South Island of New Zealand. Travelers, especially ones that are heading to explore Abel Tasman National Park, frequently visit this town. Nelson has a population of about 46,000 people and, geographically speaking, it is the center of New Zealand as a whole.
Nelson is a town that is well known for its arts and crafting influences. There is a museum in Nelson called WOW The World of Wearable Art and Collectable Cars that's something worth seeing. The Miyazu Japanese Garden is a beautiful place to see as well; it was inspired by the Japanese city Miyazu, which is Nelsons sister city.

As mentioned above, Nelson is the geographical center of New Zealand, and there is a trigonometrical point and marker on a hill in the botanic gardens. This is a great place for photos and has beautiful views of the city below with the sea on the horizon.

One of the famous landmarks in Nelson is the Christ Church Cathedral. Granite steps lead you from Trafalgar Square up to the doors of the Cathedral. There are services on Sunday's if you wish to attend one of those.
There are many different neighborhoods and areas in the greater region of Nelson. Nelson and Richmond make up the urban centers of the region (Richmond is about 8 miles from Nelson). Heading west, the towns and bays off of the highways that surround Nelson are considered part of the region as well. Some of these towns are Mapua, Motueka, and Moutere. Mapua is a great place to explore if you're interested in wildlife, more specifically birds and whales. The ecological Waimea inlet is located here and is a great place to spot some of this wildlife. Other than that, Mapua has great wineries and cafes. As you continue along highway 60, you will pass the turn off for Ruby Bay. There is a campsite on the bay called McKee Memorial Reserve Camping Ground and it is well worth spending a night at. It costs no more than $10 to camp, and the view that you will wake up to in the morning is unreal. It is not far outside of Nelson either, so if you have the camping gear, I suggest checking out Ruby Bay!

The next town that is part of the Nelson region is Motueka. Here you will find many art galleries and studios that have many different types of art. Motueka is also known for beer; the best hops in the world are grown here and during harvest season you can even volunteer to help cut down vines for harvesting.

If you are aiming to get to the beautiful Abel Tasman National Park, you will pass through one more beach town worth visiting, which is Kaiteriteri. The sand at the beach is made of quartz and mica particles giving it a unique golden tint. This is a great beach for swimming, but keep in mind the water is pretty chilly, even in the summer! Just outside of Kaiteriteri is a geological point of interest called Split Apple Rock, which is a giant rock made of granite that is shaped like an apple cut in half. After Kaiteriteri, you will find yourself in Abel Tasman National Park, which is one of New Zealand's sunniest and most beautiful parks. Kayaking is very popular in the park, as well as hiking and other water activities.

Visit Tahanui Beach for a day full of activities while you are in Nelson. The beach is beautiful in itself, but you can also visit the skate park, children's playground, hydroslide, the public tennis courts, or even play a round of mini golf! The beach is about five kilometers from the city center.

Paragliding is a great activity while in Nelson as you can witness the beautiful views of the sea and land from above. Cumulus Paragliding offers tandem paragliding experiences.

Alternatively, it is really worth making a day (or more) trip to Abel Tasman National Park. There are tons of activities, but kayaking is one of the most popular.

Lastly, if you are visiting New Zealand, skydiving should be something on the cards for you. It is one of the most sought after activities in the country and Abel Tasman is one of the best places in the world to do it. You can see everything from snow-capped mountains to crystal clear ocean waters when you jump.
Food and Dining
Nelson is the largest fishing port in all of Australasia, which means the seafood here is pretty unbeatable. There is a market that sells fresh local produce, and most of the restaurants serve it as well. If you want something fast, grab a Turkish kebab from Akbabas Turkish Kebab House, which is Nelson's most popular takeaway restaurant.

Nelson is the craft brewing capital of New Zealand, so be sure to try some beer. It also has many boutique wineries that have won international competitions. The Free House is a bar that serves many of the local beers (sadly, the beers are not free).

You can take a bus to Nelson on the InterCity Coachlines. There are buses running daily to Nelson from various parts of the South Island. Naked bus is another bus company but doesn't have as frequent of routes going to and from Nelson. You can also fly into Nelson if you are coming from the North Island. Many people take the ferry from the North Island as well, which brings you to a town called Picton, 100 kilometers away from Nelson. In Picton, you can take a bus to Nelson.

Renting a car is another great option, as you have the freedom to explore the Nelson region at your own time and pace. There is a company called Wicked Campers that rents cars with tents on the roof if you are looking to do some camping on your holiday! Another company is called New Zealand Rent a Car, and they allow you to pick up and drop off the car in different locations. Once you are in Nelson you can get around on foot, bus or taxi.


Looking for a party in Auckland or somewhere else in New Zealand?
Traveling alone or with a group?

We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.

1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase. Thus, the overall daily average cost is not a summation of the individual categories.

Budget Your Trip is all about finding out how much everything costs so that you can travel cheaper and longer. Created by avid travelers Laurie and Bryan, our goal is to help you plan your next trip on the right budget. With average daily travel costs that are calculated from the budgets of real travelers, plus an analysis of hotel and tour prices, you can find out how much money you need to plan your next adventure. We also have plenty of travel advice, accommodation reviews, and activity suggestions.

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