Should you visit Alice Springs or Airlie Beach?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Alice Springs and Airlie Beach can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.
Alice Springs is in the middle of Central Australia and is most famous as a base for exploring the famous rock, Uluru. Alice Springs itself has grown dramatically from what was once a small outpost. The tourist boom began in the early 1980s and the population is now somewhere around 28,000. The city now has all of the necessary facilities to cater to the influx of tourists who swing through to see Uluru. The town is 1500km from Darwin, which is the closest major city. Adelaide is just as far to the south. It's remote location means that costs can be higher than they are elsewhere in Australia. Expect to pay more for anything from fruits and vegetables to clothing and souvenirs. When making a reservation for a hotel, do note that the rating scale differs from elsewhere in Australia or in most western countries. The ratings come from the amenities available and have little to do with the actual room quality.
Airlie Beach, in Queensland, offers the closest port to the Whitsunday Islands on the Great Barrier Reef. It's a small town of only 25,000 and has grown out of the area's popularity as a tourist destination. It's main industry remains tourism and, as such, there are many venues set up to accommodate travelers hoping to make trips to the Whitsunday Islands and the Outer Great Barrier Reef. The town has the feel of a vacation destination. While in the past Airlie Beach appealed specifically to the backpacker crowd, it's popularity has spread and now there are facilities catering to all travel types. The area has become more commercialized and there are plenty of large resorts to choose from. Even so, you'll still find no shortage of affordable accommodation around town.
Which city is cheaper, Airlie Beach or Alice Springs?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Alice Springs is $84, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach is $125. 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 Alice Springs and Airlie Beach in more detail.
Travelers usually pay around $88 for a double occupancy room in Alice Springs If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $104 for a double occupancy room in Airlie Beach.
The average traveler spends about $21 per day in Alice Springs for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
While meal prices in Airlie Beach can vary, the average travelers spends about $28 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Airlie Beach should cost around $11 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Airlie Beach is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Alice Springs $21
Airlie Beach $28
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Alice Springs
For Alice Springs, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
From Uluru Full-Day Tour with BBQ Dinner:
Ayers Rock Day Trip from Alice Springs Including Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Sunset BBQ Dinner:
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Airlie Beach
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Airlie Beach.
Whitsundays Segway Sunset and Boardwalk Tour with Dinner:
Alice Springs's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $18 per person, per day on transportation in Alice Springs.
The cost of a taxi ride in Airlie Beach is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $17 per person, per day, on local transportation in Airlie Beach.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Alice Springs
Also for Alice Springs, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) Coach Transfer:
From Ayers Rock Resort to Luxury Transfer:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Airlie Beach
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Airlie Beach:
Airport Transfers - Return (round fare) share shuttle service:
Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service:
Whitsunday: Prosperpine Airport to Airlie Beach Transfer:
Is it cheaper to fly into Alice Springs or Airlie Beach?
Prices for flights to both Airlie Beach and Alice Springs 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Alice Springs can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $12 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Entertainment and activities in Airlie Beach typically cost an average of $142 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Tours and Activities in Alice Springs
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Alice Springs.
Skip the Line: Alice Springs School of the Air Guided Tour Ticket:
Alice Springs Telegraph Station Entry and Tour Ticket:
Alice Springs Desert Park General Entry Ticket:
Alice Springs Camel Tour:
Alice Springs Highlights Half-Day Tour:
4WD Palm Valley Tour with Lunch:
Palm Valley 4WD Day Tour:
Palm Valley 4WD Tour from Alice Springs:
Best of Alice Springs Full Day Tour:
West MacDonnell Ranges Small-Group Full-Day Guided Tour:
Rainbow Valley Sunset Half -Day 4WD Tour:
East MacDonnell Ranges: Small Group 4x4 Tour & Picnic Lunch:
Tours and Activities in Airlie Beach
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Airlie Beach are as follows:
2 Day Great Barrier Reef "Reefsuites" Experience:
2 Night Small Group Whitsundays Sailing Adventure Aboard Mandrake:
2 night Whitsunday Islands Cruise on Atlantic Clipper from Airlie Beach:
2-Day Great Barrier Reef "Reefsleep" Experience:
2-Day Whitsundays Sailing Adventure: SV Whitehaven:
2-Day Whitsundays Sailing Adventure: Summertime:
2-Night Whitsunday Islands All-Inclusive Sailing Tour from Airlie Beach:
2-Night Whitsunday Islands Sailing Adventure on Trimaran 'Avatar':
2-Night Whitsundays Sailing Cruise Aboard 'Spank Me' Including Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef:
2Day 2Night Sail, Snorkel & SUP Adventure Whitsundays double:
3 Day Whitsundays Sailing and Diving Adventure: Kiana:
3 Day and 2 Night Whitsundays Maxi Sailing Adventure on Hammer:
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Alice Springs, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $15.
The average person spends about $7.99 on alcoholic beverages in Airlie Beach per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
Typical Alcohol prices in Alice Springs
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Alice Springs:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Alice Springs and Airlie Beach, we can see that Airlie Beach is more expensive. And not only is Alice Springs much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Alice Springs would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Alice Springs 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 Airlie Beach would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Airlie Beach than you might in Alice Springs.
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