Should you visit Alice Springs or Canberra?
Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Alice Springs and Canberra 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.
There is something special about the capital city of Australia. Canberra's not just a wonderful spot for outdoor adventures. It's a city completely designed and built up around the coast of an artificial lake. When architects Walter Burley and Marion Mahony Griffin proposed their plans for Canberra it was met with a lot of criticism. Many people thought it would be a "waste of a good sheep pasture."
Which city is cheaper, Canberra 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 Canberra is $118. 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 Canberra 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.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $146 in Canberra For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
Food in Canberra costs travelers about $31 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.
Meals for one day
Alice Springs $21
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:
Typical Food prices in Canberra
For Canberra, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
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.
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Canberra than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $22 on transportation in Canberra on average per day.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Alice Springs
Also for Alice Springs, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
From Ayers Rock Resort to Luxury Transfer:
Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) Coach Transfer:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Canberra
Also for Canberra, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Canberra -> Sydney -> Jindabyne -> Perisher Ski Resort : Private Transfer:
Canberra - Sydney Private Transfers:
Private Airport Transfer: from Canberra to Canberra Airport (CBR):
Is it cheaper to fly into Alice Springs or Canberra?
Prices for flights to both Canberra 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.
Sightseeing expenses in Canberra, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $15 per day, per person.
Tours and Activities in Alice Springs
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Alice Springs.
3-Day Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) via Kings Canyon Tour:
3-Day Uluru Camping Tour from Alice Springs Including Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon:
3-Day Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon 4WD Small-Group Eco-Tour from Alice Springs:
Alice Springs Camel Tour:
Alice Springs Desert Park General Entry Ticket:
Alice Springs Highlights Half-Day Tour:
Alice Springs Telegraph Station Entry and Tour Ticket:
Alice Springs, Uluru Ayers Rock & Kings Canyon 8 Days Touring Package:
4WD Palm Valley Tour with Lunch:
Best of Alice Springs Full Day Tour:
Chambers Pillar and Rainbow Valley 1 Day 4WD Tour:
East MacDonnell Ranges 1 Day 4WD Tour:
Tours and Activities in Canberra
For Canberra, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Batemans Bay Overnight Kayak Camping Tour from Canberra - All Inclusive:
Building and Architecture Tour | 10am Daily:
Canberra - Murrumbateman Private Group Winery Tours:
Canberra - Southern Highlands Winery Tour:
Capture Canberra Photography Tours:
Day Tour from Canberra to Batemans Bay - with Oyster Tasting Kayak Tour:
Day Tour from Canberra to Batemans Bay With Indigenous Experience:
Private Canberra Secrets Highlights Tour:
Skip the Line: Telstra Tower Observation Deck Ticket:
Ultimate Museum Experience | Tour + Dine + Shop (10am daily):
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.
Typically, people visiting Canberra spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typical Alcohol prices in Alice Springs
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Alice Springs:
Typical Alcohol prices in Canberra
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Canberra from other travelers:
Sample the Local Flavors in Canberra
Also in Canberra, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Capital Brewery Full-Day Tour:
From Winery, Distillery, & Tasting Tour with Lunch:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Alice Springs and Canberra, we can see that Canberra 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 Canberra would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Canberra than you might in Alice Springs.
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