A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Alice Springs vs. Katoomba for Hiking, Families, Couples, and Backpackers

Should you visit Alice Springs or Katoomba?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Alice Springs and Katoomba can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Alice Springs

Alice Springs is a charming, friendly, and laid back town. This is a great small town that is just waiting to be explored. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. It's also known for food, hiking, and shopping.

Katoomba

Katoomba is a breathtaking , stunning, and peaceful town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. It's also popular because of the nightlife, food, and hiking.

Alice Springs and Katoomba: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Alice Springs or Katoomba?

Both Katoomba and Alice Springs have plenty of things to do for travelers. Both provide a wide variety of sights and activities for tourists. Alice Springs is well known for its desert landscapes, Outback setting, and location between the East and West MacDonnell Ranges. Katoomba is well known for its natural scenery, beautiful hikes, and its location in the Blue Mountains.

How is Alice Springs different from Katoomba?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Katoomba and Alice Springs. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Alice Springs or Katoomba?

Alice Springs
Katoomba

You'll find a number of notable museums and attractions in both Katoomba and Alice Springs.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Alice Springs. There are several wildlife centers in town that let you experience the desert animals first hand. Make sure you check out the Alice Springs Reptile Center, the Alice Springs Desert Park, and the Kangaroo Sanctuary. Another highlight of the town is a visit to the Alice Springs School of the Air.

Katoomba is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. For many, the town is used as a base for exploring the Blue Mountains. Scenic World is a great way to take in the highlights. It's also fun to check out the local street art.


Is the Food Better in Alice Springs or Katoomba? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Alice Springs
Katoomba

Foodies will find both Alice Springs and Katoomba both to be notable destinations.

Alice Springs is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are casual eateries with local food and decent prices. While it's a small town, there are plenty of tourists passing through so you'll find enough places to eat with a decent selection.

Katoomba offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. Many of the restaurants work hard to support local farmers and suppliers. You'll find local ingredients and homemade meals. The restaurant scene is growing, but many restaurants are still affiliated with hotels and tourist attractions.

Is Alice Springs or Katoomba Better for Nightlife?

Alice Springs
Katoomba

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find notable options in both Alice Springs and Katoomba.

If you're looking for night time activities Alice Springs has a few options to choose from. It's a laid back small town, but there are still places to hang out in evening. Pubs and taverns are popular with locals and tourists alike. You'll also find a couple of casinos and clubs in town.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Katoomba. It's not known for its nightlife scene, but there are some relaxed places where you can enjoy craft beer or see a show. Katoomba is the hub of nightlife in the Blue Mountains.

Is Alice Springs or Katoomba Better for Hiking?

Alice Springs
Katoomba

Both Alice Springs and Katoomba are destinations which offer fantastic hiking.

Around Alice Springs visitors will find world-class hiking trails. Just outside of town there are wonderful walking routes and hiking trails. You can visit gorges, waterholes, and wander through the stunning red desert landscapes. One of the most famous trails in the area is the Larapinta Trail.

Katoomba is well-known for its hiking and trekking. Surrounded by the Blue Mountains, this town offers access to some of the area's best hikes. You'll see waterfalls, scenic viewpoints, and lush landscapes.


Is the Shopping Better in Alice Springs or Katoomba?

Alice Springs
Katoomba

If you're looking to go shopping, Alice Springs and Katoomba both offer plenty of notable spots.

Alice Springs has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are many shopping areas around town, particularly at the Yeperenye Shopping Centre, Alice Plaza, and Todd Mall. Prices can be a bit high, so keep that in mind as you're browsing.

Katoomba is a great destination for shopping. There are local markets and boutiques where you can pick up local items and handicrafts.

Is Alice Springs or Katoomba Better for Families?

Alice Springs
Katoomba

Katoomba is a world-class destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Alice Springs is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its family-friendly activities.

Katoomba is an extremely popular town to visit for families. The surrounding Blue Mountains are filled with activities for the whole family. Scenic World is a highlight with its cable cars and skyway. There are also gardens, hiking trails, and cultural centers. Kids who love trains will enjoy Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum.

Alice Springs is a very family-friendly place to visit. Kids will enjoy the beautiful setting as much as adults. There are desert animals that you can see at Alice Springs Desert Park or the Kangaroo Sanctuary. The Earth Sanctuary has telescopes and unbeatable views of the night sky. In the area you'll also be able to take a camel ride or visit the National Road Transport Hall of Fame.

Is Alice Springs or Katoomba Better for Couples?

Alice Springs
Katoomba

Both Alice Springs and Katoomba are very good destinations for a couple's getaway.

Alice Springs is a great town if you're traveling as a couple. The red desert and stunning landscapes make for a truly one-of-a-kind romantic getaway. In addition to the area's natural beauty, there are hot air balloon rides and camel treks. Hiking and exploring is also at the top of many visitor's lists.

Katoomba is a very popular place to visit for couples. There are world class gardens like the Everglades Gardens, restaurants where you can enjoy high tea with a view, as well as hikes that will take your breath away. For the truly adventurous, there are also helicopter tours.


Is Alice Springs or Katoomba Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Alice Springs
Katoomba

For backpackers, both Alice Springs and Katoomba are very good places to visit.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Alice Springs. Many backpackers stop off here during their Australian adventure. There a few hostels in town as well as a laid back and friendly environment that is perfect for backpacking.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Katoomba. There are hostels in the area, as well as camping opportunities. Backpackers will appreciate the scenic beauty and natural setting.

Is Alice Springs or Katoomba Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Alice Springs
Katoomba

Katoomba is a town with good options for times when you don't have a car. However, Alice Springs is not known for its public transit.

While Katoomba offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There are public buses through the Blue Mountains but it's easier to explore in depth if you have your own car.

Public transit is generally limited in Alice Springs. Public transit options are limited but you will find buses that leave from the Yeperenye Shopping Center on Hartley Street. There are also taxis in town.

Is Alice Springs or Katoomba a more walkable city?

Alice Springs
Katoomba

Alice Springs and Katoomba are notable when it comes to walkability.

Alice Springs is a somewhat walkable town. The downtown area can be explored on foot.

Katoomba is somewhat walkable. The town itself is relatively walkable.


For even more information, also check out Is Alice Springs Worth Visiting? and Is Katoomba Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Katoomba or Alice Springs?

How long in Alice Springs or Katoomba?

It's fun to spend time in either Alice Springs or Katoomba. In our opinion, Katoomba has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Katoomba than Alice Springs. However, 2-4 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

Families should spend more time in Katoomba than Alice Springs. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Katoomba, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Katoomba than Alice Springs. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Katoomba that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Katoomba than Alice Springs if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Katoomba.


  • How many days in Alice Springs or Katoomba? Ideal Length of Stay
    Alice Springs 2-4 
    Katoomba 2-4

One day in Alice Springs or Katoomba?

Alice Springs is a small town where visitors enjoy the food and shopping. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the stunning small town of Katoomba. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Alice Springs or Katoomba?

Alice Springs is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Alice Springs, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Katoomba. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Don't miss the hiking, as that's what most people do. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Five days in Alice Springs or Katoomba?

Alice Springs is a popular choice for travelers. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the serene small town of Katoomba. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.


A week in Alice Springs or Katoomba?

Alice Springs is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that hiking is why people visit. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.

You'll find food and shopping around the beautiful town of Katoomba. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


Which place is cheaper, Katoomba or Alice Springs?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Alice Springs is $95, while the average daily cost in Katoomba is $135. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Alice Springs and Katoomba in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Alice Springs $50
    Katoomba $78
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Alice Springs $100
    Katoomba $156
Compare Hotels in Alice Springs and Katoomba

Looking for a hotel in Alice Springs or Katoomba? 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 Alice Springs


Hotels in Katoomba


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Alice Springs Hotel Prices and Katoomba Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Alice Springs $20
    Katoomba $50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Alice Springs

Also for Alice Springs, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Uluru to Alice Springs or Alice to Uluru 1-Way Luxe Transfer: $120
  • Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) Coach Transfer: $122

Is it cheaper to fly into Alice Springs or Katoomba?

Prices for flights to both Katoomba 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Alice Springs $24
    Katoomba $17

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 Day Trip to Uluru with BBQ Dinner: $220
  • Ayers Rock Day Trip from Alice Springs Including BBQ Dinner: $224

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Alice Springs $14
    Katoomba $54

Tours and Activities in Alice Springs

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Alice Springs.

  • Australia’s Red Centre: A Self-Guided West Macs Driving Tour: $8.49
  • Skip the Line: Alice Springs School of the Air Guided Tour Ticket: $9.35
  • West MacDonnell Ranges: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $9.99
  • Outback Adventure: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $9.99
  • Alice Springs Desert Park Nocturnal Tour: $21
  • Alice Springs Desert Park General Entry Ticket: $26
  • Alice Springs Camel Tour: $57
  • Historical Alice Tour: $80
  • Historical Alice Tour: $81
  • West MacDonnell Ranges Half day Tour -Small Group: $93
  • A Town Like Alice: Half-Day Tour of Alice Springs: $95
  • Alice Springs Highlights Tour : $97

Tours and Activities in Katoomba

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Katoomba are as follows:

  • 4Hrs at Wolgan Valley Birdwatching Experience: $130
  • Army Truck Adventures - 3 Hour Guided Tour: $100
  • Army Truck Adventures - 90 Minute Guided Tour: $66
  • Blue Labyrinth PRIVATE Tour: Sydney Blue Mountains by E-Bike : $251
  • Blue Mountains 1-Hour Trike Tour of Three Sisters: $108
  • Blue Mountains 3 Hour Army Truck Adventures: $98
  • Blue Mountains 90 Minute Army Truck Adventures: $65
  • Blue Mountains BarNSW Local Produce Tasting Experience: $38
  • Blue Mountains Full Day Guided Tour : $194
  • Blue Mountains Hop On Hop Off Tour: $33
  • Blue Mountains Private Tour From Sydney, & Featherdale Aussie Animal Park Option: $251
  • Blue Mountains: Private Scenic Tour with Optional Stops: $246

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Alice Springs $17
    Katoomba -
Typical Alcohol Prices in Alice Springs

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Alice Springs:


  • Glass of Wine in Alice Springs
    $4.57


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Alice Springs and Katoomba, we can see that Katoomba 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 Katoomba would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Katoomba than you might in Alice Springs.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Alice Springs Expensive? and Is Katoomba Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Alice Springs or Katoomba?

Alice Springs has a larger population, and is about 41% larger than the population of Katoomba. When comparing the sizes of Alice Springs and Katoomba, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.