A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Alice Springs vs. Noosa Heads for Hiking, Food, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Alice Springs or Noosa Heads?

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 Noosa Heads 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 outdoorsy, charming, and friendly town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. Visitors also love the nightlife, food, and hiking.

Noosa Heads

Noosa Heads is a charming, laid back, and relaxed coastal town. With plenty of activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the nightlife, food, and beaches.

Alice Springs and Noosa Heads: 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
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights


Is there more to do in Alice Springs or Noosa Heads?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Noosa Heads. Although Alice Springs and Noosa Heads are both popular with visitors, Noosa Heads has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Noosa Heads is more popular for its food and beaches, while Alice Springs is known for its museums and hiking. Alice Springs is popular for its desert landscapes, Outback setting, and location between the East and West MacDonnell Ranges. Noosa Heads is popular for its stunning beaches, natural beauty, and surfing culture. It is also home to Noosa Main Beach.

How is Alice Springs different from Noosa Heads?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Noosa Heads 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 Noosa Heads?

Alice Springs
Noosa Heads

Alice Springs is a town with good options for its historical sights. However, Noosa Heads is not known for its sights and museums.

Alice Springs offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. 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.

Noosa Heads offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. As a holiday destination, it is all about the beaches and laid back natural beauty. You'll find little in the form of museums, but do make your way to Laguna Lookout to take in the view.


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

Alice Springs
Noosa Heads

Noosa Heads is a great coastal town for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Alice Springs is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Noosa Heads has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The scenic setting means that there are peaceful restaurants that look out on the sea or river. Many restaurants use local ingredients from nearby farms. Farm-to-table is a popular concept here, and there are many sustainable seafood dishes that use locally caught fish.

Alice Springs offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. 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.

Is Alice Springs or Noosa Heads Better for Nightlife?

Alice Springs
Noosa Heads

If the nightlife is your priority, you'll find good options in both Alice Springs and Noosa Heads.

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 Noosa Heads. There are a number of pubs and bars that have opened around town. You'll find cocktail lounges, beer gardens, an plenty of outdoor activities to choose from.

Is Alice Springs or Noosa Heads Better for Beaches?

Alice Springs
Noosa Heads

Noosa Heads is a world-class destination for the beach. However, Alice Springs is not a beach destination.

Noosa Heads is considered to be a world-class beach destination. Visitors come for the laid back vibe and the spectacular beaches. For swimming, head to Noosa Main Beach. There's also surfing at the Noosa World Surfing Reserve and a peaceful and natural setting at Noosa National park.

Alice Springs is not a beach destination.


Is Alice Springs or Noosa Heads Better for Hiking?

Alice Springs
Noosa Heads

Alice Springs is a must-visit destination for hiking. Also, Noosa Heads is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal town for the nearby hiking options.

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.

Noosa Heads is a popular spot for hiking. There are hiking trails that take in the coastal views or you can head inland and wander through wooded landscapes. Some of the best hiking trails are found at Noosa National Park.

Is the Shopping Better in Alice Springs or Noosa Heads?

Alice Springs
Noosa Heads

If you're looking to go shopping, Alice Springs and Noosa Heads both offer plenty of good 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.

Noosa Heads is a great destination for shopping. The main shopping street through town is Hastings Street. It's where you'll find beachside boutiques, impressive art galleries, as well as international brands.

Is Alice Springs or Noosa Heads Better for Families?

Alice Springs
Noosa Heads

Both Alice Springs and Noosa Heads are great to visit with kids.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Alice Springs. 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.

Noosa Heads is a very family-friendly place to visit. There are playgrounds and green space where you can picnic at the Noosa Villages. Kids will also enjoy taking ferry rides and exploring Noosa National Park. Also nearby is the impressive K'Gari (Fraser Island).


Is Alice Springs or Noosa Heads Better for Couples?

Alice Springs
Noosa Heads

Both Alice Springs and Noosa Heads are great 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.

Noosa Heads is a very popular place to visit for couples. It's filled with romantic beaches and fun outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking. There are plenty of places to hike and explore, as well as sunset cruises and dolphin spotting tours. You can also unwind with a spa day or sip wine by the sea.

Is Alice Springs or Noosa Heads Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Alice Springs
Noosa Heads

For backpackers, both Alice Springs and Noosa Heads are great 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 Noosa Heads. The laid back atmosphere makes this a long running stop for backpackers to Australia. There are a number of hostels to choose from and many ways to explore nature.

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

Alice Springs
Noosa Heads

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

While Noosa Heads offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's a ferry that travels along the river. There are also buses that travel to local destinations.

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 Noosa Heads a more walkable city?

Alice Springs
Noosa Heads

Noosa Heads is a great coastal town for its ease of walking around. Also, Alice Springs is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its walkability.

Noosa Heads is a very walkable destination. It's fun to explore the town and surrounding areas on foot. There are walking and bike paths throughout.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Noosa Heads or Alice Springs?

How long in Alice Springs or Noosa Heads?

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

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Noosa Heads 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 Noosa Heads.


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

One day in Alice Springs or Noosa Heads?

Alice Springs is a small town with plenty to do. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Most people visit for the hiking. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the charming small town of Noosa Heads. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Don't miss the beaches, 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 Noosa Heads?

Alice Springs might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This town offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Noosa Heads. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Don't miss the beaches, 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 Noosa Heads?

Because Alice Springs is a small town, it's easy to explore in a short amount of time. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

Travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the relaxed small town of Noosa Heads. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. This coastal 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 Noosa Heads?

Since Alice Springs is a small town, it's easily explored when your time is limited. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people visit for the hiking. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

You'll find shopping and nightlife around the beautiful coastal town of Noosa Heads. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. 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.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to Australia, The Best Luxury Tours to Australia, The Best Adventure Tours to Australia, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Australia.


Which place is cheaper, Noosa Heads or Alice Springs?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Alice Springs is $96, while the average daily cost in Noosa Heads is $112. 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 Noosa Heads in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Alice Springs $51
    Noosa Heads $59
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Alice Springs $102
    Noosa Heads $118
Compare Hotels in Alice Springs and Noosa Heads

Looking for a hotel in Alice Springs or Noosa Heads? 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 Noosa Heads


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 Noosa Heads Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Alice Springs $20
    Noosa Heads $17

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: $132
  • Uluru to Alice Springs or Alice to Uluru 1-Way Luxe Transfer: $129

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Noosa Heads

Also for Noosa Heads, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Premium Airport/ Cruise Terminal Transfers: $240
  • Private Transfer from Sunshine Coast Airport to Hotels 11 pax: $223
  • Private Transfers from Sunshine Coast Airport to Noosa (8pax): $132
  • Private Transfer from Sunshine Coast Airport to Noosa up to 5 pax: $125
  • Private Transfer from Noosa to Sunshine Coast Airport up to 5 pax: $125
  • Private Transfers from Sunshine Coast Airport to Noosa (6pax): $118
  • Private Transfer to or from Sunshine Coast Airport (MCY): $108
  • Private Morning Transfer From Noosa to Rainbow Beach: $91
  • Australia Zoo Transfer from Noosa, Coolum, Marcoola & Twin Waters: $80
  • Sunshine Coast and Noosa Eumundi Markets Bus Transfer: $32
  • Ginger Factory and Nutworks Return Bus Transfer: Sunshine Coast : $32
  • Eumundi Markets Bus Transfer from Noosa, Noosaville & Mooloolaba: $32

Is it cheaper to fly into Alice Springs or Noosa Heads?

Prices for flights to both Noosa Heads 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
    Noosa Heads $34

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: $222
  • Ayers Rock Day Trip from Alice Springs Including BBQ Dinner: $238

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Noosa Heads

For Noosa Heads, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Cooking Classes on Witta Maleny Sunshine Coast: $122

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Alice Springs $14
    Noosa Heads $40

Tours and Activities in Alice Springs

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

  • 2 Day Uluru Kata Tjuta Rock Escape Tour: $509
  • A Town Like Alice: Half-Day Tour of Alice Springs: $96
  • Alice Springs Airport to Alice Springs City Half Day Tour: $122
  • Alice Springs Airport to West MacDonnell Ranges Half-Day Tour: $108
  • Alice Springs Camel Tour: $61
  • Alice Springs Desert Park General Entry Ticket: $27
  • Alice Springs Desert Park Nocturnal Tour: $28
  • Alice Springs Highlights Tour : $112
  • West MacDonnell Ranges & Standley Chasm Tour: $122
  • Alice Town And Country Half Day Sunset Tour - Small Group: $128
  • Alice Town and Country Half Day Sunset Tour -Small Group: $125
  • Australia’s Red Centre: A Self-Guided West Macs Driving Tour: $9.99

Typical Entertainment Prices in Noosa Heads

For Noosa Heads, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Surf Lesson
    $43
  • Sea Kayak Tour (for 2)
    $86
  • Sunset Cruise (for 2)
    $13

Tours and Activities in Noosa Heads

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Noosa Heads.

  • 2 Hours Sunset Experience on Noosa River: $22
  • 2-Hour Guided Whale Watching Tour at Noosa: $53
  • Aquaduck Sunshine Coast - 1hr Mooloolaba Amphibious Tour: $34
  • Australia Zoo, Glass House Mountains Tour Combo: $189
  • Brisbane Airport and Cruise Terminal to Sunshine Coast 11 pax: $267
  • Bushtucker Cruise: $51
  • Epic Kayak With Dolphins & Wildlife - 4WD Beach Adventure Noosa: $109
  • Everglades Explorer - Noosa Everglades Tour: $101
  • Glass House Mountains Tour with Lunch, Lookouts, and Nature Walks: $175
  • Maleny Botanic Gardens Bird Aviary Experience Ticket: $28
  • Mary Valley Tour with Mary Valley Rattler, Lunch and Kenilworth: $202
  • Mooloolaba Whale Watching Cruise: $57

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Alice Springs $17
    Noosa Heads $10
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
    $4.62

Sample the Local Flavors in Noosa Heads

Also in Noosa Heads, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Eumundi Market and Distillery Experience Market Days Wednesday & Saturday: $95
  • Sunshine Coast Brewery Tour with Lunch: $166
  • Hinterland Cheese & Wine Tasting Tour - with 2 course lunch included: $169
  • Sunshine Coast & Noosa Scenic Food & Wine Tour Inc. Lunch: $186
  • Maleny & Montville Tour with Artisan Village, Lunch, Wine Tasting: $189
  • Noosa Hinterland Tour with Gourmet Lunch, Wine Tasting & Everglades Lake: $195
  • Noosa Hinterland Drinks Tour- visit 2 distilleries, a winery and a brewery : $199


When comparing the travel costs between Alice Springs and Noosa Heads, we can see that Noosa Heads 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.

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 Noosa Heads Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Alice Springs or Noosa Heads?

Alice Springs has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Noosa Heads. When comparing the sizes of Alice Springs and Noosa Heads, 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.