A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Alice Springs vs. Wollongong for Hiking, Attractions, Food, and Nightlife

Should you visit Alice Springs or Wollongong?

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 Wollongong 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. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the hiking, shopping, and museums.

Wollongong

Wollongong is a student-friendly, trendy, and vibrant coastal city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Alice Springs and Wollongong: 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
Things to Consider
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
Things to Consider
  • Less hiking options


Is there more to do in Alice Springs or Wollongong?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Wollongong. Although Alice Springs and Wollongong are popular destinations, Wollongong has more sights and attractions for tourists. Wollongong is very popular for its museums, food, nightlife, beaches, and big city activities, while Alice Springs attracts visitors for its hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Alice Springs is more touristy than Wollongong and is known for its desert landscapes, Outback setting, and location between the East and West MacDonnell Ranges. Wollongong is famous for its surrounding nature and urban beaches. It is also well known for Grand Pacific Drive.

How is Alice Springs different from Wollongong?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Alice Springs
Wollongong

Wollongong is a great coastal city for its historical sights. Also, Alice Springs is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its sights and museums.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Wollongong. There are several museums like the Wollongong Science Centre and Wollongong Planetarium and the railway museum Trainworks. There's also the Illawarra Museum, which is housed in the former post and telegraph office.

Alice Springs is a good place to visit if you're interested in museums or other recognizable sights. 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.


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

Alice Springs
Wollongong

Wollongong is a great coastal city 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.

Wollongong has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. In recent years a younger crowd of entrepreneurs and self-starters has moved into the city, and with them has come a growing food scene. You'll find local cafes, fine dining restaurants, and many great beachfront restaurants where you can dine.

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 Wollongong Better for Nightlife?

Alice Springs
Wollongong

Wollongong is a great coastal city for its evening party scene. Also, Alice Springs is not as popular, but is still a nice town for nightlife.

The nightlife in Wollongong has something for everybody. The nightlife scene has seen a revitalization in recent years, and in addition to the standard bars and pubs, you'll find local venues that range from quirky to lively.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Alice Springs. 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.

Is Alice Springs or Wollongong Better for Beaches?

Alice Springs
Wollongong

Wollongong is a great coastal city for the beach. However, Alice Springs is not a beach destination.

The beaches at Wollongong attract visitors from all over. There are urban beaches, as well as more hidden coastal areas that attract locals and visitors alike. In the heart of the city you'll find North Wollongong Beach and Wollongong City Beach, both of which have picnic areas and are popular with locals.

Alice Springs is not a beach destination.


Is Alice Springs or Wollongong Better for Hiking?

Alice Springs
Wollongong

Alice Springs is an unbeatable place for hiking. Also, Wollongong is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for the nearby hiking options.

People visit Alice Springs specifically for its hiking, as the natural beauty is well-known. 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.

Many people include a hike when visiting Wollongong. The surrounding area has many great hikes that can be done as a day trip or even a half day trip. There are waterfalls, city views, and forest walks. Some of the most popular trails include Brokers Nose and Clover Hill Trail.

Is the Shopping Better in Alice Springs or Wollongong?

Alice Springs
Wollongong

If you're looking to go shopping, Alice Springs and Wollongong both offer plenty of nice 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.

Wollongong is a great destination for shopping. The most popular shopping area is Wollongong Central Shopping Centre, which has international brands and all of the big fashion names.

Is Alice Springs or Wollongong Better for Families?

Alice Springs
Wollongong

Both Alice Springs and Wollongong are excellent 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.

Wollongong is a very family-friendly place to visit. The beaches, nearby nature, and ubiquitous bike trails make this a fun coastal city to explore with kids. There are also interactive museums such as Discovery Space and plenty of playgrounds. Kid-friendly surf lessons as well as the Nan Tien Temple make this a fun and fascinating family destination.


Is Alice Springs or Wollongong Better for Couples?

Alice Springs
Wollongong

Both Alice Springs and Wollongong are excellent 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.

Wollongong is a very popular place to visit for couples. The scenic natural areas, including the Grand Pacific Drive or the many bush walks, make this a wonderful couples retreat. There are water sports like surfing as well as horseback riding and even helicopter rides. In the evening, enjoy a nice meal and a sunset view.

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

Alice Springs
Wollongong

Alice Springs is great for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Wollongong is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for backpackers.

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.

Wollongong is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are a couple of hostels as well as many outdoor areas to explore, so backpackers who want to escape the traditional backpacker scene will appreciate some time here.

Is Alice Springs or Wollongong Better for Students?

Alice Springs
Wollongong

Wollongong is a coastal city with good options for its student-friendly activities. However, Alice Springs is not popular with students.

It's common for students to visit Wollongong. It's not too far from Sydney and has a smaller, more laid back coastal vibe that appeals to many students.

Alice Springs is not popular with students.


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

Alice Springs
Wollongong

Wollongong is a great coastal city for times when you don't have a car. However, Alice Springs is not known for its public transit.

Wollongong offers a very effecient public transportation network. There's a free Gong shuttle bus that travels around the city center. It runs a loop from Wollongong Station to Wollongong University in both directions. There are also other bus services in town.

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 Wollongong a more walkable city?

Alice Springs
Wollongong

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

Wollongong is a very walkable destination. There are walking paths in the city center so it's possible to walk to many tourist destinations.

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 Wollongong Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Wollongong or Alice Springs?

How long in Alice Springs or Wollongong?

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

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Wollongong 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 Wollongong.


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

One day in Alice Springs or Wollongong?

Alice Springs might be a small town, but there's plenty to do in the area. Anyone can find something fun to do here. One of the main draws to the area is the hiking. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the student-friendly destination of Wollongong. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. 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 Wollongong?

Even though Alice Springs is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. One of the main draws to the area is the hiking. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this town.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Wollongong. Most people come for the beaches. 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 Wollongong?

Alice Springs, a popular town, is full of activities for travelers. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the trendy destination of Wollongong. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. This coastal city 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 Wollongong?

Alice Springs is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One of the main draws to the area is the hiking. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

You'll find food and shopping around the coastal city of Wollongong. 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.


Which place is cheaper, Wollongong 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 Wollongong is $121. 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 Wollongong in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Alice Springs $50
    Wollongong $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Alice Springs $100
    Wollongong $130
Compare Hotels in Alice Springs and Wollongong

Looking for a hotel in Alice Springs or Wollongong? 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 Wollongong


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 Wollongong Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Alice Springs $20
    Wollongong $39

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: $122
  • Uluru to Alice Springs or Alice to Uluru 1-Way Luxe Transfer: $120

Is it cheaper to fly into Alice Springs or Wollongong?

Prices for flights to both Wollongong 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
    Wollongong $31

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

Typical Food Prices in Wollongong

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Wollongong:


  • Lunch
    $7.83

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Alice Springs $14
    Wollongong $22

Tours and Activities in Alice Springs

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

  • A Town Like Alice: Half-Day Tour of Alice Springs: $95
  • Alice Springs Camel Tour: $57
  • Alice Springs Desert Park General Entry Ticket: $26
  • Alice Springs Desert Park Nocturnal Tour: $21
  • Alice Springs Highlights Tour : $97
  • West MacDonnell Ranges & Standley Chasm Tour: $115
  • Alice Town And Country Half Day Sunset Tour - Small Group: $126
  • Alice Town and Country Half Day Sunset Tour -Small Group: $124
  • Australia’s Red Centre: A Self-Guided West Macs Driving Tour: $8.49
  • Best of Alice Springs Full Day Tour: $157
  • East MacDonnell Ranges Half day Tour -Small Group: $227
  • East MacDonnell Ranges Tour -Small Group: $236

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Alice Springs $17
    Wollongong $18
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 Wollongong, we can see that Wollongong 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 Wollongong would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Wollongong 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 Wollongong Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Alice Springs or Wollongong?

Wollongong has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Alice Springs. When comparing the sizes of Alice Springs and Wollongong, 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.