A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Brisbane vs. Airlie Beach for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Brisbane or Airlie Beach?

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

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Brisbane and Airlie Beach can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Brisbane or Airlie Beach?

Brisbane

Although Brisbane is often overlooked as a travel destination in Australia, it is the capital of the state of Queensland, and is the third largest city in Australia. It's a very young and vibrant city with an active nightlife and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. It's a modern and economically thriving city and, if you do have time to visit, it actually has a lot to offer travelers. It has some beautiful scenery, a wonderful warm climate all year long, and is actually one of the fastest growing cities in Australia.

Airlie Beach

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 Brisbane?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Brisbane is $105, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach is $113. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Brisbane and Airlie Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Brisbane $65
    Airlie Beach $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Brisbane $130
    Airlie Beach $94
Compare Hotels in Brisbane and Airlie Beach

Looking for a hotel in Brisbane or Airlie Beach? 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 Brisbane


Hotels in Airlie Beach


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Brisbane $14
    Airlie Beach $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Brisbane

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Brisbane:


  • Airtrain to the City
    $9.79
  • Go Card
    $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brisbane

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

  • Sunshine Coast Airport Arrival transfer to Hotels: $14
  • Brisbane Arrival Transfer Shuttle from Brisbane Airport to Hotel: $16
  • Brisbane Departure Transfer Shuttle from Hotel to Brisbane Airport: $16
  • Brisbane Airport Private Transfer to or from Brisbane CBD Maxmium 10 Person: $29
  • Brisbane Airport to Brisbane City Round-trip Shuttle Transfer: $32
  • Brisbane Airport Private Transfer to or from Brisbane CBD Maxmium 10 Person: $33
  • Brisbane Private Chauffeured Airport Transfer: $37
  • Brisbane Airport: Shared Transfer to Gold Coast: $39
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Brisbane Airport: $40
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Brisbane Airport to Hotel: $40
  • Brisbane Airport Arrival Shuttle Transfer to the Sunshine Coast Hotels/addresses: $41
  • Brisbane Airport Arrival transfer to Gold Coast shared shuttle: $43

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Airlie Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Airlie Beach:

  • Airport Transfers - Return (round fare) share shuttle service: $28
  • Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service: $17
  • Whitsunday: Prosperpine Airport to Airlie Beach Transfer: $16

Is it cheaper to fly into Brisbane or Airlie Beach?

Prices for flights to both Airlie Beach and Brisbane 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
    Brisbane $25
    Airlie Beach $26
Typical Food prices in Brisbane

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


  • Hamburger Lunch
    $5.22
  • Cup of Coffee
    $1.96
  • Chinese Food Lunch
    $8.16
  • Ice cream
    $3.59
  • Japanese Meal
    $14
  • Smoothie
    $4.24
  • Japanese Soup
    $7.51
  • Coffee & Muffin
    $4.57
  • Morning Mint Tea
    $2.28
  • Veggie Burger & Chips
    $9.14
  • Bread
    $1.70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brisbane

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

  • Guided Food Tour with Coffee and Wine Tastings: $184
  • Brisbane Food Tour: A Taste of Queensland: $202
  • 3-Course Progressive Dinner Experience in Brisbane: $237
  • Queensland Food Tour: Farm-to-Table Indulgence: $375

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: $93

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Brisbane $19
    Airlie Beach $129
Typical Entertainment prices in Brisbane

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


  • Concert Tickets
    $13

Tours and Activities in Brisbane

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

  • Newstead House General Entry Ticket: $9.48
  • Green Cabs Brisbane Tours: $16
  • Midday River Sightseeing Cruise: $24
  • True Crime Tour: $25
  • Brisbane Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour: $35
  • Guided River Kayak Tour: $47
  • River Cruise with Lunch: $50
  • Express Segway Tour of Brisbane: $50
  • Brisbane River Cruise and Koala Sanctuary Visit: $61
  • Byron Bay Day Tour: $78
  • Brisbane to Moreton Island Return Ferry & Adventure Day Pass: $86
  • Wine & Food Pairing Experience: $87

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: $631
  • 2 Night Small Group Whitsundays Sailing Adventure Aboard Mandrake: $375
  • 2 night Whitsunday Islands Cruise on Atlantic Clipper from Airlie Beach: $394
  • 2-Day Great Barrier Reef "Reefsleep" Experience: $470
  • 2-Day Whitsundays Sailing Adventure: SV Whitehaven: $315
  • 2-Day Whitsundays Sailing Adventure: Summertime: $315
  • 2-Night Whitsunday Islands All-Inclusive Sailing Tour from Airlie Beach: $315
  • 2-Night Whitsunday Islands Sailing Adventure on Trimaran 'Avatar': $422
  • 2-Night Whitsundays Sailing Cruise Aboard 'Spank Me' Including Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef: $375
  • 2Day 2Night Sail, Snorkel & SUP Adventure Whitsundays double: $439
  • 3 Day Whitsundays Sailing and Diving Adventure: Kiana: $592
  • 3 Day and 2 Night Whitsundays Maxi Sailing Adventure on Hammer: $514

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Brisbane $40
    Airlie Beach $7.23
Typical Alcohol prices in Brisbane

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


  • Evening at the Bar
    $9.79
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $9.14
  • Guiness Beer
    $5.55
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $8.48

Sample the Local Flavors in Brisbane

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Brisbane:

  • Deluxe Wine Tasting Tour Mt Tamborine Includes 2 course Lunch: $94
  • Morning or Afternoon Brisbane Half-Day Brewery Tour: $111
  • Mt Tamborine Wine Tour: $119
  • Brisbane Half-Day Private Brewery Tour: $119
  • Hinterland Heritage Wine Tour: $119
  • Northern Rivers food & Wine Tour from Brisbane: $119
  • Two Day xxxx Brewery and Tamborine Winery Tour: $198
  • Private Full Day Wine Tour from Brisbane to Tamborine Mountain: $474


When comparing the travel costs between Brisbane and Airlie Beach, we can see that Airlie Beach 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.


When is the best time to visit Brisbane or Airlie Beach?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Brisbane or Airlie Beach in the Summer?

Both Airlie Beach and Brisbane during the summer are popular places to visit.

In the summer, Brisbane is around the same temperature as Airlie Beach. Typically, the summer temperatures in Brisbane in January are around 25°C (77°F), and Airlie Beach is about 26°C (79°F).

In Airlie Beach, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Brisbane. In the summer, Brisbane often gets less sunshine than Airlie Beach. Brisbane gets 256 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Airlie Beach receives 285 hours of full sun.

Airlie Beach gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Brisbane. Brisbane usually gets less rain in January than Airlie Beach. Brisbane gets 169 mm (6.7 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 331 mm (13 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Brisbane 25°C (77°F) 
    Airlie Beach 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Brisbane or Airlie Beach in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Brisbane and Airlie Beach.

In April, Brisbane is generally around the same temperature as Airlie Beach. Temperatures in Brisbane average around 22°C (71°F), and Airlie Beach stays around 23°C (73°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Airlie Beach this time of the year. In Brisbane, it's very sunny this time of the year. Brisbane usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Airlie Beach during autumn. At this time of the year, Brisbane gets 214 hours of sunny skies, while Airlie Beach receives 207 hours of full sun.

Airlie Beach receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Brisbane gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In April, Brisbane usually receives less rain than Airlie Beach. At this time of the year, Brisbane gets 112 mm (4.4 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Brisbane 22°C (71°F) 
    Airlie Beach 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Brisbane or Airlie Beach in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Brisbane as well as Airlie Beach.

Brisbane is around the same temperature as Airlie Beach in the winter. The temperature in Brisbane is usually 15°C (59°F) in July, and Airlie Beach stays around 16°C (62°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Airlie Beach. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Brisbane this time of the year. In the winter, Brisbane often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Airlie Beach. Brisbane gets 226 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Airlie Beach receives 226 hours of full sun.

Brisbane usually gets more rain in July than Airlie Beach. Brisbane gets 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Brisbane 15°C (59°F) 
    Airlie Beach 16°C (62°F)

Should I visit Brisbane or Airlie Beach in the Spring?

Both Airlie Beach and Brisbane are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

In the spring, Brisbane is around the same temperature as Airlie Beach. Typically, the spring temperatures in Brisbane in October are around 21°C (69°F), and Airlie Beach is about 23°C (73°F).

It's quite sunny in Airlie Beach. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Brisbane. Brisbane usually receives less sunshine than Airlie Beach during spring. At this time of the year, Brisbane gets 259 hours of sunny skies, while Airlie Beach receives 298 hours of full sun.

In October, Brisbane usually receives more rain than Airlie Beach. At this time of the year, Brisbane gets 93 mm (3.7 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Brisbane 21°C (69°F) 
    Airlie Beach 23°C (73°F)

Typical Weather for Airlie Beach and Brisbane

Brisbane Airlie Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°C (77°F) 169 mm (6.7 in) 26°C (79°F) 331 mm (13 in)
Feb 25°C (77°F) 152 mm (6 in) 26°C (78°F) 377 mm (14.8 in)
Mar 24°C (75°F) 146 mm (5.7 in) 25°C (77°F) 312 mm (12.3 in)
Apr 22°C (71°F) 112 mm (4.4 in) 23°C (73°F) 143 mm (5.6 in)
May 19°C (66°F) 104 mm (4.1 in) 20°C (68°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Jun 16°C (61°F) 77 mm (3 in) 17°C (63°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Jul 15°C (59°F) 64 mm (2.5 in) 16°C (62°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Aug 16°C (61°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 18°C (65°F) 27 mm (1.1 in)
Sep 18°C (65°F) 33 mm (1.3 in) 20°C (68°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Oct 21°C (69°F) 93 mm (3.7 in) 23°C (73°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 23°C (73°F) 107 mm (4.2 in) 25°C (77°F) 107 mm (4.2 in)
Dec 24°C (76°F) 127 mm (5 in) 26°C (78°F) 191 mm (7.5 in)


Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Brisbane vs. Airlie Beach Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.