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

Should you visit Brisbane or Airlie Beach?

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.

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 $118, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach is $128. 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 Brisbane and Airlie Beach in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $144 in Brisbane For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $106 for a double occupancy room in Airlie Beach.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Brisbane $72
    Airlie Beach $53
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Brisbane $144
    Airlie Beach $106

Food

On average, meal and food prices in Brisbane cost around $28 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $11.

While meal prices in Airlie Beach can vary, the average travelers spends about $29 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Airlie Beach should cost around $12 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Airlie Beach is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Brisbane $28
    Airlie Beach $29
Typical Food prices in Brisbane

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


  • Hamburger Lunch
    $5.88
  • Cup of Coffee
    $2.21
  • Chinese Food Lunch
    $9.20
  • Ice cream
    $4.05
  • Japanese Meal
    $15
  • Smoothie
    $4.78
  • Japanese Soup
    $8.46
  • Coffee & Muffin
    $5.15
  • Morning Mint Tea
    $2.57
  • Veggie Burger & Chips
    $10
  • Bread
    $1.91

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brisbane

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

  • 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

Local Transportation

Brisbane'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 $16 per person, per day on transportation in Brisbane.

The cost of a taxi ride in Airlie Beach is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $18 per person, per day, on local transportation in Airlie Beach.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Brisbane $16
    Airlie Beach $18
Typical Local Transportation prices in Brisbane

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


  • Airtrain to the City
    $11
  • Go Card
    $18

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
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Brisbane Airport to Hotel: $40
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Brisbane Airport: $40
  • Brisbane Airport Arrival Shuttle Transfer to the Sunshine Coast Hotels/addresses: $41
  • Brisbane Airport Arrival transfer to Gold Coast shared shuttle: $43
  • Luxurious Brisbane International or domestic airport Private transfer max10: $45

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

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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Brisbane can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $21 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Entertainment and activities in Airlie Beach typically cost an average of $145 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Brisbane $21
    Airlie Beach $145
Typical Entertainment prices in Brisbane

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


  • Concert Tickets
    $15

Tours and Activities in Brisbane

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

  • Sirromet Sensory Winery Experience: $8.14
  • Newstead House General Entry Ticket: $9.48
  • Green Cabs Brisbane Tours: $16
  • Brisbane Self-Guided Audio Tour: $20
  • Afternoon River Sightseeing Cruise: $21
  • Winery Tour & Tasting followed by Cellar Door Lunch: $31
  • River Cruise with Lunch: $44
  • Winery Tour & Tasting followed by Tuscan Terrace Lunch: $53
  • Brisbane to Moreton Island Return Ferry & Adventure Day Pass: $72
  • Byron Bay Day Tour: $78
  • Byron Bay Full-Day Coach Tour from Gold Coast: $90
  • Whale Watching Cruise with Gourmet Lunch: $98

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

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Brisbane, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $45.

The average person spends about $8.15 on alcoholic beverages in Airlie Beach per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Brisbane $45
    Airlie Beach $8.15
Typical Alcohol prices in Brisbane

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


  • Evening at the Bar
    $11
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $10
  • Guiness Beer
    $6.25
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $9.56

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
  • From Tamborine Afternoon Wine Tour: $97
  • 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.

Budget Your Trip

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Brisbane vs. Airlie Beach Travel Comparison

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