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

Should you visit Brisbane or Whitsundays?

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 Whitsundays can help you decide which place is right for you.

Where Should I go: Brisbane or Whitsundays?

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.

Whitsundays

Just off the coast of Queensland, Australia is a cluster of 74 different islands. These islands, the Whitsunday Islands, welcome over a half a million visitors every year to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Barrier Reef.

As one of the most famous destinations in the world, it's not uncommon to see expensive yachts sailing around among the private ferries. Most of the islands are designated as national parks with access to snorkeling and diving in the coral reefs, or just to lay in the sand on the famous Whitehaven Beach.

Which place is cheaper, Whitsundays or Brisbane?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Brisbane is $131, while the average daily cost in Whitsundays is $133. 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 Brisbane and Whitsundays in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Brisbane $81
    Whitsundays $69
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Brisbane $162
    Whitsundays $138
Compare Hotels in Brisbane and Whitsundays

Looking for a hotel in Brisbane or Whitsundays? 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 Whitsundays


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: Brisbane Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Brisbane $18
    Whitsundays $55
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:

  • Private Transfer from Brisbane Airport to Noosa for 1 to 3 people: $260
  • Brisbane Airport to Noosa Private Transfer for 2: $257
  • Private Transfer to Gold Coast /OOL Airport from Brisbane /BNE Airport (1-7 Pax): $230
  • Brisbane Airport (BNE): Private Transfer to Brisbane hotels: $187
  • Brisbane Cruise Port: Private Transfer to Brisbane hotels: $174
  • Brisbane Airport (BNE): Private Transfer to Brisbane Port: $174
  • Private Airport Transfer from Brisbane Airport (BNE) to South Gold Coast 1-4 pax: $160
  • Private Airport Transfer from Brisbane Airport (BNE) to North Gold Coast 1-4 pax: $147
  • Airport Transfer: Brisbane to Brisbane Airport BNE in Luxury Car: $147
  • Airport Transfer: Brisbane Airport BNE to Brisbane in Luxury Car: $147
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Brisbane Airport BNE to Brisbane in Luxury Van: $135
  • Departure Private Transfer: Brisbane to Brisbane Airport BNE in Luxury Van: $135

Is it cheaper to fly into Brisbane or Whitsundays?

Prices for flights to both Whitsundays 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 $31
    Whitsundays $30
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
    $7.50
  • 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:

  • City Lights Dinner Cruise with Buffet: $72
  • City Lights Dinner Cruise in Brisbane with Dinner: $73
  • Guided Food Tour with Coffee, Seafood and Wine: $564
  • Sunshine Coast Food Tour: $655

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Whitsundays

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

  • Hamilton Island: Whitsundays Sunset BBQ Dinner Cruise: $98

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Brisbane $24
    Whitsundays $25
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.

  • 1hr Animal Tour: $43
  • 2 Hours Sunset River Cruise in the City of Brisbane : $44
  • 2hr Animal Tour: $73
  • 3 Hours Jetski Tour and Lunch in Brisbane City: $267
  • 3-Hours Walking Tour in Brisbane: $57
  • 45-Minute Behind-the-Tanks Tour on North Stradbroke Island: $33
  • 90min Brisbane River Cruise/Tour: $35
  • Adventure Moreton Island Day Pass: $79
  • Adventure Moreton Island Scuba Dive Tour: $180
  • Adventure Moreton Island Wrecks Adventure Package: $120
  • Adventure Theme Scavenger Hunt Experience in Brisbane: $30
  • Afternoon Moreton Bay Sailing Tour: $70

Tours and Activities in Whitsundays

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

  • Airlie Beach: Private Guided 2-Night Yacht Sailing Cruise: $4,507
  • Daydream Island: Great Barrier Reef Adventure Cruise: $196
  • From Daydream Is.: Whitsundays & Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise: $92
  • Whitsundays Camira Sailing Adventure from Daydream Island: $150

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Brisbane $50
    Whitsundays $12
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:

  • XXXX Brewery Tour: $21
  • XXXX Beer Brewery Tour & Beer Tasting: $24
  • Artisinal Wine Tasting and Local 2-Course Meal: $49
  • City Winery Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch: $50
  • River Cruise Brewery Tour with Drinks: $65
  • Brewery Tour River Cruise in Brisbane: $66
  • Wine tasting tour to Tamborine Mountain: $97
  • Afternoon Brisbane Half-Day Brewery Tour: $99
  • Half Day Gold Coast Brewery Tour: $100
  • Tamborine Wine & Distillery Tour + 2 Course Lunch: $125
  • Brisbane Brewery Full Day Tour with Lunch: $126
  • Gold Coast Full Day Brewery Tour: $126


When comparing the travel costs between Brisbane and Whitsundays, we can see that Whitsundays 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 Brisbane Expensive? and Is Whitsundays Expensive?.



When is the best time to visit Brisbane or Whitsundays?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Brisbane or Whitsundays in the Summer?

Both Whitsundays and Brisbane are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Brisbane for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Brisbane is around the same temperature as Whitsundays. Typically, the summer temperatures in Brisbane in January average around 25°C (77°F), and Whitsundays averages at about 26°C (79°F).

It's quite sunny in Whitsundays. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Brisbane. Brisbane usually receives less sunshine than Whitsundays during summer. Brisbane gets 256 hours of sunny skies, while Whitsundays receives 285 hours of full sun in the summer.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Whitsundays. It's quite rainy in Brisbane. In January, Brisbane usually receives less rain than Whitsundays. Brisbane gets 169 mm (6.7 in) of rain, while Whitsundays receives 331 mm (13 in) of rain each month for the summer.


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

Should I visit Brisbane or Whitsundays in the Autumn?

Both Whitsundays and Brisbane during the autumn are popular places to visit. The autumn months attract visitors to Brisbane because of the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, and the shopping scene.

In April, Brisbane is generally around the same temperature as Whitsundays. Daily temperatures in Brisbane average around 22°C (71°F), and Whitsundays fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).

In Whitsundays, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Brisbane. In the autumn, Brisbane often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Whitsundays. Brisbane gets 214 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Whitsundays receives 207 hours of full sun.

Whitsundays 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 April than Whitsundays. Brisbane gets 112 mm (4.4 in) of rain, while Whitsundays receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Brisbane or Whitsundays in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Brisbane and Whitsundays. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Brisbane this time of year.

Brisbane is around the same temperature as Whitsundays in the winter. The daily temperature in Brisbane averages around 15°C (59°F) in July, and Whitsundays fluctuates around 16°C (62°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Whitsundays 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 Whitsundays during winter. Brisbane gets 226 hours of sunny skies, while Whitsundays receives 226 hours of full sun in the winter.

In July, Brisbane usually receives more rain than Whitsundays. Brisbane gets 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain, while Whitsundays receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.


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

Should I visit Brisbane or Whitsundays in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Brisbane as well as Whitsundays. Many travelers come to Brisbane for the beaches and the activities around the city.

In the spring, Brisbane is around the same temperature as Whitsundays. Typically, the spring temperatures in Brisbane in October average around 21°C (69°F), and Whitsundays averages at about 23°C (73°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Whitsundays. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Brisbane this time of the year. In the spring, Brisbane often gets less sunshine than Whitsundays. Brisbane gets 259 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Whitsundays receives 298 hours of full sun.

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


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

Typical Weather for Whitsundays and Brisbane

Brisbane Whitsundays
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)