Should you visit Brisbane or Whitsundays?
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.
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.
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 city 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 $116, while the average daily cost in Whitsundays is $117. 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 Whitsundays in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $144 in Brisbane For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $122 in Whitsundays For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
On average, meal and food prices in Brisbane cost around $27 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.
The average traveler spends about $26 per day in Whitsundays for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Brisbane
Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Brisbane:
Cup of Coffee
Chinese Food Lunch
Coffee & Muffin
Morning Mint Tea
Veggie Burger & Chips
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:
Brisbane Food Tour: A Taste of Queensland:
3-Course Progressive Dinner Experience in Brisbane:
Queensland Food Tour: Farm-to-Table Indulgence:
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 $15 per person, per day on transportation in Brisbane.
To get around in Whitsundays, the average visitor spends $49 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Brisbane
Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Brisbane:
Airtrain to the City
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brisbane
Also for Brisbane, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
8-Day Authentic Outback Adventure Tour of Cunnamulla Including Round-Trip Air Transfer from Brisbane:
Private 24 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to Gold Coast Airport Transfer:
Private 13 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to Gold Coast Airport Transfer:
Private Transfer from Brisbane Airport to Noosa for 1 to 7 people:
Private 24 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to a GC Theme Park Transfer:
Private 13 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to a GC Theme Park Transfer:
Private 24 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Transfer:
Private 24 Seat Mini Bus CBD to Brisbane Airport Transfer:
Private Brisbane Airport Arrival Transfer to Gold Coast:
Private 13 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Transfer:
Luxury Brisbane Airport Transfers To and From Surfers Paradise for 2 Person:
Sirromet Winery All inclusive Lunch @ Lurleens, Tour, Tastings and Transfers:
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.
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.
In Whitsundays, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $22 per person, per day.
Typical Entertainment prices in Brisbane
For Brisbane, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:
Tours and Activities in Brisbane
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Brisbane.
4-Day Jewels of the Outback Gemstone Hunting Tour from Brisbane:
5-Day Cunnamulla Outback Wildlife Backpacking Tour from Brisbane:
5-Day Outback Farm and Wildlife Experience from Brisbane:
Bay Island Tour - Scenic Flight:
Best Of Brisbane Day Tour incl. Lone Pine - Half Day Private Customised tour:
Boutique Brisbane to Cairns Australian east coast tour - 8 Day small group:
Brisbane Day in the Country Full-Day Small-Group Tour with Lunch:
Brisbane Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour:
Brisbane River Cruise and Koala Sanctuary Visit:
Brisbane to Moreton Island Return Ferry & Adventure Day Pass:
Full-Day Byron Bay Tour:
Guided River Kayak Tour:
Tours and Activities in Whitsundays
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Whitsundays.
Great Barrier Reef Luxury Expedition Cruise cabin booking 7 days 6 night:
Great Barrier Reef Private Expedition Cruise (min 4 day max 8 guests):
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 $44.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Whitsundays, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $11.
Typical Alcohol prices in Brisbane
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Brisbane:
Evening at the Bar
Sixpack of Beer
Sixpack of Beer
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:
Morning or Afternoon Brisbane Half-Day Brewery Tour:
Mt Tamborine Wine Tour:
Brisbane Half-Day Private Brewery Tour:
Hinterland Heritage Wine Tour:
Northern Rivers food & Wine Tour from Brisbane:
Two Day xxxx Brewery and Tamborine Winery Tour:
Private Full Day Wine Tour from Brisbane to Tamborine Mountain:
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.
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