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

Should you visit Canberra or Airlie Beach?

Should I visit Canberra or Airlie Beach? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Canberra

There is something special about the capital city of Australia. Canberra's not just a wonderful spot for outdoor adventures. It's a city completely designed and built up around the coast of an artificial lake. When architects Walter Burley and Marion Mahony Griffin proposed their plans for Canberra it was met with a lot of criticism. Many people thought it would be a "waste of a good sheep pasture."

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 Canberra?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Canberra is $126, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach is $134. 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 Canberra and Airlie Beach in more detail.




Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $156 in Canberra For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $110 for a double occupancy room in Airlie Beach.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Canberra $78
    Airlie Beach $55
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Canberra $156
    Airlie Beach $110


Food

Food in Canberra costs travelers about $33 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

While meal prices in Airlie Beach can vary, the average travelers spends about $30 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
    Canberra $33
    Airlie Beach $30
Typical Food prices in Canberra

For Canberra, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Lunch
    $19

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

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Canberra than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $23 on transportation in Canberra on average per day.

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.
    Canberra $23
    Airlie Beach $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Canberra

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

  • Private Airport Transfer: from Canberra to Canberra Airport (CBR): $33
  • Canberra - Sydney Private Transfers: $474
  • Canberra -> Sydney -> Jindabyne -> Perisher Ski Resort : Private Transfer: $474

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


Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Canberra, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $16 per day, per person.

Entertainment and activities in Airlie Beach typically cost an average of $152 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.
    Canberra $16
    Airlie Beach $152

Tours and Activities in Canberra

For Canberra, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Skip the Line: Telstra Tower Observation Deck Ticket: $5.93
  • Building and Architecture Tour | 10am Daily: $12
  • Ultimate Museum Experience | Tour + Dine + Shop (10am daily): $51
  • Day Tour from Canberra to Batemans Bay - with Oyster Tasting Kayak Tour: $178
  • Day Tour from Canberra to Batemans Bay With Indigenous Experience: $180
  • Capture Canberra Photography Tours: $371
  • Canberra - Southern Highlands Winery Tour: $422
  • Batemans Bay Overnight Kayak Camping Tour from Canberra - All Inclusive: $513
  • Canberra - Murrumbateman Private Group Winery Tours: $522
  • Private Canberra Secrets Highlights Tour: $789

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

Typically, people visiting Canberra spend on average $15 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $8.55 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
    Canberra $15
    Airlie Beach $8.55
Typical Alcohol prices in Canberra

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Canberra from other travelers:


  • Drinks at a Bar
    $11



When comparing the travel costs between Canberra 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.

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Canberra vs. Airlie Beach Travel Comparison

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