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

Should you visit Canberra or Brisbane?

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

Should I visit Canberra or Brisbane? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Where Should I go: Canberra or Brisbane?

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."

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.

Which city is cheaper, Brisbane or Canberra?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Canberra is $107, while the average daily cost in Brisbane is $105. 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 Canberra and Brisbane in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Canberra $66
    Brisbane $65
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Canberra $132
    Brisbane $130

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Canberra $20
    Brisbane $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Canberra

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

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

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
  • Sirromet Winery All inclusive Lunch @ Lurleens, Tour, Tastings and Transfers: $158
  • Private Transfer: Brisbane to Brisbane Airport (BNE): $98
  • Private Transfer from Brisbane Airport to Noosa for 1 to 7 people: $352
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Brisbane Airport: $40
  • Private Brisbane City Transfer to Gold Coast 7am-6pm: $89
  • Private Brisbane Airport Arrival Transfer to Gold Coast: $177
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Brisbane Airport to Hotel: $40
  • Private Airport Transfer: Brisbane Airport (BNE) to Brisbane: $98
  • Private Airport Transfer from Brisbane Airport (BNE) to South Gold Coast 1-6 pax: $132
  • Private Airport Transfer from Brisbane Airport (BNE) to North Gold Coast 1-6 pax: $107
  • Private 24 Seat Mini Bus CBD to Brisbane Airport Transfer: $205

Is it cheaper to fly into Canberra or Brisbane?

Prices for flights to both Brisbane and Canberra 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
    Canberra $28
    Brisbane $25
Typical Food prices in Canberra

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


  • Lunch
    $16

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Canberra $14
    Brisbane $19

Tours and Activities in Canberra

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

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

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.

  • 4-Day Jewels of the Outback Gemstone Hunting Tour from Brisbane: $1,577
  • 5-Day Cunnamulla Outback Wildlife Backpacking Tour from Brisbane: $948
  • 5-Day Outback Farm and Wildlife Experience from Brisbane: $1,936
  • Bay Island Tour - Scenic Flight: $271
  • Best Of Brisbane Day Tour incl. Lone Pine - Half Day Private Customised tour: $197
  • Boutique Brisbane to Cairns Australian east coast tour - 8 Day small group: $2,689
  • Brisbane Day in the Country Full-Day Small-Group Tour with Lunch: $249
  • Brisbane Like a Local: Customized Guided Tour: $35
  • Brisbane River Cruise and Koala Sanctuary Visit: $61
  • Brisbane to Moreton Island Return Ferry & Adventure Day Pass: $86
  • Full-Day Byron Bay Tour: $280
  • Guided River Kayak Tour: $47

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Canberra $13
    Brisbane $40
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
    $9.14

Sample the Local Flavors in Canberra

Also in Canberra, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Capital Brewery Full-Day Tour: $123
  • From Winery, Distillery, & Tasting Tour with Lunch: $144

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 Canberra and Brisbane, we can see that Canberra 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 Canberra or Brisbane?

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 Canberra or Brisbane in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Canberra and Brisbane.

In the summer, Canberra is cooler than Brisbane. Typically, the summer temperatures in Canberra in January are around 20°C (68°F), and Brisbane is about 25°C (77°F).

Brisbane receives a lot of rain in the summer. In January, Canberra usually receives less rain than Brisbane. At this time of the year, Canberra gets 87 mm (3.4 in) of rain, while Brisbane receives 169 mm (6.7 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Canberra 20°C (68°F) 
    Brisbane 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Canberra or Brisbane in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Canberra as well as Brisbane.

In April, Canberra is generally cooler than Brisbane. Temperatures in Canberra average around 17°C (63°F), and Brisbane stays around 22°C (71°F).

It's quite rainy in Brisbane. Canberra receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Canberra usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Brisbane. Canberra gets 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain, while Brisbane receives 112 mm (4.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Canberra 17°C (63°F) 
    Brisbane 22°C (71°F)

Should I visit Canberra or Brisbane in the Winter?

Both Brisbane and Canberra are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.

Canberra is cooler than Brisbane in the winter. The temperature in Canberra is usually 11°C (52°F) in July, and Brisbane stays around 15°C (59°F).

In July, Canberra usually receives less rain than Brisbane. At this time of the year, Canberra gets 43 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Brisbane receives 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Canberra 11°C (52°F) 
    Brisbane 15°C (59°F)

Should I visit Canberra or Brisbane in the Spring?

Both Brisbane and Canberra during the spring are popular places to visit.

In the spring, Canberra is cooler than Brisbane. Typically, the spring temperatures in Canberra in October are around 15°C (60°F), and Brisbane is about 21°C (69°F).

Canberra usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Brisbane. Canberra gets 95 mm (3.7 in) of rain, while Brisbane receives 93 mm (3.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Canberra 15°C (60°F) 
    Brisbane 21°C (69°F)

Typical Weather for Brisbane and Canberra

Canberra Brisbane
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 20°C (68°F) 87 mm (3.4 in) 25°C (77°F) 169 mm (6.7 in)
Feb 20°C (68°F) 107 mm (4.2 in) 25°C (77°F) 152 mm (6 in)
Mar 19°C (67°F) 131 mm (5.2 in) 24°C (75°F) 146 mm (5.7 in)
Apr 17°C (63°F) 110 mm (4.3 in) 22°C (71°F) 112 mm (4.4 in)
May 14°C (58°F) 87 mm (3.4 in) 19°C (66°F) 104 mm (4.1 in)
Jun 12°C (54°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 16°C (61°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Jul 11°C (52°F) 43 mm (1.7 in) 15°C (59°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)
Aug 12°C (53°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 16°C (61°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Sep 14°C (56°F) 63 mm (2.5 in) 18°C (65°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Oct 15°C (60°F) 95 mm (3.7 in) 21°C (69°F) 93 mm (3.7 in)
Nov 17°C (63°F) 104 mm (4.1 in) 23°C (73°F) 107 mm (4.2 in)
Dec 19°C (66°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 24°C (76°F) 127 mm (5 in)


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Canberra vs. Brisbane Travel Comparison

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