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

Should you visit Darwin or Airlie Beach?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Darwin or Airlie Beach, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Darwin

Darwin is a tropical city set against the Timor Sea in north central Australia. It is also the capital city of the Northern Territory. Despite being a relatively small city, Darwin is very diverse with residents from all over the world. The city itself has a very relaxed vibe with plenty to do. Visitors can enjoy everything from traditionally Asian style markets to culturally diverse events such as concerts, festivals or art shows.

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 Darwin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Darwin is $100, 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 Darwin and Airlie Beach in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Darwin is about $112 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

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
    Darwin $56
    Airlie Beach $53
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Darwin $112
    Airlie Beach $106

Food

Food in Darwin costs travelers about $34 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 $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
    Darwin $34
    Airlie Beach $29

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Darwin

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Darwin.

  • Private Pizza Making Class in Hunter Valley: $48
  • Pizza Paddle Sunset Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay: $66
  • Dinner Cruise at Sydney Harbour with Optional Mast Climb Experience: $72
  • Cairns Dinner Cruise by Spirit of Cairns: $73
  • Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner Show Ticket: $74
  • Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise: $75
  • Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise by Captain Cook: $77
  • Dumpling Cooking Class in Melbourne: $80
  • Cairns Aquarium Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner: $88
  • Pinnacles Sunset Dinner and Stargazing Tour: $109
  • Private Cooking School in the Hunter Valley: $114
  • Mexican Cooking Class in Melbourne: $122

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Airlie Beach

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Airlie Beach.

  • Private Pizza Making Class in Hunter Valley: $48
  • Pizza Paddle Sunset Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay: $66
  • Dinner Cruise at Sydney Harbour with Optional Mast Climb Experience: $72
  • Cairns Dinner Cruise by Spirit of Cairns: $73
  • Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner Show Ticket: $74
  • Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise: $75
  • Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise by Captain Cook: $77
  • Dumpling Cooking Class in Melbourne: $80
  • Cairns Aquarium Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner: $88
  • Whitsundays Segway Sunset and Boardwalk Tour with Dinner: $93
  • Pinnacles Sunset Dinner and Stargazing Tour: $109
  • Private Cooking School in the Hunter Valley: $114

Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Darwin is $11 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

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.
    Darwin $11
    Airlie Beach $18
Typical Local Transportation prices in Darwin

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Darwin:


  • Shuttle to Train Station
    $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Darwin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Darwin:

  • Shared City Transfers from Darwin to Stokes Hill Wharf: $6.65
  • SkyBus Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) Express Transfer Ticket: $11
  • Shared Sunshine Coast Airport Transfers (MCY) for Sunshine Coast: $12
  • Shared Cairns Airport Transfer (CNS) from and to Cairns, Port Douglas, Palm Cove: $13
  • Shared Sydney Airport Transfers (SYD) for Sydney: $13
  • Hobart International Airport (HBA) Express Bus Transfers by SkyBus: $14
  • Sea World Shared Shuttle Transfer from Gold Coast Hotels: $15
  • Shared Brisbane Airport Transfers (BNE) for Brisbane : $15
  • Avalon Airport (AVV) Express Transfer by SkyBus for Melbourne City: $15
  • Shared Gold Coast Airport Transfers (OOL) for Gold Coast: $17
  • Harbour Town Premium Outlets Shared Shuttle Transfer from Gold Coast Hotels: $18
  • Movie World Shared Shuttle Transfer from Gold Coast Hotels: $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Airlie Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Airlie Beach:

  • Shared City Transfers from Darwin to Stokes Hill Wharf: $6.65
  • SkyBus Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) Express Transfer Ticket: $11
  • Shared Sunshine Coast Airport Transfers (MCY) for Sunshine Coast: $12
  • Shared Cairns Airport Transfer (CNS) from and to Cairns, Port Douglas, Palm Cove: $13
  • Shared Sydney Airport Transfers (SYD) for Sydney: $13
  • Hobart International Airport (HBA) Express Bus Transfers by SkyBus: $14
  • Shared Brisbane Airport Transfers (BNE) for Brisbane : $15
  • Sea World Shared Shuttle Transfer from Gold Coast Hotels: $15
  • Avalon Airport (AVV) Express Transfer by SkyBus for Melbourne City: $15
  • Shared Gold Coast Airport Transfers (OOL) for Gold Coast: $17
  • Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service: $17
  • Harbour Town Premium Outlets Shared Shuttle Transfer from Gold Coast Hotels: $18

Is it cheaper to fly into Darwin or Airlie Beach?

Prices for flights to both Airlie Beach and Darwin 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

Darwin's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $14 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

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.
    Darwin $14
    Airlie Beach $145

Tours and Activities in Darwin

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Darwin are as follows:

  • North Stradbroke Island Water Taxi Ferry Ticket: $7.95
  • Bridestowe Lavender Estate Tour: $8.85
  • Searoad Ferry Tickets between Queenscliff and Sorrento: $8.85
  • Koala Conservation Reserve Tickets in Phillip Island: $9.95
  • Margaret River Region Lighthouse Tours: $11
  • Hunter Valley Wine Theatre Experience: $11
  • Sydney Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour with Mobile App: $12
  • Kuranda Bird World General Admission Ticket in Cairns: $13
  • Kuranda Koala Gardens General Admission Ticket in Cairns: $13
  • Melbourne Sports Lovers Tours: $13
  • Phillip Island Chocolate Factory Ticket: $13
  • Private Hunter Valley Wine Barrel Rolling Experience: $13

Tours and Activities in Airlie Beach

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Airlie Beach are as follows:

  • North Stradbroke Island Water Taxi Ferry Ticket: $7.95
  • Searoad Ferry Tickets between Queenscliff and Sorrento: $8.85
  • Bridestowe Lavender Estate Tour: $8.85
  • Koala Conservation Reserve Tickets in Phillip Island: $9.95
  • Margaret River Region Lighthouse Tours: $11
  • Hunter Valley Wine Theatre Experience: $11
  • Sydney Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour with Mobile App: $12
  • Melbourne Sports Lovers Tours: $13
  • Phillip Island Chocolate Factory Ticket: $13
  • Kuranda Koala Gardens General Admission Ticket in Cairns: $13
  • Kuranda Bird World General Admission Ticket in Cairns: $13
  • Private Hunter Valley Wine Barrel Rolling Experience: $13

Alcohol

The average person spends about $12 on alcoholic beverages in Darwin per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

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
    Darwin $12
    Airlie Beach $8.15
Typical Alcohol prices in Darwin

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


  • Evening at a Bar
    $18
  • Glass of Wine
    $5.15

Sample the Local Flavors in Darwin

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

  • Savannah Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tempus Two Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Hanging Tree Wines Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Capercaillie Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Misty Glen Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tintilla Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hunter’s Dream Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Pokolbin Estate Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Wine Tasting at Horner Wines in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Talits Estate Cellar Door Wine Tasting Experience: $7.39
  • Wine Tasting at Wine House in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Glandore Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $7.39

Sample the Local Flavors in Airlie Beach

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Airlie Beach:

  • Savannah Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tempus Two Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Hanging Tree Wines Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Capercaillie Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Misty Glen Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tintilla Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hunter’s Dream Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Pokolbin Estate Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Wine Tasting at Horner Wines in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Talits Estate Cellar Door Wine Tasting Experience: $7.39
  • Wine Tasting at Wine House in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Glandore Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $7.39


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Darwin and Airlie Beach, we can see that Airlie Beach is more expensive. And not only is Darwin much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Darwin would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Darwin and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Airlie Beach would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Airlie Beach than you might in Darwin.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Darwin vs. Airlie Beach Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.