Should you visit Darwin or Alice Springs?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Darwin or Alice Springs, 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 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.
Alice Springs is in the middle of Central Australia and is most famous as a base for exploring the famous rock, Uluru. Alice Springs itself has grown dramatically from what was once a small outpost. The tourist boom began in the early 1980s and the population is now somewhere around 28,000. The city now has all of the necessary facilities to cater to the influx of tourists who swing through to see Uluru. The town is 1500km from Darwin, which is the closest major city. Adelaide is just as far to the south. It's remote location means that costs can be higher than they are elsewhere in Australia. Expect to pay more for anything from fruits and vegetables to clothing and souvenirs. When making a reservation for a hotel, do note that the rating scale differs from elsewhere in Australia or in most western countries. The ratings come from the amenities available and have little to do with the actual room quality.
Which city is cheaper, Alice Springs or Darwin?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Darwin is $105, while the average daily cost in Alice Springs is $90. 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 Alice Springs in more detail.
A hotel room in Darwin is about $118 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
Travelers usually pay around $96 for a double occupancy room in Alice Springs If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.
Food in Darwin costs travelers about $35 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.
The average traveler spends about $23 per day in Alice Springs 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
Alice Springs $23
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Alice Springs
For Alice Springs, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Ayers Rock Day Trip from Alice Springs Including Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Sunset BBQ Dinner:
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.
Alice Springs'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 $19 per person, per day on transportation in Alice Springs.
Typical Local Transportation prices in Darwin
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Darwin:
Shuttle to Train Station
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Darwin
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Darwin:
Wildman Fishing Tours - Fishing + Scenic Flight Transfer:
Private Arrival Transfer: Darwin Airport to Hotel:
Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Darwin Airport:
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Alice Springs
Also for Alice Springs, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) Coach Transfer:
Kings Canyon to 1-Way Transfer and Stop:
Darwin's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $15 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Alice Springs can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $13 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
Tours and Activities in Darwin
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Darwin are as follows:
1-Day Wetlands + Wildlife Adventure:
1-Day Wildlife Park + Berry Springs experience:
11-day Darwin to Cairns tour:
2-Day Kakadu and Arnhem Land Tour from Darwin:
3-Day Kakadu & Litchfield 4WD Glamping Tour:
3-Day Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land Explorer Tour from Darwin:
4-Day Kakadu, Katherine & Litchfield 4WD Glamping Tour:
5 Day Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land Tour:
9 Day Darwin to Broome Adventure:
9-Day Kimberley Offroad Adventure from Darwin to Broome:
Adelaide River Jumping Crocodile Cruise with Roundtrip Helicopter from Darwin:
Arnhem Land Injalak Hill Full-Day Tour from Darwin:
Tours and Activities in Alice Springs
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Alice Springs.
Skip the Line: Alice Springs School of the Air Guided Tour Ticket:
Alice Springs Telegraph Station Entry and Tour Ticket:
Alice Springs Desert Park General Entry Ticket:
Alice Springs Camel Tour:
A Town Like Alice: Half-Day Tour of Alice Springs:
West MacDonnell Ranges Half-Day Tour from Alice Springs:
Alice Springs Highlights Half-Day Tour:
West MacDonnell Ranges Small Group Tour:
Palm Valley 4WD Day Tour:
Palm Valley 4WD Tour from Alice Springs:
Best of Alice Springs Full Day Tour:
Palm Valley Full-Day 4WD Adventure from Alice Springs:
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.
Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Alice Springs, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $16.
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
Glass of Wine
Sample the Local Flavors in Darwin
Also in Darwin, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
Heli Pub Crawl – 4 Pubs:
Typical Alcohol prices in Alice Springs
Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Alice Springs:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Darwin and Alice Springs, we can see that Darwin is more expensive. And not only is Alice Springs much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Alice Springs would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Alice Springs 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 Darwin would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Darwin than you might in Alice Springs.
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