Should you visit Darwin or Canberra?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Darwin or Canberra, 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.
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."
Which city is cheaper, Canberra or Darwin?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Darwin is $102, while the average daily cost in Canberra is $122. 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 Canberra in more detail.
A hotel room in Darwin is about $114 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $152 in Canberra For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.
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.
Food in Canberra costs travelers about $32 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.
Meals for one day
Typical Food prices in Canberra
For Canberra, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:
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.
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 $22 on transportation in Canberra on average per day.
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 Departure Transfer: Hotel to Darwin Airport:
Private Arrival Transfer: Darwin Airport to Hotel:
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):
Canberra - Sydney Private Transfers:
Canberra -> Sydney -> Jindabyne -> Perisher Ski Resort : Private Transfer:
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.
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.
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 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:
Building and Architecture Tour | 10am Daily:
Ultimate Museum Experience | Tour + Dine + Shop (10am daily):
Day Tour from Canberra to Batemans Bay - with Oyster Tasting Kayak Tour:
Day Tour from Canberra to Batemans Bay With Indigenous Experience:
Capture Canberra Photography Tours:
Canberra - Southern Highlands Winery Tour:
Batemans Bay Overnight Kayak Camping Tour from Canberra - All Inclusive:
Canberra - Murrumbateman Private Group Winery Tours:
Private Canberra Secrets Highlights Tour:
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.
Typically, people visiting Canberra spend on average $14 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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 Canberra
Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Canberra from other travelers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Darwin and Canberra, we can see that Canberra 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 Canberra would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Canberra than you might in Darwin.
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