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

Should you visit Darwin or Canberra?

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

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

Where Should I go: Darwin or Canberra?

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.

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."

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 $89, while the average daily cost in Canberra is $107. 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 Darwin and Canberra in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Darwin $50
    Canberra $66
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Darwin $100
    Canberra $132
Compare Hotels in Darwin and Canberra

Looking for a hotel in Darwin or Canberra? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Darwin


Hotels in Canberra


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Darwin $9.48
    Canberra $20
Typical Local Transportation prices in Darwin

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


  • Shuttle to Train Station
    $9.79

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Darwin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Darwin:

  • Wildman Fishing Tours - Fishing + Scenic Flight Transfer: $1,146
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Darwin Airport: $142
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Darwin Airport to Hotel: $142

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Darwin or Canberra?

Prices for flights to both Canberra 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Darwin $30
    Canberra $28

Typical Food prices in Canberra

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


  • Lunch
    $16

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Darwin $12
    Canberra $14

Tours and Activities in Darwin

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

  • 11-day Darwin to Cairns tour: $1,580
  • 2-Day Kakadu and Arnhem Land Tour from Darwin: $753
  • 3-Day Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land Explorer Tour from Darwin: $1,028
  • 5 Day Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land Tour: $2,837
  • 9 Day Darwin to Broome Adventure: $1,779
  • 9-Day Kimberley Offroad Adventure from Darwin to Broome: $1,580
  • Adelaide River Jumping Crocodile Cruise with Roundtrip Helicopter from Darwin: $545
  • Arnhem Land Injalak Hill Full-Day Tour from Darwin: $213
  • Bombing of Darwin World War II Tour with Harbour Cruise: $100
  • Darwin Adventure Rentals - 10 Day Rental - 4WD Camper rentals: $1,216
  • Darwin Adventure Rentals - 5 Day Rental - 4WD Camper rentals: $608
  • Darwin Adventure Rentals - 6 Day Rental - 4WD Camper rentals: $730

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

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Darwin $10
    Canberra $13
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
    $16
  • Glass of Wine
    $4.57

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: $782

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


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.


When is the best time to visit Darwin or Canberra?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Darwin or Canberra in the Summer?

Both Canberra and Darwin during the summer are popular places to visit.

Darwin is a little warmer than Canberra in the summer. The temperature in Darwin is usually 29°C (83°F) in January, and Canberra stays around 20°C (68°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Darwin. Darwin usually gets more rain in January than Canberra. Darwin gets 437 mm (17.2 in) of rain, while Canberra receives 87 mm (3.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Darwin 29°C (83°F) 
    Canberra 20°C (68°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Canberra in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Darwin and Canberra.

In the autumn, Darwin is much warmer than Canberra. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Darwin in April are around 29°C (84°F), and Canberra is about 17°C (63°F).

Canberra receives a lot of rain in the autumn. In April, Darwin usually receives less rain than Canberra. At this time of the year, Darwin gets 85 mm (3.3 in) of rain, while Canberra receives 110 mm (4.3 in) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Darwin 29°C (84°F) 
    Canberra 17°C (63°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Canberra in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Darwin as well as Canberra.

In July, Darwin is generally much warmer than Canberra. Temperatures in Darwin average around 25°C (77°F), and Canberra stays around 11°C (52°F).

Darwin usually gets less rain in July than Canberra. Darwin gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Canberra receives 43 mm (1.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Darwin 25°C (77°F) 
    Canberra 11°C (52°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Canberra in the Spring?

Both Canberra and Darwin are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities.

Darwin is much warmer than Canberra in the spring. The temperature in Darwin is usually 29°C (85°F) in October, and Canberra stays around 15°C (60°F).

In October, Darwin usually receives less rain than Canberra. At this time of the year, Darwin gets 76 mm (3 in) of rain, while Canberra receives 95 mm (3.7 in) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Darwin 29°C (85°F) 
    Canberra 15°C (60°F)

Typical Weather for Canberra and Darwin

Darwin Canberra
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 29°C (83°F) 437 mm (17.2 in) 20°C (68°F) 87 mm (3.4 in)
Feb 28°C (83°F) 343 mm (13.5 in) 20°C (68°F) 107 mm (4.2 in)
Mar 28°C (83°F) 342 mm (13.5 in) 19°C (67°F) 131 mm (5.2 in)
Apr 29°C (84°F) 85 mm (3.3 in) 17°C (63°F) 110 mm (4.3 in)
May 27°C (81°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 14°C (58°F) 87 mm (3.4 in)
Jun 26°C (78°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) 12°C (54°F) 90 mm (3.5 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 1 mm (0 in) 11°C (52°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Aug 26°C (79°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 12°C (53°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
Sep 28°C (83°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 14°C (56°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Oct 29°C (85°F) 76 mm (3 in) 15°C (60°F) 95 mm (3.7 in)
Nov 30°C (85°F) 131 mm (5.2 in) 17°C (63°F) 104 mm (4.1 in)
Dec 29°C (85°F) 234 mm (9.2 in) 19°C (66°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)


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Darwin vs. Canberra Travel Comparison

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