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

Should you visit Darwin or Melbourne?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Darwin or Melbourne, 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 Melbourne?

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.

Melbourne

Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia, after Sydney. It is also the capital city of the state of Victoria, in southeastern Australia. Melbourne is arguably the best city to experience culture and the arts in Australia. There is a friendly rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney over livability and popularity and Melbourne is definitely the city to visit for its parks, shopping, restaurants, galleries and theaters. Like Sydney, it is situated on the water, at the head of Port Phillip Bay. It's a beautiful city, and although it lacks the major sights that you'll find in Sydney such as the Sydney Opera House or the Harbour Bridge, you will never find yourself lacking for entertainment. It is also a wonderful base for exploring many of the nearby highlights, including Grampians National Park, The Great Ocean Road, and Phillip Island where you can view the penguin parade.

Which city is cheaper, Melbourne or Darwin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Darwin is $97, while the average daily cost in Melbourne is $156. 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 Melbourne in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Darwin $54
    Melbourne $105
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Darwin $108
    Melbourne $210
Compare Hotels in Darwin and Melbourne

Looking for a hotel in Darwin or Melbourne? 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 Melbourne


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.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Darwin Hotel Prices and Melbourne Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Darwin $10
    Melbourne $17
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:

  • 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

Typical Local Transportation prices in Melbourne

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


  • Airport Bus
    $11
  • Tram Ride
    $2.70

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Melbourne

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

  • Melbourne Airport Departure Transfer from Melbourne CBD Hotels: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: Melbourne Essendon Airport (MEB) to Melbourne: $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Melbourne to Melbourne Essendon Airport (MEB): $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Melbourne to Tullamarine Airport (MEL): $39
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Melbourne Airports: $45
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Melbourne Downtown City to Airport: $53
  • Transfer in private Minivan from Melbourne City Downtown to Airport: $65
  • Departure Private Transfer Melbourne City to Melbourne Airport MEL by Sedan Car: $73
  • Private Car Transfer Melbourne Airport To CBD: $78
  • Melbourne Airport To CBD Transfers Sedan (Audi A8, BMW 7 & Mercedes S-Class): $78
  • Melbourne AIRPORT TRANSFER: $79
  • Private Transfer: Melbourne to Melbourne Airport (MEL): $80

Is it cheaper to fly into Darwin or Melbourne?

Prices for flights to both Melbourne 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 $32
    Melbourne $26

Typical Food prices in Melbourne

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


  • Coffee
    $2.84
  • Pizza
    $4.97

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Melbourne

For Melbourne, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • The Eynesbury Homestead: Dinner and 1.5-Hour Ghost Tour: $54
  • Eynesbury Homestead Dinner and Ghost Tour: $63
  • Traditional Sri Lankan Cooking Class: $72
  • Spice Factory 3-Hour Indian Cooking Class: $90
  • Private Australian Cooking Class in Melbourne using Native Produce: $125
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Melbourne Private Food Tour: $131
  • Vegan Cooking Class: $146
  • Private Modern Australian Cooking Class with a Professional Chef in Melbourne: $166
  • Private Market Tour and Australian Cooking Class with a Local Chef in her Home: $203
  • [PRIVATE TOUR] Best Of Melbourne Food Tours: $462

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Darwin $13
    Melbourne $24

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 Melbourne

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

  • Live like a Local: Explore some favourite spots on a playful audio walking tour: $5.40
  • Melbourne Audio Tour: A Self-Guided Walk Through the City: $6.99
  • Questo Self-guided Haunted Melbourne Walking Tour: $12
  • Melbourne Self-Guided Audio Tour: $13
  • Melbourne Self-Guided Audio Tour: $14
  • Melbourne Sports Walking Tour: $14
  • Green Cabs Melbourne Tours: $16
  • Eureka Skydeck 88 Admission Ticket: $20
  • ArtVo Immersive Gallery Experience: $22
  • Tour guide services: $22
  • Melbourne Ghost Tour: $23
  • Gangsters & Candy Stores (night tour with laser projector): $25

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Darwin $11
    Melbourne $14
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
    $17
  • Glass of Wine
    $4.97

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 Melbourne

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


  • Bottle of Wine
    $5.51

Sample the Local Flavors in Melbourne

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

  • Melbourne Bar Hunt: Melbourne Breakout Bar Crawl: $12
  • Melbourne CBD Pub Crawl: $16
  • Carlton Brewhouse Brewery Tour with Beer Tasting: $24
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Day Tour from Melbourne: $78
  • Hops and Barrels- Hop on Hop off Wine Tour Mornington Peninsula.: $83
  • Small-Group Guided Yarra Valley Winery Tour with Wine Tasting: $104
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tour with Local Harvest Tastings from Melbourne: $115
  • Yarra Valley Local Produce and Wine Tasting Tour: $115
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tour inc lunch with a glass of wine, tastings and chocolate: $115
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Tour Departing from Melbourne: $118
  • Mornington Peninsula Winery Tour Including Wine Tastings and 2-Course Lunch: $118
  • Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries Food and Wine Tour: $134


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Darwin and Melbourne, we can see that Melbourne 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 Melbourne would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Melbourne than you might in Darwin.


When is the best time to visit Darwin or Melbourne?

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 Melbourne in the Summer?

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

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

In Melbourne, it's very sunny this time of the year. In the summer, Darwin often gets less sunshine than Melbourne. Darwin gets 173 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Melbourne receives 271 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Darwin. Darwin usually gets more rain in January than Melbourne. Darwin gets 437 mm (17.2 in) of rain, while Melbourne receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Darwin or Melbourne in the Autumn?

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

In the autumn, Darwin is much warmer than Melbourne. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Darwin in April are around 29°C (84°F), and Melbourne is about 15°C (60°F).

In Darwin, it's very sunny this time of the year. Darwin usually receives more sunshine than Melbourne during autumn. Darwin gets 267 hours of sunny skies, while Melbourne receives 170 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In April, Darwin usually receives more rain than Melbourne. Darwin gets 85 mm (3.3 in) of rain, while Melbourne receives 50 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Darwin 29°C (84°F) 
    Melbourne 15°C (60°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Melbourne in the Winter?

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

In July, Darwin is generally much warmer than Melbourne. Temperatures in Darwin average around 25°C (77°F), and Melbourne stays around 9°C (49°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Darwin this time of the year. In the winter, Darwin often gets more sunshine than Melbourne. Darwin gets 312 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Melbourne receives 139 hours of full sun.

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


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Darwin 25°C (77°F) 
    Melbourne 9°C (49°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Melbourne in the Spring?

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

Darwin is much warmer than Melbourne in the spring. The temperature in Darwin is usually 29°C (85°F) in October, and Melbourne stays around 14°C (57°F).

It's quite sunny in Melbourne. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Darwin. Darwin usually receives more sunshine than Melbourne during spring. Darwin gets 291 hours of sunny skies, while Melbourne receives 216 hours of full sun in the spring.

In October, Darwin usually receives more rain than Melbourne. Darwin gets 76 mm (3 in) of rain, while Melbourne receives 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Darwin 29°C (85°F) 
    Melbourne 14°C (57°F)

Typical Weather for Melbourne and Darwin

Darwin Melbourne
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 29°C (83°F) 437 mm (17.2 in) 20°C (68°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Feb 28°C (83°F) 343 mm (13.5 in) 20°C (68°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Mar 28°C (83°F) 342 mm (13.5 in) 19°C (65°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Apr 29°C (84°F) 85 mm (3.3 in) 15°C (60°F) 50 mm (2 in)
May 27°C (81°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 13°C (55°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Jun 26°C (78°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) 10°C (50°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 1 mm (0 in) 9°C (49°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Aug 26°C (79°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 10°C (51°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Sep 28°C (83°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 12°C (53°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Oct 29°C (85°F) 76 mm (3 in) 14°C (57°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Nov 30°C (85°F) 131 mm (5.2 in) 16°C (61°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Dec 29°C (85°F) 234 mm (9.2 in) 18°C (65°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)


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Darwin vs. Melbourne Travel Comparison

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