A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Darwin vs. Rockhampton for Attractions, Food, Hiking, and Families

Should you visit Darwin or Rockhampton?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Darwin or Rockhampton, 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.

Darwin

Darwin is a multicultural, authentic, and local town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Rockhampton

Rockhampton is a natural, rural, and traditional town. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Darwin and Rockhampton: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students


Is there more to do in Darwin or Rockhampton?

Travelers will generally find more things to do in Rockhampton than Darwin. While Darwin is larger than Rockhampton, Rockhampton has more sights and attractions for tourists. Rockhampton is more touristy than Darwin and is popular for its cultural centers and surrounding national parks. It is also home to the Rockhampton Heritage Village. Darwin is popular for its outdoor markets and tropical weather.

How is Darwin different from Rockhampton?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Rockhampton and Darwin. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Darwin or Rockhampton?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Rockhampton is notable for its sights and museums. Also, Darwin is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its museums and history.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Rockhampton can be an interesting and educational experience. While many people come for the area's natural beauty, there are also educational centers where you can learn about the indigenous culture. Make sure you visit the Dreamtime Cultural Centre as well as the Rockhampton Museum of Art. Also of interest are the Rockhampton Heritage Village and the Mount Morgan Historical Railway Museum.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Darwin. You can check out the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, explore the city's Waterfront Precinct, and spend some time at the Darwin Military Museum.


Is the Food Better in Darwin or Rockhampton? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Rockhampton is notable for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Darwin is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its restaurants.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Rockhampton. Despite its small size, the food scene is surprisingly diverse. There are local cafes that offer local produce, waterfront restaurants that have great views, and casual international eateries, as well as low key pubs.

Darwin is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are plenty of local restaurants that serve seafood or local twists on international flavors. Many restaurants offer Barramundi that is prepared in unique ways. You can try the Barramundi Bibimbap or the Crispy Baby Barramundi.

Is Darwin or Rockhampton Better for Nightlife?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Evening events are good in both Darwin and Rockhampton.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Darwin. You'll find the most bars along Mitchell Street or in the Waterfront Precinct area. There are also some popular nightclubs and music venues in town.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Rockhampton. It's a small place, but there are still a number of pubs and bars around town. Many visitors enjoy going to a coastal beach bar for the evening.

Is Darwin or Rockhampton Better for Beaches?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Both Darwin and Rockhampton have good beaches worth visiting.

Darwin has a beach worth visiting. Most people don't swim at the beaches because of the saltwater crocodiles and jellyfish. You can hang out in the sand though and Mindil Beach is a favorite spot for locals.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Rockhampton. The town is about 40 kilometers inland from the Capricorn Coast beaches.


Is Darwin or Rockhampton Better for Hiking?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Darwin and Rockhampton are both places where visitors can find very good hiking trails.

Darwin is a popular spot for hiking. In addition to city walks, there are many national parks that make great day trips from town. Litchfield National Park has many hikes as does Mary River National Park. The town is also known as the gateway to Kakadu National Park.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Rockhampton. The area has several national parks that are perfect for an avid bush walker or anyone looking for an afternoon in nature. Whether you're interested in a day trip or overnight camping trip, there are many natural scenic areas nearby.

Is the Shopping Better in Darwin or Rockhampton?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Both Darwin and Rockhampton are good shopping destinations.

Darwin offers some nice shopping areas. There are shopping malls, art galleries, and trendy boutiques around town.

Rockhampton has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. There are several shopping centers in town where you can pick up anything you might need.

Is Darwin or Rockhampton Better for Families?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Darwin and Rockhampton are both very good destinations for the whole family.

Darwin is a very kid-friendly town. Kids will enjoy the many outdoor activities in town and in the surrounding areas. There are wildlife parks and several national parks in the area like Litchfield National Park. For many families, this is a stop off on there way to Kakadu National Park.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Rockhampton. Kids will enjoy a visit to the Rockhampton Heritage Village. You can also picnic and walk around the nearby Mount Etna Caves National Park or explore the Capricorn Caves which is about half an hour outside of town. Other kid-friendly places include Kershaw Gardens and Rockhampton Botanic Gardens.


Is Darwin or Rockhampton Better for Couples?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Rockhampton is notable for its romantic activities. Also, Darwin is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for couples.

Rockhampton is a very popular place to visit for couples. Near several great national parks and interesting outdoor settings, this is a wonderful couple's destination. There are sunset cruises and beautiful gardens as well as wellness spas and great food and wine.

Darwin is a good town for couples to visit. The beautiful weather means that you can spend most of your time outdoors. Sunset picnics are popular, but for many visitors, it's all about the day trips to nearby parks.

Is Darwin or Rockhampton Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Both Darwin and Rockhampton are good destinations for backpackers.

It's common for backpackers to visit Darwin. There are a handful of hostels in town that make this an easy place to spend a night or two for backpackers.

Rockhampton is a good town to visit for backpackers. There are a couple of hostels in the area as well as a low key backpacker scene.

Is Darwin or Rockhampton Better for Students?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Rockhampton is a nice place to visit for students. However, Darwin is not popular with students.

Rockhampton is a good town to visit for students. The city has universities that attract an international crowd. It's a friendly setting that welcomes cultural diversity.

Darwin is not popular with students.


Is Darwin or Rockhampton Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Darwin is a popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Rockhampton is lacking in options for its public transit.

Darwin has some public transit options. There are public buses around town. There's also a waterfront shuttle.

Public transit is generally limited in Rockhampton. There are regional buses operated by Sunbus.

Is Darwin or Rockhampton a more walkable city?

Darwin
Rockhampton

Darwin and Rockhampton both are good when exploring on foot.

Darwin is a somewhat walkable place. There are biking and walking paths around town.

Rockhampton is a somewhat walkable town. It's fun to explore the Riverside Precinct on foot.

For even more information, also check out Is Darwin Worth Visiting? and Is Rockhampton Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Rockhampton or Darwin?

How long in Darwin or Rockhampton?

It's fun to spend time in either Darwin or Rockhampton. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Rockhampton due to the larger number of activities and things to do. Usually, 2-3 days is a good amount of time for Darwin, and 2-4 days is enough time in Rockhampton.

Families should spend more time in Rockhampton than Darwin. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Rockhampton, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Rockhampton than Darwin. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Rockhampton that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Rockhampton than Darwin if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Rockhampton.


  • How many days in Darwin or Rockhampton? Ideal Length of Stay
    Darwin 2-3 
    Rockhampton 2-4

One day in Darwin or Rockhampton?

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the authentic town of Darwin. Hikers are also drawn to this area. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Rockhampton. Hikers are also drawn to this area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Darwin or Rockhampton?

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the multicultural destination of Darwin. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This town offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Rockhampton is a great place to explore. It is common to spend a weekend here. With all of its activities, you can easily fill a weekend here. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

Five days in Darwin or Rockhampton?

The authentic town of Darwin offers shopping and museums. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Rockhampton. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

A week in Darwin or Rockhampton?

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Darwin. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the rural destination of Rockhampton. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


Which place is cheaper, Rockhampton or Darwin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Darwin is $111, while the average daily cost in Rockhampton is $171. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Darwin and Rockhampton in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Darwin $62
    Rockhampton $101
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Darwin $124
    Rockhampton $202
Compare Hotels in Darwin and Rockhampton

Looking for a hotel in Darwin or Rockhampton? 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 Rockhampton


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 Rockhampton Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Darwin $12
    Rockhampton $19
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:

  • Private Transfer from Darwin Cruise Port to Darwin city hotels: $59
  • Private Transfer from Darwin Cruise Port to Darwin Airport (DRW): $59
  • Private Transfer from Darwin City Hotels to Darwin Cruise Port: $59
  • Private Transfer from Darwin Airport (DRW) to Darwin Cruise Port: $59
  • PRIVATE AIRPORT TRANSFER Darwin Airport & Darwin Hotels (oneway): $99
  • Darwin to Darwin Int Airport (DRW) - Departure Private Transfer: $71
  • Darwin Int Airport (DRW) to Darwin - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $143
  • Darwin Int Airport (DRW) to Darwin - Arrival Private Transfer: $71
  • Crocodile Jumping Boat Cruise with Transfer from Darwin: $89

Is it cheaper to fly into Darwin or Rockhampton?

Prices for flights to both Rockhampton 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 $37
    Rockhampton $50

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Darwin

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

  • Sunset Harbour Cruise with Fish and Chips Dinner: $65
  • Darwin Harbor Sunset Cruise with Buffet Dinner: $85
  • Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise: $91
  • Darwin Sunset Dinner Cruise on Cape Adieu: $103
  • Sunset 3-Hour Cruise from Darwin with Dinner and Sparkling Wine: $112

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Darwin $15
    Rockhampton $40

Tours and Activities in Darwin

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

  • 1 Day Corroboree Billabong Wetland Experience including 2.5 hour cruise + lunch: $139
  • 1 Day Litchfield National Park Tour & Berry Springs Max. 10 Guest: $116
  • 1 Hour Darwin Adventure Boats Tour: $126
  • 1 Hour Jumping Crocodile Cruise on the Adelaide River: $30
  • 4 Hour Self Guided Gourmet Lunch and Aboriginal Art Tours: $138
  • 4-Hour Outback Gourmet Food & Aboriginal Art Tour: $165
  • 4x4 Litchfield Park Adventures : $238
  • Arnhem Land Yingana Injalak Hill Full Day Tour from Darwin: $228
  • Berry Springs Jumping Croc Cruise, Fogg Dam & Outback Pub, 10 Max: $189
  • Bombing of Darwin World War II Tour with Harbour Cruise: $99
  • Corroboree Billabong 2.5 hour Lunch Cruise: $73
  • Corroboree Billabong Wetland Cruises - 1.5 hour Morning cruise: $50

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Darwin $13
    Rockhampton $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


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Darwin Expensive? and Is Rockhampton Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Darwin or Rockhampton?

Darwin has a larger population, and is about 41% larger than the population of Rockhampton. When comparing the sizes of Darwin and Rockhampton, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Darwin or Rockhampton?

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 Rockhampton in the Summer?

Both Rockhampton and Darwin during the summer are popular places to visit. Many visitors come to Darwin in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Rockhampton for the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Darwin is around the same temperature as Rockhampton. Typically, the summer temperatures in Darwin in January average around 29°C (83°F), and Rockhampton averages at about 27°C (81°F).

Rockhampton gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Darwin. Darwin usually gets more rain in January than Rockhampton. Darwin gets 437 mm (17.2 in) of rain, while Rockhampton receives 124 mm (4.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Darwin 29°C (83°F) 
    Rockhampton 27°C (81°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Rockhampton in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Darwin and Rockhampton. Most visitors come to Darwin for the hiking trails and the shopping scene during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Rockhampton because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere.

In April, Darwin is generally a little warmer than Rockhampton. Daily temperatures in Darwin average around 29°C (84°F), and Rockhampton fluctuates around 23°C (74°F).

In April, Darwin usually receives more rain than Rockhampton. Darwin gets 85 mm (3.3 in) of rain, while Rockhampton receives 51 mm (2 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Darwin 29°C (84°F) 
    Rockhampton 23°C (74°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Rockhampton in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Darwin as well as Rockhampton. The winter months attract visitors to Darwin because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Rockhampton this time of year.

Darwin is much warmer than Rockhampton in the winter. The daily temperature in Darwin averages around 25°C (77°F) in July, and Rockhampton fluctuates around 16°C (61°F).

Darwin usually gets less rain in July than Rockhampton. Darwin gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Rockhampton receives 29 mm (1.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Darwin 25°C (77°F) 
    Rockhampton 16°C (61°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Rockhampton in the Spring?

Both Rockhampton and Darwin are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. The beaches are the main draw to Darwin this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Rockhampton for the beaches and the small town charm.

In the spring, Darwin is a little warmer than Rockhampton. Typically, the spring temperatures in Darwin in October average around 29°C (85°F), and Rockhampton averages at about 23°C (74°F).

In October, Darwin usually receives more rain than Rockhampton. Darwin gets 76 mm (3 in) of rain, while Rockhampton receives 47 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Darwin 29°C (85°F) 
    Rockhampton 23°C (74°F)

Typical Weather for Rockhampton and Darwin

Darwin Rockhampton
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 29°C (83°F) 437 mm (17.2 in) 27°C (81°F) 124 mm (4.9 in)
Feb 28°C (83°F) 343 mm (13.5 in) 27°C (80°F) 120 mm (4.7 in)
Mar 28°C (83°F) 342 mm (13.5 in) 26°C (78°F) 109 mm (4.3 in)
Apr 29°C (84°F) 85 mm (3.3 in) 23°C (74°F) 51 mm (2 in)
May 27°C (81°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 20°C (69°F) 59 mm (2.3 in)
Jun 26°C (78°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) 17°C (63°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 1 mm (0 in) 16°C (61°F) 29 mm (1.1 in)
Aug 26°C (79°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 18°C (64°F) 30 mm (1.2 in)
Sep 28°C (83°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 20°C (69°F) 27 mm (1.1 in)
Oct 29°C (85°F) 76 mm (3 in) 23°C (74°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 30°C (85°F) 131 mm (5.2 in) 26°C (78°F) 78 mm (3.1 in)
Dec 29°C (85°F) 234 mm (9.2 in) 27°C (80°F) 125 mm (4.9 in)