Should you visit Darwin or Surfers Paradise?
If you're trying to decide where to visit between Darwin or Surfers Paradise, 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.
A tourist mecca, Surfers Paradise is one of the most popular travel destinations along Australia's famed Gold Coast. The beach stretches for miles and there is an endless supply of almost constant parties. You'll find high rise apartments lined up along the shore and plenty of shopping areas, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. Travelers from around the world visit the area, and it's a right of passage for Australia's teens to vacation in or near Surfers Paradise. For many travelers, Surfers Paradise comes across as little more than a mass marketed, over commercialized, party destination, but for others it is a vacation dream. Prices are highly inflated so you have to keep your whits about you to avoid being ripped off. Surfers Paradise is a destination of extremes and it conjures up extreme emotions in many travelers, be it positive or negative.
Which city is cheaper, Surfers Paradise or Darwin?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Darwin is $98, while the average daily cost in Surfers Paradise is $92. 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 Surfers Paradise in more detail.
A hotel room in Darwin is about $110 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.
The prices for places to stay in Surfers Paradise can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $59, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $118.
Food in Darwin costs travelers about $33 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 Surfers Paradise costs travelers about $23 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
Surfers Paradise $23
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Surfers Paradise
For Surfers Paradise, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Surfers Paradise Sunset Kayak and Dinner:
Dinner Buffet Cruise on the Gold Coast:
Gold Coast: Spirits of the Red Sand Aboriginal Show & Dinner:
The average price of local transportation around Darwin is $10 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.
Surfers Paradise'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 $9.93 per person, per day on transportation in Surfers Paradise.
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 Surfers Paradise
Also for Surfers Paradise, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
One-Way Shared Transfer to Byron Bay:
Gold Coast: Airport to Hotel Return Transfer:
Private Brisbane Airport Departure Transfer From Gold Coast:
Is it cheaper to fly into Darwin or Surfers Paradise?
Prices for flights to both Surfers Paradise 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.
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, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Surfers Paradise can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $21 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:
11-day Darwin to Cairns tour:
2-Day Kakadu and Arnhem Land Tour from Darwin:
3-Day Kakadu National Park and Arnhem Land Explorer Tour from Darwin:
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:
Bombing of Darwin World War II Tour with Harbour Cruise:
Darwin Adventure Rentals - 10 Day Rental - 4WD Camper rentals:
Darwin Adventure Rentals - 5 Day Rental - 4WD Camper rentals:
Darwin Adventure Rentals - 6 Day Rental - 4WD Camper rentals:
Typical Entertainment prices in Surfers Paradise
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Surfers Paradise's activities, tours, and tickets:
Tours and Activities in Surfers Paradise
For Surfers Paradise, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Green Cabs Surfers Paradise Tours:
Gold Coast Morning Tea Cruise from Surfers Paradise:
Gold Coast 1.5-Hour Sightseeing River Cruise from Surfers Paradise:
Gold Coast 1.5-Hour Sightseeing River Cruise from Surfers Paradise:
Gold Coast Sightseeing Cruise:
Infinity Attraction in Queensland Admission Ticket:
Skip the Line:Wax Museum Ticket-World in Wax & Guided Tour of Chamber of Horrors:
Gold Coast: Aquaduck City Tour and River Cruise:
Aquaduck Gold Coast 1 hour City and River Tour:
Gold Coast Quack'rDuck Amphibious Tour from Surfers Paradise:
Stand Up Paddle Board Tour:
Private Stand Up Paddle Tour:
The average person spends about $11 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 Surfers Paradise spend on average $9.93 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:
Sample the Local Flavors in Surfers Paradise
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Surfers Paradise:
Private Half Day Wine Tour from Gold Coast to Tamborine Mountain:
Hipster Sipster Brewery and Distillery Tour:
When comparing the travel costs between Darwin and Surfers Paradise, we can see that Darwin is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Pacific, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.
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