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

Should you visit Darwin or Whitsundays?

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

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

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.

Whitsundays

Just off the coast of Queensland, Australia is a cluster of 74 different islands. These islands, the Whitsunday Islands, welcome over a half a million visitors every year to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Barrier Reef.

As one of the most famous destinations in the world, it's not uncommon to see expensive yachts sailing around among the private ferries. Most of the islands are designated as national parks with access to snorkeling and diving in the coral reefs, or just to lay in the sand on the famous Whitehaven Beach.

For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best 2-Week Tours in Australia, The Best 3-Week Tours in Australia, The Best Budget Tours to Australia, and The Best Luxury Tours to Australia.


Which place is cheaper, Whitsundays or Darwin?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Darwin is $113, while the average daily cost in Whitsundays is $134. 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 Whitsundays in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Darwin $63
    Whitsundays $70
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Darwin $126
    Whitsundays $140
Compare Hotels in Darwin and Whitsundays

Looking for a hotel in Darwin or Whitsundays? 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 Whitsundays


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.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Darwin $12
    Whitsundays $56
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Darwin

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


  • Shuttle to Train Station
    $9.91

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Darwin

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Darwin:

  • Darwin Int Airport (DRW) to Darwin - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $144
  • Crocodile Jumping Boat Cruise with Transfer from Darwin: $95
  • Darwin to Darwin Int Airport (DRW) - Departure Private Transfer: $72
  • Private Transfer from Darwin Airport (DRW) to Darwin Cruise Port: $60
  • Private Transfer from Darwin City Hotels to Darwin Cruise Port: $60
  • Private Transfer from Darwin Cruise Port to Darwin Airport (DRW): $60

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Whitsundays

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

  • Whitsunday Islands: Whitehaven Beach Camping Transfer: $126

Is it cheaper to fly into Darwin or Whitsundays?

Prices for flights to both Whitsundays 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 $38
    Whitsundays $30

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: $72
  • Darwin Harbor Sunset Cruise with Buffet Dinner: $86
  • Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise: $93
  • Cape Adieu Darwin Harbour Sunset Cruise and 4 Course Dinner: $97
  • Cape Adieu Harbour Cruise Sunset and 4 Course Dinner: $97
  • Cape Adieu Darwin Sunset Dinner Cruise: $98
  • Sunset 3-Hour Cruise from Darwin with Dinner and Sparkling Wine: $115

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Whitsundays

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

  • Hamilton Island: Whitsundays Sunset BBQ Dinner Cruise: $99

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Darwin $16
    Whitsundays $25

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: $142
  • 1 Hour Jumping Crocodile Cruise on the Adelaide River: $31
  • 1 Hour Pathfinder Jumping Crocodile Cruise: $44
  • 4-Hour Outback Gourmet Food & Aboriginal Art Tour: $169
  • 4x4 Litchfield Park Adventures : $244
  • Bombing of Darwin WWII Heritage Tours: $91
  • Bombing of Darwin World War II Tour with Harbour Cruise: $101
  • Corroboree Billabong Wetland Cruises - 1.5 hour Morning cruise: $51
  • Crocosaurus Cove General Admission Ticket: $26
  • Darwin City & Mindil Beach Sunset Market experience: $91
  • Darwin City Explorer Tour: $105
  • Darwin Combo: The Bombing of Darwin Experience & Darwin Harbour Cruise: $58

Tours and Activities in Whitsundays

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Whitsundays.

  • From Daydream Is.: Whitsundays & Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise: $93
  • Whitsundays Camira Sailing Adventure from Daydream Island: $151
  • Daydream Island: Great Barrier Reef Adventure Cruise: $198
  • Airlie Beach: Private Guided 2-Night Yacht Sailing Cruise: $5,001

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Darwin $13
    Whitsundays $12
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
    $4.62


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



When is the best time to visit Darwin or Whitsundays?

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 Whitsundays in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Darwin as well as Whitsundays. Many visitors come to Darwin in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences.

In January, Darwin is generally around the same temperature as Whitsundays. Daily temperatures in Darwin average around 29°C (83°F), and Whitsundays fluctuates around 26°C (79°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Whitsundays. In the summer, Darwin often gets less sunshine than Whitsundays. Darwin gets 173 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Whitsundays receives 285 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Whitsundays. Darwin receives a lot of rain in the summer. Darwin usually gets more rain in January than Whitsundays. Darwin gets 437 mm (17.2 in) of rain, while Whitsundays receives 331 mm (13 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Darwin 29°C (83°F) 
    Whitsundays 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Whitsundays in the Autumn?

Both Whitsundays and Darwin are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Darwin for the hiking trails and the shopping scene during these months.

Darwin is a little warmer than Whitsundays in the autumn. The daily temperature in Darwin averages around 29°C (84°F) in April, and Whitsundays fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).

It's quite sunny in Whitsundays. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Darwin. Darwin usually receives more sunshine than Whitsundays during autumn. Darwin gets 267 hours of sunny skies, while Whitsundays receives 207 hours of full sun in the autumn.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Whitsundays. In April, Darwin usually receives less rain than Whitsundays. Darwin gets 85 mm (3.3 in) of rain, while Whitsundays receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Darwin 29°C (84°F) 
    Whitsundays 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Whitsundays in the Winter?

Both Whitsundays and Darwin during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Darwin because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Darwin is much warmer than Whitsundays. Typically, the winter temperatures in Darwin in July average around 25°C (77°F), and Whitsundays averages at about 16°C (62°F).

In Whitsundays, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Darwin. In the winter, Darwin often gets more sunshine than Whitsundays. Darwin gets 312 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Whitsundays receives 226 hours of full sun.

Darwin usually gets less rain in July than Whitsundays. Darwin gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Whitsundays receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Darwin 25°C (77°F) 
    Whitsundays 16°C (62°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Whitsundays in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Darwin and Whitsundays. The beaches are the main draw to Darwin this time of year.

In October, Darwin is generally a little warmer than Whitsundays. Daily temperatures in Darwin average around 29°C (85°F), and Whitsundays fluctuates around 23°C (73°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Whitsundays this time of the year. In Darwin, it's very sunny this time of the year. Darwin usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Whitsundays during spring. Darwin gets 291 hours of sunny skies, while Whitsundays receives 298 hours of full sun in the spring.

In October, Darwin usually receives more rain than Whitsundays. Darwin gets 76 mm (3 in) of rain, while Whitsundays receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Darwin 29°C (85°F) 
    Whitsundays 23°C (73°F)

Typical Weather for Whitsundays and Darwin

Darwin Whitsundays
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 29°C (83°F) 437 mm (17.2 in) 26°C (79°F) 331 mm (13 in)
Feb 28°C (83°F) 343 mm (13.5 in) 26°C (78°F) 377 mm (14.8 in)
Mar 28°C (83°F) 342 mm (13.5 in) 25°C (77°F) 312 mm (12.3 in)
Apr 29°C (84°F) 85 mm (3.3 in) 23°C (73°F) 143 mm (5.6 in)
May 27°C (81°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 20°C (68°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Jun 26°C (78°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) 17°C (63°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 1 mm (0 in) 16°C (62°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Aug 26°C (79°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 18°C (65°F) 27 mm (1.1 in)
Sep 28°C (83°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 20°C (68°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Oct 29°C (85°F) 76 mm (3 in) 23°C (73°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 30°C (85°F) 131 mm (5.2 in) 25°C (77°F) 107 mm (4.2 in)
Dec 29°C (85°F) 234 mm (9.2 in) 26°C (78°F) 191 mm (7.5 in)