A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Darwin vs. Wollongong for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Beaches

Should you visit Darwin or Wollongong?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Darwin or Wollongong, 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 local, tropical, and multicultural town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Wollongong

Wollongong is a vibrant, student-friendly, and trendy coastal city. It's a large city, so you'll find plenty of things to do around town. And you can't forget about the shopping, museums, and nightlife.

Darwin and Wollongong: 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 Wollongong?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Wollongong than Darwin, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Wollongong is more popular for its museums, food, nightlife, beaches, and big city activities, while Darwin is known for its hiking. Darwin is popular for its outdoor markets and tropical weather. Wollongong is popular for its surrounding nature and urban beaches. It is also home to Grand Pacific Drive.

How is Darwin different from Wollongong?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Wollongong 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 Wollongong?

Darwin
Wollongong

Wollongong 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 Wollongong can be an interesting and educational experience. There are several museums like the Wollongong Science Centre and Wollongong Planetarium and the railway museum Trainworks. There's also the Illawarra Museum, which is housed in the former post and telegraph office.

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 Wollongong? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Darwin
Wollongong

Wollongong 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 Wollongong. In recent years a younger crowd of entrepreneurs and self-starters has moved into the city, and with them has come a growing food scene. You'll find local cafes, fine dining restaurants, and many great beachfront restaurants where you can dine.

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 Wollongong Better for Nightlife?

Darwin
Wollongong

Wollongong is notable for nightlife and partying. Also, Darwin is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its evening party scene.

Wollongong has plenty to do after the sun goes down. The nightlife scene has seen a revitalization in recent years, and in addition to the standard bars and pubs, you'll find local venues that range from quirky to lively.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe 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.

Is Darwin or Wollongong Better for Beaches?

Darwin
Wollongong

Wollongong is notable for the beache. Also, Darwin is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for the beach.

You'll have a great beach vacation in Wollongong. There are urban beaches, as well as more hidden coastal areas that attract locals and visitors alike. In the heart of the city you'll find North Wollongong Beach and Wollongong City Beach, both of which have picnic areas and are popular with locals.

Plenty of visitors enjoy relaxing on the beach in Darwin. 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.


Is Darwin or Wollongong Better for Hiking?

Darwin
Wollongong

Darwin is great for hiking. Also, Wollongong is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for the nearby hiking options.

Many visitors go to Darwin for the hiking trails. 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 people include a hike when visiting Wollongong. The surrounding area has many great hikes that can be done as a day trip or even a half day trip. There are waterfalls, city views, and forest walks. Some of the most popular trails include Brokers Nose and Clover Hill Trail.

Is the Shopping Better in Darwin or Wollongong?

Darwin
Wollongong

Both Darwin and Wollongong are good shopping destinations.

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

Wollongong has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. The most popular shopping area is Wollongong Central Shopping Centre, which has international brands and all of the big fashion names.

Is Darwin or Wollongong Better for Families?

Darwin
Wollongong

Darwin and Wollongong 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 Wollongong. The beaches, nearby nature, and ubiquitous bike trails make this a fun coastal city to explore with kids. There are also interactive museums such as Discovery Space and plenty of playgrounds. Kid-friendly surf lessons as well as the Nan Tien Temple make this a fun and fascinating family destination.


Is Darwin or Wollongong Better for Couples?

Darwin
Wollongong

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

Wollongong is a very popular place to visit for couples. The scenic natural areas, including the Grand Pacific Drive or the many bush walks, make this a wonderful couples retreat. There are water sports like surfing as well as horseback riding and even helicopter rides. In the evening, enjoy a nice meal and a sunset view.

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 Wollongong Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Darwin
Wollongong

Both Darwin and Wollongong 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.

Wollongong is a good town to visit for backpackers. There are a couple of hostels as well as many outdoor areas to explore, so backpackers who want to escape the traditional backpacker scene will appreciate some time here.

Is Darwin or Wollongong Better for Students?

Darwin
Wollongong

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

Wollongong is a good coastal city to visit for students. It's not too far from Sydney and has a smaller, more laid back coastal vibe that appeals to many students.

Darwin is not popular with students.


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

Darwin
Wollongong

Wollongong is notable for its public transit. Also, Darwin is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for times when you don't have a car.

The public transit in Wollongong can get you around easily. There's a free Gong shuttle bus that travels around the city center. It runs a loop from Wollongong Station to Wollongong University in both directions. There are also other bus services in town.

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

Is Darwin or Wollongong a more walkable city?

Darwin
Wollongong

Wollongong is notable for its high level of walkability. Also, Darwin is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its ease of walking around.

Wollongong is a very walkable coastal city. There are walking paths in the city center so it's possible to walk to many tourist destinations.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Wollongong or Darwin?

How long in Darwin or Wollongong?

It's fun to spend time in either Darwin or Wollongong. Generally, people tend to spend more time in Wollongong 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 Wollongong.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Wollongong 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 Wollongong.


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

One day in Darwin or Wollongong?

With museums and nightlife around the multicultural town of Darwin, there's plenty to do. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.

Many travelers enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the destination of Wollongong. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.


A weekend in Darwin or Wollongong?

With nightlife and food around the destination of Darwin, there's plenty to do. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. It offers something for everyone. Many people spend a weekend here. In a weekend, you should have a good grasp of this town.

Wollongong 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 Wollongong?

Darwin, a popular town, is full of activities for travelers. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Wollongong. Most people come for the beaches. 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 Wollongong?

Darwin is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the student-friendly destination of Wollongong. This coastal city offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Walking Tours in Australia, The Best Eco Tours in Australia, The Best Coach Bus Tours in Australia, and The Best Food and Culinary Tours in Australia.


Which place is cheaper, Wollongong 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 Wollongong is $123. 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 Wollongong in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Darwin $63
    Wollongong $66
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Darwin $126
    Wollongong $132
Compare Hotels in Darwin and Wollongong

Looking for a hotel in Darwin or Wollongong? 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 Wollongong


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 Wollongong Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Darwin $12
    Wollongong $40
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: $142
  • Darwin to Darwin Int Airport (DRW) - Departure Private Transfer: $71
  • Private Transfer from Darwin Cruise Port to Darwin city hotels: $59
  • Private Transfer from Darwin City Hotels to Darwin Cruise Port: $59
  • Private Transfer from Darwin Airport (DRW) to Darwin Cruise Port: $59
  • Private Transfer from Darwin Cruise Port to Darwin Airport (DRW): $59

Is it cheaper to fly into Darwin or Wollongong?

Prices for flights to both Wollongong 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
    Wollongong $31

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 Harbour Cruise Sunset and 4 Course Dinner: $101
  • Cape Adieu Darwin Harbour Sunset Cruise and 4 Course Dinner: $101
  • Cape Adieu Darwin Sunset Dinner Cruise: $102
  • Sunset 3-Hour Cruise from Darwin with Dinner and Sparkling Wine: $115

Typical Food Prices in Wollongong

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Wollongong:


  • Lunch
    $7.93

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Darwin $16
    Wollongong $23

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: $143
  • 1 Day Katherine Guided Tour From Darwin : $271
  • 1 Hour Jumping Crocodile Cruise on the Adelaide River: $34
  • 1 Hour Pathfinder Jumping Crocodile Cruise: $44
  • 4-Hour Outback Gourmet Food & Aboriginal Art Tour: $169
  • 4x4 Litchfield Park Adventures : $271
  • Arnhem Land Yingana Injalak Hill Full Day Tour from Darwin: $234
  • Bombing of Darwin World War II Tour with Harbour Cruise: $101
  • Crocosaurus Cove General Admission Ticket: $26
  • Darwin City Explorer Tour: $105
  • Darwin City Sightseeing Tour: $67
  • Darwin Combo: The Bombing of Darwin Experience & Darwin Harbour Cruise: $58

Tours and Activities in Wollongong

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

  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Unveil Wollongong: $13

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Darwin $13
    Wollongong $18
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 comparing the travel costs between Darwin and Wollongong, we can see that Wollongong 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.

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


Which is Bigger, Darwin or Wollongong?

Wollongong has a larger population, and is about 3 times larger than the population of Darwin. When comparing the sizes of Darwin and Wollongong, 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 Wollongong?

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 Wollongong in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Darwin as well as Wollongong. Many visitors come to Darwin in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences. Additionally, most visitors come to Wollongong for the beaches, the hiking, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Darwin is a little warmer than Wollongong. Typically, the summer temperatures in Darwin in January average around 29°C (83°F), and Wollongong averages at about 23°C (74°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Wollongong. In the summer, Darwin often gets less sunshine than Wollongong. Darwin gets 173 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Wollongong receives 236 hours of full sun.

Darwin receives a lot of rain in the summer. Darwin usually gets more rain in January than Wollongong. Darwin gets 437 mm (17.2 in) of rain, while Wollongong receives 97 mm (3.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Darwin 29°C (83°F) 
    Wollongong 23°C (74°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Wollongong in the Autumn?

Both Wollongong 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. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Wollongong because of the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, and the shopping scene.

In April, Darwin is generally much warmer than Wollongong. Daily temperatures in Darwin average around 29°C (84°F), and Wollongong fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Darwin. Darwin usually receives more sunshine than Wollongong during autumn. Darwin gets 267 hours of sunny skies, while Wollongong receives 195 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In April, Darwin usually receives more rain than Wollongong. Darwin gets 85 mm (3.3 in) of rain, while Wollongong receives 73 mm (2.9 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Darwin 29°C (84°F) 
    Wollongong 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Wollongong in the Winter?

Both Wollongong 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. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Wollongong this time of year.

Darwin is much warmer than Wollongong in the winter. The daily temperature in Darwin averages around 25°C (77°F) in July, and Wollongong fluctuates around 10°C (50°F).

In Wollongong, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Darwin. In the winter, Darwin often gets more sunshine than Wollongong. Darwin gets 312 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Wollongong receives 208 hours of full sun.

Darwin usually gets less rain in July than Wollongong. Darwin gets 1 mm (0 in) of rain, while Wollongong receives 47 mm (1.8 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Darwin 25°C (77°F) 
    Wollongong 10°C (50°F)

Should I visit Darwin or Wollongong in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Darwin and Wollongong. The beaches are the main draw to Darwin this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Wollongong for the beaches and the activities around the city.

In the spring, Darwin is much warmer than Wollongong. Typically, the spring temperatures in Darwin in October average around 29°C (85°F), and Wollongong averages at about 17°C (63°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Wollongong this time of the year. In Darwin, it's very sunny this time of the year. Darwin usually receives more sunshine than Wollongong during spring. Darwin gets 291 hours of sunny skies, while Wollongong receives 240 hours of full sun in the spring.

In October, Darwin usually receives around the same amount of rain as Wollongong. Darwin gets 76 mm (3 in) of rain, while Wollongong receives 76 mm (3 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Darwin 29°C (85°F) 
    Wollongong 17°C (63°F)

Typical Weather for Wollongong and Darwin

Darwin Wollongong
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 29°C (83°F) 437 mm (17.2 in) 23°C (74°F) 97 mm (3.8 in)
Feb 28°C (83°F) 343 mm (13.5 in) 23°C (73°F) 103 mm (4.1 in)
Mar 28°C (83°F) 342 mm (13.5 in) 21°C (70°F) 139 mm (5.5 in)
Apr 29°C (84°F) 85 mm (3.3 in) 18°C (64°F) 73 mm (2.9 in)
May 27°C (81°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 14°C (58°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
Jun 26°C (78°F) 2 mm (0.1 in) 12°C (53°F) 142 mm (5.6 in)
Jul 25°C (77°F) 1 mm (0 in) 10°C (50°F) 47 mm (1.8 in)
Aug 26°C (79°F) 8 mm (0.3 in) 12°C (53°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Sep 28°C (83°F) 19 mm (0.7 in) 14°C (58°F) 58 mm (2.3 in)
Oct 29°C (85°F) 76 mm (3 in) 17°C (63°F) 76 mm (3 in)
Nov 30°C (85°F) 131 mm (5.2 in) 20°C (68°F) 85 mm (3.3 in)
Dec 29°C (85°F) 234 mm (9.2 in) 23°C (73°F) 54 mm (2.1 in)