Should you visit Fraser Island or Airlie Beach?
Which city should you visit? Read on to compare the prices of travel for Fraser Island and Airlie Beach. We’ll break down costs for accommodation, food, transportation and more to help you learn more about these two destinations. Then, you can figure out if either of these two places are accessible based on your travel budget. So, let's dig into it.
Fraser Island, located off Australia's eastern Queensland coast, is the world's largest sand island. It is best known as a camping and ecotourism destination, with a number of panoramic viewpoints, beaches, lakes, and freshwater pools. Hervey Bay, a beachside city on the nearby mainland, is a primary gateway to the island.
Airlie Beach, in Queensland, offers the closest port to the Whitsunday Islands on the Great Barrier Reef. It's a small town of only 25,000 and has grown out of the area's popularity as a tourist destination. It's main industry remains tourism and, as such, there are many venues set up to accommodate travelers hoping to make trips to the Whitsunday Islands and the Outer Great Barrier Reef. The town has the feel of a vacation destination. While in the past Airlie Beach appealed specifically to the backpacker crowd, it's popularity has spread and now there are facilities catering to all travel types. The area has become more commercialized and there are plenty of large resorts to choose from. Even so, you'll still find no shortage of affordable accommodation around town.
Which city is cheaper, Airlie Beach or Fraser Island?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Fraser Island is $252, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Fraser Island and Airlie Beach in more detail.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $220 for a double occupancy room in Fraser Island.
Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $110 for a double occupancy room in Airlie Beach.
While meal prices in Fraser Island can vary, the average travelers spends about $58 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Fraser Island should cost around $23 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Fraser Island is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
While meal prices in Airlie Beach can vary, the average travelers spends about $30 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Airlie Beach should cost around $12 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Airlie Beach is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.
Meals for one day
Fraser Island $58
Airlie Beach $30
Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Airlie Beach
Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Airlie Beach.
Whitsundays Segway Sunset and Boardwalk Tour with Dinner:
The average price of local transportation around Fraser Island is $133 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.
The cost of a taxi ride in Airlie Beach is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $18 per person, per day, on local transportation in Airlie Beach.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Airlie Beach
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Airlie Beach:
Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service:
Airport Transfers - Return (round fare) share shuttle service:
Fraser Island's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $67 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.
Entertainment and activities in Airlie Beach typically cost an average of $152 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.
Tours and Activities in Airlie Beach
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Airlie Beach are as follows:
Private Airlie Beach Tuk-Tuk Tours:
Cedar Creek Falls and Hydeaway Bay Tours:
Airlie Beach Glass Bottom Boat Tour:
Whitsundays Sunset Sailing Cruise:
Tropical Rainforest and Waterfall Walking Tour:
Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour:
Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruises:
Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour:
Whitsunday Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour:
Whitehaven Beach Day Tour with Snorkel in Whitsundays Island:
Chasing Waterfalls in the Whitsunday's Full Day Tour:
The average person spends about $16 on alcoholic beverages in Fraser Island per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
The average person spends about $8.55 on alcoholic beverages in Airlie Beach per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Fraser Island and Airlie Beach, we can see that Fraser Island is more expensive. And not only is Airlie Beach much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Airlie Beach would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Airlie Beach 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 Fraser Island would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Fraser Island than you might in Airlie Beach.
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