A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Gold Coast vs. Brisbane

Should you visit Gold Coast or Brisbane?

Should I visit Gold Coast or Brisbane? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is one of Australia's premier destinations. Famous for gorgeous beaches, warm weather, watersports, and plenty of activities for all ages, millions of tourists from Australia as well as everywhere in the world flock to this region every year. With beaches, national parks, theme parks, shopping and dining, nice resorts, boating, fishing, diving, theme parks and more, the Gold Coast offers something for everyone.

Brisbane

Although Brisbane is often overlooked as a travel destination in Australia, it is the capital of the state of Queensland, and is the third largest city in Australia. It's a very young and vibrant city with an active nightlife and a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. It's a modern and economically thriving city and, if you do have time to visit, it actually has a lot to offer travelers. It has some beautiful scenery, a wonderful warm climate all year long, and is actually one of the fastest growing cities in Australia.

Which city is cheaper, Brisbane or Gold Coast?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Gold Coast is $90, while the average daily cost in Brisbane is $120. 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 Gold Coast and Brisbane in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $100 in Gold Coast For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $148 in Brisbane For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Gold Coast $50
    Brisbane $74
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gold Coast $100
    Brisbane $148

Food

The average traveler spends about $25 per day in Gold Coast for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

On average, meal and food prices in Brisbane cost around $29 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $12.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Gold Coast $25
    Brisbane $29

Typical Food prices in Brisbane

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


  • Hamburger Lunch
    $5.98
  • Cup of Coffee
    $2.24
  • Chinese Food Lunch
    $9.35
  • Ice cream
    $4.11
  • Japanese Meal
    $16
  • Smoothie
    $4.86
  • Japanese Soup
    $8.60
  • Coffee & Muffin
    $5.23
  • Morning Mint Tea
    $2.62
  • Veggie Burger & Chips
    $10
  • Bread
    $1.94

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brisbane

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

  • Brisbane Food Tour: A Taste of Queensland: $202
  • 3-Course Progressive Dinner Experience in Brisbane: $237
  • Queensland Food Tour: Farm-to-Table Indulgence: $375

Local Transportation

Gold Coast'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 $21 per person, per day on transportation in Gold Coast.

Brisbane'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 $16 per person, per day on transportation in Brisbane.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Gold Coast $21
    Brisbane $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Gold Coast

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

  • Private 24 Seat Mini Bus Gold Coast CBD to Gold Coast Airport Transfer: $268
  • Private 13 Seat Mini Bus Gold Coast CBD to Gold Coast Airport Transfer: $236
  • Private Gold Coast Airport Arrival Transfer to Byron Bay: $164
  • Private Airport Transfer to Brisbane Airport (BNE) from South Gold Coast 1-6 pax: $132
  • Gold Coast Airport Transfers : Gold Coast City to Airport OOL in Luxury Car: $128
  • Departure Private Transfers from Gold Coast City to Gold Coast Airport OOL: $124
  • Gold Coast Airport Transfers : Gold Coast City to Airport OOL in Luxury Van: $118
  • Private Airport Transfer to Brisbane Airport (BNE) from North Gold Coast 1-6 pax: $107
  • Gold Coast Airport Transfers : Gold Coast City to Airport OOL in Business Car: $92
  • Departure Private Transfers from Gold Coast City to Gold Coast Airport OOL: $92
  • Private Gold Coast Airport Departure Transfer: $89
  • Private Airport Transfer to Gold Coast Airport (OOL) from North Gold Coast 1-6px: $67

Typical Local Transportation prices in Brisbane

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Brisbane:


  • Airtrain to the City
    $11
  • Go Card
    $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brisbane

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

  • 8-Day Authentic Outback Adventure Tour of Cunnamulla Including Round-Trip Air Transfer from Brisbane: $3,043
  • Private 24 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to Gold Coast Airport Transfer: $418
  • Private 13 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to Gold Coast Airport Transfer: $379
  • Private Transfer from Brisbane Airport to Noosa for 1 to 7 people: $352
  • Private 24 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to a GC Theme Park Transfer: $339
  • Private 13 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to a GC Theme Park Transfer: $300
  • Private 24 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Transfer: $213
  • Private 24 Seat Mini Bus CBD to Brisbane Airport Transfer: $205
  • Private Brisbane Airport Arrival Transfer to Gold Coast: $177
  • Private 13 Seat Mini Bus Brisbane CBD to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary Transfer: $173
  • Luxury Brisbane Airport Transfers To and From Surfers Paradise for 2 Person: $173
  • Sirromet Winery All inclusive Lunch @ Lurleens, Tour, Tastings and Transfers: $158

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Gold Coast can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $17 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Brisbane can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gold Coast $17
    Brisbane $22

Tours and Activities in Gold Coast

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

  • 4-Day Australian Outback Tour from the Gold Coast to Sydney: $905
  • Aquaduck Gold Coast Tour: $29
  • Birthday Tour: $130
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Ticket: $29
  • Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary Ticket & Koala Photo: $50
  • Full-Day Guided Sightseeing Tour of the Gold Coast Waterfalls: $161
  • Full-day Springbrook National Park Tour from the Gold Coast: $84
  • Glow Worm Evening Eco-Adventure from the Gold Coast: $76
  • Gold Coast Local Craft Beer and Breweries Tour: $143
  • Gold Coast Sailing Cruise with sparkling wine & nibbles platter: $62
  • World Heritage Rain Forest and Wilderness Tour: $115
  • Hens Party Winery tour: $121

Typical Entertainment prices in Brisbane

For Brisbane, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Concert Tickets
    $15

Tours and Activities in Brisbane

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

  • 4-Day Jewels of the Outback Gemstone Hunting Tour from Brisbane: $1,577
  • 5-Day Cunnamulla Outback Wildlife Backpacking Tour from Brisbane: $948
  • 5-Day Outback Farm and Wildlife Experience from Brisbane: $1,936
  • Australia Zoo Full-Day Day Tour from Brisbane & Gold Coast: $113
  • Bay Island Tour - Scenic Flight: $271
  • Best Of Brisbane Day Tour incl. Lone Pine - Half Day Private Customised tour: $197
  • Boutique Brisbane to Cairns Australian east coast tour - 8 Day small group: $2,689
  • Brisbane Day in the Country Full-Day Small-Group Tour with Lunch: $249
  • Brisbane Self-Guided Audio Tour: $20
  • Brisbane to Moreton Island Return Ferry & Adventure Day Pass: $72
  • Afternoon River Sightseeing Cruise: $21
  • River Cruise with Lunch: $44

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Gold Coast, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $4.79.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Brisbane, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $46.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gold Coast $4.79
    Brisbane $46

Sample the Local Flavors in Gold Coast

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Gold Coast:

  • Mt Tamborine Winery & Distillery Tour + 2 Course Lunch: $117

Typical Alcohol prices in Brisbane

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Brisbane:


  • Evening at the Bar
    $11
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $10
  • Guiness Beer
    $6.36
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $9.71

Sample the Local Flavors in Brisbane

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Brisbane:

  • Deluxe Wine Tasting Tour Mt Tamborine Includes 2 course Lunch: $94
  • From Tamborine Afternoon Wine Tour: $97
  • Morning or Afternoon Brisbane Half-Day Brewery Tour: $111
  • Mt Tamborine Wine Tour: $119
  • Brisbane Half-Day Private Brewery Tour: $119
  • Hinterland Heritage Wine Tour: $119
  • Northern Rivers food & Wine Tour from Brisbane: $119
  • Two Day xxxx Brewery and Tamborine Winery Tour: $198
  • Private Full Day Wine Tour from Brisbane to Tamborine Mountain: $474


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Gold Coast and Brisbane, we can see that Brisbane is more expensive. And not only is Gold Coast much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Gold Coast would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Gold Coast 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 Brisbane would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Brisbane than you might in Gold Coast.

Budget Your Trip

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Gold Coast vs. Brisbane Travel Comparison

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