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

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 $88, while the average daily cost in Brisbane is $116. 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 $98 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 $142 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 $49
    Brisbane $71
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Gold Coast $98
    Brisbane $142

Food

The average traveler spends about $24 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 $28 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 $11.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Gold Coast $24
    Brisbane $28

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Gold Coast

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

  • Private Pizza Making Class in Hunter Valley: $48
  • Pizza Paddle Sunset Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay: $66
  • Dinner Cruise at Sydney Harbour with Optional Mast Climb Experience: $72
  • Cairns Dinner Cruise by Spirit of Cairns: $73
  • Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner Show Ticket: $74
  • Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise: $75
  • Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise by Captain Cook: $77
  • Dumpling Cooking Class in Melbourne: $80
  • Cairns Aquarium Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner: $88
  • Pinnacles Sunset Dinner and Stargazing Tour: $109
  • Private Cooking School in the Hunter Valley: $114
  • Mexican Cooking Class in Melbourne: $122

Typical Food prices in Brisbane

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


  • Hamburger Lunch
    $5.81
  • Cup of Coffee
    $2.18
  • Chinese Food Lunch
    $9.07
  • Ice cream
    $3.99
  • Japanese Meal
    $15
  • Smoothie
    $4.72
  • Japanese Soup
    $8.35
  • Coffee & Muffin
    $5.08
  • Morning Mint Tea
    $2.54
  • Veggie Burger & Chips
    $10
  • Bread
    $1.89

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brisbane

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

  • Private Pizza Making Class in Hunter Valley: $48
  • Pizza Paddle Sunset Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay: $66
  • Dinner Cruise at Sydney Harbour with Optional Mast Climb Experience: $72
  • Cairns Dinner Cruise by Spirit of Cairns: $73
  • Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner Show Ticket: $74
  • Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise: $75
  • Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise by Captain Cook: $77
  • Dumpling Cooking Class in Melbourne: $80
  • Cairns Aquarium Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner: $88
  • Pinnacles Sunset Dinner and Stargazing Tour: $109
  • Private Cooking School in the Hunter Valley: $114
  • Mexican Cooking Class in Melbourne: $122

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 $20 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 $20
    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
  • [Promotion: Adult at Kids Price] Hot Air Balloon Experience with Round-trip Transfers & Vineyard Champagne Breakfast in Gold Coast: $191
  • Hot Air Balloon Experience with Round-trip Transfers & Vineyard Champagne Breakfast in Brisbane: $191
  • [Promotion: Adult at Kids Price] Hot Air Balloon Experience in Cairns with Round-trip Transfers: $176
  • Private Gold Coast Airport Arrival Transfer to Byron Bay: $164
  • Shared Shuttle Bus Transfers from Kings Canyon to Alice Springs: $133
  • Shared Shuttle Bus Transfers between Alice Springs and Ayers Rock: $133
  • 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

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
    $18

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
  • [Promotion: Adult at Kids Price] Hot Air Balloon Experience with Round-trip Transfers & Vineyard Champagne Breakfast in Gold Coast: $191
  • Hot Air Balloon Experience with Round-trip Transfers & Vineyard Champagne Breakfast in Brisbane: $191
  • Private Brisbane Airport Arrival Transfer to Gold Coast: $177
  • [Promotion: Adult at Kids Price] Hot Air Balloon Experience in Cairns with Round-trip Transfers: $176

Is it cheaper to fly into Gold Coast or Brisbane?

Prices for flights to both Brisbane and Gold Coast 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.





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 $21 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Gold Coast $17
    Brisbane $21

Tours and Activities in Gold Coast

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

  • Abseiling Adventure in Adelaide : $73
  • Half Day Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay + FREE Paddle Pack: $95
  • Hunter Valley Scenic Wine and Cheese Tour from Sydney: $125
  • Nowra Treetop and Zipline Adventure: $32
  • Yarra Valley Hot Air Balloon Flight and Winery Tour: $385
  • 'Have a Go' Clay Target Shooting Experience in Brisbane: $110
  • 12 Apostles, Otways & Great Ocean Road Hiking Adventure from Melbourne: $132
  • 1D1N Kangaroo Island Road to Recovery Tour: $514
  • 2D Best of Tasmania Sightseeing Tour: Hobart & Bruny Island : $126
  • 2D Ultimate Marine Adventure from Port Lincoln: $405
  • 2D1N Reefsleep Under the Stars Great Barrier Experience: $416
  • 2D1N at the Wilderness Lodge with Walking Tours of Bungles and Cathedral Gorge: $1,068

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.

  • Abseiling Adventure in Adelaide : $73
  • Half Day Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay + FREE Paddle Pack: $95
  • Hunter Valley Scenic Wine and Cheese Tour from Sydney: $125
  • Nowra Treetop and Zipline Adventure: $32
  • Yarra Valley Hot Air Balloon Flight and Winery Tour: $385
  • 'Have a Go' Clay Target Shooting Experience in Brisbane: $110
  • 12 Apostles, Otways & Great Ocean Road Hiking Adventure from Melbourne: $132
  • 1D1N Kangaroo Island Road to Recovery Tour: $514
  • 2D Best of Tasmania Sightseeing Tour: Hobart & Bruny Island : $126
  • 2D Ultimate Marine Adventure from Port Lincoln: $405
  • 2D1N Reefsleep Under the Stars Great Barrier Experience: $416
  • 2D1N at the Wilderness Lodge with Walking Tours of Bungles and Cathedral Gorge: $1,068

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 $4.64.

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 $45.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Gold Coast $4.64
    Brisbane $45

Sample the Local Flavors in Gold Coast

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

  • Savannah Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tempus Two Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Hanging Tree Wines Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Capercaillie Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Misty Glen Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tintilla Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hunter’s Dream Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Pokolbin Estate Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Wine Tasting at Horner Wines in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Talits Estate Cellar Door Wine Tasting Experience: $7.39
  • Wine Tasting at Wine House in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Glandore Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $7.39

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
    $6.17
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $9.43

Sample the Local Flavors in Brisbane

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

  • Savannah Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hunter’s Dream Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Misty Glen Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tintilla Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Pokolbin Estate Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Tempus Two Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Capercaillie Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hanging Tree Wines Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hungerford Hill Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley : $7.39
  • Wine Tasting at Thomas Wines: $7.39
  • Talits Estate Cellar Door Wine Tasting Experience: $7.39
  • Wine Tasting at Wine House in Hunter Valley: $7.39


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.

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Gold Coast vs. Brisbane Travel Comparison

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