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

Should you visit Melbourne or Whitsundays?

Should I visit Melbourne or Whitsundays? 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.

Melbourne

Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia, after Sydney. It is also the capital city of the state of Victoria, in southeastern Australia. Melbourne is arguably the best city to experience culture and the arts in Australia. There is a friendly rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney over livability and popularity and Melbourne is definitely the city to visit for its parks, shopping, restaurants, galleries and theaters. Like Sydney, it is situated on the water, at the head of Port Phillip Bay. It's a beautiful city, and although it lacks the major sights that you'll find in Sydney such as the Sydney Opera House or the Harbour Bridge, you will never find yourself lacking for entertainment. It is also a wonderful base for exploring many of the nearby highlights, including Grampians National Park, The Great Ocean Road, and Phillip Island where you can view the penguin parade.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Whitsundays or Melbourne?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Melbourne is $164, while the average daily cost in Whitsundays is $122. 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 Melbourne and Whitsundays in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $222 in Melbourne For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $126 in Whitsundays For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Melbourne $111
    Whitsundays $63
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Melbourne $222
    Whitsundays $126

Food

While meal prices in Melbourne can vary, the average travelers spends about $28 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Melbourne should cost around $11 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Melbourne is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

The average traveler spends about $27 per day in Whitsundays 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Melbourne $28
    Whitsundays $27
Typical Food prices in Melbourne

For Melbourne, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Coffee
    $2.99
  • Pizza
    $5.24

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Melbourne

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

  • Eynesbury Homestead Dinner and Ghost Tour: $63
  • Private Australian Cooking Class in Melbourne using Native Produce: $125
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Melbourne Private Food Tour: $131
  • Vegan Cooking Class: $146
  • Private Modern Australian Cooking Class with a Professional Chef in Melbourne: $166
  • Private Market Tour and Australian Cooking Class with a Local Chef in her Home: $203
  • [PRIVATE TOUR] Best Of Melbourne Food Tours: $462

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Melbourne than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $18 on transportation in Melbourne on average per day.

To get around in Whitsundays, the average visitor spends $50 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Melbourne $18
    Whitsundays $50
Typical Local Transportation prices in Melbourne

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


  • Airport Bus
    $12
  • Tram Ride
    $2.84

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Melbourne

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

  • Private Transfer: Melbourne to Moorabbin Airport (MBW): $622
  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport: $333
  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $319
  • Private 24 Seat Mini Bus CBD to Melbourne Airport Transfer: $276
  • Private Transfer from Melbourne to Port Canaveral: $246
  • Private 13 Seat Mini Bus CBD to Melbourne Airport Transfer: $236
  • Private Transfer: Melbourne to Avalon International Airport (AVV): $212
  • Melbourne Airport Transfers: Melbourne to Melbourne Airport MEL in Luxury Car: $144
  • Melbourne Airport Transfers: $137
  • Avalon Airport Transfers: $135
  • Departure Private Transfers: Melbourne to Melbourne Airport MEL in Luxury Van: $131
  • Melbourne Airport Transfers: Melbourne to Melbourne Airport MEL in Luxury Van: $124

Is it cheaper to fly into Melbourne or Whitsundays?

Prices for flights to both Whitsundays and Melbourne 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 expenses in Melbourne, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $25 per day, per person.

In Whitsundays, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Melbourne $25
    Whitsundays $23

Tours and Activities in Melbourne

For Melbourne, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • '56 Chevrolet 3-Hour Bespoke Melbourne Classic Car Private Tour (4 person): $379
  • '56 Chevrolet 6-Hour Bespoke Melbourne Classic Car Private Tour (4 person): $683
  • '56 Chevrolet 6-Hour Dandenong Ranges Classic Car Private Tour (4 person): $683
  • '56 Chevrolet 6-Hour Yarra Valley Indulgence Classic Car Private Tour (4 person): $683
  • 1-Day Sovereign Hill “A Touch of Gold” Tour: $121
  • 12 Apostles Eco-Friendly Great Ocean Road Iconic Adventure from Melbourne: $119
  • 12 Apostles and Shipwreck Coast Express Private Tour: $375
  • 2 Day Exclusively Private Tour Of Phillip Island & The Great Ocean Road: $1,276
  • 2 Day Great Ocean Road Tour and Platypus paddle: $351
  • 2 Day Great Ocean Road Tour from Melbourne: $210
  • 2-Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour Roundtrip from Melbourne: $257
  • 2-Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Tour from Melbourne: $217

Tours and Activities in Whitsundays

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

  • Great Barrier Reef Luxury Expedition Cruise cabin booking 7 days 6 night: $3,536
  • Great Barrier Reef Private Expedition Cruise (min 4 day max 8 guests): $9,727

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Melbourne spend on average $15 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Whitsundays, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $11.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Melbourne $15
    Whitsundays $11
Typical Alcohol prices in Melbourne

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Melbourne from other travelers:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $5.80

Sample the Local Flavors in Melbourne

Also in Melbourne, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Melbourne Bar Hunt: Melbourne Breakout Bar Crawl: $12
  • Melbourne CBD Pub Crawl: $16
  • Carlton Brewhouse Brewery Tour with Beer Tasting: $24
  • The Melbourne Un-Pub Crawl: $40
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Day Tour from Melbourne: $78
  • Hops and Barrels- Hop on Hop off Wine Tour Mornington Peninsula.: $83
  • Small-Group Guided Yarra Valley Winery Tour with Wine Tasting: $104
  • Yarra Valley Local Produce and Wine Tasting Tour: $115
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tour inc lunch with a glass of wine, tastings and chocolate: $115
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tour with Local Harvest Tastings from Melbourne: $115
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Tour Departing from Melbourne: $118
  • Mornington Peninsula Winery Tour Including Wine Tastings and 2-Course Lunch: $118


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

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Melbourne vs. Whitsundays Travel Comparison

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