A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Newcastle vs. Airlie Beach for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Newcastle or Airlie Beach?

Should I visit Newcastle or Airlie Beach? 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.

Newcastle

Newcastle is 150 kilometers north of Sydney in New South Wales. It is also the second largest city in the state, and serves as a central point to explore the area's beaches, wineries, and beautiful natural landscape. North of the city is Stockton beach, which has many miles of isolated, beautiful beaches, stretching all the way up to Nelson Bay. The wineries are inland to the west and have some of Australia's finest wine which you can taste. If you want to see rainforests, you can head northwest to Barrington Tops National Park, which has great rainforests and freshwater streams. You may even get to see a platypus. The city also has the country's oldest sea port. In the past the city's economy was centered around the steel industry, but today the University of Newcastle is one of the area's most important employers.

Airlie Beach

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 Newcastle?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Newcastle is $84, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach is $130. 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 Newcastle and Airlie Beach in more detail.



Accommodation

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $41. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Newcastle the cost is $82 on average.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $108 for a double occupancy room in Airlie Beach.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Newcastle $41
    Airlie Beach $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Newcastle $82
    Airlie Beach $108

Food

Food in Newcastle costs travelers about $33 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

While meal prices in Airlie Beach can vary, the average travelers spends about $29 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Newcastle $33
    Airlie Beach $29

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Newcastle

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Newcastle.

  • Looking for a fun experience, hit the sweet spot with beer and pizza at Slice!: $73

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: $93

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $7.70 per day to get around in Newcastle.

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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Newcastle $7.70
    Airlie Beach $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Newcastle

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Newcastle:

  • Newcastle Airport (NCL) Departure Private Transfer from Hotels: $47
  • Private Transfer from Newcastle to Belfast City Airport (BHD): $128
  • Private Transfer from Newcastle to Belfast Airport (BFS): $148

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Airlie Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Airlie Beach:

  • Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service: $17
  • Airport Transfers - Return (round fare) share shuttle service: $28

Is it cheaper to fly into Newcastle or Airlie Beach?

Prices for flights to both Airlie Beach and Newcastle 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $14 per person, per day in Newcastle. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Entertainment and activities in Airlie Beach typically cost an average of $147 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Newcastle $14
    Airlie Beach $147

Tours and Activities in Newcastle

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Newcastle are as follows:

  • Newcastle Dark Stories True Crime Tour: $27
  • Humpback Whale Encounter Tour from Newcastle: $78
  • Hunter Coastal Adventure Tour by Boat from Newcastle: $78

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: $24
  • Cedar Creek Falls and Hydeaway Bay Tours: $43
  • Airlie Beach Glass Bottom Boat Tour: $62
  • Whitsundays Sunset Sailing Cruise: $62
  • Tropical Rainforest and Waterfall Walking Tour: $80
  • Bowen Tour: $86
  • Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour: $87
  • Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruises: $95
  • Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour: $101
  • Whitsunday Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour: $117
  • Whitehaven Beach Day Tour with Snorkel in Whitsundays Island: $121
  • Chasing Waterfalls in the Whitsunday's Full Day Tour: $130

Alcohol

The average person spends about $9.41 on alcoholic beverages in Newcastle per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

The average person spends about $8.30 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.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Newcastle $9.41
    Airlie Beach $8.30


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

Budget Your Trip

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Newcastle vs. Airlie Beach Travel Comparison

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