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

Should you visit Noosa Heads or Airlie Beach?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Noosa Heads and Airlie Beach can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Noosa Heads

A town and suburb located on Queensland, Australia's Sunshine Coast, Noosa is best known as a destination of pleasant weather, beautiful beachside scenery, shopping, dining, and outdoor adventure. Some of the top attractions of the area include Noosa National Park and Sunshine Beach.

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 Noosa Heads?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Noosa Heads is $101, 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 Noosa Heads and Airlie Beach in more detail.



Accommodation

Travelers usually pay around $106 for a double occupancy room in Noosa Heads If you want to be in a premiere location or have high end amenities, you can expect to pay a bit more.

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
    Noosa Heads $53
    Airlie Beach $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Noosa Heads $106
    Airlie Beach $108

Food

Noosa Heads food costs typically run travelers around $31 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

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
    Noosa Heads $31
    Airlie Beach $29

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

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Noosa Heads than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $15 on transportation in Noosa Heads on average per day.

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.
    Noosa Heads $15
    Airlie Beach $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Noosa Heads

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

  • Private Transfer from Noosa to Sunshine Coast Airport for 1 to 4 people: $97
  • Private Transfer from Noosa to Sunshine Coast Airport for 1 to 7 people: $122
  • Private Transfer from Noosa to Sunshine Coast Airport- 8seater + Luggage Trailer: $143

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Airlie Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Airlie Beach:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Noosa Heads or Airlie Beach?

Prices for flights to both Airlie Beach and Noosa Heads 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 Noosa Heads, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $37 per day, per person.

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.
    Noosa Heads $37
    Airlie Beach $147
Typical Entertainment prices in Noosa Heads

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


  • Surf Lesson
    $49
  • Sea Kayak Tour (for 2)
    $97
  • Sunset Cruise (for 2)
    $15

Tours and Activities in Noosa Heads

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

  • Full-Day Guided Hinterland Adventure Tour in Queensland: $83
  • Noosa Surf Lesson Austraila's Longest Wave 4x4 Day Adventure: $97
  • Stand Up Paddle 4WD Day Trip from Noosa Including Great Beach Drive Experience: $111
  • Noosa River Cruise for 2 people on a Classic Mahogany Speed Boat - 90 min.: $349
  • Noosa River Cruise for 3 to 4 people on a Classic Mahogany Speed Boat - 90 min.: $364

Tours and Activities in Airlie Beach

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

  • 2 Day Great Barrier Reef "Reefsuites" Experience: $631
  • 2 Night Small Group Whitsundays Sailing Adventure Aboard Mandrake: $375
  • 2 night Whitsunday Islands Cruise on Atlantic Clipper from Airlie Beach: $394
  • 2-Day Great Barrier Reef "Reefsleep" Experience: $470
  • 2-Day Whitsundays Sailing Adventure: SV Whitehaven: $315
  • 2-Day Whitsundays Sailing Adventure: Summertime: $315
  • 2-Night Whitsunday Islands All-Inclusive Sailing Tour from Airlie Beach: $315
  • 2-Night Whitsunday Islands Sailing Adventure on Trimaran 'Avatar': $422
  • 2-Night Whitsundays Sailing Cruise Aboard 'Spank Me' Including Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef: $375
  • 2Day 2Night Sail, Snorkel & SUP Adventure Whitsundays double: $439
  • 3 Day Whitsundays Sailing and Diving Adventure: Kiana: $592
  • 3 Day and 2 Night Whitsundays Maxi Sailing Adventure on Hammer: $514

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 Noosa Heads, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $9.41.

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
    Noosa Heads $9.41
    Airlie Beach $8.30

Sample the Local Flavors in Noosa Heads

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

  • Noosa Brewery & Distillery Trail: $134


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Noosa Heads and Airlie Beach, we can see that Airlie Beach is more expensive. And not only is Noosa Heads much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Noosa Heads would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Noosa Heads 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 Noosa Heads.

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Noosa Heads vs. Airlie Beach Travel Comparison

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