Should you visit Rockhampton or Airlie Beach?
Should I visit Rockhampton 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.
Rockhampton is a city in Queensland, Australia with a population of around 75,000. It dates back to 1855 and historically the economy was driven by gold, mining, and agriculture. Today it feels more bustling than you would expect in an "outback town." There's traffic, suburban sprawl, and continuing growth and development. The city sits on the Fitzroy River about 45 kilometers from the river's mouth.
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 Rockhampton?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Rockhampton is $157, 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 Rockhampton and Airlie Beach in more detail.
An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $186 in Rockhampton For the most convenient locations and nicer 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.
The average traveler spends about $46 per day in Rockhampton 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.
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.
Meals for one day
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:
Rockhampton'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 $18 per person, per day on transportation in Rockhampton.
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.
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Airlie Beach
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Airlie Beach:
Airport Transfers - Return (round fare) share shuttle service:
Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service:
Is it cheaper to fly into Rockhampton or Airlie Beach?
Prices for flights to both Airlie Beach and Rockhampton 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.
Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Rockhampton can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $37 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.
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.
Tours and Activities in Rockhampton
For Rockhampton, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
1 Day Rockhampton Highlights Private Tour with Pickup:
Tropical Beach Adventure - Private 4X4 Day Tour with Pickup:
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:
2 Night Small Group Whitsundays Sailing Adventure Aboard Mandrake:
2 night Whitsunday Islands Cruise on Atlantic Clipper from Airlie Beach:
2-Day Great Barrier Reef "Reefsleep" Experience:
2-Day Whitsundays Sailing Adventure: SV Whitehaven:
2-Day Whitsundays Sailing Adventure: Summertime:
2-Night Whitsunday Islands All-Inclusive Sailing Tour from Airlie Beach:
2-Night Whitsunday Islands Sailing Adventure on Trimaran 'Avatar':
2-Night Whitsundays Sailing Cruise Aboard 'Spank Me' Including Whitehaven Beach and the Great Barrier Reef:
2Day 2Night Sail, Snorkel & SUP Adventure Whitsundays double:
3 Day Whitsundays Sailing and Diving Adventure: Kiana:
3 Day and 2 Night Whitsundays Maxi Sailing Adventure on Hammer:
Typically, people visiting Rockhampton spend on average $12 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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.
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Rockhampton and Airlie Beach, we can see that Rockhampton is more expensive. And not only is Airlie Beach much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Airlie Beach would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Airlie Beach 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 Rockhampton would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Rockhampton than you might in Airlie Beach.
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