A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Rockhampton vs. Coffs Harbour for Beaches, Families, Attractions, and Food

Should you visit Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Rockhampton

Rockhampton is a rural, traditional, and charming town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. Other reasons to visit include hiking, shopping, and museums.

Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is a nature-filled, lively, and relaxing vacation town. It offers plenty of beauty for visitors. It's also popular because of the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Rockhampton and Coffs Harbour: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Very walkable
Things to Consider
  • Less attractive beach
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less walkable


Is there more to do in Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Coffs Harbour than Rockhampton, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Coffs Harbour is better known for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, shopping, and impressive beauty, while Rockhampton is more popular for its museums and small town charm. Rockhampton is well known for its cultural centers and surrounding national parks. Coffs Harbour is well known for its popularity as a holiday destination, diverse marine environment, and the iconic "Big Banana". Also, Coffs Harbour is famous for the Solitary Islands Marine Park.

How is Rockhampton different from Coffs Harbour?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Coffs Harbour and Rockhampton. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Rockhampton is an excellent place to visit for its museums and history. Also, Coffs Harbour is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its museums and landmarks.

You'll find a good number of museums and monuments packed into Rockhampton. While many people come for the area's natural beauty, there are also educational centers where you can learn about the indigenous culture. Make sure you visit the Dreamtime Cultural Centre as well as the Rockhampton Museum of Art. Also of interest are the Rockhampton Heritage Village and the Mount Morgan Historical Railway Museum.

Coffs Harbour offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. The town is home to the infamous Big Banana Fun Park. It's a large amusement park that's become recognized for the "Big Banana" at the entrance - which is the first of the "Big Things" found in Australia. The town also has several other landmarks to check out such as the Forest Sky Pier, the North Coast Regional Botanic Garden, and the Butterfly House.


Is the Food Better in Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Foodies will find both Rockhampton and Coffs Harbour both to be excellent destinations.

Rockhampton has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Despite its small size, the food scene is surprisingly diverse. There are local cafes that offer local produce, waterfront restaurants that have great views, and casual international eateries, as well as low key pubs.

With its innovative style combined with traditional elements, Coffs Harbour makes for a great culinary experience. It's a popular tourist destination, and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants that cater to families, couples, and all types of vacations. There are quaint cafes as well as fine dining restaurants and the cuisine ranges from local seafood to modern Australian favorites, or international treats.

Is Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour Better for Nightlife?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is an excellent place to visit for its evening party scene. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife.

Coffs Harbour has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. It's a vacation spot that attracts visitors who want to enjoy the evening activities. The Jetty Strip is popular for its nightlife scene, but you'll find no shortage of bars and pubs in other areas as well.

Rockhampton has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. It's a small place, but there are still a number of pubs and bars around town. Many visitors enjoy going to a coastal beach bar for the evening.

Is Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour Better for Resorts?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. However, Rockhampton is not a resort destination.

Coffs Harbour is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There's a huge range of accommodation types in the area with everything from camping to luxury resorts. There are also budget-friendly hostels and family-friendly hotels.

Rockhampton is not a resort destination.


Is Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is an excellent place to visit for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Rockhampton is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Many visitors partake in scuba diving or snorkeing while visiting Coffs Harbour. Scuba diving and snorkeling is popular in the area, as this is where the Solitary Islands Marine Park begins. The area sees a mix of the warm water from the Great Barrier Reef and the cooler waters from around Sydney, so the marine life is diverse. There are sheltered areas that offer snorkeling for all ages and you'll see a great mix of tropical and sub-tropical marine life, as well as both soft and hard corals.

Rockhampton is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour Better for Beaches?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is a world-class destination for the beach. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its beaches.

Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Coffs Harbour. People come for the beaches, and they won't disappoint. You can enjoy everything from surfing, swimming, fishing, or simply walking and taking in the beauty. Popular beaches in the area include Emerald Beach, Woolgoolga, and the family-friendly Jetty Beach.

Many people head to Rockhampton to enjoy the beach. The town is about 40 kilometers inland from the Capricorn Coast beaches.

Is Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour Better for Hiking?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

If you're looking to go hiking, Rockhampton and Coffs Harbour both have excellent trails.

Many visitors explore the nearby hiking trails while visiting Rockhampton. The area has several national parks that are perfect for an avid bush walker or anyone looking for an afternoon in nature. Whether you're interested in a day trip or overnight camping trip, there are many natural scenic areas nearby.

You'll find a nice variety of hiking trails around Coffs Harbour. There are many national parks and natural areas nearby with excellent hiking and bush walks. The Coffs Creek Walk is a walking and biking path that's in town and connects the city center to many of the top sights that are nearby. Out of town, there's the Solitary Islands Coastal Walk, the Gumgali Track, Sherwood Nature Reserve and Ulidarra National Park.


Is the Shopping Better in Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is an excellent place to visit for its shopping areas. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Coffs Harbour. The city has many shopping centers and markets where you can enjoy leisurely shopping or pick up any essentials that you may have forgotten.

Rockhampton is a great destination for shopping. There are several shopping centers in town where you can pick up anything you might need.

Is Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour Better for Families?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is a world-class destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its family-friendly activities.

As it has a large number of activities for kids, Coffs Harbour is a very family-friendly destination. There are great beaches where kids can swim or learn to surf. There are also water parks, including the famous Big Banana Fun Park, as well as amusement parks, nature reserves, and wildlife sanctuaries. Kids and adults alike will enjoy going dolphin or whale watching, or putting on a mask and going snorkeling.

Rockhampton is a very family-friendly place to visit. Kids will enjoy a visit to the Rockhampton Heritage Village. You can also picnic and walk around the nearby Mount Etna Caves National Park or explore the Capricorn Caves which is about half an hour outside of town. Other kid-friendly places include Kershaw Gardens and Rockhampton Botanic Gardens.

Is Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour Better for Couples?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

With fun activities for couples, both Rockhampton and Coffs Harbour make for a excellent place to visit.

Rockhampton makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. Near several great national parks and interesting outdoor settings, this is a wonderful couple's destination. There are sunset cruises and beautiful gardens as well as wellness spas and great food and wine.

Couples visit Coffs Harbour frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. It's a beautiful city and a popular honeymoon destination. Couples will enjoy the impressive beaches and fun activities. There are places to explore nature as well as restaurants and fun evening activities. There's also great scuba diving and snorkeling at the Solitary Islands Marine Park.


Is Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Coffs Harbour is an excellent place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Coffs Harbour. There are a number of hostels around town as well as great water activities and a lively atmosphere, making this a nice stop off for backpackers.

Rockhampton is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are a couple of hostels in the area as well as a low key backpacker scene.

Is Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour Better for Students?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Rockhampton is a town with good options for its student-friendly activities. However, Coffs Harbour is not popular with students.

Plenty of students visit Rockhampton. The city has universities that attract an international crowd. It's a friendly setting that welcomes cultural diversity.

Coffs Harbour is not popular with students.

Is Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Visitors will find respectable public transit in both Rockhampton and Coffs Harbour.

Public transit is mostly limited in Rockhampton. There are regional buses operated by Sunbus.

Public transit is generally limited in Coffs Harbour. This is a very car dependent area and public transit is very limit. While there are buses, the area is spread out and you need the freedom of having your own vehicle to explore.


Is Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour a more walkable city?

Rockhampton
Coffs Harbour

Rockhampton is a town with good options for its walkability. However, Coffs Harbour is lacking in options for its high level of walkability.

Rockhampton is somewhat walkable. It's fun to explore the Riverside Precinct on foot.

Coffs Harbour is not a walkable town. Most visitors arrive with a car and you'll struggle to fully experience the area if you don't have your own form of transportation.

For even more information, also check out Is Rockhampton Worth Visiting? and Is Coffs Harbour Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Coffs Harbour or Rockhampton?

How long in Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

Both Rockhampton and Coffs Harbour have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Coffs Harbour than in Rockhampton. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Rockhampton, and 3-7 days is enough time in Coffs Harbour.

Families should spend more time in Coffs Harbour than Rockhampton. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Coffs Harbour, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Coffs Harbour than Rockhampton. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Coffs Harbour that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Coffs Harbour than Rockhampton if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Coffs Harbour.


  • How many days in Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour? Ideal Length of Stay
    Rockhampton 2-4 
    Coffs Harbour 3-7

One day in Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the natural destination of Rockhampton. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the nature-filled vacation town of Coffs Harbour. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Most people visit for the beaches. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Rockhampton. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. A weekend is usually enough time to experience most activities.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the lively destination of Coffs Harbour. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. This vacation town offers something for everyone. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.


Five days in Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the cultural destination of Rockhampton. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.

Visitors enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting the nature-filled vacation town of Coffs Harbour. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Many people spend five days here.If you enjoy all that's offered here, then five days is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

You'll find food and shopping around the town of Rockhampton. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Coffs Harbour. Anyone can find something fun to do here. This is a popular place to visit for one week. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. Most people visit for the beaches. In one week, you should have a good grasp of this vacation town.


Which place is cheaper, Coffs Harbour or Rockhampton?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Rockhampton is $171, while the average daily cost in Coffs Harbour is $136. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Rockhampton and Coffs Harbour in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Rockhampton $101
    Coffs Harbour $63
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Rockhampton $202
    Coffs Harbour $126
Compare Hotels in Rockhampton and Coffs Harbour

Looking for a hotel in Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Rockhampton


Hotels in Coffs Harbour


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Rockhampton Hotel Prices and Coffs Harbour Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Rockhampton $19
    Coffs Harbour $22

Is it cheaper to fly into Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

Prices for flights to both Coffs Harbour 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Rockhampton $50
    Coffs Harbour $51

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Rockhampton $40
    Coffs Harbour $42

Typical Entertainment Prices in Coffs Harbour

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Coffs Harbour's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Surfing Museum (for 2)
    $7.18

Tours and Activities in Coffs Harbour

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

  • Coastal Adventure: $126
  • Rainforest & Waterfall Experience: $126
  • Sunset Experience: $78
  • Sunset Kayak Eco Tour with Marine Scientist: $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Rockhampton $13
    Coffs Harbour $8.39


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Rockhampton Expensive? and Is Coffs Harbour Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

Rockhampton has a larger population, and is about 5% larger than the population of Coffs Harbour. When comparing the sizes of Rockhampton and Coffs Harbour, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour in the Summer?

Both Coffs Harbour and Rockhampton are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Rockhampton in the summer for the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Coffs Harbour for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

In the summer, Rockhampton is a little warmer than Coffs Harbour. Typically, the summer temperatures in Rockhampton in January average around 27°C (81°F), and Coffs Harbour averages at about 23°C (74°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Coffs Harbour. It's quite rainy in Rockhampton. In January, Rockhampton usually receives less rain than Coffs Harbour. Rockhampton gets 124 mm (4.9 in) of rain, while Coffs Harbour receives 187 mm (7.4 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Rockhampton 27°C (81°F) 
    Coffs Harbour 23°C (74°F)

Should I visit Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour in the Autumn?

Both Coffs Harbour and Rockhampton during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Rockhampton for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Coffs Harbour because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the natural beauty of the area.

In April, Rockhampton is generally a little warmer than Coffs Harbour. Daily temperatures in Rockhampton average around 23°C (74°F), and Coffs Harbour fluctuates around 20°C (67°F).

Coffs Harbour gets a good bit of rain this time of year. Rockhampton usually gets less rain in April than Coffs Harbour. Rockhampton gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Coffs Harbour receives 215 mm (8.5 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Rockhampton 23°C (74°F) 
    Coffs Harbour 20°C (67°F)

Should I visit Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Rockhampton and Coffs Harbour. The winter months attract visitors to Rockhampton because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Coffs Harbour this time of year.

Rockhampton is a little warmer than Coffs Harbour in the winter. The daily temperature in Rockhampton averages around 16°C (61°F) in July, and Coffs Harbour fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

In July, Rockhampton usually receives less rain than Coffs Harbour. Rockhampton gets 29 mm (1.1 in) of rain, while Coffs Harbour receives 63 mm (2.5 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Rockhampton 16°C (61°F) 
    Coffs Harbour 13°C (55°F)

Should I visit Rockhampton or Coffs Harbour in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Rockhampton as well as Coffs Harbour. The beaches and the small town charm are the main draw to Rockhampton this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Coffs Harbour for the beaches and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Rockhampton is a little warmer than Coffs Harbour. Typically, the spring temperatures in Rockhampton in October average around 23°C (74°F), and Coffs Harbour averages at about 19°C (66°F).

It's quite rainy in Coffs Harbour. Rockhampton usually gets less rain in October than Coffs Harbour. Rockhampton gets 47 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Coffs Harbour receives 103 mm (4.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Rockhampton 23°C (74°F) 
    Coffs Harbour 19°C (66°F)

Typical Weather for Coffs Harbour and Rockhampton

Rockhampton Coffs Harbour
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (81°F) 124 mm (4.9 in) 23°C (74°F) 187 mm (7.4 in)
Feb 27°C (80°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 23°C (73°F) 195 mm (7.7 in)
Mar 26°C (78°F) 109 mm (4.3 in) 22°C (72°F) 241 mm (9.5 in)
Apr 23°C (74°F) 51 mm (2 in) 20°C (67°F) 215 mm (8.5 in)
May 20°C (69°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 17°C (62°F) 177 mm (7 in)
Jun 17°C (63°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 14°C (58°F) 125 mm (4.9 in)
Jul 16°C (61°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 13°C (55°F) 63 mm (2.5 in)
Aug 18°C (64°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 14°C (57°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 27 mm (1.1 in) 16°C (62°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 23°C (74°F) 47 mm (1.9 in) 19°C (66°F) 103 mm (4.1 in)
Nov 26°C (78°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 20°C (69°F) 136 mm (5.4 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 125 mm (4.9 in) 22°C (72°F) 143 mm (5.6 in)