A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Rockhampton vs. Melbourne for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Beaches

Should you visit Rockhampton or Melbourne?

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

Should I visit Rockhampton or Melbourne? 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 charming, cultural, and natural town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. Visitors also love the food, beaches, and hiking.

Melbourne

Melbourne is a friendly, cultural, and progressive city. As it's a big city, visitors will find plenty to do, too. It's also popular because of the beaches, shopping, and museums.

Rockhampton and Melbourne: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for students
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Good public transit
  • Big city activities


Is there more to do in Rockhampton or Melbourne?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Melbourne than Rockhampton, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Melbourne is more popular for its nightlife, beaches, shopping, and big city activities, while Rockhampton is known for its hiking and small town charm. Rockhampton is more touristy than Melbourne and is known for its cultural centers and surrounding national parks. Melbourne is popular for its art and cultural scene, its sports history, and its friendly and welcoming population. It is also home to the Royal Botanic Gardens.

How is Rockhampton different from Melbourne?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Melbourne 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 Melbourne?

Rockhampton
Melbourne

You'll find a number of high quality museums and attractions in both Melbourne and Rockhampton.

Rockhampton offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. 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.

Many visitors head to Melbourne specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. Many of the city's sights center around the art and cultural scene. There's the the National Gallery of Victoria and the Performing Arts Centre Melbourne. There's also Federation Square. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the National Sports Museum and for great views, check out Melbourne Skydeck at Eureka Tower.


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

Rockhampton
Melbourne

Foodies will find both Rockhampton and Melbourne both to be high quality 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, Melbourne makes for a great culinary experience. There's an eclectic mix of international restaurants that offer everything from Szechuan dishes to Spanish tapas. You'll find bistros and bars that have a fun and relaxed vibe and locals and tourists alike enjoy dining out.

Is Rockhampton or Melbourne Better for Nightlife?

Rockhampton
Melbourne

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

Melbourne has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. There are bars and clubs that have a laid back and relaxed atmosphere as well as more party focused nightclubs that stay open late into the night. Whether you're interested in dancing and listening to live music, or chatting with friends at a local brewery, there really is something for everyone.

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 Melbourne Better for Beaches?

Rockhampton
Melbourne

Melbourne is an excellent place to visit for the beach. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its beaches.

Melbourne is considered a top beach destination. There are laid back beaches near town that attract locals and tourists alike. You can enjoy coastal trails and great natural beauty. St Kilda Beach and Elwood Beach are among the most popular beaches near the city. Brighton Beach is known for its colorful bathing boxes and Williamstown Beach is very family-friendly.

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


Is Rockhampton or Melbourne Better for Hiking?

Rockhampton
Melbourne

Rockhampton is a very popular place for its hiking trails. However, Melbourne is not a hiking destination.

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.

Melbourne is not a hiking destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Rockhampton or Melbourne?

Rockhampton
Melbourne

Melbourne 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 Melbourne. The city has tons of retail options that range from trendy fashion boutiques to outdoor markets. There are local venders that highlight the city's art and cultural scene, but there are also suburban malls with all of the major brands.

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 Melbourne Better for Families?

Rockhampton
Melbourne

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Rockhampton or Melbourne.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Rockhampton. 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.

Melbourne is a very family-friendly place to visit. The city has kids museums like the Museum of Play and Art or the Polly Woodside Tall Ship and Museum. There's also the Sea Life Melbourne Aquarium and the Scienceworks Museums. If you like quirky, check out the ArtVo 3D Immersive Art Gallery. There's also Legoland, which has a lot for younger children.


Is Rockhampton or Melbourne Better for Couples?

Rockhampton
Melbourne

Rockhampton is a very popular place for its romantic activities. Also, Melbourne is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for couples.

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.

Melbourne is a good town for couples to visit. It's a very livable city with romantic viewpoints like SkyHigh Mount Dandenong. There are also nice gardens to explore such as the Carlton Gardens and the Rippon Lea House and Gardens. Or you could go for a ride on the Melbourne Star or dine at one of the many great restaurants.

Is Rockhampton or Melbourne Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Rockhampton
Melbourne

Rockhampton and Melbourne are both good destinations for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers visit Rockhampton. There are a couple of hostels in the area as well as a low key backpacker scene.

Melbourne is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. Many backpackers breeze through the city, but there is a great music and art scene as well as a number of good restaurants. You'll also find a couple of good hostels in town.

Is Rockhampton or Melbourne Better for Students?

Rockhampton
Melbourne

Melbourne is a world-class destination for its student-friendly activities. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for students.

Many students frequent Melbourne. Many students think this is among the best student cities in Australia. There's a great creative culture with a good music and art scene. The population is diverse and the restaurants a great.

Rockhampton is popular with students. The city has universities that attract an international crowd. It's a friendly setting that welcomes cultural diversity.


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

Rockhampton
Melbourne

Melbourne is an excellent place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Rockhampton is lacking in options for its public transit.

Many visitors use the public transit system in Melbourne. The public transit system is among the best in Australia. There are public buses, trains, and trams (also called trolleys or streetcars).

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

Is Rockhampton or Melbourne a more walkable city?

Rockhampton
Melbourne

Melbourne is an excellent place to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its walkability.

Melbourne is a very walkable destination. The city center is very walkable with a compact and grid-like layout.

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

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

Should I spend more time in Melbourne or Rockhampton?

How long in Rockhampton or Melbourne?

In either Rockhampton or Melbourne, you'll find plenty of activities to fill your time. Most visitors tend to spend more time in Melbourne than Rockhampton because of the overall number of sights and activities. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Rockhampton, and 2-5 days is enough time in Melbourne.

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Melbourne 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 Melbourne.


  • How many days in Rockhampton or Melbourne? Ideal Length of Stay
    Rockhampton 2-4 
    Melbourne 2-5

One day in Rockhampton or Melbourne?

You'll find shopping and museums around the town of Rockhampton. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Melbourne is a progressive city where you can fill many days. It's also a great beach destination, too. 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 Melbourne?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the cultural destination of Rockhampton. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Melbourne is a cultural big city where you can fill many days. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Rockhampton or Melbourne?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the charming town of Rockhampton. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Melbourne is a livable city where you can fill many days. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. 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 Melbourne?

Rockhampton is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. One week 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. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many people enjoy the museums and nightlife when visiting Melbourne. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people come for the beaches. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best G Adventures Tours to Australia, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Sydney, The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Melbourne, and The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Australia.


Which place is cheaper, Melbourne or Rockhampton?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Rockhampton is $174, while the average daily cost in Melbourne is $180. 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 Melbourne in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Rockhampton $103
    Melbourne $121
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Rockhampton $206
    Melbourne $242
Compare Hotels in Rockhampton and Melbourne

Looking for a hotel in Rockhampton or Melbourne? 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 Melbourne


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 Melbourne Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Rockhampton $20
    Melbourne $20

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Melbourne

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


  • Airport Bus
    $11
  • Tram Ride
    $2.52

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Melbourne

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

  • Yarra Valley: Hot Air Balloon with Breakfast & CBD Transfers: $378
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service Melbourne HTL-APT (MEL): $99
  • Try find your better than us ! Airport transfer service Melbourne APT-HTL (MEL): $99
  • Private Transfer Melbourne Airport: $101
  • Private Arrival Transfer: Melbourne Airports to Hotel: $88
  • Private Airport Transfers to Melbourne Hotels: $63
  • Private Airport Transfer in Melbourne City in Luxury Vehicles: $105
  • Private Airport Transfer in Melbourne: $101
  • Mt Buller 1 Day Snow Tour (Direct Transfer To Mt Buller Village From Melbourne): $91
  • Mornington Peninsula - Melbourne Airport Transfers: $203
  • Melbourne Private Transfer to Melbourne Airport MEL in Sedan Car: $116
  • Melbourne Private Transfer to Melbourne Airport MEL in Luxury Van: $164

Is it cheaper to fly into Rockhampton or Melbourne?

Prices for flights to both Melbourne 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 $51
    Melbourne $31

Typical Food Prices in Melbourne

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


  • Coffee
    $2.65
  • Pizza
    $4.64

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Melbourne

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

  • Queen Victoria Market: 'Flavours of Australia' Food Tour: $52
  • Sunset Kayak Tour with Dinner: $80
  • Melbourne Private Multicultural Markets Food Tour: $88
  • Chinese Dumpling Cooking Class with a Drink: $99
  • Secret Food Tour: $111
  • Chinese Cooking Class Master: $121
  • Spirit of Melbourne Dinner Cruise: $125
  • Choose Your Asian Cuisine Cooking Masterclass: $131
  • Street Food of Asia Cooking Class: $133
  • Thai Cooking Class: $133
  • Great Ocean Road Sunset Tour with Dinner and Wildlife Park: $145
  • Phillip Island Penguins, Wine Tasting and Dinner from Melbourne: $149

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Rockhampton $41
    Melbourne $28

Tours and Activities in Melbourne

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

  • Experience Yarra Valley: A Tailored private Wine Journey: $220
  • Mandarin Melbourne Walking Tour: $17
  • 1 Day Penguin Island Tour from Melbourne Penguins express: $81
  • 1 day Puffing Billy Steam Train and Wildlife Tour from Melbourne: $128
  • 1.5Hr Yarra River Crown Flames and City Lights Cruise: $255
  • 2 Day Great Ocean Road Small Group Tour: $812
  • 2024 Mt Buller, Melbourne Snow and Sightseeing Day Tour: $94
  • 3 Hour Rainforest Walking Tour in Badger Creek: $41
  • 3-Day Great Ocean Road and Grampians Small-Group Tour: $1,508
  • 3-Hour Private Bike Tour with a Local Melbourne Guide : $172
  • 3/4 Day Sports Lovers Bus Tour of Melbourne with Tour Options: $183
  • African Wild Dog Experience at Werribee Open Range Zoo : $40

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Rockhampton $13
    Melbourne $17

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
    $5.14

Sample the Local Flavors in Melbourne

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

  • Weekly Bar Crawl: 5 Free shots, Club Entry: $19
  • Spirits and Ales Haunted Pub Walking Tour: $26
  • MELBOURNE Spirits and Ales Haunted Pub Tour: $26
  • Melbourne Halloween Bar Crawl: $34
  • Epic Melbourne Brewery Tour Northside Edition: $66
  • Small-Group Yarra Valley Wine Tour: Wine, Gin and Cider: $87
  • Melbourne; Brewery Bus Tour - Northern Suburbs Edition: $92
  • Yarra Valley Day Trip with Local Wine Tastings from Melbourne: $105
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Day Tour from Melbourne: $108
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tour inc lunch with a glass of wine, tastings and chocolate: $118
  • Yarra Valley Gourmet Food & Wine Tasting Tour: $129
  • Southern Gippsland boutique Wine Tour with Tapas from Melbourne : $142


When comparing the travel costs between Rockhampton and Melbourne, we can see that Melbourne is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Pacific, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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


Which is Bigger, Rockhampton or Melbourne?

Melbourne has a larger population, and is about 60 times larger than the population of Rockhampton. When comparing the sizes of Rockhampton and Melbourne, 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 Melbourne?

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 Melbourne in the Summer?

Both Melbourne and Rockhampton are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. The summer months attract visitors to Rockhampton because of the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, the beaches, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Melbourne this time of year.

In January, Rockhampton is generally a little warmer than Melbourne. Daily temperatures in Rockhampton average around 27°C (81°F), and Melbourne fluctuates around 20°C (68°F).

It's quite rainy in Rockhampton. In January, Rockhampton usually receives more rain than Melbourne. Rockhampton gets 124 mm (4.9 in) of rain, while Melbourne receives 45 mm (1.8 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Rockhampton 27°C (81°F) 
    Melbourne 20°C (68°F)

Should I visit Rockhampton or Melbourne in the Autumn?

Both Melbourne and Rockhampton during the autumn are popular places to visit. The hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere are the main draw to Rockhampton this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Melbourne for the city's sights and attractions and the shopping scene.

Rockhampton is much warmer than Melbourne in the autumn. The daily temperature in Rockhampton averages around 23°C (74°F) in April, and Melbourne fluctuates around 15°C (60°F).

Rockhampton usually gets around the same amount of rain in April as Melbourne. Rockhampton gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Melbourne receives 50 mm (2 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Rockhampton 23°C (74°F) 
    Melbourne 15°C (60°F)

Should I visit Rockhampton or Melbourne in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Rockhampton and Melbourne. Many travelers come to Rockhampton for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, many visitors come to Melbourne in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Rockhampton is much warmer than Melbourne. Typically, the winter temperatures in Rockhampton in July average around 16°C (61°F), and Melbourne averages at about 9°C (49°F).

In July, Rockhampton usually receives less rain than Melbourne. Rockhampton gets 29 mm (1.1 in) of rain, while Melbourne receives 43 mm (1.7 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Rockhampton 16°C (61°F) 
    Melbourne 9°C (49°F)

Should I visit Rockhampton or Melbourne in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Rockhampton as well as Melbourne. Many visitors come to Rockhampton in the spring for the beaches and the small town charm. Additionally, most visitors come to Melbourne for the beaches and the activities around the city during these months.

In October, Rockhampton is generally much warmer than Melbourne. Daily temperatures in Rockhampton average around 23°C (74°F), and Melbourne fluctuates around 14°C (57°F).

Rockhampton usually gets less rain in October than Melbourne. Rockhampton gets 47 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Melbourne receives 62 mm (2.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Rockhampton 23°C (74°F) 
    Melbourne 14°C (57°F)

Typical Weather for Melbourne and Rockhampton

Rockhampton Melbourne
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (81°F) 124 mm (4.9 in) 20°C (68°F) 45 mm (1.8 in)
Feb 27°C (80°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 20°C (68°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Mar 26°C (78°F) 109 mm (4.3 in) 19°C (65°F) 35 mm (1.4 in)
Apr 23°C (74°F) 51 mm (2 in) 15°C (60°F) 50 mm (2 in)
May 20°C (69°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 13°C (55°F) 55 mm (2.2 in)
Jun 17°C (63°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 10°C (50°F) 37 mm (1.5 in)
Jul 16°C (61°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 9°C (49°F) 43 mm (1.7 in)
Aug 18°C (64°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 10°C (51°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 27 mm (1.1 in) 12°C (53°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Oct 23°C (74°F) 47 mm (1.9 in) 14°C (57°F) 62 mm (2.4 in)
Nov 26°C (78°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 16°C (61°F) 49 mm (1.9 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 125 mm (4.9 in) 18°C (65°F) 47 mm (1.9 in)