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

Should you visit Rockhampton or Newcastle?

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

Should I visit Rockhampton or Newcastle? 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. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. Other popular activities here include beaches, hiking, and shopping.

Newcastle

Newcastle is a coastal, vibrant, and high energy city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Rockhampton and Newcastle: 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
  • Good for students
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


Is there more to do in Rockhampton or Newcastle?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Newcastle than Rockhampton. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Newcastle is very popular for its nightlife, beaches, shopping, and big city activities, while Rockhampton attracts visitors for its hiking and small town charm. Rockhampton is more touristy than Newcastle and is popular for its cultural centers and surrounding national parks. Newcastle is famous for its bustling harbor, sandy beaches, and coastal walks. It is also well known for the Bathers Way.

How is Rockhampton different from Newcastle?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Rockhampton
Newcastle

You'll find a number of high quality museums and attractions in both Newcastle 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 Newcastle specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. There are some interesting sights around town such as Nobbys Lighthouse. There's also the popular Ocean Baths. These pools offer a nice break from the surf. You can also check out the sights along the Newcastle Memorial Walk. For a history lesson, head to Fort Scratchley.


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

Rockhampton
Newcastle

Foodies will find both Rockhampton and Newcastle 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, Newcastle makes for a great culinary experience. It's a moderately sized city, so you'll find a good mix of restaurants. Head to the beachfront if you want fine dining and good seafood. There are also some good breweries and cafes, as well as brunch places and international flavors around town.

Is Rockhampton or Newcastle Better for Nightlife?

Rockhampton
Newcastle

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

Newcastle has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. It's a vibrant city, and the best nightlife can be found in the Honeysuckle Precinct. This is where you'll find the largest number of bars and pubs. Hunter Street is also a cool hangout area where you'll find the hidden gems where the locals hang out. Civic Theatre is the place to see a show.

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 Newcastle Better for Beaches?

Rockhampton
Newcastle

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

Newcastle is considered a top beach destination. There are a number of beaches in and near the city. Nobbys Beach is the most popular and you'll find families, surfers, and locals hanging out here. Newcastle Beach is also popular with its many restaurants and cafes.

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


Is Rockhampton or Newcastle Better for Hiking?

Rockhampton
Newcastle

Rockhampton is a well-known place for the nearby hiking options. Also, Newcastle is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its hiking trails.

Rockhampton is a popular spot for hiking. 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.

Many people include a hike when visiting Newcastle. There are many places to enjoy a stroll or hike near town. The most famous walk is the Bathers Way Walk, which runs along the coastline and offers spectacular views. It's particularly nice during the winter whale watching season.

Is the Shopping Better in Rockhampton or Newcastle?

Rockhampton
Newcastle

Newcastle 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 Newcastle. It's gained popularity for its trendy fashions and chic style. You'll find great shopping around town that highlight both local and international 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 Newcastle Better for Families?

Rockhampton
Newcastle

Rockhampton is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Newcastle is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Rockhampton is known to be 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.

Newcastle is a family-friendly town. Kids will enjoy the long sandy beaches, but there's also a working harbor that you can explore. You can also visit the Newcastle Museum or try one of the many kid-friendly restaurants.


Is Rockhampton or Newcastle Better for Couples?

Rockhampton
Newcastle

Rockhampton is a well-known place for couples. Also, Newcastle is not as famous, but is still a good city to visit for romance.

Rockhampton is a very popular place to visit for couples. 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.

Newcastle is a nice destination for couples. The city has some great restaurants as well as many coastal walks and a vibrant nightlife scene that couples enjoy.

Is Rockhampton or Newcastle Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Rockhampton
Newcastle

Rockhampton and Newcastle are both nice 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.

Newcastle is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. While it's not Australia's most popular backpacker destination, there are some hostels and a good nightlife scene that are worth checking out.

Is Rockhampton or Newcastle Better for Students?

Rockhampton
Newcastle

Rockhampton is a popular place for students. However, Newcastle is not popular with students.

Rockhampton is a good town to visit for students. The city has universities that attract an international crowd. It's a friendly setting that welcomes cultural diversity.

Newcastle is not popular with students.


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

Rockhampton
Newcastle

Newcastle is a popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Rockhampton is lacking in options for its public transit.

Newcastle has some public transit options. There's both a light rail system and a bus system.

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

Is Rockhampton or Newcastle a more walkable city?

Rockhampton
Newcastle

Rockhampton and Newcastle are nice when it comes to walkability.

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

Newcastle is somewhat walkable. There are parts of the city that can be explored on foot.

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

Should I spend more time in Newcastle or Rockhampton?

How long in Rockhampton or Newcastle?

It's fun to spend time in either Rockhampton or Newcastle. Both can be explored in comparable amounts of time. However, 2-4 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

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


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

One day in Rockhampton or Newcastle?

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.

Visitors enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the high energy city of Newcastle. 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 Newcastle?

You'll find museums and nightlife around the natural 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.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the vibrant destination of Newcastle. 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 Newcastle?

Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the traditional 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.

The high energy city of Newcastle offers shopping and museums. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.

A week in Rockhampton or Newcastle?

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 Newcastle. 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, Newcastle or Rockhampton?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Rockhampton is $173, while the average daily cost in Newcastle is $92. 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 Newcastle in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Rockhampton $103
    Newcastle $45
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Rockhampton $206
    Newcastle $90
Compare Hotels in Rockhampton and Newcastle

Looking for a hotel in Rockhampton or Newcastle? 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 Newcastle


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 Newcastle Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Rockhampton $20
    Newcastle $8.49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Newcastle

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Newcastle:

  • Private Transfer from Newcastle Port to Newcastle city hotels: $29
  • Private Transfer from Newcastle Port to Newcastle Airport (NTL): $30
  • Private Transfer from Newcastle Cruise Port to Sydney City Hotels: $90
  • Private Transfer from Newcastle City Hotels to Newcastle Port: $29
  • Private Transfer from Newcastle Airport (NTL) to Newcastle Port: $30
  • Private Transfer - Newcastle Cruise Port to Sydney Airport (SYD): $90
  • Tandem Beach Skydive with Optional Transfers: $254
  • Bimbadgen Lunch Tour with Helicopter Transfers: $769
  • Newcastle to Newcastle Airport (NTL) - Departure Private Transfer: $27
  • Newcastle Airport (NTL) to Newcastle - Arrival Private Transfer: $27

Is it cheaper to fly into Rockhampton or Newcastle?

Prices for flights to both Newcastle 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
    Newcastle $36

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Rockhampton $40
    Newcastle $16

Tours and Activities in Newcastle

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

  • 3- Hour Wine and Harvest the Hunter Horse Tour in Pokolbin: $95
  • 3-Hour Hunter Valley Scenic Helicopter Tour Including 3-Course Lunch from Cessnock: $262
  • Architecture, Street Art & Hidden Secrets Walking Tour of Newcastle: $34
  • Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard - Sweet Indulgence Experience: $37
  • Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard: Fromage and Fortified Wine Experience: $51
  • Award Winning Full Day Wine and Food Experience: $153
  • Coastal 2.5-hour Adventure Boat Tour from Newcastle: $84
  • Eat And Drink Newcastle History Walking Tour: $61
  • Family Pass: Fighter World Museum Admission Ticket: $31
  • From Hunter Valley Beer & Wine Group Tour: $167
  • Full Day Tour in Country Towns, Rivers and Aussie Farm: $163
  • Helicopter Tour of Hunter Valley in New South Wales with Lunch: $290

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Rockhampton $13
    Newcastle $10

Sample the Local Flavors in Newcastle

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Newcastle:

  • Cael’s Gate Wine Tasting in Broke: $5.45
  • Ivanhoe Wines: Trip Advisor Seated Wine Tasting Masterclass: $10
  • Tulloch Wines - Wine Tasting paired with Local Handmade Chocolates: $20
  • 30-Minute Distillery Guided Tour in Carrington : $24
  • Cheese and Wine Tasting Experience in Pokolbin: $27
  • Tintilla Estate: Wine Tasting with a Meat and Cheese Platter: $27
  • Tulloch Wines Hunter Heroes Wine Tasting with Local Cheese & Charcuterie Board: $34
  • Tulloch Wines- Mystery Wine Tasting Experience with Local Cheese and Charcuterie: $34
  • Premium Wine Tasting Experience in Pokolbin: $51
  • Snapshot Half Day Hunter Valley Wine Tour: $74
  • Hunter Valley Wine Tour from the Hunter with Wine Craft Beer Cheese Chocolate: $105
  • Half Day Wine Tour with Light Lunch at Hunter Valley: $109


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Rockhampton and Newcastle, we can see that Rockhampton 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 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 Newcastle.

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


Which is Bigger, Rockhampton or Newcastle?

Newcastle has a larger population, and is about 8 times larger than the population of Rockhampton. When comparing the sizes of Rockhampton and Newcastle, 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 Newcastle?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Rockhampton or Newcastle in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Rockhampton as well as Newcastle. 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 hiking, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Newcastle this time of year.

Rockhampton is a little warmer than Newcastle in the summer. The daily temperature in Rockhampton averages around 27°C (81°F) in January, and Newcastle fluctuates around 22°C (72°F).

It's quite rainy in Newcastle. Rockhampton receives a lot of rain in the summer. Rockhampton usually gets more rain in January than Newcastle. Rockhampton gets 124 mm (4.9 in) of rain, while Newcastle receives 111 mm (4.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Rockhampton 27°C (81°F) 
    Newcastle 22°C (72°F)

Should I visit Rockhampton or Newcastle in the Autumn?

Both Newcastle and Rockhampton are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. The hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere are the main draw to Rockhampton this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Newcastle for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, and the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Rockhampton is a little warmer than Newcastle. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Rockhampton in April average around 23°C (74°F), and Newcastle averages at about 19°C (67°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Newcastle. In April, Rockhampton usually receives less rain than Newcastle. Rockhampton gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Newcastle receives 112 mm (4.4 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Rockhampton 23°C (74°F) 
    Newcastle 19°C (67°F)

Should I visit Rockhampton or Newcastle in the Winter?

Both Newcastle and Rockhampton during the winter are popular places to visit. Many travelers come to Rockhampton for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, many visitors come to Newcastle in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In July, Rockhampton is generally a little warmer than Newcastle. Daily temperatures in Rockhampton average around 16°C (61°F), and Newcastle fluctuates around 13°C (55°F).

Rockhampton usually gets less rain in July than Newcastle. Rockhampton gets 29 mm (1.1 in) of rain, while Newcastle receives 61 mm (2.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


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

Should I visit Rockhampton or Newcastle in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Rockhampton and Newcastle. Many visitors come to Rockhampton in the spring for the beaches and the small town charm. Furthermore, most visitors come to Newcastle for the beaches and the activities around the city during these months.

Rockhampton is a little warmer than Newcastle in the spring. The daily temperature in Rockhampton averages around 23°C (74°F) in October, and Newcastle fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).

In October, Rockhampton usually receives less rain than Newcastle. Rockhampton gets 47 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Newcastle receives 85 mm (3.3 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Rockhampton 23°C (74°F) 
    Newcastle 18°C (64°F)

Typical Weather for Newcastle and Rockhampton

Rockhampton Newcastle
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (81°F) 124 mm (4.9 in) 22°C (72°F) 111 mm (4.4 in)
Feb 27°C (80°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 22°C (72°F) 111 mm (4.4 in)
Mar 26°C (78°F) 109 mm (4.3 in) 21°C (71°F) 124 mm (4.9 in)
Apr 23°C (74°F) 51 mm (2 in) 19°C (67°F) 112 mm (4.4 in)
May 20°C (69°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 16°C (61°F) 102 mm (4 in)
Jun 17°C (63°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 14°C (57°F) 140 mm (5.5 in)
Jul 16°C (61°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 13°C (55°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Aug 18°C (64°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 14°C (57°F) 71 mm (2.8 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 27 mm (1.1 in) 16°C (60°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 23°C (74°F) 47 mm (1.9 in) 18°C (64°F) 85 mm (3.3 in)
Nov 26°C (78°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 20°C (67°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 125 mm (4.9 in) 21°C (70°F) 82 mm (3.2 in)