A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Surfers Paradise vs. Airlie Beach for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Surfers Paradise or Airlie Beach?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Surfers Paradise or Airlie Beach, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Where Should I go: Surfers Paradise or Airlie Beach?

Surfers Paradise

A tourist mecca, Surfers Paradise is one of the most popular travel destinations along Australia's famed Gold Coast. The beach stretches for miles and there is an endless supply of almost constant parties. You'll find high rise apartments lined up along the shore and plenty of shopping areas, restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. Travelers from around the world visit the area, and it's a right of passage for Australia's teens to vacation in or near Surfers Paradise. For many travelers, Surfers Paradise comes across as little more than a mass marketed, over commercialized, party destination, but for others it is a vacation dream. Prices are highly inflated so you have to keep your whits about you to avoid being ripped off. Surfers Paradise is a destination of extremes and it conjures up extreme emotions in many travelers, be it positive or negative.

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 Surfers Paradise?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Surfers Paradise is $83, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach is $113. 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. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Surfers Paradise and Airlie Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Surfers Paradise $53
    Airlie Beach $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Surfers Paradise $106
    Airlie Beach $94
Compare Hotels in Surfers Paradise and Airlie Beach

Looking for a hotel in Surfers Paradise or Airlie Beach? 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 Surfers Paradise


Hotels in Airlie Beach


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Surfers Paradise $8.99
    Airlie Beach $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Surfers Paradise

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

  • One-Way Shared Transfer to Byron Bay: $30
  • Gold Coast: Airport to Hotel Return Transfer: $33
  • Private Brisbane Airport Departure Transfer From Gold Coast: $177

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Airlie Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Airlie Beach:

  • Whitsunday: Prosperpine Airport to Airlie Beach Transfer: $16
  • Airport Transfers - Return (round fare) share shuttle service: $28
  • Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service: $17

Is it cheaper to fly into Surfers Paradise or Airlie Beach?

Prices for flights to both Airlie Beach and Surfers Paradise 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
    Surfers Paradise $21
    Airlie Beach $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Surfers Paradise

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

  • Surfers Paradise Sunset Kayak and Dinner: $40
  • Dinner Buffet Cruise on the Gold Coast: $70
  • Gold Coast: Spirits of the Red Sand Aboriginal Show & Dinner: $87

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Surfers Paradise $19
    Airlie Beach $129
Typical Entertainment prices in Surfers Paradise

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


  • Surf Lesson
    $78

Tours and Activities in Surfers Paradise

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

  • Green Cabs Surfers Paradise Tours: $16
  • Gold Coast Morning Tea Cruise from Surfers Paradise: $18
  • Gold Coast 1.5-Hour Sightseeing River Cruise from Surfers Paradise: $20
  • Gold Coast 1.5-Hour Sightseeing River Cruise from Surfers Paradise: $21
  • Gold Coast Sightseeing Cruise: $23
  • Infinity Attraction in Queensland Admission Ticket: $23
  • Skip the Line:Wax Museum Ticket-World in Wax & Guided Tour of Chamber of Horrors: $25
  • Gold Coast: Aquaduck City Tour and River Cruise: $29
  • Aquaduck Gold Coast 1 hour City and River Tour: $32
  • Gold Coast Quack'rDuck Amphibious Tour from Surfers Paradise: $32
  • Stand Up Paddle Board Tour: $36
  • Private Stand Up Paddle Tour: $46

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
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Surfers Paradise $8.99
    Airlie Beach $7.23

Sample the Local Flavors in Surfers Paradise

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

  • Private Half Day Wine Tour from Gold Coast to Tamborine Mountain: $119
  • Hipster Sipster Brewery and Distillery Tour: $154


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


When is the best time to visit Surfers Paradise or Airlie Beach?

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 Surfers Paradise or Airlie Beach in the Summer?

The summer brings many poeple to Surfers Paradise as well as Airlie Beach.

In the summer, Surfers Paradise is around the same temperature as Airlie Beach. Typically, the summer temperatures in Surfers Paradise in January are around 25°C (77°F), and Airlie Beach is about 26°C (79°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Airlie Beach. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Surfers Paradise this time of the year. In the summer, Surfers Paradise often gets less sunshine than Airlie Beach. Surfers Paradise gets 256 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Airlie Beach receives 285 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Airlie Beach. Surfers Paradise receives a lot of rain in the summer. Surfers Paradise usually gets less rain in January than Airlie Beach. Surfers Paradise gets 167 mm (6.6 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 331 mm (13 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Surfers Paradise 25°C (77°F) 
    Airlie Beach 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Surfers Paradise or Airlie Beach in the Autumn?

Both Airlie Beach and Surfers Paradise are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities.

In April, Surfers Paradise is generally around the same temperature as Airlie Beach. Temperatures in Surfers Paradise average around 22°C (71°F), and Airlie Beach stays around 23°C (73°F).

It's quite sunny in Airlie Beach. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Surfers Paradise. Surfers Paradise usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Airlie Beach during autumn. At this time of the year, Surfers Paradise gets 214 hours of sunny skies, while Airlie Beach receives 207 hours of full sun.

It rains a lot this time of the year in Airlie Beach. It's quite rainy in Surfers Paradise. In April, Surfers Paradise usually receives less rain than Airlie Beach. At this time of the year, Surfers Paradise gets 101 mm (4 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Surfers Paradise 22°C (71°F) 
    Airlie Beach 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Surfers Paradise or Airlie Beach in the Winter?

Both Airlie Beach and Surfers Paradise during the winter are popular places to visit.

Surfers Paradise is around the same temperature as Airlie Beach in the winter. The temperature in Surfers Paradise is usually 15°C (59°F) in July, and Airlie Beach stays around 16°C (62°F).

In Airlie Beach, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Surfers Paradise. In the winter, Surfers Paradise often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Airlie Beach. Surfers Paradise gets 226 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Airlie Beach receives 226 hours of full sun.

Surfers Paradise usually gets more rain in July than Airlie Beach. Surfers Paradise gets 70 mm (2.8 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Surfers Paradise 15°C (59°F) 
    Airlie Beach 16°C (62°F)

Should I visit Surfers Paradise or Airlie Beach in the Spring?

The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Surfers Paradise and Airlie Beach.

In the spring, Surfers Paradise is around the same temperature as Airlie Beach. Typically, the spring temperatures in Surfers Paradise in October are around 21°C (69°F), and Airlie Beach is about 23°C (73°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Airlie Beach this time of the year. In Surfers Paradise, it's very sunny this time of the year. Surfers Paradise usually receives less sunshine than Airlie Beach during spring. At this time of the year, Surfers Paradise gets 259 hours of sunny skies, while Airlie Beach receives 298 hours of full sun.

Surfers Paradise gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In October, Surfers Paradise usually receives more rain than Airlie Beach. At this time of the year, Surfers Paradise gets 103 mm (4 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Surfers Paradise 21°C (69°F) 
    Airlie Beach 23°C (73°F)

Typical Weather for Airlie Beach and Surfers Paradise

Surfers Paradise Airlie Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 25°C (77°F) 167 mm (6.6 in) 26°C (79°F) 331 mm (13 in)
Feb 25°C (77°F) 157 mm (6.2 in) 26°C (78°F) 377 mm (14.8 in)
Mar 24°C (75°F) 140 mm (5.5 in) 25°C (77°F) 312 mm (12.3 in)
Apr 22°C (71°F) 101 mm (4 in) 23°C (73°F) 143 mm (5.6 in)
May 19°C (66°F) 91 mm (3.6 in) 20°C (68°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Jun 16°C (61°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 17°C (63°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Jul 15°C (59°F) 70 mm (2.8 in) 16°C (62°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Aug 16°C (61°F) 46 mm (1.8 in) 18°C (65°F) 27 mm (1.1 in)
Sep 18°C (65°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 20°C (68°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Oct 21°C (69°F) 103 mm (4 in) 23°C (73°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 23°C (73°F) 118 mm (4.6 in) 25°C (77°F) 107 mm (4.2 in)
Dec 24°C (76°F) 129 mm (5.1 in) 26°C (78°F) 191 mm (7.5 in)


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Surfers Paradise vs. Airlie Beach Travel Comparison

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