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

Should you visit Surfers Paradise or Whitsundays?

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

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.

Whitsundays

Just off the coast of Queensland, Australia is a cluster of 74 different islands. These islands, the Whitsunday Islands, welcome over a half a million visitors every year to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Barrier Reef.

As one of the most famous destinations in the world, it's not uncommon to see expensive yachts sailing around among the private ferries. Most of the islands are designated as national parks with access to snorkeling and diving in the coral reefs, or just to lay in the sand on the famous Whitehaven Beach.

Which city is cheaper, Whitsundays or Surfers Paradise?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Surfers Paradise is $96, while the average daily cost in Whitsundays is $122. 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 Surfers Paradise and Whitsundays in more detail.



Accommodation

The prices for places to stay in Surfers Paradise can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $61, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $122.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $126 in Whitsundays For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Surfers Paradise $61
    Whitsundays $63
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Surfers Paradise $122
    Whitsundays $126

Food

Food in Surfers Paradise costs travelers about $24 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.

The average traveler spends about $27 per day in Whitsundays 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Surfers Paradise $24
    Whitsundays $27

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

Local Transportation

Surfers Paradise'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 $10 per person, per day on transportation in Surfers Paradise.

To get around in Whitsundays, the average visitor spends $50 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Surfers Paradise $10
    Whitsundays $50

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Surfers Paradise

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

  • Private Brisbane Airport Departure Transfer From Gold Coast: $177
  • Gold Coast Theme Parks: Shared Hotel Transfers: $13

Is it cheaper to fly into Surfers Paradise or Whitsundays?

Prices for flights to both Whitsundays 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Surfers Paradise can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $22 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

In Whitsundays, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $23 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Surfers Paradise $22
    Whitsundays $23
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
    $90

Tours and Activities in Surfers Paradise

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

  • Aquaduck Gold Coast 1 hour City and River Tour: $32
  • Aquaduck Secrets, Scandals and Sunset Tour: $47
  • Body Massage Experience in Gold Coast: $160
  • Broadwater Adventure + Helicopter Tour Combo: $113
  • Byron Bay and the Crystal Castle Day Tour from Gold Coast: $97
  • Full Day Mount Tamborine Winery Tour from Gold Coast: $126
  • Full-Day Moreton Island 4x4 Sightseeing Tour: $259
  • Glow Worms Private Tour - Nocturnal Rainforest Walk: $466
  • Glow Worms Tour - Nocturnal Rainforest Walk - Small Group: $78
  • 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 Hydrofoil Tours: $131

Tours and Activities in Whitsundays

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Whitsundays.

  • Great Barrier Reef Luxury Expedition Cruise cabin booking 7 days 6 night: $3,536
  • Great Barrier Reef Private Expedition Cruise (min 4 day max 8 guests): $9,727

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Surfers Paradise spend on average $10 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Whitsundays, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $11.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Surfers Paradise $10
    Whitsundays $11

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 Whitsundays, we can see that Whitsundays 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 Whitsundays would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Whitsundays than you might in Surfers Paradise.

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Surfers Paradise vs. Whitsundays Travel Comparison

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