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

Should you visit Sydney or Airlie Beach?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Sydney 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: Sydney or Airlie Beach?

Sydney

Sydney, known as the harbour city, is the most famous and frequently visited city in Australia. It is at the economical and cultural heart of the country, and is one of the most beautiful and livable cities in the world. It's situated on the water with stunning views of the famous harbour throughout the city. It's most famous landmarks include the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It is also very close wonderful beaches, parks, and nature.

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 Sydney?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Sydney is $140, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach is $117. 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 Sydney and Airlie Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sydney $81
    Airlie Beach $48
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sydney $162
    Airlie Beach $96
Compare Hotels in Sydney and Airlie Beach

Looking for a hotel in Sydney 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 Sydney


Hotels in Airlie Beach


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: Sydney Hotel Prices and Airlie Beach Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sydney $12
    Airlie Beach $16
Typical Local Transportation prices in Sydney

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Sydney:


  • Taxi Ride
    $14
  • Taxi to Airport
    $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sydney

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Sydney:

  • Airport (YYZ) to City - Toronto Arrival Transfer: $5.00
  • Shuttle Transfer from Circular Quay Cruise Terminal to Sydney Airport: $13
  • Airport Shuttle Transfer from Sydney City to Sydney Airport: $13
  • Airport Shuttle Transfer to and from CBD Hotels: $18
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Sydney to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD): $29
  • Sydney Private Chauffeured Airport Transfer: $36
  • Sydney Airport (SYD) to Sydney hotel or address - Arrival Private Transfer: $42
  • Sydney to Sydney Airport (SYD) - Departure Private Transfer: $42
  • Sydney Airport Private Car Arrival Transfer: $44
  • Sydney Airport Private Car Departure Transfer: $44
  • Sydney's Best Chauffeured Airport Transfers: $50
  • Sydney Private Airport Transfer: $53

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Airlie Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Airlie Beach:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Sydney or Airlie Beach?

Prices for flights to both Airlie Beach and Sydney 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
    Sydney $37
    Airlie Beach $26
Typical Food prices in Sydney

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Sydney:


  • Tea
    $2.70
  • Lunch Special
    $10
  • Food/Drink Coogie Beach
    $10
  • Meat Pies
    $3.38

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sydney

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Sydney.

  • Retro Dinner Cruise on Sydney Harbour: $59
  • Dinner Christmas Party! Nov&Dec: $62
  • Vivid Dinner Cruise Sydney Harbour: $63
  • Latino Dinner Cruise on Sydney Harbour: $67
  • Harbour Dinner Cruise with 3 or 6-Course Menu: $71
  • Valentine's Day Dinner Cruise with live Brazilian show on Sydney Harbour: $78
  • Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise: $78
  • Tall Ship Harbour Twilight Dinner Cruise: $79
  • Australia Day Dinner and Fireworks Cruise on Sydney Harbour: $103
  • Harbor Cruise with 3-Course Premium Dinner: $123
  • Sydney Harbour Dinner Cruise: $126
  • Sydney Harbour Gold Penfolds Dinner Cruise: $197

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.
    Sydney $26
    Airlie Beach $133
Typical Entertainment prices in Sydney

Here are a few typical costs in Sydney for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Theatre Show
    $30
  • Sydney Tower Visit (for 2)
    $31
  • Blue Mountain Tour/Featherdale Park (for 2)
    $129
  • Powerhouse Museum
    $10

Tours and Activities in Sydney

Here are a few actual costs in Sydney for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • Chinese Garden General Admission Ticket: $6.32
  • MultiDay Tour - Test for Booking.com: $6.90
  • Standard Tour 3 - Test for Booking.com: $6.90
  • Sydney Jewish Museum General Entry Ticket: $12
  • Sydney Opera House Guided Digital Tour: $14
  • Australian National Maritime Museum: All-Inclusive Ticket: $18
  • Sydney Tower Eye Ticket: $20
  • Australian National Maritime Museum Entry Ticket - See it All: $20
  • Sydney Sightseeing Bus Tour with Bondi Beach: $22
  • Cake and pastry walking tour - Sydney: $24
  • Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) and Museum Walking Tour: $24
  • True Crime Tour: $25

Tours and Activities in Airlie Beach

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

  • Private Airlie Beach Tuk-Tuk Tours: $24
  • Cedar Creek Falls and Hydeaway Bay Tours: $43
  • Whitsundays Sunset Sailing Cruise: $62
  • Airlie Beach Glass Bottom Boat Tour: $62
  • Bowen Tour: $86
  • Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour: $87
  • Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruises: $95
  • Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour: $99
  • Whitsundays Ocean Rafting Tour: Snorkel, Walk & Whitehaven: $102
  • Whitsunday Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour: $117
  • Kangaroos at Beach Sunrise & Wildlife Tour: $121
  • Whitehaven Beach Day Tour with Snorkel in Whitsundays Island: $121

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sydney $12
    Airlie Beach $7.48
Typical Alcohol prices in Sydney

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Sydney:


  • Wine
    $11

Sample the Local Flavors in Sydney

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

  • Urban Winery Wine Tasting Tour with Cheese Platter: $61
  • Brewery, Winery, and Distillery Tasting Tour: $112
  • Northern Beaches Brewery Tour and Tasting: $123
  • Small-Group Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour from Sydney: $130
  • Hunter Valley Wine Tour from Sydney with Lunch and 3 Cellar Door Tastings: $138
  • Hunter Valley Small Group Luxury Wine Tasting Tour from Sydney: $138
  • Sip n Savour: Southern Highlands Premium Wine Tour from Sydney: $154
  • Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour from Sydney: $157
  • Wine Tours Sydney - Southern Highlands Day Escape, Full Day Wine Tasting Tour: $217
  • Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Small Group: Cheese, Choc, Lunch, from Sydney+Hunter: $217
  • Hunter Valley Wine Tour from Sydney | Private Sydney Wine Tour: $356
  • Hunter Valley Highlights Private Wine Tour from Sydney: $387


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Sydney and Airlie Beach, we can see that Sydney is more expensive. And not only is Airlie Beach much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Airlie Beach would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Airlie Beach 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 Sydney would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Sydney than you might in Airlie Beach.


When is the best time to visit Sydney or Airlie Beach?

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 Sydney or Airlie Beach in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Sydney and Airlie Beach.

In the summer, Sydney is cooler than Airlie Beach. Typically, the summer temperatures in Sydney in January are around 23°C (73°F), and Airlie Beach is about 26°C (79°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Airlie Beach this time of the year. In Sydney, it's very sunny this time of the year. Sydney usually receives less sunshine than Airlie Beach during summer. Sydney gets 236 hours of sunny skies, while Airlie Beach receives 285 hours of full sun in the summer.

Airlie Beach receives a lot of rain in the summer. Sydney gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Sydney usually receives less rain than Airlie Beach. Sydney gets 116 mm (4.6 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 331 mm (13 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Sydney 23°C (73°F) 
    Airlie Beach 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Sydney or Airlie Beach in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Sydney as well as Airlie Beach.

In April, Sydney is generally cooler than Airlie Beach. Temperatures in Sydney average around 19°C (65°F), and Airlie Beach stays around 23°C (73°F).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Airlie Beach. In the autumn, Sydney often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Airlie Beach. Sydney gets 195 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Airlie Beach receives 207 hours of full sun.

It's quite rainy in Airlie Beach. Sydney receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Sydney usually gets less rain in April than Airlie Beach. Sydney gets 120 mm (4.7 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Sydney 19°C (65°F) 
    Airlie Beach 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Sydney or Airlie Beach in the Winter?

Both Airlie Beach and Sydney are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.

Sydney is cooler than Airlie Beach in the winter. The temperature in Sydney is usually 12°C (53°F) in July, and Airlie Beach stays around 16°C (62°F).

It's quite sunny in Airlie Beach. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Sydney. Sydney usually receives less sunshine than Airlie Beach during winter. Sydney gets 208 hours of sunny skies, while Airlie Beach receives 226 hours of full sun in the winter.

In July, Sydney usually receives more rain than Airlie Beach. Sydney gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Sydney 12°C (53°F) 
    Airlie Beach 16°C (62°F)

Should I visit Sydney or Airlie Beach in the Spring?

Both Airlie Beach and Sydney during the spring are popular places to visit.

In the spring, Sydney is cooler than Airlie Beach. Typically, the spring temperatures in Sydney in October are around 18°C (64°F), and Airlie Beach is about 23°C (73°F).

In Airlie Beach, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Sydney. In the spring, Sydney often gets less sunshine than Airlie Beach. Sydney gets 240 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Airlie Beach receives 298 hours of full sun.

Sydney usually gets more rain in October than Airlie Beach. Sydney gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Sydney 18°C (64°F) 
    Airlie Beach 23°C (73°F)

Typical Weather for Airlie Beach and Sydney

Sydney Airlie Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 23°C (73°F) 116 mm (4.6 in) 26°C (79°F) 331 mm (13 in)
Feb 23°C (73°F) 113 mm (4.4 in) 26°C (78°F) 377 mm (14.8 in)
Mar 21°C (70°F) 148 mm (5.8 in) 25°C (77°F) 312 mm (12.3 in)
Apr 19°C (65°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 23°C (73°F) 143 mm (5.6 in)
May 15°C (60°F) 88 mm (3.5 in) 20°C (68°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Jun 13°C (55°F) 128 mm (5 in) 17°C (63°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Jul 12°C (53°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 16°C (62°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Aug 13°C (55°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 18°C (65°F) 27 mm (1.1 in)
Sep 15°C (59°F) 60 mm (2.4 in) 20°C (68°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Oct 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 23°C (73°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 20°C (67°F) 101 mm (4 in) 25°C (77°F) 107 mm (4.2 in)
Dec 22°C (71°F) 81 mm (3.2 in) 26°C (78°F) 191 mm (7.5 in)


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Sydney vs. Airlie Beach Travel Comparison

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