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

Should you visit Sydney or Airlie Beach?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Sydney or Airlie Beach, 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.

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 $145, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach is $126. 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 Sydney and Airlie Beach in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Sydney is about $174 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $104 for a double occupancy room in Airlie Beach.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sydney $87
    Airlie Beach $52
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sydney $174
    Airlie Beach $104

Food

In Sydney travelers spend around $34 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.

While meal prices in Airlie Beach can vary, the average travelers spends about $28 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Airlie Beach should cost around $11 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Airlie Beach is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Sydney $34
    Airlie Beach $28
Typical Food prices in Sydney

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


  • Tea
    $2.90
  • Lunch Special
    $11
  • Food/Drink Coogie Beach
    $11
  • Meat Pies
    $3.63

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sydney

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

  • Private Pizza Making Class in Hunter Valley: $48
  • Sydney Opera House Tour and Opera Bar Lunch or Dinner: $52
  • Retro Dinner Cruise on Sydney Harbour: $59
  • Dinner Christmas Party! Nov&Dec: $62
  • Vivid Dinner Cruise Sydney Harbour: $63
  • Pizza Paddle Sunset Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay: $66
  • Latino Dinner Cruise on Sydney Harbour: $67
  • Sydney Harbour 4-Hour Latino Dinner Cruise: $69
  • Harbour Dinner Cruise with 3 or 6-Course Menu: $70
  • Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise: $71
  • Dinner Cruise at Sydney Harbour with Optional Mast Climb Experience: $72
  • Cairns Dinner Cruise by Spirit of Cairns: $73

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Airlie Beach

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

  • Private Pizza Making Class in Hunter Valley: $48
  • Pizza Paddle Sunset Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay: $66
  • Dinner Cruise at Sydney Harbour with Optional Mast Climb Experience: $72
  • Cairns Dinner Cruise by Spirit of Cairns: $73
  • Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner Show Ticket: $74
  • Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise: $75
  • Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise by Captain Cook: $77
  • Dumpling Cooking Class in Melbourne: $80
  • Cairns Aquarium Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner: $88
  • Whitsundays Segway Sunset and Boardwalk Tour with Dinner: $93
  • Pinnacles Sunset Dinner and Stargazing Tour: $109
  • Private Cooking School in the Hunter Valley: $114

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $13 per day to get around in Sydney.

The cost of a taxi ride in Airlie Beach is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $17 per person, per day, on local transportation in Airlie Beach.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sydney $13
    Airlie Beach $17
Typical Local Transportation prices in Sydney

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


  • Taxi Ride
    $15
  • Taxi to Airport
    $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sydney

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Sydney:

  • Airport (YYZ) to City - Toronto Arrival Transfer: $5.00
  • Shared City Transfers from Darwin to Stokes Hill Wharf: $6.65
  • Transfer between Airport (SYD) and Airport Hotels: $7.79
  • SkyBus Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) Express Transfer Ticket: $11
  • Shared Sunshine Coast Airport Transfers (MCY) for Sunshine Coast: $12
  • Shuttle Transfer from Circular Quay Cruise Terminal to Sydney Airport: $13
  • Airport Shuttle Transfer from Sydney City to Sydney Airport: $13
  • Shared Cairns Airport Transfer (CNS) from and to Cairns, Port Douglas, Palm Cove: $13
  • Transfer between Airport (SYD) and City Center: $13
  • Sydney CBD to Sydney Airport Shuttle Bus Transfer: $13
  • Sydney Airport to Sydney City Center Hotels Shuttle Transfer: $13
  • Shared Sydney Airport Transfers (SYD) for Sydney: $13

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Airlie Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Airlie Beach:

  • WhiteWater World Return Shared Transfer from Gold Coast Hotels: $18
  • Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service: $17
  • Airport Transfers - Return (round fare) share shuttle service: $28
  • Avalon Airport (AVV) Express Transfer by SkyBus for Melbourne City: $15
  • Dreamworld Return Shared Transfer from Gold Coast Hotels: $18
  • Fitzroy Island Ferry Transfer Ticket from Cairns: $49
  • Harbour Town Premium Outlets Shared Shuttle Transfer from Gold Coast Hotels: $18
  • Hobart International Airport (HBA) Express Bus Transfers by SkyBus: $14
  • Hot Air Balloon Experience with Round-trip Transfers & Vineyard Champagne Breakfast in Brisbane: $191
  • Movie World Shared Shuttle Transfer from Gold Coast Hotels: $18
  • Paradise Country Shared Shuttle Transfer from Gold Coast Hotels: $18
  • Private Adelaide Airport (ADL) Transfers for Adelaide CBD: $66

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.





Entertainment

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $29 per person, per day in Sydney. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Entertainment and activities in Airlie Beach typically cost an average of $143 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sydney $29
    Airlie Beach $143
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
    $33
  • Sydney Tower Visit (for 2)
    $33
  • Blue Mountain Tour/Featherdale Park (for 2)
    $138
  • Powerhouse Museum
    $11

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
  • North Stradbroke Island Water Taxi Ferry Ticket: $7.95
  • Bridestowe Lavender Estate Tour: $8.85
  • Searoad Ferry Tickets between Queenscliff and Sorrento: $8.85
  • Koala Conservation Reserve Tickets in Phillip Island: $9.95
  • Hunter Valley Wine Theatre Experience: $11
  • Margaret River Region Lighthouse Tours: $11
  • Sydney Jewish Museum General Entry Ticket: $12
  • Sydney Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour with Mobile App: $12
  • Australian Museum General Entry Ticket: $12

Tours and Activities in Airlie Beach

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

  • North Stradbroke Island Water Taxi Ferry Ticket: $7.95
  • Searoad Ferry Tickets between Queenscliff and Sorrento: $8.85
  • Bridestowe Lavender Estate Tour: $8.85
  • Koala Conservation Reserve Tickets in Phillip Island: $9.95
  • Margaret River Region Lighthouse Tours: $11
  • Hunter Valley Wine Theatre Experience: $11
  • Sydney Self-Guided Audio Walking Tour with Mobile App: $12
  • Melbourne Sports Lovers Tours: $13
  • Phillip Island Chocolate Factory Ticket: $13
  • Kuranda Koala Gardens General Admission Ticket in Cairns: $13
  • Kuranda Bird World General Admission Ticket in Cairns: $13
  • Private Hunter Valley Wine Barrel Rolling Experience: $13

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Sydney may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $13 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $8.04 on alcoholic beverages in Airlie Beach per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sydney $13
    Airlie Beach $8.04
Typical Alcohol prices in Sydney

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


  • Wine
    $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Sydney

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

  • Savannah Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hunter’s Dream Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Pokolbin Estate Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Tintilla Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Misty Glen Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hanging Tree Wines Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Capercaillie Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tempus Two Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Red Door Collective Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley (Adults Only): $7.39
  • Talits Estate Cellar Door Wine Tasting Experience: $7.39
  • Wine Tasting at Thomas Wines: $7.39
  • Wine Tasting at Tulloch Wines in Hunter Valley: $7.39

Sample the Local Flavors in Airlie Beach

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Airlie Beach:

  • Savannah Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tempus Two Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Hanging Tree Wines Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Capercaillie Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Misty Glen Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tintilla Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hunter’s Dream Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Pokolbin Estate Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Wine Tasting at Horner Wines in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Talits Estate Cellar Door Wine Tasting Experience: $7.39
  • Wine Tasting at Wine House in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Glandore Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $7.39


When comparing the travel costs between Sydney and Airlie Beach, we can see that Sydney 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.

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Sydney vs. Airlie Beach Travel Comparison

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