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 $150, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach is $130. 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 $180 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $108 for a double occupancy room in Airlie Beach.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sydney $90
    Airlie Beach $54
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sydney $180
    Airlie Beach $108

Food

In Sydney travelers spend around $35 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 $29 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Airlie Beach should cost around $12 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 $35
    Airlie Beach $29
Typical Food prices in Sydney

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


  • Tea
    $2.99
  • Lunch Special
    $11
  • Food/Drink Coogie Beach
    $11
  • Meat Pies
    $3.74

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sydney

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

  • 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
  • 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
  • Taste of Chinatown Food Tour: $77
  • Tall Ship Harbor Twilight Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise: $78
  • Valentine's Day Dinner Cruise with live Brazilian show on Sydney Harbour: $78

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

Local Transportation

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $14 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 $18 per person, per day, on local transportation in Airlie Beach.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sydney $14
    Airlie Beach $18
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
    $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sydney

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Sydney:

  • Airport (YYZ) to City - Toronto Arrival Transfer: $5.00
  • Transfer between Airport (SYD) and Airport Hotels: $7.79
  • Shuttle Transfer from Circular Quay Cruise Terminal to Sydney Airport: $13
  • Airport Shuttle Transfer from Sydney City to Sydney Airport: $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
  • Airport Shuttle Transfer to and from CBD Hotels: $13
  • Central Hotels to Airport Shuttle Transfer: $14
  • Sydney Domestic Airport Arrival Transfer to Sydney CBD: $16
  • Sydney Airport: Arrival Transfer to Central Sydney: $16
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Sydney to Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD): $29

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

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 $30 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 $147 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 $30
    Airlie Beach $147
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
    $34
  • Sydney Tower Visit (for 2)
    $35
  • Blue Mountain Tour/Featherdale Park (for 2)
    $143
  • 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
  • Standard Tour 3 - Test for Booking.com: $6.90
  • MultiDay Tour - Test for Booking.com: $6.90
  • Sydney Jewish Museum General Entry Ticket: $12
  • Australian Museum General Entry Ticket: $12
  • Sydney Opera House Guided Digital Tour: $14
  • Sydney Harbour Fantasea Snapshot Cruise: $14
  • Australian National Maritime Museum: All-Inclusive Ticket: $18
  • City Sights and Highlights Cruise: $18
  • Sydney Tower Eye Ticket: $20
  • Australian National Maritime Museum Entry Ticket - See it All: $20
  • Sydney Self-Guided Audio Tour: $20

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
  • Airlie Beach Glass Bottom Boat Tour: $62
  • Whitsundays Sunset Sailing Cruise: $62
  • Tropical Rainforest and Waterfall Walking Tour: $80
  • Bowen Tour: $86
  • Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour: $87
  • Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruises: $95
  • Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour: $101
  • Whitsunday Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour: $117
  • Whitehaven Beach Day Tour with Snorkel in Whitsundays Island: $121
  • Chasing Waterfalls in the Whitsunday's Full Day Tour: $130

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Sydney may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $14 per day on alcoholic beverages.

The average person spends about $8.30 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 $14
    Airlie Beach $8.30
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:

  • Private Wine Tour and Tasting: $25
  • Urban Winery Wine Tasting Tour with Cheese Platter: $60
  • Sydney Historic Pub Crawl Walking Tour: $61
  • Balmain Historic Pub Walking Tour with Beer or Wine: $67
  • Brewery, Winery, and Distillery Tasting Tour: $106
  • Northern Beaches Brewery Tour and Tasting: $113
  • 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
  • Hunter Valley Tour with 3 Wine Tastings & 2 Course Lunch: $141
  • Full-Day Hunter Valley Wine Tour with Gourmet Lunch: $152
  • Sip n Savour: Southern Highlands Premium Wine Tour from Sydney: $154


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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