CISABROAD BLOG · December 14, 2019 · 5 Min Read
Budgeting Your Trip to Whitsunday Islands | Student Blog from the Gold Coast

If Uluru is one of the driest places in Australia, the Whitsunday Islands may be one of the wettest. A trip to the Whitsunday Islands requires a little bit of financial caution. In Whitsunday Islands, you are without a doubt walking a very thin line between an affordable, tropical holiday and a full-blown luxurious vacation.

Know your intentions and what you’re looking for before heading off. You will save lots of money if you plan out the trip beforehand. My blog will help you plan for budgeting your trip to Whitsunday Islands. The Whitsundays and the surrounding areas are incredibly stunning, and are so worth visiting!

Expenses (In Australian Dollar)

Budgeting Your Trip to Whitsunday Islands


Fly to the Proserpine Airport instead of the Hamilton Airport. Hamilton Island is notoriously luxurious. If you fly to the Hamilton Airport instead of the Proserpine Airport (which is located on mainland Australia), your accommodation prices are going to shoot through the roof.

When arriving at Proserpine, the only way to make it (cheaply and efficiently) to your accommodation is through a shuttle bus service that drops you off in front of your accommodation. This shuttle service, both from the airport on Thursday and back to the airport on Sunday, was $40 AUD in total. It’s just one of those expenses you have to spend to get to your hostel!

Budgeting Your Trip to Whitsunday Islands


I stayed at Nomads Airlie Beach hostel, which is a very neat bungalow-style hostel on a relatively large sub-tropical property right in the heart of Airlie Beach. The hostel itself was actually the cheapest I stayed at my entire time in Australia. I spent only $74 AUD for a total of three nights.


There are lots of yummy places to eat on Airlie Beach…stay relatively balanced between shopping for groceries and eating out. Nomad’s Airlie Beach Hostel has a fantastic kitchen. Make stuff for cheap when you can!


I did three separate activities that filled the time really nicely on the Whitsundays. I recommend you check out these three if you come to the area: 

1. Jet Boat/Rafting Tour to Whitehaven Beach

This was the highlight of the trip for my roommate and me! We booked with a company called Ocean Rafting for $179 AUD per person. The tour included a buffet lunch, an adventurous raft through the choppy Coral Sea, a snorkel on the outer edges of the Great Barrier Reef, great music, and docking at the famous Whitehaven Beach. 

2. Sea Kayaking

Budgeting Your Trip to Whitsunday Islands

For $90 AUD each, we booked a sea kayaking tour through neighboring islands with a company called Salty Dog Sea Kayaking. This tour, like any others on the island, is weather dependent!

3. Paddleboarding

For $30 AUD, my roommate and I rented paddle boards for a relaxing paddling experience off Airlie beach. 

I hope my experience and tips are helpful in budgeting your trip to Whitsunday Islands!

Read Alex’s blog posts about budgeting for weekend trips to Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, and Uluru.

Read other blog posts from Gold Coast or about Budgeting abroad!

Read more about Alex’s program in Australia!

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