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The Great Barrier Reef and Angkor Wat Revealed As the Best Value Experiences of a Lifetime for Aussies, Cost Comparison Study Shows

November 17, 2016 OTA News No Comments Email Email

image005Diving the Great Barrier Reef right here in Australia is the best value experience of a lifetime for Aussies with visiting Angkor Wat in Cambodia following closely behind, according to the inaugural TripIndex Experiences of a Lifetime, a cost comparison study by travel planning and booking site, TripAdvisor. Whilst exploring the underwater world in the reef or viewing the mesmerising Angkor Wat offers the most value, the study also revealed that travellers planning ahead can save up to 83% on tours and hotels making pricier experiences of a lifetime much more affordable.

TripIndex Experiences of a Lifetime, conducted in partnership with independent research firm Kantar TNS, outlines the cost per day for two people to take a trip to experience ten of the world’s most popular once in a lifetime experiences, taking into account the cost of a return flight, return airport transfer, a stay in a four-star hotel, dinner and a day tour of the experience of a lifetime.


The study found that the average price for an experience of a lifetime trip for two across 10 of the most popular choices, is $5,513, with flight prices impacting the total cost significantly from destination to destination. Diving the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns has the lowest cost experience for Aussies with a trip costing $2,109 for two per day, inclusive of the flight, airport transfer and tour. Visiting the Galapagos Islands comes out as the most expensive for Aussies at $12,312.

“This TripIndex price comparison study helps travellers set out lifetime experiences we all dream of and shows that it is possible to achieve them by using TripAdvisor, which can dramatically reduce overall costs by up to 83%  with highly-rated hotels and tours that are available for booking,” says TripAdvisor Spokesperson, Joanne Kershaw.


“Travellers interested in holidaying closer to home can also use TripAdvisor to discover destinations and highly-rated bookable experiences that are just as dream-worthy,” she said.

Key findings

  • It’s cheapest for Aussie travellers to fly to Cairns to see the Great Barrier Reef but it’s worth bearing in mind that this destination is the second most expensive destination to eat dinner, and the third most expensive destination for a tour.
  • While going on safari in South Africa isn’t the cheapest experience for Aussies to fly to, Nelspruit is the cheapest destination for hotels and tours. It is also the second cheapest destination for dinner.
  • When flight prices are excluded, the most affordable experiences of a lifetime for Aussies are visiting Angkor Wat ($362), going on Safari in South Africa ($486) and visiting the Galapagos Islands ($623). In contrast, admiring the Santorini sunset ($1,038), seeing the Northern Lights ($1,081) and trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu ($1,545) are the most expensive.


TripIndex Experiences of a Lifetime at a glance

From the least expensive to the most expensive (green and orange indicate least and most expensive destinations for each item respectively):

Experience of a Lifetime Destination Flights
(per person)
Transfer Dinner
(per person)
Hotel Tour
(per person)
(per person)
(2 people)
Dive the Great Barrier Reef Cairns $396 $50 $61 $164 $490 $1,162 $2,109
Visit Angkor Wat Siem Reap $1,029 $18 $18 $103 $223 $1,392 $2,663
Walk the Great Wall of China Beijing $842 $47 $46 $133 $463 $1,531 $2,882
Marvel at the wonder of the Taj Mahal Agra $1,231 $176 $21 $103 $619 $2,150 $4,022
Visit the Grand Canyon Phoenix $1,739 $44 $52 $281 $313 $2,428 $4,531
Go on safari in South Africa Nelspruit* $1,924 $169 $19 $101 $197 $2,410 $4,551
Admire the sunset over Santorini Oia $2,534 $161 $51 $629 $197 $3,572 $6,355
See the Northern Lights Reykjavik $2,746 $354 $97 $371 $259 $3,827 $6,928
Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu Cusco $3,009 $27 $36 $309 $1,173 $4,554 $8,772
Visit the Galapagos Islands Santa Cruz $5,698 $41 $49 $288 $245 $6,320 $12,312

Make savings when booking an experience of a lifetime trip

Planning on booking an experience of a lifetime trip? These highly rated hotels and tours on TripAdvisor are bookable for up to 83% less than the average TripIndex Experiences of a Lifetime price.

Experience of a Lifetime Stay at Bookable on TripAdvisor for[i] Saving against average hotel rate Experience Bookable on TripAdvisor from[ii] Saving against average tour rate
See the Northern Lights


Icelandair Hotel Reykjavik Marina, Reykjavik $325 per night 12% Northern Lights Night Tour from Reykjavik


$66 per person 75%
Admire the Sunset over Santorini


Alexander’s Boutique Hotel of Oia, Oia


$371 per night 41% Oia sunset and traditional villages tour in Santorini $107 per person 46%
Go on Safari in South Africa


Protea Hotel by Marriot Nelspruit, Nelspruit


$102 per night Equal Full-Day Kruger Park Open Vehicle Safari from Hazyview


$86 per person 56%
Walk the Great Wall of China


Rishengchang Hotel, Beijing $81 per night 39% Mutianyu Great Wall Hiking Tour from Beijing with Lunch


$79 per person 83%
Marvel at the wonder of the Taj Mahal


PL Palace Lords Inn Agra, Agra $63 per night 39% Viator Exclusive: Private Taj Mahal and Agra Fort Tour, Dine with a View and Optional Photographer

$172 per person 72%
Visit Angkor Wat


Popular Residence Hotel, Siem Reap


$58 per night 44% Angkor Temples Small-Group Tour $110 per person 51%
See the Grand Canyon


Radisson Hotel Phoenix North, Phoenix


$149 per night 47% Small-group deluxe Grand Canyon and Sedona day trip $224 per person 28%
Explore the Galapagos Islands


Cucuve Suites, Puerto Ayora


$223 per night


23% Full-day Floreana tour $248 per person -1%
Trek to Machu Picchu


Sonesta Hotel Cusco, Cusco


$176 per night 43% Machu Picchu Day Trip from Cusco


$445 per person 62%
Dive the Great Barrier Reef


Half Moon Bay Resort, Cairns


$115 per night 30% Great Barrier Reef Diving and Snorkelling Cruise from Cairns


$149 per person 70%

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