Travel Budget for Cairns

Queensland, Australia

How much does it cost to travel to Cairns?

How much money will you need for your trip to Cairns? You should plan to spend around AU$103 ($75) per day on your vacation in Cairns, which is the average daily price based on the expenses of other visitors. Past travelers have spent, on average, AU$32 ($24) on meals for one day and AU$11 ($8.13) on local transportation. Also, the average hotel price in Cairns for a couple is AU$84 ($61). So, a trip to Cairns for two people for one week costs on average AU$1,442 ($1,051). All of these average travel prices have been collected from other travelers to help you plan your own travel budget.

  • Average Daily Cost Per person, per day
    AU$103
  • One Week Per person
    AU$721
  • 2 Weeks Per person
    AU$1,442
  • One Month Per person
    AU$3,091
  • One Week For a couple
    AU$1,442
  • 2 Weeks For a couple
    AU$2,885
  • One Month For a couple
    AU$6,181
This data comes from the travel budgets of real travelers - How it works. Put these numbers on your website.

A vacation to Cairns for one week usually costs around AU$721 for one person. So, a trip to Cairns for two people costs around AU$1,442 for one week. A trip for two weeks for two people costs AU$2,885 in Cairns. If you're traveling as a family of three or four people, the price person often goes down because kid's tickets are cheaper and hotel rooms can be shared. If you travel slower over a longer period of time then your daily budget will also go down. Two people traveling together for one month in Cairns can often have a lower daily budget per person than one person traveling alone for one week.



How expensive is Cairns? How much money do I need for Cairns?

How much does a trip to Cairns cost? Is Cairns expensive? The average Cairns trip cost is broken down by category here. All of these Cairns prices are calculated from the budgets of real travelers.

Accommodation Budget in Cairns
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

The average price for one person for accommodation in Cairns is AU$42. For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price for a hotel room in Cairns is AU$84.


  • Accommodation1 Hotel or hostel for one person
    AU$42
  • Accommodation1 Typical double-occupancy room
    AU$84

Featured Properties

Find a hostel, guesthouse, or B&B in Cairns
Cairns

Food Budget in Cairns
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • While meal prices in Cairns can vary, the average cost of food in Cairns is AU$32 per day. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out an average meal in Cairns should cost around AU$13 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Cairns is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food2 Meals for one day
    AU$32
Transportation Budget in Cairns
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The cost of a taxi ride in Cairns is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent AU$11 per person, per day, on local transportation in Cairns.


  • Transportation1 Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    AU$11

Featured Services

Flights to Cairns

How much does it cost to go to Cairns? Naturally, it depends on the dates. We recommend SkyScanner or Kayak because they can find the best deals across all airlines.


Entertainment Budget in Cairns
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • Entertainment and activities in Cairns typically cost an average of AU$50 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment1 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    AU$50

Featured Activities

What did other people spend on Entertainment?

Typical prices for Entertainment in Cairns are listed below. These actual costs are from real travelers and can give you an idea of the prices in Cairns, but your costs will vary based on your travel style.


  • Scuba Diving
    AU$55


Alcohol Budget in Cairns
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • The average person spends about AU$11 on alcoholic beverages in Cairns per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol2 Drinks for one day
    AU$11
Water Budget in Cairns
Average Daily Costs

Calculated from travelers like you

  • On average, people spend AU$5.00 on bottled water in Cairns per day. The public water in Cairns is considered safe to drink.


  • Water2 Bottled water for one day
    AU$5.00
Cairns On a Budget
Cairns The Great Barrier Reef
Most travelers go to Cairns specifically to visit Great Barrier Reef. The city itself is surprisingly large and cosmopolitan with a population of approximately 140,000. The city's economy is almost exclusively based on tourism, although you will find some jobs centered around agriculture, or more specifically sugar cane, bananas, coffee, tea, wine, and some tropical fruits. The city itself is surrounded by rainforest and makes a great base for exploring Kuranda, with the Barron Gorge National Park and the Daintree offering a quieter tropical getaway than Cairns.

Cairns has a tropical monsoon climate with a wet season between November and May. The dry season may still experience some rain and is between June and October. The city receives a decent amount of rain and has hot and humid summers with milder temperatures during the winter months. High temperatures are typically in the high 70s Fahrenheit in July and the high 80s in January. Flooding is not uncommon during the wet season.
Sights
There is no shortage of natural beauty around Cairns. The Botanic Gardens have tropical vegetation and the fascinating Gondwana Evolution trail. The Centenary Lakes are across from the Botanic Gardens and have a Rainforest boardwalk through the forest to the lakes. There's also a picnic area where you can enjoy a meal. Lake Placid is in Barron Gorge National Park. It's a beautiful lake that is surrounded by rainforest. Other natural areas worth visiting include Mount Whitfield Conservation Park, Smithfield Conservation Park, Copperlode Dam, Atherton Tableland, and Daintree Rainforest.

Of course, the greatest attraction in the area is the Great Barrier Reef. There are a decent number of operators that run both day and liveaboard scuba diving trips from Cairns. It's best to choose a smaller dive boat where you'll receive more personalized attention. They also travel to areas that are less frequently visited than the larger boats and therefore in better condition.

Museums around town include the Cairns Regional Gallery and Cairns Museum.
Neighborhoods
Cairns runs from Edmonton in the south to Ellis Beach in the north. It's approximately 52 kilometers long from north to south and the city has experienced a significant amount of sprawling development. The Northern Beaches are made up of a good number of communities including Machans Beach, Holloways Beach, Yorkeys Knob, Trinity Park, Trinity Beach, Kewarra Beach, Clifton Beach, Palm Cove, and Ellis Beach. Smithfield is an inland suburb between Yorkeys Knob and Trinity Park and is a hub for these northern beaches. South of Smithfield is Freshwater Valley, which includes the suburbs of Caravonica, Kamerunga, Freshwater, and Stratford. Cairns's city center is near the suburbs of Cairns North, Parramatta Park, Bungalow, and Portsmith.

Cairns's is an energetic travel destination with plenty of backpacker havens and parties. A quieter alternative is to stay outside of Cairns at a beachside resort, of which there is no shortage. It is just as easy to book a snorkeling or scuba diving trip to the Great Barrier Reef from these resorts, and you will avoid some of the crowd and chaos of the city. These resorts may actually be more expensive, but they often include many amenities and offer a wonderful spa style vacation.

Activities
Because Cairns is such a popular destination for all travel types, you will find no shortage of facilities in the form of hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars and clubs. If you're looking for a great nightlife, there is always a place open where you can grab a drink or join in some festivities. It is important to realize there is no swimming beach in the central Cairns area. The ocean is actually more of a mud flat. There is a large lagoon style pool in the middle of the city that is quite popular year around. When you head either north or south of the city, there is a much wider selection of swimming beaches.

People head to Cairns not only for the parties but for the adventure sports as well. While you're in the area definitely try your hand at skydiving or scuba diving. If you're flexible with time, the best way to save some money is to go standby. Wait for a cancellation and you could save yourself upwards of $150 on the more expensive activities.
Food and Dining
The Esplanade has a high concentration of bars and restaurants that offer guests good food, seafood, and beer. Most places don't open until 11 am so you'll be hard pressed to find a good breakfast option. On the north side of the Esplanade you'll find some more expensive restaurants. If you arrive before 6:30 you might receive an early bird discount of between 20% and 30%. It is best to confirm this in advance.

Away from the Esplanade you'll find small cafes and milkbars that are popular with locals. There's also a decent number of Japanese restaurants around town, but prices are not cheap.

Transportation
The city center is relatively small and you can easily walk around. There are also frequent buses from the center of town that travel to the suburbs and the Northern Beaches. It's possible to buy a daily bus ticket if you plan to travel frequently by bus. If you're planning to head out of the town center then it's beneficial to have a car. There are a good number of car rental agencies at the airport. Another alternative is to book a tour that will take you to a number of destinations in the area.


Related:

Looking for a party? Find a hostel in Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, or along the Gold Coast.
1 Categories averaged on a per-item basis.
2 Categories averaged on a per-day basis.
For example, the Food2 daily average is for all meals for an entire day, while Entertainment1 is for each individual purchase.

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Cairns Travel Cost - Average Price of a Vacation to Cairns: Food & Meal Budget, Daily & Weekly Expenses | BudgetYourTrip.com

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