Is Cairns Expensive?

Is Cairns expensive to visit?

Cairns is a popular destination that is also moderately priced. It falls in the middle range of travel cost prices globaly with a daily average travel cost of $94. If we compare it to the rest of the Pacific, which is known to be an expensive region, it is a reasonably affordable place to visit. It ranks in the top 25% of cities in the Pacific for its affordability. Its travel costs are comparable with places such as Rotorua and Newcastle.



The Great Barrier Reef

How expensive is Cairns?

Travelers spend an average of $94 per day when visiting Cairns (U.S. Dollars). This is according to our calculations which come from the expenses of previous visitors. While this is an average cost, prices can vary by travel style, the length of your trip, and other factors. You can stay fairly close to this average if you stay at moderately priced hotels, eat at affordable restaurants, and take public transportation when possible. See more travel costs for Cairns here.

How expensive is a weekend trip (three days) to Cairns?

Based on the travel expenses of others, a weekend trip to Cairns costs around $283 on average, per person. This includes food, sightseeing, local transportation, accommodation, and nightlife. For two people, a weekend trip costs $566.

How expensive is a one week (7-day) trip to Cairns?

Based on our calculations from previous travelers, a one week trip to Cairns will cost around $661 per person. This amount includes sightseeing activities, hotels, restaurants, local transportation, and other travel expenses. For two people, a one week trip would cost $1,321.



Cairns, Australia

Is it expensive to backpack in Cairns?

With more than 20 hostels in the area, Cairns is a popular backpacker destination for travelers looking to stay on a tight budget and have a fun time along the way. Here, hostels cost an average of $23 per night for a dorm bed, with private rooms being more expensive. (See hostel prices in Cairns here.) It's also common to see a wide range in prices, as the cheapest hostels here cost $10, but the most expensive can be more than $38 per night.

Here are a few sample prices from popular hostels in Cairns.

  • $28 for a dorm bed at Travellers Oasis
  • $38 for a dorm bed at Dreamtime Travellers Rest
  • $23 for a dorm bed at Mad Monkey Central

Are hotels expensive in Cairns?

When we look at our analysis of hotel prices in Cairns, we find them to be somewhat lower in price in comparison to the rest of the world. The average nightly cost for a hotel room here is approximately $114. The area boasts about 30 five-star hotels with an average rate of $153 per night. For those seeking a balance between comfort and affordability, three-star hotels offer an average rate of $108 per night, while two-star hotels provide an even more budget-friendly option at $32 per night.


Hotels by star rating in Cairns
Rating Number of Hotels Average Hotel Price
5 stars 30 $153
4 stars 85 $132
3 stars 41 $108
2 stars 13 $32
1 star 1 $45
No rating 1 $88

18 Gibson Close, Cairns
Overall Rating 9.7
Kewarra Street, Cairns
Overall Rating 9.6

How expensive are sightseeing activities in Cairns?

In Cairns, the cost of activities and things to do can vary by the type of activity, its length, and the location. To provide an estimate of what to expect during your visit, below are several popular activities that are common in the area. On average, previous travelers have spent around $37 per day on sightseeing and entertainment, which is more than the country's average of $31.

    • Cairns Pub & Club Tour: $27
    • Mountain Bike Tour - Cairns: $188
    • Cairns Kuranda Tour: $229
    • Skypark Adventure Day Pass: $182
    • Cairns Aquarium General Admission & Coral Conservation Tour: $53
    • Dunk Island Day Tour | Cairns Day Return: $121
    • Wunyami Cultural Tour on Green Island's Eco Adventure: $134
    • Kuranda Half Day with Petting Zoo & Horse Trail Ride Tour: $162

    Is food expensive in Cairns?

    In Cairns, the cost of food can vary by the type of restaurant and food options available. To save money, eat at less expensive restaurants, try street food, or cook your own meals when possible. On average, previous travelers have spent around $28 per day on food, which is less than the country's average of $35.

    • Cairns Luxury Catamaran Harbor and Dinner Cruise: $87
    • Cairns: Guided Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner: $120
    • Cairns: Night at the Aquarium Guided Tour & 2 Course Dinner: $93
    • Cairns: City Sights Tour with Evening Dinner Cruise: $153

    Is transportation expensive in Cairns?

    Exploring local transportation in Cairns shows that the price can vary greatly by the type of transportation used. On average, previous travelers have spent $12 per person per day, which is less than the country's average of $31. If you want to save money, use public transit as it's much cheaper than taxis or private drivers.

    More for Cairns

    If you're planning a trip to Cairns, Australia, check out these other informative travel guides.



    We've been gathering travel costs from tens of thousands of actual travelers since 2010, and we use the data to calculate average daily travel costs for destinations around the world. We also systematically analyze the prices of hotels, hostels, and tours from travel providers such as Kayak, HostelWorld, TourRadar, Viator, and others. This combination of expenses from actual travelers, combined with pricing data from major travel companies, gives us a uniqe insight into the overall cost of travel for thousands of cities in countries around the world. You can see more here: How it Works.



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