A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Alice Springs vs. Byron Bay for Hiking, Nightlife, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Alice Springs or Byron Bay?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Alice Springs and Byron Bay can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Alice Springs

Alice Springs is a charming, friendly, and laid back town. This is a great small town that is just waiting to be explored. The beauty of this spot is also one of the main reasons why visitors come. And you can't forget about the nightlife, food, and hiking.

Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a Bohemian, relaxed, and mellow town. With fun activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the nightlife, food, and beaches.

Alice Springs and Byron Bay: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Small town charm
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Nice resorts
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
  • Less hiking options


Is there more to do in Alice Springs or Byron Bay?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Byron Bay. Although Alice Springs and Byron Bay are both popular with visitors, Byron Bay has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Byron Bay is more popular for its nightlife, resorts, beaches, and shopping, while Alice Springs is known for its museums, hiking, and small town charm. Alice Springs is popular for its desert landscapes, Outback setting, and location between the East and West MacDonnell Ranges. Byron Bay is popular for its community spirit, undeveloped beaches, and world renowned festivals. It is also home to Cape Byron Lighthouse.

How is Alice Springs different from Byron Bay?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Byron Bay and Alice Springs. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Alice Springs or Byron Bay?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

Alice Springs is a town with good options for its sights and museums. However, Byron Bay is not a good town for its museums and history.

Alice Springs offers a variety of museums and landmarks to choose from. There are several wildlife centers in town that let you experience the desert animals first hand. Make sure you check out the Alice Springs Reptile Center, the Alice Springs Desert Park, and the Kangaroo Sanctuary. Another highlight of the town is a visit to the Alice Springs School of the Air.

While most people don't head to Byron Bay specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. It's a small town that's all about the laid back beach scene so you won't find many museums or iconic buildings in town. Do check out the Cape Byron Lighthouse if you get the chance.


Is the Food Better in Alice Springs or Byron Bay? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

Foodies will find both Alice Springs and Byron Bay both to be good destinations.

Alice Springs is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are casual eateries with local food and decent prices. While it's a small town, there are plenty of tourists passing through so you'll find enough places to eat with a decent selection.

Byron Bay offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. The restaurant scene is just starting to gain momentum. There are a growing number of trendy bistros and international flavors around town. You'll find plenty of vegetarian and vegan options, as well as smoothies and brunch cafes.

Is Alice Springs or Byron Bay Better for Nightlife?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a great town for its evening party scene. Also, Alice Springs is not as popular, but is still a nice town for nightlife.

The nightlife in Byron Bay has something for everybody. The nightlife scene is all about relaxed luxury. There are high end cocktail bars, piano bars, live music venues, and DJ led parties. You can head to a bistro on the beach or dance the night away at one of the nightclubs.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Alice Springs. It's a laid back small town, but there are still places to hang out in evening. Pubs and taverns are popular with locals and tourists alike. You'll also find a couple of casinos and clubs in town.

Is Alice Springs or Byron Bay Better for Resorts?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a great town for its luxury resorts. However, Alice Springs is not a resort destination.

In Byron Bay, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. There are luxury resorts, family-friendly villas, and contemporary apartments that offer great accommodation in a good environment.

Alice Springs is not a resort destination.


Is Alice Springs or Byron Bay Better for Beaches?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a world-class destination for the beach. However, Alice Springs is not a beach destination.

Byron Bay is considered to be a world-class beach destination. The pristine beaches are at the heart of the appeal in this town. Main Beach is, as the name implies, right in the heart of town. Many beaches are lined with forest and there are waves that are great for surfing. At its heart, this town will always be a surfer's town.

Alice Springs is not a beach destination.

Is Alice Springs or Byron Bay Better for Hiking?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

Alice Springs is a must-visit destination for the nearby hiking options. Also, Byron Bay is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its hiking trails.

Around Alice Springs visitors will find world-class hiking trails. Just outside of town there are wonderful walking routes and hiking trails. You can visit gorges, waterholes, and wander through the stunning red desert landscapes. One of the most famous trails in the area is the Larapinta Trail.

Byron Bay offers some nice hiking trails. There are many walking trails that make nature accessible. Whether you want to walk along the coastline or into the hills, there are many places to enjoy a peaceful stroll.

Is the Shopping Better in Alice Springs or Byron Bay?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

Byron Bay is a great town for its shopping areas. Also, Alice Springs is not as popular, but is still a nice town for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Byron Bay. In the past, this was never a shopping town, but in recent years it has attracted fashion icons and free spirits. There are many boutique shops on the main streets in town and there are still quirky stores that offer the unexpected.

Alice Springs is a great destination for shopping. There are many shopping areas around town, particularly at the Yeperenye Shopping Centre, Alice Plaza, and Todd Mall. Prices can be a bit high, so keep that in mind as you're browsing.


Is Alice Springs or Byron Bay Better for Families?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

Alice Springs is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Byron Bay is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Alice Springs is a very kid-friendly town. Kids will enjoy the beautiful setting as much as adults. There are desert animals that you can see at Alice Springs Desert Park or the Kangaroo Sanctuary. The Earth Sanctuary has telescopes and unbeatable views of the night sky. In the area you'll also be able to take a camel ride or visit the National Road Transport Hall of Fame.

Byron Bay is a family-friendly town. It's laid back vibe and beautiful beaches offer a great place for families to vacation. There are plenty of family-friendly accommodation options and, while there aren't the theme parks and kid-centered activities of some places, there is still plenty to enjoy in the area.

Is Alice Springs or Byron Bay Better for Couples?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

Both Alice Springs and Byron Bay are great destinations for a couple's getaway.

Alice Springs is a great town if you're traveling as a couple. The red desert and stunning landscapes make for a truly one-of-a-kind romantic getaway. In addition to the area's natural beauty, there are hot air balloon rides and camel treks. Hiking and exploring is also at the top of many visitor's lists.

Byron Bay is a very popular place to visit for couples. It's known for its instagram-worthy settings and its popularity with influencers. Couples will appreciate the laid back vibe and chill beach scene. There are great restaurants and plenty of nice hotels and resorts to choose from.

Is Alice Springs or Byron Bay Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

For backpackers, both Alice Springs and Byron Bay are great places to visit.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Alice Springs. Many backpackers stop off here during their Australian adventure. There a few hostels in town as well as a laid back and friendly environment that is perfect for backpacking.

Backpackers come from all over to visit Byron Bay. It's lost some of its original hippie surf town vibe, but there is still a great backpacker scene. Now it's more popular with the influencer crowd, but the party scene and beautiful beaches attract backpackers as well.


Is Alice Springs or Byron Bay Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

Alice Springs and Byron Bay both offer decent public transit to get you around.

Public transit is mostly limited in Alice Springs. Public transit options are limited but you will find buses that leave from the Yeperenye Shopping Center on Hartley Street. There are also taxis in town.

Public transit is generally limited in Byron Bay. There is a bus service that is provided by Blanch's Bus Company.

Is Alice Springs or Byron Bay a more walkable city?

Alice Springs
Byron Bay

Alice Springs and Byron Bay are good when it comes to walkability.

Alice Springs is a somewhat walkable town. The downtown area can be explored on foot.

Byron Bay is somewhat walkable. The town itself is compact and it's possible to explore on foot, but if you want to go further you'll need to have access to a vehicle.

For even more information, also check out Is Alice Springs Worth Visiting? and Is Byron Bay Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Byron Bay or Alice Springs?

How long in Alice Springs or Byron Bay?

Both Alice Springs and Byron Bay have a number of activities to choose from. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Byron Bay than in Alice Springs. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Alice Springs, and 3-7 days is enough time in Byron Bay.

Families should spend more time in Alice Springs than Byron Bay. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Alice Springs, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Byron Bay than Alice Springs. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Byron Bay that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Byron Bay than Alice Springs if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Byron Bay.


  • How many days in Alice Springs or Byron Bay? Ideal Length of Stay
    Alice Springs 2-4 
    Byron Bay 3-7

One day in Alice Springs or Byron Bay?

Even though Alice Springs is a small town, it has plenty of activities to choose from. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the Bohemian destination of Byron Bay. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. Your budget might influence how long you stay. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.


A weekend in Alice Springs or Byron Bay?

Alice Springs is a small town where visitors enjoy the museums and nightlife. Hikers are also drawn to this area. This is a popular place to visit for a weekend.A weekend should give you a good understanding of everything this town has to offer. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Byron Bay. Most people come for the beaches. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Five days in Alice Springs or Byron Bay?

Alice Springs is a small town, so it's a great destination if you're short on time. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. Most people head to the area for the hiking. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.

Many travelers enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the Bohemian destination of Byron Bay. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. If you have five days, this is a great place to go. Five days is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A week in Alice Springs or Byron Bay?

Alice Springs is a popular choice for travelers. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Many travelers enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting the beautiful town of Byron Bay. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Plenty of people spend one week in the area when traveling.So, one week is just the right amount of time to spend here. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to Australia, The Best Luxury Tours to Australia, The Best Adventure Tours to Australia, and Tours for Outdoor and Nature Lovers in Australia.


Which place is cheaper, Byron Bay or Alice Springs?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Alice Springs is $97, while the average daily cost in Byron Bay is $142. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Alice Springs and Byron Bay in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Alice Springs $51
    Byron Bay $68
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Alice Springs $102
    Byron Bay $136
Compare Hotels in Alice Springs and Byron Bay

Looking for a hotel in Alice Springs or Byron Bay? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Alice Springs


Hotels in Byron Bay


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Alice Springs Hotel Prices and Byron Bay Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Alice Springs $20
    Byron Bay $33

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Alice Springs

Also for Alice Springs, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Uluru to Alice Springs or Alice to Uluru 1-Way Luxe Transfer: $129
  • Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) Coach Transfer: $132

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Byron Bay

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Byron Bay:

  • Byron Bay Tandem Skydive with Transfer Options: $257

Is it cheaper to fly into Alice Springs or Byron Bay?

Prices for flights to both Byron Bay and Alice Springs 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Alice Springs $24
    Byron Bay $49

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Alice Springs

For Alice Springs, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • From Day Trip to Uluru with BBQ Dinner: $222
  • Ayers Rock Day Trip from Alice Springs Including BBQ Dinner: $238

Typical Food Prices in Byron Bay

Some typical examples of dining costs in Byron Bay are as follows:


  • Dinner at Olivo (for 2)
    $60

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Alice Springs $14
    Byron Bay $36

Tours and Activities in Alice Springs

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Alice Springs.

  • Skip the Line: Alice Springs School of the Air Guided Tour Ticket: $9.47
  • Australia’s Red Centre: A Self-Guided West Macs Driving Tour: $9.99
  • Outback Adventure: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $9.99
  • West MacDonnell Ranges: A Self-Guided Driving Tour: $9.99
  • Self-guided adventure hunt: Alice Springs Edition: $13
  • Alice Springs Desert Park General Entry Ticket: $27
  • Alice Springs Desert Park Nocturnal Tour: $28
  • Alice Springs Camel Tour: $61
  • West MacDonnell Ranges Half day Tour -Small Group: $94
  • A Town Like Alice: Half-Day Tour of Alice Springs: $96
  • From Alice Spring: West MacDonnell Ranges Half-Day Tour: $99
  • Alice Springs Airport to West MacDonnell Ranges Half-Day Tour: $108

Typical Entertainment Prices in Byron Bay

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Byron Bay are as follows:


  • Buddha Gardens Spa (for 2)
    $126
  • Surf Lesson
    $43

Tours and Activities in Byron Bay

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Byron Bay are as follows:

  • 3-Hour Small-Group Byron Bay Tour: $67
  • Beyond Byron Hinterland Tour: $135
  • Broken Head Aboriginal Tour: $46
  • Broken Head Aboriginal Tour: $47
  • Brunswick Heads: Byron Bay Whale Watching Cruise: $73
  • Brunswick River: Byron Sunset Eco Rainforest River Cruise: $63
  • Byron Bay Half-Day Tour: $66
  • Byron Bay Hinterland Tour Including Rainforest Walk to Minyon Falls: $114
  • Byron Bay Hinterland: National Park and Waterfalls Tour: $112
  • Byron Bay Lighthouse and Hinterland Tour: $67
  • Byron Bay Wild Koala Tour: $79
  • Byron Bay and Beyond Tour Including Cape Bryon Lighthouse Crystal Castle and Bangalow: $128

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Alice Springs $17
    Byron Bay $14
Typical Alcohol Prices in Alice Springs

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Alice Springs:


  • Glass of Wine in Alice Springs
    $4.64

Sample the Local Flavors in Byron Bay

Also in Byron Bay, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Afternoon Brewery and Distillery session : $91
  • Arvo Session Brewery and Distillery Tour: $99
  • Full Barrel Brewery and Distillery tour: $121
  • Full-Day Brewery and Distillery Tour with Lunch: $129


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Alice Springs and Byron Bay, we can see that Byron Bay is more expensive. And not only is Alice Springs much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Alice Springs would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Alice Springs and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Byron Bay would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Byron Bay than you might in Alice Springs.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Alice Springs Expensive? and Is Byron Bay Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Alice Springs or Byron Bay?

Alice Springs has a larger population, and is about 4 times larger than the population of Byron Bay. When comparing the sizes of Alice Springs and Byron Bay, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.