A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Alice Springs vs. Cairns for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Alice Springs or Cairns?

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 Cairns 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.

Where Should I go: Alice Springs or Cairns?

Alice Springs

Alice Springs is in the middle of Central Australia and is most famous as a base for exploring the famous rock, Uluru. Alice Springs itself has grown dramatically from what was once a small outpost. The tourist boom began in the early 1980s and the population is now somewhere around 28,000. The city now has all of the necessary facilities to cater to the influx of tourists who swing through to see Uluru. The town is 1500km from Darwin, which is the closest major city. Adelaide is just as far to the south. It's remote location means that costs can be higher than they are elsewhere in Australia. Expect to pay more for anything from fruits and vegetables to clothing and souvenirs. When making a reservation for a hotel, do note that the rating scale differs from elsewhere in Australia or in most western countries. The ratings come from the amenities available and have little to do with the actual room quality.

Cairns

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.

Which city is cheaper, Cairns or Alice Springs?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Alice Springs is $76, while the average daily cost in Cairns is $76. 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 city. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Alice Springs and Cairns in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Alice Springs $40
    Cairns $34
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Alice Springs $80
    Cairns $68
Compare Hotels in Alice Springs and Cairns

Looking for a hotel in Alice Springs or Cairns? 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 Cairns


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.


Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Alice Springs $16
    Cairns $9.69

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Alice Springs

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

  • From Ayers Rock Resort to Luxury Transfer: $130
  • Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) Coach Transfer: $118

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cairns

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

  • Cairns to Mission Beach Private Transfer: $303
  • Cairns to Port Douglas Private Transfer: $252
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Port Douglas.: $244
  • Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Port Douglas.: $171
  • Corporate Bus, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Palm Cove: $171
  • Premium, private bus transfer. Cairns City - Cairns Airport.: $135
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Palm Cove.: $125
  • Port Douglas Transfers between Cairns Airport & Port Douglas (Private Chauffeur): $118
  • Cairns Airport (CNS) Departure Transfer (Cairns Hotels to Cairns CNS Airport): $112
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Trinity Beach: $107
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns City - Cairns Airport: $89
  • Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Palm Cove.: $89

Is it cheaper to fly into Alice Springs or Cairns?

Prices for flights to both Cairns 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 $19
    Cairns $22

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 Uluru Full-Day Tour with BBQ Dinner: $191
  • Ayers Rock Day Trip from Alice Springs Including Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Sunset BBQ Dinner: $209

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cairns

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

  • Guided Twilight Tour of the Aquarium with Dinner: $90
  • Cairns Aquarium by Twilight with 3 Course Dinner: $99
  • Afternoon Tour with Evening Dinner Cruise: $134
  • Small-Group Afternoon Cairns City Tour with Harbour Dinner Cruise: $154

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Alice Springs $11
    Cairns $30

Tours and Activities in Alice Springs

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

  • 3-Day Alice Springs to Uluru (Ayers Rock) via Kings Canyon Tour: $662
  • 3-Day Uluru Camping Tour from Alice Springs Including Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon: $340
  • 3-Day Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon 4WD Small-Group Eco-Tour from Alice Springs: $2,707
  • Alice Springs Camel Tour: $64
  • Alice Springs Desert Park General Entry Ticket: $29
  • Alice Springs Highlights Half-Day Tour: $92
  • Alice Springs Telegraph Station Entry and Tour Ticket: $12
  • Alice Springs, Uluru Ayers Rock & Kings Canyon 8 Days Touring Package: $2,686
  • 4WD Palm Valley Tour with Lunch: $126
  • Best of Alice Springs Full Day Tour: $142
  • Chambers Pillar and Rainbow Valley 1 Day 4WD Tour: $394
  • East MacDonnell Ranges 1 Day 4WD Tour: $257

Typical Entertainment prices in Cairns

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Cairns's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Scuba Diving
    $36

Tours and Activities in Cairns

For Cairns, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • 14-Day Cape York Camping Tour: $2,350
  • 2 Day Reef & Rainforest Adventure: $619
  • 2-Day Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest Tour from Cairns /Port Douglas: $221
  • 2-Day Green Island Cruise and Kuranda Day Trip: $316
  • Aboriginal Cultural Daintree Rainforest Tour from Cairns or Port Douglas: $210
  • Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls and Rainforest Day Tour Departing Cairns: $95
  • Barron Gorge and Kuranda National Park Half Day Rainforest and Waterfall 4WD Tour from Cairns: $124
  • Cairns 4WD Waterfall and Rainforest Tour Including Kuranda Scenic Railway or Skyrail Rainforest Cableway: $166
  • Cairns Adventure Package- 4 tours in 3 days!: $325
  • Cairns Aquarium Admission Ticket: $35
  • Cairns Aquarium Family Tickets: $104
  • Cairns Aquarium General Admission Ticket: $32

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Alice Springs $14
    Cairns $11
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
    $4.57

Sample the Local Flavors in Cairns

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Cairns:

  • Tablelands Food & Wine Tour: $233


When comparing the travel costs between Alice Springs and Cairns, we can see that Alice Springs is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Pacific, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Alice Springs vs. Cairns Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.