A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Byron Bay vs. Airlie Beach

Should you visit Byron Bay or Airlie Beach?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel cost comparison between Byron Bay and Airlie Beach can help. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Byron Bay

South of Brisbane, off the Pacific Highway, is the coastal town of Byron Bay. It is close to Cape Byron, which is the easternmost point in mainland Australia. Byron Bay makes its way onto most traveler's itineraries because of its wonderful beach activities. The area is world famous for its waves, making it popular with surfers, but it also has incredible scuba diving, whale watching, and a generally relaxed atmosphere. The area continues to rise in popularity with travelers and as such, amenities and facilities are popping up everywhere.

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach, in Queensland, offers the closest port to the Whitsunday Islands on the Great Barrier Reef. It's a small town of only 25,000 and has grown out of the area's popularity as a tourist destination. It's main industry remains tourism and, as such, there are many venues set up to accommodate travelers hoping to make trips to the Whitsunday Islands and the Outer Great Barrier Reef. The town has the feel of a vacation destination. While in the past Airlie Beach appealed specifically to the backpacker crowd, it's popularity has spread and now there are facilities catering to all travel types. The area has become more commercialized and there are plenty of large resorts to choose from. Even so, you'll still find no shortage of affordable accommodation around town.

Which city is cheaper, Airlie Beach or Byron Bay?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Byron Bay is $127, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach is $134. 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. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Byron Bay and Airlie Beach in more detail.




Accommodation

The average price for accommodation for two people in Byron Bay is $110. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.

Accommodation prices vary by location and style, but travelers pay on average about $110 for a double occupancy room in Airlie Beach.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Byron Bay $55
    Airlie Beach $55
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Byron Bay $110
    Airlie Beach $110


Food

Byron Bay food costs typically run travelers around $51 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.

While meal prices in Airlie Beach can vary, the average travelers spends about $30 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Airlie Beach should cost around $12 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Airlie Beach is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Byron Bay $51
    Airlie Beach $30
Typical Food prices in Byron Bay

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


  • Dinner at Olivo (for 2)
    $69

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Byron Bay

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Byron Bay.

  • Mount Warning Sunrise Climb Including Overnight Camping and BBQ Dinner: $166
  • Byron Bay Kayaking with Dolphins and Mount Warning Sunrise Climb Including Overnight Camping and BBQ Dinner: $224
  • Byron Bay Surfing Lesson and Mount Warning Sunrise Climb Including Overnight Camping and BBQ Dinner: $224

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Airlie Beach

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Airlie Beach.

  • Whitsundays Segway Sunset and Boardwalk Tour with Dinner: $93


Local Transportation

The average price of local transportation around Byron Bay is $23 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.

The cost of a taxi ride in Airlie Beach is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $18 per person, per day, on local transportation in Airlie Beach.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Byron Bay $23
    Airlie Beach $18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Byron Bay

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Byron Bay:

  • Private Byron Bay Transfer to Gold Coast Airport 7am-6pm: $79

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Airlie Beach

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Airlie Beach:

  • Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service: $17
  • Airport Transfers - Return (round fare) share shuttle service: $28


Entertainment

Byron Bay's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $41 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.

Entertainment and activities in Airlie Beach typically cost an average of $152 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Byron Bay $41
    Airlie Beach $152
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)
    $147
  • Surf Lesson
    $50

Tours and Activities in Byron Bay

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

  • Scenic Sunset River Cruise: $47
  • Experience The Thrill Half Day Surf School in Byron Bay: $51
  • Grasshoppers Byron Bay - Nimbin Tour: $51
  • Kayaking with Dolphins in Byron Bay Guided Tour: $55
  • Sunset River Cruise near Byron Bay: $55
  • 3-Hour Dolphin Spotting Kayak Tour in Byron Bay: $56
  • 3-Hour Kayak with the Dolphins Tour: $56
  • Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour: $59
  • 3-Hour Small-Group Byron Bay Tour: $67
  • Sea Turtle Snorkel Tour in Julian Rocks Reserve: $70
  • Hinterland Magic and Glow-Worm Experience: $71
  • Byron Bay Half-Day Tour: $72

Tours and Activities in Airlie Beach

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Airlie Beach are as follows:

  • Private Airlie Beach Tuk-Tuk Tours: $24
  • Cedar Creek Falls and Hydeaway Bay Tours: $43
  • Airlie Beach Glass Bottom Boat Tour: $62
  • Whitsundays Sunset Sailing Cruise: $62
  • Tropical Rainforest and Waterfall Walking Tour: $80
  • Bowen Tour: $86
  • Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour: $87
  • Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruises: $95
  • Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour: $101
  • Whitsunday Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour: $117
  • Whitehaven Beach Day Tour with Snorkel in Whitsundays Island: $121
  • Chasing Waterfalls in the Whitsunday's Full Day Tour: $130


Alcohol

The average person spends about $7.93 on alcoholic beverages in Byron Bay per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.

The average person spends about $8.55 on alcoholic beverages in Airlie Beach per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Byron Bay $7.93
    Airlie Beach $8.55

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 session Brewery and Distillery tour in Byron Bay: $116
  • Full Barrel Brewery and Distillery tour: $141



When comparing the travel costs between Byron Bay and Airlie Beach, we can see that Airlie Beach 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.

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Byron Bay vs. Airlie Beach Travel Comparison

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