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

Should you visit Byron Bay or Airlie Beach?

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

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Byron Bay and Airlie Beach 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: Byron Bay or Airlie Beach?

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 $112, while the average daily cost in Airlie Beach is $113. 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 Byron Bay and Airlie Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Byron Bay $53
    Airlie Beach $47
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Byron Bay $106
    Airlie Beach $94
Compare Hotels in Byron Bay and Airlie Beach

Looking for a hotel in Byron Bay or Airlie Beach? 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 Byron Bay


Hotels in Airlie Beach


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Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Byron Bay $26
    Airlie Beach $16

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:

  • Whitsunday: Prosperpine Airport to Airlie Beach Transfer: $16
  • Airport Transfers - One way share shuttle service: $17
  • Airport Transfers - Return (round fare) share shuttle service: $28

Is it cheaper to fly into Byron Bay or Airlie Beach?

Prices for flights to both Airlie Beach and Byron Bay 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
    Byron Bay $38
    Airlie Beach $26
Typical Food prices in Byron Bay

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


  • Dinner at Olivo (for 2)
    $59

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

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Byron Bay $28
    Airlie Beach $129
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)
    $124
  • Surf Lesson
    $42

Tours and Activities in Byron Bay

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

  • 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
  • Byron Stand Up Paddle Nature Tour: $59
  • 3-Hour Small-Group Byron Bay Tour: $67
  • Cruise with Dolphins Tour: $69
  • Byron Bay Lighthouse and Hinterland Tour: $74
  • Cruise with Dolphins in Byron Bay: $75
  • Hinterland Magic & Glow-worm Experience: $77
  • 3-Hour Sea Turtle Snorkeling Experience in Byron Bay: $78
  • Sea Turtle Snorkel Tour in Julian Rocks Reserve: $79

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
  • Whitsundays Sunset Sailing Cruise: $62
  • Airlie Beach Glass Bottom Boat Tour: $62
  • Bowen Tour: $86
  • Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour: $87
  • Whitehaven Beach Half-Day Cruises: $95
  • Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour: $99
  • Whitsundays Ocean Rafting Tour: Snorkel, Walk & Whitehaven: $102
  • Whitsunday Segway Rainforest Discovery Tour: $117
  • Kangaroos at Beach Sunrise & Wildlife Tour: $121
  • Whitehaven Beach Day Tour with Snorkel in Whitsundays Island: $121

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Byron Bay $11
    Airlie Beach $7.23

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
  • Byron: Pub, Brewery and Distillery Tour: $172


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.


When is the best time to visit Byron Bay or Airlie Beach?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Byron Bay or Airlie Beach in the Summer?

Both Airlie Beach and Byron Bay are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities.

In January, Byron Bay is generally cooler than Airlie Beach. Temperatures in Byron Bay average around 23°C (74°F), and Airlie Beach stays around 26°C (79°F).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Airlie Beach. It's quite rainy in Byron Bay. In January, Byron Bay usually receives less rain than Airlie Beach. At this time of the year, Byron Bay gets 140 mm (5.5 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 331 mm (13 in) of rain.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Byron Bay 23°C (74°F) 
    Airlie Beach 26°C (79°F)

Should I visit Byron Bay or Airlie Beach in the Autumn?

Both Airlie Beach and Byron Bay during the autumn are popular places to visit.

Byron Bay is cooler than Airlie Beach in the autumn. The temperature in Byron Bay is usually 20°C (69°F) in April, and Airlie Beach stays around 23°C (73°F).

Airlie Beach gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Byron Bay. Byron Bay usually gets less rain in April than Airlie Beach. Byron Bay gets 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Byron Bay 20°C (69°F) 
    Airlie Beach 23°C (73°F)

Should I visit Byron Bay or Airlie Beach in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Byron Bay and Airlie Beach.

In the winter, Byron Bay is cooler than Airlie Beach. Typically, the winter temperatures in Byron Bay in July are around 14°C (58°F), and Airlie Beach is about 16°C (62°F).

In July, Byron Bay usually receives more rain than Airlie Beach. At this time of the year, Byron Bay gets 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Byron Bay 14°C (58°F) 
    Airlie Beach 16°C (62°F)

Should I visit Byron Bay or Airlie Beach in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Byron Bay as well as Airlie Beach.

In October, Byron Bay is generally cooler than Airlie Beach. Temperatures in Byron Bay average around 19°C (67°F), and Airlie Beach stays around 23°C (73°F).

Byron Bay usually gets more rain in October than Airlie Beach. Byron Bay gets 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain, while Airlie Beach receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Byron Bay 19°C (67°F) 
    Airlie Beach 23°C (73°F)

Typical Weather for Airlie Beach and Byron Bay

Byron Bay Airlie Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 23°C (74°F) 140 mm (5.5 in) 26°C (79°F) 331 mm (13 in)
Feb 24°C (74°F) 133 mm (5.2 in) 26°C (78°F) 377 mm (14.8 in)
Mar 23°C (73°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 25°C (77°F) 312 mm (12.3 in)
Apr 20°C (69°F) 133 mm (5.2 in) 23°C (73°F) 143 mm (5.6 in)
May 18°C (64°F) 100 mm (3.9 in) 20°C (68°F) 67 mm (2.6 in)
Jun 15°C (59°F) 56 mm (2.2 in) 17°C (63°F) 57 mm (2.2 in)
Jul 14°C (58°F) 54 mm (2.1 in) 16°C (62°F) 40 mm (1.6 in)
Aug 15°C (59°F) 41 mm (1.6 in) 18°C (65°F) 27 mm (1.1 in)
Sep 17°C (63°F) 32 mm (1.2 in) 20°C (68°F) 15 mm (0.6 in)
Oct 19°C (67°F) 90 mm (3.5 in) 23°C (73°F) 48 mm (1.9 in)
Nov 21°C (70°F) 73 mm (2.9 in) 25°C (77°F) 107 mm (4.2 in)
Dec 22°C (72°F) 118 mm (4.6 in) 26°C (78°F) 191 mm (7.5 in)


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Byron Bay vs. Airlie Beach Travel Comparison

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