Which place is cheaper, Byron Bay or Cairns?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit Cairns or Byron Bay? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.
Cairns is a tropical, idyllic, and outdoorsy city. And you can't forget about the hiking, shopping, and nightlife.
Byron Bay is a mellow, vegan-friendly, and carefree town. This is a charming small with plenty of activities, too. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the beaches, hiking, and shopping.
Tourists will generally find more to do in Cairns. Although Cairns and Byron Bay are both popular with visitors, Cairns has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Cairns is more popular for its food, nightlife, scuba diving & snorkeling, and hiking, while Byron Bay is known for its small town charm and impressive beauty. Cairns is more touristy than Byron Bay and is popular for its stunning beaches, nearby rainforests, and easy access to the world's largest reef system. It is also home to the Great Barrier Reef. Byron Bay is popular for its community spirit, undeveloped beaches, and world renowned festivals.
Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Byron Bay and Cairns. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.
You'll find a number of decent museums and attractions in both Byron Bay and Cairns.
While most people don't head to Cairns specifically for the museums and attractions, it does offer a few options. Most visitors spend their time exploring nature and the outdoors, but there are some interesting cultural sights around town as well. Make sure you check out the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park as well as the Cairns Aquarium.
Byron Bay offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. 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.
Cairns is a well-known place for its local cuisine and restaurants. Also, Byron Bay is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its restaurants.
Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Cairns. Waterfront dining with a view is what makes the restaurant scene special. Seafood is everywhere and you can enjoy the catch of the day while you relax on a beachfront terrace. There are also international restaurants that have everything from Spanish tapas to Japanese noodle bowls.
Byron Bay is becoming an appealing option for foodies. 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.
Cairns is a must-visit destination for nightlife and partying. Also, Byron Bay is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its evening party scene.
Cairns is a world class party destination. For such as small city, the nightlife scene is incredibly vibrant, particularly during the peak tourist months. Backpackers are at the heart of the action, with many bars and clubs filling up each night with a young crowd. There are dance clubs, all night parties, cocktail bars, and beach side venues that are sure to offer a good time.
Byron Bay has a large number of nightlife venues. 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.
Cairns and Byron Bay offer a relatively similar set of excellent luxury resort options.
Cairns is known as a popular and fun resort destination. There are many beautiful resorts that offer access to the beach and have impressive pools. There are family-friendly resorts, romantic resorts, and even some budget-friendly options.
Vacationers can choose from a number of terrific resorts in Byron Bay. There are luxury resorts, family-friendly villas, and contemporary apartments that offer great accommodation in a good environment.
Cairns is a must-visit destination for its diving and snorkeling. However, Byron Bay is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.
Cairns is a world class destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. It's access to the Great Barrier Reef make this one of the world's top scuba diving and snorkeling destinations. The undersea world is filled with colorful coral, diverse tropical fish, graceful sea turtles, and a truly magical setting.
Byron Bay is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.
For a relaxing beach holiday, both Cairns and Byron Bay are terrific choices.
Travelers come from around the world to visit the beaches in Cairns. Near town you'll find stunningly beautiful beaches that range from hubs of activity to quiet coves. Cairns Esplanade Lagoon is the closest beach to the city center and it has a sandy beach and plenty of amenities. For a quieter setting, head north to Holloways Beach or to the family-friendly Yorkeys Knob Beach. Do take note that if the beach doesn't have a stinger net, then it's recommended you wear a stinger suit (to avoid jellyfish stings).
With world-famous beaches, Byron Bay is a very popular vacation 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.
Cairns 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 Cairns visitors will find world-class hiking trails. Near town you'll find wonderful national parks, lush rainforest, and beautiful mountain ranges. There are countless bush walks and hiking trails in the area. Head into the countryside and you'll get lost in nature and breathtaking views.
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.
Shoppers can find a variety of excellent stores in both Cairns and Byron Bay.
Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Cairns. There's plenty of shopping around town in the form of shopping centers, markets, and boutique shops. Whether you're looking for trendy fashion or a fun souvenir, there are many places to explore.
Byron Bay is an extremely popular place for shoppers. 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.
Cairns is a must-visit destination 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.
Cairns is an extremely popular city to visit for families. With the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest nearby, this is a playground for kids and adults alike. There are sandy beaches, rainforest walks, turtle rehabilitation centers, scenic railways, adventure sports, and so much more.
Byron Bay is a family-friendly city. 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.
With fun activities for couples, both Cairns and Byron Bay make for a excellent place to visit.
Cairns makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. It's a beautiful tropical setting with world class beaches and diverse marine life. Couples who enjoy the outdoors and adventure will love this amazing destination. You can experience the area's wildlife, relax on sandy beaches, or pamper yourself with a spa treatment. There is plenty of luxury, but also adventure-filled activities to choose from.
Couples visit Byron Bay frequently as it offers plenty of romantic activities. 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.
Cairns is a must-visit destination for backpackers. Also, Byron Bay is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for backpackers and budget travelers.
Backpackers and budget travelers come from all over the world to visit Cairns. Backpackers flock to this coastal town for its easy access to the Great Barrier Reef and its many activities and vibrant energy. There are adventure sports, wild nightclubs, and no shortage of places to hang out with other backpackers.
Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers 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.
Cairns is a city with good options for its public transit. However, Byron Bay is not a good town for times when you don't have a car.
Cairns has a few public transit options. Sunbus operates a public bus service that travels through the city center and to many beaches. Most routes start at Cairns City Mall.
Public transit is mostly limited in Byron Bay. There is a bus service that is provided by Blanch's Bus Company.
Byron Bay is a popular place for its ease of walking around. However, Cairns is lacking in options for its walkability.
Byron Bay is a somewhat walkable town. 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.
Cairns is generally not very walkable. While you can walk around many parts of the city center, most visitors want to head into the rainforest or experience the nearby day trips, which require a vehicle.
Both Cairns 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 Cairns. Usually, 3-5 days is a good amount of time for Cairns, and 3-7 days is enough time in Byron Bay.
Families should spend more time in Cairns than Byron Bay. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Cairns, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.
Couples should spend more time in Cairns than Byron Bay. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Cairns that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.
Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Cairns than Byron Bay 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 Cairns.
You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping around the city of Cairns. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. 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 food and shopping when visiting the destination of Byron Bay. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than one day exploring.
You'll find shopping and nightlife around the idyllic destination of Cairns. Hikers are also drawn to this area. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.
Byron Bay is a great place to explore. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. With so much to do, a weekend is probably not enough time to see everything. Your budget might influence how long you stay.
You'll find nightlife and food around the adventure-filled city of Cairns. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this city makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this city has to offer.
It's hard to know how much time to spend in Byron Bay. Don't miss the beaches, as that's what most people do. For many, it makes a great getaway for five days. Most people come for the beaches. With all of its activities, you can easily fill five days here. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.
Cairns is a popular choice for travelers. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. 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 food and shopping when visiting the relaxed destination of Byron Bay. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Many visitors spend time at the beach while visiting the area. If you have one week, this is a great place to go. This would be the perfect place to spend one week, as it has just the right amount of activities.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Cairns is $95, while the average daily cost in Byron Bay is $139. 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 Cairns and Byron Bay in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Cairns 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.
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.
Also for Cairns, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Some specific examples of transportation prices in Byron Bay:
Prices for flights to both Byron Bay and Cairns 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.
For Cairns, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:
Some typical examples of dining costs in Byron Bay are as follows:
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Cairns's activities, tours, and tickets:
For Cairns, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:
Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Byron Bay are as follows:
Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Byron Bay are as follows:
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Cairns:
Also in Byron Bay, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cairns and Byron Bay, we can see that Byron Bay is more expensive. And not only is Cairns much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Cairns would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Cairns 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 Cairns.
Cairns has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Byron Bay. When comparing the sizes of Cairns 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.
Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.
The summer brings many poeple to Cairns as well as Byron Bay. Many visitors come to Cairns in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Byron Bay for the beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.
In January, Cairns is generally a little warmer than Byron Bay. Daily temperatures in Cairns average around 29°C (84°F), and Byron Bay fluctuates around 23°C (74°F).
It's quite rainy in Byron Bay. Cairns receives a lot of rain in the summer. Cairns usually gets more rain in January than Byron Bay. Cairns gets 429 mm (16.9 in) of rain, while Byron Bay receives 140 mm (5.5 in) of rain this time of the year. November to March in Cairns is the rainy season.
Both Byron Bay and Cairns are popular destinations to visit in the autumn with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Cairns for the hiking trails and the shopping scene during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Byron Bay because of the hiking trails, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area.
Cairns is a little warmer than Byron Bay in the autumn. The daily temperature in Cairns averages around 27°C (80°F) in April, and Byron Bay fluctuates around 20°C (69°F).
It rains a lot this time of the year in Byron Bay. It's quite rainy in Cairns. In April, Cairns usually receives more rain than Byron Bay. Cairns gets 273 mm (10.8 in) of rain, while Byron Bay receives 133 mm (5.2 in) of rain each month for the autumn. The dry season in Cairns is April to October.
Both Byron Bay and Cairns during the winter are popular places to visit. The winter months attract visitors to Cairns because of the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Furthermore, the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Byron Bay this time of year.
In the winter, Cairns is much warmer than Byron Bay. Typically, the winter temperatures in Cairns in July average around 23°C (73°F), and Byron Bay averages at about 14°C (58°F).
Cairns usually gets less rain in July than Byron Bay. Cairns gets 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain, while Byron Bay receives 54 mm (2.1 in) of rain this time of the year.
The spring attracts plenty of travelers to both Cairns and Byron Bay. The beaches are the main draw to Cairns this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Byron Bay for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty.
In October, Cairns is generally a little warmer than Byron Bay. Daily temperatures in Cairns average around 27°C (80°F), and Byron Bay fluctuates around 19°C (67°F).
In October, Cairns usually receives less rain than Byron Bay. Cairns gets 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Byron Bay receives 90 mm (3.5 in) of rain each month for the spring. April to October in Cairns is the dry season. Also, November to March is the rainy season in Cairns.
|429 mm (16.9 in)
|140 mm (5.5 in)
|469 mm (18.5 in)
|133 mm (5.2 in)
|471 mm (18.5 in)
|120 mm (4.7 in)
|273 mm (10.8 in)
|133 mm (5.2 in)
|118 mm (4.6 in)
|100 mm (3.9 in)
|62 mm (2.5 in)
|56 mm (2.2 in)
|35 mm (1.4 in)
|54 mm (2.1 in)
|34 mm (1.3 in)
|41 mm (1.6 in)
|40 mm (1.6 in)
|32 mm (1.2 in)
|44 mm (1.7 in)
|90 mm (3.5 in)
|104 mm (4.1 in)
|73 mm (2.9 in)
|211 mm (8.3 in)
|118 mm (4.6 in)