Which city is cheaper, Whitsundays or Cairns?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
Should I visit Cairns or Whitsundays? 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.
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.
Just off the coast of Queensland, Australia is a cluster of 74 different islands. These islands, the Whitsunday Islands, welcome over a half a million visitors every year to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World - the Great Barrier Reef.
As one of the most famous destinations in the world, it's not uncommon to see expensive yachts sailing around among the private ferries. Most of the islands are designated as national parks with access to snorkeling and diving in the coral reefs, or just to lay in the sand on the famous Whitehaven Beach.
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Cairns is $76, while the average daily cost in Whitsundays is $106. 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 Cairns and Whitsundays in more detail.
Looking for a hotel in Cairns or Whitsundays? 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.
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Also for Cairns, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Prices for flights to both Whitsundays 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:
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:
Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Whitsundays.
Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Cairns:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Cairns and Whitsundays, we can see that Whitsundays 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 Whitsundays would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Whitsundays than you might in Cairns.
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.
The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Cairns and Whitsundays.
In the summer, Cairns is a little warmer than Whitsundays. Typically, the summer temperatures in Cairns in January are around 29°C (84°F), and Whitsundays is about 26°C (79°F).
Whitsundays receives a lot of rain in the summer. Cairns gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Cairns usually receives more rain than Whitsundays. At this time of the year, Cairns gets 429 mm (16.9 in) of rain, while Whitsundays receives 331 mm (13 in) of rain.
The autumn brings many poeple to Cairns as well as Whitsundays.
In April, Cairns is generally a little warmer than Whitsundays. Temperatures in Cairns average around 27°C (80°F), and Whitsundays stays around 23°C (73°F).
It's quite rainy in Whitsundays. Cairns receives a lot of rain in the autumn. Cairns usually gets more rain in April than Whitsundays. Cairns gets 273 mm (10.8 in) of rain, while Whitsundays receives 143 mm (5.6 in) of rain this time of the year.
Both Whitsundays and Cairns are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities.
Cairns is a little warmer than Whitsundays in the winter. The temperature in Cairns is usually 23°C (73°F) in July, and Whitsundays stays around 16°C (62°F).
In July, Cairns usually receives less rain than Whitsundays. At this time of the year, Cairns gets 35 mm (1.4 in) of rain, while Whitsundays receives 40 mm (1.6 in) of rain.
Both Whitsundays and Cairns during the spring are popular places to visit.
In the spring, Cairns is a little warmer than Whitsundays. Typically, the spring temperatures in Cairns in October are around 27°C (80°F), and Whitsundays is about 23°C (73°F).
Cairns usually gets around the same amount of rain in October as Whitsundays. Cairns gets 44 mm (1.7 in) of rain, while Whitsundays receives 48 mm (1.9 in) of rain this time of the year.
|Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)||Temp (°C)||Rain (mm)|
|Jan||29°C (84°F)||429 mm (16.9 in)||26°C (79°F)||331 mm (13 in)|
|Feb||29°C (83°F)||469 mm (18.5 in)||26°C (78°F)||377 mm (14.8 in)|
|Mar||28°C (82°F)||471 mm (18.5 in)||25°C (77°F)||312 mm (12.3 in)|
|Apr||27°C (80°F)||273 mm (10.8 in)||23°C (73°F)||143 mm (5.6 in)|
|May||25°C (78°F)||118 mm (4.6 in)||20°C (68°F)||67 mm (2.6 in)|
|Jun||23°C (74°F)||62 mm (2.5 in)||17°C (63°F)||57 mm (2.2 in)|
|Jul||23°C (73°F)||35 mm (1.4 in)||16°C (62°F)||40 mm (1.6 in)|
|Aug||24°C (75°F)||34 mm (1.3 in)||18°C (65°F)||27 mm (1.1 in)|
|Sep||25°C (77°F)||40 mm (1.6 in)||20°C (68°F)||15 mm (0.6 in)|
|Oct||27°C (80°F)||44 mm (1.7 in)||23°C (73°F)||48 mm (1.9 in)|
|Nov||28°C (82°F)||104 mm (4.1 in)||25°C (77°F)||107 mm (4.2 in)|
|Dec||29°C (83°F)||211 mm (8.3 in)||26°C (78°F)||191 mm (7.5 in)|
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