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

Should you visit Melbourne or Byron Bay?

Should I visit Melbourne or Byron Bay? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Melbourne

Melbourne is the second largest city in Australia, after Sydney. It is also the capital city of the state of Victoria, in southeastern Australia. Melbourne is arguably the best city to experience culture and the arts in Australia. There is a friendly rivalry between Melbourne and Sydney over livability and popularity and Melbourne is definitely the city to visit for its parks, shopping, restaurants, galleries and theaters. Like Sydney, it is situated on the water, at the head of Port Phillip Bay. It's a beautiful city, and although it lacks the major sights that you'll find in Sydney such as the Sydney Opera House or the Harbour Bridge, you will never find yourself lacking for entertainment. It is also a wonderful base for exploring many of the nearby highlights, including Grampians National Park, The Great Ocean Road, and Phillip Island where you can view the penguin parade.

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.

Which city is cheaper, Byron Bay or Melbourne?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Melbourne is $164, while the average daily cost in Byron Bay is $128. 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 Melbourne and Byron Bay in more detail.



Accommodation

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $222 in Melbourne For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Byron Bay is $122. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Melbourne $111
    Byron Bay $61
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Melbourne $222
    Byron Bay $122

Food

While meal prices in Melbourne can vary, the average travelers spends about $28 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Melbourne should cost around $11 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Melbourne is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

Byron Bay food costs typically run travelers around $44 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.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Melbourne $28
    Byron Bay $44
Typical Food prices in Melbourne

For Melbourne, here are some examples of average food and meal prices for travelers:


  • Coffee
    $2.99
  • Pizza
    $5.24

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Melbourne

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

  • Eynesbury Homestead Dinner and Ghost Tour: $63
  • Private Australian Cooking Class in Melbourne using Native Produce: $125
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Melbourne Private Food Tour: $131
  • Vegan Cooking Class: $146
  • Private Modern Australian Cooking Class with a Professional Chef in Melbourne: $166
  • Private Market Tour and Australian Cooking Class with a Local Chef in her Home: $203
  • [PRIVATE TOUR] Best Of Melbourne Food Tours: $462

Typical Food prices in Byron Bay

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


  • Dinner at Olivo (for 2)
    $67

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

Local Transportation

Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Melbourne than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $18 on transportation in Melbourne on average per day.

The average price of local transportation around Byron Bay is $30 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.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Melbourne $18
    Byron Bay $30
Typical Local Transportation prices in Melbourne

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Melbourne:


  • Airport Bus
    $12
  • Tram Ride
    $2.84

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Melbourne

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

  • Melbourne Airport Departure Transfer from Melbourne CBD Hotels: $23
  • Private Airport Transfer: Melbourne Essendon Airport (MEB) to Melbourne: $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Melbourne to Melbourne Essendon Airport (MEB): $32
  • Private Airport Transfer: from Melbourne to Tullamarine Airport (MEL): $39
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Melbourne Airports: $45
  • Transfer in private vehicle from Melbourne Downtown City to Airport: $53
  • Transfer in private Minivan from Melbourne City Downtown to Airport: $65
  • Departure Private Transfer Melbourne City to Melbourne Airport MEL by Sedan Car: $73
  • Private Car Transfer Melbourne Airport To CBD: $78
  • Melbourne Airport To CBD Transfers Sedan (Audi A8, BMW 7 & Mercedes S-Class): $78
  • Melbourne AIRPORT TRANSFER: $79
  • Private Transfer: Melbourne to Melbourne Airport (MEL): $80

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Melbourne or Byron Bay?

Prices for flights to both Byron Bay and Melbourne 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.





Entertainment

Sightseeing expenses in Melbourne, including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $25 per day, per person.

Byron Bay's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $33 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 Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Melbourne $25
    Byron Bay $33

Tours and Activities in Melbourne

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

  • Live like a Local: Explore some favourite spots on a playful audio walking tour: $5.40
  • Melbourne Audio Tour: A Self-Guided Walk Through the City: $6.99
  • Questo Self-guided Haunted Melbourne Walking Tour: $12
  • Melbourne Self-Guided Audio Tour: $13
  • Melbourne Sports Walking Tour: $14
  • Green Cabs Melbourne Tours: $16
  • Melbourne Eureka Skydeck Entry Tickets: $16
  • Melbourne City and Williamstown Ferry Cruise: $18
  • Eureka Skydeck 88 Admission Ticket: $20
  • ArtVo Immersive Gallery Experience: $22
  • Tour guide services: $22
  • Melbourne Ghost Tour: $23

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)
    $142
  • Surf Lesson
    $49

Tours and Activities in Byron Bay

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

  • 3-Hour Dolphin Spotting Kayak Tour in Byron Bay: $56
  • 3-Hour Kayak with the Dolphins Tour: $56
  • 3-Hour Sea Turtle Snorkeling Experience in Byron Bay: $78
  • 3-Hour Small-Group Byron Bay Tour: $67
  • 5 hour - Byron Bay Cycling Tour + Lunch: $150
  • 5-Hour Byron Bay Introductory Scuba Diving Tour: $170
  • Beyond Byron Hinterland Tour: $134
  • Byron Bay 3-Hour Certified Dive Tour: $119
  • Byron Bay Combo: Hinterland Tour Including Minyon Falls and Kayaking with Dolphins: $182
  • Byron Bay Half-Day Tour: $72
  • Byron Bay Hinterland Tour Including Rainforest Walk to Minyon Falls: $124
  • Byron Bay Lighthouse and Hinterland Tour: $74

Alcohol

Typically, people visiting Melbourne spend on average $15 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.

The average person spends about $12 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.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Melbourne $15
    Byron Bay $12
Typical Alcohol prices in Melbourne

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Melbourne from other travelers:


  • Bottle of Wine
    $5.80

Sample the Local Flavors in Melbourne

Also in Melbourne, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Melbourne Bar Hunt: Melbourne Breakout Bar Crawl: $12
  • Melbourne CBD Pub Crawl: $16
  • Carlton Brewhouse Brewery Tour with Beer Tasting: $24
  • The Melbourne Un-Pub Crawl: $40
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Day Tour from Melbourne: $78
  • Hops and Barrels- Hop on Hop off Wine Tour Mornington Peninsula.: $83
  • Small-Group Guided Yarra Valley Winery Tour with Wine Tasting: $104
  • Yarra Valley Local Produce and Wine Tasting Tour: $115
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tour inc lunch with a glass of wine, tastings and chocolate: $115
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tour with Local Harvest Tastings from Melbourne: $115
  • Yarra Valley Wine Tasting Tour Departing from Melbourne: $118
  • Mornington Peninsula Winery Tour Including Wine Tastings and 2-Course Lunch: $118

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 we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Melbourne and Byron Bay, we can see that Melbourne is more expensive. And not only is Byron Bay much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Byron Bay would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Byron Bay 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 Melbourne would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Melbourne than you might in Byron Bay.

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Melbourne vs. Byron Bay Travel Comparison

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