A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Perth vs. Cairns for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Perth or Cairns?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Perth and Cairns can help you decide which place is right for you.

Perth

Capital of Western Australia, Perth is a city that sits where the Swan River meets the sea, and given its ocean side location there is plenty to see and do on the water and beyond. Spend a day on Perth's sandy beaches or get lost in its parks and gardens, sail down the river or enjoy the city's history and culture visiting museums and historic sites, shopping, dining, and much more.

Cairns

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.

Which city is cheaper, Cairns or Perth?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Perth is $112, while the average daily cost in Cairns is $81. 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 Perth and Cairns in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $128 in Perth For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

An average hotel room with basic furnishings costs about $72 in Cairns For the most convenient locations and nicer amenities you can expect to pay a bit more.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Perth $64
    Cairns $36
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Perth $128
    Cairns $72

Food

While meal prices in Perth can vary, the average travelers spends about $31 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Perth 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 Perth is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.

Food in Cairns costs travelers about $24 per day on average. Restaurants can vary significantly in price, so choose wisely if you're trying to save money. Fast food and street stalls are typically your cheapest options, which sit down restaurants can be significantly more expensive.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Perth $31
    Cairns $24

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Perth

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

  • Private Pizza Making Class in Hunter Valley: $48
  • Pizza Paddle Sunset Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay: $66
  • Perth Classic Bites & Local Flavors: Food Tour: $71
  • Dinner Cruise at Sydney Harbour with Optional Mast Climb Experience: $72
  • Cairns Dinner Cruise by Spirit of Cairns: $73
  • Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner Show Ticket: $74
  • Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise: $75
  • Swan Valley Half-Day Food Tour and Wine Trail from Perth: $75
  • Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise by Captain Cook: $77
  • Dumpling Cooking Class in Melbourne: $80
  • Cairns Aquarium Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner: $88
  • Half-Day Low and Slow BBQ Food Tour in Perth: $91

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cairns

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

  • Private Pizza Making Class in Hunter Valley: $48
  • Pizza Paddle Sunset Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay: $66
  • Dinner Cruise at Sydney Harbour with Optional Mast Climb Experience: $72
  • Cairns Dinner Cruise by Spirit of Cairns: $73
  • Australian Outback Spectacular Dinner Show Ticket: $74
  • Charles Darwin Dinner Cruise: $75
  • Spirit of Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Sydney Harbour Sunset Dinner Cruise by Captain Cook: $77
  • Dumpling Cooking Class in Melbourne: $80
  • Cairns Aquarium Twilight Tour with 3-Course Dinner: $88
  • Cairns Aquarium by Twilight with 3 Course Dinner: $99
  • Pinnacles Sunset Dinner and Stargazing Tour: $109

Local Transportation

To get around in Perth, the average visitor spends $21 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.

Cairns's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $10 per person, per day on transportation in Cairns.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Perth $21
    Cairns $10

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Perth

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

  • [Promotion: Adult at Kids Price] Hot Air Balloon Experience with Round-trip Transfers & Vineyard Champagne Breakfast in Gold Coast: $191
  • [Promotion: Adult at Kids Price] Hot Air Balloon Experience in Cairns with Round-trip Transfers: $176
  • Wet'n'Wild Return Shared Shuttle Transfer from Gold Coast Hotels: $18
  • Thredbo Day Trip with Round Trip Transfer from Sydney by Brighton Coach: $81
  • SkyBus Melbourne Tullamarine Airport (MEL) Express Transfer Ticket: $11
  • Shared Sydney Airport Transfers (SYD) for Sydney: $13
  • Shared Sunshine Coast Airport Transfers (MCY) for Sunshine Coast: $12
  • Shared Shuttle Bus Transfers from Kings Canyon to Alice Springs: $133
  • Shared Shuttle Bus Transfers between Ayers Rock and Kings Canyon: $110
  • Shared Shuttle Bus Transfers between Alice Springs and Ayers Rock: $133
  • Shared Perth Airport (PER) Transfers for Perth and Fremantle: $22
  • Shared Gold Coast Airport Transfers (OOL) for Gold Coast: $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cairns

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

  • Cairns to Mission Beach Private Transfer: $303
  • Cairns to Port Douglas Private Transfer: $252
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Port Douglas.: $244
  • Hot Air Balloon Experience with Round-trip Transfers & Vineyard Champagne Breakfast in Brisbane: $191
  • [Promotion: Adult at Kids Price] Hot Air Balloon Experience with Round-trip Transfers & Vineyard Champagne Breakfast in Gold Coast: $191
  • [Promotion: Adult at Kids Price] Hot Air Balloon Experience in Cairns with Round-trip Transfers: $176
  • Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Port Douglas.: $171
  • Corporate Bus, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Palm Cove: $171
  • Premium, private bus transfer. Cairns City - Cairns Airport.: $135
  • Shared Shuttle Bus Transfers from Kings Canyon to Alice Springs: $133
  • Shared Shuttle Bus Transfers between Alice Springs and Ayers Rock: $133
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Palm Cove.: $125

Is it cheaper to fly into Perth or Cairns?

Prices for flights to both Cairns and Perth 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

In Perth, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $12 per person, per day.

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Cairns can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $32 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Perth $12
    Cairns $32

Tours and Activities in Perth

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Perth.

  • Abseiling Adventure in Adelaide : $73
  • Half Day Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay + FREE Paddle Pack: $95
  • Hunter Valley Scenic Wine and Cheese Tour from Sydney: $125
  • Nowra Treetop and Zipline Adventure: $32
  • Yarra Valley Hot Air Balloon Flight and Winery Tour: $385
  • "The Thirsty Three" Swan Valley Private Tour: $154
  • 'Have a Go' Clay Target Shooting Experience in Brisbane: $110
  • 1-Day Pinnacles and Yanchep Tour from Perth including Fish and Chips Lunch: $348
  • 1-Day Private Perth and Fremantle Tour: $263
  • 1-Hour Perth Segway Riverside Tour: $72
  • 1.5-Hour Scenic Coastal Cruise from Hillarys Boat Harbor: $28
  • 1/2 day Swan Valley Wine Cheese & Chocolate Tour Inc Afternoon Cruise to Perth: $87

Typical Entertainment prices in Cairns

Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Cairns's activities, tours, and tickets:


  • Scuba Diving
    $39

Tours and Activities in Cairns

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

  • Abseiling Adventure in Adelaide : $73
  • Half Day Kayak Tour in Bateman's Bay + FREE Paddle Pack: $95
  • Hunter Valley Scenic Wine and Cheese Tour from Sydney: $125
  • Nowra Treetop and Zipline Adventure: $32
  • Yarra Valley Hot Air Balloon Flight and Winery Tour: $385
  • 'Have a Go' Clay Target Shooting Experience in Brisbane: $110
  • 1.5-Hour Segway Tour of Cairns and Botanic Gardens: $72
  • 12 Apostles, Otways & Great Ocean Road Hiking Adventure from Melbourne: $132
  • 14-Day Cape York Camping Tour: $2,350
  • 1D1N Kangaroo Island Road to Recovery Tour: $514
  • 2 Day Liveaboard Yacht Great Barrier Reef Tour: $358
  • 2 Day Reef & Rainforest Adventure: $619

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Perth, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $6.40.

Typically, people visiting Cairns spend on average $12 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Perth $6.40
    Cairns $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Perth

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Perth:

  • Savannah Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hunter’s Dream Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Misty Glen Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tintilla Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Capercaillie Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hanging Tree Wines Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tempus Two Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Pokolbin Estate Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Krinklewood Vineyard Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Glandore Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Hungerford Hill Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley : $7.39
  • Red Door Collective Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley (Adults Only): $7.39

Sample the Local Flavors in Cairns

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Cairns:

  • Savannah Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tempus Two Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Hanging Tree Wines Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Capercaillie Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Misty Glen Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Tintilla Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Hunter’s Dream Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $3.69
  • Pokolbin Estate Wine Tasting Experience: $3.69
  • Wine Tasting at Horner Wines in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Talits Estate Cellar Door Wine Tasting Experience: $7.39
  • Wine Tasting at Wine House in Hunter Valley: $7.39
  • Glandore Estate Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley: $7.39


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Perth and Cairns, we can see that Perth 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 Perth would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Perth than you might in Cairns.

Budget Your Trip

Budget Your Trip has average travel costs for thousands of cities around the world, all provided by other travelers. You can also register to organize your spending by category and location with graphs, maps, charts, and tables.

Share This Page
Pin This Page
Perth vs. Cairns Travel Comparison

Some of the links on this website are sponsored or affiliate links which help to financially support this site. By clicking the link and making a purchase, we may receive a small commission, but this does not affect the price of your purchase.