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 $120, while the average daily cost in Cairns is $87. 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 $138 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 $78 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 $69
    Cairns $39
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Perth $138
    Cairns $78

Food

While meal prices in Perth can vary, the average travelers spends about $33 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Perth should cost around $13 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 $26 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 $33
    Cairns $26

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Perth

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

  • Perth Classic Bites & Local Flavors: Food Tour: $71
  • Swan Valley Half-Day Food Tour and Wine Trail from Perth: $75
  • Half-Day Low and Slow BBQ Food Tour in Perth: $91
  • Perth City of Lights Dinner Cruise: $104
  • Perth Swan River Dinner Cruise: $110
  • Withlocals The 10 Tastings: Perth Private Food Tour: $118
  • Pinnacles Sunset Dinner and Wildlife Experience a Small Group Tour: $130

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Cairns

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

  • Spirit of Dinner Cruise: $77
  • Cairns Aquarium by Twilight with 3 Course Dinner: $99
  • Small-Group Afternoon Cairns City Tour with Harbour Dinner Cruise: $154

Local Transportation

To get around in Perth, the average visitor spends $23 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 $11 per person, per day on transportation in Cairns.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Perth $23
    Cairns $11

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Perth

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

  • Rottnest Island Same-Day Round-Trip Ferry Transfers: $55
  • Private Sedan Transfer from Perth CBD Hotel to Perth Airport: $47
  • Private Departure Transfer: Hotel to Perth Airport: $48
  • Perth Departure Transfer by Private Chauffeur: Perth City Center to Airport: $59
  • Perth Airport Transfer - group booking: $198

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
  • 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
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Palm Cove.: $125
  • Port Douglas Transfers between Cairns Airport & Port Douglas (Private Chauffeur): $118
  • Cairns Airport (CNS) Departure Transfer (Cairns Hotels to Cairns CNS Airport): $112
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Trinity Beach: $107
  • Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns City - Cairns Airport: $89
  • Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Palm Cove.: $89

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 $13 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 $34 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Perth $13
    Cairns $34

Tours and Activities in Perth

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

  • "The Thirsty Three" Swan Valley Private Tour: $154
  • 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
  • 2-Hour Guided Welcome Perth City Walking Tour: $174
  • 2-Hour Whale Watching Cruise from Hillarys Boat Harbor: $49
  • 2-Hour Whale Watching Cruise with Aquarium Entry: $49
  • 20 Day Perth to Darwin Adventure: $3,279
  • 4 Day South West Australia Tour - All inclusive with premium accomodation: $944
  • 4-Day South West Yoga and Wellness Tour from Perth: $1,430

Typical Entertainment prices in Cairns

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


  • Scuba Diving
    $41

Tours and Activities in Cairns

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

  • 1.5-Hour Segway Tour of Cairns and Botanic Gardens: $72
  • 14-Day Cape York Camping Tour: $2,350
  • 2 Day Liveaboard Yacht Great Barrier Reef Tour: $358
  • 2 Day Reef & Rainforest Adventure: $619
  • 2-Day Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest Tour from Cairns /Port Douglas: $221
  • 2-Day Green Island Cruise and Kuranda Day Trip: $316
  • ATV Buggy Adventure & Rainforest experience Half-Day Tour: $102
  • Aboriginal Cultural Daintree Rainforest Tour from Cairns or Port Douglas: $210
  • Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls and Rainforest Day Tour Departing Cairns: $95
  • Barron Gorge and Kuranda National Park Half Day Rainforest and Waterfall 4WD Tour from Cairns: $124
  • Barron River Half-Day Rafting Tour from Cairns: $88
  • Best of the Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour: $203

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 $6.84.

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


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Perth $6.84
    Cairns $12

Sample the Local Flavors in Perth

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Perth:

  • Perth Bar Crawl: $12
  • Afternoon Swan Valley Wine Tasting with Transportation: $57
  • Afternoon Swan Valley Sundowner Wine Tour from Perth: $63
  • Swan Valley Half-Day Food and Wine Tasting Tour: $70
  • Swan Valley Half-Day Food & Wine Tasting Tour from Perth: $72
  • Sunday Afternoon Swan Valley Wine & Brewery Tour from Perth: $75
  • The Non-Touristy Swan Valley Private Day Trip & Wine Tastings: $81
  • Swan Valley Sunset Wine Tour - Premium Small Group Tour: $95
  • Half-Day Swan Valley Winery & Brewery: $99
  • Small-Group Bickley Valley Wine Tour: $107
  • Swan Valley Cruise & Wine Tasting Full-Day Tour from Perth: $122
  • Wine Tasting Day Trip and Swan Valley River Cruise to Perth: $123

Sample the Local Flavors in Cairns

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

  • Tablelands Food & Wine Tour: $233


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.

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Perth vs. Cairns Travel Comparison

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