Should you visit Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) 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 Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) and Cairns can help you decide which place is right for you.
Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock)
The Australian countryside is a large and vast area just waiting to be explored. Located in the north of Australia, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is a part of the Red Centre of the country. It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and, according to the Aborigines, it is a very sacred space. Amazing geological wonders and fascinating wildlife are just waiting for your visit.
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 Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock)?
These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.
The average daily cost (per person) in Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) is $139, 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 Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) and Cairns in more detail.
Double occupancy rooms typically run around $106 in Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) 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.
Hotel or hostel for one person
Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) $53
Typical double-occupancy room
Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock)
In Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) travelers spend around $43 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.
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 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:
Cairns Aquarium by Twilight with 3 Course Dinner:
Small-Group Afternoon Cairns City Tour with Harbour Dinner Cruise:
Public transportation tends to be much less expensive in Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) than paying for a taxi or private car service, as is expected. Typically, people spend $68 on transportation in Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) on average per day.
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.
Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) $68
Hired Cars and Shuttles in Cairns
Also for Cairns, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:
Premium, private bus transfer. Cairns City - Cairns Airport.:
Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns City - Cairns Airport:
Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Trinity Beach:
Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Port Douglas.:
Premium Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Palm Cove.:
Port Douglas Transfers from Cairns:
Port Douglas Transfers between Cairns Airport & Port Douglas (Private Chauffeur):
Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns City - Cairns Airport:
Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport -Trinity Beach.:
Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Port Douglas.:
Luxury Van, Private Transfer, Cairns Airport - Palm Cove.:
Express Private Transfer from Cairns Airport to Cairns City:
Is it cheaper to fly into Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) or Cairns?
Prices for flights to both Cairns and Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) 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.
Sightseeing expenses in Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock), including the cost of admission tickets for day tours, museums, and attractions, usually cost an average of $34 per day, per person.
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.
Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) $34
Typical Entertainment prices in Cairns
Below are a few sample prices from actual travelers for Cairns's activities, tours, and tickets:
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:
14-Day Cape York Camping Tour:
2 Day Liveaboard Yacht Great Barrier Reef Tour:
2 Day Reef & Rainforest Adventure:
2-Day Cape Tribulation and Daintree Rainforest Tour from Cairns /Port Douglas:
2-Day Green Island Cruise and Kuranda Day Trip:
ATV Buggy Adventure & Rainforest experience Half-Day Tour:
Aboriginal Cultural Daintree Rainforest Tour from Cairns or Port Douglas:
Atherton Tablelands Waterfalls and Rainforest Day Tour Departing Cairns:
Barron Gorge and Kuranda National Park Half Day Rainforest and Waterfall 4WD Tour from Cairns:
Barron River Half-Day Rafting Tour from Cairns:
Best of the Kuranda Rainforest Full-Day Tour:
Typically, people visiting Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) spend on average $10 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
Typically, people visiting Cairns spend on average $12 on alcoholic beverages per person, per day.
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:
When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) and Cairns, we can see that Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) 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 Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Uluru National Park (Ayers Rock) than you might in Cairns.
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