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  • Writer's pictureIndy Escapes Crew

Cairns on a budget

Updated: Dec 12, 2021

Cairns is a tropical oasis in northern Queensland, best known as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. This fact alone qualifies it as a must-see city during your next Australian vacation. With so many activities and so much ground to cover in the area, it's no surprise that costs can add up. So how does a Cairns solo traveller tour on a budget? We've compiled a list for the budget-conscious traveler:

Cost of Food

While meal prices in Cairns vary, the daily cost of food is AU$30 if you're on a budget. In Cairns, the food price in sit-down restaurants is frequently higher than fast food or street food and an average meal should cost around AU$15 - 30 per person when dining out. There are also some fine dining options at the Marina while could blow you budget out of the water but, the food is delicious.

Cost of Accommodation

The average cost of hostels in Cairns is any where from AU$15-50 for one person per night. The average price of a hotel room in Cairns is AU$100-$200 for two people sharing a standard double-occupancy room, and most hostels, hotels and resort are centrally located and will have a swimming pool.

Cost of Activities

It's critical to understand that the central Cairns area lacks a swimming beach as the waters have crocodiles and stingers, but there is a huge lagoon style pool, located in the city Centre which anyone can attend free of charge. If you travel north or south of the city, you'll find a significantly more extensive selection of swimming beaches.

Not only do people flock to Cairns for parties, but also adventure sports. While you're in the area, you should try skydiving or scuba diving. If your schedule is flexible, the most cost-effective way to save money is to go on standby. If you wait for a cancellation, you can save up to $150 on more expensive activities.

Cost of Transportation

There are frequent buses from the central business district to the suburbs and Northern Beaches in Cairns. It is possible to purchase a daily bus ticket if you intend to travel by bus frequently but nearly everywhere in the city is between a $10 - $20 cab ride. If you intend to venture beyond the town center, it is advantageous to have a car or to book a tour that will take you to a variety of nearby destinations.

Cost of Alcohol

Due to Cairns' popularity as a destination for all types of travelers, there is no shortage of accommodations in hotels, hostels, restaurants, bars, and clubs. If you're looking for exciting nightlife, there's always somewhere open where you can grab a drink or participate in some festivities.

Therefore, in Cairns, the a night out will all depend on the the quantity and quality of alcoholic beverages that you plan on consuming. As the city is renowned for is backpacker vibe, there is an abundance of cheap and nasty places to get your kicks, with each venue hosting novelty nights and cheap drinks and varying nights of the week, where you could spend anywhere from $20 - $50 on a night out. If you enjoy the finer things in life you can head alone the boardwalk to the marina where you will find an abundance of classy establishments, where it may cost you between $100 - $200 for a night out.

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