Australian dollar ($)

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than $150

  • Dorm bed: $30
  • Double room in a hostel: $80
  • Cafe lunch: $15
  • Local bus ticket: $2.50

Midrange: $150–350

  • Double room in a hotel: $130
  • Dinner in a local restaurant: $25
  • Ferry to Fitzroy Island: $80
  • Admission to aquarium: $40

Top End: More than $350

  • Double room in a resort: $250
  • Main meal at an upmarket restaurant: $35
  • Liveaboard dive trip: $700
  • Scenic reef flight: $200


Bargaining and haggling isn't really part of Australian culture. That said, there's a definite 'cash' culture in commerce here, where you might get a lower price on a purchase if you pay cash rather than use a credit card (thus relieving the vendor of some of their official tax obligations).


Major banks have branches with ATMs throughout Cairns. Most banks exchange foreign currency. There are private currency-exchange bureaux along the Esplanade that are open until late.

All businesses, from cafes to major tour operators and hotels, accept debit and credit cards as a matter of course.