I get lots of questions about trip budgets, so I’ve shared my budget for this trip below. This wasn’t the cheapest trip I’ve ever done, but travelling in Australia is expensive – especially when you’re travelling around each region to see different things. For flight, buses, accommodation and day tours, I spent $1334 on a week of travelling from the Whitsundays all the way up to Cape Tribulation.
This most expensive part of my trip was the day tours, however, there really would have been no point going had I not done these tours! Because we visited islands and far-flung places, these locally guided tours were the way to go. It was definitely worth it.
If you wanted to save money, rather than do the Cape Trib day trip you could organise a shorter tour that just goes to the Mossman Gorge Centre. However, the full Cape Tribulation trip included so much more, such as a Daintree River Crocodile Cruise and seeing Cape Tribulation and Port Douglas.
Flights: $65 Brisbane to Proserpine, $95 Cairns to Brisbane,
Greyhound Airlie – Townsville: $90
Return ferry from Townsville to Magnetic Island: $29
Greyhound from Townsville – Cairns: $119
Total: Approx $400
Cruise Whitsundays Daytrip: $165
- including transfer to and from our accommodation
Rainforestation Tour in Kuranda: $23
Green Island Day Trip: $172
Cape Tribulation & Daintree Daytrip: $195
- Includes: Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge, Daintree Rainforest, Daintree River Croc Cruise and lunch at Floraville House in the rainforest!
Chloe & I booked twin-share rooms at all accommodation.
Airlie Beach Magnums (2): $56
Yongala Historic Lodge, Townsville (1): $44
Queens Court, Cairns (4) : $129 – I got an AMAZING deal on Booking.com!
A café breakfast or lunch in Australia will set you back $15 – $24, with dinner at a casual restaurant between $20-$30 plus drinks. A coffee is usually $3.50. As you can see, this would add up really quickly so we didn’t eat out every day!
In Airlie, our accommodation was right next to a Woolworths (supermarket), where we stocked up on food & big bottles of water.
In Cairns, we had a couple of meals out, but we often just went to the Cairns Night Markets to buy fruit cups for breakfast and dinner for only $6. It was really hot, which makes me lose my appetite a bit. The fruit cups were perfect for a bit of energy and were very refreshing! We took lots of snacks and sometimes lunch on our day trips with us, and some tours, like the Cruise Whitsundays day trip and the Cape Tribulation day trip, include a meal.
Normally I like to immerse myself in local food, but as I was travelling within my home state I was happy to go to the supermarket for basics. If you’re from outside of Queensland, you might like to splurge on a dinner at one of the seafood restaurants along the Esplanade one night.
The beauty of travelling in your own country is that a majority of the souvenirs won’t tug at your heartstrings. In fact, I actually bought nothing other than food and drinks on this trip!
There weren’t many opportunities for souvenirs on each of the day trips, but you might find something you like at the Cairns Night Markets or one of the (very overpriced) beachwear shops on Hamilton Island. Not for me!