Australia has a bit of a reputation for being an expensive place to travel and it is definitely a lot more costly than spots like Thailand or Indonesia. Even so, it’s an amazing place to travel around and the perfect place to top up your travel funds with a working holiday visa. Since budgeting in Australia is one of the things we get asked most about, we thought we’d put together a mini cost breakdown so you have an idea of how much to budget for your time down under.
If you’re heading down under for a few weeks or a year, accommodation is going to be the cost you encounter the most. For opting for hostels, you’ll need to budget around $20-40AUD dollars per night for a dorm room, with privates being more around the $80-200AUD mark per night. Keep in mind, prices vary from season to season and peak times (like Xmas and New Year) can see beds jump to $50AUD+ per night. If you’re planning on staying for a few months in one place then, renting a room in a shared house is the way to go, although it’s comparable to a week in a hostel dorm, you’ll get a private room and be sharing the facilities with heaps less people!
There are a few ways to get around Australia and it’s something we’ve previously chatted about in this blog post. For most people, the Greyhound Bus network is the most cost effective, with a hop-on-hop-off pass from Sydney to Cairns, starting from just $265AUD. Campervan rental is also a great way to get around and you can expect to pay $20AUD + per day for a camper with a group. Just keep in mind, you’ll have fuel and insurance on top.
Buying food in Australia can either be incredibly cheap or super expensive, it all depends on how you budget your trip. The cheapest way to live in Australia is to cook for yourself and shop at either local fruit and vegetable markets or larger grocery stores such as Aldi, Coles or Woolworths. Aldi is usually the cheapest all-round option and you can find most essentials here for cheaper than most supermarkets. If you are staying in hostels on your trip we recommend cooking group meals and sharing the cost with friends as that can lower the cost further. You can expect to eat nutritious meals and still only spend around $10-$15 per day if you cook yourself. Some hostel even include free brekkie in the morning such as toast & cereal which can save a few extra bucks along the way.
Australia can get expensive when eating out, a normal bar/pub meal can be anywhere between $15-$30 for a lunch or dinner, some breakfast places will charge around $10-$20 for a small meal. If you get into the habit of eating out everyday then food can get really expensive so we recommend a mixture of cooking and the occasional treat of eating out. If you really want a quick bite to eat on a budget then there are still some cheap fast food options such as Domino’s pizza for $5 or Subway Sandwiches for under $10.
One thing to note is that on almost all Happy Travels tours that are either full day or overnight you will usually be provided food. Most full day tours will include a lunch & a snack and most overnight tours such as Fraser Island and Whitsundays Island tours will include breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Tours & Activities
When it comes to budgeting your tours and activities we recommend one thing. ‘Know before you go’. We highly recommend planning out your bucket list activities and tours in advance. The reason we suggest this is because you can accurately calculate and budget how much money you will need for any additional costs as well as knowing you have accommodation & some meals already paid for in advance. This way, you won’t overspend and arrive at your next destination without enough money to do that one thing you really wanted to do.