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Australia Budget Per Month – Questions Answered

Australia budget per month: how much do you need? The Sundays on The Travel Tester are open for all your questions about travelling, working and living in Australia. This week, we’ll have a look at the budget you’ll need for a month of travelling. Previous questions about Australia included how to make the first step to go travelling and the different types of discount cards and hostel membership cards available. We also talked about the question ‘is it safe to travel as a girl alone in Australia?’ and whether it’s a good idea to get a campervan or public transport to travel around. Last week, I gave you the highlights on the East Coast of Australia. Did you get excited already? One of the hardest questions I (most often) get, are about how much money to bring to Australia for a certain amount of time. It’s hard because it’s so dependent on your travel style and the amount of time you spend in Australia, but let me give you a rough idea for an Australia budget per month.  Australia Budget Per Month  


I find it really hard to estimate how much money I need to take with me. I’m planning on visiting Australia for about 3 months. – Eva


Hi Eva, You can travel Australia in lots of different ways. There is a big choice in accommodation: budget hostels, hotels, camp sites or sleeping in a car/campervan. You can self-drive, take an organized tour or travel by bus. Some people go out dining and clubbing every night, others cook themselves and read a book at night. But whatever way you travel, Australia is a country where you want to set yourself a budget. It’s very expensive to travel in, so you really don’t want to overspend too much! I’ve based the following budget on the way I travelled as a backpacker in Australia myself in 2006. Of course with updated (unfortunately, read: doubled) prices. I travelled alone, for 3 months, stayed in hostels and used public transport and a couple of organized tours in the more remote areas.  

Australia Budget Per Month

(Prizes in Australian Dollar and an estimate)


The average price for a budget backpackers hostel is AUS$30 per night (a bit less in low season, around AUS$20-25). Bigger (flashpacker) hostels can go up to about AUS$40 a night. [1 month = AUS$900 | 3 months = AUS$2700]


I travelled the East Coast with the Greyhound Bus, on a Mini Travellers Pass from Sydney to Cairns. This costs around AUS$400 and is valid for 90 days. [1 month = AUS$130 | 3 months = AUS$400]


You will spend around AUS$15 per day on food (B/L/D). Wether you go out or cook yourself, I found that usually you’ll spend about the same. A good tip to save money on food is to have a bigger lunch and a smaller dinner. There are many places offering AUS$5-10 lunches! Cooking with multiple people in the hostel can also bring down the cost on food. [1 month = AUS$450 | 3 months = AUS$1350]


Count on AUS$40-60 for ‘simple activities’, such as visiting the Aquarium, a Wildlife Park, a daytrip to the Blue Mountains, Surf Lesson, Daytrip Snorkelling, etc. I did about 10 of these activities in the 3 months of travel. [1 month = AUS$170 | 3 months = AUS$500 in average ]

Organized Tours

There are a couple of 3 Day tours that you probably you want to do, such as: Fraser Island 4WD Safari, Whitsunday Island Sailing Trip, Kakadu National Park, Uluru/Kata Tjuta Tour. These tours are around AUS$350 in average for the 3 days. Booking multiple tours can give a discount in most cases. [I did all these tours, so that was around AUS$1400 for 3 months] Between Alice Springs – Adelaide, Adelaide – Melbourne and Melbourne – Canberra – Sydney, I travelled with a company called ‘Adventure Tours‘. These tours are quite pricey (a bit more than above tours) , but include accommodation, food, a tour guide, national park fees and most activities. I didn’t included these in this calculation.   Australia Budget Per Month  

Total Costs

Adding all the above costs, I get to a rough AUS$2117 per month (3 months = AUS$6350).  

Extra Costs

Don’t forget to add any additional costs you might make to your Australia budget per month:

  • Flight (around AUS$1500 from Europe)
  • Domestic Flights (around AUS$100 single, I used 2 of them, from Cairns to Darwin and from Darwin to Alice Springs)
  • Backpack, shoes, clothing and other personal travel needs
  • Insurance
  • Souvenirs
  • (Alcoholic) drinks (around AUS$6-8 for a house beer/wine, AUS$4-5 for soft drinks)


Please send me your Australia questions! I’ve visited Australia 3 times, travelled all around the country and lived in Sydney for 2 years, working as a hostel receptionist and Australian Travel Agent. I love to answer any questions you might have.  I’ll do my best to answer to my best and current knowledge, or help you find the right resources to prepare for the trip of your lifetime. I fell in love with Australia, and I know you will too. You can post your questions in the comment section or mail me on thetraveltester@gmail.com

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12 Responses so far.

  1. Ellen says:

    agreed! Very clear breakdown of the prices. I’ve lived here in 2010 and my rent was paid for, but still averaged about 150 a week (not including any other things than food and transportation). Travelling, on a budget nonetheless, I was about 500$ a week as well. The activities and tours are so pricey, but in the end it’s worth it. Wish I’d spent a bit more money on fun things.
    Ellen recently posted…Coastal LifeMy Profile

    • Nienke Krook says:

      Dank je Ellen! Mmm rent paid for, I sometimes dream of that, haha. I definitely learned to spend money on the fun things and not to regret not doing anything when I travelled Australia. Cost me a fortune, but the experiences are priceless and I still think/talk about them almost every day!

  2. Maria says:

    My husband and I are moving to Sydney for 6 months for a post-doctorate position he received at Macquarie U. Since I have no idea if I will be able to find work (though the school has assured me that I will be able to work if I come over with his visa) as of right now we have only one guaranteed income of $2500 AU (without taxes taken out). Alas, it is a very small budget for two people to live off of. In addition, I have no idea what to budget for utilities (electricity/gas/water/internet?), expected travel costs in the city on public transportation (because I have idea where we will be living) or monthly grocery budget (this would be great if you could give me an estimate). I have food allergies to dairy and wheat, so I know some groceries will cost more. Do you have any recommendations of health food stores, utility costs, etc? I’ve lived in London before and it was great; I assume Australia (at least within cities) is more like Europe where you will be able to get around fine with a bike/walking/public transport? Thank you!

  3. Christina Miller says:


    I have a working holiday visa and am leaving in June 2014, I hope to have a couple of months of fun and then look for work, I am travelling from Cairns to Sydney and I wondered what would be the best way to manage my money. Would you just leave your money in the UK account and just take out via the cashpoints over there or am I able to open an aussie account and transfer my money over?? Thanks Christina

    • Nienke Krook says:

      Hey Christina, this depends on your bank in the UK. I used to withdraw with my Dutch bank card from the ATM, large sums at once, as I payed a fee for withdrawing with my bank. Opening a bank account in Australia is fairly easy, you just need your passport and an address (can be hostel) and then transfer. But my home bank charged a large amount of money to transfer internationally, so I stuck with just going to the ATM every now and then while travelling and then hiding little bits of money everywhere :D When I returned to Australia to work, I got an Australian bank account because I was earning Australian dollars then, so that made sense. So I would check the amount of money you have to pay for an international transfer and for withdrawels from the ATM with your bank and see what is more beneficial for you. Hope this answers your question a bit! Have a great trip!

  4. Tim fagan says:


    Hope you can help,

    We are visiting Aus this august for a family reunion and have rented a motorhome for 3 weeks, i have no idea of the cost for the trip, my boys 6, 4, and my wife will be driving from brisbane to melbourne via sydney. The van is paid for, just hope i have enough money to enjoy all ausvhas to offer

    • Nienke Krook says:

      Hi Tim, wouldn’t let the 6 & 4 year old drive, haha, kidding :) With the van you’ve found a great way to explore Australia in 3 weeks and will save lots of money on accommodation. Camping fees can vary a bit, from national parks you could spend around $25 for a family a night (usually not powered and not a lot of facilities), but at the city camp sites it would go up to about $40 and even $80 powered sites at caravan parks such as “BIG4″, still a big save in comparison to family rooms in some hotels. For activities, the prices quoted in this post are a good average (children are usually half of that), although there are a lot of cheaper options, such as local wildlife parks that are a lot cheaper than a city zoo/aquarium and of course there are many outdoor activities like walking and swimming that are free! For food I would definitely think about 15$ per adult, but it might be a bit less if you cook for yourself and can make a bigger portion as you’ll be with four. Maybe $10 a day per person, everything (drinks/snacks) included? It’s a bit of a guess, but perhaps calculate what you spend a week at home as an estimate? Australia is definitely not a cheap country to visit, but with kids there are many activities that can be great to do for a small fee (or none) I suggest having a look at ytravelblog.com, as they are a family of four (2 small kids) and are currently travelling australia! They’ve got plenty of great tips for travelling with kids and keeping to a budget. I wish you all a fantastic holiday and would love to hear how it was!!!

  5. David White says:

    I would love to take my wife to Australia as we have never been there and often wondered about it.
    I am 75 and my wife is 74, but do not know how much it would cost as she would not be able to (rough-it). Like to go for a month! Can anyone suggest the easiest way and costs of hotels etc. especially in Melbourne-Thanks

    • Nienke Krook says:

      Hi David, Australia is a great place to visit and the area about Melbourne is quite comfortable to travel. I would recommend either renting a campervan if you’re confident in driving (companies like apollo/maui have a good selection), or to do bus tours from Melbourne, like with AAT Kings. They offer great day or multiple day tours on their website if you would like to check out prices: http://guidedtours.aatkings.com. In a months’ time, you could easily make a journey to Sydney (+blue mountains), or to Adelaide (+kangaroo island), or even ‘outback’ to alice springs or darwin. If you don’t want to spend much time on the road, domestic flights are a great way to travel between these cities too (jetstar/virgin australia/qantas). Hotels can be quite expensive in Australia, around $100 per night, but there are many options. I would look on sites like expedia, booking.com or wotif for the best deals. I hope this information helps you a bit on your way!

  6. Hannah says:

    I’m travelling Australia for three months from the end of September.
    This breakdown is really handy!!
    We were planning on buying a Greyhound pass. Looking at this bus timetables there are so many stops; now I’m thinking travel from the bus stops to either hostels/national parks etc is going to start adding up as well!?
    Is the Greyhound still going to work out cheaper with this extra travel expense or is it worth lookinginto renting a car/van?
    We are travelling from Cairns to Melbourne.


  7. Hannah says:

    I’m travelling Australia for three months from the end of September.
    This breakdown is really handy!!
    We were planning on getting a Greyhound pass. Looking at the bus timetables there are a lot of stops; which is making me think travel from these bus stops to hostels/National parks etc is going to start adding up as well.
    Do you still think this will be the cheaper way to travel or is it worth looking into renting a car/van?
    We are travelling from Cairns to Melbourne.


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