In Australia/ budgeting

Australian budget- How much does it cost to travel Australia?

View from Fraser island with white sand and crystal clear water

Australia is always referred as expensive country, but how expensive exactly? In this Australian budget I’ll go trough each category on how much I spent travelling around Australia. I’ve always found these helpful when planning my future trips, so I’ll hope this helps people planning on travelling to Australia to determine their required Australian budget.


The budget greatly differs between people based on what they prefer to spend their money on. Main expensive aspects for Australian budget are:

  1. Accommodation
  2. Food
  3. Activities
  4. Transport

I am spending most of my budget in different activities because that’s what I value most. During this trip I skimped on hotel costs and food costs by staying in hostels, where you can cook your own food to save money. Dorm rooms help to save money, but it’s not what many people picture as setting, sleeping alongside 3-10 different random people, trying to ignore snoring. And prepare to sleep in top bunks, lower beds are always taken. Probably in the future I’ll avoid sleeping in dorm rooms.


Australian budget part 1: Accommodation

Amount spent: 889 AUD

Amount of days: 35 days where 27 days had accommodation

Average per day: 32 AUD/day


So in a months time span I spent 889 AUD for accommodation. Majority of the accommodation were in shared dorm rooms in hostels. Only a couple of nights were in private room in hostel (private room prices were divided by two, I stayed with my boyfriend. This is a budget for one person). Most of my rooms I booked trough hostelworld and I prefer it over because there are more reviews.

Different hostels I stayed at:

The Northern Greenhouse

Airlie Waterfront backpackers

Sleeping Inn backpackers, Surfers paradise

Big bird backpackers, Brisbane



Private room:

Flinders backpackers, Melbourne

Byron beach resort

Some AirBnB accommodations also


Note: there are some missing because I could remember where I stayed at


All in all, this rounds up to a fairly low amount spent per day. Shared dorm rooms are most definitely cheapest way to travel Australia, but especially when travelling with a partner or friends 10 dollars more per person will provide private room.  From all the dorm rooms I stayed at, majority of them were not pleasant, but did the job for providing a bed to sleep in. If I had to choose one hostel as my favorite, it would be The Northern greenhouse. Rooms were kept really clean and private fridges in each room was a added bonus from me. From private rooms, Byron beach resort was really nice, located by the beach and providing lifts to Byron Bay center every 30 minutes or so.


Australian budget part 2: Activities

Fraser Island: 549 AUD

Sailing Whitsundays : 579 AUD

PADI open water course: 528 AUD

Daintree rainforest tour: 160 AUD

Gold coast boat trip: 15 AUD

= 1831 AUD

Majority of my budget in Australia was spent on activities. These were the main reason I wanted to come to Australia, so I didn’t cut back on those at all. I did everything I wanted without looking at the prices. Possible places to skimp for you would be Fraser island tour and Whitsundays sailing, those can be done more cheaply because I got led on by sales agent, I wrote on my experiences in this article. Also, the PADI open water course was expensive but that is not something everyone is interested in doing. Instead, go with one day snorkeling/diving tour to cut back on costs.

Australian budget part 3: Food

Amount spent: 772 AUD

Amount of days: 35 days

Average per day: 22 AUD


In this category, I spent more than what I budgeted for myself. My goal was to spend 15 AUD/day, so I ended up spending 7 Australian dollars more per day that I expected. Alcohol is included to this category, so it inflates the prices up little bit but I’m not a big drinker. For the whole month, I went to a nicer restaurant onceso that is not why I spent more than expected. I feel that just general food costs in Australia were more than what I expected. This comes from a viewpoint of someone who lives in Finland, which is probably one of the most expensive places to live in due to high taxes. So I would say that Australia was more expensive than Finland.



Australian budget part 4: Transport

Greyhound bus ticket: 415 AUD

Buses (airport transport, buses, bus cards..): 63.2 dollars

Car rental: 40 AUD (per person, the price for one day was 80 AUD)

Uber: 5.75 AUD (per person, divided between 4 people)

Flights: 130.66 (from Melbourne to Cairns, with check-in bag)

TOTAL: 654.61 AUD


The majority of this category is greyhound ticket, which covered majority of mt travels across Australia. There are some cheaper greyhound bus ticket options too, but my route traveled all the way down to Byron bay and then coming back up to Brisbane for a flight, so my ticket was more expensive that way. Good way to cut costs could be only travelling to one direction or only travelling to Brisbane with bus ticket.


In conclusion

Total amount of money spent: 4146 AUD


Take note that I did the whole east coast and all possible activities in one month. So all most expensive things to do in Australia was done in the time span of one month.


Majority of the budget was spent on activities. My most expensive activity was Whitsundays, and that can be done with less money. The key thing is to ask different prices from different agencies and compare costs. Also, if you are on a tighter budget, skip the PADI course and do it in Thailand, which is one of the most cheapest place to do it. What I would not skip is Fraser and Whitsundays. Fraser can also be done cheaper by doing self-arranged tour or negotiating the price better.


I hope this helps people who are planning to go to Australia and are wondering on how much it costs on a trip that is budget-conscious, but also enjoying life and doing other things than staying in hostels by day and partying by night.


Australian budget logo


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