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Cost of travel in Australia in 2024

Cost of travel in Australia in 2024

Australia, known for its stunning landscapes, vibrant cities, and unique wildlife, continues to be a dream destination for travelers worldwide. However, understanding the cost of travel in 2024 is essential for planning your trip efficiently. This article will break down the various expenses you can expect while traveling in Australia, including accommodation, transportation, food, activities, and more.

Budget before coming to Australia

Plane ticket

Airfare will undoubtedly be one of the biggest expenses before you leave. Tickets prices change constantly during the year. Thus, there are 3 main periods:

  • October to February (spring/summer & Australian holidays): ≤ £1200 return (including 1 stopover, good airline and 24h travel time)
  • March to June (winter): ≤ £900 return (including 1 stopover, very good airline and 24 hours travel time)
  • July to September (winter/autumn & European holidays): ≤ £1100 return (including 1 stopover, good airline and 26h travel time)

Of course, you can find cheaper options if you decide to have a few more stopovers.

Passport and Driver’s licence

To travel outside the European Union, you need a passport. To obtain or renew it, it is necessary to make a request to your town hall with supporting documents. The cost of a passport (1st request or renewal) is £75.50 if you apply for it online in the UK. The application is more expensive if you apply by paper form (£85).

If you already have one, make sure it is valid for at least as long as the duration of your stay.

If your driver’s licence is not in English then you will need to obtain an international licence. The process is free in general but quite lengthy so be sure to make the request well in advance. You can also use a NAATI translator to get your licence translated.


To enter Australia, you will need a valid visa. Here is a list of your visa options for a trip to Australia :

  • Tourist Visa (for 3 to 12 months) (eVisitor Visa Subclass 651 / Visitor Visa Subclass 600) : Free or $145 depending on the visa.
  • WHV (for 1 year) (Working Holiday Visa / Subclass 417 & 462) : $650 (can be renewed under conditions)

⚠️ Make sure you apply for a visa from the official government website.

Health Insurance

It is important to take out travel insurance in case your credit card or insurance company does not cover costs abroad. Without insurance you risk exposing yourself to the true cost of treatment outside the European zone.

Depending on the length of your stay and your trip (tourist, WHV) you will need to get the proper cover for your stay in Australia.

These insurances will cover you in the event of an accident or infectious disease. Your hospital costs, repatriation costs, accidents during the practice of certain sports (to be checked with the company), or your civil liability will be covered.

Note that some countries have reciprocal health agreement with Australia. Therefore nationals from those countries will benefit from Medicare in Australia (national healthcare system). Make sure to check this point before buying a cover.

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Cost of living in Australia

Housing / Accommodation

Depending on your preferences, housing can be one of the most affordable or most expensive expenses. Here are your options:

  • Campgrounds: If you are lucky enough to be able to drop anchor in a free camp, then take advantage of it! That’s what adventure is all about, living in the great outdoors in picturesque areas! You also have the possibility to pay for a caravan park which will allow you to enjoy at least hot showers, a laundry and a kitchen corner (about 20$/night and 70$/week).
  • In your vehicle : You will have to find an authorized place to spend the night.
  • Youth hostels: depending on the city and the period you book, rates can vary from $40/night (dormitory of 10) to $60/night on weekends. In general, a week varies between $120 and $250.
  • Wwoofing & HelpX: Great alternatives for those looking to live with locals, with free food, laundry and accommodation in exchange for a few hours of work per week.
  • Housesitting: allows you to stay in someone’s home while they are away, taking care of their property and pets. It’s a popular way for travelers to save on accommodation costs while exploring different parts of the country.
  • Airbnb: For an entire home/apartment count around AUD 150 – AUD 350 per night. Price will wary based on location and size. For a private room, it will be cheaper (AUD 80 – AUD 150 per night). Staying with hosts, often includes local tips.
  • Flat rental: Who wouldn’t dream of a flat overlooking the beach? With a deposit of between $200 and $1000 (depending on the owner), you can expect to pay approximately $350/week in rent (with roommates) to fully enjoy your holiday!
  • Hotels: Of course you also have the option of spending your nights in hotels. Budget will vary between 120$ and well up to you… depending on your preferences.

Food and Dining costs


Hello TimTam, canned food, pasta and wraps! Anything that can be kept for a long time and in all kinds of heat (well, almost). Because on a road trip, every day is a new opportunity, a new destination, so we might as well take care of what we buy:

  • Weekly Cost: minimum AUD 70 per person. Shopping at supermarkets like Coles or Woolworths.
  • Budget Shopping: minimum AUD 50 per person. Buying in bulk and choosing local markets.
  • The gourmet budget: for those who love good food, if you wish to garnish your dishes, a minimum of 100$/week should be considered to maintain your ‘joie de vivre’ Down Under.

Eating Out

  • Fast Food: AUD 15 – AUD 25 per meal. Quick and cheap options like McDonald’s or local chains.
  • Casual Dining: AUD 35 – AUD 50 per meal. Cafes, pubs, and mid-range restaurants.
  • Fine Dining: AUD 65 – AUD 150 per meal. High-end restaurants with gourmet cuisine.

Transportation costs

Australia is a much larger continent than Europe. This means that you need to plan ahead and find the most suitable means of transport. So, here are some ideas to travel through this fabulous country:

Lifts (or carpooling)

This is an almost free way of getting around, where you contribute to the fuel costs and meet many backpackers! Recommended for those thirsty for adventure. To do this, a quick look at the Facebook groups in Australia is welcome


The network is extensive and efficient but often at the same price as the plane and the train. The two main companies are Greyhound and Premier Motor Service. For those who would mainly choose this means of transport, a Greyhound package is worth considering. In addition, here is an order of prices according to the destinations:

Route / CompanyPremier Motor
Greyhound (Advantage)
Melbourne – Canberra85 $
Agnès Water – Byron Bay95 $180 $
Sydney – Melbourne120 $
Sydney – Brisbane100 $170 $
Coober Pedy – Adélaïde180 $
Sydney – Cairns300 $510 $


In general, the journey time is several hours longer and the fare is the same as that of a bus or plane. That said, it is still much more comfortable for long journeys. And there are some iconic and famous train journeys in Australia like The Indian Pacific (Sydney to Perth), The Ghan (Adelaide to Darwin) or The Overland (from Melbourne to Adelaide).

Motorbike & private vehicle

One of the best adventures you can have is a motorbike trip, but it does have a few drawbacks (exposure to the weather, minimal luggage). This is why a car remains a great option! Whether you have a 4WD, a campervan or a classic car, the road is waiting for you!

Renting a vehicle

Renting a vehicle is probably the most popular way to travel Australia. Car hire generally costs around $30 per day. For a campervan rental, you can expect to pay around $1000 for 10 days. Rates vary depending on the season and the model / equipment of the vehicle etc.

Cheap campervan hire

Find the best deals on Motorhome Republic to rent a cheap van.

By plane

Fast and affordable, it allows you to get from one end of the country to the other in a short time. So, we invite you to take a look at airline platforms such as Skycanner, to find the best flight. To get an idea, count approximately: (return ticket)

Sydney – Melbourne: $100
Melbourne – Cairns: $300
Sydney – Perth: $400
Melbourne – Alice Spring: $500
Perth – Darwin: $400

Fuel costs

  • Average Price: $1.85 – $2.20 per liter. Prices vary by region and distance from major cities.

Activities and entertainment costs

Many activities are free in Australia. Go to the beach, surf, visit cultural centres, explore the streets, markets of cities, or even climb a mountain and discover a waterfall. There are many ways to explore the country and do activities for free or a small fee. But to give you a rough idea about costs here:

  • Popular Sites: $20 – $50 entry fee. Examples include Sydney Opera House tours, and Melbourne Aquarium.
  • National Parks: $11 to $25 entry fee per vehicle. Fees for entry and camping.

Budget for a road trip in Australia

You want to go on a road trip, and if you have the ability, arrive with the maximum of funds in the Australia! The most important thing about a road trip is your vehicle. So how much does it cost? What should you plan for? First of all, if you want to travel to isolated places, prefer a 4WD rather than a campervan. Il will allow you to access every corner of Australia. The budget for a vehicle will depend on many things, such as the period of purchase, the vehicle you pick, the city where you purchase, its general state etc. Another option is to rent a vehicle for your road trip, it will give you the option to pick it up somewhere and drop it off in another city. It is also a great option if you are only looking for a short road trip in Australia (East coast or West coast for example).

Budget touring in Australia

How about sailing on the Whitsunday Islands? Or skydiving? Of course, depending on what you want and where you are, the prices will differ. Nevertheless, here are some options of tours in Australia and their costs:

  • Fraser Island 3 nights & Skydiving: $600
  • Seaplane flight: $250
  • Whitsunday 1 day & scuba diving: $230.
  • To sumarize:
    Day Tours: Minimum $120 but can go up to $250. Guided tours to places like the Great Barrier Reef or Blue Mountains.
  • Multi-Day Tours: minimum $550 up to $1,500 (or more!). Includes accommodation, meals, and activities.

Budget for a WHV in Australia

Here is an estimate for a WHV when traveling on the roads. Expenses will be as follow:

  • Purchase of a vehicle: $5000 (at least)
  • Fuel: $150/week
  • Food: $60/week
  • WHV Cost: 650$
  • Health Insurance: $400 per year
  • Tour: $500 to $1000
  • Activities (restaurants, bars, parties…): $150/week
  • Plane tickets not counted

So count approximately $20 000 per year (can be higher or lower depending on your life style, activities etc).

Budget for holidaying in Australia

For the lucky ones who are travelling in Australia for 3 weeks just to enjoy the country, here is an idea of the budget to plan:

  • Vehicle rental: $100/day
  • Fuel: $120/week (depending on kms)
  • Tourist visa: $0
  • Travel Insurance: $200
  • Tours : minimum $1000
  • Food & Activities (restaurants, clubs, pubs …): $500/week
  • Plane tickets A/R – $2500

Traveling in Australia in 2024 can be as affordable or luxurious as you choose. By planning ahead, understanding the typical costs, and making smart choices, you can enjoy all that this stunning country has to offer without breaking the bank. Whether you’re exploring the outback, lounging on pristine beaches, or diving into vibrant city life, Australia promises an unforgettable adventure.

See you soon on the roads!

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Australia Backpackers Guide
The ultimate guide to work and travel around Australia with a Working Holiday Visa! Get all the tips and advice from other backpackers. The first travel guide written by Backpackers for Backpackers in Australia!!!


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