Are you leaving for Australia soon and looking for some great tips and tricks to save money? After spending two years on the road and living Down Under for more than 13 years, we’ve learned a few things along the way! Take a look at some of our money-saving advice below.
Table of Contents
Save money before you travel
Take out travel insurance for peace of mind
The Covid pandemic showed us that you should always expect the unexpected! For peace of mind on our trip to Australia, it is very much recommended that you take out travel insurance. Whether you’re going over on a Working Holiday Visa, a holiday for a few weeks or studying over here, take advantage of our discounts.
Which travel insurance is best for Australia?
It can be hard to decide which travel insurance provider to go with when you’re heading to Australia. Take a look at some of the best options in our dedicated article.
Save on money transfers
The best way to save money when doing international transfers is to use a company that specialises in money transfers.
Specialised companies like Wise and CurrencyFair offer rates that are much more competitive than those charged by banks. These international companies have accounts in many countries around the world, and in most cases can use their local accounts to send and receive funds. As a result, there are fewer intermediary bank charges so you can make some major savings on each transfer.
Get 5 free transfers with CurrencyFair
Save money on your bank transfers with CurrencyFair through the link below!
Save money on food
Take advantage of supermarket discounts
In all supermarkets, there is a section dedicated to products that are about to go past their expiry dates. These items are sold at bargain prices! You can find discounts on all kinds of products, especially if you do your shopping at the end of the day or on a Sunday afternoon.
Another tip is to compare the prices of pre-packaged products with those sold at the deli. Cheeses and charcuterie are often cheaper by the slice.
In most cities, you can save money on fresh produce by going to the farmers’ market (up to 50% cheaper than supermarkets). They often take place on weekends – you can find out at the local Information Centre or on the town’s website.
Another good way to save on food expenses can be to buy directly from people. You will often see farmers and locals with a small stand on the side of the road where they are selling products they have grown in their gardens. These could be vegetables (carrots, potatoes) or fruit, eggs etc. Next to the stand you will find an “honesty box”. The principle is simple, you buy what you need and you put the money in the box. It works on a system of trust!
Some fast food chains, like McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks, have mobile apps, and downloading them can really pay off!
For McDonalds, when you order from the app, you earn points which add up over time, earning you free products like coffees, burgers etc. You will also have access to offers like 20% off orders over $30. With Hungry Jacks you can also benefit from free products with the app – for example, you can shake your phone when you pass in front of one of their restaurants to try to win a burger, fries etc.
Save money on clothes
Explore second hand shops (op shops)
If you need to renew your wardrobe without breaking the bank, second hand shops, such as Red Cross, Vinnies, and Salvos, offer very good deals (T-Shirts from $2 and kitsch clothes). You can sometimes even find designer items for bargain prices.
You also find dishes, camping accessories, and books, all at low prices.
Visit the big brands
If you want to buy new clothes or you can’t find what you’re looking for in second-hand stores, go to the big brands. Department stores like Kmart, Best & Less and Big W offer clothes at discounted prices. And there’s something for everyone! Whether you are looking for clothes to go to work on the farm, in town or even basics for every day, everything is there! Don’t expect great quality, but the clothes should survive your trip at least.
Search Facebook Marketplace
Remember to check the listings on Facebook Marketplace. Many people offer free or low-cost clothing. There’s something for everyone and it’s a good solution for renewing your wardrobe or having fun at a lower cost.
When you shop at one of the country’s leading hypermarkets (Coles, Woolworth, IGA), you get a voucher for a fuel discount of 4 to 8 cents per litre on your shopping receipt. This offer is valid in participating petrol stations and is equivalent to 2-4$ of savings per fuel tank … Not a bad work and travel tip for Australia!
Save money on travel
Save on renting a van
Renting a motorhome or van in Australia can be quite expensive, but there are some tricks to lower the bill. Since vehicle prices are not fixed, it is possible to find good deals throughout the year. The easiest way is to travel out of season and book well in advance. But there are obviously other little tricks you can read about in our dedicated article below!
Get discounts on petrol in Australia
When you shop in one of the major supermarkets in Australia (Coles, Woolworth, IGA), you will get on your receipt a reduction of 4 to 8c per litre of gas. This offer is valid at partner stations and is equivalent to $2-4 in savings per fill-up…Not too bad!
We also recommend you download the Fuel Map app, which will give you the current prices in the various petrol stations around you. This is another great way to save a few bucks.
Tours and Excursions
Australia is a huge country with no shortage of places to discover! Most of the country’s tourist sites are accessible by road (including national parks). However, some spots require going through an agency to get there. Here is a list of the main places where you can go on excursions with a tour group. Shop around online to get the best deal.
- The Great Barrier Reef
- The Whitsunday Islands
- Fraser Island
- Uluru & Kata Tjuta
- Kakadu & Litchfield National Parks
- Exmouth & Ningaloo Reef
Save money on accommodation
Becoming increasingly common, CouchSurfing is a good way to get free accommodation when you arrive in a new country. It’s also great for meeting people, getting tips from locals, and having a great experience!
The concept is simple, you stay on a host’s sofa, spare bed, or guest room, free of charge! This kind of accommodation is rather intended to be short-term, for 1, 2 or 3 nights, and meals are not provided!
To benefit from this great platform, you just need to become a member of the community by registering at www.couchsurfing.com (it’s free and fast)! You fill out your profile and add information about yourself. You can then search for prospective hosts in the destination area. If a host seems nice to you, all you have to do is send him or her a message and wait for an answer!
Stay in a hostel
Youth hostels or backpacker hostels is often the cheapest option for accommodation in Australia, at least in the big cities. To find a good hostel in Australia and compare prices, we recommend using a price comparison website like Booking.com. This will allow you to find the best rates for your stay.
Save money on work-related expenses
Get a discount on your RSA
If you are planning to work in a bar or restaurant in Australia, you will need to get your RSA (Responsible Service of Alcohol). This certificate proves your competency in the legislation and rules on alcohol consumption. This certificate is obligatory if you want to work in any Australian establishment licensed to serve alcohol.
Save money on your RSA
Get a discount on your RSA with Australia Backpackers Guide!
Get a discount on your White Card
For those who have experience in the construction industry, there are many job opportunities in Australia. Construction jobs in Australia are also very well paid! However, you have to pass a short exam in to get your White Card. Having the White Card proves that you know the safety rules on a construction site, the right actions in the event of an incident, etc. You can take the test online or in person.
Get a discount on your White Card course
Take a look at our great offers to save you money on getting your White Card.
Wwoofing in Australia
Wwoofing in Australia is a good way to meet locals, speak English, and save money. This platform allows travellers to work for locals in exchange for free accommodation and food. To get started, go to their website, sign up and create a profile. You will then have access to all the hosts across Australia.
HelpX in Australia
HelpX is also a very popular platform for backpackers in Australia. The concept is basically the same as Wwoofing, except that everything is done online. The advantage is that you can read reviews and the comments of other travellers on different hosts.
Read more: Volunteering Australia: Wwoofing and HelpX
Fruit Picking in Australia
To find a job you can go directly to the farms and ask them if they need staff. However, this approach can take a lot of time and the petrol bill quickly adds up (that’s if you even have a car/van!). Otherwise, you can use the 500 farm contacts we have listed in the free Backpackers Guide. You can also try to find ads on the Internet, but you will notice that they are usually gone very quickly and there are a lot of scams! Some hostels also offer to find work for their guests, but you have to be patient.
Read more: Fruit Picking Map Australia: Harvest Jobs
Money saving ideas by city
Save money in Sydney
Get all the best deals in Sydney with our articles on Sydney travel tips and deals.
Save money in Melbourne
Save money in Melbourne with our article on Melbourne travel tips and deals.
Save money in Perth
Save money in Perth with our article on Perth travel tips.