Trip Planning - 11 min read

Australia Trip Cost: Pricing for Flights, Food & Accommodation

Amanda Ryan

Amanda Ryan, Updated October 10, 2022

Australia is famous for tropical beaches, wide-country spaces, Aboriginal culture, and lush rainforests. The country has so many beaches that it will take 27 years to visit, one per day. However, you’d want to know what a visit will cost you before you visit. 

A one-week vacation in Australia costs an average of $2579 per person, including $1200 for your return flight. A solo traveler will spend an average of $197 per day on expenses. This average cost includes food, accommodation, local transportation, and other activities throughout your stay in Australia. 

Australia is large and expensive, but it offers visitors much value. The rest of the article will provide a detailed breakdown of travel costs. Read on also to find tips on how to save money vacationing in Australia.

How Much Money Should You Take For A 7-Day Trip to Australia?

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Accommodation, food and drinks, and tours are the big spenders after flight tickets. A reasonable amount of money you need to take on a 7-day trip to Australia is around $2,579-$3,000

This average amount should cover your round trip and afford you mid-range accommodation. Mixing up your eating styles by eating out a few nights and cooking some meals yourself is also more affordable. 

Tours are expensive in Australia, and the least amount you can spend is $92.81 for the barrier reef snorkel tour. Budget spenders can always opt for other sightseeing activities such as a $15 surfing museum, a $65 surf lesson, and a $23 Sydney tower visit.

Intercity travel alone can be as expensive as $150. However, you can save by focusing on one city at a time. You can take advantage of some free activities like visiting the beach, the Sydney opera house, and botanical gardens.

Traveling To Australia On A Budget

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You can take a 7-day trip to Australia on a budget of $1050, but this comes with several lifestyle changes. If you can soldier through the inconveniences of taking standby flights, you can get a round trip to Australia for around $621.

Take advantage of Australia’s dense network of campgrounds for lodging. There are free campsites all over Australia, and most of them are budget friendly. These camps have basic facilities and are mostly located in areas with relatively low costs of living.  

Pick campsites in central locations so you can easily walk to the beaches. If traveling with friends, you can rent a campervan for between $100-$200 per day to visit more scenic locations. 

Related Read: Best Time to Visit Australia

Basic Expenses On A Vacation To Australia

Before packing your bags for an Australia trip, creating a detailed budget for everything you’ll need to spend on your trip is crucial. To enable you to create an accurate budget, here’s an item-by-item breakdown of everything constituting the total cost of your Australia trip.  

1. Flight Tickets

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Flight tickets are one of the most significant expenses on your journey, taking away a substantial chunk of your budget. The price of flight tickets may vary depending on several factors, such as the peak season, the day of the flight, and booking in advance.

The average cost of a round trip to Australia is $1200. However, this cost increases to $2100-$2900 from late December to January and decreases to $1100-$1200 from late August to early September. Collected data shows that Tuesdays are the cheapest days to fly to your destination and back.

Many travelers found that booking their flights at least 60 days before departure is cheaper than booking within 72 hours. Australian flight tickets are expensive because of the limited number of airlines and the lack of competition.

2. Accommodation

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Accommodation is right on the heels of your flight tickets, also contributing significantly to your travel costs. Australia has a range of accommodation styles, such as hostels, hotels, Airbnbs, and vacation rentals.

Hostels are mainly found on the East Coast and include several options for different budgets. There are 12- bed shared dorms that cost between $25-$50 or ensuite rooms and private rooms for a slightly higher budget.

Hotels also offer different styles for different budgets. From the real-life experiences of many travelers, the average cost of a 1-star hotel is $50. 2-star- 5-star hotels cost $70, $80, $120, and $240, respectively.

Airbnb and vacation rentals offer a unique and comfortable option. They cost hundreds of dollars, from $100 to $1000 above. Although this is the most expensive option, they typically offer top-notch facilities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.

The prices of accommodation fluctuate with the city, length of stay, and season of visits, such as Christmas or New year. You can always cut the overall cost of accommodation by not ordering your meals from your hotel. 

Related Read: Does it Snow in Australia?

3. Food

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As usual, food in Australia serves every budget, but the cost of a single meal will depend on your eating style. For example, eating out in some restaurants can be more expensive than cooking, and fine dining is usually more expensive than fast/street food.

Breakfast is cheaper than lunch and dinner, and some restaurants offer meal deals and discounts. The average breakfast cost is $20, while the main meal has a mid-range of $25-35 or an upper range of $35-$45. On the other hand, a MacDonald’s meal costs just about $5-$7.

Alcohol is costly in Australia because the government heavily taxes alcoholic drinks. The average beer cost in a bar is $5-$8, a glass of wine is $10 above, and cocktails cost $15. However, you can buy a box of Goon at $10-$15 if you don’t mind cheap boxed wine.

4. Transportation

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Australia is a country and a continent that is considered the most significant island and sixth largest country on earth. Its large cities and structures mean that it has several tourist attractions and beautiful sightseeing locations.

Taxis are more expensive than public transportation, and car rentals are also available. Here are all the options available to you and what you can expect to pay for each. 

  • Taxi: Transportation is cheaper in smaller cities like Melbourne and expensive in bigger cities like Sydney. The average cost of a 20-minute taxi ride is $21.20 in Melbourne and $27.70 in Sydney. The waiting time is $34.00 in Melbourne and $56.68 in Sydney.
  • Public Transportation: Although public transportation is cheaper than taxis and car rentals, the fares are still pretty expensive. Australia is the second country in the world with the highest public transit at $104.52 per month. A single bus fare in Sydney is around $1.39-$2.99.
  • Trains: The Ghan and Indian Pacific provide train services between Australian cities. The Ghan travels between Adelaide and Darwin, while the Indian Pacific travels between Sydney and Perth. The average single train fare is between $2.32-$5.76.
  • Ferries: Several ferries connect locations along Sydney harbor, Swan River in Perth, and Brisbane River. The single average fare of a ferry is between $3.98-$4.97
  • Greyhound Buses: The most popular transportation network covering the East Coast, Red center, Northern Territory, and parts of the West Coast. This bus network offers unlimited travel for up to 30-90 days within a limited time frame. The average bus fare for a 7-day vacation is around $199.
  • Car Rentals Services: Renting a car will enable you to explore the many attractions and avoid the limitations of other means of transportation. The average cost of car rentals is $35 per day and depends on the location, the type of car, and your booking four weeks in advance. Since the requirements are not uniform in all areas, remember to make inquiries.
  • Travel Insurance: Travel insurance when going overseas is as essential as breathing. In the event of an accident or getting robbed, you will prevent yourself from significant financial loss with travel insurance. There’s no fixed price; therefore, compare quotes from different agencies to get the best price.

Related Read: 25 Fun Things to Do on a Long Flight

5. Tours

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Australia has an extensive network of tourist attractions that are impossible to avoid. Some favorite big-name travel spots include the Sydney harbor bridge, the Great Barrier reef, dolphin kayaking, etc.

Taking tours around the big-name travel spots can get pretty expensive, costing several hundred dollars per tour. The following list will give an idea of how costly these tours can be.

  • A tour of the Sydney harbor bridge costs $243.95
  • A snorkeling tour at the great barrier reef costs $92.81
  • Fraser Island 4×4 tour costs $310.91 
  • The Budget open dive boat costs $460.73

Tips To Save Money On Your Australia Trip

Australia is a tourist haven with its beaches, deserts, and rainforests. It is a vast land so large it has three times more sheep than people, which makes it expensive.

However, visiting Australia doesn’t have to be as costly as you think, especially when you know what costs to avoid and what costs not to. Here’s a brief review of some money-saving tips to help you save money on your next trip to Australia.

1. Travel Off-Peak Season

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You will save a lot of money when you plan your trip away from Australia’s peak season. Australia is not a summer destination because there’s competition for flights and accommodation, which makes the rates go high. 

Fall (March to May) and winter (June to August) are the best time to visit Australia. During this period, flights are cheaper, and hotels offer the lowest price on accommodation, especially in June. Even with the snow in some areas, you will still enjoy Australia’s vast deserts, waterfalls, and beautiful beaches.

Related Read: Best Time To Visit Indonesia

2. Take Self-Guided Tours

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There are free attractions like the botanical gardens, the Sydney opera house, and the beaches. Australia is also easy to navigate, with car rentals to the Northern Territory Outbacks for as low as $25. While there, visit Katherine to see interesting sights like the Jatbula trail, limestone cutta cutta caves, and hot springs.

The Gippsland lakes are over 600 square kilometers of lakes, lagoons, and marshes with exotic bird species, koalas, and dolphins. Swimming and fishing at Agnes Falls, Toorongo, and Amphitheater Falls are great tourist activities. Hutt lagoon is a stunning lagoon that changes colors from soft pink to lilac and sometimes red.

You can also rent a car for $52 a month to visit Fraser Island, the largest sand island. Or you can drive down from Cairns to the lush Daintree rainforests for $35 a month. There are several more tourist attractions, and all you need to do is look out for deals on car rentals.

3. Try Walking

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Australia has many well-maintained footpaths along coastal cliffs, urban laneways, and parklands you explore. Some of the world’s longest tracks and trails are in Australia.

Tasmania is a world heritage-listed wilderness; you can explore the overlands there. Or you can explore the Northern Territory through the Larapinta trail across the West MacDonnell ranges.

4. Cook Your Meals

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Food prices in Australia take out the bulk of your money. Cooking your meals will save you a great deal of cash, especially when you stay in hostels. 

Go shopping at supermarkets to get the best deals out of your shopping. The best time to shop is at the end of the day when supermarkets offer up to 50% discounts, especially on fresh products. Local markets also offer good product deals towards the end of the day.

Sydney, Melbourne, and Hobart organize “giving away food” events cooked from unsold products at supermarkets. You can attend these events to get a free meal.

5. Book Your Flight in Advance

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No matter your destination, booking your flight 1-3 months from your journey is a great way to save money. When making travel arrangements, remember that traveling midweek to Saturday is usually cheaper than Sunday to Mondays. 

Always remember to change your browser to incognito when booking your flight. Websites use cookies that can tell you just checked flight prices, increasing costs. Finally, book accommodation, tours, and other services in advance to ensure you get cheaper deals. 

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