The cost of travelling Australia

It’s so great to be home. The beach, our family, the natural beauty of Australia – it’s perfect to be back in our native land.

But it comes at a cost. Australia is the fourth most expensive country in the world and as we’ve said before, it’s a lot cheaper for us to travel than it is to live here.

Even if we are staying with my parents, we’re still paying for food and entertainment, plus petrol to drive in my mum’s car – and all those expenses add up.

Port Arthur ferry Double-Barrelled Travel

Me and Dave in Port Arthur, Australia

Holidaying throughout Australia

The past two weeks we’ve been driving around Tasmania with my mum and dad. It’s been a wonderful break – Tasmania is a great place to go if you like hiking and eating, and because those are our two favourite things, it was the perfect haven for us.

Not to mention it’s spectacularly beautiful.

Home to Wineglass Bay, voted one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world, Tasmania’s landscapes are something else. We hiked up mountains and across beaches, getting as close to nature as we could over the two weeks we were there.

Tasmania also has a lot of what our own home state of Western Australia doesn’t have so much – a rich convict history. We spent a day out exploring Port Arthur, one of the original Australian convict settlements, and we were fascinated about the history of the place.

Even though many of the convicts spent much of their lives in chains at Port Arthur, they still had a longer life expectancy than the freemen back home in the UK because there wasn’t as much pollution and they were guaranteed three meals a day.

And another of the highlights from Tasmania was the food – it was some of the best we’ve ever eaten. I’m not sure what it is, perhaps the cold climate, but the food in Tasmania is some of the freshest and most delicious we’ve ever had. And the oysters! I think we ate them every day, and at $8 a dozen, who could blame us.

I wasn’t even a fan of oysters when we left… but eating them freshly shucked soon changed that idea!

Remarkable Cave Tasmania Double-Barrelled Travel

Remarkable Cave in Tasmania sure was remarkable!

The cost of travelling Australia

Unfortunately, an Australian holiday doesn’t come cheap. We were paying around $300 a night (between the four of us) in most places, and over New Year’s Eve in Hobart we spent a small fortune on accommodation – and it was the cheapest we could find there for that time of year!

We’re now in Melbourne, and before that we were in Sydney, and are luckily staying in friends, so we don’t have accommodation costs to deal with – only the price of food and going out, which we easily spend around $150 – $200 a day on (!)

We’re not exactly looking for budget eats, I must admit, but this cost is mostly spent on meals. We’d easily spend $50 on brunch and $80 on dinner.

And then just to catch the bus in Sydney would cost you around $4!

After Mexico, where we’d pay about $2 for a coffee, the $5 Australian flat whites have been a bit of unpleasant surprise. But the coffee in Australia is the best in the world so somehow we manage to justify the larger coffee fund day in and day out…

Tasman Island boat Tasmania Double-Barrelled Travel

Dave on the Tasman Island boat tour – blog post to come!

Budget for an Aussie trip

Just to give all our foreign readers an idea, I’ve drafted up a list of average costs for you. This is by no means 100% accurate, it’s just based on my recent experience.

Coffee – $4

Lunch in a mid-range restaurant – $20 / $30

Hotel room (3 stars) – $150 / $200

Dorm room – $30

Car hire – $70 – $100 a day

Cinema ticket – $15 – $20

Bus ticket – $3 – $4

Best of Sydney Double-Barrelled Travel

Enjoying Sydney

No friendly visits to Australia

People have been asking whether some of the buddies we made during our travels are coming to visit us while we’re in Australia. And I say probably not… they are more likely to visit us in South East Asia next year, where it’s a lot cheaper to do so.

Even if the flights are more expensive to get to Asia, once you’re there the cost of living is so low that it makes for a very affordable holiday.

Sydney Harbour Double-Barrelled Travel

Did I mention I enjoyed Sydney?

A very expensive country to visit

When we had our wedding in Perth nearly three years ago, my French family came across the world to celebrate the day with us.

Shortly before, we picked my host sister and her partner up from their hotel in the morning for a day trip. “I’m hungry!” my host sister exclaimed when we got in the car. I asked her why she didn’t have breakfast at the hotel beforehand. “Because it was $35 for the buffet, even if you were staying there!”

With these extortionate prices, you certainly have to wonder sometimes whether the number of tourists visiting Australia is steadily declining as more and more foreigners are put off by the high prices.

Needless to say, we’re only halfway through January and we’re already over our budget…

Would the price of travelling in Australia put you off visiting?

Travel budget in December (AUS dollars)
Public transport (buses and taxis) $176.96
Accommodation $614.75
Eating out $571.98
Groceries $278.27
Alcohol $259.95
Tips $27.23
Toiletries $27.75
Toilets $1.18
Gas $97.97
Other* $1906.65
Flights $3659.24
Total without flights $3962.69
Total with flights $7621.93

Other*: Entry to a lot of museums in Mexico City, a few souvenirs, Christmas presents, Christmas decorations, costume hire for my dad’s 60th, new backpacks (yay!), beauty treatments, makeup, books and some new clothes. Phew! A lot of money this month!



About the author

Carmen has been nomadic since May 2013 and the co-founder of Double-Barrelled Travel. She loves experiencing new cultures and learning new languages. She is having the most fun when skiing down a mountain, scuba diving in the Caribbean or curled up with a good book.

5 comments on “The cost of travelling Australia”

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