Everything You Need To Know About Backpacking In Australia Costs

Are you wondering how much backpacking in Australia costs? It’s known for being one of the most expensive backpacking countries in the world and Australia is far from being a cheap place to visit.

Luckily Backpacker Job Board have helped us out in this guest post to tell you how much to expect to pay for your Australia trip.

If you’re looking for cheap flights to Australia, you can get them here. And of course, don’t forget to get insurance from World Nomads right here.

How much will a backpacking to Australia trip cost?

For a complete working holiday experience, where you get to enjoy all the backpacking bells and whistles, we reckon travelling Australia on a budget will cost AU$2,616 per month, or AU$31,390 for the year. Just check out this budget calculator so you can calculate your own costs.

See it like this… that monthly budget is about the same as 11,891 Tim Tams, 748 jars of Vegemite or 625 cans of Victoria Bitter – but you don’t have to blow your whole budget on these Aussie favourites.

That budget might sound like a lot, and unless you’re a Bill Gates type, it kind of is. But it’s important to set these figures in a bit of context.

The cost of living in Australia

As a first world country, that is almost as remote as you can get, things in Australia may cost a little more than you’re used to. Here are some cost of living in Australia examples:

Item Cost (in AU$)
A litre of milk $2
A loaf of bread $3
A pint of beer $12
A bottle of wine (from the bottle store) $12
A 14 minute, 4km Uber ride $14
A movie ticket $15-20
A restaurant meal $20-30
A hostel dorm bed $20-$40
SIM Card w/ ~5GB of data and talk/text $40/month
A flight from Melbourne to Sydney $150
A 3 day organised tour $400-$500

Source: Backpacker Job Board

While it’s certainly possible to live relatively cheaply in Australia, it’s just as easy to rack up quite the credit card bill!

You can still earn good money in Australia


But the fears and forewarnings about sky-high Australian prices can be a little overblown. Here’s the good news.

The prices in Australia are relatively high because the people can afford to pay them. If you get an Australian Working Holiday Visa you’ll earn good money no matter what you end up doing.

Minimum wage in Australia is AU$19.49 per hour. As of October 2019, that’s US$13.16 or £10.24. And when you compare that to other developed countries, minimum wage earners in Oz are doing pretty well for themselves.

Country National Minimum Wage (US$)
USA $7.25
Canada $8.30
UK $10.04
Germany $10.13
France $11.06
Ireland $10.80
Spain $7.63
New Zealand $11.18

 Source: Wikipedia

By many measures, in fact, Australia is home to the world’s highest nationally regulated minimum wage.

And that figure of $19.49 is often far below what you’ll actually be earning – casual hospitality employees, for example, will enjoy a 25% loading simply for being a casual worker, as well as a percentage loading for working early, late, on weekends and on public holidays that can raise the hourly rate to between 125% – 225% of the base.

Calculating Your Backpacker Budget to Australia

Due to all the unknowns, setting a backpacker budget for your working holiday visa to Australia can be difficult. But it’s an important process that will give you far more confidence in deciding what you can and can’t treat yourself to while you travel. It’s important to realise that there are plenty knowns too.

You know that you’ll have the ability to earn good money – a generous minimum wage at the very least. You know the cost of living, and where you’ll be able to save a bit of cash. And you know that the 417 and 462 visas require holders to have access to at least AU$5,000 in savings to help fund their trip.

So how should you go about setting your budget for your trip to Australia?

You could trawl travel blogs for ideas on average spend. You could start shopping for accommodation, travel and tours, and look up supermarket prices online. You could even look up data from the Department of Home Affairs.

Backpacker Budgeting Apps and Online Tools

Backpacker Job Board has launched a super helpful tool to help you work out your travel budget for your Australian working holiday. While backpacking costs are notoriously hard to define, you can use the budget calculator to get an idea of what you’re likely to spend, and how daily costs will add up over the course of a month or a year.

Got any tips for backpacking on a budget in Australia? Share them in the comments below for everyone else reading this post.

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