The land down under as it is affectionately known is a popular travel destination. People come to see the wildlife, to surf at the beaches, and to explore the Outback. However, as much as Australia has to offer it also has a reputation for being a very expensive travel destination. So, how much does it cost to go to Australia? Read on to find out.

For the purpose of this article, I am basing my estimate on a two week stay. These estimates are made on a per person basis, so if you are travelling as a couple be sure to double them (except for hotels).

Australia Trip Cost

 Estimated cost
Airfare$1,200
Accommodations$2,100
Local transportation$600
Attractions$500
Food and drink$700
Random Spending$200
Total$5,300 USD

The above estimate is in American dollars, so please use xe.com to find out the average costs in your home currency.

If you’re Canadian, you may want to consider applying for one of the best travel credit cards in Canada to help offset your costs by collecting points. For example, the American Express Gold Rewards Card gives you a signup bonus of up to 30,000 American Express Membership Rewards points which have a minimum value of $300 (potentially more if you transfer your points to Aeroplan or Marriott Bonvoy). There’s also the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card that has no foreign transaction fees, a sign up bonus worth $250 and it comes with airport lounge access.   

Airfare

Flying to Australia from North America is a very long flight, especially if you are flying from the east coast of Canada or the USA. So, it’s no surprise that flight costs are going to be a big expense. You can expect to pay at least $1,200 for a return flight, possibly more depending on what city you choose to fly into and the time of year.

The reality is, there’s no cheap way to get to Australia. That said, if you have a lot of loyalty points such as Aeroplan, this could be a good route to redeem your points to help offset your costs.

Reminder: Australian seasons are opposite to those in North America. Our winter is their summer so keep that in mind when choosing when to go.

Cost to go to Australia

Accommodations

Australia attracts all types of travellers from budget backpackers to luxury travel enthusiasts. As such, there is a wide variety of accommodation options across the popular cities and parts of the country. Now, keep in mind, ‘budget’ is a relative term and what is considered to be cheap in Australia may still end up being more expensive than you hope.

I’ve based my accommodation estimate on a midrange hotel in a large city (Sydney). Keep in mind, smaller towns and areas will likely be cheaper. With that being said, you should budget about $150 per night for a midrange hotel in Australia.

My preferred booking site is booking.com since it lists hotels, apartments, B&B’s, vacation homes and inns. In addition, they price match and you’re not required to pay until after your stay for almost all accommodations. After five bookings, you become a member of their Genius program which gets you an extra 10% off on selected properties. 

If you have the right credit card, you can save a fair amount of money on hotels. For example, Canadians should consider the BMO World Elite Mastercard since it typically has a sign up bonus of $250 when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of card membership. This card does have an annual fee of $150 but it’s normally waived for the first year so you’re getting $250 for free. There’s also the Marriott Bonvoy American Express which gives you 51,000 Marriott Bonvoy points when you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months. That’s enough points for up to five free nights at some hotels which could easily have a value of over $650.

Local transportation

Australia is a huge country so you’ll need to plan ahead on a feasible itinerary or else you will be wasting a lot of time and money on transportation. For long distances, you’ll need to fly. However, flying domestically isn’t cheap. For example, a flight from Melbourne to Perth can cost about $500 return.

There is a backpacker bus called the Oz Experience. However, unlike the Kiwi Express in New Zealand (which is incredibly popular), the Oz Experience doesn’t necessarily have the best reviews.

For this reason, most people choose to either rent a car or use the public bus system to get around Australia. Greyhound Australia offers travel pass type tickets that serves a lot of the popular places on the east coast. The cost for the WHIMIT ticket (any route, any direction) is about $225 for the 15-day pass.

The obvious issue is that taking the bus can take a lot longer. You could end up spending days on the bus. Most people don’t have that kind of time to spare. Take a look at your itinerary and decide what’s the best bet, but factor in your time too since it’s valuable.

How much does it cost to go to Australia

Attractions

Australia has a lot to see, and not just in the cities. Many of the biggest highlights of this country are the natural ones. For example, Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef. Since this is the case, you will likely end up taking some day trips. Day trips vary greatly in cost, from about $35-$200+ depending on what you want to see or do. I’m going to suggest $500 for attractions though I recommend you do some planning ahead of time to figure out what you really want to see and do. You may be able to drop this estimate, or you may have to increase it.

Need some ideas on unique things to do in Australia? Consider:

Food and drink

Like everything else in Australia, the prices for food and drink are more expensive than in other countries. Even for places that are considered cheap, like McDonald’s (referred to as Macca’s). On average, basic food prices in Australia look something like this:

  • Breakfast: $10
  • Lunch: $15
  • Dinner: $25

Which is equal to $50 per day. Oh, and if you like to drink and party, you’ll definitely want to add more to your budget. Alcohol in Australia is, unsurprisingly, very expensive.

How much does it cost to go to Australia Gold Coast

Random spending

It’s always a good idea to have a little extra cash on hand just in case. Maybe you want to do some shopping, maybe you’ll want to do an extra day tour, or maybe you just want to let loose and have a night out. Since Australia is a more expensive country, I recommend budgeting an extra $200 for random spending.

Final thoughts

So, how much does it cost to go to Australia? Based on my estimates, you can expect to pay about US $5,300. Yes, this is expensive. However, you can cut down these costs pretty easily. Stay in budget accommodation, cook your own food instead of eating out, focus more on free attractions than paid one and day trips, and don’t travel around as much.

That said, remember that Australia is quite far away and will be a once in a lifetime trip for many, so it may be worth saving a little longer so you can spend the money and get the type of experience you want.

For more inspiration, check out my guides on Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, Italy, Greece, the Maldives and Morocco.

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