Budget Australia and prices: What does a road trip in Australia cost?

Budget Australia: How expensive is a road trip through Australia? Is Australia a budget destination and can you travel around cheaply as a backpacker or are the prices far too high? In this budget blog, we answer these questions. We give you an overview of our expenses during backpacking in Australia, share the cost of food and give indications of a daily budget for travel in Australia.Having fun on Fraser Island Hide and seek


How much money does a trip through Australia cost?

A realistic daily budget for Australia is 75 euros per person. If you are going on a three-week tour through Australia, keep in mind a budget of approximately €1575 per person. This budget is based on the average expenses of a backpacker and does not include flights. Note, it can always be cheaper or more expensive.

Budget Australia: is Australia a budget destination?

No, Australia is not a budget destination. The price level is roughly equal to that of the Netherlands (where we are from), but activities and airline tickets to Australia, in particular, can be very expensive. Trips and activities in Australia are often expensive, but generally worth it! By travelling around by campervan where your transport is also your sleeping place, you can travel Australia on a smaller budget! Especially if you sleep on free campsites to cut costs.Travel guide Fraser Island camping life

Solo backpacking in Australia by bus:

If you travel through Australia as a solo backpacker, chances are that you will travel by bus and sleep in hostels. Travelling by bus is just a bit cheaper than by car, but hostels are not that cheap in Australia. A budget of 75 euros per person per day remains realistic for a solo backpacker.

How much does it cost to fly to Australia?

What you should definitely take into account in your budget for Australia is the price of airline tickets to Australia. From Europe it takes about 24 hours of flying. If you are flexible and not bound by a certain period, there are sometimes nice deals and you can fly to Australia for as little as €587. Click here to see current Australia flight deals.

Our verdict: No Australia, is not a budget destination, but by paying close attention to your budget you can still significantly reduce the spendings during backpacking in Australia!Travel Guide Brisbane City Hall square


Budget in Australia: our expenses!

First, a disclaimer: Everyone travels in his or her own way and has other priorities. That’s completely fine, but keep this in mind when you read our spendings. It can always be more expensive or cheaper.

We travelled through Australia for three weeks, although we were supposed to stay for over 7 weeks. Unfortunately, Corona threw a spanner in the works. We were travelling on a budget, real backpacking through Australia.

How much money did we spend in three weeks in Australia?

Number of days in Australia: 18
Total spendings in Australia: $ A4060 / € 2,243 / $ 2,503.42
Average spending per day in Australia: $ A225.56 / € 124.61 / $ 139.08
Expenses per person in Australia: $ A2030.02 / € 1,121.50 / $ 1,251.71

Spending per person per day: $ A112.79 / € 62.31 / $ 69.54
Our budget per day for Australia: $ A271.51 / € 150 / $ 167.42
Stayed on budget in Australia: yes!
Costs campervan rental Australia (16 days): $ A1038.99 / € 574 / $ 640.64

All expenses are for two people and are calculated based on exchange rates during the trip. This does not include our airline tickets. The currencies shown are Australian Dollar ($ A), Euro (€) and USA Dollar ($).

To make this overview as representative as possible, discounts from possible collaborations have not been included in this overview.Travel blog Byron Bay Penisula


Prices of campervan hire in Australia? – Budget Australia

Total spent: $ A1357.64 / € 750.04 / $ 837.12
Of which insurance: $ A318.58 / € 176 / $ 196.43
Of which Spaceships campervan: $ A1039.06 / € 574.04 / $ 640.69
Number of nights: 16
Average day rental price for a campervan: $ A64.95 / € 35.88 / $ 40.05

A tour through Australia is of course not complete without a road trip. A campervan is, therefore, the best way to backpack on a budget: it is your means of transport and hotel in one. If you travel to Australia for six months, it can be cheaper to buy a campervan. However, if you are backpacking just for three weeks up to a few months in Australia, it is easier and cheaper to rent a campervan.Spaceships Campervans and road tripping through east australia

Backpacking Australia by campervan!

We rented a nice campervan from Spaceships. We also rented campervans from Spaceships in New Zealand and Scotland, so we knew what to expect.

The Spaceships campervans look like normal cars but are very conveniently arranged so that you can sleep in them, store all your luggage and there is also room for cooking utensils, a fridge and camping chairs.

The model campervan with which we made a road trip through Australia during these three weeks is Beta 2. If you want a little more space, consider Beta 2S or the model with a roof tent.

Campervan life Australia pancakes


Budget tip: currently we can give you a 30% discount on a Spaceships Campervan for 2021 or 2022. Click here for more information!


Car insurance campervan from Australia

During our road trip through Australia, we opted for car insurance. Almost every rental company offers insurance, but you should read carefully before purchasing such insurance. For example, Australian legislation is different from that in Europe and you do not have standard liability insurance. There is also a high deductible even with insurance. So make sure you travel well informed.Travel guide glass house mountains east australia


Prices of campsites in Australia! – Budget Australia

Total spent: $ A121.80 / € 67.29 / $ 75.10
Number of nights: 16
Including nights at a free campsite: 11
Average fee for paid camping: $ A24.36 / € 13.46 / $ 15.02

Prices of paid campgrounds range from $A15 for a budget campground with few facilities, $A30 for a normal campground and $A50 for a luxury campground or campground in a popular area. These prices are for a camping place for two persons, without electricity. In high season the prices are higher, in low season you often have discount promotions where you sleep for free the third night, for example.

Budget Australia tip: We used the Campermate and Spaceships apps to find the best campsites.Travel blog australia budget itinerary with campervan budget post

How do you find free campsites in Australia?

There are free campgrounds and campsites throughout Australia. Sometimes this is just a parking lot, other times a nice lawn with toilets and running water. You often don’t find showers at free campsites. It is more difficult to find free camping spots around large cities. On the coast in the northeast of Australia, there are relatively few free campsites anyway. Inland there is more to be found.

Please note: it is forbidden to camp wild in Australia. If you want to camp on a beautiful piece of grass at the beach, parking lot or secluded road, then take into account a high fine.

Budget Australia tip: do you sleep on a free campsite without a shower? Then you can find free showers and facilities in almost every city. You will always find free (cold) showers at the beach, but there are also public toilets with showers in most cities and towns.Exploring the East Coast of Australia by Camper Travel Guide


How expensive are hotels in Australia? – Budget Australia

Total spent: $ A203.64 / € 112.5 / $ 125.56
Number of nights: 3

Hotels in Australia are generally quite pricey. Even for a bed in a dormitory in a hostel, you sometimes pay 30 euros per person in high season. Still, it can pay to search very well. We slept only in Brisbane in a hotel. Below is an indication of the prices of hotels in Australia.

Prices of hotels in Australia:

  • Australia budget hostel price: The price of a budget hostel is usually between $A30 and $A60 per night. For this, you sleep in a private room (two persons) with sometimes shared bathroom. In a hostel dorm you pay about $A15- $A25 per person per night.
  • Mid-range hotel price in Australia: The price for a mid-range hotel in Australia is between $A60 and $A100. For this you have your own room with bathroom, sometimes breakfast and with a bit of luck even a swimming pool.
  • Australia luxury hotel price: The price of a luxury hotel in Australia is above $A100. You can expect a nice spacious room, swimming pool and nice breakfast.

Surfers Paradise and lifeguard for the gold coast


Click here for our hotel guide to the east coast of Australia! Here you will find budget, mid-range and luxury hotels for various cities and hotspots on the east coast of Australia.


How much money did we spend on transportation in Australia?

Total spent: $ A583.57 / € 322.4 / $ 359.83
Taxi: $ A49.92 / € 27.58 / $ 30.78
Gasoline: $ A518.79 / € 286.61 / $ 319.89
Other: $ A14.86 / € 8.21 / $ 9.16
Average daily transportation expenses: $ A32.42 / € 17.91 / $ 19.99

Although petrol is much cheaper in Australia than in the Netherlands, because of the large distances you travel, you still spend a lot of money on petrol.

Budget Australia tip: use the Petrol Spy app to find the cheapest petrol prices. You can also get a discount of up to 4 cents per litre at certain petrol stations. How? By shopping at Coles or Woolworths above a certain amount (20 or 30 AUD) and keeping your receipt and handing it over to affiliated Shells of Caltex.


Click here for some useful routes for the east coast of Australia!


Traveling on a budget trhough Australia budget tips Australia

Taxi and toll roads in Australia

Taxi companies such as Uber operate in major cities, prices for a taxi ride are about the same as in the Netherlands. Finally, there is a complicated toll system for Australia’s highways. Each state has its own system, which is not very logical. But do not worry: it is quite possible to avoid these costs. Just indicate on your GPS or Google Maps that you want to avoid toll roads. The extra travel time is often only a few minutes.

Budget Australia tip: you can park for free almost everywhere in Australia. At each parking lot it is indicated how long you can park there (3P means 3 hours). If you have to pay, there is a parking meter on the board. Only in Byron Bay it is sometimes difficult to find free parking spaces.Travel guide Surfers paradise getting ready with sunscreen


How expensive are activities in Australia? – Budget Australia

Total spent: $ A950.06 / € 524.87 / $ 585.81
Fraser Island (Inc. permits): $ A950.06 / € 524.87 / $ 585.81

Activities are driving up the cost of travelling through Australia! Trips to Fraser Island, the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef are very pricey, but often worth it! For the real budget backpackers I have good news: many activities in Australia are also completely free. Think of free museums, national parks and beautiful walking routes.Rainbow Beach 4x4 rentals takes you there


Prices of activities on the east coast of Australia

During our (shortened) tour of the east coast of Australia, our only paid activity was visiting Fraser Island. We visited the Great Barrier Reef two years ago and we decided to skip Whitsundays because it was not the right season. Other activities such as visiting Hunter Valley wineries and surfing were sadly cancelled as we had to head home through corona earlier.

Budget Australia tip: on book.me you will find all kinds of fun activities and trips with a lot of discount. Be sure to check it out when you go to Australia!Travel Guide Fraser best lakes on the island Lake McKenzie

Visiting Fraser Island by self-drive jeep, as we did, is a pricey trip but it is definitely worth the money and was our highlight of these three weeks in Australia.


Read everything you need to know about visiting Fraser Island and driving around by jeep!


How expensive is eating and eating out in Australia? – Budget Australia

Total spent: $ A671.18 / € 370.80 / $ 413.85
Of which from food and drinks: $ A250.82 / € 138.57 / $ 154.66
Of which groceries: $ A420.36 / € 232.23 / $ 259.19
Average food expenditure per person per day: $ A18.64 / € 10.30 / $ 11.50

Yes, also a big expense post if you are going backpacking through Australia: groceries and eating out. Now eating out is very expensive in Australia so we recommend that you don’t do this too often when travelling on a budget on Australia. Are you camping in Australia? Then you can perfectly save money by cooking a lot yourself.Campinglife in Australia Travel blog East Coast Itinerary

Are groceries expensive in Australia?

Groceries were less expensive than we expected. Prices of fruit and vegetables are the same as in the Netherlands. Curious about the exact prices in the Australian supermarket? Then scroll down, where you will find a complete prize overview.

Budget tip: do your shopping at Aldi! The largest supermarket players in Australia are Woolworths and Coles. The Aldi is also present in Australia and it is much cheaper!Things to do in Byron the Farm Australia


In nice Byron Bay it is sometimes quite difficult not to eat at all kinds of nice restaurants. Read all about Byron Bay here!


Other expenses in Australia! – Budget Australia

Total spent: $ A98.27 / € 54.29 / $ 60.59
Including call credit: $ A27.08 / € 14.96 / $ 16.70
Of which beauty products and laundry: $ A71.19 / € 39.33 / $ 43.90

Which telephone provider do you pick as a traveller in Australia?

Are you looking for a local SIM card in Australia (prepaid or with internet) you have roughly three providers:

  • Telstra: more expensive but good coverage, even in remote places.
  • Optus: cheap, but less coverage outside of cities
  • Vodafone: even cheaper, but very poor coverage.

We chose Optus and bought $A25 for 60GB of data and for a full month and unlimited calls. Optus is the budget provider, perfect for backpackers, but unfortunately we had a poor connection in many places. For example, on Fraser Island we had hardly any coverage and we often lost the connection outside the cities! Next time I would go for a data bundle with provider Telstra.Happy hour at Piccolino Noosa


Prices of food and general travel expenses in Australia

Below I present the prices and costs of food in Australia that you are likely to buy during backpacking. If you miss the price of something, let us know!

  • Kilo of apples: $ A 3 / € 1.66 / $ 1.85
  • Bag of chips: $ A3 / € 1.66 / $ 1.85
  • Kilos of bananas: $ A4.90 / € 2.71 / $ 3.02
  • Yoghurt (1L): $ A3.90 / € 2.15 / $ 2.40
  • Kilos of tomatoes: $ A7.90 / € 4.36 / $ 4.87
  • Bread: $ A3.5 / € 1.93 / $ 2.16
  • Avocado: $ A2 / € 1.10 / $ 1.23
  • 500ml olive oil: $ A5 / € 2.76 / $ 3.08
  • Milk carton (1L): $ A1.29 / € 0.71 / $ 0.80
  • Nutella 400g: $ A5 / € 2.76 / $ 3.08
  • Water (1.5L): $ A0.8 / € 0.44 / $ 0.49

  • Bottle of Coke (2L): $ A2.85 / € 1.57 / $ 1.76
  • Wine at store (750 ml): $ A10 / € 5.52 / $ 6.17
  • Beer in the supermarket: $ A6 / € 3.31 / $ 3.70
  • Shampoo: $ A4.40 / € 2.43 / $ 2.71
  • Cappuccino: $ A5 / € 2.76 / $ 3.08
  • Glass of wine in restaurant: $ A8 / € 4.42 / $ 4.93
  • Local beer in a restaurant: $ A7 / € 3.87 / $ 4.32
  • Simple lunch/dinner (1 pers): $ A20 / € 11.06 / $ 12.33
  • 1 Liter diesel: $ A1.35 / € 0.75 / $ 0.83

Our coffee set this trip travel guide


Conclusion: is Australia expensive?

Yes, Australia is an expensive country to travel through. In your budget for a holiday to Australia, take into account expensive activities, the costs of air travel and high hotel prices. To reduce the costs of a holiday through Australia, we recommend that you travel by campervan, look for free campsites and do a lot of cooking yourself.

What we noticed is that Australia is set up for backpacking and campers. There are many free facilities such as free showers, kitchen and toilets. In addition, the country itself is so beautiful and you can enjoy the beautiful nature for free!Travel guide Minions Falls Drone shot

What is a realistic daily backpacking budget in Australia?

If you travel through Australia as a backpacker, take into account a daily budget of 75 euros per person. For this you travel by campervan (with two people) or bus, try to cook as much as possible yourself and do not often eat out. Now and then drinking a beer, is certainly possible, but cocktails every night do not fit your budget.

Do you want to travel a bit more luxurious, sleep more often in hotels and eat out? Then take into account a daily budget of 100 euros per person for Australia. This budget includes mid-range hotels, one meal a day outside the house and travel by rental car.


All my blogs on AustraliaClick here for more blogs & travel inspiration!


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