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cost of travelling australia budget east coast backpacking guide

How Much Does It Cost To Travel Australia? A FULL Budget Breakdown

Trying to figure out how much it costs to travel Australia? Well here’s a full Australia budget breakdown – inc accomodaiton, tours, transport and more!

Planning a trip to Australia? Trying to figure out how much does it cost to travel Australia?

how much cost to travel australia budget one month east coast oz backpacker backpacking
How Much Of This Will You Need?!

No worries – I’ve got you covered!

I’ve lived, worked and travelled in Australia more than any other country I’ve visited since hitting the road back in 2009 – in fact Byron Bay is my second home in terms of total time living there!

I know planning a trip to Oz can be daunting – it’s a long way away, it’s not the most budget friendly place, there’s a lot of ground to cover and sooooooo much to see an do!

So to help you figure out how much your trip to Australia will costs here’s a rundown of all the major things you’ll encounter – including food, drink, transport, tours, accommodation and more…

(Just FYI, all prices below are in $AUD)


How Much Does It Cost To Travel Australia?


Greyhound Bus

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Byron Bay – My Fave Spot!

Easily the most popular way to travel around Australia the Greyhound Bus network covers the whole of the East Coast as well as the Red Centre, Northern Territory and parts of the West Coast too.

They’ve recently revamped the Greyhound Australia Bus pass range and there are now 2 main options; the WHIMit and the East Coast Passes.

The WHIMit covers the entire Greyhound Australia network, whilst the East Coast is the Melbourne to Cairns Route.

Both included unlimited travel and are only limited by time frame – up to 90 days for the WHIMit and 30 days for the East Coast

  • 7 Day Greyhound East Coast Pass = $199
  • 15 Day Greyhound East Coast Pass = $299
  • 30 Day Greyhound East Coast Pass = $369
  • 15 Day Greyhound WHIMIT Pass = $339
  • 30 Day Greyhound WHIMIT Pass = $419
  • 60 Day Greyhound WHIMIT Pass = $469
  • 90 Day Greyhound WHIMIT Pass = $599

Premier Bus

Not as popular as the Greyhound but even more budget friendly, the Premier Bus Passes are a great alternative for those travelling the East Coast and who want to be more budget conscious. Again like Greyhound they’re 3 months, but extendable to 6 if you need longer, however they don’t cover the Sydney to Melbourne section.

  • Sydney to Cairns Pass = $330
  • Sydney to Cairns Pass (1 Month Pass) = $230
  • Brisbane/Byron Bay to Cairns Pass = $242

Check out all the Premier Passes here

Campervan Hire

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Seriously Australia You’re Beautiful!

My favourite way to travel around Australia! Even though campervan hire in Australia isn’t the cheapest it’s certainly the most fun and flexible way to get around, especially if you’re travelling as a couple or small group of friends. The cost of campervanning Australia varies heaps depending on your route, time frame, campervan model and of course the season – so the further in advance you book it the better.

Expect to pay from $45AUD per day though, with rates much higher in the peak, summer season.

For an epic Campervan deal in Australia click here

Stray Australia Passes

Want to be flexible with your time frame and route, but also want something more guided and to meet more solo travellers during your trip? Well Stray Australia is the perfect mid ground between the bus passes and a full blown set tour.

You’re free to hop on and off as much as you choose, but instead of a normal bus driver you’ll have an epic Stray Guide who’ll clue you in on the all bets spots in your destination, help book trips for you and you’ll also get to sample some exclusive off the beaten track destinations like Barrington Tops!

  • Sydney to Cairns Pass (Mick) = $1265
  • Brisbane/Byron Bay to Cairns Pass (Kat) = $765

Check out all the Stray Australia Passes here





how much cost to travel australia budget one month east coast oz backpacker backpacking
Welcome To Sydney

The most budget friendly and popular accommodation option for the East coast is shared hostels dorms – varying from super flash packer 4 bed A/C ensuite rooms (such as Byron Bay YHA) right through to super budget 12 bed dorms that are certainly less comfortable, but easier on the wallet!

They vary from $25-50 per night – however this can fluctuate quite a bit depending on the location, season, length of your stay and also any key events.

The best advice I can give you is go with a $40 night average as a ball park figure but also check out the latest rates if you’re aiming for peak season or stuff like xmas/NYE in Sydney as this will massive effect how much it cost to travel Australia.

Some of my favourite hostels include;

  • WakeUp! (Sydney and Byron Bay)
  • The Surf House (Byron Bay)
  • Aquarius Backpackers (Byron Bay)
  • Halse Lodge Noosa
  • Nomads Airlie Beach
  • Bungalow Bay YHA (Magnetic Island)
  • Scottys Mission Beach
  • Gilligans (Cairns)

If you’re keen on a bit more privacy and comfort, but not wanting to splash out on full on hotels then I also highly recommend the private rooms at YHA hostels.


As you might expect hotels in Australia are definitely a step up budget wise, but there is a HUGE range of styles catering for most budgets. Honestly though I couldn’t put a price on them as you could spend $100 a night to $1,000s – so best to check out somewhere like Booking.com and smash in your personal preferences and budget!


Another popular option now is AirBnB and you can get some real unique and comfortable options all over the coast. It’s great for couples or families (but there’s no restriction) and the perfect way to go if you want to treat yourself during your trip too!

Click here for $37 off your first booking!





Food & Drink

Eating Out

As with pretty much everywhere in the world eating out in Australia will really impact your budget – but there is a huge variety of restaurants and bars you can grab food at, from low cost feeds to award winning dinning.

Meal Deals

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Meeting Some Friendly Locals!

If you are going to eat out and don’t want to break the bank many bars, restaurants and hostels offer discount meal deals – including backpacker deals too. So if you want to eat on the cheap but don’t fancy cooking check out some of these options;

  • Queen Victoria Market (Melbourne)
  • Sidebar/WakeUp (Sydney
  • Aquarius Backpackers (Byron Bay)
  • Gilligans (Cairns)
  • Dominoes $5 Pizza


9/10 times cooking is going to be the best option for your budget in Australia and you can slap together everything from 50 cent noodles $3.50 veggie pasta right through to whatever dishes from home you’re missing. Coles, Woolworths and ALDI are dotted all the way across Australia so get your cooking skills on the go!


If there’s one easy way to make the cost of travelling Australia expensive it’s by partying! So how much will booze add to your daily budget?!

  • Beer in a bar = $5-8
  • Beer from a bottle shop = $5
  • Glass of wine = $10+
  • Wine from a bottle shop = from $5
  • Cocktails = $15+
  • Box of goon (cheap boxed wine) = $10-15




Top Tours

how much cost to travel australia budget one month east coast oz backpacker backpacking

There is so much to see and do along the East Coast of Australia, so it would be almost impossible to list it all – however here are some of my top picks for the best trips and tours to do so you can figure out how much it cost to travel Australia with all your plans!

  • Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb =from $368
  • Spot X Surf Camp = from $279 (2 night package)
  • Surf Lesson in Byron Bay = $69
  • Dolphin kayaking = $69
  • Noosa Everglades Canoe Tour = $130
  • Fraser Island Overnight 4×4 Tour = $469
  • Fraser Island Day Trip = $185
  • Whitsunday Islands Overnight Sailing Adventure = around$499
  • Whitsunday Islands Day Tour = $185
  • Magnetic Island Package = $118
  • 15,000 foot skydive = $275 (+ $30 skydive levy)
  • Barrier Reef Snorkel Tour = $140
  • Barrier Reef Intro Dive = $210
  • Budget Open Water Dive Course = $695
  • Overnight Dive Boat = $560 (2 day/1 night inc 7 dives)
  • Melbourne Intro Tour = from $299 (4 day option)

Check out RTW Backpackers for everything you need tour wise in Australia by clicking here



Budget For A Month In Australia

Ok so now for the big reveal! How much does it cost to travel Australia and how much do you need to budget for a month in Australia?

We based on my calculations and taking into account the main trips, tours and style people travel the East Coast….

A month travelling Australia will be around $3,270

Or $109 per day

This then includes;

  • 30 nights accommodation (shared dorm)
  • 30 day Greyhound WHIMit Pass
  • Surf lesson
  • 3 day/2 night Fraser Island 4×4 Safari
  • 2 night Whitsundays Sailing Adventure
  • Magnetic Island Package
  • Barrier Reef Snorkel Tour
  • Around $30 per day for food and drink

Obviously this is just a rough guide – you can easily make it more expensive by staying in hotels, private rooms, partying heaps or adding in loads of extra tours and on the other hand you can also make it cheaper by staying at more budget friendly hostels, cooking budget food and skipping out on bigger trips and tours.

But that $3,270 is a good starting point on what you’ll be looking at spending on a month on the East Coast of Australia.



Have you travelled Australia before?

What was your budget?


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