8 things to know about travelling Australia on a budget
Australia’s diverse landscapes and distinct cities mean there’s plenty of freedom to roam. Make the most of your Australian holiday with these tips to help you stretch your dollars.
Unlike many developed countries, Australia has plenty of wide open spaces, wilderness full of wildlife and long beaches with room to roam. In cities, you’ll find gardens, museums and other cultural attractions. Luckily, there are plenty of free activities across the country, and you can still eat well on a small budget.
Travel within Australia
After you arrive in Australia, you’ll likely want to visit more than one place. Australia’s budget airlines, Tigerair and Jetstar, often offer cheap fares if you watch closely. Prices tend to be lower if you travel in the early morning or late evening. Sites like Wotif and Last Minute can be helpful for booking last-minute flights or car rentals.Show more
Australia boasts many luxurious lodges and glamping getaways, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find quality accommodation on a budget. There are many affordable family-owned guesthouses and bed and breakfast providers in city and rural areas and numerous country pubs have affordable rooms to stay in above the bar. Airbnb, couch surfing and home swapping sites offer terrific affordable options.Show more
Food and drink
Australia has fabulous permanent food markets in major cities, like Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market and the Adelaide Central Market, as well as many farmer's markets in urban and country areas. Vendors offer great bargains if you visit just before closing time. You’ll also find coin-operated barbecue facilities in city, beach and country parks where you can cook up a meal and soak in the Aussie outdoor lifestyle.Show more
All of Australia’s beautiful beaches are free to visit, and many have professional lifeguards patrolling the area during the summer months (December to February). Don’t forget to swim between the red and yellow flags, which indicate the safest area for swimmers. In Sydney, you’ll find stunning (and free) ocean pools near popular beaches, and in Brisbane you’ll find Streets Beach, Australia’s only inner-city, man-made beach lagoon.Show more
From kangaroos and koalas to dolphins and whales, Australia has so much wildlife to encounter. There are plenty of zoos and aquariums, like the popular Taronga Zoo Sydney and Victoria’s Healesville Sanctuary, that have animals from Australia and around the world. While it’s not guaranteed, you can also spot Australia’s wildlife in the wild.
No matter your budget, you can find great deals on food, drinks and attractions all over Australia. Online publications like Broadsheet, Time Out and The Urban List not only tell you about the newest events and venues in urban areas, but also have useful information about happy hours and cheap eats.Show more
Visitors can find free wi-fi in some business centres of Australia’s capital cities, as well as in public spaces such as libraries, museums, galleries and train stations. Some cafes and restaurants also pass on free wi-fi to customers. Check with your accommodation to see if they offer guests free wi-fi.
Tipping is not considered obligatory in Australia, and hotels and restaurants do not add service charges to your bill except in some cases for large group dining. In upmarket restaurants, it is common to tip waiters between 10 and 15 per cent of the bill for good service.