How Much Does A Backpacker Spend In Australia?

How Much Does A Backpacker Spend In Australia? Image | East Coast Tours Australia

If you're wondering, "how much does a backpacker spend in Australia", you're not alone! Most backpackers will spend between $60 - $130 AUD per day in Australia, with an average of around $100 AUD per day. That's around £50 GBP, €60 Euros, or $65 USD per day. However, planning a travel budget is tricky because everyone is different! The amount of money you'll spend while backpacking in Australia depends on your travel style and how strict you are about your spending habits. 

Whether you're visiting Australia on a Working Holiday Visa, or you're just backpacking with friends for a few weeks or months, it's a good idea to have an idea of how much you'll spend so you can plan a budget. We're going to break down average travel costs in Australia so you can use this as a guideline for creating your own Australia travel budget!

girls snorkeling fitzroy island

How Much Does A Backpacker Spend In Australia?

A backpacker may spend anywhere from $60 AUD per day to $130 AUD per day in Australia, with $100 AUD per day being average. Whether you're on the low or the high end of that spectrum depends on your spending habits! If you aim for $100 AUD per day, this converts to around £50 GBP, €60 Euros, or $65 USD per day, which is often cheaper than what you would spend in a day while living in these countries! So although Australia is on the expensive side, it can still be affordable to travel here with the right spending habits.

If you like to dine at restaurants, drink cocktails often, and stay in hotels, you'll spend much more than $150 per day. But if you adopt budget travel tips like cooking your own meals, staying in cheap hostels, and taking public transport, you can easily spend under $100 per day. 

An average daily spend of $100 means you'll be staying in hostels and doing some cooking, but you'll also have some leeway for eating out and booking epic tours. You don't want to miss out on amazing experiences in Australia! To help you visualize how much a backpacker might spend in Australia, we'll summarise daily expenses using the following categories: accommodation, food, transport, and activities. 

people standing atop waterfalls australia


  • Average cost per night: $30 - $60 AUD 

Accommodation is often the biggest expense while travelling in Australia. Hostels are a favorite among backpackers because you can rent a dorm bed for cheap prices and you get to meet people in the social environment. Because Australia is on the expensive side, hostels in Australia cost an average of $30 - $60 per night for a dorm bed. In big cities during the high season, hostel dorm rooms can cost $70 or more! And of course, hotels cost much more than that. 

But there are ways to save money on accommodation in Australia so your travel budget lasts longer! Travelling during off-season means hostel prices may be cheaper. Sleeping in a campervan is a clever way to combine your accommodation and transport costs. It's also a super fun way to explore Australia! Camping can also be free or at least cheap, and you can try to book overnight tours so your accommodation costs are included in the tour price. But if you're spending around $50 per night on accommodation, you're successfully travelling Australia on a budget!

girls checking into hostel Noosa


  • Average cost per day: $20 - $50 AUD 

Food is another unavoidable expense you have to add to your travel budget. Australia has some delicious food, but frequently eating and drinking out at cafes, restaurants, and bars adds up. Cooking some or most of your own meals is one of the best ways to save money while backpacking in Australia. Stay in a hostel with a kitchen, or cook while camping using public BBQ facilities or the equipment included in your campervan hire

If you cook the majority of your meals and buy most of your food from the supermarket, you may spend around $15 - $20 per day on groceries. But it's always fun to treat yourself as well! A more reasonable daily food budget for backpacking in Australia is $50. This accounts for a few meals out here and there including coffees, some nice dinners, and maybe some occasional cocktails or big nights out

food spread


  • Average cost per day: $10 - $20 AUD 

Transport is another tricky thing to measure because it varies depending on your travel itineraryBut a reasonable average for a backpacker to spend on transport in a day is around $10 - $20. You'll spend most of your transport money on travelling long distances. Australia is huge, so getting from one major city to the next may cost a few hundred dollars by air or land travel.

But in a city like Cairns or Melbourne, or a beach town like Byron Bay or Noosa, you will barely have to spend much on transport once you arrive! Many cities and towns in Australia are walkable, or they have affordable public transport. Tours often offer transfers for travellers without a car as well. Ubers are on the expensive side, so try to avoid those if you're looking to save money in Australia. 

The way you travel long distances in Australia will depend on your itinerary. If you're just hopping from one city to the next, cheap budget airlines offer quick, easy flights. But if you're truly backpacking and you want to see it all, a Greyhound bus pass or hiring a car or campervan allows you to travel slower and see more. Bus passes cost less if you book for a longer time frame. For example, a 7-day Greyhound pass amounts to $40 per day, whereas a 90-day Greyhound pass amounts to $7 per day.  If you research your transport options before booking anything, you'll find the best ways to get around Australia on a budget! 

girl posing in van in front of mountain

Activities and Tours

  • Average cost per week: $100 - $300 AUD 

If there is anything that's worth spending money on in Australia, it's tours and activitiesTry to eat, sleep, and get around on a budget, but definitely don't skip out on any iconic experiences! Snorkelling trips to the Great Barrier Reef, surf lessons, skydiving, 4WD trips on K'gari (Fraser Island), canoeing tours, or sailing trips will always be worth the money. The average cost of a day trip in Australia is around $100, while the average cost of a 3-day overnight tour is around $500. 

You can easily combine these types of fulfilling experiences with cheap, relaxing days as well. Most beaches and national parks in Australia are free, and cities like Sydney or Brisbane have lots of free attractions. Just balance out your pricier tours with some cheap days of sightseeing! So an average tour budget for a week in Australia may be around $300. That accounts for a few day trips or one overnight trip combined with some free days that prioritise free attractions. 

sailing in the Whitsundays

Pre-Booked Itineraries In Australia

If considering how much a backpacker spends in Australia is overwhelming, consider an East Coast Tours itinerary! Our travel experts have curated a number of immersive, authentic Australian experiences that include the best hostels, tours, and transport options. This can take away some of the planning stress and allow you to focus more of your energy on fun!

Our semi-guided itineraries are designed for backpackers, meaning they are affordable, social, and action-packed. Fully guided tours cost more because they are entirely run by a local tour guide. Plus, we don't charge any extra fees for helping you plan the perfect itinerary! To get an idea of how much these itineraries cost, here is what some of our most popular options equate to per day:

Semi guided

Fully guided

group going swimming Kgari Fraser Island

What Is The Average Budget For Backpackers In Australia?

A backpacker's average daily budget for Australia can be around $60 - $100 AUD per day if your main priority is saving money. But if you want to treat yourself a bit more, aim for $120 - $150 AUD per day. Here is a quick breakdown of the costs we've covered so you can visualise the entire Australia travel budget for backpackers:

  • Accommodation: $30 - $60 AUD per night
  • Food: $20 - $50 AUD per day
  • Transport: $10 - $20 AUD per day

So you'll spend $60 per day on a super tight budget and $130 per day if you treat yourself more. This is just for the essentials! When it comes to tours, the amount you spend is up to you. You can skip out on most tours and barely spend anything on activities. Or you can spend a few hundred dollars per week to indulge in some potentially life-changing excursions!

  • Tours and activities: $100 - $300 AUD per week

The best way to combine accommodation, food, transport, and activities into one affordable package is by choosing an East Coast Tours travel itinerary! With an average cost of around $120 per day, you'll be able to make the most of your time in Australia and have all the best tours without spending a fortune. All the planning and preparation are taken care of for you as well, and the itineraries are customisable

Central Station K'gari

How Much Should I Save To Backpack In Australia?

Given all this info about an Australian travel budget, the recommended savings of $5,000 AUD is a good ballpark for how much you need to backpack Australia. If you travel on an extreme budget and spend only around $60 AUD per day, this budget should last you around 3 months. If you are more lenient with yourself and spend around $100 AUD per day so you can have more adventures, this budget can still last you 1-2 months. 

It's also important to factor in the amount of money you'll be making if you're on a Working Holiday! Many backpackers in Australia are able to work on their visas. If you get a job in Australia and have some income, your savings will grow and allow you to travel for longer. If you're just visiting and not planning on working, it's smart to have a bit of extra savings to cover you for flights, emergencies, and any other unexpected expenses. 

Travellers in Australia

Check out our Working Holiday or Traveller Tips collections for more information about making money and saving money in Australia!

Or feel free to live chat with our travel experts online and we'll provide our advice and tips for planning your adventures. 

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