How Much Money Do You Need To Travel Australia?

How Much Money Do You Need To Travel Australia? Image | East Coast Tours Australia

Whether you’re on a working holiday in Australia, or just coming down to explore the East Coast for two weeks, there are many ways to approach and think about your budget before you embark on your adventure! Let us clear up any confusion and answer questions like “do I need $5000 to come to Australia on a WHV?” and “how much will I spend per week while travelling in Australia?”.

Do I need $5000 to come to Australia on a Working Holiday Visa?

To be granted approval for Working Holiday Visas (WHV) 417 and 462, you need to provide “proof of funds” with at least $5000 AUD in your bank account. This is a bank statement or screenshot of your account balance before you come to Australia, to show that you can support yourself while travelling down under.

It is not a secret that some travellers who don’t have $5000 in cash simply get their parents or a friend to transfer funds temporarily, for the purposes of meeting the visa application requirements, before transferring it back. However, before you approach your mum for the quickest loan in history, we recommend you rethink your financial capacity to travel both securely and without stressing about money all the time. 

While backpacking Australia doesn’t have to be ridiculously expensive, having around $5000 is a really good safety net that will cover you for at least a month of accommodation and basic living expenses while you get your feet. Having this money tucked away will also provide you with a rainy day emergency fund in case you need to fly home immediately, pay for damages to a hire vehicle or splash out on any surprise medical bills (all the stuff you don’t want to think about).

So, while $5000 may seem a little random, and you don’t need to have every bit of it down to the last dollar, it is a great ballpark figure for your base savings when budgeting for Australia.

Blonde girl looking out a plane window at sunset

Living costs while travelling Australia 

Australia is the 12th most expensive country to live in in the world, with average living costs cheaper than London, but more expensive than the United States. There are quite a few variables when it comes to your weekly costs in Australia, including whether the Australian dollar is strong and what your travel style is. 

How much will I spend per week while travelling Australia?

If you’re happy to stick to the cheap side of things, you will be staying at budget hostels in shared dorms, buying groceries, cooking meals for yourself and catching public transport to get around. This money-conscious method of travelling can cost you between $250 and $350 a week, excluding any tours, souvenirs, alcohol or extra purchases along the way. Check out these handy hostel hacks to make your stay in budget accommodation feel like a home away from home.

However, if you’re after more of an upmarket holiday experience and want to stay in nicer hostels or private rooms, eat out at restaurants and hire a car to get around, your weekly costs can sit between $500 to over $1000… depending on how fancy you like to holiday.

Eating out costs in Australia are noticeably higher than in Europe, so while most of your money will generally be spent on daily accommodation, eating three meals out a day can easily add up to cost over $100 daily, especially when you account for alcohol. A super basic, budget hostel will cost you around $25 to $60 a night, and you can sometimes get discounts if you book in for longer periods of time. 

Hostel kitchen, four travellers eating dinner

How much money do I need if I’m coming to Australia to work? 

If you’re planning on finding work while in Australia, we still recommend you have a solid savings base of around $4000 to $5000 when arriving. While you will be making money, it’s impossible to tell how long finding a job will take unless you manage to line one up before you arrive in Australia. Sometimes it can take a while to find work, and you have to put yourself out there in your job searches. Similarly, some backpacker jobs may not pay as much as the work you’re used to back home, so adjusting to a pay cut may be necessary.

An upside to some backpacker work in Australia, particularly with farm and rural work, is that you often get provided with accommodation and even sometimes meals. This is a great way to save money while you complete your visa working requirements. Similarly, you will have less time and opportunity to spend your money while you’re busy picking fruit or operating ski lifts, so saving during your working periods comes quite naturally. Check out our guide to getting paid on your Working Holiday to make sure you know your rights and what you're entitled to during your farmwork.

One thing to be wary of when you’re working in Australia is tax. Most employers in Australia will automatically deduct your tax from your wages every pay period, so take into account that your weekly pay might be less than your hours worked multiplied by your hourly rate. Learn everything you need to know about Aussie tax on your working holiday.

Man with a black shirt, cap and tattoos picking an orange

Tips for saving money while backpacking Australia 

  • Money disappears

Our first tip is to simply be conscious of your spending and budget. And, the good news is… you’re probably already doing that already just by reading this article! Money does tend to disappear quicker than you may expect when travelling, so having a budget, using budget apps and tracking your spending is really important to prevent any stressful financial situations while abroad! Check our ultimate how-to backpack Australia on a budget guide to get savvy with your dollars Down Under!

  • A home on wheels

If you’re not a stranger to adventurous travel and are looking to save money abroad, combining both your transport and accommodation is a sure-fire way to spend less down under. That’s right, we’re talking about van life! While it may initially seem expensive, hiring a van crosses out both your transport and accommodation costs, with your only rent being the small fees for campsites. And, if you’re super scint, check out our tips on travelling Australia in a van for free, and our favourite free overnight campsites for van nomads!  

  • Cook for yourself

We've said it before and we’ll keep saying it. Cook. Your. Own. Meals. Particularly if you’re planning on travelling around Australia on a long-haul holiday. It is pricey to eat out all the time, so make a food budget and stick to it like you would at home. Go shopping for the basics and cook up some of these easy, cheap hostel meals. Not only is it a fun way to meet people in your communal kitchen, cooking is also a great way to show the world just how great of an adult you are. Go on, cook those two-minute noodles to perfection, we dare you!

  • Working holiday perks

If you’re heading out to rural regions for farmwork, you may be offered room and board included or at a low rate. While it may seem like a tricky trade-off (bye-bye city life), it’s actually a great way to immerse yourself in a community and save money on the way! And, if you’re situated out in the middle of nowhere (which seems to be easy to come by in Australia), there’s less temptation in the ways of bars, restaurants and clubs, so it’s a great time to take it easy and save some cash! Answer all of your working holiday questions with our guide to working holidays in Australia!

  • Always have travel insurance

From things like last-minute flight cancellations, medical fees, a rock to your rental car windscreen, a broken leg and severe weather events, we’ve seen it all when it comes to travelling misfortunes. While none of these things has to be the end of the world, or the end of your trip, it does help to have a good, comprehensive insurance policy. This way, you’re not stuck with a bill that you can’t afford… and a whole load of stress.

  • Book a jam-packed itinerary

If you want to get out there and really soak up all the wonders of our sun-soaked country, a great way to save money is to book a bulk itinerary! The more you book upfront, the more you save. So, take your time in planning your dream adventure, putting down a deposit and paying for all of your accommodation, tours, extras and transport at once, with great savings... and no hidden costs once you’re on the ground. 

three travellers in the forest in K'gari, central station surrounded by green trees

For more information on booking your dream itinerary, check out our pre-built experiences or start planning your own personalised Aussie escape.

Speak with a friendly local through our 24/7 live chat today! 

East Coast Tours acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Owners of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all First Nations peoples.

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