Tips for Digital Nomads - What Is the Cost of Living in Australia?

February 15th, 2023

Also known as Land Down Under, Australia is a stunning country both culturally and geographically as it has everything to attract both tourists and people who want to move there for longer periods or for good.

Some of the things you can find here are majestic mountains, magical waterfalls, canyons, rivers, and deserts. There are numerous beaches, parks, and fun activities to do both day and night.

Australia’s iconic cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth are among the top choices for expats and digital nomads of all sorts, thanks to great nightlife, even better food, and attractive employment opportunities.

With its warm weather, unique wildlife and nature, cosmopolitan cities, and chill lifestyle, Australia is a popular country to live in. But what is the cost of living in Australia? Find out in this blog.

What Is the Cost of Living in Australia?

The cost of living in Australia will primarily depend on your lifestyle and how you spend. If you don’t plan to lead a luxury lifestyle, Australia can be fairly affordable, considering the high salaries you can get there.

However, if you’re more into high-end experiences, you can expect your expenses to rise significantly. That said, here is the cost of living in Australia based on minimum, average, and luxury standards of living.

Living on a Budget

Life is relatively affordable outside Melbourne and Sydney - with AU $500 - $700 per week you can get by if you live a minimal lifestyle. However, if you live in Sydney or Melbourne, you’ll need at least AU $900 per week.

With these sums, you can cover a modest shared apartment in the suburbs, public transport, basic utilities, food, and affordable entertainment. This will also cover an allowance for a broadband Internet connection (which costs around AU $30 per month).

Balanced Spending

In Australia, the average weekly expenditure is around AU $2,500 per household, including rent or home loans at an average of AU $600 per week, food and eating out at AU $400, and other financial services at AU $200. The monthly utilities for water, gas, and electricity for a small apartment cost around AU $200 per month, while for a TV, phone, and Internet, you can expect to pay around AU $70 per month.

Luxury Lifestyle

If you want everything upscale, expect to pay around AU $1,800 per week for a beautiful home near the city center or at the beaches in some of the major cities. Water, gas, and electricity bills for a home with four bedrooms will cost you around $500 a month. Moreover, a phone, Internet, and TV will cost you at least AU $100.

Food will cost you around AU $500, or AU $900 if you frequently eat out. In addition, if you own two cars and have hobbies like golf and tennis, you can expect to pay around AU $4,000 per week, and that doesn’t include vacations.

The Cost of Living in Australia Compared to the US

Australia is around 20% more expensive to live in than the US. Currently, Australia has the 16th highest cost of living in the world compared to the US, which is in 21st place on the list.

Is Life Good in Australia?

The standard of living in Australia is high. Sydney and Melbourne are among the top ten cities in the world when it comes to liveability. Moreover, Australia has a rich culture, and the people there are friendly and welcoming. With numerous recreational activities, exciting nightlife, and stunning beaches, Australia is a place to be.

What Are the Best Places to Live in Australia?

The best place to live in Australia depends on your goals of living, but Sydney and Melbourne are the most popular cities for expats and digital nomads. It’s no surprise since Sydney has supreme education, healthcare, and infrastructure. Moreover, the weather there is incredible, the beaches are breathtaking, and the outdoor lifestyle is fun. On the other hand, Melbourne has a thriving art and restaurant scene.

Perth, Adelaide, and Brisbane are also attractive options, and so are coastal towns, where the prices tend to be lower.

What Is the Average Cost of Living in Australia per Month?

Excluding rent, which costs around AU $1,200, the average cost of living in Australia per month is around AU $1,400. While these expenses may seem high, they are compensated by higher-than-average salaries at around AU $4,000 a month.

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How Much Are Housing Costs in Australia?

Housing costs in Australia vary depending on the location. For example, the median home price in Sidney is around AU $1,150. On the other hand, the median house price in Adelaide is around AU $550, which is significantly less.

Rent prices also depend on your location. For a 1-bedroom apartment in Sidney, you can expect to pay around AU $2,600, whereas in Hobart, you’ll pay half the price. In addition, basics like gas, power, and Internet will cost you approximately AU $350 per month.

How Are the Prices when It Comes to Transport in Australia?

Cities in Australia have a good public transport system. In Sydney, you have buses, rails, and ferries, which are covered on a swipe-on-swipe-off Opal card. Compared to New York and London, public transport in Australia is reasonably priced. Although New York has cheaper single-trip tickets, Australia’s public transport will drive you longer distances for a lower price.

Health and Fitness Prices in Australia

Australia’s healthcare system is excellent, but many Australians still take private health insurance to cover extras like a specialist and dental care, which can cost up to AU $500 per month. Expats from Finland, Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Malta, Norway, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, Sweden, Slovenia, and the United Kingdom can have treatments via Medicare due to health agreements between countries.

When it comes to fitness, gym memberships cost around AU $80 per month. However, many Australians prefer outdoor fitness activities like walking, running, cycling, and swimming, thanks to the country’s great weather.

How Much Does Food Cost in Australia?

In Australia, groceries are more expensive than in many other major cities worldwide, with a dozen eggs costing around AU $5, a loaf of bread around AU $2.70, and a bottle of milk being priced at about AU $ 1,70. That said, you can spend on groceries anywhere from AU $80 to AU $300 per week.

As for eating out, a meal for two at an average restaurant in Sidney will cost you at least AU $70. If you’re drinking beer, expect to pay around AU $7, and if you’re a coffee lover, you’ll get a cup for AU $3.50.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in Australia

Like every part of the world, Australia also comes with its set of pros and cons. That said, here are several of each to keep in mind before moving there.


  • High living standard
  • Friendly and welcoming people
  • High average annual salary
  • Beautiful nature
  • Quality healthcare
  • Warm weather
  • Fun day and night activities
  • Beautiful nature and unique wildlife


  • High housing prices
  • High cost of living
  • Isolated from the rest of the world
  • The cost of additional health insurance is high

Are There Any Ways to Save Money in Australia?

Here are a few tips on how you can save some bucks while in Australia:

  • If you’re renting a flat, you can share it with friends or family, along with utility costs and groceries.
  • Don’t shop without planning beforehand. Comparing prices and looking out for discounts is always a good idea. To prevent you from impulse buying, make a list and buy only what you need.
  • Buy your clothes from second-hand stores or op shops, or wait until the season sales arrive. The same goes for furniture and dishes. This way, you can save hundreds of dollars.
  • You may also want to compare gas and electricity price deals.
  • Check when petrol prices are the lowest and buy it then.
  • Eat at home and pack your lunch instead of eating out.

Should You Move to Australia?

All in all, Australia is a wonderful country to live in, thanks to its high standard of living, welcoming people, stunning nature and beaches, and fun activities to do. It's no wonder why so many digital nomads choose to move to Australia and live there for a while. Some even move there permanently.

However, living in Australia still comes at a price, and that's especially true if your goal is to live comfortably. Fortunately, high salaries compensate for the high cost of living.

If you're planning to move there for some time, it's a good idea to have some Australian dollars at hand before traveling. This way, you will avoid unnecessary hassles associated with currency exchange at the airports or searching for exchange shops.

At US First Exchange, you can easily order online the currency of your choice and we'll deliver it right to your doorstep in no time.

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