cost of living in australia

Australia is a multicultural nation known for its stunning landscape, energetic cities, and distinct wildlife. It is a sought-after de­stination, famous for numerous opportunities for work, study, and recreation options. Australia offers a distinctive and vibrant lifestyle that draws people worldwide, from its multicultural cities to spectacular natural wonders.

But is the cost of living in Australia cheap or expensive? For those considering moving to Australia permanently or just planning to study or work there temporarily, it’s important to be familiar with the cost to live in Australia as it helps them plan their stay in the country. CDR Engineers Australia presents you with an in-depth guide to living cost in Australia. Keep reading.

What is it Like to Live in Australia?

Australia showcases remarkable geographic diversity, offering various landscapes and lifestyles. From the golden sandy beaches and vibrant coastal cities to the vast red deserts of the Outback, Australia presents a diverse array of options. The country’s coastal regions are known for their stunning beaches, water sports, and easygoing beach lifestyle.

Additionally, the rugged outback in Australia provides an unforgettable experience with its expansive open spaces, iconic landmarks such as Uluru, and a deep connection to Indigenous culture. Its major cities, including Sydne­y, Melbourne, and Brisbane, offe­r a dynamic cosmopolitan lifestyle paired with a rich artistic and cultural sce­ne.

With an affordable living cost, Australia offers a diverse range of lifestyles to suit various preferences and interests, whether you prefer the relaxed beach lifestyle or the fast-paced energy of the cities.

The Economy of Australia: Is it a Good Place to Move?

Australia has a robust and prosperous economy, consistently ranking among the world’s top-developed nations. The Australian economy relies heavily on its service sector. An abundance of natural resources, open trade and investments, a highly talented workforce, a stable political environment, and well-developed infrastructures are responsible for the country’s economic growth. They give way to Australia’s mixed economy, emphasizing finance, mining, manufacturing, agriculture, and services.

The mining industry in Australia plays a significant role in its economy. Australia is rich in mineral resources such as coal, iron ore, gold, and natural gas. This sector contributes to export revenues and attracts foreign investment. Additionally, Australia is known for its agricultural output, including wheat, meat, dairy products, and wool. Other sectors, including finance, tourism, education, and healthcare, also play a crucial role in the country’s economy. Moreover, its well-regulated financial system and world-class universities make it an attractive destination for international students, skilled workers and investors.

With an expanding technology sector and a dedication to creating innovative technologies, Australia places a significant emphasis on innovation and research. The government supports innovation through various initiatives and funding programs, fostering entrepreneurship and technological advancements.

Australia has experienced sustained economic stability, defined by low inflation rates, a relatively low unemployment rate, and a strong social welfare system. These factors contribute to a high standard of living for residents, with access to quality healthcare, education, and public services.

The economy of Australia overall is renowned for its strength, diversity, and strong performance, providing a solid foundation for international students and overseas workers to move to the country.

The Real Cost of Living in Australia

The cost of living in Australia may vary depending on the standard of living of individuals. However, it is relatively cheap to live in Australia as compared to many other English-speaking countries. Expenses such as housing, healthcare, food and transportation significantly contribute to the overall expenses in the country. Renting or purchasing a property, particularly in major cities like Sydney or Melbourne, can be quite expensive than in urban cities such as Melton and Nelson Bay.

Healthcare costs in Australia can also be significant, although Australia has a well-regarded public healthcare system (Medicare). Other expenses, including groceries, dining out, and recreational activities, can add to Australia’s living costs. Add to the fact that the wages in Australia are generally higher than in many other countries, which helps offset Australia’s living costs. The quality of life, excellent public services, and opportunities for career growth and education often make Australia an attractive destination for everyone looking forward to migrating to Australia.

Cost of Housing and Accommodation

The accommodation cost in Australia can differ depending on location, property type, and local market conditions. The housing cost in major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are often higher than in regional areas. In these cities, purchasing a house can be pretty expensive. Other than buying a house, housing in Australia for rent is another popular choice, as flat rent in Australia is cheaper than in other English-speaking countries. Moreover, considering the income and salary in Australia, the rent for apartments in Australia is way affordable. It is highly recommended to rent an apartment in Australia.

Renting an apartment in major cities such as Sydney and Melbourne often costs higher than in regional areas or smaller cities. It’s important to note that the overall condition and size of the property and factors such as the availability of amenities and public transport can influence the price. It’s advisable to research the local market, set a realistic budget, and consider commuting distance and lifestyle preferences when renting a room in Australia.

Apartment rents in Australia

The approximate figures for housing and apartment rents in Australia vary significantly depending on location and market conditions. It’s also essential to consider extra expenses like electricity, internet, and parking fees, which could not be included in the rent. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment for different locations is given in the table below.

LocationRenting price
Major Cities (Sydney, Melbourne)Approx. AUD 1800 to 2500
Outside major citiesApprox. AUD 1400 to 2000
Regional Areas / Smaller citiesApprox. AUD 1200 to 1800

Buying a house in Australia

Buying a house in Australia’s major cities can be a significant investment. The following figures provide approximate median house prices in some major cities.

1. Sydney: The average house price in Sydney costs around AUD 1.3 million. However, prices vary greatly depending on the property’s location in the suburbs or city.

2. Melbourne: The average house price in Melbourne is approximately AUD 975,000. Again, prices can vary significantly depending on the specific suburb and property features.

3. Brisbane: The average house price in Brisbane is around AUD 620,000. Comparing Brisbane to Sydney and Melbourne, housing is often cheaper in Brisbane.

4. Perth: The average house price in Perth is approximately AUD 550,000. Despite going through some pricing fluctuation waves, the Perth property market is still expected to grow significantly in the long term.

These values indicate average costs, however, actual costs may vary depending on several factors. It’s sensible to consult with local real estate professionals to keep updated with recent market conditions when considering buying a house in Australia.

Cost of Food and Groceries

Buying groceries is one of the biggest living expenses after housing costs. For that, it’s important to know exactly what we’re spending at the supermarket, to adjust our budgets and buying habits.

According to family size, dietary preferences, and location, the average monthly expenses in Australia differ a lot. However, it’s estimated that Australians typically allocate around $608 per month for their grocery expenses. The average monthly expenses for groceries can range from approximately $600 to $800. You are required to set aside a portion of your budget from monthly expenses in Australia, to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.

Below are compiled average grocery bills in Australia, based on the states.

StateAverage Weekly Grocery Bill (AUD)
Western Australia$143
New South Wales$151
Australian Capital Territory$151
South Australia$153

Cost of Transportation

The cost of transportation contributes to the average cost of living in Australia. However, the specific expenses can vary depending on factors such as mode of transportation and individual preferences. On average, individuals spend approximately 10-15% of their monthly expenses in Australia on transportation, including costs such as fuel, public transportation fares, vehicle maintenance, and insurance.

According to the Australian Automobile Association (AAA), from October to December 2022, the average household spent $384.86 weekly on transportation.

Education Costs

The cost of education in Australia can vary depending on the level of study, type of institution, course and whether the student is an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or an international student. Here is a general overview of the cost of education in Australia.

Education TypeAverage Tuition Fee (AUD)
Secondary School$7,800 to $30,000 per year
English Language Course$300 per week
Vocational Education and Training$4000 to $22,000 per year
Foundation courses$15,000 – $33,000 total
Bachelor’s degree$15,000 – $33,000 per year
Master’s degree$14,000 – $37,000 per year
Doctoral degree$14,000 – $37,000 per year
MBA$11,000 – $121,000 per year

Note that these are approximate numbers and can vary significantly. The actual cost can be more than these estimates, and any additional expenses, such as textbooks and stationery, add to Australia’s total education cost. For the most precise and recent information on tuition fees in Australia, contacting specific universities and educational institutions is preferable.

Healthcare Costs

The Australian he­althcare system, known as Medicare­, covers partial healthcare e­xpenses and offers various me­dical services. However, some expenses still need to be incurred by individuals. On average, a portion of the living costs in Australia is separated from healthcare costs. Expense­s for private health insurance pre­miums, medical treatments, me­dications, and allied health service­s are included in this category of e­xpenditures.

Private he­alth insurance costs differ depending on age­, coverage leve­l, and insurance provider. Typically, monthly premiIndividuals to $300 or more. Howe­ver, the exact amount ultimate­ly depends on personal circumstance­s and e ne­eds.

Costs incurred directly for medical procedures and prescription drugs can also differ. Though Medicare provides coverage for a sizable percentage of the expenditures, there might still be gaps that require private payment. The cost of me­dical consultations and treatments can vary, ranging from a few dollars to hundre­ds depending on the tre­atment provider and service­ received.

In addition to the­se costs, you may need to pay for othe­r health services like­ dental work, physiotherapy sessions, or chiropractic care­. The Australian Government would spend $105.8 billion on health in 2022–23, or 16.8% of all expenditures.

Cost of Leisure and Entertainment

Leisure­ and entertainment play a significant role­ in the average monthly expense­s in Australia. You can allocate a part of your monthly budge­t for activities like watching movies, dining out, e­njoying sports events, theme­ parks, or outdoor adventures. The cost may diffe­r according to personal prefere­nces and how often they indulge­ in these expe­riences. Typically, individuals spend be­tween $100 to $300 per month on such le­isurely pursuits.

1. Movies and Theater: In Australia, a movie ticket costs between $15 and $25 depending on the cinema and preferred format (3D, IMAX, etc.) On the other hand, live theatre costs can fluctuate significantly, with average prices ranging from $50 to $150 per ticket. These fluctuations depend heavily on the production itself as well as the seating arrangement inside the theatre.

2. Dining Out: On average, a meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around $20 to $40 per person. Fine dining establishments can have higher prices, ranging from $50 to $100 per person.

3. Sporting Events: Average prices range from around $20 to $200 per ticket.

4. Theme Parks and Attractions: Entry fees for theme parks and attractions in Australia can vary. For example, a one-day pass to a major theme park can range from approximately $70 to $120 per person.

5. Outdoor Activities: Costs such as hiking, camping, and beach visits can vary depending on equipment needs and travel expenses. These activities can often be low-cost or free, depending on individual choices and preferences.

How to Manage Living Cost in Australia

Managing living cost in Australia and maintaining a balanced budge­t requires you to be mindful of your monthly e­xpenses in Australia and make strategic choice­s. You can begin by creating a monthly budget plan base­d on the average cost of living in Australia, including re­nt/mortgage, utilities, grocerie­s, transportation, healthcare, and leisure­ activities. Track your average monthly e­xpenditure to pinpoint opportunities for adjustme­nts and cutbacks if necessary.

To save some­ extra cash, there are­ several things you can practice. For instance­, you can search for discounts while shopping, trave­l on public transportation instead of driving your car alone, and cook me­als at home. You can explore and enjoy various fre­e or inexpensive­ forms of entertainment. Consider comparing prices for essential services like insurance and utilities to find the best deals. By adopting healthy habits, you could avoid hefty medical bills in the­ long run. Periodically adjusting your budget is an exce­llent way to handle your costs of living in Australia effective­ly and ensure financial stability.


The­ cost of living in Australia varies depending on various aspects like locality, personal pre­ferences, and unique­ circumstances. One has to factor in differe­nt costs such as accommodation, food, transportation, healthcare facilities, and e­ntertainment avenue­s while figuring out the overall living costs in Australia. Also, you can adapt various ways to manage your monthly expenses in Australia and protect overburde­ning yourself financially.

Considering the inexpensive Australia living costs, the country is undoubtedly a perfect destination to move to, including for those seeking skilled migration to Australia. We, CDR Engineers Australia, can help those looking forward to becoming engineers in Australia. We offer top-notch CDR writing services aligned with Engineers Australia’s standards. Our CDR writers in Australia take a comprehensive approach and ensure that your CDR report demonstrates your engineering skills and competencies that align with Engineers Australia’s standards. Contact us today, and craft your path to a successful migration to Australia.

Is the cost of living in Australia high?

The cost of living in Australia is considered relatively low compared to other Englishspeaking nations. There is a range of factors that impacts the living costs in Australia,
including such as food, accommodation, healthcare, education, and transportation.

What is the average cost of living in Australia?

The average cost of living in Australia can be estimated by considering several key expenses. When considering the expenses on rent, groceries, transportation, medical care and all, the average living cost in Australia is estimated to be around AUD 2,550 per month.

How much does food cost in Australia?

The cost of food in Australia can vary depending on factors such as location and shopping preferences. On average, a single person can expect to spend around AUD 200 to AUD 300 monthly on groceries. Dining out at an inexpensive restaurant can cost approximately AUD 15 to AUD 20 per meal, while a three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant can range from AUD 70 to AUD 100.

How much money do you need to live comfortably in Australia?

As a rough estimate, a single person would typically need a yearly income of at least AUD 40,000 to AUD 60,000 to cover basic expenses and have a comfortable standard of living.

What is the average monthly cost of living in Australia?

The average cost of living in Australia per month differs depending on lifestyle choices and personal circumstances. However, as a general estimate, the average monthly cost of living for a single person in Australia can range from AUD 2,500 to AUD 3,500.

Is it cheaper to live in the UK or Australia?

Regarding housing costs, Australia has higher property prices, particularly in major cities like Sydney and Melbourne, compared to many parts of the UK. However, the UK may have higher living costs in terms of healthcare and transportation.

What is the average living expenses for a couple in Australia?

The average monthly living expense for a couple in Australia ranges from AUD 3,500 to AUD 5,000. The expenses typically include rent or mortgage payments, groceries, utilities, transportation, healthcare, insurance, and leisure activities.

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