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Costs of living in Australia for expats and international students


Jan 11, 2023

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Is moving to Australia worth it? Many of us may know that the country of kangaroos is perfect with its great weather, beautiful nature landscapes even in the metropolitan areas. The country is also famous for its cosmopolitan cities, which are the crossroad of east and west. It is so easy for expats and international students to relocate to the country for business or education. But is Australia expensive to live in? Let’s continue reading this article to help you get an overall information about average costs of living in Australia and have a good plan that sets you up for success.

Costs of living in Australia for expats and students

Costs of living in Australia for expats and students

Visa requirements

First and foremost, The Department of Home Affairs has financial requirements you must meet in order to receive a visitor visa or working and skilled visa or student visa depending on your case. You need to make sure that you have enough money to be eligible for visa application.

For more information about financial requirements for each type of visa, you can visit the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs website to update the latest eligibility.

Know where you live in Australia

It is important to know which state in the country you are going to move to, and since then, you save much time in doing research for cost of living in Australia with precise numbers of price. Sydney and Melbourne are popular destinations for expats and students moving to Australia however where you end up is up to you. Meanwhile, we are going to go through the 2 cities that attract most visitors in Australia.


Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales, is the biggest and most populous city in Australia. Sydney is situated on Australia’s Tasman Sea south-east coast. Inhabitants of Sydney are called Sydneysiders, who are a diverse and multicultural group of individuals from all over the world. The city is the harmonious combination of hills, coastal basins, beaches and rivers. There are so many tourist attractions for visitors to discover namely Sydney Harbour, Opera House, Harbour Bridge, National parks round the metropolitan area’s hinterland, Bondi Beach and so on.

Average cost of living in Sydney - Australia

Average cost of living in Sydney – Australia


Sydney is well known for its high-living costs, especially accommodation bills. The price for buying a house or rental fee fluctuates depending on the location you choose and type of accommodation.

If you rent, there are 3 main options for you to stay in Sydney.

  • Homestay: If you decide on a homestay, you can be sure that Sydney will welcome you with open arms! Many overseas students and expats find that homestay is a great option because it allows for an invaluable cultural exchange with your host family’s community. The average price for the CBD (Central Business District) varies from AUD 50 to AUD 70/night. In the west suburb, homestay prices can be less expensive, ranging from AUD 30 to AUD 40 per night. Visit or Airbnb to get the updated prices for you.
  • Sharehouse: You will have more chances to meet new people and another interesting advantage of living in a sharehouse is that you can split utility bills with housemates. Shared room prices can fluctuate from AUD 300 to AUD 600 per week. The prices can be cheaper in suburb areas, you can update the latest figures on Flatmates website or mobile app. Remember to check whether utility costs are included in the rental price while looking at listings, and ask the landlord if they do or not.
  • Studio: If you’re an independent person, then private rental accommodation is the perfect option for you. Single apartment prices in Sydney vary from AUD 400 to AUD 800. Update your price on Flatmates.

To pay for rental fees in Sydney, the ultimate option for all expats and students traveling from overseas is credit card or debit card/prepaid card from Visa, Mastercard or American Express with online payment if you choose to homestay. If this is your first trip to Australia, you should have an international banking account to pay bills via internet banking for your landlord in the initial payment and bond (deposit guarantee money). No worries for that, because DNBC Financial can help you open your international payment account quickly with 100% online onboarding process, enabling you to have a well-planned financial preparation for your trip.


You need to be aware of the most efficient means of transportation to travel from A to B, whether you’re walking, biking, taking public transportation, or driving a car. Consider where you intend to live and how it may affect travel times and your options for getting about. Sydney has a developed transport system and infrastructure that enables everyone to commute in the city with peace of mind.

  • Public transportation: With simply an opal card, you may easily access public transportation in Sydney, including trains, buses, and ferries. To buy the card, you can visit any train station to get 1 and recharge your balance in cash or card. Don’t have an opal card, it’s ok, you can pay travel fees by contactless cards or mobile phone payment at “tap on and tap off” points.
Distance Adult fare ( aged 16 years and older )
Metro and train fares
0 – 10 km AU$ 3.79
10 – 20 km AU$ 4.71
20 – 35 km AU$ 5.42
35 – 65 km AU$ 7.24
65+ km AU$ 9.31
Bus fares
0 – 3 km AU$ 3.2
3 – 8 km AU$ 3.93
8+ km AU$ 5.05
  • Rent a car: If you want to get out and about and explore your new home, a car offers you the freedom to do just that. The 3 popular cars that are rented in Sydney are 5 door hatch, 5 seat SUV and 7 seat SUV wagon. The rental prices can be different depending on service providers. You can check it at Bayswater Car Rental, a well known cheap car rental service company in Sydney. Rental prices can range from AU$ 300 to AU$ 500 for 100km/day. They also offer an unlimited km per day option with a slightly higher price compared to the one for 100 km/day.


Due to each person’s unique lifestyle, food bills would vary. Rather than dining out, it is less expensive to prepare food at home. However, to make sure you have an excellent expenses plan for the vacation, the daily budget for meals should be from AU$ 55 per person.

You can reduce the cost of your weekly shopping bill by using a variety of strategies. For example, applications like Half Price can make it easier for you to browse supermarket catalogs for discounts. To find amazing deals on fresh produce and other food items, you may also buy at your local markets.


Personal expenditures are about gym, haircuts, cosmetics, mobile plan, etc. These products and services will vary significantly from person to person, and you may be able to cut down on some of these costs if they are not necessary for you.


Keeping up with the current fashion trends doesn’t have to be expensive; all you need is a little bit of knowledge! Consider going to second hand stores like Vinnie’s or the Salvation Army to save money on clothes purchases. You may get economical and environmentally friendly used clothing, shoes, and accessories here. Another great way to save money is to shop online, where you can frequently utilize promo code and cashback browser installations like Cashrewards or Shopback.


Despite the fact that you are traveling to Australia for vacation or to study, it is crucial to budget for leisure time like cinema, live music, social sport or night out . Making friends, enhancing your mental health, and experiencing your city are all essential for keeping your body and mind in good shape. These activities are therefore worthwhile to include in your budget even though they can be pricey.


One of the priciest cities in the world is Melbourne. Melbourne is a fairly costly city, like most of Australia’s main cities, despite the fact that you can live there very comfortably on an average net wage. Depending on your lifestyle and background, the cost of living in Melbourne differs considerably. When you calculate the cost of living in Melbourne or regional Victoria you may find that the expenses are different to what you have to pay in your own country. What to include in the cost of living in Australia, especially in Melbourne?

 Average cost of living in Melbourne - Australia

Average cost of living in Melbourne – Australia


Tenants pay rent and also need to pay for electricity, gas, internet and cable services. If you are sharing the rental of a property, you and the other tenants will probably split these expenses between you.

These costs might be covered by your rent if you live on campus in a residential college, homestay, or other type of student housing.

  • Homestay: The majority of homestays in Melbourne are located in the city center, so you might have no trouble commuting to any place in the city. Rent fees vary from AU$ 35 to AU$ 65/night. Update the latest price on
  • Sharehouse: room lodging fees in Melbourne are slightly less expensive than the ones in Sydney. Weekly payment fluctuates from AU$ 200 to AU$ 350. Check share house prices on Flatmates to find your best offer.
  • Flat: If privacy is your priority, no worries, you can opt for a single flat in Melbourne. Tenants are charged from AU$ 200 – AU$ 300 per week on average.


You’ll need a myki for your journey when traveling in Melbourne. If you’re only traveling in the Free Tram Zone, your journey is free and you don’t need a myki. If you accidentally touch on, you’ll be charged a 2 hour Zone 1+2 fare. For more information, see the Fares and Ticketing Manual. If you start or finish your journey outside the Free Tram Zone you need to pay for your journey and use a myki. For any journey in Zone 1 and Zone 2, you may look at the below table of charges:

myki Money 2 hour fare

2 hour Zone 1 + 2 Zone 2
Full fare AU$4.60 AU$3.10
Concession AU$2.30 AU$1.55

myki Money Daily fare

Daily Zone 1 + 2 Zone 2
Full fare AU$9.20 AU$6.20
Concession AU$4.60 AU$3.10

Weekly (7 day) myki Pass fare table

Weekly rate 7 day pass Zone 1+2 Zone 2
Full fare $46.00 $31.00
Concession $23.00 $15.50

Daily rate for 28-365*day myki Pass

Daily rate for 28-365** Zone 1+2r Zone 2
Full fare $5.52 $3.72
Concession $2.76 $1.86

Living aboard is mammoth, we need to have a careful plan, well preparations from all aspects of life. Not only personal care, but also mental care aspect and cultural understanding. One of the important things when we plan for a journey is a strong financial foundation and excellent banking solutions. At DNBC Financial, we always commit ourselves to accompany clients in any new journey that you step in. DNBC personal payment account helps you manage international payments with peace of mind, get paid or receive money transfers from friends or family in your hometown.

About DNBC Financial Group

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Note: The content in this article is for general informative purposes only. You should conduct your own research or ask for specialist advice before making any financial decisions. All information in this article is current as of the date of publication, and DNBC Financial Group reserves the right to modify, add, or remove any information. We don’t provide any express or implied representations, warranties, or guarantees regarding the accuracy, completeness, or currency of the content within this publication.