Budget Backpacking Routes for Affordable Travel in Australia

Hitting the road in Australia without breaking the bank can feel like a bit of a tall order, right? We know what it’s like. Believe it or not, your average backpacker is shelling out about $70-100 AUD a day! But after diving deep into our research, we’ve sussed out some top-notch ways to make your dollar stretch further.

Our guide is chockers with handy tips on how to enjoy Australia on the cheap, from snagging budget digs to affordable ways to check out the sights. Want to keep more coins in your pocket?

Key Takeaways

  • Making your own meals and shopping at budget supermarkets can greatly reduce food expenses while backpacking in Australia. Asian eateries offer delicious, low-cost dining options.
  • Booking accommodation and transport early, considering camper van relocations, and utilising Airbnb are effective ways to save on lodging and travel costs.
  • Exploring national parks provides a free or low-cost way to enjoy Australia’s natural beauty. Taking advantage of the free tram zones in cities like Melbourne helps save on transportation.
  • Participating in WWOOFING allows for cultural immersion and learning at minimal cost by exchanging work for room and board.
  • Seeking out happy hours at local bars and buying necessities from discount stores like Chemist Warehouse can further stretch the budget.

affordable travel in australia how to budget

Affordable Travel in Australia: How to Budget

Budgeting for travel in Australia is possible by making your own meals, shopping at budget supermarkets or markets, and using Airbnb. You can also save money by signing up for airline mailing lists to receive notifications about cheap fares and deals.

Make your own meals

Preparing your meals can significantly cut down on your Australian backpacking budget. If you have access to a kitchen, take advantage of it and prepare simple, cost-effective dishes with local ingredients.

Often, markets or budget supermarkets offer fresh produce at lower prices than conventional grocery stores. Opt for these spots to gather all you need for cooking healthy, delicious meals that won’t break the bank.

We also suggest packing snacks and lunches for your day trips. Instead of buying food on the go, which can add up quickly, bring along homemade sandwiches or fruits. This practice not only saves money but also allows more flexibility in your travel schedule as you explore the affordable travel routes in Australia without the constant search for eateries fitting within a tight budget.

Shop at budget supermarkets or markets

After making our meals, another way to save money on food is by shopping at budget supermarkets or markets. Many cities and towns in Australia have budget-friendly grocery stores that offer fresh produce, basic pantry items, and affordable snacks.

Additionally, local markets are great places to find fresh fruits, vegetables, bread, and other homemade goods at lower prices than traditional grocery stores. By shopping at these locations instead of dining out for every meal, we can significantly reduce our food expenses while still enjoying delicious and healthy options during our travels through Australia.

Furthermore, exploring the variety of foods available at these budget supermarkets or markets provides an opportunity to experience the local culture through its cuisine. It’s a cost-effective way to sample regional specialities and interact with locals while supporting small businesses within the community.

Eat Asian food

After shopping at budget supermarkets or markets, another way to save money on your backpacking trip in Australia is by eating Asian food. Many cities in Australia have a vibrant Asian culinary scene, offering delicious and affordable options such as noodle dishes, stir-fries, sushi rolls, and dumplings.

These meals are not only wallet-friendly but also provide a tasty break from typical Western fare. By opting for Asian eateries or cooking your own simple Asian-inspired dishes with fresh ingredients from local markets, you can keep your food expenses under control while experiencing the diverse flavours of Asia during your Australian adventure.

When dining out or preparing meals during your travels through Australia’s East Coast or beyond, seeking out Asian cuisine can provide a satisfying and economical option that aligns with our commitment to budget-friendly travel experiences.

Use Airbnb

When travelling through Australia on a budget, consider using Airbnb for affordable and comfortable accommodation. With plenty of options to choose from in major cities and regional areas, you can find a place that suits your budget and travel style.

Whether it’s a private room in someone’s home or an entire apartment to yourself, Airbnb offers a variety of choices to cater to different needs and preferences. By utilising Airbnb, you can enjoy the comfort of a home while also saving money on accommodation costs during your backpacking journey in Australia.

Consider booking an Airbnb stay well in advance to secure the best deals and availability for your preferred travel dates. Additionally, read reviews from previous guests to ensure that the accommodations meet your standards and expectations before making a booking decision.

Sign up for airline mailing lists

To access exclusive deals and promotions, subscribe to airline mailing lists. By joining these lists, you can stay updated on limited-time offers for cheap fares in Australia. This will help you snag discounted tickets before they sell out, saving you money that you can use for other aspects of your trip.

So keep an eye out for special promotions in your inbox and take advantage of the great savings they offer.

In addition to this, make sure to sign up with multiple airlines to broaden your options and increase your chances of finding the best deals possible. Staying informed about budget-friendly travel routes in Australia is key when planning a backpacking trip Down Under.

Budget Accommodation Options in Australia

Discovering affordable accommodation is key for budget backpackers in Australia. The options range from WWOOFING and East Coast Car Hire to utilising the free tram zone and taking advantage of happy hours.


WWOOFING, which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, is a popular way to experience Australia while keeping costs low. By volunteering on organic farms in exchange for room and board, you can immerse yourself in the local culture and learn about sustainable living practices.

As you help with tasks like harvesting, gardening or animal care, you’ll gain valuable insights into Australian agricultural practices and make genuine connections with locals. WWOOFING also provides an opportunity to explore off-the-beaten-path areas and appreciate the natural beauty of the Australian countryside without breaking the bank.

If participating in WWOOFING excites you but seems daunting at first, keep in mind that thousands of travellers have successfully embarked on this rewarding journey before you. With thorough research and proper planning, it’s possible to find a WWOOF host that aligns with your interests and values for a bespoke experience tailored towards your preferences without any added expenses.

East Coast Car Hire

Looking to explore the stunning East Coast of Australia on a budget? Consider renting a car from East Coast Car Hire. With an array of affordable options, you can easily navigate your way through the scenic coastal routes and visit hidden gems off the beaten track.

Take advantage of our flexible rental agreements, which allow you to tailor your journey according to your own schedule and pace. Whether it’s cruising along the Great Ocean Road or venturing into lush national parks, having access to your own wheels enhances the freedom and flexibility of your adventure without breaking the bank.

If opting for a road trip experience, consider East Coast Car Hire, as we offer economical rates that cater towards budget-conscious travellers seeking cost-effective travel options in Australia.

Utilising the free tram zone

When it comes to getting around major cities in Australia without breaking the bank, utilising the free tram zone can save a significant amount of money on transportation. With access to free trams in Melbourne’s CBD and Docklands area, visitors can explore the city’s major attractions, landmarks, and entertainment precincts without spending a penny on public transport.

This option is especially beneficial for tourists looking to visit popular destinations within the city centre while keeping their budget in check.

Furthermore, utilising the free tram zone enables travellers to conveniently navigate through key areas of Melbourne and enjoy a seamless sightseeing experience without worrying about additional transportation costs.

Take advantage of happy hours

Happy hours are a budget traveller’s best friend. This popular Australian tradition offers discounted food and drinks at bars and restaurants during specific times of the day, often in the late afternoon or early evening.

Taking advantage of happy hours is an excellent way to save money while enjoying a meal or a few drinks with friends. By timing your dining or socialising around these special promotions, you can experience some of Australia’s culinary delights without breaking the bank.

Whether it’s indulging in local cuisine or trying out internationally inspired dishes, happy hours provide an opportunity to savour flavours from around the world at wallet-friendly prices.

Buy toiletries from Chemist Warehouse

Take advantage of happy hours and save money by purchasing toiletries from Chemist Warehouse. You can find a wide range of products at affordable prices, including sunscreen, insect repellent, shampoo, and other personal care items.

By shopping at Chemist Warehouse, you can stock up on essentials without breaking the bank.

transportation tips for budget backpacking

Transportation Tips for Budget Backpacking

Book your transportation early to secure the best deals and save on costs. Consider doing a camper van or car relocation for an affordable travel option.

Book early

Booking early for transportation and accommodation is crucial when backpacking in Australia to secure the best deals. Whether it’s flights, bus or train tickets, or hostel beds, early booking can save you a significant amount of money.

Many budget airlines and transportation options offer lower prices for those who book well in advance, making it easier to stick to your travel budget.

Securing your accommodations ahead of time also ensures that you have more options available to you in terms of location and amenities. By booking early, you’ll have access to a wider range of affordable hostels or budget-friendly guesthouses, rather than being limited by what’s left at the last minute.

Do a camper van/car relocation

To save on transportation costs while exploring Australia, consider doing a camper van or car relocation. This means relocating rental vehicles for companies in need of getting them back to their original location without having to pay for drivers.

It’s an excellent way to score free or heavily discounted rentals, especially if you’re flexible with your travel dates and open to various pick-up and drop-off destinations. By taking advantage of this option, you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of travelling at your own pace while keeping transportation expenses low.

For those looking to cut down on travel spending, a camper van or car relocation in Australia is a fantastic choice that allows us as travellers to explore more of the country without breaking the bank, making it easier to stick within our budget during our adventure down under.

Use the free tram zone

When exploring Australian cities, take advantage of the free tram zone to save on transportation costs. This budget-friendly option allows you to hop on and off trams within designated city areas without spending a penny, making it an economical way to travel around major urban centres such as Melbourne and Adelaide.

By utilising the free tram zone, you can easily access popular tourist attractions, dining spots, and entertainment venues without worrying about additional transport expenses. Additionally, it provides a convenient mode of travel for tourists who want to explore various parts of the city centre at no cost.

Incorporating the use of the free tram zone into your travel plans not only saves money but also offers a hassle-free way to navigate through bustling city streets while enjoying the sights and sounds of Australian urban life.

Use East Coast Car Hire

When exploring Australia on a budget, one cost-effective option for getting around is to use East Coast Car Hire. This allows travellers the freedom to navigate at their own pace and visit off-the-beaten-path destinations that may not be accessible by public transport.

With East Coast Car Hire, tourists can save money on transportation while enjoying the flexibility and convenience of having their own vehicle during their backpacking adventure.

Travellers can take advantage of special deals and discounts when booking with East Coast Car Hire, enabling them to explore the diverse landscapes and attractions across Australia without breaking the bank.

Affordable Activities and Sightseeing Options

Book activities and sightseeing tours after arriving in Australia to save on international booking fees. Explore the country’s national parks, visit free attractions in major cities, shop at outlets for discounted products, and enjoy affordable experiences.

To explore more budget-friendly options when backpacking through Australia, read on.

Book when you’re in the country

To make the most of your trip, consider booking activities and tours after you arrive in Australia. This allows you to gauge local recommendations and weather conditions first-hand.

You can easily book adventures like diving trips or hiking excursions once on-site, ensuring a more tailored experience without compromising your budget.

After exploring the options available when in-country, the next essential element is “Shop in outlets.”

Shop in outlets

When looking for budget-friendly shopping options, consider visiting outlets for discounted prices on clothing, accessories, and other items. By exploring outlet stores in major cities or near tourist areas, you can find great deals on well-known brands and designer labels.

Take advantage of seasonal sales and clearance promotions to make the most of your backpacking budget while still enjoying a bit of retail therapy. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for outlet malls, which often offer a wide range of products at reduced prices, allowing you to shop for souvenirs and necessities without breaking the bank.

Explore Australia’s national parks

Explore Australia’s national parks to immerse yourself in the breathtaking natural beauty and diverse wildlife. Whether hiking through Grampians National Park, spotting kangaroos at Carnarvon Gorge, or discovering waterfalls at Dorrigo National Park, these stunning landscapes offer budget-friendly adventure.

Marvel at ancient rock formations, indigenous cultural sites, and panoramic views while enjoying a low-cost escape into nature. With our guide’s tips for affordable activities and sightseeing options, you can experience the wonders of Australia’s national parks without breaking the bank.

Ready to embark on your journey through Australia’s national parks? Let’s discover more about budget-friendly travel options that await us!

Visit the free attractions in major cities

Explore major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane with a visit to their free attractions. Enjoy the stunning landscapes at places like Bondi Beach in Sydney or take a stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens for some tranquil time in nature.

Marvel at iconic landmarks such as Federation Square in Melbourne or South Bank Parklands in Brisbane. Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting museums, art galleries, and historical sites that offer free admission.

Take advantage of these cost-effective options to make the most of your trip while staying within your budget.

Experience city life without breaking the bank by participating in free walking tours, community events, and festivals happening throughout the year. Wander around vibrant neighbourhoods and soak up street art scenes without spending a cent.

Embrace Affordable Travel in Australia

Discovering budget-friendly backpacking routes in Australia opens up a world of affordable travel options. From making your own meals to exploring national parks, the possibilities are endless for those seeking economic adventures.

Utilising free tram zones and taking advantage of happy hours can also save you money on transportation and accommodation, allowing for a more wallet-friendly journey through this diverse and stunning country.

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