Money and budget Australia

Money and budget Australia

Money, banks, exchange

Australian currency

The currency is the Australian dollar, divided into 100 cents.
As of February 2020, AU $ 1 = AU $ 0,60, and € 1 = AU $ 1,64.

- Coins : there are 5 cents (5 c), 10 cents (10 c), 20 cents (20 c), 50 cents (50 c), $ 1 and $ 2 coins. Keep an eye out at the start so as not to confuse them. That said, especially honest Australians will give you exact change if you got it wrong.

- Tickets : there are $ 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 bills. Unlike the US dollar (all of which are green), the Australian dollar sports bright colors: pink, blue, orange, yellow, and green. Note: the Queen of England, head of state (even if it is only symbolic!), Appears on one of the banknotes, the $ 5 note.


Australia's largest banks, ANZ, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank and Westpac, have branches in every city across the country and are equipped with 24-hour automatic teller machines (ATMs). Banks are generally only open on weekdays, from 24 a.m. (or 9:9 a.m.) to 30 p.m. (sometimes 16 p.m. on Fridays). Quite a few, but not all, are forex and charge a commission for each trade (about $ 17 for a $ 3 withdrawal).

Cash and change

You are strongly advised to notify your bank before your departure (country visited and dates).

- We advise you to possibly take a few tens of Australian dollars that you will have changed beforehand in Europe (that can help out) and to withdraw cash on site as you go along, but especially pay as many purchases as possible with a payment card : low percentage taken for each transaction and this avoids frequent cash withdrawals which are each time punctured by a high commission (from the Australian bank but above all from your bank). In Australia, as in the USA, we use the plastic money all the time!
We find ATMs banknotes (ATM) outside each bank. These are the ones we advise you to use. There are also small distributors in some grocery stores, in the lobby of the AJ, and even in bars or restaurants ... But beware, these small distributors take larger commissions. To avoid !

- To withdraw money from ATMs, choose “Withdrawal”. Then you have 3 options: check, cavings or credit. In the vast majority of cases, opt for "Credit".

- It is often pre 9 a.m. to 20 p.m. Here again, pay attention to the commissions that apply to each transaction and which often depend on the amount requested. This is why we advise you to avoid changing small sums (as for withdrawals in fact). Please note, some cities do not have a bureau de change. Then there are the distributors.

Payment cards

The most recent cards for renting a car or booking a hotel room. Even if you have settled everything before departure through an agency, your card will always be imprinted upon your arrival.

- When shopping, you will very often be asked the question: " Debit or credit? If you don't have an account in Australia, the answer is "credit".

Travelex Prepaid Card

The Cash PassportTM prepaid card (which replaces travelers' checks) works like a payment card. Provided with an identity document, all you have to do is go to a currency exchange agency and load the desired travel budget in dollars on the card. It can also be ordered online before being collected at an agency on presentation of identity documents.
The user can then top it up at any time from the site anywhere in the world.

Secure, the card is not linked to the user's bank account and is protected by a chip and a personal PIN code.

Budget in Australia

The cost of living in Australia is quite comparable to that of France, with a few differences. Accommodation, for example, can be more expensive if you opt for a hotel, but also cheaper if you stay in a backpacker (youth hostel). When it comes to food and drinks, however, the prices remain quite high, as are the prices for leisure activities and excursions.


We indicate the prices 2 for people, with the exception of backpackers (youth hostels) and campsites, where the price is given per person for dormitories and tents, although some campsites sometimes charge for the location (for 2 or 4 people). Prices always include taxes, so no unpleasant surprises.
The prices vary according to the tourist character of the city / region visited, the season, the comfort and sometimes the day of the week. Juggling this data can save you a bundle of dollars.

- The most economical is to travel by car or van and camping in parks. Some sites are even free. We mention the Wikicamps application, essential to find all the locations. Otherwise, the rule is simple: the lower the price, the more services are reduced. 

- Backpackers (youth hostels): if you don't have a vehicle, you will go straight to a backpacker (youth hostel) or a YHA (youth hostel affiliated to the Youth Hostel Australia association). A bed in a dormitory varies between $ 20 and $ 45 per person, depending on the season and the capacity of the dormitory. A private double room (always in a backpacker) varies between $ 60 and $ 120 about. Lower prices, however, in really lost regions.

- Small hotels, we find interesting prices in pubs, which often have a few rooms upstairs (accomodation panel). Guaranteed local slice of life!
Important: the rooms sometimes have 2 double beds which can therefore accommodate 4 people. The supplement per person costs $ 15 to $ 25. In addition, most of the rooms have a coffee maker or kettle, and often a small fridge. It allows you to make an economical breakfast.

- Bed & $ 100 per double (in gel, nothing less than $ 200. Like everywhere, breakfast is included.

- Price variations and school holidays: the prices fluctuate according to the season, and sometimes according to the day of the week (more expensive on weekends and in Edéends, the pejuly), spring holidays (1 or 2 weeks between mid-September and mid-October). In short, to limit the budget, it is better to go between the drops. All on your calendars!

Price ranges for accommodation

- Inexpensive $ 45 per bed in a dormitory or $ 120 per double room.
- Average prices: about $ 120-170 for small hô Classier : 170-250 $, with variations according to the Very stylish : over $ 250.


Prices are indicated for a main course, or even a starter and a main course, never for a full meal. Australians are often satisfied with a pub dish for lunch, or a big salad. In the evening, in a real restaurant, the prices go up very quickly.

Price ranges for food and meals

- Cheap Average prices: $ 15-30.
- Chic: $ 30-50.
- Very stylish : over $ 50.


- Personal car or van: long-haul travelers, you are at home here. Owning your own vehicle is the most economical way to travel in Australia if you have a lot of time (minimum 2 months). We buy a car or a van, drive around and sell it at the end of the trip. Well, easy to say, less easy to do, unless you organize yourself well. Take a look at the many announcements on websites and other Facebook pages (especially French expats), and in backpackers (AJ) to find the rare pearl!

- Long distance buses: practical and not so expensive when you relate the price per kilometer. The fact remains that, taking into account the routes to be covered, it is a budget to be calculated as closely as possible if you do not want to have surprises. Interesting packages are offered on some tours.

- Car rental : by combining plane jumps and car rental, you can get away with honor, especially if you are four. For a category A car, count between $ 40 and $ 60 per day depending on the agencies and promotions (but it is difficult to hold 4 with luggage). If you only visit big cities, the car is completely useless.

- Plane: mecost and promos to watch on the Internet. By opening your eyes, you will save a lot of time and you will make substantial savings.

- Train: overall not practical, expensive and very slow. We're not even saving money! Some stations are not located in the cities themselves, and you have to pay for the bus to get there. In short, no interest.

- Transport: in big cities they are not cheap (for example, $ 4 a train ticket in Sydney), but a bus or train trip can easily be reconciled with walking. There are also all kinds of passes.


In most cities, the car park is chargeable. Count around $ 4 an hour in the heart of large cities. A little cheaper in less touristy areas. When it is free, in the center of small towns, parking is limited in time (1 or 2 hours maximum). However, it is free in motels and most hotels.

Leisure, sites and museums

If the museums $ 15), the $ 150 (or even $ 200) the estimate this item. Calculate fairly broad side pleasures, otherwise you would regret it on the spot.

Taxes and tips

The Goods and Services Tax, GST) is 10%. It is included in all prices displayed.

Le tip is not mandatory in Australia, whether in pubs, bars or otherwise. You are free to round up the sum if you wish, but no one will make a face at you if you do not leave anything. On the other hand, in a little classy restaurants, it is traditional to leave 10% of the amount of the bill as a tip. But again, nothing binding.

Australia shopping and souvenirs

If koala keychains, kangaroo stuffed animals and other gadgets invade souvenir shops, it's hard to find gifts made in Australia to bring back to friends. We give you some ideas.

- Aboriginal crafts: at the top of Australian memories (and clichés), we find the didgeridoo, a piece of emptied and decorated wood in which we blow to emit deep and buzzing sounds. The Aborigines used it for religious rituals or to communicate at a distance. As for you, good luck to come out with a pretty melody!
Another emblematic object of the country: the boomerang.
On the art side, paintings, once present in caves and on trees, are now lying on canvas. We often recognize them in the dot painting style, made of small dots. Be careful to differentiate the true from the false! The crafts found in souvenir shops are often made in China. Better to buy these items in stores specializing in Aboriginal art, part of the profits of which is donated to the community.

- Akubra: the most famous hat with wide brim, practical for protection from the sun and the rain. There are $ 20 to $ 200 depending on the material and the quality of production. Very practical, they are designed to be folded and stored in a bag. Perfect for the hot outback ... a bit of folklore back in town!

- Opal jewelry: unmissable if you go to Coober Pedy, South Australia. The city produces 90% of the world's opal production. There are also some deposits in Queensland. With a blue base, the stone has pearly effects and other touches of color such as yellow, green and red.

- UGG shoes: a little over the shirt!

- Australian wines: Australia is famous for its vineyards. It is today the 5th exporting nation in the world. Our favorite grape varieties? Those of the Barossa Valley (Penfolds, Petaluma, Peter Lehmann, etc.), the Grampians (Mount Langi Ghiran), the Margaret River (Cape Mentelle) or the Yarra Valley (Spear Gully).

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