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Australia Wrap Up $93 per day


Sydney-Opera-House

We spent an average of $93 each per day in Australia over the course of 17 days. Here is a collection of our impressions, travel tips, accommodation reviews,  and the cost break down.

Schedule

  •  Sydney 12 days 

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Sydney is an absolutely incredible city and probably one of my favorite cities in the world. It’s a major cosmopolitan city with delicious food, beautiful neighborhoods, and picturesque beaches and bays. Oh yea and the weather is mostly warm and nice all year round. What’s not to like? I recommend spending a least a few days here if not a week. We were there with my parents, celebrating my mom’s birthday and seeing friends and family (I lived in Sydney for 5 years when I was younger). There’s no shortage of things to do in Sydney though some highlights include lunch at the Fish Market and climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Sydney-Harbor-Bridge 

  •  Tasmania 5 days 

hike to wineglass bay

We did a five day driving tour around the Eastern part of Tasmania, starting in Hobart and winding our way up to Launceston. Tasmania has some incredible scenery with gorgeous beaches and national parks. Definitely worth spending a few days, if not a week in.

Sunset White Beach

Would we do it the same way?

Because of travel plans we had to leave Australia on Feb 1st so we did not get to see anywhere as much of the country as we would have liked to. Since we were meeting up with my parents there we let them decide how to split up our time and ended up spending almost two weeks in Sydney to see friends and family. If we were just heading to Australia to travel we would have spent 1 week in the Sydney area, 1 week in Tasmania and then headed to the other regions of Austria (Queensland, Western Australia, etc). Doing a road trip on the mainland would also have been great. All for next time though.

Our Route

Our Impressions

Pirates Bay Lookout

Australia is truly a beautiful country. If only it wasn’t so far away from North America/Europe I would be going there a lot more frequently. The beaches are incredible as are the national parks, and there is no shortage of cuisine to choose from. In Sydney it seems like every street has a various array of ethnic restaurants and it really is a melting pot of many cultures.

But… it is incredibly expensive. Everything is expensive. From groceries to attractions. Basically think of the most you would ever want to pay for something and then double (or triple it) and that’s the Aussie price. If you’re thinking of going shopping for clothes, forget it – the prices are beyond outrageous (in my mind). Cost of living in Sydney seems to be outrageous as well. Property prices are through the roof. I have no idea how anyone affords anything over there. Not exactly a budget travel destination.

In terms of the people, we found everyone to be fairly friendly and with language not being a barrier it is always easier to communicate with locals. We spent a lot of time with Russian friends and family so we didn’t couchsurf or have any long term interactions with the local Aussies, but from what we saw they seem to be nice. Oh but that accent though – that can be tough to decipher at times. In Tasmania specifically there were a handful of times, especially on the phone, when I flat out had no idea what I was being told. And the slang can be pretty funny too, so try to be on the lookout for funny phrases or words for things.

Overall Australia is a lovely country that I would have loved to see more of. 

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Bests And Worsts

Best food:

We had some great meals in Australia. From fresh oysters every day in Tasmania to various new types of fish that I had never even heard of before, we really feasted on fresh seafood. My two favorite dishes were the oysters at Bark Mill Tavern in Tasmania, and the fried soft shell crab at the Sydney Fish Market.

barkmill-tavern-oysters-swansea

Soft shell crab is simply my new favorite food and oysters I’ve been in love with since last summer.

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Best experience: 

The best experience had to be the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb. I bought tickets for my mom and I to go for her birthday and it was an unforgettable experience.

CLimbing the bridge

 

Tips For Traveling

Transportation

Local Buses

We took some local buses around Sydney and found them to run on time and be comfortable. The bus system is more extensive than the train so depending on where you are going you will have to take the bus. If you’re going to the beaches the bus is the best way to get there.

Trains

We didn’t take any trains in Australia.

Cabs

We didn’t take any cabs in Australia.

Long Distance Buses

We didn’t take any long distance buses in Australia.

Student IDs

We were able to use our student ids a few times so take these with you.

Public Facilities

No problems with public facilities in Sydney. They are easy to find and even the public beaches have free bathrooms and showers.

Safety

We felt very safe in Australia.

Food and Restaurants

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Food is expensive in Australia and eating out can quickly add up. Lunch at a simple sit down restaurant will easily cost you over $20 and dinners are even more expensive. For a cheaper lunch look for to go places, fish and chip shops or more ethnic restaurants. You can get a great bowl of Malaysian laksa for around $7.

Credit Cards And Money

We had no problems using our credit cards in Australia.

Internet

Internet does not seem to be all that great in Australia. Everywhere we stayed in Tasmania claimed to have free wifi, when in fact the signal either didn’t reach or you had to pay for it (around $5-10 for 24 hours per device). Connection did not seem to be particularly fast.

Accommodation ( 1.1 AUD = ~1 USD)

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We stayed in a mix of apartments, cabins or with friends/family,

  1. Sydney – we stayed with relatives for a few nights and rented an apartment for a week. The apartment was a short walk away from Bronte beach and we paid $250 a night for a 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment. The apartment was nice, though a bit cluttered with the owners’ stuff and the wifi did not work well, and signal only worked in the living room. Great location though.
  2. Hobart – we stayed at Salamanca Terraces serviced apartments right in the city center. $355 for a 2 bedroom 1.5 bathroom apartment. Large, roomy, very nice but internet only worked on one device at a time.
  3. Port Arthur – we couldn’t find accommodation right by Port Arthur, so stayed in a cabin at Harpers on the Beach, just a short drive away. Cozy 2 bedroom 1 bathroom cabin for $200. Internet only worked in the main bed and breakfast house.
  4. Swansea – we stayed at Amos House in a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment for $225. You had to pay for internet and the place looked a bit old and worn down. Right across the street from the beach though.
  5. St Helens – we stayed at Homela Accommodation. $136 for a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom cabin. A bit run down on the inside and you had to pay for internet.
  6. Launceston – we stayed in an AirBnB house with 3 bedrooms and 1.5 bathrooms for $195. Internet only worked on one device at a time and the house is outside the city center and more in the suburbs, but was very nice on the inside.

Finding Couchsurfers

We did not couchsurf in Australia.

Cost Break Down

We kept track of every cost we had down to the purchase level and categorized it into 5 groupings:

  • Entertainment – Mostly sightseeing.
  • Food and Water – Breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as snacks (little things we bought in the middle of the day, chips, ice cream, etc).
  • Gifts – For couchsurfers, usually a bottle of wine or some chocolates, sometimes treated to dinner.
  • Transportation – all forms but not including any flights in and out of the country.
  • Utilities – Things like lockers for bags, pay phones, small purchases like detergent.
  • Accommodation – All hotel/hostel/guesthouse stays
  • Car-  gas tolls, parking

So where did we end up? $93 per person, per day. 

australia daily costs

*In the daily average I did not include the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb as this was a birthday present for my mom.

 

Would we go back to YES? 

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4 Responses to Australia Wrap Up $93 per day

  1. Tell me about it! Having lived in Australia for 7 years I know it’s horribly expensive. The only saving grace cost wise is property prices, they are a fraction of London prices so we did very well buying a half a million dollar home in Port Douglas, complete with pool. Our tiny house in London cost a lot more and was about half the size. That was what allowed me to be a stay-at-home mum/blog-entrepreneur in Australia, we could never have afforded for me to quit work in London.
    I could just about feed me and the kids, buy petrol, and all the other odds and sods you need to buy on $250/ week. Just, only just! My husband mostly ate in work, that saved us a lot. Eating out costs a fortune too.
    I have been on long distance buses and 2 of the famous Ozzy train rides The Ghan and the other one, I can’t remember what it’s called. It was an interesting experience I wouldn’t be mad keen to repeat, lots of violence on board and undesirable sorts.
    People use fake student IDs bought in Bangkok very successfully ( even 35 year old fake students get away with it).
    If you head back down under come couch surf with us, Port Douglas is lovely for a holiday.

    Alyson March 15, 2014 at 10:49 AM Reply
    • Yea I suppose compared to London property prices Australia starts to look pretty good! Yea eating out is so expensive! $250 for you and the kids sounds really good though, if that covered the regular expenses. Definitely surprised to hear theres a fake student ID market in Bangkok – would not have guessed that – though those student IDs really do come in handy. So glad we still have ours. Next time we’re in Australia we’ll definitely couchsurf with you. Thanks for the offer! With my parents we were initially planning on going up to Port Douglas for 5 days, but then decided on Tasmania instead.

      Vicky March 16, 2014 at 11:22 PM Reply
  2. I was interested in the fresh oysters! Are they serve with any sauce? What was the crystal on the plate? Salt?

    Larry Gao March 19, 2014 at 10:16 PM Reply
    • They can be served with a variety of different sauces – at one place in Tasmania we ordered a platter where there was 4-5 different sauces (bacon, beer foam, lime and sherbert granita, lemon and tobasco, etc) but they can also be served plain and then you add some lemon juice if you want. The crystals on the plate are in fact salt – you guessed right! Have you ever tried oysters before? They have a very particular taste – Dave hates them but I love them!

      Vicky March 21, 2014 at 11:57 AM Reply

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