Cost of living across Australia

Your location of study and residence in Australia is the biggest factor affecting your expenses. Some cities are cheap to live whereas some others cannot be afforded by everyone. Australia’s seven unique states and territories along with different places within them differ not only in the lifestyle they offer but also in the average cost of living.

The basic living costs across Australia has been increasing year by year. On the other hand, the country is receiving a record number of students every year. With the increasing cost of living, the government’s specified living costs requirement has also been increasing. Under the regulations as of February 1, 2018, prospective student visa applicants and their family members must have access to the following funds to meet the living costs requirements:

  • A$ 20,290 a year for the main student
  • A$ 7,100 a year for the student’s partner
  • A$ 3,040 per year a year for the student’s first child (below 6 years)
  • Living cost of children above six years determined by the Department of Home Affairs after study

The two major costs affecting the students’ livelihood in Australia are Housing costs and Transport costs. We have discussed the average cost of rental properties and public transport in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia so that you can know where you stand in affording to study in Australia and make necessary arrangements.

Australian Capital Territory
  • Housing: The median weekly rental price for a three-bedroom house in Canberra is $460 and the average price for a one-bedroom unit is $395.
  • Transport: Canberra has a good bus network run by ACTON, with weekday, evening and weekend services. Buses use an electronic MyWay ticketing system where travelers swipe a rechargeable pre-paid card as they travel that charges them per trip. International students may apply directly to ACTON for an ACTON student concession card, which entitles them to a discounted flat fare of $1.26 (peak) or $0.55 (off-peak) per trip.
 New South Wales
  • Housing: The median weekly rental price for a three-bedroom house in Sydney is $440 and $400 for a one-bedroom unit. In regional NSW median rental prices for a three-bedroom house range from $310 on the mid-north coast to $340 in the Illawarra region and the rental price for a one-bedroom unit varies between $260 and $330.
  • Transport: Sydney is connected by a complex network of buses, trains, ferries, light rail, and monorail. NSW is one of two states that does not allow international students access to concession fares. While overseas students in receipt of an approved Australian Government scholarship or exchange place are eligible for concessions, full-fee paying international students are not. A weekly concession pass covering trains, buses, light rail and ferries costs between $20.50 and $28.50, depending on the zones it covers, and a full-fare weekly adult pass costs between $41 and $57. Public transport is available in regional NSW cities but is often limited so access to a car or other form of transport is usually required.
Northern Territory
  • Housing: The median weekly rental price for a three-bedroom house in Darwin is $480 and $310 for a one-bedroom unit.
  • Transport: The Northern Territory is the first area in Australia to offer free bus travel to all students. Buses run frequently between central Darwin and campuses at Casuarina and Palmerston in peak times but are sparse at night and on weekends. Alice Springs is also serviced by bus, but services are also limited at night and on weekends.
Queensland
  • Housing: The median weekly rental price for a three-bedroom house in Brisbane is $360, while the rental price for a one-bedroom unit is $300. The cost of housing varies in the regional hubs and ranges from $235 per week for a unit in Far North Queensland to $350 per week on the Gold Coast.
  • Transport: All full-time students receive a public transport concession card. Electronic cards can be used on bus, train and ferry services across south-east Queensland with concession fares ranging from $2.00 to $12.30 for a single trip depending on the zones traveled.
South Australia
  • Housing: The cost of living in Adelaide compares very favorably with the rest of the nation. The average weekly rent for a three-bedroom house in the inner suburbs is $325 and $280 in the outer suburbs.
  • Transport: You can get around Adelaide by tram, train or bus. Full-time tertiary students, including international students, receive a concession fare. A concession multi-trip ticket, which gives you ten two hour trips during peak or off-peak periods, costs $14.90.
Tasmania
  • Housing: The median weekly rental price for a three-bedroom house in Hobart is $340 and $205 for a one-bedroom unit. Check with your provider to see whether they offer on- or off-campus student accommodation and determine the costs.
  • Transport: Hobart, Launceston, and Burnie have local bus services that make getting to and from campus easy on weekdays, although services after 6 pm and on weekends are more limited. Full-time students, including international students, can purchase tertiary concession tickets $3.00 for a daily ticket. Some students are also entitled to free travel, so check with Tasmania Metro to see if you are eligible.
Victoria
  • Housing: The median weekly rental price for a three-bedroom house in Melbourne is $350 and $300 for a one-bedroom unit. The weekly median rental price for a three-bedroom house in regional Victoria can range anywhere between $250 and $315. For a unit, you can expect to be looking at weekly rental costs of $188 to $265.
  • Transport: Public transport options in Melbourne include bus, tram, and train. Victoria is one of two Australian states where international students are not entitled to a concession fare. Full-fare daily tickets cost $7.00 for travel in Zone 1, $5.00 for Zone 2 and $11.00 for Zones 1 and 2, with two-hourly, weekly, monthly and yearly options also available. Myki electronic smart cards can also be used across the transport system. Public transport in regional Victoria is usually limited, although some towns have a local bus system and all have train or bus access to major cities.
Western Australia
  • Housing: The median weekly rental price for a three-bedroom house in Perth is $360, with the average rental price for a one-bedroom unit sitting at $300.
  • Transport: Perth and Fremantle are served by trains, buses, and ferries. Full-time students, including international students, can buy a Tertiary SmartRider card, which allows you to top up your balance as you go. Trips cost between $0.60 and $3.57 depending on the zones traveled.

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