For many seasoned travelers, Australia has become a famous return destination. The Land Down Under is as vast as it is incredibly beautiful. Though many know it for the presence of the mind-blowing Great Barrier Reef and the breathtaking beaches that line its east coast, other numerous awe-inspiring attractions in Australia make the country something of a natural kaleidoscope.

While a returning traveler may have her finger on the financial budget— and how much to use while visiting the land of Oz— those traveling for the first time may be at sea. And while putting the finger on a particular amount is hard— since it all depends on several factors— we give estimates that one can work with.


Understanding Australian Money And Currency Conversion

Before jumping into the budget proper, it’s wise to first have a handle on Australian currency and matters to do with currency conversion. Australians use the Australian Dollar, designated as AUD. One Australian Dollar is 0.7 USD. If we flip this, it means one USD can get a traveler 1.4 AUD. It’s important to be in possession of Australian Dollars when visiting Australia. This is because one can’t use the American dollar in Australia.

While the US Dollar is stronger than the Australian Dollar, it doesn’t mean Australia is cheaper. Far from it. Currency value— and strength—depend on many factors and may not be related to the cost of living at all. Actually, Australia is a bit more expensive than the United States. For instance, according to Numbeo, the world's largest cost of the living database, prices of consumer goods in Australia are 5.7% higher than those in the United States. Also, while a 3-course meal for two people in a mid-range Australian restaurant would go for an average of $70.11, the same would cost about $65 in the United States. Let’s now turn to the travel landscape.

This Is How Much To Budget For Travel Within Australia

Australia is vast. It’s about 78% the size of the United States. Traveling across this vastness can be expensive. Fortunately, it’s not. In our opinion, the cheapest way to travel across Australia is by using the Transfercar. Transfercar is a vehicle platform that helps car rental companies relocate from one city to another. With a valid driving license, one can move from Adelaide to Sydney, (or from— and—to anywhere ) at a 1 AUD per-day charge. If lucky, a traveler may not even be billed at all. Of course, the fuel and gas expenses will be on the traveler.

Let’s now look at specific travel options and the costs they entail.

This Is How Much Flight, Bus, And Train Travel Across Australia Costs

Other than Transfercar, public transport buses in Australia are both affordable and reliable. For public bus service, we’d recommend Greyhound. And no, Greyhound Bus Service has not closed shop. It’s the ownership that has changed. Travel from Melbourne to Sydney on Greyhound, for instance, will range between 100-140 (AUD).

There’s also the option of flying. And hold on—before dismissing this alternative as expensive—flight costs in Australia average the road travel equivalent. In many cases, flights are even cheaper. For instance, Brisbane to Sydney will cost 181 AUD on Greyhound (about 126 USD)—but only 134 USD, and that for a round-trip. For flights, it’s wise to look up Skyscanner to compare rates. For taking in the Australian scenery, buses are perfect.

For those who intend to move by bus, the best option would be to use the Greyhound fixed-period Whimit passes. Unlimited travel for two weeks costs 299 AUD (or 209 USD) on a Whimit pass. Whichever angle one looks at it, this is a pretty fine deal. It works for about 14 USD per day. Longer periods are even cheaper. While one can travel across Australia by train, it’s significantly more expensive and the experience may sometimes not be pleasant. Complaints about comfort and punctuality are not uncommon. Also, train routes leave out quite a number of areas, some of which are the most scenic coastline landscapes. That said, travel by train from Adelaide to Melbourne for instance, starts at $75. On the flip side, a person traveling by flight or bus will need at least $41 and $50 respectively.

Related: Great Barrier Reef: 25 Little-Known Things That'll Make Us Want To Visit.

Other Travel Options Within Australia

Apart from air, bus, and train, there are other ways to tour Australia. One of these is by buying a vehicle. Yes, that’s right. Many travelers find buying a car—and later selling it when returning to their home countries—to be actually cheap and convenient. One will simply need to get onto an online platform like the Gumtree website and pick out a car within his or her budget. While it’s possible to get a car for as little as 4,000 AUD (2,797 USD), more comfortable, luxury vehicles will cost more. On leaving, some tourists are lucky to re-sell the cars at a profit.

Buying a car will need a tourist to have a tidy sum beforehand. Fortunately, aside from buying, there’s the option of renting. If one is staying for a week or two, renting a car might actually be better than buying one. For small cars, one can budget around 50 AUD per day. However, SUVs will set one back by around 100 AUD. Some famous car rental agencies include Hertz and Jucy. Lastly, there are local travel options within a particular city.

Related: 10 Unique Things To Do In Australia.

Except for Sydney, all Australian cities operate a fare regime that is based on designated zones. And aside from Canberra which has a scandalous public transport image, the public transport system in Australia—whether trains, trams, or buses—are convenient and reliable. Within a particular city, an average of 5 AUD per day should see one through.

With this information, planning a visit to the Land Down Under should be a tad easier.