Cost of living in Australia

by Chris Lang on April 24, 2013

Cost of living in Australia

Cost of living is very important to any prospective migrant, because it varies significantly from country to country. You can’t model your living expenses based on what you pay in your home country. To get an idea what it will cost you to afford the basic necessities in Australia you need the most recent data, and also it’s a good idea to keep in mind that the cost of living changes depending which city you’re living in.


Rental prices

Depending on the size of your family and your preferences you may choose to rent a house or a unit.

Houses in general are a bit more expensive than units to rent. Average weekly rentals for houses as of January 2012 are:

Darwin $550
Sydney $500
Canberra $500
Perth $400
Brisbane $380
Melbourne $360
Adelaide $340
Hobart $320.

Units are somewhat cheaper to rent, the average weekly rental prices from January 2012 show:

Darwin $460
Sydney $460
Canberra $440
Brisbane $365
Melbourne $350
Perth $350
Adelaide $280
Hobart $258.

House prices

If you’re considering buying a house instead of renting, here are the average house prices, as of June 2012:

Sydney $555,000
Canberra $495,000
Melbourne $490,000
Darwin $472,000
Perth $460,000
Brisbane $415,000
Adelaide $370,000
Hobart $350,000

Healthcare costs

Australian citizens and permanent residency visa holders, as well as some other visa type holders are eligible for Medicare – which means they get free medical help as a public patient in a public hospital and free or subsidised treatment by doctors in a general practice.

Example costs

  • Doctor (GP) – standard consultation cost: AUS$67.00, Medicare paid: AUS$34.90, out-of-pocket payment: AUS$32.10
  • Doctor (specialist) – consultation cost: AUS$155.00, Medicare paid: AUS$69.00, out-of-pocket payment: AUS$86.00
  • Dentist – six-monthly examination and clean cost: AUS$135.00, health fund paid: AUS$135.00, out-of-pocket payment: nil
  • Dentist – quick examination and one restoration (filling) cost: AUS$175.00, health fund paid AUS$97.80, out-of-pocket payment: AUS$81.20

Transport and food

Transport average costs

  • One-way ticket (local transport): AUS$4.00
  • Monthly transport pass (without a student or other discount): AUS$113.00
  • Petrol (one litre): AUS$1.47

Food average costs

  • Milk (regular – one litre): AUS$1.50
  • Loaf of fresh white bread (500g): AUS$3.00
  • A meal at an inexpensive restaurant: AUS$17.00
  • A three-course meal for two at a mid-range restaurant: AUS$80.00
  • A combo meal at McDonalds or similar: AUS$8.00
  • A cappuccino (regular): AUS$4.00


Salaries also vary from industry to industry – below is a list of salary ranges in Australia, so have a look to see what you can expect to earn:

Cost of living in Australia

All stats current as of April 2013, sourced from Reprinted with permission.

Do you have any questions about the cost of living in Australia?

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