Want to travel Australia without blowing all your cash? We got you! Cheap travel is possible across Australia, even in big cities that are traditionally expensive. But you’ll need good information in order to save money. Travellers Autobarn has rounded up the best tips and tricks to save your money and will navigate you how to travel this amazing country on a budget. From ridiculously cheap coffee to free museums, stay tuned!

1. Food and Drinks 

Cheap coffee. Get your daily caffeine fix for only $1 at 7/11. Maybe not great if you are a coffee snob but if you are on a tight budget it will do the job. If you want to make your own coffee save money and buy your own portable coffee maker. The Aeropress makes a very decent coffee while traveling or camping. Purchase one for under $50,- online.

Photo via @chadsbestfriend

Photo via @chadsbestfriend

Dinner deals
In every big city you can get a decent meal for under $15,-
Tip: go out for lunch instead of dinner, it will save you some cash.

Sydney Top 10 cheap eats in Sydney
Melbourne Cheap eats under $15 in Melbourne
Best cheap eats in Perth
Darwin Where to find a cheap meal in Darwin
Cairns Cheap eats in Cairns
20 top cheap eats in Brisbane

bao2 by bellybao

Baos at Belly Bao in Sydney start from $7,50! Photo by @bellybao

Happy hour
Who doesn’t love a good happy hour deal? Check The Happiest Hour  which is one of Australia’s largest and most active listing sites for bars, pubs and other venues.

Master (camping)chef
Buy a camping stove and cook your own meals. Bet you can make more than you would have thought with a single gas burner! If you have access to a microwave get inspired and read 40 Delicious Things You Did Not Know You Could Make In A Microwave.

brownie in a mug by k_yahiro

Make a brownie in a mug in your microwave! Photo by @k_yahiro

Free BBQ’s
Use the free BBQs located at campsites and national parks. Use Meat In A Park  to locate the nearest public BBQ.

Photo by @seancha

Photo by @seancha

Go fishing!
Be self-sufficient and catch your own dinner! Please note: check if permission is required.

2. Getting Around

With its vast distances, long stretches of road and off-the-beaten track sights, Australia explored by road guarantees an experience unlike any other. Hire or purchase a car because it’s certainly the only way to get to those out-of-the-way places without taking a tour.


Travellers Autobarn offers comfortable 2-5 berth models start from 39$ per day! Spend your days driving on dusty red roads and your nights camping out under the stars to the sound of breaking waves and the crackle of a beach campfire. Plus when you hire a campervan from Travellers Autobarn you get access to free camp grounds and discounted rates at some top campsites in Australia.

Photo by @Sothatsmiri

Photo by @Sothatsmiri

Australia has some of the world’s greatest train journeys and you’ll have plenty of time to chill because of their leisurely pace (just 80-90kph). Rail Australia offers a variety of rail passes. The Ausrail pass, which starts at $765 and is valid for three months, offers unlimited travel in basic reclining seats, on long distance services all over the country, and on some connecting coach services. There’s an on-board café and a hot shower with towels for each guest.

Find rides advertised via hostel noticeboards and through word-of-mouth. Or try websites such as www.coseats.com or www.shareyourride.net.

The quickest way to cover Australia’s vast distances, if not the cheapest, is to fly. Bargains can be found if you are prepared to travel at unpopular times. The main budget operators are:
Virgin Australia – check happy hour fairs
Qantas – Save Money with the Quantas Walkabout Air Pass

3. Accommodation

Couch Surfing
Find a bed for free! Members advertise their spare rooms, inflatable beds or couches or search for a place to crash. Couchsurfing is a great way to meet locals and get an understanding of their way of life. It’s a community minded site that emphasizes personal safety and encourages feedback.

Australia has an extensive network of hostels, from large dorms to smaller room shares, and there’s a huge array of choice. Try Australia Youth Hostels Association  or Hostel World

There’s a vast network of campsites catering to all budgets and tastes, and Australia has a huge choice of stores where you can buy camping equipment at reasonable prices. Camping in national parks is a fantastic way to stay in spectacular surroundings for just a few dollars a night. See the Australian National Parks Travel Guide and the Commonwealth National Parks. Camps Australia is a guide that describes itself as ‘the ultimate guide for the budget-conscious’.


Photo by @mattglastonbury

Photo by @mattglastonbury

If you want to splash out on something a little more luxurious without breaking the bank, try Budget Motels.

4. Activities 

Most Australia attractions require entry tickets, some of these aren’t excessive — $25, for example, is a small price to pay for three days at the wonder that is Uluru — but others are extremely high: A one-day adult admission to the Australia Zoo costs $60. Enter our latest competition and win 5 entry tickets to Australia Zoo and a free campervan rental! Like our Facebook page and find out more!

Take a free walking tour at 10:30am and 2:30pm every day
Visit The Royal Botanic Garden 
Check out this top 10 free museums in Sydney

Take a free walking tour www.imfree.com.au
Melbourne City tourist shuttle bus
Find free Wi-Fi hotspots in Melbourne
Ride the City Circle Tram for free
Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens
For more see Weekend Notes’ list of free activities in Melbourne

Free things to do in Brisbane
Roma Street Parklands
Museum of Brisbane 
Visit the week long Brisbane Festival including many free performances

Top 15 free things to do in Perth
Ride the Perth Ferry from PerthCity to the south.
Visit The Art Gallery of Western Australia

5. Miscellaneous

Internet can be slow and expensive. Opt for a low cost, prepaid 3G data SIM card from companies such as Optus or Telstra if you need a regular connection. However, Wi-Fi is free at public libraries, and if you are happy to buy a coffee or a beer, you will find free, high speed Wi-Fi access is provided in many pubs, bars and coffee shops. McDonald’s is a popular option.

Driving around is great, but petrol costs can add up pretty quickly. Read our tips below on how to save big bucks on your petrol costs around Australia. After all, less money spent on petrol = more beer money!

1. Choose the right day to refuel
If you buy your petrol on a Tuesday you can expect to pay 5% to 15% less than on other days.

2. Fuel Vouchers
Coles and Woolworths own a majority of the petrol stations and offer discounts on fuel when you shop with them. As long as you spend over $30 you can receive discounts anywhere between $0.04 cents/litre to $0.12 cents/litre depending on the promotion. Find more information here

3. Get a Fuel Can
You will get knocked of of your socks when you are heading towards the outback – especially in Western Australia & Northern Territory! Petrol prices can be quite high in those areas so pop some extra fuel into your fuel can before you get there.

4. 90 km/h
A lot of our customers have advised us that driving 90 km/h is one of the most economical ways to save on fuel whilst driving on a highway. We can’t confirm this statement but we do advise you to  give it a go next time.

Looking for more Budget Travel Tips for your epic trip in Australia? We are experts on the subject!

Don’t forget to check out our latest deals & specials on campervan hire in Australia.

About the Author

Bastian Graf

Bastian is the Sales & Marketing Manager here at Travellers Autobarn. He holds a Master of Commerce in Marketing and International Business Management, and 20+ years experience in campervan hire, road trips and travel.

Share this page