By Karen Tee, on July 5, 2017

How to Plan a Big Trip to Australia on a Tiny Budget

With spectacular landscapes, cosmopolitan cities, friendly people and some of the best food and drink in the world, it is no wonder that Australia is such a popular vacation destination.

To further sweeten the deal, the exchange rate is looking rather favourable these days, allowing for more bang for your buck. Here’s how you can go on a nine-day trip to popular destinations in Australia without breaking the bank.

Holiday in Australia on a Budget  

Where to go

Melbourne (3 Days)

Melbourne is Australia’s cultural capital. Many museums in Melbourne,  including the National Gallery of Victoria and Ian Potter Centre, offer free admission to their permanent collections. You can also go on a walking tour of the city’s famed laneways, which are sprinkled with interesting street art for Instagram-worthy shots.

For some nature, the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria is a lovely place to enjoy a picnic of affordable goodies from the supermarket.

Tip: Don’t forget to make use of the free City Circle tram to get around.


Sydney (3 days)

It is a must to take a coastline walk along Bondi to Coogee beach in glamorous Sydney. Another iconic Sydney destination is the Sydney Harbour Bridge – but instead of paying to climb it, simply walk across the bridge on the pedestrian pathway.

Budget some time to hike the iconic Blue Mountains for $90.


Gold Coast (2 days)

Indulge in sun, sand and sea at laidback Byron Bay or learn to surf at popular Surfers Paradise for $56. The endless beachfront of Gold Coast is also a popular performance venue, with free events such as the Blues on Broadbeach Music Festival in May or the Swell Sculpture Festival in September.

Travelling with the kids and can afford to stay on? Go online to purchase multi-day passes to popular theme parks at massive discounts.


Brisbane (1 day)

Kangaroo Points Cliff, Brisbane

Go on a free guided walking tour of Brisbane to check out its most popular sights such as the Brisbane Arcade and Old State Library. Hit up the artsy South Bank district to watch buskers and street musicians or take a dip in Streets Beach, a man-made beach in the heart of the city.

Tip: The CityHopper is a free ferry service that travels along the Brisbane River and stops at key sights such as Eagle Street Pier and the Maritime Museum.

Ways to save money

Take Backpacker Buses or Public Buses

The flexible hop-on hop-off cross country buses by Oz Experience will allow you to customise your trip, while offering optional tours.

Alternatively, the national bus service Greyhound Australia has similar hop-on hop-off passes or express point-to-point tickets. You can also check out Premier Motor Service.


Stay at Apartment Hotels

Adina Apartment Hotel, Bondi, Sydney Adina Apartment Hotel, Bondi, Sydney

Apartment hotels come with kitchenettes so you can cook your own meals, which will save a significant amount of cash. Use Expedia’s Property Type filter to narrow your search to ‘apartment’ or ‘apartment hotel’.

For instance, family-friendly Oaks on Collins in Melbourne has apartments that sleep up to four guests (including three children) while Waterways Luxury Apartments in the Gold Coast has three-bedroom apartments for bigger groups of up to seven.


Click the buttons below to see the latest top apartment hotels in various cities, loved by guests.

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[one_half_last][button fullwidth=true url=’’ icon=’entypo-suitcase’] Apartment Hotels in Surfers Paradise[/button]



Enjoy the fresh produce

Queen Victoria Market

Live like the locals and buy ingredients for your meals at supermarkets like Woolworths and Coles. Australia is also known for its beautiful markets where you can get affordably priced gourmet produce such as cheese and fresh pasta.

If you’re in Melbourne, the Queen Victoria Market is a must-stop.

Go off the beaten path

Yarra Valley

Don’t just stick to the big cities. Make stopovers or overnight stays at smaller towns along the way to enjoy better prices and to enjoy an authentic experience.

For example, Goulburn, Australia’s first inland city, is an interesting stopover when travelling from Melbourne to Sydney. The historic town centre is a great place to explore by foot while the lush hinterland offers stunning bike trails for the more adventure-inclined.

Buy an open-jaw ticket

See more of the country – and save precious vacation time – with an open-jaw ticket, which is comparably priced to a round-trip ticket. For example, a full-fare flight from Singapore to Melbourne and from Brisbane back to Singapore starts from $828.