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There’s never been a more expensive time to visit Australia. The Australian economy isn’t suffering to the extent of it’s counterparts in the UK and USA. The Aussie dollar is strong, virtually on par with the US dollar at the moment, which makes it expensive to buy. Wages in Australia are high, and while that might be good for locals or working holiday-makers, for tourists that sucks. It’s the perfect storm for expensive travel.

How expensive is Australia?

I should note that certain things are actually cheaper in Australia than in New Zealand – groceries are cheaper, petrol is cheaper and clothing is cheaper… but that’s about it.

Eating out is horrendously expensive – a plate of pasta in the local Italian restaurant on the Sunshine Coast is an astounding $30+. A modest sushi lunch for our small family – at least $25. A smoothie or fresh juice at a kiosk near the beach – $7. Getting about isn’t that much cheaper – a single cash fare on the bus here in Mooloolaba costs $4.80 for a one way journey. A taxi for the ten minute ride from the airport to our house – $40.

Don’t even get me started on what it costs to do anything here! A ticket to Australia Zoo – a whopping $59 for adults. I’m sure it’s worth it but we just can’t justify spending that amount of cash.


Two Delicious Veggie Burgers… Kiss $30 Goodbye!


Is Australia just too darn expensive?

We’ve been in Australia for six weeks now and we’re spending WAY more money than we ever anticipated. We were actually hoping to save a bit of money for our first few months of full-time travel by just taking it easy in Australia. Some idea that was!

We had figured, based on past trips, that we could get away with $50 a day when we weren’t travelling around. We have a free housesit here in the Sunshine Coast (courtesy of Lee’s travelling parents) and we still struggle to spend under $70 most days, some days it’s up over $100 a day. We don’t even do that much. All our entertainment consists of is going for walks, kayaking from our own backyard, going to the playground and hitting the beach. We take a few bus trips a week to the shops but most of the time we walk everywhere.

Just living here is costing us an extraordinary amount of money. We can afford it for now, and we do enjoy it here, so I’m not really complaining. I’m just thinking out loud as to whether there is a better, more cost-effective place for us to be right now.


Luckily The Great Outdoors Doesn’t Cost a Thing!


What are the alternatives?

The only sensible antidote to the horrendous cost of living in Australia is leaving!!! I’m starting to think it would be cheaper to fly to Thailand and rent an apartment in Bangkok or Chiang Mai than stay in Australia in free accommodation.

We just missed out on an Air Asia sale last week where we could have got the three of us to Thailand for under A$750. Provided that a good deal came up again in the next few months we could make it out of Oz for under $1000.

Chris and Angela from Tieland to Thailand outline their spending habits in Chiang Mai. They spend just under US$1200 a month for everything! They have a great little house, go out for delicious Thai meals, get massages and still manage to come in under their US$1500 a month budget. If we go out for Thai food, we spend anything from A$30 to A$70! A massage? In Australia? Forget about it! It’s cost at least A$70 for a one hour massage.

Basically, our living costs in Thailand would be around half what they are in Australia.



Should we stick to our Australia plan?

At the moment, our plan is to stay put in our house sit here in the Sunshine Coast until late November. We’ve got a week in Melbourne booked for the first week of August, a short trip to the Gold Coast for the Problogger Conference in September and we are hoping to squeeze in a road trip up to Townsville and maybe, this is a big maybe, a flying visit to Vanuatu before the end of our time in Oz.

The most realistic alternative would be to fly to Thailand from the Gold Coast in mid-September and spend the last three months of the year in and around Thailand. I think we could get away with spending around US$2000 per month (for the three of us) if we stayed put in a rented apartment in Chiang Mai or Bangkok. Over three months, staying in Thailand would save us an extra $5000 to $6000.


What should we do?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on what we should do. This will probably be the last time we’re in the South Pacific for the next few years so should we just suck up the cost and make the most of it? Or should we bail in September and spend a few relaxing months saving money in Thailand?

What do you think? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 


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  • wanderingeducators

    that IS expensive. i’d be surprised, too. do you love it there? that would influence a decision!

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)

    I would say that whether you move on or not really has to come down to two things: 1) how much do you love Australia; and 2) what did you originally budget for it and how badly will your travel fund be depleted if you stay as long as originally planned?

    We started our trip in Japan and really enjoyed our time, but we also only gave ourselves 27 days there, knowing it would be one of the most expensive places we would visit on our trip. In retrospect, I don’t know if I would have gone to Japan at all on this kind of trip because now I know how much further that money would have gone pretty much anywhere else in Asia, and I think that maybe destinations like that are best saved for short trips where you can only spend so much money any way. That said, if there are things you want to do in Australia and you are having the time of your lives, then you may have to accept that this money will just have to come out of some future destination or activity and make your peace with that.

  • AdventureBee

    We’re living similar to Chris & Angela over in Penang. Our housing & utility carrying costs for a 5bd/3ba house is about $900USD/mo (granted we used to use a lot of aircon so that may go down about $50 soon). That includes all the international cable channels, unlimited internet, phone, water, etc. With our food and other extra-curriculars we spend about $12001500USD/mo. And that includes dinners at Long Beach for under $10USD for our family of 3.

    A lot of people have come through here and said that we were spending too much. They’ve moved on to less costly pastures but for us so far this is comfortable and do-able on our budget.

  • Maddie

    Our rule has always been that if we think we’re getting value for money then we stick it out, if not it quite often takes the shine of the experience. Like you’ve mentioned, NZ and Australia are both very expensive for tourists but we felt like we got so much more value in NZ, Australia just didn’t cut it. You could have an amazing time in Thailand but as Steph said, you’ve got to think about how much you love what you’re doing at the moment. If the answer is, yeah but I want to eat glorious cheap food and go for massages whenever I want then Thailand is a winner 🙂

  • Penny

    It sounds like it costs about the same as the US. Like those before me have commented, how much do you love it?
    I love Italy and it costs me a LOT to visit there, but I love it therefore it’s worth it to me.
    I have to say though, I’m intrigued by the thought of renting out my condo and going to Asia and saving money, even if I have to live off my savings for a while, I’d still save money! That’s tempting.

  • Reply

    Haha well yes, Australia. In all our travels nothing has been as expensive as our home country… Except Israel. Yesterday we bought a chicken kebab with salad, a chicken schnitzel with fries $60! Last night we went to the movies – 4 tickets $50 not to mention the popcorn, etc. It’s like being back in Australia, except the groceries is expensive here too. I totally understand the willingness to move on when their are cheaper countries calling your name… for us I think we may head to Turkey earlier then planned. Like you we are comfortable spending the money, just not justifiably!

  • Steve

    This is also something I’m struggling over. Living in Beijing I keep seeing cheap flights to Sydney for as little as £250, which sounds great until you factor in the size of Australia. I’d either need to take a lot more flights to get around, or commit an awful lot of time to ground transport.

    If you’re loving it there, then great and it’s worth the money. For me the main problem is that I look at the countries we’d be flying over between China and Australia and think “Well I could just go there instead for far less money”.

  • Jen

    I guess one of the wonderful aspects of long term travel (not having a permanent base) is that you have the freedom to choose what you do and when you do it. The lifestyle you are leading in Australia doesnt sound “great” so perhaps you might be better off in SE Asia for the last three months. Don’t be too scared to change your plans! To me it sounds like you have already made your mind up by asking the question! Good Luck!

  • Barbara

    Australia is very expensive, especially when you earn a Southeast Asian income and are used to Southeast Asian expenses. We hardly ever eat out when we are on the Sunshine Coast (where my mum lives). We do have a lot of picnics and use the barbecues at Mooloolaba though. And we go for drives through the hinterland, exploring the little towns and finding bushwalking trails.

    It’s a shame you won’t be on the coast in December. I’m going to fly in for Christmas and stay to have the baby at the end of January.

  • Michele

    Don’t come to Perth then definitely more expensive than the East. Australia has unique things to offer however it is also expensive and unless you can earn money in Aus $ you will spend too much. I don;t think it is the ideal location for any long term travellers with strict budgets.
    If I was you start thinking Thailand 🙂

  • Micheal

    Yep! it is probably the reason I will leave to live in Asia in around 4yrs. I say if your counting the pennies it can put a downer on your time here so head off somewhere that wont be a problem.

  • Amanda

    As an Australian, my instinct is to defend us, BUT I do know what you mean & it is something the country is grappling with. With decent wages & weekend/holiday leave loadings for workers, we are never going to compete with countries in Asia & the Pacific when it comes to the cost of eating out. I think you will find the majority of the cost of the food relates to how much it is costing to run the restaurant/cafe.
    If you can easily & as cheaply travel to Thailand from NZ as you can from here, I would stay. If you have seen all you can, can you leave the Sunshine Coast? Why not hook up with motorhome returns, where you can travel cheaply and get to see alot of Australia? See for what is available.
    In the meantime, I recommend doing as much self-catering as possible. Have picnics and bbqs in parks and by the beach.

  • Val-This Way To Paradise

    I say head to Thailand…so much cheaper and it’s also amazing!!

  • Kirsty

    agree with what others have said about if you love it, or if it’s giving you value. We had a similar experience in England, we were just really doing the basics but it still wasn’t cheap and after France and Germany no where near as exciting. As we figured we could revisit at a later date (well it’s my home country!) we stopped earlier than planned.

  • Amanda Kendle

    It’s totally depressing how expensive Australia has become (you should try over here on the west coast, even worse!) and I think I’d probably be fleeing for SE Asia if it was me. Also it’s my home country so I find it somewhat less fascinating than other countries. But it’s still a tough decision. Good luck!

  • Adam

    Australia is expensive yes, but if it’s the place you’d rather be, then why not stay there? I’m a firm believer in doing what makes you most happy – so if Australia is where you want to be regardless of cost, then you should do everything possible to stay there.

  • Cheryl

    We had the same experience in Australia. If it was not for all the house sitting we were doing (free accommodation) we probably would have bolted! Thankfully being able to get groceries and cook at “home” helped tremendously. I will say that after we left OZ and went into Malaysia and Cambodia we were thrilled with the low costs.

    When doing long term travel our budget is something I keep very focused on.. If it were dwindling as a result of an unexpected expense, I would probably look at other options to get back on track. We could not have been traveling since 2007 if we did not stick to a pretty strict budget!

    Safe travels regardless of your decision!

  • thefancyvoyager

    Wow, that does sound really expensive! As much as I would like to say to just stick it out and enjoy the rest of your days in this beautiful country, but if you’re gonna be constantly looking over your shoulders about your finances, I’d say go for Thailand!

  • Reply

    I am so bad with money – I would go to Thailand personally, but it sounds like Oz is a great place to be!

  • Jennifer

    I think Australia is about on par with the United States in terms of cost of living (and, like the US, highest cost of living on the coasts because they’re the most sought-after).

  • Linda McCormick

    It’s crazy how expensive Australia has become. I’ve actually saved money while in Europe! Every time I do a grocery shop here I shake my head in disbelief. The first shop we did in Spain, which included four bottles of wine came to 60 euro for four bags of shopping. It would easily have been around $200 for the same shop in Oz. As for the zoo/museums etc. In Oz we buy a yearly subscription so it’s good value then… however I do go to either one probably once a week so put the subs to good use. I’ve also become very good at finding free things to do, which is quite a lot in Melbourne.
    As for what to do; it’s hard because Australia is so lovely, but if you’re trying really hard to save money for long term travel I would go to Asia. You can always come back to Oz, and maybe by then there might have been a dent in the economy. Good luck with whatever you do.
    And shame I’m going to miss you in Melbourne. If you want to know come great free/cheap things to do while you’re there, let me know.

  • Kate

    That is the cutest picture ever of young Reuben! $30 for a plate of pasta is insane.

  • Jaime

    I’ve lived in Australia after moving from the US for a job 10 years ago. I’m a professional, white collar worker in a technical field. During that time (and in the early 2000’s-late 1990’s) Australia’s economy boomed. Along with that, the cost of real estate skyrocketed. Real estate plateaued and increases slowed in about 2007. However, the costs of basics like food and utilities and public transport were still very reasonable. An OK “formula” given the salaries on offer, which, while not excessive, were comfortable. Then in about 2007, the cost of living increased substantially. And the costs for utilities (water, energy, and registrations of all kinds-vehicle, insurance, etc.) ratcheted-up, and these fixed-cost increases are sharply accelerating at jaw-dropping percentages. My perception is that during the 90’s-early 2000’s Australian overbuilt (and took out loans on) infrastructure as if the fast-track was always going to be without realizing the “over” building put them at a competitive disadvantage. And now they have to charge commensurate rates to stay afloat. When I travel for business around Australia, someone else pays the hotel and meal bills, but they are completely nuts! A cab ride in Sydney to a company on the N-side form the airport? $110!! Train one way, $16-24! The tourism industry is suffering badly, but rates aren’t coming down suubstantially, it’s a bad scene.
    We now never holiday in Australia. It would be ridiculous given the cost of holidays almost anywhere else, including the airfares to get there. The fixed costs of utilities and mandatory aspects of living (registrations, etc.) have gone from reasonable, to costly, to expensive, to clearly unsustainable within about 5 years. For anyone coming to Australia from overseas (a costly exercise itself), they are in for a very rude price shock. Australian’s notice it a bit, but largely in terms of the rates of increasing costs, and they tend to look only at internal inflation, which is generally low. They usually don’t look externally at the rapidly widening gap in costs of living compared to other developed countries. And if they do, they don’t like what they see, and their politicians pay only lip service to costs of living because they’re the one’s jacking up costs a lot of the time-and they really have little control over many of the costs anyway. There’s certainly not a single policy I’ve seen in Australia to reign in such costs that was anything other than lip-service.
    I am an Australian citizen as well as US, and very much like Australia and Australians. But I am very concerned about the unsustainability of the Australian lifestyle. Costs have simply gotten too high and there’s far too much competition from other countries these days. And that’s coming from someone now visiting and in the US who saw the devastation of the global financial crisis on the US (and other places). Australians sense this as well, and are reigning in their discretionary retail spending and going on-line in record numbers…to shop in other countries, because it’s cheaper to do that AND pay for shipping….to Australia! But businesses in AUS have all these bloated fixed-costs that have inflated wildly in the past 7 years that they can’t get rid of, so can’t reduce costs. It is not a pretty picture and I do not see it correcting happily for Australians.
    I am currently back in the US and I’m stunned at how much less expensive the costs of living are. Food in particular, and not just at a restaurant. Indeed, one is confronted with almost every transaction with a stunned look at the receipt and consideration of what that would have cost in Australia. The one exception is medical care, which is a titanic mess in the US, but really the US has no choice but to sort that out in the long run, and probably will. But Australia seems stuck awaiting some sort of financial correction, Australians sense it, tourists are shell-shocked by costs.
    So, as much as those visiting Australia, or residing temporarily in Australia, see how costly it is, those living in Australia are also worried about their lifestyle. Australia is “The Lucky Country” and hopefully will have a smooth correction to a sustainable lifestyle. Hopefully not “A” Lucky Country, who had their run and went on a bit of a cost binge.
    As for me, the cost differential and unsustainability of the “lifestyle” is now too great and I don’t see the Australian government (or populace) having any meaningful how to deal with it. Might be a similar case regarding ineffectual politicians in the US, but at least the costs are hugely lower. So, it’s back across the ditch to the US for us. Fortunately the rental costs in Australia have skyrocketed while we’ve owned it. So much so we can easily rent the house and have it pay the mortgage, so keeping the house while some unfortunate tries to sustain THEIR lifestyle amongst the shocking cost of living curve. Maybe move back when they sort out what I (and they) hope is only a minor financial mess.
    And one last aspect I’ve found interesting. Australian real estate is wildly, grossly, incredibly overinflated. And retirees and investors are shockingly heavily invested in second home rentals due to a generous tax benefit called “negative gearing”. Not credit default swaps (Australian financial institutions are happily very well regulated), but rather a perfect set of circumstances for a significant down-tick in home prices to lead to rapid unloading of properties and a REAL correction-to most people’s major financial asset. That’s real bad for economies. Almost every Australian knows it, has a little bit of a worry about it, but is stuck to find any solution to it. One gets the sense now in Australia that Australians know they’ve had good run, but cost increases have clearly become unsustainable, and they’re worried about what’s to come.

    • Jess with2kidsintow

      I totally agree with you. I too am a dual, but Canadian/Australian and have lived in Melbourne for 11yrs now. Yes, the wages are high, but when it comes time to pay for ‘stuff’ like food and entertainment, i think the prices are hard to justify for your ‘hard earned dollar’. As such, our family of 4 don’t do much here: we rarely eat out in restaurants and rarely go anywhere to do anything that costs a lot of money. Even going to the zoo will set you back nearly $27AUD per adult, so for a family, that adds up. Can you believe that some people even pay $39 AUD for 1 movie ticket in Gold Class?! We go to the park, beach, and are on the look out for good-value stuff, that sometimes includes live theatre.

      And forget holidaying in Australia. We spent 2 nights in Launceston, Tasmania recently and paid $94 for a hostel dorm room for our family, with a shared bathroom, and that was the cheapest place we could find to stay. We made our own breakfast at the hostel, ate the other meals at food courts or bought stuff for picnics, didn’t do anything else that cost money, and still it cost us nearly $1,000 including air-fare and a rent-a-wreck rental car for 3 days. A friend has recently booked airfares and accommodation at a 4-star resort in Port Douglas (flying from Melbourne) for their family of 5 and that alone has cost them $8,500!!! and they haven’t even arrived yet, nor had food or activities paid for!

      Meanwhile, we just spend 2 weeks on Koh Phangan (Thailand) at a 3-star resort for $26 AUD per night including buffet breakfast for all of us. We went to the zoo and waterpark in Bangkok and spent $15 AUD per day including admission and lunch for all. Our cost for 3 weeks, including return airfares, all meals eaten out at restaurants, entertainment, scooter hire for 14 days, overland travel costs, activities and even 2 loads of laundry (done for us) came to $3,800 AUD.

      So the long and short of it is that if you want to explore Australia, there’s certainly lots to see and do, if you can and want to afford it. If you don’t, then what’s the point in staying? You can definitely get a better standard of living in Thailand without breaking the bank, but it’s a totally different experience. It really depends on what your priorities are. Good luck in your decision.

  • Larissa

    There’s no doubt Australia is expensive, but it’s also a fabulous place. I agree with those who say consider how much you’re enjoying it, and if you love it, stay.

    We did SE Asia right after NZ and Oz, and while it was cheaper, I did find myself missing the cleanest air on the planet–and you can’t put a price on that!

    I think you’re also getting your first taste of living in a different country (vs. just visiting). We learned over time that we couldn’t simply transfer our home lifestyle to a new place, such as going out to eat as much. (Compared to Asia, where we hardly cooked and ate out a lot.) We also learned to buy lots of local products, whether groceries or skin lotion or whatever. In Oz they put heavy import taxes on non-native products, so I stayed away from things like imported bananas (which were $12/pound when we were there! yikes!).

  • Wheres Sharon? (Sharon)

    Aus is way too expensive – we live in melb and its far cheaper to holiday in Asia even with the flight cost. You will be happy to know for yr upcoming melb trip that those prices you mention seem ridiculous to me!!

    I’d personally go to Asia early. I enjoy myself far more when I don’t have to watch every cent I spend

  • Reply

    Sounds like you just banned yourself from eating out! There really are loads of cheaper places around, you just need to search for them. Unfortunately if you’re on foot or on the bus this will be harder. I live here and there’s no way I’d pay $30 for two burgers!!! You could have made them at home for next to nothing!

  • Reply

    Australia is the only continent we’ve never visited so I don’t have any advice to share. However, I am glad to read that you and your family are able to enjoy the outdoors together. Those memories are priceless.

  • JP

    Aussie dollar is actually dropping pretty sharply at the moment down – down almost 15% against the U.S since April with possibly further drops if the Aussie RBA drops interest rates again shortly which is a strong possibility.

    Still an expensive place, but there are a lot of non-Aussies happy that it’s getting just a little bit cheaper for them at the moment

  • Laura

    It is SO expensive here isn’t it!? I feel for you and worry about when we start traveling the country later this year, for I know how quickly the money will go. My best advice would be to stock up on groceries – do a weeks shop if you can and then get a library card and a towel and spend lots of time at the beach. If you’ve got a good book and you can cook plenty of food, what else do you need? Sure it may be boring after a while, but the library has movies too! I think with the free accommodation and some long term planning (like buying up groceries and looking for free things to occupy yourselves), you should be able to spend a bit less.

    Good Luck and happy travels!

  • TammyOnTheMove

    Blimey, that is expensive! I’d go to Thailand. In October the cool/dry season will start again, so the weather will be nice. Plus it is so cheap, that you can really splurge out on things that you wouldn’t be able to do in Australia.

  • sanchezmark

    You are a genius! I’m in Australia now and this will come in so handy! Thanks you! Thank you! But why is it cheaper on the japanese site?

  • jill

    That sounds really expensive and here we are in San Francisco, thinking it’s one of the most expensive cities to live. Eeeek! If I were you I’d make my way to Thailand… then again, I love Thai food and I can’t wait to go back!

  • Shona

    The Aussie dollar is now quite below the US and in fact the NZ dollar has gained a lot of group against the Aussie Dollar and hit a 20 year high last week. Saying that Australia is expensive, but we are finding NZ just as expensive. I always find it amazing that I can buy groceries in a supermarket in Paris, for less than I can in Brisbane.

  • Chris & Angela

    Glad you found our Chiang Mai budget helpful. We hope to see you in Thailand soon 🙂 Good luck on your journey!!!

  • Aman

    very bad , i think australian government should do something serious , First of all government people should leave only thinking of sylem seeker , they should provide government made housing unit at cheap rate , they should promote australian local company inspite of american woolworth or coles type companies , the population is very less so it is not very difficult to provide cheao units to people , some more jobs should be generated by govenment , Many things they should do

  • Ruthi

    Oh dear you have me worried now.We are Israelis ( I am an expat Brit) now living in China and investigating China for a trip next year. Not sure we will be able to afford it.Also thought about house sitting and/or renting a camper van.Have you any info about prices doing it that way? Of course Asia is way cheaper and there are some amazing places you can go.But it really depends what you have your heart set on.We once didn’t fly over the Grand Canyon in a balloon because we reckoned it was too expensive and have regretted it ever since as it was a one-time opportunity and who knows if we will ever go back that way again?
    Carpe Diem I say.

  • OttoAu

    Australia is fucked, ok for somebody with a top notch job, but those who struggle, REALLY struggle

    How on earth can this be “the worlds most liveable city”

  • Joe

    Australia is way to expensive. An English breakfast for two, including coffee, set us back $56 while we were there 2 months ago.

    Also, tradies are way to expensive. While staying there, a friend called in a plumber to fix a leaky toilet. Didn’t take the plumber more than 15 minutes to fix it, no parts needed. The plumber walked away with $150 tax free.

    A beer (on tap) at a Melbourne pub, $10.

    Eating out, at an average restaurant for two people would be no less than $120.

    I don’t want to compare Australian to Asian countries, or even Greece or Italy for that matter. Compared though to most developed European and the USA, Australia is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE.

    And the reason is simple. Your wage costs are over inflated.

    Sydney, Melbourne etc are not New York and London. You could easily holiday in New York, on a MUCH CHEAPER daily allowance, than you can in Sydney or Melbourne.

    Australia is in need for a reality check. And I have a sense that it is just around the corner.

  • Kari

    If you go to the main tourist areas, you will expect to pay more money. Big Cities like Melbourne and Sydney are way more expensive than Brisbane and Cairns, although they won’t have the Harbour or Opera House like Sydney. Go to smaller beachside areas like Caloundra QLD on the Sunshine Coast or all the beautiful beaches along the NSW coastline. Rent a car and drive to all the beautiful National Parks which are free. Buy your own food from the fresh local growers markets and cook for yourself or look to where the locals are eating. There are ways to save money but you should research first before you go somewhere. Sometimes public transport is expensive but you might be able to get a weekly deal. Taxis are bad in Melbourne, try the airport shuttle bus instead and the trams in the CBD.

  • nick

    Its true Australia is an expensive Country. Clothing food and living expenses are exceedingly high.. The national wages haven’t changed since 1997. I know one thing..Government official’s are spending more on themselves than on the important issues like education, health and helping the needed. Greed will ruin this country. Best to avoid Australia Period.

  • Rod Sprague

    We are two almost retirement age Aussies. My wife has had two total hip replacements I have had prostate cancer.
    We have had approx $500.00 a fortnight to live on for the last 6 months. I don’t qualify for NewStart because we own a rental property which we bought as our “super” but now makes our assets too great to qualify for NewStart.
    My wife gets a disability pension from centre link hence the $500.00 mentioned above.
    Gas prices going up, taxes expected to go up, unemployment expected to go through the roof in Victoria.
    Old age pension ( I’m two years away from that) may not even exist by the time I qualify.
    We are planning to make our investment property cost neutral eg the rental covers all the costs (Land Tax, maintenance etc). Rent our own home and move to a developing country like Bali or Thailand.
    There we can live in beautiful surroundings, with live in helpers and good quality food plus utilities and transport at a price we can afford just from the rental of our home in Victoria.
    My wife and I have worked hard to raise a family and work full time in the health industry. The properties we have acquired were to be our super as we have no other investments but the only reason we get any financial help from this government we have paid taxes to all our lives is because my wife can hardly walk.
    Personally I give up. If we can generate enough income in Australia to cover our mortgages an costs plus a bit to live on I think my AU$ will go a lot further in Indonesia so long as Tony Abbott doesn’t get all us Aussie expats kicked out we will be OK.

    • Bethaney Davies

      I definitely agree with you Rob! It sounds like you would have a much higher quality of life in somewhere like Bali. Quite a few Aussies I know head to Penang in Malaysia as it’s so much cheaper but still developed with great hospitals. You should check it out.


      Yea .. I am Indonesian recently living in Oz, sometimes I realise way very expensive living in here even I have not bad life style in my country. I am not rich. I am 32, have some investment in my home town even it is not worth a lot money but I am not too bad for average as Indonesian.
      Yea, for example in Bali or Jakarta, property and everything become more expensive because more more expat living in Bali or Jakarta. Expat offer more money than Indonesian have to pay everything specially property! No way .. Indonesian can afford small house in Bali/jakarta with average salary 300-500bucks/month (good job). I think probably every where have same problem .. In Oz so many Chinese buying property in Oz and they want pay more rather than Oz can afford. Like in Sydney or Melb, price property is the way crazy!! doesn’t make sense at all.
      Same like in Bali/ Jakarta, peoples who can afford buy property probably they are expat or corruptor ups! I am sad with my country too .. Because many young generation can’t afford buy their own house. My partner just very lucky .. He own house and just bought new one again (even still borrow to bank)

      So, mate … please don’t bring more expat to Indo, because it will make everything expensive too in Indo lol hahahhaha *joke

      My point view, same same in Oz and Indo. Even yes, I miss damn my country sometimes .. because in Indo I have no bad life style .. in Oz I want go to movie cost me 25-50bucks without drink, meals, bus or parking. And so damn to have new friends without having kids! In Oz .. I SAVE MY MONEY SO BAD. Even I still have not bad life style in Oz though .. But still always cost a lot money in here

      But both ways, I still thinking positive way… I am here for reason and I choose to live in Oz n I take a risk.

      • Bethaney Davies

        I totally agree with you! I just find travelling in Australia is bad value for money. It’s prohibitively expensive to do anything! As you said, even a simple movie costs $20!!!! It’s quite similar to New Zealand. While it’s a great country to visit and live in, it doesn’t compare to other places in the world like Thailand, Spain or even the US!!!

  • Jodie Brownlee

    Hello Bethaney, Australia is about the same as other developed nations such as the USA and Canada, by the time you add tax and tip, which is included in the price of meals and accommodation in Australia. I am an Australian currently living in the US and travel a lot. The UK is probably the most expensive place I visit, and developing countries in general are the cheapest to visit. One option of seeing Australia cheaply is to road trip and camp. Some people do it in a van, others in a car and tent. But it’s the best way to experience the country and there are some beautiful beachfront campgrounds with lots of fun things for the kids. Happy travels!

    • Bethaney Davies

      We’ve been travelling in the US and Canada for the past 10 months and I absolutely don’t agree that prices for meals and accommodation are the same once you add the tax and tip. Australia and New Zealand offer such poor value for money when it comes to eating out and staying in hotels/hostels/apartments.

  • Jen Joslin

    Moving to and working in Australia is on our radar for 2017, but this post is definitely giving me some perspective on things to consider. We currently live in Southeast Asia, and I’m afraid the cost of living in Oz would be too shocking to our systems. We currently live very comfortably on about $1500/month in Cambodia. Sounds like the wages would need to be very high to make the cost of living work out in Australia!

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