Hey guys, I am 23 and planning on flying to Sydney at the end of June. Got my flights booked, visa and insurance all paid for. I'm planning on working out in Oz to fund my travels, but would like to keep it to a minimum so that I can make the most of my time out there.
So I was wondering, how much money do I need to save up now to live off of reasonably well when I'm out there?
I'm planning on being out there for as long as I can fund myself by saving now and working out there. How much is everyone else saving/ how much have people lived on whilst in Oz??
I've heard Sydney is pretty expensive so probably won't stay there for more than a few days, but can anyone recommend any nearby towns that are relatively cheap?
Count on needing an average of AUD $65 per day. For that money you can stay in small dorm rooms in good quality hostels, buy supermarket food to cook your own meals, travel by public transport from town to town about once a week, and do the occasional activity (think platypus watching rather than skydiving). If you want to go out and party regularly, or go on many more tours and activities, you should double that budget. Obviously these amounts can only ever be a rough indication, and will vary wildly from person to person. Watch your actual expenses when you're there.
I agree with Sander, I was spending about £250 a week in Oz, and I was watching my budget very carefully. Staying in dorms, cooking my own food, rarely going out. I would say you need at least £1k a month to keep you going until you get a job.
Sydney is expensive, but Australia is in general. I wouldn’t count on saving too much in any other town/city as they are all expensive!
However I did find good well paid work out there very quickly.
$65 will be a stretch in Sydney, unless you don't go to bars/clubs and don't eat out at restaurants. Like Sander said, if you plan on partying, you should double, or even triple that figure. You can go out on a Saturday night and blow $200 with very little difficulty, so if you want to party you should stay in the CBD so you save on costly cab fares.
The cheaper places in Sydney are definitely out towards the western suburbs, but you must then consider the cost of convenience for the lower price of accommodation and cost of living. Check out Bondi, as it is a very popular spot for young people, and has some world class beaches.
Have a good one.
You are right Yage, it does depend upon what you are looking to do. But when I was in Sydney in 2010 I managed to survive on $60 a day, although it was tough.
Thanks for the feedback guys! This is a massive help.
Where are the best places to find basic jobs like bar/restaurant work? Do smaller towns outside of Sydney/Melbourne still have a relatively good opportunity for jobs or is it only really in the cities?
And, i know this is a very general question, but people who have done this in the past might be able to give me their experiences??!.. but is it possible to live off of what you earn whilst working, or did people have to rely on previous savings?
I managed to break even for my entire trip, but being in IT, I was in a rather privileged position with that. In general, I advice to think of working there as a way to stretch your money, not to actually earn more than you're spending. There are people who do, but it basically means being both lucky, and really focusing on saving and earning money, which might defeat the purpose of going to Australia in the first place. (Obviously you can expect to earn more than your living costs while working, but most of the time it won't be enough to also cover the entire time that you're not working.)
I know that down here in Melbourne a lot of backpackers do country trips up to some of the fruit farms and vineyards. They often live up there for a couple weeks to earn some money picking berries (No, I'm not being sarcastic!) then come down to the city for a bit. Try google searching 'fruit picking work in Australia', they often pay you minimum wage, which is better than nothing.
Apart from these country areas, you will likely find work bartending in the city or inner-city area. In Melbourne, the busiest places for this will be around Richmond/Fitzroy/South Yarra and Prahran. Bartenders earn bout $16-$20 per hour plus tips (although tipping is not compulsory like in the US), though being a backpacker, you will be paid in cash, and usually at a lesser rate since your earnings aren't taxed. You better plan on coming here with a nice cushion, because while work is easy to find for backpackers, it isn't guaranteed. Nightlife in Melbourne also costs a lot of money. I can't remember the last time my mates spent less than $300 on a weekend.
It's very likely you can live off what you earn, but you will not be going home with surplus income gained from working backpacking jobs.