I have just returned to Asia after a 2 week holiday in Australia. I’d always promised myself I would not go to Australia until I was either ready to live there or had at least a couple of months to do a country as huge and varied as Australia justice. But alas, as with many promises I make to myself I broke it. Being only a short plane ride away in Indonesia, it seemed less of a mammoth journey to undertake for a brief break in the Western world. A chance to visit long lost friends from England, who have made what could be a permanent move to the sunshine.
And so I booked my flight, with the idea that I would stay with friends, meaning no accommodation costs, buy supermarket food to cook in their kitchens and travel via hitching or cheap trains or buses… there must be something like the Mega Bus in the UK right?
I had been warned of the cost of Australia but with my fool hardy, tight fisted, live off the land traveller ways I could prove everyone wrong. 2 weeks visiting friends in Australia on £300 (marginally more than my Asia budget) was sure to keep me alive and allow me to enjoy some of the sites Australia had to over … THINK AGAIN!
After 4 days in Australia I had already spent most of my 2 week budget and had barely done anything. A couple of lunches out, a supermarket shop, a night out with budget pre drinking and a cheap bus from Melbourne to Canberra. Nothing particularly exotic or adventurous and still the dollars were literally running out of my wallet.
Around day 5 I had an epiphany … Australia on the cheap is IMPOSSIBLE! I am only here 2 weeks, I want to see stuff, have fun and sitting watching Neighbours and 7th Heaven in my friends living room was not going to fulfil my trip to Oz! SPENDING was the order of the trip and SPEND is what I did!
I won’t admit the final cost of my 2 weeks in Australia, but with a 3 day organised tour between Sydney and Melbourne, probably about 20 white chocolate and passion fruit scones from Bakers Delight (a new addiction), supermarket food, a couple of nights out and several café breaks I am well spent… A job, an income is top on my next list of things to do … and pronto!
But was it worth it? HELL YES! Australia rocked my world, seeing my amazing friends I miss dearly, breathtaking beaches, iconic buildings and western luxuries. A little piece of heaven on earth … that’s Oz for sure! I will return when my bank balance allows it!
To give you an idea of costs, here are a few of the bank breakers in Australia.
Bottle of house wine in average bar – $38
Schooner (3/4ish of a pint) of light beer – $8
Greyhound bus from Melbourne to Canberra – $65
Can of coke in newsagent – $1.80
Simple pasta meal in average café/pub – $18
A white chocolate and passion fruit scone from Bakers Delight – $1.90 … and an absolute steal for such flavoursome heaven!
Approximate Exchange rate – $1 = 65p
Can anyone offer any tips on doing Australia on the cheap?