Save Money on Accommodation in Australia

Wondering how to save money on accommodation in Australia?

From planning a short break on the Gold Coast to settling in Sydney for the next six months, with so many options available to chose from it can be somewhat overwhelming to know where to start looking.

These tips will show you where are the best places to look to save money.

Starting from the least expensive, accommodation options are:

Hospitality Exchange

Recommended for stays 2-4 nights per host.

While sleeping at someone’s place might not have the same status as staying in a branded hotel, there no denying this is a unique style of travel.

Just imagine staying over at an old friend or relative’s place – except you don’t know the host apart from some prior email and phone communication.

This type of accommodation will appeal to those who are travelling solo and who don’t mind sharing their lives with a stranger. As guests usually sleep on a couch, a spare room or floor, no money is paid for the stay. Although, many who use the service prefer to give their host a gift or cook them a meal to say thank you.

The most popular hospitality exchange website is CouchSurfing.

CouchSurfing is a platform where travellers can send a request to stay at a hosts residence for a prearranged number of nights. Couchsurfing is not just about trying to save money accommodation in Australia either, but more about experiencing how locals live and making new friends.

Although there are no fixed rules or guidelines on who should use the website, this type of accommodation wouldn’t be suitable for those travelling in large groups or who have a fixed schedule.

With Couchsurfing, you need to have a certain amount of flexibility and be willing to fit around the hosts daily life.

Couchsurfing is a great way to explore Australia

Other hospitality exchange websites are Globalfreeloaders & Hospitalityclub.

Working for Accommodation

Recommended for stays of 3+ days.

Looking to save money on accommodation in Australia? Well doing a days work in exchange for a bed is another low-cost alternative.

Working for a place to sleep can be a surprisingly rewarding task for the savvy traveller. Even some professional desk jockeys enjoy leaving the office behind and doing something manual for a change.

It’s not all farming or labour work either, pet sitting gigs can be found in Australia too.

Websites like Trustedhousesitters offer a different approach, allowing those seeking budget accommodation to take care of owners pets in exchange for a free stay.

The tasks required will depend on the owner and how long they are away.

Each owner advertises what they’re looking for in a pet/house sitter. Some will ask that the dog is walked daily, while others might request gardening work is carried out too.

The norm is to stay for a week or two, yet some adventurous retired couples even advertise housesits for 3 – 6 months.

This type of agreement is more likely to will suit couples who are travelling long-term and those working remotely. The majority of houses have Wi-Fi, so the even workaholic digital nomads can still do their thing while keeping a close eye on the pets.

If you’re looking for a different style of travel and don’t mind animals, then it’s definitely something to try at least once.

Working for accommodation is a great way to save cash while travelling Australia

Another popular work/accommodation exchange platform is Wwoofinternational.

Camping Outdoors

Recommend for stays 1-14 days.

So at this point, you might be saying Couchsurfing and Trustedhousesitters are perfect for solo travellers and tech couples in their late 20’s, however, what about travelling as a family with kids?

Well, there’s always good old-fashioned camping.

Camping is a great pastime that allowing a break from the city. One of the best things about camping in Australia is it’s possible to have the beach view of a five-star resort right by your tent.

Camping is not just about pitching a tent on some remote part of the bush either, most of the big cities and urban destinations have campsites nearby or on the outskirts. More modern grounds will have a range of faculties such as cooking zones, showers and sometimes even a swimming pool.

For paid campsites, bookings are not always necessary except maybe for busy times such as public holidays. It’s often possible to turn up and pay cash to the manager.

For those who crave more adventure, maybe a free campsite would hit the spot?

Australiancampsites has an extensive list of free campsites that are perfect for those looking to save money on accommodation in Australia.

It’s important to note that you may need to pack a few more utensils as they often won’t have the same cooking and showering faculties of the paid camping sites.

Roughing it like this won’t appeal to everyone, but for those who like to get off the beaten track, the rewards received in return are worth it.

Camping is a great way to save money on accommodation in Australia

Popular campgrounds are also advertised Find a Campsite and even

Backpackers & Hostels

Recommended for stays of 1-14 days.

Most instantly associate hostels with backpacking, and Australia is a major backpacking destination attracting travellers from around the world.

Hostels are great for meeting all sorts of weird and wonderful people who have plenty of stories to tell. Most hostels based around the central city locations will cater for the younger backpacker looking to experiencing a once in a lifetime journey before heading back home to the real world.

If you’re new to Australia and don’t know anyone yet, hostels can provide information about the area and are an excellent base point while getting to know the place.

Not into the party scene and looking for something a little more low key?

No worries, try a hostel further away from the main strip or city centre, as they don’t tend to attract the party crowd.

Websites like Hostelworld are popular for booking cheap dorms in east coast hotspots such as Byron Bay, Noosa, Airlie Beach and Cairns.

If sharing a bunk bed in a room of sweaty backpackers, who may, or have not had a showered recently sounds like a version of hell to you don’t worry, most also offer basic private rooms like the one pictured below.

How to Save Money on Accommodation in Australia

It’s also possible to find some hostels through the usual booking websites like Hotels.comExpedia.

B&Bs, Budget Hotels and Motels

Recommended for stays of 1-4 nights.

Mention staying in an Aussie hotel for the night and most will have the image of $200 + a night CBD setups.

While on the subject about how to save money on accommodation in Australia, it may be surprising to read that it’s still possible to book a decent room without getting a call from your bank manager the next day!

There’s are a wide range of B&Bs, guest houses and motels to be found across the country that offer good value for money

These will typically be small businesses, sometimes family-run, that don’t have overheads of the big brand hotels. Many will have extras removed, such as no breakfast included or have a shared bathroom instead of a private one.

One of the best websites for booking budget hotels is When used correctly there plenty of ways you can secure a great deal.

Granted, you won’t find places in Australia for the same low prices as in Asia, but if you book in advance is possible to get discounts of 70% off the listed price.

BnBs, budget hotels and motels are a great way to save money on accommodation in Australia

Other websites where you can find budget hotels are Lastminute &

Short-term Apartments

Recommended for stays of 3-30 days.

Short-term rental options in Australia have been increasing steadily over the past few years. It’s more accessible than ever to rent a room or even an entire apartment.

One of the more well-known websites for short-term apartments is

The cost of eating out three times a day soon adds up, so the ability to prepare meals in an apartment can be a real advantage. For those who prefer to self-cater, the convenience of a kitchen and utensils is a selling point. Especially when staying in the same place for more than a few days.

Some apartments listed on Airbnb can have multiple rooms, making them suited for families. If located in a compound, there can be other facilities like a swimming pool or gym that can be enjoyed.

In addition to the benefits of a kitchen, may include a washing machine, an iron and other homily luxuries which would usually be left out from a budget hotel.

Similar websites for short-term apartments are Housetrip and Homeaway.

Shared Accommodation

Recommended for stays between 1-12 months.

If you plan on staying longer down under to work or study, a cost-effective solution is to find a room to rent.

Staying in shared accommodation is a great strategy to save money on accommodation in Australia. A share house will also introduce you to a new social circle and your roommates will have advice on the best places to eat, shop and visit.

The type of people who rent out rooms will vary. They could be students, professional couples, or retirees whose children have left home. Some may not even have the landlord living at the premises.

Most landlords won’t want to deal with anything less than eight weeks (although you can always ask) and will prefer stays of three months or more to save the hassle of continually advertising the room.

Prices vary depending on the area, room size, if the room is private or shared and if there’s an ensuite or not.

Shared accommodation can be found on websites like Easyroommate and Flatmates.

Long-term Rentals

Recommended for stays between 6 – 36 months.

Long-term rentals are a must if you plan on staying in Australia for a while but don’t want the hassle of buying a house or sharing with others.

Websites like advertise houses, apartments and units for 6 or 12-month leases.

On behalf of the owner, real estate agents list properties when they become available.

However be aware that the best deals get snapped up fast so it pays to be quick!

Only deal with newly listed properties as those over a couple of weeks old will have nearly always been snapped up by the time you get in contact.

In some areas, such as popular tourist areas, or near universities, shorter one month to three-month rental options may also be available. The prices will be slightly higher than the 12-month leases, but you can still benefit from a better rate than staying in a hotel.

One option to keep the cost down even further is to share the lease with someone else.

You can expect to get between $125 – $300 AUD in rent a week for a room, depending on the location, size and facilities.

Another option for finding long-term rentals in Australia is Gumtree.

That’s all – I hope you got something for your Aussie trip.

If you have any tips on how to save money on accommodation in Australia, make sure you share them below.

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How to Save Money on Accommodation in Australia



  • Goflyla Thailand
    Posted October 3, 2018

    Thanks for sharing this information. This is really helpful. You can also save money on your trip with Goflyla by using Agoda special offers available there and save big.

  • Monica Sharma
    Posted August 31, 2018

    Accommodation is always a headache when you visit a new place you never know what the exact local rate and what they charge for the tourist. Your article is really informative if I visit Australia now I have a clear sense of the idea of the accommodation. really helpful article keep it up. keep posting.

  • Burt Silver
    Posted May 23, 2018

    I really like what you said about accommodation and working for the host in exchange for a place to stay. That’s something that I think I would really like to take advantage of considering I am on a tight spending budget for traveling. I’ll have to look more into that and see what my options would be for that because I’ve always wanted to visit and travel Australia.

  • David
    Posted June 29, 2017

    These are really good tips.

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  • alex
    Posted September 27, 2016

    hi barry
    i’d like to rent a holiday apartment do you know where can i find them?

    • Barry Sproston
      Posted September 30, 2016

      Hey Alex, good question – in a nutshell, I typically use either Agoda or Airbnb for apartments. Trivago also has a wide selection across Australia.

  • David
    Posted June 4, 2016

    Having grown up in Australia, it’s interesting to see all the different options available to travellers visiting. When I have travelled around, I have often stayed with friends, but occasionally used hotels/motels when needed. Camping is pretty popular in Australia, so a good option when the weather suits.

    I would add AllHomes as an option for long term rentals as it is more common in some markets, e.g. Canberra. Very handy Barry.

    • Barry Sproston
      Posted June 12, 2016

      Cheers for that David – always good to get a locals perspective. Never come across Allhomes before but then again I’ve only been to Canberra a couple of times. Will have to give them a try in the future.

  • Lisa
    Posted June 4, 2016

    Hi Barry….Loved this article, will come in handy…..haven’t been to Aussie Land for years. Great blog keep up the good travels! Be safe!

    • Barry Sproston
      Posted June 12, 2016

      Australia is a great place to visit and revisit. I’m practically a local now but still finding new things.

  • Voyager
    Posted June 4, 2016

    Not been to Australia, but would love to visit in the future. Your post is a treasure trove of information and we would definitely refer to it while planning our trip.

    • Barry Sproston
      Posted June 4, 2016

      There’s plenty to see and do in Australia as its such a big country. Certainly worth visiting if you get the chance in the future

    • anjali
      Posted December 19, 2016

      How to Save Money on Accommodation in Australia post is wonderful saving money in big cities is not that easy i am planing to shift to Australia your post helps me lot to find a best accommodation in less price thanks for sharing it…

  • Kelly Turpin
    Posted June 3, 2016

    Fantastic reference for cheap accommodation in Australia! Love it.

  • Morshed
    Posted May 19, 2015

    Great post. I just came across your website and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading through your blog posts. I hope you post again soon.

    • Barry
      Posted May 31, 2015

      Thanks for popping by and taking the time to comment Morshed

  • Daniel
    Posted May 10, 2015

    Hi, I read you rented an apartment in main beach on the Gold Coast. I’m planning an east coast trip and wondering about the gold coast. Is it worth visting there? Is there much to see and do? Most guide books say its tacky and skip it.Thx

    • Barry
      Posted May 31, 2015

      Hi Daniel, there sure is plenty to do on the Gold Coast! Ok yes, it does have a bit of a bad reputation as a party place and if you’re around Surfers Paradise on a Friday and Saturday evening you will see that. However, the Gold Coast isn’t only about Surfers Paradise. Head to The Hinterland for a hike, Burleigh Heads beach to relax, or Tedder Ave in Main Beach and you will see the Gold Coast is a great place to relax.

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