Sydney Jones: The cost of exploring Australia from Townsville

whitehavenSo recently I’ve been thinking about information that would be beneficial to students who are planning to come here for a semester/ year/ whole degree. The factor it all comes down to is money and obviously those who come here probably don’t plan on seeing just Townsville. For this post I want to put into perspective what it costs to travel around Australia specifically from Townsville, hopefully it helps with budgeting and saving up money before you come here. I’m going to put all prices in Australian dollars so if you are paying with another currency, convert it to get a better idea of how much traveling will cost.   


TSV > Airlie Beach/ Whitsundays

Greyhound bus: 90- 100 AUD round- trip (4.5 hours)

Hostel: 20- 30 AUD per night

Weekend Live aboard to Whitehaven w/ snorkeling: 300- 500 AUD

Tips and tricks– Feel free to rent a car and split the cost with friends to head down to Airlie! Might make things a bit cheaper. This area is a must see, Whitehaven is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and it is worth dropping some coin for.

TSV > Cairns

Greyhound bus: 110-130 AUD round- trip (5-6 hours)

Hostel: 15- 30 AUD per night (I recommend Gilligans)

GBR Reef Trip: 110- 170 AUD (this price is snorkeling only, dives add ~ 40 AUD)

Daintree Rainforest tours: ~200 AUD

Tips and tricks- Same with Airlie beach look at the cost of renting a car and split up the cost with some friends. Also look at renting a car and driving up to the Daintree/ Cape Tribulation, it gives you a bit more freedom to explore and the drive is beautiful. Last tip is to look at booking your Daintree and reef trip in a package, sometimes it works out to be cheaper than booking them separately.

TSV > Brisbane/ Gold Coast/ Byron Bay

Flights: 150- 250 AUD (Jetstar is generally the cheapest airline)

Airtran to Gold Coast: 50- 70 AUD round-trip from Brisbane airport (1.5 hrs)

Greyhound bus to Byron Bay: ~100 AUD (leaves from Brisbane airport, 3-6 hrs)

Hostel: 20- 30 AUD per night

Surf lessons: 50- 60 AUD for one lesson, 3 lesson packages 140- 160 AUD

Tips and tricks: There is a lot of stuff to do here but in the interest of international students I felt surfing lessons would be the thing you are most interested in for this area. Definitely look into concession prices (student discount) for traveling on the airtran and for surfing lessons to get a good deal.

TSV > Sydney

Flights: 200- 300 AUD (Jetstar)

Hostel: 25-40 AUD per night

Bridge Climb: 240-370 AUD (subject to time of day and week you book for)

Harbour cruise: 40- 100 AUD (some of these are hop on hop off)

Blue Mountains: <50 AUD (using public transport)

Tips and tricks: This city is iconic to Australia, there are so many things to do and it will take a bit of your own research to plan your trip to your liking. There are a lot of free things to enjoy as well. When I went I stayed close to Darling Harbour and I thought the location was fantastic.

TSV Melbourne

Flights: 250- 550 AUD (Jetstar)

Hostel: 25- 35 AUD per night

Great Ocean Road day tour: 100-150 AUD

Philip Island day tour: 100- 130 AUD

Tips and tricks: Tullamarine airport is the cheaper airport to fly into from Townsville and there are more flights there per day. As always instead of booking a great ocean road tour it may be cheaper to rent a car and drive it yourself and it gives you a bit more freedom.

uluru 2 TSV > Alice Springs/ Uluru

Flights to Alice Springs: 900- 1,000 AUD

Flights to Ayer’s rock/ Uluru: 700- 1,000 AUD

Hostels in Alice Springs: 25-30 AUD per night

3 day/ 2 night Outback experience: 300-500 AUD (Uluru, Kata Tjuta, King’s Canyon)

Tips and Tricks:  Due to the distance and the amount of time it takes to do everything here it will take a bit longer than a weekend trip. My trip with flights took 5 days in total so just something to keep in mind. As expensive as it is I highly highly recommend doing this and everyone who has dropped the money to go has had a fantastic time.

TSV > Perth

Flights: 600-800 AUD (Virgin Australia and Jetstar)

Hostel: 15-30 AUD per night

Rottnest Island Ferry: 80-100 AUD round trip

Tips and tricks: I still have not made it to Perth but it is on my list, I’ve only ever heard good things about Western Australia. I included the ferry to Rottnest island because this is where you find quokkas (the happiest animal on earth). Through more research It sometimes works out cheaper to fly out of Cairns because they have a direct flight.

Final thoughts: When it comes to traveling you can do all the research but eventually you do have to bite the bullet and drop the coin, it hurts the wallet at the time but the thought of the money goes away once you are in one of these amazing places. Australia is an incredible country, so save up some money to explore as much as Oz has to offer. As a last tip always look into flying out of both Townsville and Cairns when you’re planning travel, Cairns sometimes ends up being cheaper. Also when budgeting keep in mind that you will find deals on flights/ excursions but it is better to have saved too much money than too little. Happy saving and happy traveling guys!

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