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STA Travel Blog

How to travel the East Coast of Oz for under £950

If you’re really keen to travel the East Coast of Australia but think it might cost you a literal arm and a leg, it doesn’t have to. One of our staff members, Rachael, had exactly the same predicament in her first year of working and travelling Australia. She’s here to tell you how she managed to travel the epic East Coast for under £950 (or $1,500AUD).
BODYSydney Harbour_ Australia

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How much do you need for 1 month in Oz?

Here at STA Travel we pride ourselves on the fact we “know because we go”, so instead of giving you a generic post about spending in Australia we thought we’d hand it over to Rachael, who can give you the lowdown on how much you should spend in Australia in one month– drawing on her own experiences.

I worked and travelled in Australia for exactly 2 years – I literally left one day before my visa ended because I loved it so much, so I’d like to think I know a fair amount about the place. If you’re off there for a month and want to know how much you’ll need then I’ll split it into four sections: transport, accommodation, food and spending. This is a general guide, as opposed to state focused, so please bear that in mind – and don’t hate me if you spend more than this. Let’s say you’re travelling all of Australia in that time…very ambitious, but let’s go with it.


This can range as you’ve got loads of ways of getting around Oz – trains, planes and automobiles, literally…plus boats. I would say Greyhound is the best way to get up and down the East Coast (hop-on-hop-off Sydney to Cairns is around $650), and between Alice Springs and Darwin (I got this for $150 – way in advance). There are always cheap flights between most cities too (usually excluding Perth and Darwin) for about $90 one-way. I flew Brisbane to Cairns for that price, and also Adelaide to Melbourne. In terms of public transport, I’d say set aside $40 a week (the average for unlimited travel on a travel card). Perth is a little isolated, so my friends did an epic road trip between Darwin and Perth, which I wish I’d gone on, and the average for a campervan per day is about $50 a day. Take 10 days to do it and that would be around $500 (remember this could be divided between a few of you – for this, let’s say between 2).

So per person for four weeks – and if you’re going to see practically everywhere in Australia – you should set aside around $1570AUD (about £970).

Getting an ISIC card can save you tons of money on transport too – so the above amount could be even lower if you have one of those. Which you can currently get if you open a Westpac Choice Account – which works out pretty well if you haven’t opened an Aussie bank account yet!


BODYDSC4671_ Australia FAM trip
I lived in hostels for the majority of my time in Australia, and the average cost of a hostel per night is $25AUD (you get discounts if you stay in the same hostel for a week). Let’s assume the above costing got you a little worried, so we’ll stay with just hostels. If you do the campervan thing, you won’t need to spend on hostels for those 10 days, so say 20 days of hostel accommodation.

Per person for 20 days hostel: $500 (about £310)

Again, an ISIC card can help you out with hostel costs too!


Well poke me in the eye and call me Shirley. Best #burger EVA #Melbourne #explorations #instafood #thaiger

A post shared by Kim Durbridge (@kimswanderlist) on

Let’s say your hostel includes free breakfast (a lot of them do, or at least a free pancake morning) – and you can do a weekly shop for about $25. Throw in a few brunches (maybe four) at around $12, and a few dinners (maybe ten) at around $20 and we’ll say that’s your food allocation.

Per person for 30 days food: $348 (about £215). You can definitely easily go over this – I would. So if you want to have more money for food, I feel ya.

And guess what? The ISIC card gets you food discounts too! It seems like there’s nothing this little card can’t do.


BODY - Tom Harley - Photography Competition 2013
This depends on how many places you’re going and exactly what you want to do. Attractions can cost big bucks, but things such as beach days are pretty much free. Let’s say that every week you want to visit 2 attractions at an average of $50 each, and the standard tours such as Whitsundays at around $400, Fraser Island at about $325 (or get a combo tour for about $650), diving at the Great Barrier Reef for around $160, and an Aussie Outback trip at around $400.

Per person spending money for 30 days: around $1,700 AUD (about £1,200).

All together: $4118 (about £2,500) maybe just round it up to $5000.

Now that you’ve got an idea about how much you should be saving, why not kick start your planning by booking your flight? Have a look at our best deals now!

Top 10 budgeting tips for your trip to Australia

One of our staff members, Rachael, just got back from her two-year trip to Australia, so we asked her to compile a list of budgeting tips that she has collated from her time there.

BODYSydney_ Australia

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The ultimate guide to regional work

In order to get your second working holiday visa in Australia you must complete 88 days of regional work, which can be anything from farming, fruit picking, fishing, pearling and mining. So how do you get through the whole thing without giving up and going home? Rachael is here to give you her survival tips from her own 88 days of farm work.

Okay, so your back will ache, your hands will be raw, you’ll never be able to look a banana (or whatever fruit/veg you’re picking) in the face again, and will no doubt start assuming that work boots paired with sweatpants is a winning look, but after all of that (plus lifelong friends, unrivaled poker skills, an insane suntan, spectacularly ripped calf muscles and money in the bank…) you’ll qualify for a second working holiday visa. Which basically means an extra year in Australia, and who doesn’t want that. This is your ‘I’m a celebrity/survival island’ moment. Embrace it.

I did the 88 days of farm work, which you could actually class as 90, thanks to a couple of tomato picking days in Bundaberg! The majority of my time was spent at a family-run macadamia farm in Dorroughby, 30 minutes from Byron Bay. Yes, farm work is hard, there’s no doubt about that – it’s not meant to be easy, but it’s definitely worth it. When I look back at my time on the farm, I don’t shudder (although I occasionally do when I see a bag of macadamia nuts or cherry tomatoes in the supermarket) but I think about it with a sense of accomplishment and happiness. It was a totally different experience, one that I probably won’t ever get again.

Just gathering some nuts #macadamia #farmwork #australia

A post shared by Rachael Porter (@rporter90) on

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Surf’s up, drink up: the best bars in Surfers Paradise

Here at STA Travel, we understand that when it comes to drinking (responsibly, of course) there are usually four different types of ‘sessions’ you could be feeling on any number of days. You’ve got the day drinking session, which is something you tend to go for when it’s nice and sunny outside or you’ve got enough time to get over the hangover before work the following day (hello Sunday sessions!). Then you’ve got the pre-drinking session, whether that’s something you do at Uni in order to make your night out cheaper, or you’re just wanting to go to a few places and get in the mood before you head to the main place. Then you’ve got the classy and sophisticated session, where you’re thinking of just going to dinner and a few drinks, maybe some cocktails a la Sex and the City. Last but not least you’ve got the ‘out out’ session where you’re planning on going hard (and not going home).
We’re delving into the nightlife (or day drinking life) of Surfers Paradise, and have grouped our top venues in terms of these four sessions.

Day drinking

Who doesn’t love to go out on a sunny day and sit in a beer garden with friends, catching up, laughing and just generally having a great time? Australia does day drinking very well, it’s probably to do with their laid-back attitude, great weather, and beach front locations. Surfers Paradise ticks all three of these boxes, and here’s some of our top picks for a good day drinking session:
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