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How to get your Australian Dollars

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How much money will I need in Australia?

With more spectacular sights that you can shake a stick at (Great Barrier Reef, Cairns Rock, the list goes on...), you'll want to make sure you've budgeted well for your trip. Australia has a reputation for being one of the more expensive developed countries, plus many banks charge for overseas transactions, but with a bit of planning and know-how you can make your money go further.

Travelling on a budget: Cost per day - A$60 - A$70 / per week - A$420 - A$490
Australia isn't necessarily known for being a budget destination, but it's possible if you stay in hostels, use public transport and try not to eat out too much. 

Mid-range budget: Cost per day - A$100 – A$180 / per week - A$700 – A$1260
If you're staying in comfortable hotels and eating out regularly, you'll need between A$100 and A$180 per day depending on where you are visiting (cities tend to be much more expensive). 

Luxury budget: Cost per day - A$200+ / per week - A$1400+
Sydney and Melbourne have a reputation for being the most expensive cities globally and they have an abundance of fine dining restaurants and luxury hotels. Luxury hotels tend to cost anywhere from A$150 to A$1000 and we recommend budgeting at least A$100 on food if you're eating out regularly. 

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Do I need cash or card in Australia?

Although major cards are accepted widely in Australia, it's still a heavily cash-based society and it’s usually a comfort to carry some cash in case you are unable to pay by card.

Most visitors to Australia will be staying in the country for 2-3 weeks, so we recommend taking most of your cash on a prepaid currency card like the ICE Clear card which will keep your money safe and won't charge you any transaction fees for spending in shops, bars and restaurants across Australia. 

Since banks will charge you a fee for overseas transactions, it's best to also bring a good amount of cash away with you. If you have Dollars leftover, you can always exchange them back into Pounds when you get home with our buy back service. 


Australia costs

Spending in Australia varies from region to region, while taxation affects certain pricing. There is a floor price of minimum A$1.30 for alcoholic drinks. You can generally expect to pay:

  • A$80 for a mid-range meal for two
  • A$8 to A$10 for a pint of beer ($15 to 20 for supermarket-bought)
  • A$5 to A$8 for a glass of house wine ($18 for a bottle)
  • A$45 for a bottle of spirits
  • A$4.20 for a coffee
  • A$1.50 to A$5 per km in a taxi
  • A$174 for Sydney Bridge Climb
  • A$115 to A$150 for Great Barrier Reef tours and excursions


Tipping in Australia

Tipping is not as much of an expectation in Australia, as waiting staff generally earn a better wage. The same applies for hotels and taxis, though a $2 or 10% roundup is always appreciated.


How to make your Australian Dollars go further

  • Buy Australian dollars in advance – Australian ATMs generally charge a $1.50 transaction fee.
  • Load your cash onto a prepaid card – if you’re worried about carrying cash, this is fee-free for up to 10 currencies.
  • Pay in local currency – if you are paying by card, always choose to pay in Australian Dollars to avoid unnecessary fees.
  • Plan excursions and activities in advance and pay before you arrive for easy budgeting


Dollar notes: $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100
Cent coins: 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins, and $1 and $2 coins (1 dollar equates to 100 cents)  

Did you know? Australian coins feature images of the only two mammals in the world to lay eggs – the platypus and the echidna.


The surprising history of the Australian Dollar

  • Rum was the main currency in early colonial Australia. NSW Corps officers bought up all the imported rum and established a 17-year monopoly on its trade. When Gov. William Bligh tried to end it, he was deposed in the only armed takeover of government in Australian history. It was known as the Rum Rebellion
  • When Australia stopped using the pound as its currency, some of the suggested names for the new currency were austral, the oz, the boomer, the Roo, the Kanga, the emu, the digger, the Quid, the Dinkum and the Ming before the government ultimately settled on the Australian Dollar
Buy Back

Leftover Australian Dollars?

No worries! We’ll buy back any Australian dollars up to the value of £300. As per our terms and conditions.

Just email [email protected] with your order number.