Working Holiday Australia

How much money do you need to save for your working holiday in Australia

November 30, 2022

How much money do you need to save for your working holiday in Australia

So, you want to come to Australia on a working holiday, but you're unsure how much it will cost and how much you need to bring. Don't worry, Sven is here to help

With so many factors involved in the financial decision-making process for extended time away from home, we know just how complex money planning can be. To help you out, we've broken down all expected costs in a simple guide to help you plan your Australian adventure.

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Pre-Arrival in Australia

Before you arrive in Australia, there are a few crucial things that you will need to secure. They don't cost too much, but it's important to factor in absolutely everything when budgeting, so that surprise costs don't disrupt your money plans.

Working Holiday Visa

AUD 510

You will need a Working Holiday visa (WHV) to gain access to legal working rights in Australia. The WHV is a ticket for 1-3 years of work and holiday in Australia, and it is the best way to extensively explore Australia as a young traveller on a budget. You should apply for your WHV 12 months before you intend to travel to Australia, and the visa application fee is AUD 510. Of course, this cost is a long way from when you are travelling, but if you're counting your pennies, it's important to be aware of it! For help on the visa application process, check out Sven's guide to the WHV here.

Flights to Australia

AUD 1500 - 3000

Another major pre-arrival cost will be your flights down under. Regardless of where you're flying into Australia from, your flights will cost you a sizeable amount because we are a long way from most of the world! One-way flights will likely cost you between AUD 1500 and 3000, so you must be prepared with that money 4-6 months before you depart.

A one-way ticket from London to Sydney will cost you roughly AUD 2,500, from Hong Kong to Sydney approximately AUD 1,500 and from Los Angeles to Sydney approximately AUD 2,000.

Travel Insurance

AUD 700 - 2000

Travel insurance is cheap when you consider how much it will help you in the case of an accident. Travel insurance is an absolute must for all working holiday makers in Australia, and we do not recommend anyone travel without it. Depending on your level of coverage, age and where you're travelling from, your travel insurance will cost you between AUD 700 and 2000 per year.

Proof of Savings

Minimum AUD 5000

One of the requirements of travelling to Australia on a WHV is to provide proof of savings so that you can financially support yourself during your time here. Therefore, you will need to provide official evidence of at least AUD 5000 in savings to immigration upon arrival in Australia, so at the very least, you will need AUD 5000 or more when you arrive in Australia.

Money For Your Australian Adventure

Australia is such an incredible place, and the opportunities for employment as a WHV holder are so unique that you are guaranteed to form life-long memories. However, you aren't coming all the way around the world to work; you want to see all the beautiful sights, surf in the crystal blue water on white-sand beaches and enjoy some of the best nightlife in the world. That's why you'll need a decent amount of money each week to live it up to the fullest extent. So even though you'll be earning some money whilst you're here, you should still come equipped with enough cash to do whatever you want, whenever you want.

How Much You Will Make Per Week?

AUD 812.60 per week

As a working holiday maker, you can make a good amount of money per week for your work. As of December 2022, the Australian minimum wage is AUD 21.38/hour or AUD 812.60 per week as a full or part-time employee. For casual employees, you will receive a 25% increase on the minimum wage for your work hours, so AUD 26.73/hour.

Weekly Essentials Costs

AUD 390 per week when working

AUD 490 per week when travelling

While the Australian minimum wage is the highest in the world, the cost of living in Australia is also much higher than in most of the world. For example, you can easily expect to pay AUD 200 per week for accommodation/rent in Australian cities and AUD 30 for a meal and a beer or glass of wine in Australian restaurants.

When you are working and making weekly money, your budget will be lower than when you are just travelling around the lucky country. We suggest you implement two budgets; one for when you are working, and one for when you are travelling. When you are working, you should budget AUD 625 per week to cover all expenses, and when you are travelling, you will need AUD 1000 per week to enjoy all the amazing things Australia offers.

Whilst you are in Australia, you will have several constant costs that are unavoidable. You will always need a place to sleep and food, and it's essential to have some money to enjoy yourself. Accommodation costs will vary depending on where you want to stay. Hostels all over the country cost between AUD 20 to 40 per night for shared dorm rooms, budget hotels range between AUD 40 to 60, and cheap share houses/Airbnb's cost between AUD 400 to 700 per week.

When you are working, you should stay in accommodation with kitchen facilities, because if you are shopping at major supermarkets and cooking for yourself, you will only need AUD 60 per week for food. However, if you are travelling, staying in hostels with minimal kitchen facilities, and looking to have 1 or 2 nights out per week, you will need roughly AUD 200 per week for food. Of course, it's always best to say yes to a spontaneous night out, so we recommend budgeting for the latter option.

Finally, you will need access to the internet through a sim card, which will cost you roughly AUD 10 per week.

Travel and Public Transport Costs

AUD 70 per week when working

AUD 120 per week when travelling

Australia is massive, and if you want to see it all, you'll need to budget a good amount of money to get around the beautiful place. When you are working, you will likely be taking public transport if you work in one of the cities, and if you are working in a remote area, you will most likely be able to get to work by walking or on a bike.

  • A single train fare, on average, costs between AUD 3.50-AUD 8.50
  • A single bus fare, on average, costs between AUD 2.00-AUD 4.50
  • A single ferry fare, on average, costs between AUD 6.00-AUD 7.50

All in all, public transport costs AUD 4.50 per trip, so you'll most likely need between AUD 30 and 45 per week for public transport. Uber's in Australia are relatively expensive, costing approximately AUD 1.45 per kilometre. As long as you aren't travelling too far and too much, you can budget around AUD 20-60 per trip for Ubers if you need one. When you are travelling, you will need more money for travel costs.

All up, if you are staying in the same city, you will need at least AUD 120 to get around to all the places you want to see.

Recreational Costs

AUD 175 per week when working

AUD 390 per week when travelling

With Australia being home to some of the best adventure tourism and nightlife in the world, you will want to have some money to spend on having fun. There are so many exciting things to see and do in Australia, like snorkelling on the great barrier reef or 4-wheel driving on K'gari (Fraser Island), and there would be nothing worse than having to say no because you don't have enough money.

For example, a snorkelling tour costs roughly AUD 150, and entry to a nightclub costs approximately AUD 15, so you will need a good amount of money each week to live life to the fullest whilst on holiday down here. When you are working, you will only need a little money per week for recreational costs, no more than AUD 175, to cover the costs of a few nights out or local tours. When you aren't working, we suggest you budget AUD 1000 per week, so on top of the costs of accommodation, food, and travel, you will need to budget another AUD 390 per week for recreational expenses. You can use the money you earn/save whilst working and the AUD 5000 you saved upon arrival to budget for more of your fun-filled adventures. However, you ultimately need to have AUD 1000 per week that you aren't working to enjoy absolutely everything Australia has to offer. 

Total Cost

So, before you arrive, you will need AUD 5000 saved, as well as roughly AUD 3,700 saved for flights, your visa, and your travel insurance. When working, you should budget AUD 625 per week for accommodation, food, and recreational costs. When you work, you will be making at least AUD 21.38 per hour, so you can expect between AUD 300 and 500 for a few days of work per week or AUD 812.60 per week if you are working full-time. This money will help you pay for the time you spend travelling around Australia, as well as help you pay for your essential costs when working.
When you travel, you will need AUD 1000 per week to explore Australia, take guided tours and enjoy every minute of your action-packed time A working holiday in Australia is a fantastic way to see the world and earn some money at the same time – but it’s important to make sure you have enough saved up before you go. With our handy guide, you can prepare and plan out exactly how much money you will  need to save before your exciting journey Down Under. So what are you waiting for? Start saving today! For more tips, tricks + resources for WHV, check out our other blogs here.

The information provided in this article is for your information only. While all care has been taken in the preparation of the article, Sven Global Pty Ltd makes no representation or warranty as to, or accepts any responsibility for, the accuracy, reliability, completeness or currency of the information, its usefulness in achieving any purpose or your reliance upon it.

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