Travelling? A guide to money in Australia

Dr Martens shop Westfield Sydney shopping

Australia is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Full of glorious beaches, adorable animals and interesting people – it’s worth taking your time to travel Australia properly. But one of the biggest concerns that travellers have is how to manage their money. Considering most countries have different currencies, it can all feel a little stressful. This guide will help to make sure you enjoy your time in Australia and use your money properly. 

The currency

Australia uses the Australian dollar, which comes in plastic notes of $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 and various coins. When travelling, it’s important to remember the exchange rate, too. One Australian dollar equates to around 0.55 pounds sterling, and 0.70 US dollars. While you can exchange money when you get to Australia, it’s worth having a little when you arrive for buses or taxis.

Transferring money

When travelling, transferring money elsewhere can be a huge concern. Just because you’re abroad doesn’t mean you don’t still have bills to pay or birthday money to give! Many Australians transfer smaller amounts using TransferWise, an online money transfer company that offers a cheaper and faster way to send money internationally. See this TransferWise review for more information.  

Earning money

All travellers know the difficulty of making money while travelling. On the one hand, you want to enjoy the experience without working, but on the other, you need to be able to afford your trip. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to earn money while travelling in Australia. The country offers many seasonal jobs that favour travellers such as hospitality, harvest work and ski resort roles. A rather unique and special job that Australia can offer is pearling. Due to warm temperatures, things grow much faster than normal and this includes pearls. From April/May and September/October, the beaches are full of oysters which need harvesting. It’s full on physical labour, but you’ll meet lots of interesting people, and not many people can say that they’ve harvested pearls for a living.


Most travellers know the importance of saving when travelling. This might involve staying in hostels and cooking your own food. But there are plenty of ways to enjoy Australia specifically on a budget. The country is known for its incredible nature, so try to spend time enjoying the free beauty that it has to offer. You can travel using the Greyhound Bus, which costs around $500 and allows you to hop on and off as many times as you like. Australia also offers plenty of free culture, including the Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. And, for the liquor fans, alcohol is much cheaper in the Bottle-o (liquor shop) as opposed to the bars.


One of the great things about Australia is that the minimum wage is much higher than in other countries, and therefore people don’t tip. No need to feel guilty, so save your money for something else.