The 7 Cheapest Places To Live In Australia (2023)

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Who hasn’t dreamt of packing their bags and moving to Australia? To the land where the sun shines all year round, kangaroos are more common than dogs, and every meal comes off the barbeque? It would be blissful! But as wonderful as Australia is, it’s not the cheapest of places to live.

All that sunshine and good living can come at a high cost, especially if you want to live in the big cities or on one of those world-famous beaches. But not to worry, it is possible to move to the land down under without breaking the bank. Ok, so you might have to avoid Melbourne and Sydney, but we’ve found some great – and unexpected – spots spread right across the country for you to consider.

We’ve got coastal cities, outback towns, and island ports. So if you’re dreaming of moving to Oz, but are worried about your budget, take a look at our 7 cheapest places to live in Australia.

Table of Contents

(Video) 10 cheapest places to live in Australia

Adelaide – South Australia

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On the southern coast of Australia, sits Adelaide, a small city filled with historic buildings, towering church spires, and large leafy green parks. It has a unique vibe and definitely lags behind other Australian cities when it comes to gentrification and sophistication. It is slowly making a name for itself in the worlds of art, culture, dining, and nightlife, but it’s been a gradual process, and the city still holds onto its small-town, old-fashioned charm.

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It has also retained its low real estate prices and cost of living, making it the cheapest of Australia’s main cities. It is also one of the only state capital cities where rent prices remain low, around 45% lower than Sydney, making this a popular choice for those looking to live short term in Australia.

For this reason, it’s a favorite spot for international students, who are also drawn to the progressive, multicultural, friendly vibe of this community-driven city. Adelaide’s vibrant and varied festival calendar doesn’t hurt its appeal either!

Gold Coast – Queensland

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Another spot that’s popular with students is the Gold Coast, Queensland. This stretch of breathtakingly beautiful coastline sits south of Brisbane and stretches to the Queensland/New South Wales border. It’s known for its glorious beaches, rainforests, inland waterways, and wildlife reserves.

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But it’s not all about natural charm. The Gold Coast is home to Australia’s largest city that’s not a state capital, and it offers a cosmopolitan lifestyle with excellent employment and higher education opportunities and thriving recreational, retail, and nightlife sectors. Plus, with 300 days of sunshine per year, winter temperatures that rarely fall below 9°C, and summer highs of 30°C, it’s got the Australian climate of people’s dreams.

And, it’s affordable! The Gold Coast regularly appears on the lists of the cheapest places to live in Australia since its cost of living, house prices, and rental prices remain lower than the state capital cities. To find your affordable Australian dream, steer clear of the urban districts and the big-name suburbs like Surfers Paradise, and shop around the outlying suburbs where you’ll find property for well under the country’s average. Then sit back and enjoy the sun-soaked, laid-back Gold Coast lifestyle.

Morawa – Western Australia

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If you’re looking for a real bargain, how about the Western Australia town where you can buy a 3 bedroom house for as little as $45,000 AUD?

The rural town of Morawa was suffering from a massive population decline when the community decided to take drastic steps to combat it. One of these steps was to drop house prices from an average of $107,000 AUD in 2014 to $45,000 AUD by 2020.

Morawa sought to entice people to give up their city lives and move to the country where they could enjoy larger properties, with more land and gardens, even swimming pools, for a fraction of what they were paying for smaller units in the cities. This offer has appealed to many, from families looking to raise kids in a rural setting, to couples wanting to ditch their office jobs in favor of the farming life, and remote workers for whom location doesn’t matter and the price is key!

And don’t worry that you’ll be completely isolated. Morawa is situated only an hour inland from WA’s famously beautiful Jurien Bay and a 4-hour drive from Perth. It has a town center, hospital, high school, agricultural college, and a community that cares enough to try and revamp their town.

Canberra – Australia Capital Territory

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Canberra is the city that often gets forgotten about in Australia. It gets overshadowed by bigger, louder Sydney, which everyone mistakes for the country’s capital. But it’s Canberra, in the ACT that’s quietly been getting on with that job.

Canberra is a sophisticated city whose founders put thought and effort into its planning. The result is a spacious, uncrowded city with a small-town feel. The pretty tree-lined streets are interspersed with plenty of green spaces, bush reserves, and a beautiful lakefront that goes some way to make up for it being an inland city.

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As the seat of the Australian Parliament, the city is filled with government buildings and political monuments. However, it also has an exciting arts scene with some of the best galleries and museums in the country.And, being close to all that culture and political action doesn’t even come at a huge price. This under-the-radar city has a cost of living roughly 25% cheaper than in Sydney, and its house prices and utilities can be as much as 50% lower. The average house in Canberra costs $480,000 AUD that’s around $100,000 AUD below the national average. Plus it has one of the lowest crime rates of any Australian city and lower unemployment rates too!

Hobart – Tasmania

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Sitting off the southeast coast of the mainland is Australia’s littlest state and cheapest place to live, Tasmania. Its capital city Hobart boasts house prices around 25% lower than the country’s average, and purchasers can bag property for 60% less than they would in cities such as Sydney or Melbourne. And they get all the joy of living in this extraordinary place.

Tasmania is a beautiful, remote spot filled with natural wonders. And Hobart is a vibrant port city steeped in history with a thriving arts and culture scene. The island’s growing popularity has brought elegant restaurants, modern cafes, and craft breweries to reinvigorate a once bland dining scene. And the climate offers cooler summers than elsewhere in the country and mild-to-chilly winters. So it appeals to those who want their Australian experience to come with a more European climate.

However, you should be aware that while house prices and living costs are low, so is earning potential. Hobart has the lowest average income of any city in Australia and a reasonably limited job market. Rental prices are high thanks to the growing tourism industry pushing up the price of short-term rentals. So if you’re planning to make this move, think it through from an employment perspective and plan on buying, not renting, as soon as possible.

Broken Hill – New South Wales

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New South Wales is not generally the state to head to if you’re looking for the cheapest places to live in Australia. It’s not only home to Sydney, the most expensive city in the country, but also celebrity-favorite Byron Bay where house prices have shot up until the average cost is in the millions.

But that’s not to say that you can’t find a budget-friendly place to live in NSW. You just need to look a little harder and, get away from that expensive coastline. All the way away in fact. 11 hours drive inland from Sydney, on the far border of NSW sits the ‘City of the Desert’ Broken Hill. One of the cheapest places to live in Australia, where the average house price is $155,000 AUD, but they sometimes sell for an incredibly low $40,000 AUD.

But this is no boring outback town. Broken Hill is the oldest mining town in Australia. It’s filled with fascinating history, mining museums, and heritage buildings and is listed on Australia’s National Heritage List for its outstanding significance to the nation.

Visitors here will be pleasantly surprised by the sizable artistic community, the hip cafes and pubs, and the LGBTQ+ festivals inspired by the movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. This cult classic was filmed in part at the Palace Hotel in Broken Hill.

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And, if you want to get back to the coast, skip the long drive and just take a direct flight from Broken Hill Airport to any major Australian city!

Cairns – Queensland

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Cairns in northern Queensland is a city best known for being the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and as a hotspot for tourists, divers, and snorkelers. But it is also one of the cheapest places to live in Australia if you’re looking for a tropical climate, coastal lifestyle, and city atmosphere. In fact, the year-round warm weather and low cost of living make Cairns a favored Australian retirement destination.

However, the climate is not for everyone. While the winters are warm and pleasant with average temperatures of 17°C, the summers can be too hot and humid for some. Average highs reach 31°C and there can be torrential rains thanks to the monsoon season, which falls in summer from November to May.

But if you can handle a little humidity and summer rain, then you’ll find Cairns well worth considering when planning your move to Australia. Its cost of living is far lower than other coastal cities with average house prices of $550,000 AUD and rent costing up to 60% less than Sydney. This city is a laid-back place where it’s all about an outdoor, vacation-style lifestyle. So leave the big city hustle behind and head north for some tropical time out.

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What is the cheapest place to live in Australia?

Hobart, Tasmania is the cheapest place to live in Australia. The historic capital of Australia’s smallest state offers low house prices and living costs amidst beautiful scenery.

Is Australia expensive?

Yes, unfortunately, Australia is an expensive place both to visit and live. It sits just outside the top 10 most expensive countries in the world and has comparable average living costs to the UK and US, around $2600 AUD per month.

Where’s the most expensive city in Australia?

Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia, with Melbourne following closely behind. House prices have been skyrocketing in Sydney in recent years, and median house prices reached a whopping $1,601,467 AUD this year.

What is the cheapest time to visit Australia?

The cheapest time to visit Australia is during the winter, which falls from June to September. During this low season, you’ll find temperatures dropping and tourist crowds dwindling, leading to cheaper flights and accommodation.


However, it’s still a wonderful time to visit the country and a great time to enjoy the warm but dry winter climate of Cairns, experience snowfall in Tasmania, or even ski at one of the country’s ski resorts!


What is the cheapest area in Australia to live? ›

Despite a recent boom in property prices, Hobart still remains the cheapest city to live in Australia. Houses in the Tasmanian capital are roughly 25% cheaper than the national average – at about $444,500 AUD ($315,000 USD) – making it much more affordable than cities like Sydney or Melbourne.

What are the 10 cheapest places to live? ›

Cost of Living Index data is based on average prices of goods and services collected for the third quarter of 2022, with index values based on the new weights for 2022.
  • Topeka, Kansas.
  • Anniston, Alabama. ...
  • Joplin, Missouri. ...
  • Mobile, Alabama. ...
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. ...
  • Conway, Arkansas. ...
  • Jackson, Mississippi. ...
Dec 10, 2022

Which Australian state is the cheapest? ›

Known for sheep rearing and wool production, as well as a hub for wheat growing, Coonamble in New South Wales is one of the cheapest places to live in all of Australia.

Which city has the most affordable housing in Australia? ›

Australia's top 10 cheapest suburbs 2022

Andamooka in South Australia takes the title of Australia's cheapest suburb, with a median house price of just $20,000. Western Australia and New South Wales both have three suburbs respectively in the top 10, while Queensland and South Australia have an equal two each.

Do homeless get welfare in Australia? ›

Governments across Australia fund services to support people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness.

Is Australia cheaper to live than us? ›

According to numbers, Australia is around 23.5% costlier than the US.

Which city is cheapest to live in USA? ›

Lake Side Park in Fort Wayne, Indiana, named the most affordable city to live in America.

Where is the cheapest place to live in USA 2023? ›


Coming in as the cheapest state to live in in the United States is Mississippi with a cost of living index score of 83.3. It also has the lowest average housing costs in the nation at 33.7% below the national average. The median single family home costs around $140,818.

Where is the cheapest place to live in USA 2022? ›

America's Most Affordable Housing Markets In 2022

If that's what you're looking for, then the winners above—cities with the highest affordability score—should be on the top of your list, especially the top five cities, including Fayetteville, AR, Sioux Falls, SD, Green Bay, WI, Cincinnati, OH, and Davenport, IA.

Where in Australia is it cheaper to buy than rent? ›

The broadest opportunity for homeowners versus rents could be found in Perth, Darwin, and regional Australia. In rural Australia, it costs less to buy than rent in nearly a quarter of suburbs for houses and 44.3% of suburbs for units.

Is food cheap in Australia? ›

Eating out can be cheap or expensive, depending on the city and type of restaurant. Sydney and Melbourne – the home of MasterChef Australia – provide a number of options for eating out, from fast food restaurants to high-end establishments. An average basic meal can cost anywhere between AUD 15 and 20.

Is it cheaper to rent or buy in Australia? ›

Rent is often more affordable than mortgage payments on the same kind of property. You can afford to live in areas you may otherwise be priced out of as a buyer. You don't have to save up for a deposit.

Can American citizen buy property in Australia? ›

Any non-resident wanting to buy a residential house, apartment or block of land in Australia must satisfy the rules laid out by the FIRB. Anyone non-resident or temporary resident who buys real estate in Australia without FIRB approval could be subject to a fine up to AUD$157,500 and three years in prison.

Which Australian city has the best quality of life? ›

1. Melbourne: best for culture. Melbourne is widely regarded as the cultural capital of Australia (unless you ask Sydney siders) and it's no surprise that it held the title of the world's most livable city for 7 years in a row ranked by the Economist Intelligence Unit's global liveability index.

Is it illegal to be homeless in Australia? ›

Modern anti-vagrancy laws

And while begging was decriminalised in NSW in 1979, laws designed to penalise the homeless and the undeserving poor continue to be discretionarily enforced in NSW. These days, laws governing behaviour in public places continue to be used to target certain groups.

What type of people are homeless in Australia? ›

Older women are the fastest growing group to experience homelessness in Australia. On any given night, around 18,600 people aged 55 and above are homeless. Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people make up eight percent of older people experiencing homelessness.

What happens if you are homeless in Australia? ›

Homelessness Australia can help you if you're homeless, or at risk of being homeless. Mission Australia manages community housing across Australia and can help you look for a home. The Red Cross can help you look for suitable shelter. They also give meals to people with low incomes or housing problems.

Can a US citizen live in Australia? ›

If you move to Australia from the USA or another country and want to stay long-term or permanently, there are ways to apply for permanent residency. With a permanent residency visa, you can live, work, and study in Australia without any restrictions. You are still a citizen of your country of origin.

How long can an American citizen stay in Australia? ›

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

Most U.S. passport holders traveling to Australia for tourism or business purposes for less than 90 days can obtain an (ETA). The ETA is an electronic label-free visa and can be obtained at the ETA website for a small service fee.

Is Australia better than USA to live? ›

Australia and the USA are both developed countries with great living standards. Both have a high-quality education system and career opportunities. Australia provides the facility of Medicare for medical services. While the USA also offers healthcare services but at high costs.

What is the cheapest place to live in the World? ›

Here are 10 of the cheapest countries to live and work this year, according to meaningful travelers like YOU.
  • Vietnam.
  • Costa Rica.
  • Bulgaria.
  • Mexico.
  • South Africa.
  • China.
  • South Korea.
  • Thailand.
Nov 11, 2022

Where is the cheapest rent in the United States? ›

1. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Of all U.S. metro areas with populations of more than 1 million, none has cheaper apartment rents than Oklahoma City. The largest city in Oklahoma offers remarkably affordable prices for an urban area of its size.

Where is the cheapest place to retire in the United States? ›

Michigan ranks as the most affordable state to retire in 2022, according to a recent Bankrate analysis. This is due to a low cost of living and light tax burden for residents.

What is the most livable state in the US? ›

▲ Overall RankStateQuality of Life
3South Dakota39
4New Hampshire37
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Jan 12, 2023

What is the cheapest state to buy a house? ›

1 cheapest state to buy a house in 2022: Iowa. Iowa came in at the top of the list with the lowest average median household income it takes to be able to afford a house. The largest housing markets in the Midwestern state include Des Moines, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids.

What is the best state to live in financially? ›

Best to Worst States: What Is the Range of Economic Conditions? Washington State was found to be the best state to live in, while Hawaii ranked last. The chief benefits offered by Washington are an average median income that ranks fourth nationally and the fact that it has no state income tax.

What is the #1 best place to live in the US? ›

Atlanta, Georgia is the best place to live in the U.S. in 2022 because of its booming jobs market and eye on equality.

What are the top 3 cheapest states to live in? ›

The 5 Cheapest States To Live In
  • Mississippi. Cost of Living Index: 84.9. Living wage per hour: $21.09. ...
  • Oklahoma. Cost of Living Index: 85.7. Living wage per hour: $22.06. ...
  • Kansas. Cost of Living Index: 86.4. Living wage per hour: $23.24. ...
  • Alabama. Cost of Living Index: 87.5. ...
  • Georgia. Cost of Living Index: 87.8.
Jan 23, 2023

Where is the cheapest place to buy a house in the United States? ›

Iowa came in at the top of our list of the most affordable homes in America. It takes a mere 10.6 percent of the median household income to afford a home in the Hawkeye State. Homes clock in at just $147,800.

Does Australia have affordable housing? ›

Across Australia, couples out of work and single parents on government aid face a market where only 0.1% of rentals are affordable, according to another report by not-for-profit welfare group Anglicare. A person on the minimum wage is barely better off, as wages fail to keep up with spiralling rents.

Why are Australian houses so cheap? ›

a tax system that favours investors and existing home owners, with policies such as negative gearing and capital gain tax discounts. government restrictions on the use of land preventing higher density land use. government restrictions on greenfield development designed to encourage "urban densification".

What rent can I afford Australia? ›

Many renters like to rely on the 30% rule, which means a maximum of 30% of your income goes to rent. An ideal amount is about 20%, but 25% is also a good target to aim for. However, this isn't always feasible on a low income, as average rents in your chosen area may well be above 30% of what you're earning.

How much is egg in Australia? ›

This average is based on 11 price points. It can be considered reliable and accurate. Latest update: January 28, 2023.

Do you need cash in Australia? ›

In general, most establishments in Australia accept cards. However, carrying some cash is a good idea in case you stumble across a place that doesn't. Either exchange US dollars at a bank or make an ATM cash withdrawal.

Is food cheaper in America than Australia? ›

Which country is the cheapest? Let's do a quick comparison on global grocery prices: In the US, food is 24.85% cheaper.

How much is house rent per month in Australia? ›

That median rent figure of $411 per week, multiplied by 4.34 (the average number of weeks in a month) becomes $1,786 per month.
Average unit rental costs by city.
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How much is rent in Australia per week? ›

What is the average rent for a unit in Australia? As for capital city unit prices, the picture is much the same. Canberra is the most expensive city for renters with the median unit price coming in at $550 per week, followed by Sydney ($530 per week), Darwin ($500 per week), and Hobart ($450 per week).

How much is an apartment in Australia per month? ›

Summary of cost of living in Australia
Monthly rent for 85 m2 (900 sqft) furnished accommodation in normal areaAU$2,194
Utilities 1 month (heating, electricity, gas ...) for 2 people in 85m2 flatAU$245
Monthly rent for a 45 m2 (480 sqft) furnished studio in expensive areaAU$2,049
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Is Sydney cheaper than Melbourne? ›

Cost of living in Sydney (Australia) is 8% more expensive than in Melbourne (Australia)

How much do you need to live comfortably in Australia? ›

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Australia? Average living expenses vary according to where you live and the size of your household. That said, a single person would need around $1,362 (without rent) or between $2,000 and $3,537 a month for a budget lifestyle.

What is the safest city to live in Australia? ›

Sydney prides itself on safety, deep culture, and friendly communities. It is considered the fifth safest city in the world and Australia's safest city. Like any other city, there is crime, just not as much. It is no secret that Sydney is a major city with a population of 5.2 million.

What area has the lowest cost of living? ›

1. Mississippi. Mississippi is the cheapest place to live in the United States, with a cost of living 15.6% lower than the national average.

What is the coldest city in Australia? ›

Liawenee is the coldest permanently-inhabited place in Australia.
Liawenee Tasmania
Coordinates41°53′58.92″S 146°40′9.84″E
Population2 (2011 census - Miena Dam incl. Liawenee)
Established11 June 1920
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Is Sydney cheaper than New York? ›

Cost of living in New York City (United States) is 38% more expensive than in Sydney (Australia) How much money will you need in New York City? Find out with your own Salary Calculation. This comparison is based on abundant and consistent data.

How much is rent in Australia? ›

What is the average rent for a unit in Australia? As for capital city unit prices, the picture is much the same. Canberra is the most expensive city for renters with the median unit price coming in at $550 per week, followed by Sydney ($530 per week), Darwin ($500 per week), and Hobart ($450 per week).

How much is rent in Australia per month? ›

That median rent figure of $411 per week, multiplied by 4.34 (the average number of weeks in a month) becomes $1,786 per month.
Average unit rental costs by city.
6 more rows

What is a good hourly wage in Australia? ›

The average full time salary in Australia is $68,585 per year or $35.17 per hour. Entry-level positions start at $57,062 per year, while most experienced workers make up to $104,960 per year.

What salary is considered poor in Australia? ›

Our 2022 Poverty in Australia Snapshot found that there are 3.3 million people (13.4%) living below the poverty line of 50% of median income, including 761,000 children (16.6%). In dollar figures, the poverty line works out to $489 a week for a single adult and $1,027 a week for a couple with 2 children.

Can you retire in Australia from USA? ›

In order to retire to Australia, you must initially apply for a visa. If you have family ties to Australia, you could potentially apply for a Parent Visa, Age Dependent Resident Visa, Remaining Relative Visa, or a Carer Relative Visa.

Is there snakes everywhere in Australia? ›

Snakes can be found all over Australia, not only in the Outback. However, you will hardly see them. On all my trips I only saw a few snakes and I nearly stepped on one when I was walking along the Eyre Highway, see the picture above (at least I thought it was a snake at that time). But this won't happen every day.

Where is the happiest place to live in Australia? ›

Queensland claimed the title of the country's happiest state. Savings aspirations among Australians remain very high, with the number of people trying to save rising to 76% overall (73% in Q2), and to 96% among 18 to 29-year-old women. Pets continue to be the biggest contributor to a person's wellbeing.


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