Backpacking in Australia: The Ultimate Guide to Finding Affordable Accommodation

Affordable options for accommodation

If you plan on backpacking through Australia, one of the most important things to consider is safe and affordable accommodation. You want to be sure that you have somewhere to sleep at night in the town you plan on visiting. You certainly don’t want to find yourself at the end of the day with no options other than paying luxury prices for a room when you just need somewhere to sleep. The first step is identifying which type of accommodation is right for you.


Pub accommodation is an affordable option, and you are likely to find a pub in most towns in Australia. The benefit of staying at a pub is that they are often central, so you are most likely staying in the heart of the town which can make it easier to check out the local sights. You’ll also find the staff are helpful with advice about local attractions and must-sees in the area. The pub’s extended opening hours means that you’ll usually always have someone who can give advice at any time of the day. Some pubs are also steeped in history, so you’ll find it an experience in itself just by staying there.


Hostels are a popular choice for budget-conscious backpackers in Australia. These are shared dormitory-style accommodations that offer affordable nightly rates, and give you the opportunity to meet fellow travellers. They usually have communal kitchens, lounges, and bathrooms so be prepared to cosy up a little and share!


Although a little pricier, than the other options, AirBnB rentals are widely available across Australia. These can range from shared rooms to entire apartments or homes, often at lower prices than traditional hotels. AirBnB allows you to assimilate into normal neighbourhoods and live like the locals, giving a more immersive experience.


Camping is an excellent cheap option for backpackers looking to save money and connect with nature. Australia has an abundance of scenic campsites, from remote bush camps to established holiday parks with facilities. Be sure to research park fees, permit requirements, and equipment needs when planning a camping adventure. You will find quite a few free camp grounds in Australia, so you may find it’s more budget-friendly to pick up a cheap tent. However, be mindful of the time of year, and the weather that comes with it. You wouldn’t want to be camping in Victoria in the winter months, with sub-zero temperatures – however, Queensland may be totally acceptable at that time of the year with temperatures overnight rarely dropping below about 10 degrees (celsius!).

Finding the right accommodation type

Now that you know what type of accommodation is right for you, the next step is to find what type of accommodation is available in the area you plan on visiting. Compare your options between each type of accommodation for the town you are staying at. If transport is available, either your own or public transportation, you may be able to check out nearby towns for cheaper options.

If you are happy using a range of accommodation types, check out the availability and pricing for each option at each step of your backpacking journey. You may find you stay in hostels in one area of the country, but camping makes more sense in other parts. When there are no options for hostels or camping, then you can sneak in a cheeky AirBnB or pub stay.

Resources to help you find accommodation

Once you know what type of accommodation you want to stay in, do a search to find out what is in the area you plan on visiting. You will find resources on the net that can help you find all the information you need.

  • Hostels: you can check out websites like HostelWorld and TripAdvisor to find pricing and reviews.
  • Airbnb: check out the AirBNB website to see if there is any accommodation available for where you want to stay, and investigate the pricing. Be mindful of any extra charges such as cleaning or platform booking fees.
  • For pub accommodation, use directory listings of pubs to help you find pubs within the towns you want to visit, then check out the reviews as well as the pub’s website for further information. They may let you book online, but smaller remote country pubs may prefer you to contact them for bookings.


Australia is a vast and diverse country that offers endless opportunities for unforgettable backpacking adventures. From the stunning beaches and vibrant cities of the east coast to the rugged outback and remote wilderness of the interior, there is something to captivate every type of traveller.

Choosing the right type of accommodation at a price-point that suits your budget will give you more control over your trip, and make sure you have a safe place to stay.

So what are you waiting for? Start planning your unforgettable journey today and get ready to discover the true beauty and wonder of this remarkable country.

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