The Cost Of Living In Canberra, Australia

Cost Of Living In Canberra

Written by Srishti Jhawar

On a journey to explore everything that can express itself in words or silence. Writing when it’s true leaves an impact on a few, fills your eyes anew, and is pure like a dew! It’s about the story, not you.

October 3, 2022

Canberra, the capital city of Australia, has a population of around 450,000. Canberra is also home to many politicians and bureaucrats who work in Parliament House and other government buildings. The city is a great place to live, and it’s very affordable. While the cost of living in Canberra may be higher than in many other Australian cities, students can still find a good balance between enjoying themselves and managing their budgets. The following guide will help you understand how much money you’d need to survive in Canberra while staying on top of your studies. But, first let’s look at some of the best things you can explore in Canberra. 

Things To Explore In Canberra

Before we understand the living cost in Canberra for international students, here are some things to know about the city:

  • The best thing about Canberra is the people. They are very friendly and welcoming. Everyone will make sure you feel at home as soon as possible in an unfamiliar environment.
  • The most interesting place to visit in Canberra is the National Museum of Australia or the Australian War Memorial. Both have exhibitions that will help you understand more about Australia’s history, culture, and society today. If you like museums and history, these places should be on your list!
  • You can also go hiking at Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve where there are lots of beautiful trails for all levels of hikers. It’s just outside of town so it’s easy to get there by public transport. There are also plenty of other things to do such as visiting Parliament House where they have free tours every day.

Student Accommodation In Canberra

Canberra is a city with a great deal to offer international students. You can enjoy the nightlife, or simply relax and catch up on some homework. If you choose to live in student accommodation, it will be convenient, and you will have a lot of facilities at your disposal. You’ll be able to make friends and generally have an enjoyable experience while living on campus. But if you prefer more independence, it may be better for you to live off campus, and find a place somewhere closer to your university. You will find many accommodation options around your campus which are affordable and budget-friendly. The cost of living in Canberra per month is shown in the table below.  

ItemCost (Per Month) In AUD
Off-Campus Accommodation$708
On-Campus Accommodation$972
Food $319
Utility $179
Total Cost of Living with Off-Campus Accommodation (Per Month)£1,515
Total Cost of Living with On-Campus Accommodation (Per Month)£1,779


Monthly Average Cost: $300

Food expenses can encompas a major portion of your cost of living in Canberra. There are a lot of places to buy food in Canberra and many cheaper options available for students. If you live on campus, then your college will tell you where to find the best deals on food. You can also explore the nearby shops that sell groceries at a discount price. 


Monthly Average Cost: $132

The cost of a taxi in Canberra is between $4 and $8 for a trip within the city. A bus ticket costs between $3 and $5, but you need to buy an Opal card from one of the many retail outlets in town if you want to use public transport. Your cost of living in Canberra transport expense can reduce by getting to places on foot or by bike. Cycling is a popular way to travel in Canberra, and there are bike lanes everywhere, so it’s worth considering if you want to save some money!  


Monthly Average Cost: $179

Another substantial cost of living in Canberra expense you’ll have to deal with as an international student is the utilities. Electricity, gas and water are all essential parts of living in Australia and will cost you quite a bit each month. Your college or university might offer some additional discounts for these services, but you will still need to keep a good budget aside for this. 

Other Expenses

Other expenses included in the cost of living in Canberra are your miscellaneous items. Health insurance is also required for every international student and costs about AU$400 per year. The University of Canberra has one of the best libraries in Australia and it offers free access to all students, so don’t forget your library card! If you’re looking for something fun and exciting while you’re here, check out your local cinema—it’s only $8 per ticket! Alternatively, if dancing is more your thing then head over to The Library Bar on Friday nights; they have live bands which play until 3 am! There are plenty of local shops where you can buy clothes at afordable prices. But don’t forget, if there’s something specific that you need, stock up at home before coming because prices here are pretty high compared with other places like Sydney or Melbourne where there are many stores selling clothing items at lower costs than those found locally. 


Canberra is a beautiful city with a lot to offer. International students will be happy to know that the cost of living in Canberra is quite affordable, especially when compared to cities like Sydney and Melbourne. The city has a modest cost of living and offers several options, like low-cost supermarkets and bargain shops, to help you reduce Canberra living expenses. Purchasing seasonal food and preparing your meals are helpful additional options for managing your budget. There are many things for international students to do in Canberra, including going on campus tours or joining clubs and societies where they can meet other international students from all over the world. 

Thank you for reading this blog on ‘The Cost Of Living In Canberra, Australia!’ If you’d like to read more, here are some blogs that may be of interest to you –

Must Visit Places & Things To Do In Canberra, Australia

Best Universities In Canberra

The Best ANU Accommodation In Canberra, Australia


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