Student Guide: The Cost Of Living Perth Vs Melbourne

Cost Of Living Perth Vs Melbourne

Calling all ambitious international students! Australia beckons with its world-class education, vibrant cities, and diverse landscapes. But before you lock in your dream university, a crucial decision awaits: Melbourne or Perth?

Both cities boast exceptional academic institutions, thriving cultural scenes, and unique experiences. Melbourne, the cultural heart of Victoria, pulsates with street art, music, and theatre, while Perth, bathed in sunshine, entices with its stunning beaches, historical charm, and delectable cuisine. The question is what is the Cost of Living Perth vs Melbourne?

However, beyond the allure lies a practical consideration: the cost of living. Understanding the financial landscape of each city is key to making an informed decision for your study abroad journey.

The Numbers Speak:

  • Melbourne: The average annual cost of living in Melbourne is approximately AU$22,152.
  • Perth: Perth offers a slightly more budget-friendly option, with an average annual cost of living around AU$17,820.

These figures encompass various essential expenses, including:

  • Accommodation: From trendy apartments to student-friendly co-living options, we’ll compare the housing landscapes in both cities. 
  • Transportation: Discover the costs and convenience of each city’s public transport infrastructure and potential alternatives.
  • Food and Groceries: Explore the affordability of groceries and dining out options in both locations.
  • Utilities: We’ll break down the average costs for essential utilities like electricity, water, and internet.
  • Recreation: Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or an art aficionado, we’ll compare the costs of entertainment and leisure activities in both cities.

By delving deeper into this blog, you’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of the cost of living in Melbourne and Perth. This knowledge will empower you to make the best decision for your financial well-being and academic aspirations in Australia.

So, buckle up and get ready to embark on a cost-of-living exploration! We’ll guide you through every step of the way, ensuring you choose the city that perfectly aligns with your budget and lifestyle.

Cost Of Living Calculator

DescriptionCost (£)
Total Cost of Accommodation100
Total Cost of Transport50
Total Cost of Utilities30
Total Cost of Food70
Total Estimated Cost250

Breakdown Of Cost Of Living Perth Vs Melbourne

The following table includes an all-inclusive comparison of Perth vs Melbourne cost of living.

ParticularsMonthly Living Expenses in Perth (AU$)Monthly Living Expenses in Melbourne (AU$)
Off-Campus Accommodation AU$352AU$596
On-Campus AccommodationAU$640AU$1,460
Food CostAU$696AU$754
Utility CostAU$147AU$160
Total Cost of Living with Off-Campus Accommodation AU$1,485AU$1,846
Total Cost of Living with On-Campus Accommodation AU$1,773AU$2,710
Annual Cost of LivingAU$17,820AU$22,152

Cost Of Living Perth Vs Melbourne

The average annual cost of living in Perth is AU$ 17,820, whereas that in Melbourne is AU$ 22,152. Melbourne is more expensive to live in since it is highly populated and one of the biggest cities in Australia. To properly comprehend Melbourne vs Perth cost of living, let us analyse each factor.


Although the cost of on-campus accommodation is significantly higher in both Perth and Melbourne, the latter has a considerable margin in the overall prices of housing. One primary attribute of this could be the increased demand. First-year students can opt for on-campus housing since it offers more security. However, once you gain some experience, you can shift to private housing. Check out the following table for average prices.

ParticularsLocationCost in Perth (AU$)Cost in Melbourne (AU$)
Rent of 1BHKIn city centreAU$1,626/monthAU$1,609/month
Outside city centre AU$1,277/monthAU$1,369/month
Rent of 3BHKIn city centreAU$2,638/monthAU$3,168/month
Outside city centreAU$1,816/monthAU$2,048/month
Total cost of an apartmentIn city centreAU$6,900/sq. m.AU$9,346/sq. m.
Outside city centreAU$4,274/sq. m.AU$7,875/sq. m.
Mortgage rates3.08%AU$2.98%

Transportation (Cost of Living Perth vs Melbourne)

Perth has an extensive network of trains, buses, and ferries for transportation. Not only are these cheap but they’re also well-connected, reducing the need for booking taxis. Melbourne has rail, tram and buses, which are also widespread. Melbourne’s tram network is the largest in the world. Thus, students can rely entirely on public transport since it is considerably cheaper than private transport. Look at the table given below for a better insight.

ParticularsCost in Perth (AU$)Cost in Melbourne (AU$)
A one-way ticket for local transportAU$4AU$4.5
Monthly Pass AU$139AU$156
Taxi (Starting)AU$6.54AU$5

Food And Groceries (Cost of Living Perth vs Melbourne)

A person is eating food indicating the Cost Of Living Perth Vs Melbourne

The prices of food and groceries aren’t too different in both cities. When comparing the cost of living Perth vs Melbourne, we can infer that groceries in Melbourne are only 1.44% more expensive than in Perth. However, dining out and takeaway prices are more varied, with Melbourne priced at 6.04% more. You can try to avail of student discounts in restaurants since some establishments have concessions on entry fees for students. Besides, groceries and food prices are subjective to the standard of living and personal preferences. Check out the following table to get a better estimate.

ParticularsCost in Perth (AU$)Cost in Melbourne (AU$)
Milk – 1 litreAU$1.69AU$1.68
White Bread – 500gmAU$2.51AU$3.05
Eggs – one dozenAU$4.82AU$5.23
White rice – 1kgAU$2.66AU$2.55
Potatoes – 1kgAU$2.89AU$3.21
Lettuce – 1 headAU$2.18AU$2.61
Tomatoes – 1kgAU$4.82AU$4.61
Chicken – 1kgAU$10.78AU$11.13
Beef – 1kgAU$18.57AU$18.23
Cheese – 1kgAU$11.67AU$12.49
Apples – 1kgAU$4.82AU$4.16
Bananas – 1kgAU$3.71AU$3.19

Here are the average prices for dining out and alcohol.

ItemsCost in Perth (AU$)Cost in Melbourne (AU$)
Inexpensive meal – 2 peopleAU$40AU$40
Mid-range meal – 2 peopleAU$85AU$100
Mcdonalds mealAU$12.75AU$13
Coffee – regular cappuccinoAU$4.74AU$4.56
Water – 0.33 litre bottleAU$3.13AU$2.76
Cold drinksAU$3.27AU$3.31
Domestic beer – 0.5 litre draught from market AU$5.06AU$5.66
Bottle of wine from the supermarketAU$15AU$16.5

Entertainment & Miscellaneous

As the following table indicates, consumer prices in Perth and Melbourne are quite similar. Although it states the average prices of everyday goods and services, the practical costs can vary to a large extent since they depend on the popularity of the area, stores, and trends as well. Students can get much cheaper goods, too, by exploring other options.

ParticularsCost in Perth (AU$)Cost in Melbourne (AU$)
Pair of JeansAU$91.32AU$101
Dress (from chain stores)AU$73.38AU$56.04
Nike shoesAU$131.59AU$137.28
Business shoesAU$139.29AU$153.86
Movies – 1 ticketAU$19AU$20
Gym/fitness club – monthlyAU$69.20AU$69

ROI – Returns on Investment (Cost of Living Perth vs Melbourne)

We can compare the returns on investment by looking at the average cost of tuition in the top universities in both cities and the average salaries for popular job profiles. Thus, ROI indicates the returns you receive in monetary terms or benefits against your investment. Check out the following sections for more data.

Tuition & Salary In Perth

Check out the popular universities in Perth and their average annual cost of tuition.

University NameCost of Studying in Perth (AU$)
Edith Cowan University AU$32,000
Murdoch University AU$30,000
Curtin University AU$25,000
University of Notre DameAU$37,000
The University of Western Australia AU$30,000

To understand the returns, let’s look at the average annual salaries in Perth for some of the most popular job profiles. The average annual salary in Perth is AU$ 94,985.

Job ProfileAverage Annual Salary (AU$)
Operations Manager AU$93,000
Project Engineer AU$87,000
Mechanical Engineer AU$80,000
General Manager AU$117,000

Tuition & Salary In Melbourne

After Perth, let’s consider the cost of tuition in Melbourne. The following table consists of the popular universities and their average annual fees.

UniversityAnnual Cost of Tuition (AU$)
The University of MelbourneAU$40,000
Federation University MelbourneAU$22,400
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology UniversityAU$31,000
Victoria UniversityAU$20,000
La Trobe UniversityAU$8,600
Monash UniversityAU$37,500

Lastly, for an accurate comparison of the cost of living Perth vs Melbourne, let us look at the average annual salaries for popular jobs. The average annual salary in Melbourne is AU$ 87,256.

Job ProfileAverage Annual Salary (AU$)
Operations Manager AU$89,220
Software EngineerAU$83,544
Project ManagerAU$1,02,073
Marketing ManagerAU$84,891
Project EngineerAU$86,803


As the data indicates, Perth has a higher ROI when compared to Melbourne. Also, its cost of living is considerably less. If living expenses are a significant factor for you when deciding on a location, Perth might be more suitable. It also has more aesthetic sceneries and is well-suited for people who prefer isolated areas. However, if you’re looking to live in a metropolitan city with more accessibility and corporate culture, Melbourne will be apt.

The final decision also depends on several other factors, like universities, housing options, educational credentials, etc. But the cost of living Perth vs Melbourne can help you form an accurate judgement.


1. Is it cheaper to live in Melbourne or Perth?

The annual cost of living in Melbourne is around AU$ 22,152, which is considerably more than the cost of living in Perth, AU$ 17,820.

2. Why choose Perth over Melbourne?

Most importantly, Perth has a cheaper cost of living than Melbourne, which suits a student’s budget. It also has low unemployment rates, safer neighbourhoods, and multicultural diversity, which might help international students feel more welcome.

3. Is Perth colder than Melbourne?

Perth typically has warmer weather than Melbourne and less rain. Despite that, residents claim that Perth’s weather is much lovelier and conducive to outdoor activities, picnics, etc.

Thank you for reading our guide to the cost of living Perth vs Melbourne! Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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Cost Of Living Perth Vs Melbourne

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