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The Cost of Food & Drink, Recreation And Entertainment In Australia

food & drink
In her article Swati Iyer looks at the cost of living in Australia.  Here we cover the costs of food & drink, recreation and entertainment.

Taken from an article written by Swati Iyer for Instarem


Food & Drink

As with many other items, the prices of food and drink items vary across Australia.

On average, a person can expect to spend anywhere between AUD 250-350 per month (higher in major cities – see table below) on food and groceries. This would include purchases such as bread, rice, meat, fish, cereal, soft drinks and condiments from supermarkets like Coles or Woolworths, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables from produce markets. Prices of the latter fluctuate depending on the season (cheaper in summer and more expensive in winter) and supply.  Most supermarkets run daily and weekly specials so it is possible to reduce the supermarket bill by at least 20-30%. Vegetarians can save even more.

Monthly food costs:

  • Melbourne – AUD 280-360
  • Brisbane – AUD 280 – 350
  • Perth – AUD 290-370
  • Darwin – AUD 300-370
  • Canberra – AUD 300-370
  • Sydney – AUD 300-380
  • Adelaide – AUD 310-390
  • Gold Coast – AUD 310-400
  • Hobart – AUD 320-410

*For a non-vegetarian consuming at least 2,400 calories/day


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. A good meal at a nice restaurant will cost at least AUD 40, while a McDonald’s value meal will cost between AUD 8 and 11.

Half a litre of domestic beer can cost a little over AUD 5 when purchased at a supermarket. Prices are lower during happy hours and at backpacker bars (AUD 4-5). A pack of 6 beers will cost approximately AUD 14 at a supermarket. A bottle of good-quality red table wine will cost at least AUD 20. Teetotallers who want to buy a 2-litre bottle of Coca-Cola can expect to pay a little over AUD 3 for it. Australians love their coffee (for good reason), with Sydney and Melbourne offering the best barista-brewed coffee in Australia. A cup of takeaway coffee can cost between AUD 3.8 for a long black to AUD 4.29 for a mocha. The price of a cappuccino, flat white and short black will fall somewhere between these levels. A chai latte (Indian-style tea with milk and spices) will cost approximately AUD 4.4; a hot chocolate goes for about AUD 4.14 and an iced coffee for around AUD 5.4.

Cigarettes are very expensive in Australia. One pack of Marlboros will set you back by about AUD 30.


Recreation & Entertainment

If you are moving from a developing country to Australia, the prices of entertainment and recreation activities will seem quite high. On average, two tickets to a movie will cost somewhere between AUD 32-36. For the culturally-inclined, a visit to a theatre to watch a musical or dance performance can cost you over AUD 200 (2 tickets, best seats).

If you prefer to get your dose of entertainment at home, you can purchase a subscription to Pay TV, a provider of digital cable and satellite TV programming. To subscribe to Pay TV in Australia, you need to sign a contract with one of the providers and pay for a set-top box plus installation charges. Here’s a lowdown on the major Pay-TV providers in Australia along with their base prices:

  • Foxtel – AUD26 a month – Additional packages like movies, sport and drama will cost AUD 10-29 extra (per month)
  • Fetch with iiNet – AUD 10 a month – Up to four additional channel packs can be added (AUD 6) each. A comprehensive ultimate bundle is also available (AUD 25 per month)
  • Telstra TV – AUD25 a month – Larger package with more movies also available

Australia also offers a number of Internet-based on-demand streaming services.  Price for monthly basic package:

  • Amazon Prime – AUD 6.99 a month – 30-day free trial
  • Hayu standard – AUD 6.99 a month – 30-day free trial
  • Foxtel Platinum HD – AUD 13.99 a month
  • Netflix Basic – AUD 9.99 a month – 30-day free trial
  • Netflix Standard – AUD 13.99 a month – 30-day free trial
  • Netflix Premium – AUD 17.99 a month – 30-day free trial
  • Stan Basic – AUD 10 a month
  • Stan Standard – AUD 12 a month – 30-day free trial
  • Stan Premium – AUD 15 a month – 30-day free trial

If you’re a health-conscious person, 1 month’s gym membership in the business district of a city like Melbourne or Sydney will cost about AUD 80.