Best Places to Live in Australia for Working Holiday Makers

by | Last updated Jan 3, 2024 | For Working Holiday Makers, Live Australia - Acc | 0 comments

Are you looking for the best places to live in Australia for your Aussie working holiday? Look no further. If you have everything sorted and are headed down under to Australia on a working holiday visa, you may be getting a little nervous while waiting to board your plane because uncertainty can pop into your mind. And two things most working holiday makers worry about is ‘will I get a job’ and ‘where will I live’? Head here to read about travel jobs, but read this post to discover the best places to live in Australia for working holiday makers.

I’ve divided this post into two sections. The first section describes what types of accommodation is available in Australia, both short-term and long-term and how to find it. While the second section provides a city breakdown of the suburbs and/or areas to live. Once you know what type of accommodation you want to live in, you can then try to find it in your preferred area.

Can I say first, that finding somewhere to live on your working holiday in Australia can be one of the hardest things about your working holiday. In general, housing standards can be low in short-term accommodation (some times), prices can be high and the demand for housing is fierce so be prepared to be go to house opens often and to be interviewed before finding something suitable. 

Can I make a suggestion! Consider a job with accommodation as part of the package. This means you will kill 2 birds with one stone. Read my post 9 jobs in Australia that include accommodation.


Types of Accommodation for Working Holiday Makers to Australia


There is a big array of accommodation in Australia ranging from budget hostels to luxury five star hotels with plenty of clean and comfortable accommodation in between. Throw in camping under the stars and choosing the van life, and you have plenty of accommodation to sit every budget. Let’s explore in more detail.

TIP: For your arrival in Australia I would suggest book short-term accommodation for at least 2 weeks. I say this because by the time you have recovered from jet-lag, done some sightseeing and done the official things like open a bank account, get a phone and tax file number the 2 weeks will almost be up. And you will need to find somewhere longer-term to live.




Hostels provide budget priced accommodation in Australia. They can do this because all facilities are shared. You share a room, bathroom and all the communal areas like the kitchen and lounge room. Generally hostels cater to the younger age groups, particularly singles although there are no age restrictions. Many hostels are changing and are offering dormitory rooms with smaller number of beds in them, but those 20 bed dorm rooms still exist. And now they are offering rooms for families and couples. 

To get the working holiday makers dollar, most are improving their standards and offering more services, like free Wifi, weekly BBQs, cafe on site and co-working spaces for digital nomads. They are located everywhere from major cities to small country towns. Some have fantastic views like the Sydney YHA that has a view over Sydney Harbour while others are found in places like the ski fields or in tropical rainforests. Hostels are great places to meet other like-minded travellers and are a great Australia budget accommodation option.

Most people stay in hosels short term, however, some hostels offer long-term stays which is great because then you don’t need to worry about committing to a lease.

A bed in a hostel dorm can cost anywhere from A$20 per night in smaller towns and cities to A$30-$60 per night in the big cities of Sydney and Melbourne.


Ultimate Guide to Backpacker Hostels in Australia
Get a Job in a Hostel
Hostel Living | Staying in hostels in Australia


Hotels and Motels


Australia has a wide range of comfortable three to four star hotels and motels. These aren’t as luxurious as the 5-star hotels and resorts but are still clean, comfortable and provide you with a number of services. Mostly providing a clean and comfortable bed with extras such as your own bathroom, maybe some tea and coffee making facilities and free toiletries. You usually find them in both the cities and country areas throughout Australia. Some of the hotel and motel chains include: The Budget Hotel Chain, Travelodge, Novotel, Best Western, Ibis, Vibe, and Mantra to name a few. 

Australia also has a great selection of five star hotels and international hotel chains offering comfort, VIP services and luxury. They include Sheraton, Marriott, Hilton, Intercontinental, Hyatt and Radisson to name a few. They are mostly situated in the major cities and offer their guests the highest level of service. 

A hotel room in Australia can cost A$120+ per night.

One of the best accommodation booking websites/apps to book accommodation in Australia is with, click here to book your hotel stay


House Share


House shares are popular in Australian cities and there are usually lots of rooms available. It is easier and quicker to find a house share rather than find an independent rental. Plus all services will be connected and you will only need to pay bills. As a working holiday maker to Australia you probably don’t want the responsibility of having your name on bills.

To find a house share check out websites such as Gumtree, Easyroomate and FlatmateFinders. Also check out Facebook groups such as ‘Irish around Melbourne’ where people advertise for roommates, sell and buy furniture and organise meet ups.


House and Pet Sitting

If you are interested to stay in the one place for varying amounts of time, consider house sitting and/or pet sitting. This is becoming a popular option. Basically, when the owner of a house or apartment goes away they need someone to stay in their home to look after the place, any pets and put out the bins. This is a fabulous way to get free accommodation plus discover an area you may not have visited otherwise. There are some Facebook groups you can join to find such house sitting and pet sitting gigs or join TrustedHousesitters.


READ MORE: How to House Sit and Never Pay for Accommodation Again.


Van Life


Living in a van and travelling around Australia is really popular and many backpackers to Australia have been doing this for many years. So an accommodation option could be to buy a van so you can live and travel around Australia in. These can be rented from organisations such as JucyCampers and Britz to name a couple or you could buy one through 


Best Australian City to Live In?


Working holiday makers to Australia have many options how to spend their time and usually follow one of these paths:

  1. Set themselves up in accommodation in one city and work for a while (6-12 months) before travelling.
  2. Are transient, moving from place to place picking up work as they go.
  3. Get a job with accommodation and commit to live and work there for a certain period of time.
  4. All of the above, as once in Australia, how you spend your Aussie working holiday is up to you.


So which city to live in?


The two most popular cities for working holiday makers to live in are Sydney and Melbourne.




Sydney is the hub for working holiday makers to Australia. This is because most working holiday makers arrive in Sydney so there is a great infrastructure already there. What I mean is, there is plenty of backpacker friendly accommodation available, plus employment agencies are happy to find work for you as long as you can legally work. This is why many working holiday makers choose to live, work and play in Sydney on their working holiday. 

So where in Sydney? On arrival, many working holiday makers start at one of the big hostels in Sydney. Popular ones include the YHA Sydney Harbour or YHA Central. These are great to help get your bearings before moving to other suburbs. Bondi Beach is popular and has quite a few backpacker hostels available. Other areas to consider include Manly and North Sydney. But the area you choose to live may depend on the work you choose to do or get.


Best Sydney Hostels for Working Holiday Makers


YHA Sydney Harbour
YHA Sydney Central
Nomads Sydney
Mad Monkey Hostel Sydney




After Sydney, Melbourne is the next popular working holiday maker choice. Probably because it rivals Sydney for population so there are plenty of work and accommodation options. Plus it often ranks highly as one of the world’s most liveable cities. Popular backpacker areas in Melbourne are St Kilda, Carlton, Fitzroy and Richmond. 


Best Melbourne Hostels for Working Holiday Makers


Flinders Backpackers
Nomads St Kilda Base
YHA Melbourne Central


Other cities popular to live in for working holiday makers


All the other major cities in Australia, Brisbane, Canberra, Adelaide, Darwin and Perth offer working holiday makers lots of opportunity to experience difference parts of Australia. Plus small towns of Byron Bay and Cairns are also backpacker magnets. Mainly because of the lifestyle of living by the beach is very attractive to working holiday makers.


Where will you live in Australia?


I hope this post has alleviated your worries about finding somewhere to live when coming to Australia on a working holiday visa. There are options available – you just need to get here to start experiencing them! Happy Australia working holiday. I’d love to hear your living and working experience in Australia in the comments.


A male backpacker in his bedroom, backpackers in a hostel room and a female living in her van - all great places to live in Australia for working holiday makers.


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About Me

Bells Beach Surfing Recreation Reserve Sign shaped like a big white wave with Sharyn McCullum On the Great Ocean Road.

G’Day! Sharyn here, an Aussie loving discovering Australia. Let me show you around so you can discover Australia too.  Read my story here.

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