Cost of Living in Canberra, Australia

The frequently asked question is whether Canberra is an affordable city where a family can live a decent life.

It is very difficult to answer such a question as everybody’s needs are totally different and while some families love having top class apartment and designer clothes, others are happy with modest flats and food prepared at home.

Still, if you have started thinking about what your living costs in Canberra might be, they you should get familiar with everything that needs to be paid there.



Even though Canberra is the second most expensive city next to Sydney in Australia, many people spend their free time in its restaurants and cafes.

Luxurious restaurants are too expensive and cannot be afforded by anyone, but the meals in inexpensive restaurants can be affordable to modest people, still not too often.



Being a capital city, Canberra offers numerous possibilities when the food is in question and people with higher wages keep visiting local restaurants.

However, if you are interested in keeping your costs down, the shopping at supermarkets, markets and stores and cooking your own meals are the best solution.



Considering the fact that public transport in Canberra is modern, organized and functional, including air conditioned buses, it can be said that the price is in accordance with the service.

However, getting around the city of Canberra can cost even $70 a month, which is not cheap.

If you decide to drive in Canberra, you should know that 1 gallon of gasoline will cost you $1, which is quite affordable.



If you have spent half of your monthly budget on the rent, then the other half will need to be spent on electricity, Internet, and other utilities.

It is interesting that water is far too expensive in Canberra, while prepaid mobile phone calls are far too cheap.

Sports and leisure


In case you want to have fun in Canberra by visiting cinemas, they you will have to devote a pretty high amount of money in comparison to some European countries.

The costs of entertainment are quite high there, and the same situation is with tennis courts.

People from Canberra tend to exercise  outdoors, and that is why the monthly fees for fitness clubs are not so high.

Clothing and shoes


If your family and you are not big spenders on clothes and do not think that clothing is of crucial importance, then you would not have to worry about your monthly costs.

Many people in Canberra do not allow a monthly budget for it and shopping for clothes takes the last place among the basic monthly payments.

Rent per month


Fairly speaking, the most expensive thing about Canberra is the amount of money you need for the rents.

It is amazing that the prices are so high, that you will need to spend even half of your monthly income for rental.

That is why, if it is not necessary to live in the city center, people tend to look for apartments out of the city.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Canberra

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $12.46
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $4.99
Water (0.33 Liter) $1.93
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $1.00
Loaf Bread (500g) $1.82
Eggs (12) $3.39
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $2.92
Monthly Pass $71.22
Gasoline $1.08
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $152.55
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.08
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $50.07
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $40.07
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $14.51
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $12.82
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $66.06
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $50.57
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $93.98
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $1261.54
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $982.54
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $2087.92

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Canberra?

When asked how people spend money in Canberra, it is interesting that almost half of their wages goes to rent.

Then, people are obliged to save other half for all the other expenses.

A lot of money is spend at markets, being that they most frequently prepare their food.

Utilities are of the utmost importance and they have to be paid.

Transportation, recreation and apparel come at the last place, and very little amount of money is spent on that.

Utilities (Monthly)
Sports & Leisure
Clothing & Shoes
Rent Per Month

Canberra: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Canberra is the capital city and it bears the title of one of the most expensive in Australia.

According to the provided data, minimum wage highly differs from an average monthly net salary, meaning that it is quite lower.

This shows that people who are earning the minimum would have difficulties surviving there, considering the high living standards.

You can often hear people talking about Canberra as an expensive city and how the cost of living in Australia is much higher than in some other countries in the world, but you should bear in mind the fact that the wages are quite higher, thus affecting the lifestyle.

Average Salary$3630.60
Minimum Wage$2389.9
Mortgage Interest Rate4.26%

Cost of Living by City in Australia

*Click the name of the city for more information.

City Cost of Living Index
Adelaide 72.92
Brisbane 70.46
Canberra 69.88
Darwin 72.47
Gold Coast 64.53
Hobart 69.1
Melbourne 74.53
Newcastle 71.42
Perth 75.09
Sydney 79.93

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