With breathtaking beaches, extraordinary wildlife and some seriously rugged scenery, Australia makes a dream holiday location. But this epic destination doesn’t need a big budget. Australia’s West Coast is its most accessible part and a trip here won’t break the bank. We’ve teamed up with Student Universe to bring you some wallet-friendly tips, so you can stop dreaming and start exploring!
In partnership with Tourism Western Australia.
Hit the road
Undoubtedly the best way to explore the breathtaking landscapes of Western Australia is overland, either on an organised tour or on an independent road trip. And if you go for the latter, your best option is a campervan so you can save big on accommodation. Wild camping is illegal but there are lots of affordable campsites in stunning landscapes, and even some free spots.
The vast wilderness of Western Australia means very little light pollution, bringing new meaning to sleeping under the stars. There’s not much better than waking up surrounded by wildflowers, with the sound of the ocean in your ears. And with a warm year-round climate, you can go at any time of year.
Choose your perfect route with these bucket list road trips.
Keep an eye out for great deals
Cheap flights to Australia are often available from the UK. Our search tools make it really easy to find them, too. Start by choosing ‘United Kingdom’ as your departure airport – this way you can see deals from other cities, and might save yourself hundreds on flights. Next, choose ‘cheapest month’ to see the lowest prices throughout the year. The final step to keeping track of great deals is setting up a Price Alert on the flight you want. That way you’ll be the first to know as soon as the ticket price drops.
Start searching for cheap flights to Australia
Pick the perfect time to go
The time of year makes a huge difference to flight and accommodation. The cheapest time to fly to Australia is generally from late April to mid June, when the southern hemisphere is moving from late autumn into early winter.
Winters in Australia aren’t as chilly as winter in the UK, though. In Perth it can still get as hot as 19°C. This is also the perfect time to head up the coast which enjoys a tropical climate to swim with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef or explore Australia’s final frontier, the Kimberley.
Another tip is to fly midweek. Tuesday or Wednesday often have the lowest prices, as most people want to fly at the weekend. You can find the cheapest dates to fly by choosing ‘cheapest month’ when you search for your flights.
How far in advance you book can also make a big difference. For example, it’s generally 5% cheaper than average to book flights from London to Perth 13 or 16 weeks before you fly.
Get around for free in Perth
Public transportation in Perth is easy on the wallet, with complimentary buses in the city centre’s Free Transit Zone. Look for the FTZ logo at bus stops – trips that start and end inside the zone cost nothing. The CAT (Central Area Transit) services are completely free too, and also operate in the lovely port town of Fremantle. You can also get rail, bus and ferry discounts by getting a SmartRider card. It’s even cheaper if you’re a student.
But you don’t need wheels to get good deals. With free walking tours, you can explore the art icons and historical landmarks of Perth guided by someone who knows the city like the back of their hand.
Focus on the free wonders of Western Australia
The main appeal of Western Australia is its ability to give you some of the best natural attractions not just in Australia but also in the world. The best bit – most of the time this can be enjoyed for free, whether you’re relaxing on one of the thousands of idyllic beaches dotted up the miles of coastline, or exploring the awe-inspiring vistas of the Outback inland.
In the south west corner of Western Australia you can take a thrilling hike along the 670m high peak of Castle Rock, go stingray spotting in the crystal clear waters of Hamelin Bay or swim with wild dolphins at Koombana Bay. Or, sample some of the region’s finest wine blends at the many cellar doors.
Even in Perth, the cosmopolitan capital of Western Australia, there are plenty of free things to do. Go for a nature walk and a dip at Noble Falls, people watch among the colourful fruit stalls at Fremantle Market or just admire the public art in Yagan Square.
Most of the most popular national parks, like Karijini and Kalbarri, charge a small fee for entry – usually around $10 – but it’s well, well worth paying and if you know you will be visiting a few there is a pass which gives you unlimited access to all parks for 4 weeks for $46
Join forces with fellow adventurers – or go as a group
There’s power in numbers, and if you rock up in Australia with a bunch of mates you can also take advantage of great group discounts. It also means you can split the cost of apartments and hotel rooms as you travel around. If you’re visiting on your own, book into a hostel.
Sharing a dorm is a great way to meet new travel buddies to enjoy those group discounts with. If you really need your privacy, most hostels have private rooms. You can still socialise in the common areas – throw a shrimp on the barbie, grab some beers and get ready to meet your new BFFs.
Join an epic tour
Joining an organised tour can be a cost effective way to see a lot in a short space of time Most tours are led by locals who are seriously passionate about their country and can show you places you might never have discovered otherwise.
Whether you’re into adventure, cultural activities or history there’s something to suit everyone. For example you can join an Aboriginal smoking ceremony, learn about the history of pearling in Willie Creek or try your hand at sand boarding in Lancelin.
What are you waiting for?
With so many wallet-friendly ways to see Western Australia, there’s no time like the present to plan your big adventure down under. Want to save even more money? Book your trip today with Student Universe and get an exclusive discount code on flights to Perth.