students and working holiday visa holders

Cost of living in Perth in Western Australia advice for migrants, international students and working holiday visa holders

Perth has some expensive areas and also its cheaper suburbs and some districts which are in the middle income zone. It’s important to research where you want to live in relation to where you study and or work, the cost of food and transport can be high so look at the total mix of costs including accommodation, careful research is important.

The items that absorb most of the cash are rent, transport and food so let’s examine these in more details.


One bedroom unit can cost from $250 to $450 per week depending on the suburb.

Two bedroom units can cost $275 to $500 per week, there are more expensive option available, if you have the budget 

Renting a whole house, for three people close to the city can cost around $250 per week each and can be more cost effective than living in an apartment. In the outer suburbs 3 or 4 bedroom houses can cost as little as $350 a week however in suburbs like Wembley, Leederville, Subiaco and Nedlands these can cost as much as $800 a week. Transport cost and travel time should also be considered.

Travel and transport in Perth
Reasonable second hand cars can cost from $3000 to $6000, make sure you have a friend who understands cars with you, or take the car into a garage to get a mechanics opinion.

Our advice buy a small car which is not too old, you can get good small cars for around 4000$.

The cost of unleaded Petrol in Perth is around $1.30 to 145 a litre per litre depending on the day you but your petrol.  Checkout the smaller brands they are cheaper. If you have a RAC membership or a Fly Buy, IGA or Woolworth’s card then petrol can often be 4 cents a litre less.

There is a good suburban railway network as well as a bus service in Perth, in the inner city transport is free on the CAT services

Coastal suburbs are not serviced by rail, there is however a line To Fremantle via Cottesloe and north Perth, bus service are available to all Perth suburbs.

Rockingham and Mandurah are serviced by a new railway, they are both coastal suburbs.


Fast food restaurant or food hall will cost between $8 and $20 with a drink. A coffee can cost as much a $5.5 so if you are on a budget take your water with you if you are going to a Food Hall.

Red meats are expensive, look for the price per Kilo, chicken is usually a good cost effective purchase at a price of $8 a Kilo. Ready cooked chicken can cost as little as $8 in Coles. In some food stores look for chicken pieces, these can cost as little as $3 per Kilo.

The cost of fruit and vegetables is usually high in big brand supermarkets, try the fruit and vegetable markets and you can find the same fruit for half the price. Apples in a fruit end vegetable market can cost as little as $2 per kilo. A good size pumpkin can be a $1. Buy produce is season for example in winter you can buy oranges for a s little as $2 a Kilo.   

There are many Asian shops in Perth, the price of foods such as Rice and lentils is well below that of the Supermarkets so the key is to shop around, to get the best prices you will have to look around the city for price sensitive local small operators. In recent years ALDI have opened many supermarkets and although the choice is limited the prices are low and the quality good.      

When shopping at Coles or Woolworths saving can be made by purchasing the stores own brand items and also having a store loyalty card.  

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