Cost of Living in Brisbane: A Complete Guide on Expenses

6 minute read
Cost of Living in Brisbane: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you planning to study abroad in Brisbane, Australia? If so, you might be wondering how much it will cost you to live in this sunny and vibrant city. This blog will tell you everything you need to know about the cost of living in Brisbane, such as accommodation, food, transportation, entertainment, education, and health care. We will also give you some tips on how to save money or budget in Brisbane. Read on to find out more!

Population2.2 million
Tuition FeeFor undergraduates – AUD 25,000-40,000 (INR 14L – 22L approx) per year 
For post-graduates – AUD 30,000-50,000 (INR 16L – 27L approx) per year
Average Monthly Cost of LivingAUD 2,500-3,000 (INR 1.4L-1.7L)

Why Choose Brisbane to Study Abroad?

Being a culturally diverse and friendly city, Brisbane has a population of nearly 2.2 million people. In addition to being able to afford the cost of living in Brisbane, here’s why international students choose Brisbane as their study abroad destination:

  • The city holds the Brisbane Welcomes International Students Festival, Australia’s largest city Orientation Day where international students get a chance to explore all that Brisbane offers, meet the Lord Mayor personally and enjoy free music and food. 
  • Brisbane is home to three universities ranked among the top universities in the world – The University of Queensland, Griffith University, and the Queensland University of Technology – offering a wide range of courses and programs for international students.
  • The city is a major business hub and has one of the fastest-growing state economies in the country. It also has more sunny days per year than any other Australian capital city.
  • Brisbane has many attractions and activities for international students, such as Southbend Parklands, River cruises, Mt. Coot-tha lookout, Riverlife Adventure Centre, XXXX Brewery, and Fortitude Valley.

Cost of Living in Brisbane

Apart from the university tuition fee, the cost of living in Brisbane depends on various factors like your requirements, lifestyle, daily expenditure, and so on. Generally, the average monthly cost in Brisbane is approx AUD 2,500-3,000 (INR 1.4L-1.7L). For more clarity, here’s a list that summarizes the different living costs in Brisbane on a monthly basis:

ParticularsAverage cost per month (approx)
AccommodationAUD 556-1,276 (INR 30k-70k)
UtilitiesAUD 142-175 (INR 8k-10k)
Food and GroceriesAUD 754-1,120 (INR 42k-63k)
TransportationAUD 125-150 (INR 7k-8k)
EntertainmentAUD 68-100 (INR 4K-5.5K)
HealthcareAUD 60-100 (INR 3k-5.5k)


There are three types of accommodation that you can search for in Brisbane, their prices varying with location and type:

  1. Student Housing – Built exclusively for students, it comes fully furnished with modern amenities and utility bills included in the rent itself.
  2. Private apartments – These accommodations are owned by private companies and come with even better facilities for students.
  3. University hall – This accommodation is located in the university, where students live together in quarters having a shared kitchen, bedroom, and common room.

Here’s the pricing of each of the above accommodations on a monthly basis:

Type of Accommodation Price (per month approx)
University hallsAUD 440 – 1100 (INR 24.5k-61.5k)
Private ApartmentsAUD 750 – 1700 (INR 42k-95k)
Shared ApartmentsAUD 380 – 850 (INR 21k-47.5k)

Also Read: Guide on Cost of Living in Bristol


Generally, it is expensive to eat outside in Brisbane, with an average meal costing around AUD 18-30 per day. Meals at high-end restaurants can cost around $40 (not including drinks). If you add coffee, drinks and snacks, your weekly total could be around $220.

So cooking at home is advised for students to prevent spending unnecessarily on meals. Here’s an individual breakdown of all items on the 

grocery list for students:

Bread (for 2)AUD 2.78 (INR 155)
Eggs (1 dozen)AUD 5.36 (INR 300)
White Rice (1 kg)AUD 2.64 (INR 150)
Whole Fat Milk (1 lt)AUD 1.24 (INR 70)
Local Cheese (500 g)AUD 9 (INR 500)
Water (1.5 lt)AUD 2.20 (INR 123)
Apples (1 kg)AUD 4.32 (INR 240)
Tomatoes (1 kg)AUD 5.08 (INR 285)
Potatoes (1 kg)AUD 3.35 (INR 190)
Fast Food Combo MealAUD 12 (INR 670)
Domestic Beer (0.5 lt)AUD 5.79 (INR 320)
Red wine (1 bottle)AUD 19 (INR 1000)

Also Read: Cost of Living in Paris


The expenses for utilities and bills for international students in Brisbane also depend on your choice of accommodation and usage. If you live in a catered accommodation, such as a homestay or a residential college, your utilities (gas, electricity, water) may be included in your rent. 

If you live in a private rental home, you may have to pay for these separately. Given below are the average costs of utilities and bills per month:

Home InternetAUD 60-80 (INR 3.3k-4.4k)
ElectricityAUD 140-150 (INR 7.8k-8.3k)
Gas AUD 90 (INR 5k)
Water and sewageAUD 0.79 (INR 45) (per thousand litres)
Mobile phone/internetAUD 60-120 (INR 3.3k-6.7k)


Transportation costs for students in Brisbane depend on their choice of mode and frequency of travel. Brisbane has a public transport system that includes buses, trains and ferries. You can use a GO card to pay for your fares and get discounts as a tertiary student. 

The average cost of a monthly public transport ticket in Brisbane is around $140 (INR 7.8k), but it may vary depending on how far and how often you travel. You can also rent a bicycle for around $25 to $40 (INR 1.4k-2.2k) per day or use your own car, but that may be more expensive due to fuel and parking costs.


For entertainment, you may spend money on things like cinema tickets, coffee, eating out, or visiting attractions. Here are the average costs of some entertainment options per person are:

Cinema ticket (concession rate)AUD 8.50-19.50 (INR 475-1k)
A regular cup of coffeeAUD 4.50 (INR 250)
Big MacAUD 6.60 (INR 370)


For healthcare, you will need to have an Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC) as part of your student visa requirements. This will cover some of your medical expenses, such as visits to the doctor, hospital treatment, ambulance cover, and some prescription drugs. 

The cost of OSHC depends on the provider and the duration of your stay, ranging from $40 to $60 (INR 2.2k-3.3k) per month. You may also have to pay for some services that are not covered by OSHC, such as dental care, physiotherapy, or optical care. The cost of these services may vary depending on the provider and your condition.

Also Read: Cost of Living in Melbourne

Tips to Reduce the Cost of Living in Brisbane

Here are some tips to reduce the cost of living in Brisbane as an international student:

  1. Choose a cheaper accommodation option, such as a shared house, a homestay, or a student hostel. 
  2. Cook your own meals at home instead of eating out. You can buy groceries at discount supermarkets or markets, and plan your meals ahead to avoid food waste.
  3. Use public transport instead of driving or taking taxis. 
  4. Take advantage of free or low-cost entertainment options, such as visiting parks, museums, libraries, festivals, or events. 
  5. Compare different providers and plans for your utilities, phone, and internet. 
  6. Shop around for your OSHC and other health services by looking for bulk-billing doctors or low-cost dental clinics in your area.
  7. Apply for scholarships, grants, or part-time jobs to supplement your income.

Relevant Reads:

Cost of Living in Perth: A Comprehensive GuideCost of Living in Rotterdam: A Guide on Expected Expenses
Cost of Living in Wales: A Comprehensive Guide on Wales’s ExpenseCost of Living in Arizona: A Guide on Expected Expenses
Cost of Living in Brussels: A Guide on Expected ExpensesCost of Living in Scotland: A Guide on Expected Expenses


Q.1 Is it expensive to live in Brisbane?

Answer: The cost of living in Brisbane for international students is lower compared to other cities in Australia, such as Sydney and Perth.

Q.2 What is a good salary in Brisbane?

Answer: The average salary in Brisbane is AUD 71,000 (INR 39L) per year, with the minimum average wage being AUD 26,300 (INR 14.7L) pa and the maximum average salary around AUD 464, 000 (INR 2 Cr) pa.

Q.3 What is the average cost of living per month in Brisbane?

Answer: The average cost of living in Brisbane per month depends on the number of individuals. For a family of four, the average monthly cost without rent is around AUD 4,305 (INR 2.5L). For a single person, the average monthly cost without rent is AUD 1,214 (INR 67k).

We hope you got all the information regarding the cost of living in Brisbane. For more such blogs on student life abroad, subscribe to Leverage Edu.

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