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Because the tourism industry is one of the most important sources of income in Australia, thereís plenty of accommodation to suit all budgets.  All cities have a huge number of options to satisfy everyone from backpackers to the Royal Family!  Depending on the city and time of year (or special event), booking is essential.  Independent tourists in Australia have many options available when choosing accommodation to suit their budget.  Some of them are not even listed in tourist brochures or on the internet. (By the way, the internet is one of the best ways to search for available accommodation and prices in Australian cities.) Just type in "Accommodation" followed by the city, followed by Australia, and you will get thousands of options.  This kind of search has two main problems: (1) Travellers donít generally know the neighbourhood (or local). This  happened to us when we booked a cheap accommodation with a pretty view.  Upon arriving, we discovered the reason that the hotel was so cheap, was that it was located in on a very steep street.  It was horrible to go down, and worse coming up!  It was also far from everything; the nearest shop was more than 3 km away!  (2) The other problem related to this search is about confusing locals with similar names, and finding accommodation far away from everything instead of being in a central location close to your needs. You will need to research the area, and if possible ask for details by email before closing the deal (even better than email, phone the accommodation and ask questions). 

  The best places to get information when you are in Australia are at the Tourist Information offices.  They are private companies, and their services are free. Tourist Information offices will give you all kinds of brochures and maps, about activities accommodation, and events happening in the area.  You can go there or even call and ask about places to stay and explain how much you want to pay. They will consult their database and give you options.  If you want you may book straight away through them.  This is really one of the best alternatives when looking for accommodation in cities that you do not know.

The cheapest accommodation of all is camping, costing from $ 4 daily in a National Park.  Private Camping costs from around $8 daily, and usually has very good facilities.  The next cheapest option is the backpackersí hostel, where you will sleep on a bunk bed in a communal room (some may offer individual options or rooms for a couple).  Backpackers or Hostels are very popular with backpackers, mainly European and American and the daily cost is around $20.  Following Backpacker Hostels, motels are the next cheapest, and are in our opinion a better option than Hotels, because in general they offer more space in the rooms.  Daily cost start from $65. (Note: in Australia a motel is a cheaper option than a hotel, they are not like ďMotelsĒ in South America and South East Asia!) Hotels start from $80 and go to the infinite.  If you have the money, resorts are excellent choices of accommodation offering luxury and facilities. They are usually located in tourist places and can be found in some very exotic locations such as the islands off the Great Barrier Reef, and in the middle of Australia.

The accommodation prices may vary a lot not only because of the high season, but also depending on how popular the localities are in that moment.  For example: Alice Springs, which is located in central Australia has accommodation that is as high as the temperature of the area.  We almost decided to sleep in the desert because we could not find anything that my credit card would accept!.  Famous locations such as Alice Springs, the Whitsundays, Arlie Beach, Port Douglas, Noosa, attract people from all over Australia and internationally; therefore accommodation prices may reach almost double what you would pay in any another place.  But thatís the price you pay to visit places that are really spectacular.  In these popular locations (mentioned above) you will find at least one backpacker hostel that will suit a smaller budget.  Most tourism companies or travel agents offer package deals that include activities and accommodation to suit all budgets.

Tip 1:  Usually, in establishments managed by Asians, you have can negotiate a price especially if you are staying for a few days.

Tip 2:  Some airlines in Australia offer very attractive travel packages which include promotions of tickets with a hotel, and is worthwhile checking their websites but make sure you read the conditions attached to these offers, regarding dates of availability etc.

Many other accommodations options are becoming very popular and captivating tourists in Australia such as: Farmstays, Bed & Breakfasts and Houseboats.  Farmstays are a great way of interacting with a family in a rural area, and kids love it because of the farm activities they can experience with the animals. Bed and Breakfasts are a combination of staying with a family and a hotel. They can offer fabulous facilities in a home style environment and are popular with couples. Staying on a Houseboat (boat) attracts a large number of Australians and international tourists.  Houseboats can be expensive, and it is more affordable when travelling in a family or group to share the cost, otherwise it may be too costly.  It may cost around $ 1000 (or more) per week, depending on the size of the boat and the season, but it is a unique experience. 

 A luxury House boat

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