Here Are The Most Expensive Everyday Items In Each Major Australian City

Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia, due largely to property costing about a third above the national average to rent.

But if you’re looking at the cost of living, excluding accommodation, Perth and Darwin are even more expensive, according to data from global database Numbeo.

Business Insider Australia looked at data submitted by 1,875 Numbeo users in Australia to compare everyday expenses like milk, beer, coffee, utilities, taxis and gym memberships in 8 major Australian cities.

Here’s what to buy and stay away from in each:


Most expensive for: Accommodation; white bread; local cheese
Cheapest for: A cappuccino

According to Numbeo users, Sydney is the 14th most expensive city in the world, with food, rent and entertainment adding up to cost about 97 per cent of what it would in New York City.

Sydney is the most expensive of Australia's eight major cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart and Adelaide), largely due to accommodation, which costs about a third more than the national average.

Sydney is also the most expensive Australian city for fresh white bread ($3.50 for 500 grams) and cheese ($11.26 for 1kg), which costs 19 and 11 per cent above the average respectively.

But living in the most populous city has its advantages, especially for dining out, with competition driving the price of a regular cappuccino 7 per cent below the national average to $3.66.


Most expensive for: Milk; rice; eggs; apples; tomatoes; potatoes; lettuce; bottled water; utilities; some branded clothing; petrol
Cheapest for: A monthly pass for public transport

Accommodation and grocery costs make Darwin the second most expensive Australian city, although Numbeo's data is based on a relatively small sample - 397 entries from a pool of 55 contributors in the city.

Darwin is the smallest Australian capital city but one of the fastest growing, with a large immigrant population and large military presence.

Groceries cost almost 16 per cent more than in New York City, and the most of the eight Australian cities studied due in part to its geographic isolation from the rest of the country.

Numbeo users report paying $2.05 for a litre of milk in Darwin, compared to a national average of $1.55, and $343.42 for basic utilities (such as electricity, heating, water and garbage) for a small household, compared to a national average of $215.95.


Most expensive for: A three-course meal out; beer in a restaurant or pub; a cappuccino; chicken meat; oranges; cigarettes; men's leather shoes
Cheapest for: Lettuce

Costs have risen sharply in Perth in recent years thanks to an influx of wealth from the mining boom.

Excluding rent, Perth is the 13th most expensive city in the world and the most expensive in Australia, with food, transport and entertainment prices almost 20 per cent higher than in New York City.

Data from Numbeo users indicates that dining out in Perth costs almost 17 per cent more than in New York city, with a three-course meal for two in a mid-range restaurant priced at $100 compared to a national average of $80.

Coffee, beer and cigarettes are also more expensive in Perth than in any other major Australian city, with a pack of Malboros estimated to cost $20, compared to a national average of $18, and a regular cappuccino costing $4.31, compared to a national average of $3.93.

Meanwhile, a head of lettuce costs $2.27 in Perth, according to Numbeo users, compared to a national average of $2.43.


Most expensive for: N/A
Cheapest for: White rice

Australia's second most populous city is remarkably well-priced, with most costs hovering close to Numbeo's national average.

Melbourne is cheapest of the eight major cities for white rice, which costs almost 14 per cent less than the average in supermarkets at $2.50 a kilo.

Beer is slightly more expensive in Melbourne bars, restaurants and bottleshops, at $7 for 0.5L of domestic draught beer compared to $6 in most other cities, $5 in Tasmania, $7 in Darwin, and $9 in Perth.


Most expensive for: A one-way ticket on public transport
Cheapest for: Gym membership; white bread; cheese

Brisbane is a relatively affordable city; rents hover around the national average, as do the costs of dining out.

It's the cheapest major Australian city for white bread and cheese, which respectively cost $2.32 per 500 gram loaf (21 per cent below average) and $9.14 per kilo (10 per cent below average).

Brisbane gym memberships are also particularly cheap, at $55.17 per adult per month, against a national average of $68.52.


Most expensive for: Renting a tennis court for an hour
Cheapest for: Eggs; chicken meat; tomatoes; bottled water

Canberra houses Australia's political leaders and is, by most cost-of-living measures, a wonderful place to call home.

Among Australia's 8 major cities, Canberra ranks in the middle of the pack for accommodation prices and the cost of dining out, but groceries are cheapest.

Canberra residents have the nation's highest average monthly disposable income, according to Numbeo, at about $5,236 versus a national average of $4,230.

Sports and leisure activities are more expensive in Canberra than elsewhere, with an hour of tennis priced at $25, and a month of gym membership priced at $70, versus national averages of $19.80 and $68.52 respectively.


Most expensive for: Gym membership; a new car; a 'mid-range' bottle of wine
Cheapest for: Beer; cigarettes; basic utilities; accommodation

As the capital of Tasmania, Hobart has a reputation for tourism, good food and wine. Numbeo users price a mid-range bottle of wine higher in Hobart ($17.50) than elsewhere in Australia ($15), although the site doesn't account for any differences in quality.

On the other hand, beer prices are lower in Hobart than elsewhere, with bars and restaurants charging $5 for 0.5L of domestic draught beer (versus a national average of $6) and $6 for 0.33L of bottled, imported beer (versus $7.50).

Housing is cheapest in Hobart than other Australian capitals, with rental costs about a third less than the national average, while a mid-range, new car costs about 15 per cent more than on mainland Australia.


Most expensive for: Imported beer in a bottle shop
Cheapest for: A new, mid-range car; a three-course meal out

Of Australia's eight major cities, Adelaide is the cheapest in which to live.

It doesn't stand out as the very cheapest city in any particular category but according to Numbeo users, prices are consistently low across the board.

Housing, for example, costs 71-75 per cent the national average, while grocery prices are the second lowest of the 8 Australian majors, at 98.78 per cent of New York City costs. (Canberra is cheaper, at 97.92 per cent of New York City costs.)

The average monthly disposable income in Adelaide is also second lowest of the 8 cities, at $3,598, against Hobart's $3,073 and a national average of $4,230.

Now read: Here’s How Much You Need To Earn To Buy An Average Home In 15 Australian Cities

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