Travelling Australia is a pretty expensive game. Even staying in hostels down under isn't cheap, but it is possible to find affordable or even free accommodation in Australia if you look in the right places. As someone who has found free rooms in Sydney on several occasions, I think I know a thing or two about tracking down a place to stay for freeeee.

So here are my tried and tested methods to find free accommodation while travelling Australia...  

View of Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour from Sydney Harbour Bridge
View of Sydney Harbour and the Opera house from Sydney Harbour Bridge

Pet Sitting

In Australia it's very common for families to ask backpackers to watch their pets while they go on holiday. In exchange for pet sitting the backpacker will usually live in the families home rent free. I was fortunate enough to do pet sitting in Sydney over New Years Eve which saved hundreds of dollars I would have otherwise spent on a hostel.

Where to find Pet Sitting jobs in Australia:

- Sydney House & Pet Sitting Facebook Page

- House & Pet Sitters Australia Facebook Page

- Pet Sitters Australia Facebook Page

House Sitting

Sometimes even families without pets ask for house sitters to ensure their home is well looked after while they go on long trips. I know of several backpackers who were able to stay in Sydney for a few months rent free as they were looking after the homes of people travelling overseas. 

Where to find housesitting jobs in Australia:

- Trusted House Sitters 

- Aussie House Sitters 

- House Sitting Australia Wide Facebook Group

Taking out the bins while volunteering for accommodation at Sydney Central YHA

Volunteer for accommodation

While I was on the seemingly never ending hunt for a room in Sydney, I actually volunteered at a hostel in exchange for free accommodation. Every hostel has it's own requirements but generally they ask for around 14/15 hours of work each week in exchange for a free bed, and sometimes other perks such as free washing or breakfast.

Hostels that offer work for accommodation:


- Wake Up 

Tip - While you may be able to apply online to volunteer for accommodation, it's always best to visit the hostel in person and speak to the manager, or give them a call if you can. Be ready and willing to volunteer as soon as possible. 

Work somewhere accommodation is provided

From time to time employers will provide accommodation for their workers, especially in rural areas where hostels and other accommodation might not be available. Often these houses or rooms are very basic, but it is possible to find work where an employer is willing to provide free accommodation. 

One of the cats I was pet sitting in exchange for free accommodation in Sydney

So those are some of the way's you can get free accommodation while travelling the incredible country of Australia. 

Let me know if you have any tips of your own when it comes to budget travel, or if you would like to hear more about my experiences pet sitting or volunteering for accommodation in Sydney!

Thanks for reading!

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