Cost of living

Studying in Townsville provides a source of outstanding education facilities, a safe and friendly environment and real value in terms of living and education costs.

Compared to the capital cities living in Townsville is comparatively cheaper. For more information and as a guide see a breakdown below (from the Study in Australia website 2016).


  • James Cook University (JCU) Student Accommodation: Student accommodation is available at the JCU Campus. This includes single rooms with shared bathroom and lounge facilities. Most accommodation includes full room and board (all meals), however self-catering options are also available.
  • Houses and Apartments: A wide range of rental accommodation is available close throughout the city. Students often rent together, sharing the cost of a house. Prices will vary according to the quality and style of the premises, the location and the number of people sharing. Leases usually run for six months duration. Check newspapers, real estate agents and notice boards for rental availability.
  • Homestay: The opportunity exists to live in with a local family and experience the Australian lifestyle. Homestay involves a single or shared furnished bedroom with meals provided by the host family and is an option many high school and some university students take. Short and long-term stays are possible.
  • Hotels and motels: Townsville has a range of hotels, motels and self-contained units. Prices are very much dependent on length of stay.
  • Hostels: As a budget option, Townsville has a number of hostels offering single, twin and shared dormitory style rooms. While this is low-cost accommodation, rooms are clean and basically furnished. Meals are not usually provided but access to communal kitchen, bathroom and laundry facilities is available.
  • Boarding schools: Secondary high school students have the option of living in on-campus accommodation in one of the region’s boarding schools. The facilities vary from shared dormitories to single rooms, but all provide full meals and laundry service and a well-supervised environment for under-18 year olds.
  • Hostels and Guesthouses – $90 to $150 per week
  • Shared Rental – $85 to $215 per week
  • University on-campus – $233 (self-catering) to $324 per week
  • Homestay – $235 to $325 per week
  • Rental – $165 to $440 per week
  • Boarding schools – $11,000 to $22,000 a year

Helpful links

Facebook groups: There are various Facebook Community Groups set up for students looking for accommodation in the Townsville area. Do a search for currently active groups.