• Hosts and travellers can choose standalone rental sites or inclusive booking sites that also include hotel listings
  • Specialty sites provide opportunities to market to specific niches such as luxury travellers and families with children
  • Home swapping is a smart option for hosts who want to travel and rent

The days when hotels were the only accommodations option when travelling in Australia and abroad are gone for good. Holiday rental sites make it possible to stay in private homes, apartments and condominiums while on holiday, so you can fully immerse yourself in the places you visit. These sites also allow you to earn a steady stream of income from your holiday property by renting it out to travellers eager to explore all Australia has to offer.

Today, dozens of holiday rental sites exist, which can make choosing one as a host or a traveller a little daunting. Explore this list of the best holiday rental sites to discover trusted platforms for renting and booking holiday homes. Generally, the best sites offer transparent pricing and payment structures, and they boast rules and policies that protect both travellers and hosts throughout the process.

1. Stayz

With more than two million listings, Stayz is the largest holiday rental site serving Australia. Its huge portfolio means travellers can find accommodations to suit their budgets and tastes, whether they prefer to stay in a cosy cottage or a luxury city apartment. Hosts get the benefit of Stayz name recognition, as many Australians begin their search for holiday accommodations there. Payment and security deposit protection and the ability to leave reviews for both guests and hosts allow for full transparency when selecting rentals and booking stays.1

2. Airbnb

Since its founding in 2007, Airbnb has allowed hosts to earn more than AUD 209 billion from renting their holiday properties. Australian rental owners hoping to attract international guests benefit from the company’s global brand recognition and lucrative average annual rental income of roughly AUD 13,000. Travellers can book with confidence, knowing that Airbnb has a dedicated customer service team ready to handle any issues or disputes that arise before, during and after holidays.2


Although not as well-known as Airbnb, VRBO was one of the first holiday rental sites. Since its launch in 1995, the site has specialized in helping families find rental accommodations around the world. Travellers and hosts can get assistance around the clock from a dedicated customer service team. Hosts who wish to cross-post their properties on the site can use the Fast Start feature to import information from elsewhere on the internet and accelerate the process.3

4. HomeToGo

HomeToGo connects travellers with millions of properties by offering its own exclusive listings and displaying additional properties listed on 23 rental apps and websites. For holiday-goers, the site makes it possible to compare deals and then secure a reservation through the partner site VRBO or Tripping. Hosts get the benefit of added exposure if they list with a partner. You can also opt to rent your property directly on HomeToGo with just a few clicks.4

5. HotelsCombined

For travellers who wish to explore all accommodations options, HotelsCombined offers a convenient service. Its powerful search engine returns hotels and resorts alongside rental properties located in a specified city or region. Prices are clearly displayed for quick comparisons, and one click takes you to the websites where you can make reservations. Australians who own multiple holiday homes, condominiums, villas, or apartments can create a portfolio and easily manage bookings for every property in one place.5

6. HomeStay

With HomeStay, Australians can turn their primary residences into holiday homes by renting out guest bedrooms. Founded in 2013, this site is for travellers who don’t mind sharing their holiday home, condominium, or apartment with the owner. Not only are the nightly rates much lower due to the arrangement, but hosts can provide a valuable resource, helping travellers plan itineraries, choose restaurants and discover attractions and points of interest they may otherwise miss. The average host earns roughly AUD 1,700 per year by renting rooms through HomeStay.6

7. Tripadvisor

Tripadvisor is a one-stop hub for holiday planning. The site provides more than 980 million reviews for restaurants and attractions and even allows travellers to search for the cheapest flights to their destination. In addition, Tripadvisor provides access to millions of accommodations options, including rental properties. For hosts, one of the key advantages of Tripadvisor is its straightforward commission structure. The site takes just three percent of the reservation rate, making it easy for property owners to estimate their profits per stay.7

8. Booking.com

Booking.com started in 1996 to serve the Dutch travel market but has since gone worldwide with more than 28 million accommodations listings. Travellers can search for hotels and rental properties at one time, and the site also offers bookings for flights, car rentals, attractions and even airport taxis. Roughly 42 percent of all bookings on the site are for rental properties, making the site equally appealing for owners. Hosts can list homes, condominiums, apartments, villas and other types of properties without paying a listing fee.8

9. OneFineStay

OneFineStay caters to travellers who want to enjoy luxurious accommodations while they experience the world. Unlike other travel sites that allow you to book directly, OneFineStay assigns a travel concierge who explores guests’ needs and tastes and then recommends the perfect property. In Australia, OneFineStay only accepts hosts and books accommodations in Sydney. Those who own luxury properties in the area can take advantage of the site’s five-star service, which handles everything from housekeeping to guest concerns during their stay.9

10. FlipKey

FlipKey is a subsidiary of Tripadvisor that focuses only on holiday rentals. All the rental properties available through Tripadvisor are searchable on FlipKey, making it a good choice for travellers who are certain they want to stay in a private home, apartment or condominium. Hosts in Australia automatically get their homes added to the FlipKey search engine when they list on Tripadvisor. When guests reserve through the site, FlipKey charges the same low three percent commission on the total price of the booking.10

11. HomeExchange

Renting out your primary residence while you’re on holiday can offset some of your travel costs. HomeExchange takes that idea one step further by allowing property owners in Sydney to swap homes with people located in 159 countries. Simply enter your destination and the dates, and the site will display homeowners who would love to trade with you. After you communicate and agree to the terms, you pay HomeExchange $150 to facilitate the process. The site also allows you to rent out a single room for points that you can exchange for travel vouchers.11

12. Aura

Aura is a holiday rental website for properties located in Australia and stands out as the largest Australian-owned and operated site of its kind. Its fee structure is lower than many competitors’, allowing hosts to keep more of the booking price. In turn, they can rent their properties for less to provide great deals for travellers. The site has thousands of homes, condominiums, apartments and other properties available and offers short-term rentals as well as holiday stays. Strict yet simple-to-follow procedures protect both hosts and guests.12

13. Kid & Coe

Taking the kids along on holiday gives you a chance to bond as a family, but it can make finding great accommodations difficult. Kid & Coe was founded to make family holidays simpler. The site vets all listings to ensure that they’re kid-friendly and requires hosts to provide books and toys so parents can travel lighter. If you own a holiday property in Sydney, you can apply to become a host. Once accepted, you pay a $99 fee to list and a 10-15 percent commission on each booking.13

14. Couchsurfing

Home to 14 million users, Couchsurfing is for world travellers who are willing to pay to sleep on a sofa or sofa bed. To use the service, you pay either an annual or monthly fee and then can search by city to find available couches. You can also make your own couch available for others to use when they’re in town. Hosts don’t earn money on stays. Instead, they reap the benefits of being able to find free accommodations during their own holidays.14

15. Tripping

Tripping is a holiday rental site aggregator that allows travellers to search more than 12 million listings worldwide with just one click. Many major websites partner with Tripping, so hosts typically don’t have to fill out a second form to appear on the search results. For travellers, the site makes it simple to compare the prices for various properties. As with any holiday rental site, travellers and hosts should carefully consider reviews before reserving or accepting a booking. Doing so can go a long way towards ensuring the best possible experience when travelling or hosting.15

Stayz 2
Airbnb, About us 3
VRBO, List your Property 4
HomeToGo, About Us 5
HotelsCombined, Hotel Manager 6
Homestay.com, About Us 7
Tripadvisor, About Tripadvisor 8
Booking.com, About Booking.com 9
onefinestay, About us 10
FlipKey, About FlipKey 11
HomeExchange 12
Kid & Coe 14
Couchsurfing 15
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