Australia is now the fourth most expensive country in the world, according to the World Bank.
It ranks below Switzerland, Norway and Bermuda and ahead of Denmark, Sweden and Japan.
Radio New Zealand's Sydney correspondent says just about everything is expensive - notably housing, schooling, health services, food, power and utilities.
But while prices are going up, wages and incomes are moderating with growth of less than 3% a year.
In New South Wales, year-end wage growth was the slowest in 15 years of official surveys.