For much of 2023, the Aussie Dollar or 'Aussie Battler' struggled against other popular currencies. This was in-part due to other central banks tightening their monetary policy more aggressively than we did.

Australia was slower to the punch, and now looks slower to unwind in 2024; the 'higher for longer' mantra has made many an investor seek the AUD as a safe haven currency, and in turn has made our exchange rates more favourable with other currencies.

So, whether you're shopping online, or looking to head overseas, here's where our currency is performing better than a year ago.

Including the Argentine Peso and Turkish Lira on this list would be too easy, as their countries are currently experiencing inflation rates north of 100% and 60% respectively.

We've also included The Economist's Big Mac Index for a useful indicator on real prices in that country; for reference a Big Mac in Australia costs $7.45.

See Also: Compare Travel Credit Cards

5. Vietnamese Dong (VND)

  • Spot rate: 16,388.25 dong
  • AUD performance gain vs 12 months ago: +0.77%
  • Big Mac Index: 74,000 dong (A$4.52)

Whether you're looking to enrich your historical knowledge, barter with the local market stall holders, or witness the stunning beauty of Halong Bay, Vietnam is a country increasing in popularity.

It suits those on a budget with regular cheap flights, and luckily the AUD has had a modest gain over the dong in the past 12 months.

4. South Korean Won (KRW)

  • Spot rate: 878.33 won
  • AUD performance gain vs 12 months ago: +0.96%
  • Big Mac Index: 5,200 won (A$5.92)

South Korea is often overlooked, but like its more popular Asian cousins it's a country filled with beauty and history. 

South Korea has it all, from war memorials, to bustling night markets, UNESCO heritage sites, technology hubs, and even beaches. With a population closing in on 10 million people, Seoul is a city that is a shock to the senses (in a good way) compared to anything in Australia.

The Aussie Dollar has had a modest gain over the won in the past 12 months.

3. South African Rand (ZAR)

  • Spot rate: 12.47 rand
  • AUD performance gain vs 12 months ago: +1.60%
  • Big Mac Index: 49.9 rand (A$4.00)

South Africa might not be on your list, but it should be, and for many it acts as a gateway drug to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

Cape Town, with the Lion's Head and Table Mountain, is an obvious choice, but hiking, sightseeing and safaris from Durban are also not to be missed.

The AUD has remained strong against the rand for quite a few years now, 

2. Japanese Yen (JPY)

  • Spot rate: 97.05 Yen
  • AUD performance gain vs 12 months ago: +1.98%
  • Big Mac Index: 450 yen (A$4.64)

Whether you're looking at shredding the slopes in Hakuba or Niseko, or looking for the perfect vista for your Mt Fuji trip, Japan is a popular destination for many walks of life.

Luckily, the Aussie Dollar has appreciated in value against the Yen, and inflation remains quite low there, making Japan a stable and relatively affordable destination.

So pack comfortable shoes and get ready to grab an onigiri and a Strong & Zero from a 7-Eleven. 

1. Thai Baht (THB)

  • Spot rate: 23.48 baht
  • AUD performance gain vs 12 months ago: +2.43%
  • Big Mac Index: 128 baht (A$5.45)

Thailand is already a destination familiar to many Australians, but there's so much more than cheap beer and night markets.

A popular challenge among motorcycle enthusiasts is riding from top to the bottom on the cheapest, nastiest 125cc bike you can find.

The AUD has had a strong gain over the THB in the past 12 months, but has been a budget-friendly destination for many years.

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash