[...] never the less, they were going to charge $40 shipping to Australia regardless of the weight. even if i order 1 spool.
Yes, shipping is a killer for many web sales, but I'm sure you can find something locally, either in a high street shop or at an Australian based web shop.
Taking an old VHS recorder or similar apart would give you plenty of wire as well (but don't strip the one in your parents living room, they may be less understanding
If not, consider sweet talking an electrician or IT installer to give you scraps of cat5 or cat6 cable ("Ethernet cable", both patch cables=stranded and installation wire=solid core are useful), as they probably toss out lengths of up to a couple of meters every now and then and there's 8 color coded wires in each.
Showing some interest in their work and/or waving a cold can of coke on a hot day would probably get you wire for numerous projects.
(And don't say no to heavier wire/cable - as you grow in robotics so may their current demands).