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Adventurers Diary

Our 12 months Costs and Expenses for Travelling Australia

February 2017 represents 12 months since we left the safety and routine of our home and embraced life on the road, the uncertainty of every day, waking up in entirely new surroundings and starting off the day with a new group of strangers as our neighbours.

To do this comes with risk, deep concern for family we left behind like our Mums and youngest son, a deep desire for adventure and a little bit of crazy all rolled into one. Emotional times for sure.

We mapped out our adventure around Australia and worked out it would take us 2.5 years and the first year has just passed. It’s been so amazing it’s impossible to put into words.

 

 

Adele in Kings Park, Perth

Adele in Kings Park, Perth

We left Brisbane and drove north, eventually making it to Cooktown in North Queensland in June 2016. By July we arrived in Darwin and mid August we were sunning it up on Cable beach in Broome. We spent 4 months in WA before leaving Esperance and Kalgoorlie to discover the Eyre Peninsula of South Australia, Moonta for Christmas with our great travel buddies we met in WA, Adelaide, Barossa Valley, Melbourne and over to Tasmania mid January.

The budget is based on our time from Feb 1st 2016 to January 31st 2017.

Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne

Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne

We completed a budget after 7.5 months, which you can view here http://indefiniteleave.com.au/much-cost-trip/, and as we expected our costs since then have reduced in most areas.

It’s important to recognize we are 3 adults, Adele, Kevin and our 24yo son Matthew plus our beautiful 15yo Golden Retriever MACKS. We fund our sons trip, all part of a master plan that will have him looking after us when we are old and senile.

Making our way on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Making our way on the Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Our vehicle is a 2009 Winnebago Esperance 3L Turbo 6 Speed. Auto/Man. It is just on 8m in length, 3.2m high and 2.5m wide.

In the beginning of our trip we spent most of our stays in caravan parks, primarily for a pool during the day and air conditioning at night. Since leaving Broome we have stayed more and more often in Free or Low cost campgrounds as cooler weather has allowed.

Swan Valley with our fabulous friends Scott and Kez

Swan Valley with our fabulous friends Scott and Kez

We in no way suggest our costs to do our trip are or need to be the same for you. Lots of people do their trip at a lower cost to us but we are looking to pack as much as possible into our adventure and this includes many tours and trips. We also fly home every 3-4 months to visit our mothers, our other son, friends and family. We see that as a direct expense of our trip and they are included in our budget.

Hannans North Tourist Mine, Kalgoorlie WA

Hannans North Tourist Mine, Kalgoorlie WA

A further bit of a recap from our last Blog:-

Why do we go to the trouble of tracking our expenses?
We operate a separate business as we travel. We’re not exactly sure what we can or can’t claim so we monitor all our costs and therefore our Accountant can work out the details when necessary.
We are used to operating a business and tracking expenses so it’s natural for us anyway. It is a lot of work but we are happy to share our costs with everyone in case it’s of assistance to you.

Tour of an operating brothel in Kalgoorlie WA

Tour of an operating brothel in Kalgoorlie WA

How do we track our expenses?
We ask for a receipt for everything.
Every dollar we spend we ask for a receipt and after this long it’s giving us some good data and genuine averages that we can share with you. We hope this helps you with the planning for your adventure.

How do we store the information?
We keep the receipts in a folder until we are ready to enter the data. The receipts are stored according to the month of the expense.

Photo8
What programme do we use?
We like to use an Excel spreadsheet. We are used to using them and we can create formula’s to calculate the information we’re after. There are apps that we know others are using but we’ve never looked at them. My mate calls me a Luddite, maybe that has something to do with it lol.
The spreadsheet we use is our own which we created.

Russell Falls, Tasmania

Russell Falls, Tasmania

Some preliminary details before we discuss costs are:

• Number of Boat Trips: 10 – Lady Musgrave Island, Great Keppel Island, Airlie Beach x 3, Horizontal Falls, Rottnest Island, Tamar River, Tasman Island, Bruny Island
• Number of Ferry trips. 6 – Fraser Island, Magnetic Island, Daintree River, Sorrento, Spirit of Tasmania, Bruny Island
• Plane trips. 5 – To home and back Mackay, Darwin, Perth. Also Cairns and Broome for adventure.
• Fishing Charters 4 – Airlie Beach x 2, Mission Beach, Broome

Our accommodation has been:

• 253 nights in Caravan Parks
• 22 nights at Campgrounds
• 11 nights Free camping
• 4 nights at Station stays
• 4 nights in an Overflow park
• 6 nights in RV rest areas
• 1 night on the Spirit of Tasmania Ship
• 39 nights with Family and Friends

Photo11
Lucky Bay Campground, Cape Le Grand National Park WA

Let’s get on with our expenses.

Groceries $12,439.40

Let’s start again with food. It would appear our grocery costs have increased significantly since the first report at 7.5 months. For that we don’t have an explanation. Most of that time was spent in WA and possibly it’s the higher cost of groceries in the state. Also, in the first months we would have had groceries from home with us so for first month or two our costs would have been lower.
Whilst it’s easy to think it’s irrelevant, as we have to eat whether we are at home or on the road, the difference is what we pay. At home you know your local grocery stores and where the best buys are. The prices remain relatively consistent and you can easily budget your food costs week to week.
When travelling Australia you don’t know the best local supermarkets and sometimes they’re not available. Sometimes you pay higher prices to access necessities quickly or you may find fantastic markets where you can buy some groceries at great prices.

Christmas 2016 with Scott and Kez, Moonta SA

Christmas 2016 with Scott and Kez, Moonta SA

Then of course prices do vary, sometimes quite significantly, depending where in the country you are. Therefore costs when travelling can be different to your normal costs at home.
$6,880.15 was total after 7.5 months
$917.35 average per month after 7.5 months
$1036.62 current average per month
$1235 average per month last 4.5 months

Groceries are 21% of overall costs.
The percentage has increased primarily because other costs such as Accommodation and Entertainment have been reduced as well as Grocery costs increasing.

Sampling wine at Wolf Blass, Barossa Valley SA

Sampling wine at Wolf Blass, Barossa Valley SA

Takeaway $2,063.19

$171.93 average spend on takeaway per month
$518.77 was total after 7.5 months
$69.17 average per month after 7.5 months

We’ve had a bit of increase in Takeaway spending in recent months but it is still low at just 3% of our expenditure.

Wine Tour of Swan Valley, WA with our great friends Maurice and Susan from home in Brisbane

Wine Tour of Swan Valley, WA with our great friends Maurice and Susan from home in Brisbane

Dining out $5,559.89

I’m led to believe some Takeaway costs have slipped into this category. This includes mostly lunches and dinners out with the rare breakfast also.

We don’t go out to Pubs or Restaurants often but have enjoyed a few Brewery’s and Wineries.

7% of total expenditure is in dining out.

Rum Distillery in Swan Valley, WA. I became a regular.

Rum Distillery in Swan Valley, WA. I became a regular.

Drinks $1,893.25

This is our drinks cost when not dining. Our drink costs when dining out have been included with the food bill.

2% of total expenditure is drinks.

Someone turn on the tap. Wolf Blass, Barossa Valley SA

Someone turn on the tap. Wolf Blass, Barossa Valley SA

Alcohol $2,894.92

Over the course of the 12 months our Alcohol preferences have altered. I’ve reduced my Bundy preference from the Premium brand Small Batch back to the Original. It’s easier to get and I can buy more of it for the same price, works for me.

Adele has found Moscato white wine and it is now her preferred drink.

We have just found Aldi alcohol, which has Sparklings and Moscato bottles for just $4.99. We stocked up in Portland prior to crossing the border back into South Australia.

Our alcohol intake hasn’t slowed. Too many new friends on the road and each afternoon is there to be enjoyed.

4% of our total expenditure is Alcohol

Photo17
Penfolds Winery, Barossa Valley South Australia

Accom $11,458.33

Our first 7 months were spent either in hot summer conditions or winter in Cairns, Darwin and Broome. For us, a pool during the day for swimming and air conditioning at night for a great night sleep was a prerequisite.

We expected that this part of our trip was going to involve Free camping and reduced accommodation costs and that is how it has turned out. We have reduced our daily stay cost from $38 per night to $33. During this last 4.5 month period our nightly cost is just $23.31

The first 7.5 months our accommodation cost was 16% and the last 4.5 months it was just 12% of our costs.

Photo18
Beach Sheds at Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Average cost per night is $33.12

Last 4.5 months stays:
Caravan Parks 82 nights
Campgrounds 18 nights
Free Camps 13 nights
Station Stay 1 night
Family/ Friends 16 nights
Most expensive $58 – Coral Bay WA

14% of Total expenditure is our accommodation.

Photo19
Having fun at Hannans North Tourist mine, Kalgoorlie WA

Fuel $6,367.65

Our fuel costs have risen slightly, up from $109pw to $122pw. I put this down to travelling Western Australia where fuel costs are greater, bigger distances to travel and also crossing the Nullabor.

The average cost for fuel is 129.2c per litre.

8% of Total expenditure is fuel.

Photo20
The Great Australian Bight, South Australia

Speedometre 66,091

We began the trip at 36,691 and have therefore completed 29,400 klms in our first 12 months on the road.

NSW and ACT are the only state or territory we haven’t visited. In the 12 months we have crossed the borders from Qld into NT, WA, SA, Vic and been over to Tasmania.

Photo21

Vehicle expenses $9,083.88

The Motorhome Vehicle expenses include replacing all 3 batteries in Cairns, the Signage of the Motorhome, replacing of all 6 tyres, vehicle services in Cairns and Perth, radiator replaced, windscreen replaced, purchase of the Waeco fridge, water pump repairs and other various repairs.

11% of Total expenditure is vehicle expenses.

Photo22
Hannans North Tourist mine, Kalgoorlie WA

Entertainment $13,992.31

Our plan for travelling Australia was always to experience as much as absolutely possible within our budget. This meant seeing Australia also by sea and air as well as land.

Since our last budget was completed we have been to Rottnest Island ($380), swam with Humpback Whales in Exmouth ($900), a Bubbles Tour of Margaret River ($220) and cruised the Tamar River and Cataract Gorge in Tasmania ($217).

Overall our Entertainment expenses have reduced significantly from our first 7.5 months which was at a cost of $11,493. This was at an average of $353.63pw at a cost of 23% of expenses compared to now at $269.08pw at 17% of expenses.

Our largest Entertainment expense over the 12 months was the Horizontal Falls tour from Broome at $1,706.90 followed by Reefsleep in the Whitsundays at $1366.10
You can read all about Reefsleep here –
http://indefiniteleave.com.au/us-swag-pontoon-lot-water/

17% of Total expenditure is Entertainment.

Photo23
Port Arthur, Tasmania

Travel fares $4,817.34

A new category in this budget which was previously included in Entertainment.

These are travel costs of our 3 return flights back home to Brisbane during our trip plus Spirit of Tasmania ferry and Sorrento ferry.

6% of our total expenditure is Travel fares

Photo24
Sunset when leaving the Port in Melbourne for Tasmania

Gas $288.82

BCF are consistently the best and cheapest location to fill our gas bottles at $13.99. We have 2 x 4kg bottles.

Our Gas cost is very low and less than 1%

Medical $862.43

1% of Total expenditure is medical expenses.

Photo25
Lucky Bay, Cape Le Grand National Park WA

Vet $2,929.66

Our Vet costs have increased as MACKS spent 6 nights in Port Lincoln Vet Hospital with Geriatric Vestibular Disease just prior to Christmas.
They were fantastic in their care of MACKS and very fair in charging us only $1,443.30 including medications.

4% of our total expenditure is Vet costs.

Photo26
MACKS during recovery of Geriatric Vestibular Disease, Moonta SA

Dog sitting $959

Without doing as many tours during the last 4.5 months our dog sitting costs were also reduced. Our previous overall cost of 3% has been reduced to only 1% of overall cost.

1% of our total expenditure is dog sitting.

Photo27
Hannans North Tourist mine, Kalgoorlie WA

Adele’s nails $499

Adele nails continue to require attention, they now have a very orange fleuro glow.

1% of our total expenditure is spent keeping Adele happy with beautiful nails. Happy wife = Happy life!!

Photo28
Port Arthur, Tasmania

Hair and Beauty $184

There’s a good reason I wear a cap at all times, to stop getting sunburnt. Clearly this is an Adele expense.

1% of our total expenditure is Hair and Beauty.

Taxi’s $548.59

1% of our total expenditure is taxi fares.

Photo29
The SuperPit, Kalgoorlie WA

Clothes $1,989.01

We bought some new clothes at Christmas and we had little winter clothing with us and therefore purchased some warm clothes when we arrived in Tasmania.

2% of our total expenditure is Clothes.

Fishing $554.74

This includes fishing equipment, tackle and bait. We now have lost count of how many rods we have, it’s either 8 or 9. We also have 6 or 7 reels.

1% of our total expenditure is Fishing.

Photo30
Fishing Charter, Broome WA

Laundry $500

We didn’t allow for washing in our last expenses list. Without receipts it’s hard to be exact, this is an estimated figure.

1% of our total expenditure is Laundry costs

Photography $695.95

I bought a new lens from a second hand shop for about half price of brand new at $280. Apart from that this includes lens hoods, new battery and lens filter.

I have my eye on 2 more lens yet 

1% of our total expenditure is Photography expenses

Photo31
Richmond Bridge, Richmond Tasmania

National Parks $142

National Park fees are very minimal cost of our travels and doesn’t even register.

0% of our total expenditure is National Parks

Misc $1,433.83

2% of our total expenditure is on Misc items.

Photo32
Incredible rugged coastline of Port Arthur, Tasmania

Once again as a reminder, we are 3 adults and we are funding our son Matt’s costs throughout the trip.

Our total cost of expenditure is $82,157.19 for the 12 months.

This is an average of $1,579.95 per week.

 

Do you know how much your trip is costing you per week?

Feel free to share it with us.

Regards
Indefinite Leave

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Jill

    April 5, 2017 at 7:09 am

    Excellent read, have enjoyed following your journey on Facebook. Great pics also. Thankyou for sharing

  2. Rosemary Robinson

    April 5, 2017 at 8:00 am

    For those followers who are saying “OMG! I can never afford to do this” let me assure you it is possible. My total expenses for the last 12 months were $21,927 and the previous year just over $25,000. I mainly free camp (only $548 in camp fees) but I eat well, enjoy a drink or two at happy hour and haven’t done as many tours. My van is old (1986 Ford Econovan) and needs a fair bit of maintenance so I spent $3200 keeping it going last year and $2017 on petrol. This was down from $3300 the previous year when I was travelling the long distances in WA. I travel solo and the age pension is my only income. I am also on the road full time, and have been for 4 years now. This lifestyle will work for any budget if you want it to. Sure there’s things I’d love to do, like the Horizontal Falls trip you did, but even when I was working there were things my budget didn’t stretch to do nothing’s changed 😝 Oh yes, that’s right, I’m no longer stressed, I look 10 years younger, I have this amazing happiness right throughout my body and I’m loving my life!

    • Indefinite Leave

      April 5, 2017 at 9:26 am

      Hi Rosemary. Thank you for your feedback and you are certainly correct, this is just our costs 🙂 You are right about stress free, isn’t it awesome.

    • Heike

      August 14, 2017 at 7:01 pm

      Would love to met you . I am from Germany and go in a few weeks on my first tour around australia

  3. Jenny

    April 5, 2017 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for the amazing detail. I’m hopeless at keeping records but you are so organised. And it looks like you get on so well. Loving following you

  4. Sue

    April 12, 2017 at 7:25 am

    Thankyou. What a comprehensive list of expenses. And a low maintenance wife I have to say. I think my hair costs will be more ! Lol. We are about to undertake 7 months on the road (hopefully soon -I have kidney stones being dealt with) hopefully mid may for 7 months. Your expenses give a true indication of costings for 3. When I divided by 3 in some areas, took out pet expenses and re dived that over 7 , I believe we have a comparable estimate. Such a great comprehensive read. Thankyou. Sue & Harry

    • Indefinite Leave

      April 16, 2017 at 2:05 pm

      Thank you Sue and Harry. Yes and we have flown home 4 times also which is a significant costs most people don’t have. Adele is low maintenance in all ways lol, she manages her own hair for the most part. I had kidney stones in Perth and ended up in hospital, know how you feel. Glad it was of help to you 🙂 Safe Travels.

  5. Debra Hills

    April 12, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Finally got in to check this out
    FANTASTIC reading 🙂

  6. Marion Halliday (Red Nomad OZ)

    April 16, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Wow! That’s a great comprehensive breakdown – and it gives other people the option of looking at what they perhaps wouldn’t spend if it was them! For eg my nails don’t require ANY attention, haha! I’m sharing this on my RedzAustralia FB page as it’s such good and helpful detail.

    • Indefinite Leave

      April 16, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      Thank you Marion. Yes that was the plan, dissect it as much as possible so people can work out what apply’s to them and what doesn’t 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it, I’ve been reading your blogs too. 😉

  7. Jill on the go

    May 30, 2017 at 11:59 am

    I am going to try and keep better records next trip. We also have an old 78 refurbished viscount. But have new truck a ranger. Just short trips we got 16 per 100km on those trips of about 400 is.
    We want to sell up and go on road full time for a few years. I need to recoup from my hip replacement I had the other day and then off. Hope to keep in touch.

    • Indefinite Leave

      May 30, 2017 at 10:51 pm

      Hi Jill. Thank you for your message. It doesn’t matter what we travel in, as long as we enjoy this amazing country 🙂
      It would be great to catch up, let us know if you see us out there

  8. Pingback: Our 18 months Budget to Travel Australia by Indefinite Leave - Indefinite Leave

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Adventurers Diary

Australia Road Trip Ep1 – Springbrook National Park

Australia Road Trip Ep 1 Springbrook National Park

Australia Road Trip Ep1 is the first of our series of videos!

First of all, we leave Brisbane and head south with our first stop at Springbrook National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland. We visit Purling Brook Falls, Natural Bridge and The Best of All Lookouts before crossing the border and heading off to Fingal Head in Northern NSW.

First Day, First Hour…. Ohhh No, What have I done!!

Hope you enjoy the Australia Road Trip Ep1 video and be sure to stay tuned for more episodes.

Subscribe to us on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave and check out where to stay from our video reviews on the hundreds of Caravan Parks, Campgrounds and Showgrounds all around Australia!

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Canon 24-105mm lens – https://amzn.to/2vAtF9b. This is my all round, every day use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://amzn.to/2vAuxKZ. I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://amzn.to/2JcLDqn. My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

The new Go Pro 7 – https://amzn.to/2vyuP4X –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.
Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://amzn.to/2URtUXG. This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores. _______________________________________________________________________

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Adventurers Diary

Get the F###ing Fire Extinguisher!!

There’s a major story that we have never told, but a lot of time has gone by and I feel the time is now right. The air conditioner on our Motorhome caught on fire.

You know, flames from the roof, bellowing smoke, fire brigade, campground jam packed with hundreds of people all around us and Adele inside the Motorhome while the roof was alight with flames and smoke.

It was Easter Friday 2017. Earlier to this, we had been to Kangaroo Island in South Australia and arrived back on the mainland a few days prior and went straight to Rapid Bay Campground. Our YouTube channel has a video of the campground when we arrived and another the day of the fire. We were told there were 900 people camping there over Easter.

It was as simple as I plugged in the Generator and started it. Whenever we plug into electricity the Air Conditioner unit goes on standby and the standby light comes on, it’s our way of knowing the power is connected, but on this occasion Adele was inside and heard a fizzing sound and there was no light. She came out to tell me what she heard so I went inside myself to see why the light hadn’t turned on. I checked the unit and tried manually turning it on but nothing. Then I tried the remote control, still nothing.

Next minute absolute mayhem as someone came running over yelling to us we were on fire.

As you can imagine, it was immediate panic and the following few minutes are a blurr now looking back on it. Immediately I raced to the back of the Motorhome and climbed the ladder to see flames coming from the air conditioner unit. Someone had already unplugged the Generator and raced away from the Motorhome with it to take that risk out of the equation. I quickly asked for my 20L container of water to put out the fire when someone yelled out not to put water onto an electrical fire.

I’m glad someone was thinking common sense.

Adele grabbed our fire extinguisher and it was thrown up to me. I’d never used one before but very quickly worked it out and began giving the Motorhome a foam bath. It worked fast but this stuff went everywhere.

On the roof of the Motorhome there was powder residue all over it but the gift kept giving when we got back inside, it was all over our bed and all throughout the Winnebago.

It was obvious the fire was contained to just the air conditioner unit for which I was thankful, no damage at all to the Motorhome or the roof. 18 months later now and the air conditioner has been replaced, twice actually, but I’ll discuss that in a minute.

Matt was out fishing with our mate Mick in his boat so we had Mick’s wife call him to get the message through to Matt to come back.

The Fire Brigade was called to check everything and gave it the thumbs up. They looked right over everything and told me they believed the compressor had shorted and that did made sense.

So here we were, Easter Friday, nowhere to go, no-one to speak to about repairing it until Tuesday when shops opened again. Foam was everywhere, inside the Motorhome as well as outside.

We were the talking point of the Campground and for all the wrong reasons and photos began being posted on Instagram of our Motorhome on fire. The people there though were fantastic and very helpful.

Why the air conditioner decided that moment for the compressor to short out we don’t know.  We were thankful it did do it then, when there were so many other people about to notice it, This also meant there were others to help us to put it out properly, rather than just days before when we were free camping in isolated locations around Kangaroo Island.

Here’s what I do know though!!

End of the drama you’re thinking? NoNoNo, it was only just beginning.

The air conditioner that had been in our Motorhome was wayyyyyy too small and therefore was working too hard when it was used. It only barely cooled the Motorhome down when it was on and it was a hot day.

We bought our Motorhome second hand and it came with a Dometic B2200. It looked to be the original air conditioner unit but there’s no way for me to know for sure. What I do know is that the B2200 Dometic Air conditioner unit is designed for a 5m vehicle and was too small in capacity for our Motorhome – http://etime.com.au/appliances/air-conditioners/dometic-b2200-pop-top-roof-mounted-air-conditioner.html.

I didn’t know about all this until afterwards when I did some research.

Fortunately, we did manage to get on to our insurer CIL straight away the next day, they were awesome even though it was Easter Saturday. We decided to go see CaraRest in Adelaide and arrange for them to do the insurance work of replacing the air conditioner. Soon after Easter we were due to fly back home to Brisbane as I was the MC for my nieces wedding. This meant we could leave it with them for the 10 days while we were away and they would have plenty of time to see to the repairs.

When we dropped off the Motorhome, the owner of CaraRest said to me he would be installing a Dometic Harrier air conditioner, the model suited to our Motorhome.

Fantastic, no problem.

It was 10am and our flight was 4pm, thankfully we had plenty of time because 40 minutes into our taxi ride, when we were almost to the airport, I realised I left my wallet back in the Motorhome. Without my license I had no identification to show at the airport, so we had to turn around and go back to the Motorhome. When I arrived the owner’s daughter served me and took me out to the workshop to the Motorhome. They were already working on it so I jumped in through the open side door to the back of the Motorhome and reached through into the front cabin, grabbed my wallet and we were back on our way.

During the week I followed up with a phone call to the Owner to check on progress, yes everything will be ready by Friday, the day before we were due back to pick up the Motorhome. Again on Friday, I rang to check on progress and was assured it was almost complete, it would be ready when we got there on Saturday. Ohhh and by the way he said, we couldn’t fit that Air conditioner, the solar panels on the roof were in the way so we put in a B2200 Freshjet. I figured he knew what he was doing so ok, see you Saturday.

When we arrived the Motorhome was brought around to us. It was 11.30am and they closed at midday. The owner stood there with his pad and biro watching us while we all had our suitcases and luggage in our hands, over our shoulders and basically our hands were more full than a centipede’s sock drawer.

Given he showed no signs of opening the door, even if it was for a lady with her hands full, Adele decided to open the door to the back of the Motorhome and when she did the handle just fell off in her hands. We all stood there wondering what was happening before asking what the deal was. The Owner immediately responded that Adele had applied too much pressure and broke it.

You’re kidding right!!

A few minutes back and forth, I just wanted to get into the Motorhome and put down the bags. We knew what we were being told wasn’t adding up because one thing he said was they never used the back door. That seemed so odd, that they would lug their tools and an air conditioner unit over the front seats, squeeze their way between the two front seats, over our Waeco 40L fridge/freezer which at that time sat between our seats to access the rear of the Motorhome when there was a perfectly good side door. Besides, I had to come back to get my wallet remember and guess which door they had opened.

I went inside and looked at the air conditioner unit and straight away it looked odd. It was clearly much smaller in size to the previous one and that one hardly worked as it was. Quickly I googled it and found out it is made for a space of 25m3 (we are 49.5m3) and a vehicle of maximum length of 5m (we are 8m). Our Motorhome is W2780 x L8000 x H2230 internally giving a total approx area of 49.5m3. I asked him about it and he just said the one he wanted to put on wouldn’t fit and he put a like for like on it. He insisted that was all he had to do.

Check specifications here

Check more specifications here

At no time were we angry or swear etc, we simply asked questions and believe we made valid points such as why didn’t he call me to discuss options before deciding not to install the one he said he would. It was at this point he decided to yell at us to leave and walked off and slammed the door to the premises and locked it.

Did that reaction suggest he was feeling guilty about something, I guess only he could answer that!!

Here we were with a broken door handle plus an air conditioner totally unsuitable to our Motorhome. It was a Saturday and again the Monday was a Public holiday so we had to wait 3 days before we could get answers to the issues. We were ready to leave for Uluru but had to spend more unknown amount of time in Adelaide.

Before leaving, we rang CIL and told them what we knew and asked do we take possession of the Motorhome to which they said yes. So back to Rapid Bay we went for 3 more days.

Lets just say, we will never darken the doors of that company ever again and I highly recommend you don’t either.

Throughout our entire ordeal, CIL were magnificent. It’s why we were so disappointed when we had to change companies, you can read all about that here –https://indefiniteleave.com.au/caravan-motorhome-insurance/

By this time we wanted to leave Adelaide, we were pretty shattered and were looking for some positive experiences. It was also by this point we had run out of funds, nothing left, zip, zilch, zero. The stress was starting to tell. We spoke to CIL on the Tuesday and they said obviously we didn’t want to go back for them to fix the repairs and we confirmed we didn’t want them anywhere near our Motorhome. We said there was no point testing the air con in Adelaide in 22c cool weather, it will always seem cold.

So they agreed we should leave Adelaide and arrange repairs further up the road, maybe in Coober Pedy or Alice Springs. The door handle worked from the inside, just not the outside.

As we drove out of Adelaide just an hour or two…. Boom!! One of the tyres disintegrated and blew out. It was one of the rear dual wheels so we limped into the nearest town just nearby, a place you’ve probably never heard of called…..Snowtown!!

Ohhh shit……!!

Needless to say, we weren’t thinking an overnight stay here was something we were looking forward to. If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, just google Snowtown. Our headspace was already very ordinary, this felt like another blow. I kept telling myself, this is a test, the universe is asking me how much do you really want this life?

My business for reasons I couldn’t understand just wasn’t happening. I was doing a lot of work but contracts kept crashing and I was left without being paid anything for all my time and costs. Instead of the normal 1 in 5 contracts not proceeding on finance or other issues I had lost 8 out of 9 contracts while travelling. Each one that crashed was a dagger in my back and totally unexpected. Financially, we were now having to go into debt to continue.

This was when we became super awesome at travelling on a budget.

Only very few people know about this dark time we went through, that is our great friends we had met and travelled with and were keen to catch up with again. Jason, Denise and little Millie from the Facebook and Instagram page West Aussie Nomads and Mick, his wife L and their 2 boys all of whom we now proudly call great lifelong friends. We didn’t discuss details with any family or friends back home, we didn’t want to worry them when they were so far away.

Luckily we had been doing this long enough now to know there were going to be great times again, we just had to get through it.

We got ourselves to Darwin and went to see Paul who does Mobile Caravan repairs there and he was sensational. He showed us a caravan he was renovating and it was probably half the size of our Motorhome and he was putting a bigger air con in it, the B3200. Also he said he hoped the Insurers wouldn’t want him to keep the one installed in ours as it was so small he’d never use it.

Once he spoke to the Insurers and provided other really damning evidence and opinion, CIL backed us up entirely, organising the Harrier air conditioner to be installed plus replacement of the door handle and we were told the cost of it was sent back to the original repairer. Whether that is what happened I’m not privy to but it’s what we were told. Needless to say, CIL’s representative told us they were very disappointed with the original repairer.

There’s a comment made by two people within the industry that reflects so poorly on the original repairer that I’d love to share but it’s opinion and not fact, so that one you’ll have to ask me about if we meet one day.

We had the air conditioner replaced in a day, yes the solar panels had to be re-positioned but it was obviously easily done and could have been done originally, and a new door handle was installed. That was a huge relief but the Travel Gods decided we needed one more devastating blow, the time to make a call on our beautiful Golden Retriever MACKS. It was time to say goodbye.

Now we were truly shattered, our souls were basically destroyed.

Let me tell you, this is so hard to write, tears are beginning to flow as I go back in time to share with you about this horrific two month period of our life on the road. They were cruel times.

The repairs were completed and we’ve had no issues with them since. We went heavily into debt and had to spend some time back in Brisbane getting control of our finances again. Therefore we headed home for Christmas and spent 4 months focused solely on getting back on track. Just when we got back in front we had to replace the rubber membrane of our roof in the Motorhome and that blew $8000 and left us with no surplus cash once again.

It had been fun times…. not!!

We honoured MACKS in every way we could think and today the Motorhome is called Darwinny, in remembrance of her and her resting place. She will always be part of Indefinite Leave and her collar, mat and lead stay with us.

We thank our great friends we mentioned for getting us through. More importantly, we have remained mates and catch up often and they feature in our next book coming out soon. We look forward to introducing them to you.

We can’t thank Paul from Pauls Mobile Caravan Repairs enough, he really knew his stuff and couldn’t have been better to deal with. Contact Paul on 0438 120 571 if you are in Darwin and need any help.

Also we remain very thankful to CIL for what they did for us even though we are now with a different insurer.

To everyone who followed our journey on our pages and offered us a friendly comment, chatted to us, messaged us and inspired us to keep going, and there were so many, thank you, you really don’t how much you helped us through that journey of our adventure but we sure do.

Our Blog became our place where we could go, put on a brave face and share positive thoughts and get back more in return.

Now go check your Fire Extinguisher, check it is accessible, in good working condition, isn’t out of date and all of you know how to use it, it may save your vehicle or even your life.

Safe travels

Kev& Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Canon 800d – https://amzn.to/2vGuQUt – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Canon 50mm lens – https://amzn.to/2Llh4BD. This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://amzn.to/2vAtF9b. This is my all round, every day use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://amzn.to/2vAuxKZ. I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://amzn.to/2JcLDqn. My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

The new Go Pro 7 – https://amzn.to/2vyuP4X –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.
Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://amzn.to/2URtUXG. This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores. _______________________________________________________________________

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Adventurers Diary

I Can’t Do 4 Walls

I keep saying it, over and over, to anyone who asks and those willing to listen – I can’t do 4 walls again.

Although I don’t know everything about my future and I reserve the right to change my mind, after 2.5 years of living in Darwinny our Motorhome, I love it so much I don’t want it to change for my foreseeable future.

Adele is happy either way, she loves this life but could also go home. I think that’s mostly because she misses her Mum a lot and wants to be close to our sons Matt and Cameron.

During our time back home, we just had 4 months in Brisbane, we had lots of times where we were invited to friend’s places, sometimes even offered a place to stay. On a number of occasions, we received text messages from friends “I’m away for the weekend, the spare keys are under the mat, go relax in a bed and use the pool for a few days”.  We were so grateful for their offer and thoughts for us. Plus, we love that we have so many wonderful and kind friends.

When we did a housesit for my niece, it was awesome, beautiful pool, nice home, Foxtel, heaps of room to park the Motorhome. It was perfect, except I found within just a day or two I was back doing what I used to do, sit and watch TV, stay at home and not be productive. I wasn’t LIVING!!

We visited family and friends in their homes and all I see is “stuff”. The same stuff we used to have. All those possessions I thought that made me happy. Every now and then you’d blow off the dust and get a broom to the cobwebs and use my “stuff” again but for the most part it would just sit there doing nothing. Just money wasted which made us believe we needed to go back to work again week after week to fund the life everyone else has and we were copying.

Our friends and family may read this but I’m sure they’ll understand the context of what we mean. We discussed this with them anyway. While we passionately respect and love our family and friends, a house just isn’t where we’re at any more.

When my Dad passed away I found myself asking the question “there has to be more to life than work and do chores”.

We really miss our Mums, both of us have lost our Fathers now, and we miss our sons Matthew and Cameron. Also we miss our friends. I miss playing cricket and all my mates. It’s not easy to just pack up and leave and it’s even harder to stay away.

For me, my entire life of 51 years before we left was lived in Brisbane. I grew up living in the same family home, we didn’t move house even once, until I was married. Adele had lived in different places and moved around different homes, but I hadn’t. Therefore, I was very used to routine and stability. Given my personality that was probably a good thing.

We recently spent 4 months in Brisbane and the South East seeing everyone we could, pushing my business and exploring places we had never seen in our own “backyard”. I didn’t enjoy the traffic being back home in Brisbane, the hustle and bustle doesn’t do it for me now, but it’s still home and our Family are all there. Brisbane is home and always will be.

During this time back in the City was when I realised I yearned for things I learnt to love when road tripping around Oz. 3 specific things stood out that I missed.

• Sunsets
• Open fires
• The Stars at night

Nobody at home talks about seeing an amazing Sunset. There’s something special about them that we just love. The colours, the differences when there’s a cloud or fire in the distance, the different views across oceans or rivers, over barren land and between mountains or ranges. Sunsets can be so different yet all so spectacular. We just don’t appreciate them at home.

Cooking over an open fire, sitting around it with a Rum in hand and chatting to new friends, seriously, does it get any better than that.

I love waking up in the morning, getting the coals fired up again and cooking some bacon and eggs. Lighting a fire in downtown Brisvegas is a sure fire way to upset the neighbours and have the local Council issuing a huge fine.

While settled in over that fire at night, it’s so wondrous to look up and absorb the big picture. Who am I, why am I here, what else is out there, what would it be like to go to the moon, how amazing is life and how our planets work. I really enjoy looking up to the stars at night, imagining a life where I get to choose my tomorrow.

Yes, don’t box me in.

How does that song go:

Oh give me land, lots of land, and the starry skies above
Don’t fence me in
Let me ride through the wide open country that I love
Don’t fence me in…….

Did I mention, I can’t do 4 walls…..

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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