Our 12mths Expenses and Costs for Traveling Australia - Indefinite Leave
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Our 12mths Expenses and Costs for Traveling Australia

We have tracked our 12mths costs for traveling Australia and February 2017 represents 12 months since we left the safety and routine of our home and embraced life on the road. It has been 12 months with 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.

 

12 months costs for traveling Australia - Adele in Kings Park, Perth

Adele in Kings Park, Perth

Our First 12 months Traveling around Australia

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.

Fuel is just one of the costs for traveling Australia

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.

Entertainment Costs for traveling Australia included a 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.

National Parks Costs for traveling Australia are minimal
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. You can purchase our Trip Budget Calculator here>

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
Campgrounds are one of our accommodations costs for traveling Australia

Lucky Bay Campground, Cape Le Grand National Park WA

Let’s get on with our expenses.

Our 12 Months Expenses and Costs for Traveling Australia

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 traveling 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 traveling 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.

Wineries another of the costs for traveling Australia - 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

Penfolds Winery, Barossa Valley South Australia

Penfolds Winery, Barossa Valley South Australia

Accommodation $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 pre-requisite.

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.

Colourful Beach Sheds at Mornington Peninsula, Victoria

Colourful 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.

Having fun at Hannans North Tourist mine, Kalgoorlie WA

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 traveling 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.

The Great Australian Bight, South Australia

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.

Victorian Border

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.

Hannans North Tourist Mine, Kalgoorlie WA

Hannans North Tourist Mine, Kalgoorlie WA

Entertainment $13,992.31

Our plan for traveling 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.

Port Arthur, Tasmania

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.

% of our total expenditure is Travel fares

Sunset when leaving the Port in Melbourne for Tasmania

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.

Lucky Bay - One of the Campground Costs for traveling Australia

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.

Vet costs for MACKS one of the bigger costs for traveling Australia

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.

Hannans North Tourist Mine, Kalgoorlie WA

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!!

Port Arthur, Tasmania

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.

Taxis $548.59

1% of our total expenditure is taxi fares.

The Super Pit, Kalgoorlie WA

The Super Pit, 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.

Fishiing Charters one of the costs for traveling Australia

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

Richmond Bridge, Richmond Tasmania

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.

Costs for traveling Australia - Incredible rugged coastline of Port Arthur, Tasmania

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.

For our first 12mths costs traveling Australia – Our total cost of expenditure is $82,157.19.

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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Photography and Socials

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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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

Ocean Rafting the Great Barrier Reef in Whitsundays

If you want a great day out in Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays, snorkeling, visiting Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, and going on a cruise of the spectacular pristine waters of the Great Barrier Reef, then the Ocean Rafting Tour is perfect for the best day in paradise.

 

You’ll have the ride of your life!!

 

Ocean Rafting Tour - The Ride of your Life

Ocean Rafting Northern Exposure Tour

We did the Northern Exposure Tour where we had great fun snorkeling with turtles, tropical fish and exploring vibrant Coral Reefs around Hook Island.

That’s just for starters!!

 

Ride, Beach, Snorkel, Bushwalk - All in one day!

The weather wasn’t perfect on our day out, it was quite overcast but there was no way that could diminish the fun.

Ocean Rafting Snorkeling

Our Ocean Rafting tour took us to 2 special sites offering uncrowded snorkeling. Even though it was the middle of winter the water wasn’t cold. A good wetsuit definitely helps. I had my own however they are provided for everyone in the right size to suit.

 

Snorkel Whitsundays

 

It wasn’t long after leaving the Marina before we were entering the water on our first swim. This is what we liked most about this tour, the fast rafts get you everywhere quick meaning more time spent having Fun!!

 

Once you’re in the water you feel like you are in another world, hovering over the beautiful coral reef and swimming alongside large Sea Turtles. It was exciting to see some clownfish, they are quick making it hard to capture a pic.

After our awesome morning of snorkeling the next part of our day out with Ocean Rafting Tours was to step straight off the boat onto the beautiful soft 98% pure silica white sand onto Whitehaven Beach.

 

Hill Inlet

Fun at Hill Inlet

Whitehaven Beach

They are the only tour company with a special permit to access the beach inside the iconic Hill Inlet Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. This is the largest of the 74 islands that make up the Whitsunday Island Group.

 

For the next hour or more we swam in the crystal clear water and walked along the pristine beach. Then it was time for some lunch and the assortment of food was fantastic. There was a lot of variety and food suitable for all diets.

 

Read all about Reef Sleep where we slept in a swag on a Pontoon at Hardy Reef in the Great Barrier Reef.

 

 

Lunch on board the Ocean Rafting Tour

 

We had plenty of time for lunch and chilling on the beach before the grand finale of our Ocean Rafting Northern Exposure tour. We took a guided walk up to the lookout to take in the spectacular Hill Inlet from above.

 

Hill Inlet Lookout

Hill Inlet Lookout provides the most breathtaking views over the river and is Australia’s 3rd most photographed location after the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.

 

Hill Inlet Lookout

Ocean Rafting Tour pull into the beach at Hill Inlet

 

You could stand there for hours and watch the swirling patterns and colours change with the tide. The degree of freshwater with saltwater and ever changing tides creates a remarkable swirling effect with the sand.

 

The tours are usually organized in order to ensure you have the best views of Hill Inlet.

 

It is such an awesome sight to look down on the Inlet from the lookout above. It is a magnificent view we were more than happy to absorb.

 

Whitsunday Islands National Park

 

Whitsunday Islands National Park at Tongue Point was where we met the boat again.

 

There were lots of fast and furious riding of each other’s wake on the way back and some spins to finish the trip.

 

Thanks Paul and Dan for being great hosts on our Northern Exposure Tour. The Ocean Rafting tour from Airlie Beach is the best way to do it and is so much fun. They also took us to the best snorkeling we have done in the Whitsundays in recent years.

Read more information and Book your Tour here

 

With our guides from our Ocean Rafting Tour

 

The Great Barrier Reef is certainly one of the greatest wonders of the world!

 

Where to stay in the Whitsundays?

 

There are some great places to stay at Airlie Beach all within easy walking distance to restaurants, bars, shops and the beautiful Airlie Beach Lagoon.

Book your Hotel stay in the Whitsundays here>

 

For Caravan Park Accommodation:

Seabreeze Tourist Park Airlie Beach 
(our first ever video review)

Base Backpackers Airlie Beach

 

Enjoy reading more about Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays region here.

https://pin.it/52ggvyqo55wxkr

Mackay to Whitsundays so much to see and do

https://pin.it/sz6oigtwdyj6vr

 

Our Story

We are Kevin & Adele, originally from Brisbane in Queensland Australia.

Adele has visited 24 countries and since Feb 2016 we have been driving around Australia exploring all there is to see. Our passion is to assist you to plan your adventures.

 

Socials

You can find us on YouTube and follow us Facebook.

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Adventurers Diary

What it REALLY costs to Travel Australia – everything you need to budget for!!

The REAL costs to Travel Australia over 24 months

We read so many Budgets online and on travel pages but we believe ours is the most accurate and fully detailed report.  It provides all of what you need to be prepared for and to know what it really costs to travel Australia. There’s more costs than just Caravan Parks, Campgrounds, Fuel and Food. You need to Budget for all the potential costs or at least be prepared for what might happen.

We detail everything that it costs to travel Australia for us over 24 months, nothing is missed. There’s also no guesses, we keep receipts for every cent we spend and record them into a spreadsheet. We rarely pay cash for anything so it’s all able to be checked against our statements. We know exactly what it costs us to the cent.

 

Ayers Rock at Sunset on Full Moon

 

About us

We were 3 adults as our son who had just turned 23 traveled with us and we paid for almost all of his costs. After 2 years, once we got back home to Brisbane, Matt moved in to his brother’s place and from now it’s just Adele and myself however for the duration of these Expenses, Matt was with us. We drive an 8m Winnebago Motorhome RV with no tow car and therefore it was our only vehicle.

 

Fishing on Fraser Island at Sunrise

 

Kevin has run his own businesses now for 30 years and Adele did the bookkeeping for many of those years so keeping accounts and accurately recording the information is just part of our everyday life.

The difference between what we spent in the second year in comparison to the first is significant. You may be smarter and more experienced in the beginning than us and be able to keep your costs down a lot better than we did.

We are not mechanical in any way so maintaining your vehicle yourself will also save a lot on the costs we incurred to maintain ours over the 2 years.

We aren’t saying what we spent is what it will cost you, but by reviewing our Expenses you can more accurately determine how much you might need to budget for to do the Big Lap with less likelihood of running out of funds half way into your trip.

 

Aerial view of Haycock Point in Ben Boyd National Park

 

Our Trip

We spent 2 years traveling around Australia and still live in our Motorhome.

The first thing we learnt is everyone’s experience is different, no two people’s trips are the same and everyone has their own budgets and travel plans.

For us, we started out with a 2.5 year plan before going back home. We wanted to see as much as absolutely possible as we expected we wouldn’t be back.

But something happened along the way, we fell in love with the Lifestyle!!

Our Blog Indefinite Leave also grew so fast, we weren’t expecting that, and we wanted to show our followers as much of Australia as we could to inspire them to hit the road and chase their dreams. We tried to see as much as we could and present that so others could follow.

 

Stunning Hyams Beach

The cost to Travel Australia doesn't matter - we just love it!

 

Lessons we learnt

When we left Brisbane on Feb 1, 2016 we were complete and total rookies. Basically we had no idea what we were doing and just learnt along the way.

We learnt about our costs and how to manage our expenses and were able to stop staying in Caravan Parks and almost entirely Free Camp. We began catching a lot of our own food, Fish, Prawns and Squid were often filling our freezer. Eating out stopped and Pub stays, while they might be Free or low cost, you end up having a meal and some drinks and before you know it the Free Pub stay just cost $100 or more for a night. We rarely stay at Pubs or if we do, we prefer ones where we pay a small fee and there’s no expectation of having to eat or drink there.

We searched for the best value Fuel and looked to conserve fuel by reducing weight. Rather than before we left, we didn’t fill up our water tanks until we got to our destiny therefore reducing weight and better fuel economy. We continually sent back to home anything we weren’t using, clothes, tools, kitchen utensils and anything that we realised we wouldn’t need or use. If we hadn’t used it in 3-6 months the likelihood was we wouldn’t need it again.

 

Cost to Travel Australia - On Top of Australia at Mount Kosciuszko

Our Highest Costs to travel Australia

We found the Top end of Australia was the most expensive to travel for a couple of reasons.

  1. The heat had us staying in caravan parks so we could plug in to electricity for our air con.
  2. There were so many more major attractions with tours to experience. From sailing the islands off 1770, Yeppoon and Whitsundays, scenic flights over the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns and visiting the islands, staying at and seeing Lake Argyle, the incredible trip to Horizontal Falls from Broome and we didn’t even do places like Bungle Bungles which were on fire at the time we went past. We also spent a lot in Winton and especially Longreach, there’s so much to do there. For us, the south of Australia was easier to control the budget. Cool nights made Free camping easy and there was so much more choice for Free camping in the South. The sights to see weren’t nearly as hard on the budget except the cost to Tasmania and Kangaroo Island.

The more experienced we became the more we were able to reduce our costs. There are tours all over the country for Lighthouses and old Gaols to visit but once you’ve seen a few it’s hard to get excited about seeing another one. We didn’t visit any Zoo’s as we always planned to do Dubbo Zoo which we finally did near the end of the 2 year adventure. The budget frees up a bit as you go in this regard.

 

Costs to travel Australia - Sunset at Haycock Point in Ben Boyd National Park was Free

 

A couple of quick tips for traveling Oz

1.  Don’t have a washing machine

Two of the greatest issues you will face traveling Oz is space and weight and the washing machine effects both. It will use so much water and they are so small you need to do so many loads. I recently asked a Mum parked next to us as we discussed her washing machine in the caravan and they were a traveling family of parents and 3 children, How often do you wash? I was already expecting the answer and wasn’t surprised when she said, Every day!!

For us, we would prefer less washes in bigger machines and if we were doing road tripping Oz when our kids were younger that decision would be even more so.
The cost for us the whole trip to wash our clothes in Laundries and Caravan Parks turned out to be just $726 over 2 years. $360 a year ($1 a day) is a ridiculously small amount of our total overall budget and we don’t have all the issues of carting a washing machine around with us. I know many others love their washing machine, fair enough, but we don’t expect we would ever travel with one ourselves.

2.  Pets

It’s so hard to leave your pets behind, we couldn’t do it either, MACKS had to come with us. If it were for just 3-6 months we probably would have left her at home but for 12 months or more that’s a tougher decision.
Traveling Australia though is so much easier, cheaper and less restrictive without animals.
If you’re goal is to really explore the country and you have a good option where they could stay, then maybe best to leave them behind. If you know you are planning to go traveling and thinking of getting a dog, our advice would be wait until your trip is over and get your puppy then.

There’s no right or wrong decision here, just the right one for you.

 

Vet & Dog Sitting costs are one of the costs to travel Australia with a pet

 

If your plan is to travel long term then there are plenty of options to travel with your best friend and see everything there is to see. Here’s how we did it

3. Phone coverage

Telstra has the best coverage by far. If you rely on phone reception choose Telstra or possibly Boost. Optus and Vodafone are not going to be suitable if phone coverage is important for you. Our videos of everywhere we have stayed let you know what phone coverage was available.

4. Wifi

Matt managed to find lots of Free Wifi all around the country. Maccas, Cafes, Bunnings, Info centres and more.

When Caravan Parks say they have Free Wifi, it’s a miracle if it’s anything useful. Usually it’s terribly slow, very limited in the amount you can use and that’s assuming it actually works. Don’t rely on Caravan park Wifi, many of them should be ashamed of their claims of having Free Wifi.

 

Ok, let’s look at all our costs of traveling Australia over 24 months

 

What it really costs to travel Australia - Includes visits to Kimberley Rum Factory in Swan Valley

 

Groceries 🍞🍉🥪🧀

$21,999.65
That’s $916.65 per month or $211.54 per week
The last 3 months without Matt it is $1539.68 per month or $118.45 per week.

This suggests it costs $60pw each for Adele and I.

 

Takeaways 🍟🍕🌭

$3,561.61

We didn’t tend to do a lot of takeaway, we preferred to create our own meals. We would rather spend our budget on places to see.

This equates to an overall cost of $34pw for takeaway.

 

Dining Out 🍽️🍸

$6,391.69
Last 6 months $162

Like Takeaway, we didn’t dine out very often. In the last 6 months our weekly budget for Dining out was just $6.23pw.

Overall our total Dining Out expense was $61.46pw

 

Accommodation 🚎🎪♨️

$13,453.63
$18.98 Average per night

$6880.70 First 6 months
$4572.83 Second 6 months
$1310.10 Third 6 months
$690 Last 6 months. This equates to $3.79 per night 🤣🤑😴

This involved almost exclusively Free camping and staying with friends and relatives where we traveled.

As you can see, there’s considerable savings to be had on our budget by way of reduced costs in Accommodation. We could no doubt reduce our first 12 months by $3000 – $5000 now if we did it again but our budget will always be higher in the north than it is in the south.

 

Fuel is just one of the costs to travel Australia

 

Our Website and YouTube channel has 230+ videos of every Free Camp, Campground, Caravan Park, Pub Stay, Station Stay and RV Parks we stayed in across Australia.

 

Fuel

$13,163.72   58570.3
Most expensive was Kings Creek Station at Kings Canyon @ 199.9c
Uluru was 190.9c and Barkleys Homestead 179.9c
We have found United Fuel to be consistently the cheapest and almost always use them. Metro in some areas is great also.
We use the Fuel Map app to find the cheapest fuel.

Our fuel costs were probably higher than for someone towing a caravan as we always had to drive the Motorhome as opposed to being able to explore and run around town in a Car.

Our fuel costs over 2 years averages out to $126.57pw. We did approx. 55,000 kms during those 2 years.

 

Winnebago

Costs related to the Motorhome part of our vehicle was:
$5,226.39

Some of the big costs were:
$699 for a new Waeco 40L fridge that we keep in the Motorhome for our drinks
$680 for 2 new house batteries

 

Iveco

This is the Costs related to the mechanical part of the Motorhome.
$6,594.44

This includes
3 Services
8 new tyres
1 new windscreen and 1 repair
1 Radiator

Our biggest unexpected Bill shock was $2,882.80 for new Radiator, Coolant Hose and Windscreen in Perth

 

Entertainment 🏊‍♂️🎣⛰️🏝️🚁🚡

$18,429.31

We wanted to see as much of Australia as we could, have lots of fun and experience adventures so we did do quite a few tours.

First 6 months

$8,258.40 – Brisbane to Cooktown to Katherine. Included 3 fishing charters, Hummer 4wd on Fraser Island, 1770, Lady Musgrave Island, Keppel Island, Whitsundays and Cairns Scenic Flights, Kuranda Railway & Skyway and Katherine Gorge were just some of the adventures.

Sleeping in a Swag on the Great Barrier reef
13 Must do in Airlie Beach and Whitsundays
Best Things to See in Cairns

Second 6 months

$5,733.90 – Darwin to WA to Tasmania. Included Horizontal Falls, Swimming with Humpback Whales, Broome Fishing Charter, Rottnest Island
Best of Broome
Things to See and do in Darwin

Third 6 months

$2,113 – Tasmania to Great Ocean Road to Uluru to Darwin to Mt Isa. This also Includes Tasman Island Cruise and Bruny Island Cruise plus Gordon River Cruise
The Very Best Things to See and Do in Tasmania
https://youtu.be/sWDhpoK7U3A

Fourth 6 months

$2324 – Karumba to Cairns to Longreach to Murray River to Gold Coast. Incl Fishing Charter, Cobbold Gorge, Qantas Museum, Stockmans Hall of Fame, Cobb & Co Stagecoach Experience and Thompson River Cruise.

Our Highest Entertainment Costs

Our biggest adventure costs were:

$1,707 for Adele and I to go to Horizontal Falls.

$1,366 for the three of us to do Reefsleep in the Whitsundays

 

Your costs for these tours and adventures is going to be dependent upon your budget and what your plans are that you want to experience. For us these were incredible experiences that we will never forget, but they do cost money and often don’t come cheap.

 

This is our second largest expense of our adventure after food.

 

Readers who enjoyed this also read:

Our Best Free Camps

The Best Campgrounds we stayed

Our Favourite Experiences around Australia

Cost to go to Kangaroo Island

Day Trip to Fitzroy Island in Cairns

FishCosts to travel Australia included Fishing Charters in our Entertainment Expenses

Horizontal Falls was the highest tour cost while traveling Australia

 

Gas

$897
Such a small part of the budget.
We have 2 x 4kg bottles.

We find BCF works best for us, they are in most places and the cost is consistent at mostly $13.99 for our 4kg bottles.
Otherwise we check the website at https://gasbottlerefills.com/ for the cheapest local retailer.

 

Alcohol 🍾🍷🥃🍻🍸

$4,926.90

It is what it is, we do enjoy Happy Hour but aren’t big drinkers. We drink often but not a lot.
When I see Bundy Rum on special I tend to buy a few bottles and I buy Cider by the carton. Adele is happy drinking the $5 bottles of wine.

Cost is $47.37pw

 

MACKS, our dog  

$3,373.04 in vet and medications etc

Sadly we had to let her go 14th June 2017 so no costs since then.
She did make it for 16 months of our trip.

 

Dog Sitting

$959

We used Dog Sitters wherever possible to allow us to visit National Parks and do tours wherever we wanted to go.

Read about travelling Australia with a dog
Read my tribute to MACKS

 

Gorge Tours were part of our Entertainment Cost to Travel Australia

 

Adele’s Nails

$959

Some things a girl just has to do lol

 

Clothes

$2,488.41

We bought some new clothes along the way as we needed. We took very little winter gear with us as we spent the first 12 months in hot conditions but Tasmania quickly meant some winter shopping was required.

$23.93pw was spent on clothing

 

Fishing

New rods, tackle, bait and gear
$1,452.90

$13.97 pw was spent of fishing.

 

Laundry

$726
This is such a small cost. We started with a washing machine, never used it, found it way too small to wash our clothes yet takes space and becomes a weight issue. Also commits you to staying at places that cost money to access so much water. We use Laundries and find it easy to do.

Our laundry costs were $6.98pw

 

National Parks

$250
Such a minuscule cost. Don’t worry about the cost for Kakadu, just do it, it’s amazing and a very small amount when looking at your total expenses to travel.

 

Medical

$1,401.05

It’s inevitable that you will need some medical supplies along the way. There was also a Dentist visit for a toothache. This includes Adele’s regular prescription medication.

$13.47pw is our cost for medical attention along the way over the 2 years.

 

Miscellaneous

$2,909.52

This is the lots of little things you buy along the way. On their own they don’t cost much but then they all add up. Batteries, presents, sunscreen, insect sprays, a new camp chair, bits of hardware and the list goes on.

This is an expense of $27.98pw

 

Adele under the Adels Grove Sign

 

Hair & Beauty

$370.90

Adele looks after her own hair so no extravagant costs there and Kevin has no hair, definitely no contribution from him!!

 

Our Total Costs to travel Australia

Total amount = $109,534.16

Total average per week = $1,053.21

 

How to reduce your costs to travel Australia

In summary, could you do it cheaper, Absolutely!! Your costs to travel Australia could be much lower!

 

As mentioned, we could probably shave $3000-5000 off our first 12 months accommodation if we did it now.

With more mechanical and handyman skills than I have you could save a lot of what I spent on servicing and repairs.

You could choose not to do the tours and fishing charters but most of them were our greatest highlights of the adventure so far. So many memories.

If you don’t have a dog you would save almost $4500 on our costs.

You may save a little on us in fuel if you are towing a caravan or camper trailer as you would have your vehicle to drive around in. If you’re in a Campervan (Whizzbang) you’d likely save a lot more than us in fuel.

 

There it is, our complete guide on what expenses are involved. We hope this helps you in your research and planning of your trip.

Safe travels and please say Hello if you see us on the road.

Our Story

We are Kevin & Adele, originally from Brisbane in Queensland Australia.

Adele has visited 24 countries and since Feb 2016 we have been driving around Australia exploring all there is to see. Our passion is to assist you to plan your adventures.

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Photography

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

A Day Trip to Fitzroy Island in Cairns

While staying in the beautiful North Queensland city of Cairns, Fitzroy Island is the idyllic Tropical Island paradise for a Day Trip.  We were celebrating our anniversary, the August weather was perfect and it’s just a short boat ride and a great day trip from Cairns Harbour. Perfect!!

Fitzroy Island – A perfect Day Trip from Cairns

The idea of a fun day snorkeling and swimming on the Great Barrier Reef while enjoying cocktails and a great lunch at Foxy’s Bar was exactly what we were looking for. Adele had a Mango Weiss Bar cocktail while I enjoyed an Expresso Martini. Our friend Denise enjoyed an Echo Gecko!

Green Island Vs Fitzroy Island

We tossed up between Green Island vs Fitzroy Island and finally decided Fitzroy offered more for us and we are so glad we did. The island is a registered National Park and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is metres from the beach providing an amazing snorkeling opportunity.

 

Indefinite Leave on Fitzroy Island

Indefinite Leave on Fitzroy Island for the day

Fitzroy Island Ferry

We booked and paid for our full day trip to Fitzroy Island plus our friends joined us for the fun day of vitamin D and Sea. The full day trip starts with a 45 minute ride on the Fitzroy Island Ferry which allows you around 5 hours of free time to enjoy your day on Fitzroy Island before the return trip to Cairns.

Fitzroy Island Glass Bottom Boat

Our friends also chose the Glass Bottom Boat as part of their day trip package but we had just done a Scenic Flight tour so were keen to go snorkeling for the day. It turned out we were glad they did as they provided us some great snorkeling information.

 

A day Trip to Fizroy Island

Leaving behind Cairns and our wake

Foxy’s Bar and Nudey Beach

Once you arrive on the jetty you have the choice to go left or right. We went right and given it was our anniversary we started out with a celebratory Cocktail at Foxy’s Bar. What better way is there to start a great day right?

Next we made our way along the walking path through the rainforest looking for Nudey Beach. Despite its name Nudey Beach is not clothing optional but it is voted as one of Australia’s most spectacular beaches. Our first look at the beach was a massive wow moment.

 

Cocktails on our Day Trip to Fitzroy Island

Nudey Beach on Fitzroy Island

Cocktails first then it was on to Nudey Beach

Fitzroy Island Snorkeling

It didn’t take me long to begin snorkeling and enjoying the clear turquoise waters of this pristine location. The others simply relaxed on the beach and enjoyed the tranquility.

 

Adele relaxing on Nudey Beach

Adele relaxing on Nudey Beach

Once we finished swimming we both took a walk along the beach. We were in awe of this spectacular beach with the stunning views.

Fitzroy Island Turtles

Remember I mentioned our friends gave us some great snorkeling information. They had spotted Green Sea Turtles close to shore so we had lunch and ventured up for a look. We walked back past the Jetty to the other side and to the end of the beach where we jumped straight in for another snorkel and it didn’t take long to see what they had in the Glass Bottom Boat.

 

Turtle spotting

Turtle spotting on Fitzroy Island

There were numerous big Turtles in the water just metres from the beach. It was a thrill to encounter them and enjoy time watching them feeding and swimming in the shallow waters.

Fitzroy Island is also home to the Fitzroy Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre which officially opened in early 2013 and this world-class facility has raised the success rate for the rehabilitation of the turtles from 30% – 80%. Educational Tours are held on Fitzroy Island every day at 1pm except Fridays when the Vet visits.

 

 

As the day began to fade we spent time on the beach, playing on the swing under the trees, walking across the rock ledge and absorbing an amazing time on another gorgeous Queensland day.

 

Swinging for our Anniversary

 

How long does it take to get there?

The Ferry trip over was 45 minutes, cruising out of the Cairns Marina, along the Cairns coastline and past various beaches and boats to Fitzroy Island. We had great weather, smooth ride over and a mostly calm ride back in the afternoon.

 

Plenty of place to relax

Tropical Island Paradise

Plenty of places to relax on Fitzroy Island

What is there to do on Fitzroy Island?

  • Take the walking tracks for a hike across the island
  • You can hire a canoe or kayak or have a try at Stand Up Paddle boarding
  • Go snorkeling and swimming on the many beaches
  • Play on the ocean trampoline out in the middle of the water
  • Swim with the turtles just metres from the beach
  • Enjoy nature within the National Park
  • Sunbake on the beach or just relax on your towel
  • As an optional extra ride in the Glass Bottom Boat
  • Visit the Fitzroy Island Turtle Rehabilitation Centre – Educational tours daily at 1pm (except Friday)

We can also recommend Foxy’s Bar for some drinks and food to eat.

 

Our friends brought their 4yo daughter who had a fantastic time, so it’s a great day for children too.

 

Beautiful turquoise waters on Fitzroy Island

Beautiful turquoise waters on Fitzroy Island

How much does it cost and where can I book?

For the cost to do our day trip to Fitzroy Island simply follow this link and book your day on the Ferry to the island plus all the adventures you would like to enjoy. We found the Ferry times gave us more time on the island which suited us.

 

Some of the activities on the island are an extra cost such as hiring the Stand Up Paddle Board, Kayaks and Canoes. We were there in mid winter and therefore didn’t need my wetsuit but for most of the year it is very advisable to wear one. You can hire them there along with snorkeling gear if you don’t have your own.

 

Kev & Adele on the boat after the awesome Day Trip to Fitzroy Island

How to get there?

Cairns is in Far North Queensland and is approximately 1680 kms from Brisbane.

Flights are available from most of the major airlines and it is about a 2 and a half hour flight from Queensland’s capital city.

 

Where to stay in Cairns?

There are some great places to stay along the Cairns waterfront within easy walking distance to restaurants, bars, markets, shops and the fabulous Cairns Esplanade Lagoon.

Book your Hotel stay here

 

Cairns Caravan Park Accommodation

When looking for Caravan Park accommodation, we have stayed at a number of parks in Cairns during each of our stays. Simply click on the link to check out our video review on each.

Cool Waters Holiday Park

First City Caravilla Caravan Park

Lake Placid Tourist Park

Cairns Holiday Park

Plus the Babinda Rotary Park Rest Area  just near Cairns is a great free camp!

 

Things to See and Do in Cairns

There are so many things to see and do in Cairns. We can highly recommend these tours and attractions in and around Cairns but these are just three of the many tour options available:

So if you are looking for more information on Cairns and if you are doing the drive from Townsville to Cairns, you may enjoy reading these blogs:

Things to See and Do in Cairns.

Driving from Townsville to Cairns

 

 

We are Kevin & Adele, originally from Brisbane in Queensland Australia.

Adele has visited 24 countries and since Feb 2016 we have been driving around Australia exploring all there is to see. Our passion is to assist you to plan your adventures.

You can find us on YouTube and follow us Facebook.

 

_____________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

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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