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Adventurers Diary

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

The 7 Towns in Australia we could Live

The 7 towns in Australia we fell in love with and could live.

As you make your way around the country there’s always going to be places you fall in love with and think “I could live here”. A place that you find that just resonates with you.

For some people it happens. When we first started considering traveling we followed a family called This is our Australia. They got to 1770/ Agnes Water and loved it so much they bought 5 acres and set up stumps there. They have been living there now since 2015.

7 Towns in Australia we could live

1770 Lark

Lots of people sell up before they go with the view to finding their new abode, far away from where they lived before they left.

We aren’t looking to settle anywhere else other than Brisbane at this stage, in fact we haven’t even contemplated stopping but it hasn’t stopped us from falling in love with a few places around the country.

Places we fell in love with but could not necessarily live

There are lots of other places we have loved, many of them, but they aren’t ones we would necessarily live. Broome for example is awesome as is Exmouth, we loved Darwin and Bruny Island was magic, but we couldn’t live in any of them.

Hill Inlet

Hill Inlet Whitsundays

When we were in Hervey Bay I wondered if I’d live there. I could picture having a boat and spending a lot of time out in it there. I said to Adele “could you ever see us retire here”. The answer from Adele was simple – No….

These are the places where we felt we would fit in to the culture, love the people and the beaches, it felt stress free and we really could embrace the lifestyle.

These are the 7 towns in Australia we could live after traveling over the last 4 years!!

Beautiful Sandhills at Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach

Rainbow Beach, Queensland

Where is it?

Rainbow Beach is the Gateway to magnificent Fraser Island. 67kms East of Gympie, it is a 2.5 hour drive from our hometown of Brisbane.

Why do we love Rainbow Beach?

It’s close to Brisbane, which is a big attraction, plus it is small with no traffic and no traffic lights. The beach is stunning and the Coloured Sandhills are beautiful.

Fraser Island is 10 minutes and a 15 minute barge trip away. Noosa is a 1 hour beach drive away.

Rainbow Beach has an excellent pub, a Surf Life Savers Club overlooking the beach and a yummy ice cream parlour. What more does one need?

What might stop us living at Rainbow Beach?

It’s a little more expensive to live here as it is mainly a tourist town. Fuel costs more and there’s no major grocery chain.

Approximately 1200 people live in Rainbow Beach but that goes to over 24,000 during holiday season. Midges can be a problem but that’s going to be a potential issue at any beachside town.

It is very small town and in the long run we might get bored and need more variety.

All up, a very high probability.

Our livability rating: 8

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Airlie Beach Lagoon

Airlie Beach, Qld

Where is it?

As if Airlie Beach needs any introduction. World renowned for the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach is a short 30 minute drive East of Proserpine and a 2 hour, 150km, drive north of Mackay in North Queensland.

What do we love about Airlie Beach?

I could move to the Whitsundays tomorrow!! It is very high on our list of the 7 Towns in Australia we could live!

Wow, what a magical place. We have been to the Whitsundays a few times even before our road trip and now back twice more and it is just sensational. We had our Honeymoon at Airlie Beach and it continues to be a special place for us, the incredible natural beauty is very difficult to beat.

I could easily move here, buy a boat and jet ski, set up a YouTube channel and just explore every island, every beach and fish all day long.

There are 74 islands in the Whitsundays and I could happily spend the rest of my days exploring each and every one of them.

There’s plenty to do here and it’s big enough to have good infrastructure of major shops. There’s only one or two sets of lights, not too much traffic but a lifestyle that would be so amazing.

What might stop us living at Airlie Beach?

It’s a 12 hour, 1100km drive from Airlie Beach to Brisbane. It’s just too far from our Mums.

Airlie Beach has been hit by several very damaging Cyclones over the years, the most recent being Cyclone Debbie in 2017 that caused $3.5b damage in damage and killed 14 people.

Did we mention we love Airlie Beach!! 🙂

Our livability rating: 8+

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The Margaret River Chocolate Co.

Margaret River Chocolate Co.

Margaret River, Western Australia

Where is it?

Margaret River is a small town in a beautiful region 277kms south of Perth in Western Australia.

What do we love about Margaret River?

This is a stunning region mostly recognised for it’s amazing wineries. There are also superb beaches, stunning tall forests and cave systems that make it unique and a genuinely great place to live.

We love the vibe and it’s potential for further growth.

Our great mates from West Aussie Nomads now live there too which is a bonus.

What might stop us living in Margaret River?

Too far from home.

Too cold in winter.

I don’t imagine we will ever live in Margaret River but we will definitely visit there for some long stays in the future.

Our livability rating: 7.5

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Portland in victoria

Portland Marina

Portland, Victoria

Where is it?

Portland is 100kms from the western end of the Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

What do we love about Portland?

We really enjoyed Portland, a beautiful seaside town where everyone seems very friendly. The fishing looks great and it’s so relaxing.

It’s a laid back town where nothing happens in too much of a hurry. We felt relaxed and enjoyed the towns atmosphere.

The wildlife around Portland is superb and there’s so much to see within the region.

What might stop us living at Portland?

Weather!! Way too cold for way too long. Not a place for us Queenslanders!!

Like Margaret River, it’s just too far from family in Brisbane. A great location and we hope to visit again in the future.

Our livability rating: 7

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South West Rocks is one of 7 towns in Australia we could live

South West Rocks

South West Rocks, NSW

Where is it?

South West Rocks is in the mid north coast of New South Wales, half way between Brisbane and Sydney.

What do we love about South West Rocks?

This was very much our kind of town. We love that is has every kind of water course covered. There’s a great Surf beach, Rocks walls with stunning rock pools, a glorious Bay, a River system and a Creek.

Every type of swimming, fishing, surfing, snorkeling and diving is covered.

It’s big enough to have a Coles but there are no traffic lights. It has good growth potential and if you love the ocean it’s a magical place to be.

Due to Ocean current flows which bring warm water from the tropical regions the ocean water temperatures are relatively warm all year round.

Hat Head is close by and a genuinely beautiful location too.

Out of the 7 Towns in Australia we could live, this equally rates the highest with Airlie Beach. We could easily live at South West Rocks.

What might stop us living at South West Rocks?

The distance to Brisbane.

We really enjoyed South West Rocks and it is definitely high on our list of 7 towns in Australia we could live in. We potentially could very happily retire there when we get old 🙂

Our livability rating: 8+

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1770 - 7 towns in Australia we could live

1770 Sunset

1770/ Agnes Water, Qld

Where is it?

The towns of 1770 and Agnes Water are just 5 minutes apart. They are located half way to the north of Bundaberg and south of Gladstone in Queensland.

What do we love about 1770/ Agnes Water?

Without doubt the best sunsets on the East Coast of Australia are at 1770. Only Moreton Island gets close.

Agnes Water is the last location north in Queensland to have surf beaches. We do love it here and it’s so close to major cities of Bundaberg and Gladstone.

It’s a fantastic little town with no traffic lights, superb fishing and a great culture.

1770/ Agnes Water would be high on the list of locations we could live.

What might stop us living at 1770/ Agnes Water?

Midges would be an issue, they can be bad here.

It’s a very small community, we might get bored.

There’s not a lot of infrastructure. You need to go to Bundaberg or Gladstone to get a lot of major supplies and trade assistance.

Our livability rating: 8

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7 towns in Australia we could live - Narooma

Narooma

Narooma, NSW

Where is it?

Narooma is in the South Coast of NSW approx. 200kms from the NSW/ Victoria border.

What do we love about Narooma?

There are a lot of places we have loved in southern NSW, Bermagui and Pambula are just 2 others but for us Narooma and Dalmeny were sensational. Narooma is another beachside town with a spectacular river, fantastic fishing and a great atmosphere.

We really enjoyed our tour to Montague Island which was fascinating. We also enjoyed the local little towns such as Tilba Tilba and Bodalla.

Only 5 minutes north is the beautiful sea side town of Dalmeny Beach which we also really enjoyed.

There is so much beauty in this area, lots to do and see and the people were so friendly.

What might stop us living at Narooma?

Too far from home.

Too cold in winter.

Our livability rating: 7.5

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There they are, in no particular order, the 7 towns in Australia we could live in and happily retire to.

What would be your happy place to move to if you did?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography & Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2upyEfM – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2GoBt37 – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lenses – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RL7CY7  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/2ve3w2Z This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/37pCAM9 – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RpOJed  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  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://ebay.to/37oKkhb  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.

___________________________________________________________________________

Where to Find Us

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indefinite_leave/

Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

___________________________________________________________________________

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

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Adventurers Diary

The Forgotten Travelers

There’s an enormous Impact on the Forgotten Travelers around Australia.

At any one time it is estimated there are normally between 100,000 to 120,000 people traveling around Oz.

They are driving in 4wd’s and Caravans, Motorhomes, Fifth Wheelers, Camper trailers, Campervans (whizz bangers), tents, swags or simply in their vehicle. The range of options on how we do it varies.

Whatever the setup is that we have, it’s our home. It’s our sanctuary and we love it.

The Forgotten Travelers

Sandfire Roadhouse WA Checkpoint March 2020

Styles of Travelers

It’s the same with the different styles of traveler.

Many go on holidays, taking time off work to visit a location or region and enjoy a great time wherever they choose. Often it’s with the family during school holidays or whenever time off work is available.

Others take a bit more time, usually a few months at a time and go out and explore regions over short periods before heading back home and getting ready for another adventure sometime later. Once the home maintenance is done, the grandkids have been visited these travelers will head back out again and spend another few months on the road before heading back home.

The majority of travelers would fit those scenarios and are fortunate enough to have their home to return to any time they desire.

The Forgotten Traveler

Quick Run…. the virus is coming!!

With all that is happening right now in this crazy situation of Covid-19 the entire world has found itself in, we have what I believe are The Forgotten Travelers.

The Forgotten Travelers Living on the Road

These are the guys who are Living on the Road.

They are out there doing their Big Lap, for commonly 1 year, maybe longer. They live in their Caravans and Motorhomes.

Then there are those that are more like us at Indefinite Leave. These guys are traveling and exploring over an even longer, extended period of time with no set date at the moment. When it will all end hasn’t been decided.

Social Distancing at Lucky Bay would be ideal

Social Distancing Fail

Living on the Road to Survive

Then there’s the most vulnerable, the ones who through life’s twists and turns, bad choices and bad luck, find themselves with the only option but to live on the road, with no assets, no funds, no home, just their fortnightly pension to try and survive.

In each of these scenarios these Forgotten Travelers have no home. They either had no home, Sold their home or it is Rented and unavailable.

Online discussion and in general talk there has been little to no empathy or even a willingness to understand the plight of this marginal part of society.

The Forgtten Traveler

Low risk of Coronavirus here

Varying Reports

Life is a lot easier from the Ivory Tower, sitting on a lounge chair, drinking a chardy and watching the nightly news dissect every angle from many so called experts all willing to have an opinion. The more wild and outlandish comments the “specialist” is willing to make, the better.

After all the Media are in the business of creating fear.

Now don’t go presuming I’m downplaying the facts of what’s happening. This is extremely serious!! But when the news have people saying this is going to last 12-18 months, like one headline I saw the other day, it is beyond absurd. No one knows that, it’s speculative and designed to create fear because that’s what keeps people watching, listening to and reading the news.

That’s just one example of many.

Also don’t think I’m encouraging anyone to travel unnecessarily. Quite frankly I think the shutdowns and closures in Australia have been too slow and instead of getting in front of the issue the dog has just kept chasing it’s tail.

We have been reactive instead of proactive.

No fear of getting too close to this big fella

No Social Distancing issues here

I can’t control that however and we rely on those we elected to make these decisions.

So let’s be clear, I believe and encourage no–one to participate in non-essential travel of any kind. Stay inside and Stay healthy. Simple….

The Difficulty for The Forgotten Travelers

But back to my point, there’s a whole group of Forgotten Travelers out there that are finding this extremely difficult to do. Through no fault of their own they find themselves in a foreign position in a foreign location with chaos all around them.

We have received Messages, Phone calls and Feedback directly from hundreds of people traveling Australia who are genuinely over-stressed, frightened and scared, who are currently facing a dilemma not of their making who are confused and don’t know what to do.

The Forgotten Traveler

Police Roadblocks WA

Essential Travel

Just this morning I received a phone call from someone who has to get from Perth to Darwin. I’m not going to discuss their personal position, that’s not my place, but the reality is he must do this trip. He’s on his own, he is his wife’s registered carer and she and the kids are in Darwin. There is a lot more to the story which I won’t divulge here.

His feedback to me was the people commenting online are making life so much harder for him. He said there is so much bad information being spread that for someone like him who has to complete essential travel, the speculation in groups and forums has created so much stress for him and his family..

As of right now he has driven Perth to the Sandfire Roadhouse where there are roadblocks and he will need to sign forms to continue. He said there are hardly any other vehicles on the road, mostly just some road trains, a few trucks and mining vehicles.

His words to me were, I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to drive thousands of kms on my own, with the unknown of what to expect with roadblocks, in 41c heat. Usually he said people are nice but he has been treated nastily several times. He just wants to be with his family. He is tired, he is stressed, he doesn’t want to get sick.

Going Home is not an option

Others who are trying to do the right thing and stay in one place and self isolate are contacting us too. After they’ve settled in they have received news that the Caravan Park is closing and they have to leave. Now they have to pack up and find somewhere else to stay and it’s not easy. So many places are closing and other places to stay are impractical.

Some of those exact people are the ones who are at greatest risk. They have low immune systems, they may be elderly and some who have contacted us are solo female travelers and they have genuine reasons to be fearful.

Telling them to go Home isn’t an option. In fact, it is ill informed and ignorant.

Lorikeets enjoying some grapes

Shouldn’t you two be further apart

Where do The Forgotten Travelers Go?

People are telling us, they’ve pulled up in Campgrounds, Caravan Parks and Free Camps with the intent of staying until it’s all over, only to be told it’s closing down. They have to move!!

They don’t want to go, they don’t want to travel, they don’t want to have to try and find a new place to stay. One thing is for sure, they don’t want to be told online to Go Home……

Time for Kindness and Compassion

Times like now brings out the Best and Worst in people. Right now we get to choose the type of person we want to be!!

It’s in these moments we need to be more kind then ever. We need to be less judgmental than ever. We need to take off our comfy slippers and put on the shoes of the other person.

Yes we need to stay inside. Yes we need to stay home. Clearly the very vast majority of people are doing that.

If someone says they are taking their family for a holiday over Easter and stuff what everyone else thinks then go for your life, they deserve public pressure.

But don’t assume anything, not everyone is traveling with no good reason. Of the very very few people out there right now on the road, the majority of them would be just trying to find their safe place. Their travel is probably forced upon them and they are doing their best.

Relaxing on the pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef

Pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef is isolation

Support for the Forgotten Travelers

There are people out there who don’t have a house, don’t have any base to go “home” to, who are the opposite side of the country to their family, who are frightened and unsure of what to do. They are lonely and struggling to deal with what is happening. State borders have closed around them.

They don’t need to be abused, they need support. What they do need are offers for a place to stay. They need help and to know that us as a traveling community and family are there for each other.

Telling these people to Go Home, Stay inside or Self isolate isn’t the answer. Even the worlds most remote humans and recluses would have the message by now. We all know it’s time to lock ourselves in front of the TV but for a small few, those aren’t luxuries they have available to them at this moment.

Our 22 Best Free Camps in Australia

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

Rapid Bay Campground, South Australia

McGauran Beach

This looks a safe place

Message to the Forgotten Travelers

To those Forgotten Travelers, the Full timers still on the road I do have this message. It is still your responsibility to do the same as everyone else and exercise Social distancing and Self isolation. We are hearing that Wilks Park in Wagga is being closed and there were problems with the people there still enjoying Happy Hour together and other activities.

This has been commented to us from Caravan Parks also where travelers have been told they will be evicted if they continue to interact.

It is as vital that you follow protocol as much as everyone else in society, please follow the guidelines and remain in your “home”.

Let’s chill out on The Forgotten Travelers!!

Stay well

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography & Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2upyEfM – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2GoBt37 – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RL7CY7  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/2ve3w2Z This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/37pCAM9 – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RpOJed  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  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://ebay.to/37oKkhb  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.

___________________________________________________________________________

Where to Find Us

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indefinite_leave/

Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

___________________________________________________________________________

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

Continue Reading

Adventurers Diary

Discover the Best of Portland

Just beyond the Great Ocean Road in Victoria traveling west is the small beach side town of Portland. It was here we spent 6 fabulous nights to enable us to fully explore the region and discover the best of Portland. What an amazing location we found it to be, there are so many things to see and do!

This is one of those few towns we have been to where we could picture ourselves living and certainly somewhere we will revisit in the future.

The Portland weather was great to us and we enjoyed beautiful sunny skies and good weather. March and April may just be the best months to visit before the really cold weather sets in.

Discover the Best of Portland

Portland Marina

Discover the Best of Portland at the Port

Portland has a large, deep, sea port and is currently a major timber and wood chip exporting location. The Port of Portland is a great way to discover the best of Portland. Watching the trucks at the Port being unloaded of the wood chip cargo is eerie when you watch for the first time. The trucks are raised high into the air to an almost upright 72 degree angle until all the cargo is released. It is fascinating to watch and it would be interesting to know how those trucks are locked in.

Each truck only takes a few minutes to unload. A new truck enters the Port every 30 seconds, 7 days a week. They unload products including logs, wood chips, aluminium ingots, livestock, grain and fertiliser.

A large fishing fleet occupies the Marina with Rock Lobsters, Abalone, Fish and Squid all bountiful and caught in the beautiful local waters. It’s a busy wharf with lots of activity.

The Jetty’s and Pontoons are perfect fishing grounds for land based fisherman and the rock walls are home to a variety of fish. Snorkeling and spear fishing are very popular here.

Portland Camping

For our accommodation at Portland we stayed at the Henty Park Campground which is behind the Portland Cable Tram Station. The Tram takes you on a 7km journey around the town and is mostly run by volunteers. The Campground is a free 48 hour stay for vehicles which are self contained and became a great location for us to make new friends and a great base to discover the best of Portland and nearby beaches.

We also had one night at the Sawpit Picnic Area just out of town to break up our stay at Henty Park.

Here are Our 22 Best Free Camps in Australia

The beach at Cape Bridgewater

Beautiful Cape Bridgewater Beach

Cape Bridgewater

A short 15 minute drive out of town is Cape Bridgewater, one of the best beaches in the region. It is as good as anywhere with beautiful white sand, clear blue waters with waves rolling in on a calm day. It was here I attempted to go surfing with my Cousin Tim and his wife Amy, only my second ever attempt. Alas, at least I tried.

There are so many awesome beaches around Australia, here are our 3 lists of Best Beaches –

1. The Best Beaches in Australia 1-10

2. The Best Beaches in Australia 11-20

3. The Best Beaches in Australia 21-30

Snorkeling with the seals on the Seal by Sea tour

In the water on the Seal by Sea tour

Seal by Sea Tour

We also completed the Seal by Sea Tour at Cape Bridgewater and this would have to be our best value for money tour on our trip so far. You will discover the best of Portland by sea for just $40 per adult. They will take you along the rugged coastline to view the cliff faces to the first of several large Seal colonies.

Then they took us further up to the tip where we witnessed big NZ Fur Seals and a few Australian Seals before heading back to the first group of Seals where they have a shark cage located. For an extra $20 they provide Wet suits and snorkeling gear to allow you to swim with the Seals. We were all very keen and jumped into the waters to engage with the Seals.

The Seals were otherwise occupied though and didn’t come to us in the cage so we asked could we go out of the cage. The guide said we could but it would be at our own risk. “Risk of what” we asked? “Great Whites” he said!! Without hesitating we all jumped into the water anyway and for almost an hour we swam with the Seals. The Seal Pups were so inquisitive and would come right up to us, sometimes stopping in front of us to take a look.

Watch our videos of us swimming with the seals:

Seal by Sea Tours are still just $40 but they now have new snorkeling tours. Book the trip we did or view their new tours at their website – http://www.sealsbyseatours.com.au/

Adele patting a koala in the wild for the first time

Cape Bridgewater Koala

Our First Koala Encounter in the Wild

Heading back from Cape Bridgewater we were surprised to find a Koala beside the road. We stopped to ensure he didn’t venture onto the road and were amazed when he came over to Adele allowing her to pat him. The Koala was surprisingly friendly and then it took off heading for our Motorhome. At first we thought he was looking to hitch a ride but eventually we got him into the bushes away from the road.

Discover the Best of Portland

Amy Surfing

Discover the Best of Portland

Tim Surfing

Blacknose Point

Blacknose Point is a very popular surfing spot at Portland and our cousin and his wife got out the surfboards and headed in for a paddle. We sat on the rocks and enjoyed watching them in action and managed to capture some great photos.

This time I left it to the experts, my training wheels are still on at this stage!!

Discover the Best of Portland

Portland Wind Farm

Portland Wind Farm

The Portland Wind Farm is one of the largest in Australia. These huge wind turbines generate electricity from the wind. This one in Portland produces 500 GWh annually, enough electricity to power approximately 125,000 homes each year or over 7% of Victoria’s annual power.

Discover the Best of Portland

Petrified Forest

Petrified Forest

Just past the Wind Farm is the Petrified Forest. The formation of the Petrified forest is a collection of hollow tubes of Limestone called “solution pipes”. These have been eroded over millions of years of rainfall. Water gathers in a shallow pan of sand and seeps downwards dissolving the Limestone. The mineral saturated water then cements the sand, forming hard, trunk shaped pipes. Some of these pipes can be up to 20m high.

Portland is approximately 200kms from the South Australian border in the south west of Victoria. It’s a great place to stop with lots of shops, excellent accommodation for a weary traveler and the people of Portland are very friendly. The winter months do get very cold so the peak tourist season is usually from October to May each year.

The Great Ocean Road begins about 120kms East of Portland just past the town of Warrnambool.

Some other great places to stay along the Great Ocean Road are:

Anglesea Beachfront Caravan Park

Marengo Holiday Park

Have you been or are you yet to discover the best of Portland? Tell us about your time in Portland?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2upyEfM – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2GoBt37 – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lenses – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RL7CY7  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/2ve3w2Z This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/37pCAM9 – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RpOJed  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  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://ebay.to/37oKkhb  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.

___________________________________________________________________________

Where to Find Us

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indefinite_leave/

Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

___________________________________________________________________________

This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

Continue Reading

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