Who to choose for Caravan and Motorhome Insurance!! - Indefinite Leave
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Adventurers Diary

Who to choose for Caravan and Motorhome Insurance!!

Caravan Motorhome Insurance

Who should your Caravan, Motorhome or Fifth Wheeler Insurance  be with?

Choosing a suitable Caravan, Motorhome or Fifth Wheeler Insurance is an important decision to make for travelers. We recently had to deal with the Insurance renewal of our Motorhome, and what an experience!! 50% increased premium, 150% increased Excess and an undervalued Agreed Value.

 

Caravan Motorhome Insurance

 

Caravan Motorhome Insurance has become one of the most common discussions amongst travelers with lots of options and differing types of insurance.

It generates more discussion than who the selectors will choose for Cricket’s next Ashes Test of summer. And it’s just as complicated.

When we think of insurance the primary details most of us are looking at are:-

  • The cost
  • Excess
  • The value our vehicle is insured for
  • How much our Contents are covered for

 

Border Quarantine Stop at Ceduna

 

Of course once we understand those points there’s so much more detail and that’s where you might think the different cost of premiums can be explained.

  • What will happen if I need to be towed?
  • What if we need accommodation and another vehicle or costs to get back home?

A couple from Melbourne were recently traveling in the Kimberley’s region when the wife became seriously ill. She had to be flown to Perth Hospital and they were unlikely to be able to continue the trip. This posed many issues and if something similar were to happen to you, how would your insurer support you?

 

Caravan Motorhome Insurance - Motorhome cleaning

CIL Caravan Motorhome Insurance

As mentioned, we recently had our Motorhome Insurance come up for renewal.

Our Insurer for our first 2 years traveling has been CIL and we really couldn’t fault them, they were superb and we were very happy to remain with them. We’d had 3 claims during that time and CIL were superb throughout and even supported us against a very poor and dodgy practice by one repairer in Adelaide.

Our original policy cost $1415 per year for 2 years and with the claims we had we did expect an increase when we came up for renewal. This policy included a basic excess of $200 and an agreed value of the Motorhome at our purchase price.

You can read about the purchase of our Motorhome here

 

Caravan Motorhome Insurance

 

Our CIL policy renewal

On November 10th 2017 our Policy was due for renewal and we received notice for our renewal cost, it was $2108, an increase of 49%.

It also includes a 150% increase in the Excess, from $200 to $500. Our agreed value was also significantly below what we believe to be it’s true value. Someone show me where you can by a 2009 Winnebago Esperance with the same features as ours for less than $100,000?

We contacted CIL to discuss it but they were clear, they don’t price match and they were not going to negotiate.

 

Other readers who read this also enjoyed:

Our 22 Best Free Camps in Australia
Our 21 Best Free or Low Cost Campgrounds in Australia
Coledale Camping Reserve, Coledale NSW
Traveling Australia is Far More than just Adventures
What it Really costs to Travel Australia

 

Caravan Motorhome Insurance - Coles Bay Tasmania

 

It was obvious we needed to check with other Caravan Motorhome Insurance Companies and Ken Tame seemed to always be the other popular choice so we contacted them. We were honest and provided full disclosure of our previous claims and answered all their questions. They came back to us at $1894, over $300 cheaper than CIL. The Excess would also still be $200 as we were used to. They also offered agreed valued at what we originally paid for Darwinny our Motorhome.

Ken Tame did require us to join CMCA.

Even with this, Adele was keen to stay with CIL. Our relationship with them was excellent and we knew they would support us when, or if, we needed it. Adele felt that was worth the difference.

Finding out about Arthur J Gallagher for Caravan Motorhome Insurance

We had just arrived in Canberra and that afternoon we were contacted by Julie and Warwick who followed us on our Facebook page and they offered for us to come and stay with them. The next day while chatting we discussed insurance and they suggested talking to Arthur J Gallagher. We contacted them and spoke to Ronda who was fantastic and once again we provided full information of our insurance history and all the required details.

Ronda immediately sent us through a quote, which came in at $1196, a saving of $912.

CIL’s quote is almost 78% more than Arthur J Gallagher.

Plus, our Excess remains at $200 and they too provided agreed value at our original purchase price.

Ronda also spoke to us about Avida RV Club where we could be members for $49.50 and this gives us $10,000 contents insurance. CIL cost $131.64 extra for $4000 contents insurance.

 

Watch us on YouTube as we travel Australia and provide heaps of great Tips and reviews on everywhere we stay.

 

CIL Claim repairs in Darwin

We highly recommend Paul from Mobile Caravan Service in Darwin

 

Therefore all up it costs us $1245.50 to insure with Arthur J Gallagher to receive 150% more contents insurance, significantly less Excess and greater Agreed value.

From what we could read and understand, most else within the policy remained the same or very similar.

With our windscreen, CIL provided 1 free one per year and Arthur J Gallagher were a $200 Excess however, the Avida RV Club which they referred us to provide a Free windscreen each year.

Our Decision

Ultimately it was a no brainer.

The savings were massive and we were left feeling we had no choice. It was a shame, we really enjoyed our dealings with CIL and they truly were superb. If it was close we would have stuck with them but we didn’t feel the increases to that extent were warranted or fair.

Thank you especially to Julie and Warwick who pointed us in the right direction at just the right time.

We receive no kickbacks, no discounts and no incentives for this article from an Insurer or related party. (But if you’re offering, let’s chat, fuel isn’t getting cheaper after all lol). This is simply a factual documentation of our experience.

If you would like to get in touch with Ronda at Arthur J Gallagher you can contact her on 03 5624 1000 or email is Ronda.dicker@ajg.com.au. Let her know you read our story here, maybe our premiums won’t go up next time we renew haha.

 

Have you had a similar experience?

Update June 30 2019!!

Since originally writing this article 18 months ago we feel we can now add another few chapters to our experience.

Within the first 12 month Insurance Policy agreement with Arthur J Gallagher we did make a claim and it was a fairly large one. Our Hot water system had leaked and the water caused damaged to part of our floor internally.

Firstly we went to Aussie Escape Caravan Repairs at Brendale who said the issue was from water coming up from underneath, even after I explained how it had happened due to the Hot water system. We were told they couldn’t cut out and replace the section of floor but would have to lay a new floor over the top. We felt that idea would have been a disaster!! The quote to do this was approx. $8,500 and because of how they claimed it had occurred, Insurance would not have covered it.

 

Discovering Gold Coast RV Repairs

Then we got on to the legends at Gold Coast RV Repairs.

We showed Brad the owner and explained in exactly the same way it as we did previously at the other repairer and he immediately assessed it as we had explained. I asked whether it could come from underneath and he said “No, there’s an aluminum plate under there stopping that”. He agreed it was obvious it had happened as we explained.

So he showed us how he could cut the section out and replace it, much to my surprise and delight. Someone else had told me it couldn’t possibly be done. “Sure” he said, “of course you can”.

How much will all this cost I asked? Just $4500 was his first assessment although final cost was approx $4900. Brad said he had worked before with CGU through Arthur J Gallagher and confirmed they were good and fair, he would deal with them for us.

We left the Motorhome with Brad while we were away in Fiji for our 30th anniversary and came back to it fully completed and in perfect condition. Actually, it’s better than ever with higher grade flooring than before. The insurers were great and followed up to inspect the work and contacted us to ensure we were happy. All up, a very positive experience.

What we like about Brad at Gold Coast RV Repairs is he had worked at Paradise Motorhomes and has built them from start to finish. He knows all the internal working of an RV and has the experience to do the work at a quality standard.


CGU Policy Renewal

After our first Policy ended after 12 months we were up for renewal. We received a call from Ronda who was apologetic which at first had us a little bewildered. Ronda had been receiving so many calls from people talking about this Caravan Motorhome Insurance article and went to her bosses to see if she could offer us any special arrangement, however it wasn’t approved. We appreciated Ronda’s gesture and thanked her.

Once again we want to point out that we receive nothing at all from any Insurer or related party for this article, it is purely our experience so far with our Insurers. We wanted to share because it’s a big issue for everyone who owns a Caravan, Motorhome, Fifth Wheeler or other RV.

With that call from Ronda she had to pass on the changes to renew our policy. There was a 15% increase in Premiums and our excess went up from $200 to $500. Our new agreed value was $104,500.

Therefore our new policy cost was $1359.23.

Insurer costs had increased across the board, we knew that. We think $500 for excess is high but it is somewhat in line with the other insurers now. Our agreed value is still lower than we’d like but it’s a lot better than CIL.


Further dealings with CGU

We recently had some issues with our Air Conditioning and even though it ended up being completed under warranty again they were excellent to deal with. CGU had been prompt, friendly and professional and kept us informed all the way. This started in Merimbula in mid March 2019 and we had it finalised back in Brisbane in June 2019.

In April 2019 I drowned our DSLR Camera and good lens in Wilsons Prom in Victoria and contacted Ronda at Arthur J Gallagher as our policy also provided us an Avida contents cover up to $10,000 for $49 per annum. We contacted them but they had a limit of $2000 for camera equipment. We were able to fully claim our camera and lens cost with our Home and Contents cover with ANZ Insurance which is underwritten by QBE for the $2,797.75 less our $250 excess. This is also who we used to cover our Mavic Pro Drone when it was lost.

We hope this helps you in understanding more about your RV insurance.

Contact us any time if you have further questions.

 

Safe travels,

Kevin & Adele Hockey
Indefinite Leave

____________________________________________________________________

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. __________________________________________________________________________________

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

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Email: hockeys@indefiniteleave.com.au

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13 Comments

13 Comments

  1. Robyn Kelk

    December 16, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Fantastic information from you again Kevin and Adele. Very much appreciated. Our van doesn’t arrive until April but I now know who I’ll be calling. Safe travels.

  2. Melissa @ All Around Oz

    December 17, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Great article Kev…..we had our camper trailer insured through Arthur J Gallagher and always felt they gave us a good deal. We will certainly look at them again when we get our van next year.

  3. Colin Ross

    January 28, 2018 at 11:00 am

    We also have done our insurance on our Longreach motorhome through Arther J Gallagher as they did agreed value for $1800.00 whereas Apia and CIL wanted nearly $2600 and a lower agreed value and no windscreen .

  4. Annette

    January 28, 2018 at 5:43 pm

    Just looking into this right now. Thanks for the information. Will get a quote from Arthur J Gallagher. We are with the RACV with our car at the moment….looking for insurance for the camper trailer.

  5. Gary

    September 28, 2018 at 7:48 pm

    Can you put contact details up for Arthur J Gallagher please?

  6. Www.steam4clean.Co.uk

    November 14, 2018 at 11:21 pm

    Hello.This article was really remarkable, particularly because I was
    investigating for thoughts on this matter last week.

  7. Eileen. Farr

    August 13, 2019 at 5:24 pm

    A big hello to you. I ha e a 2010 Jayco Conquest motor home. Prestly with A P I.costing me $1350.00 for a m.h. yearly valued at $47.000 Inquiring as to you comprehensive insurance. Regards Eileen Farr

    • Indefinite Leave

      August 13, 2019 at 10:49 pm

      Hi Eileen, we don’t do insurance, you need to talk to an insurance agency. Details of Arthur J Gallagher are in the article 🙂

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Adventurers Diary

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

Brisbane is our home town. It’s where we have lived all our lives. We know it, we love it and it is home.

There is so much to love about “Brissy”. Our weather is superb, people are friendly and it’s a big city without being too huge.

Brisbane typifies our States motto “Beautiful one day, Perfect the next”!!

 

We have great, warm weather almost all year round. Winter in Brisbane is sensational, blue sunny skies, calm weather and mild temperatures.

 

Here’s a list of 21 Things to Do in and around Brisbane

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - CityCat

Brisbane River CityCat

1. Take a ride on the Brisbane River on a City Cat

These are fast ferry’s that take you some of Brisbane’s best places on the River. Go to Portside and see Cruise Ships, New Farm the home of the Powerhouse Brisbane, which is home to different arts and creatives, plus New Farm Park. Stop in at Riverside for great restaurants and bars on the river and take a walk around the City.

The Citycats are a great cheap way to get around Brisbane. There are stops all the way along the Brisbane river foreshores. A 2 hour ticket is a maximum $5.60 or even cheaper with a Go Card.

It’s a fabulous day out on Brisbane’s CityCats.

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Brisbane Riverfire

Brisbane Riverfire

2. Brisbane Riverfire

In September each year the Brisbane River comes alive as 500,000 people or more attend Riverfire. The skies light up as the Australian Defence Force fly Fighter Jets and Blackhawk Helicopters before the Fireworks are launched from the River, from Bridges and atop City high-rises.

 

This is a spectacular not to be missed. Get there early and enjoy the atmosphere.

 

St Helena Island - 21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

St Helena Island

3. Tour St Helena Island

Learn how St Helena Island is steeped in our History. In 1867 it was chosen as our first Penal settlement due to its location 4kms offshore in Brisbane’s Moreton Bay.

 

The island is now Heritage listed and fantastic tours are operated by Cat O’ Nine Tails Cruises, the only way you can tour the island. Learn all about the rugged life of those that called St Helena Island home in those formative years.

 

http://www.sthelenaisland.com.au/

 

4. Eat Street Northshore

The Eat Street Markets are located at Hamilton and are a culinary delight for everyone regardless of your preferred tastes. Enjoy the enormous array of amazing dishes, live bands, great bars and enjoy a few hours of amazing fun by the Brisbane River.

 

Open every Friday and Saturday from 4pm to 10pm and Sunday from midday to 8pm.

 

https://www.eatstreetmarkets.com/

 

5. Eagle Street Pier

The Eagle Street Pier at Brisbane’s Riverside provides amazing views, sensational restaurants and incredible bars directly looking over the Brisbane River and Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge. Walk along the riverfront discovering the many different shops and see the Kookaburra Queen paddlewheelers which have been doing cruises of the Brisbane River since 1986.

On Sundays, visit the Riverside Markets for lots of locally made crafts, food, drinks and street performers.

 

http://www.eaglestreetpier.com.au/

http://www.riversidemarkets.com.au/

Book your Buffet Lunch Kookaburra Queens River Cruise here>

Book your Kookaburra Queens City Lights Dinner Cruise here>

        

6. Island time – Stradbroke Island & Moreton Island

Whilst Queensland’s Fraser Island is the most famous island within the state, Moreton Island and “Straddie” are just a short Ferry or Barge trip from Brisbane and are just as majestic. Go Camping on the islands and feel like you’re in paradise.

Spend time at Tangalooma Resort, snorkel the wrecks, check out Cape Moreton, ride the Sand Dunes and drive the magnificent beaches. Both Islands are truly amazing.

 

Stradbroke Island –

Book a North Stradbroke Island 4WD Day Tour here>

 

Moreton Island –

Book a Moreton Island 2 Day Tour here>

Book a Tangalooma Day Trip with Activities here>

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

Eleven Rooftop Bar

 

7. Visit the Eleven Rooftop Bar in Brisbane

This amazing restaurant at 757 Anne St Fortitude Valley features spectacular views over the Brisbane Inner City as well as a great bar and fabulous food.

The Eleven Rooftop Bar features in our list of the Best 17 places to Eat and Drink in Brisbane and Gold Coast.

 

Make sure you book, it does get very busy.

 

http://elevenrooftopbar.com.au/

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Brisbane Sign Southbank

Brisbane Sign

8. Go to Southbank on the Brisbane River

Here you can walk around the gardens, take a ride on the big Brisbane Wheel, visit GOMA (the Gallery of Modern Art) for free, swim in the Lagoon at Streets Beach, eat out at the many restaurants and pubs or go at night and visit the markets from Friday to Sunday.

 

Buy your Wheel of Brisbane Tickets here>

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Wilsons Outlook

Wilsons Outlook

9. Wilsons Outlook Reserve New Farm

This park at New Farm has the most incredible views. Arrive just before dusk, take your camera and watch as the Brisbane City, iconic Story Bridge and the Brisbane River transform into an incredible array of colours and beauty as the lights take effect.

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Bee Gees Way at Redcliffe

Bee Gees Way Redcliffe

10. Redcliffe

Redcliffe is just north of the city and it feels like an island as it is mostly surrounded by water. Access from the south is by the 3.2km bridges spanning from Brighton to Clontarf.

 

At Redcliffe foreshore there is a great Lagoon perfect for swimming on a warm Brisbane day. Redcliffe is also considered home to International megastars, the Bee Gees. Visit the incredible Bee Gees Way to see the city’s fantastic tribute to the family that became worldwide superstars.

 

11. Mount Cootha

Mount Cootha in Brisbane’s western suburbs is where the local TV stations reside but it is also a very popular vantage point for locals who run, ride and cycle their way to the top where there are stunning views across Brisbane from the lookout.

The restaurants are very popular and the place of many wedding proposals and ceremonies over the years.

 

12. Roma Street Parklands

The Roma Street Parklands is on the Brisbane City’s doorstep yet offers 16 hectares of Horticultural beauty with its themed gardens and lush greenery. Events are held regularly at the amphitheatre with plays performed by the Queensland Theatre Company and others.

You don’t have to have a green thumb to enjoy a stroll through this parkland.

 

 

Suncorp Stadium

Suncorp Stadium (Lang Park)

13. Brisbane Sporting Stadiums

Suncorp Stadium and The Gabba are Brisbane’s primary sporting stadiums where we cheer on our teams to regular success. Queenslanders are passionate about their sport and turn out to support their teams whenever they are in town.

Previously named Lang Park the name was changed to Suncorp Stadium in 1994. It now holds crowds of 52,500.

Go the Broncos and the Queensland Bulls!

 

Boggo Road

Boggo Road Gaol

14. Take a Tour of Brisbane’s old Boggo Road Gaol

The Brisbane Boggo Road Gaol once housed Queensland’s most feared prisoners until it was closed in July 1992. Today you can take tours and hear about the days in the lives of those that found their way inside. At night they also provide ghost tours but we stayed with a daytime visit.

https://boggoroadgaol.com/

 

Houseboat Gold Coast Broadwater

Houseboat Gold Coast Broadwater

15. Houseboating on the Gold Coast Broadwater

It’s a lot of great fun and we have been houseboating several times before we left on our road trip around Oz. We always used Coomera Houseboats, the staff are fantastic and the boats were perfect for our trips.

 

https://www.coomerahouseboats.com.au/

 

16. Climb Brisbane’s Story Bridge

The Story Bridge Climb takes you over Brisbane’s iconic Story Bridge. Walk up the top for an amazing experience, standing high above the traffic overlooking the Brisbane River and the City.

Book your Brisbane Story Bridge Adventure Climb here>

 

Redcliffe Jetty Markets

Redcliffe Jetty Markets

17. Weekends are great for Markets in Brisbane

Every Saturday from 6am to midday the Carseldine Markets on the corner of Beams and Dorville Roads at Carseldine provide superb fresh products and craft ideas. You can enjoy a fantastic array of foods and juices or coffee in a great atmosphere with easy parking and it’s Free to enter.

 

On Sunday you can visit the Cleveland Markets near the Bay where you will find many craft stalls, lots of entertainment, great food and fresh produce.
The Cleveland markets have operated for over 30 years and you can see them on Bloomfield Street Cleveland where they are open from 7am to 1pm every Sunday.

 

The Redcliffe Jetty Markets are located in the main street overlooking Moreton Bay and features many stall holders with a great range of home made products. There’s a great variety of food and drinks and on a sunny day the position is perfect.

 

http://carseldinemarkets.com.au/

https://www.clevelandmarkets.com.au/

https://redcliffejettymarkets.com/

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - King Island

King Island

18. Take a 1km walk out to King Island

At low tide at the bayside suburb of Wellington Point in Brisbane’s East you can walk across to King island. Time it right and you can enjoy a stunning sunset as you walk across the sandy straight to the island.

 

21 Bests Things to do in and around Brisbane - Camping

Moreton Island camping

19. Go Camping

Within 1-2 hours from Brisbane are so many fantastic camping experiences. Noosa North Shore Campground is fantastic or take the Barge across to Moreton Island or Stradbroke Island.

 

You can go to Somerset Dam west of Brisbane or a short drive to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast Hinterlands all provide amazing places to park the caravan or pitch a tent. Here you can enjoy the Wildlife, go swimming and fishing and escape city life for awhile.

 

https://www.noosaholidayparks.com.au/noosa-north-shore

 

Beenleigh Rum Distillery

Beenleigh Rum Distillery

20. Visit the Gold Coast

Head south just an hour from Brisbane and visit the world renowned Gold Coast with its superb beaches and fantastic waterways. What we love about the Goldie is there’s always something happening. Visit the theme parks, hang out at Cavill Mall, dine in the wonderful restaurants at Broadbeach, surf at Snapper Rocks or Burleigh Heads and enjoy some good fishing.

Movieworld, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild –

Purchase a 3 Day Pass here>

Dreamworld & WhiteWater World –

Purchase a 1 Day Pass here>

 

Don’t miss Springbrook National Park in the Hinterland and while there visit Purling Brook Falls, Best of all Lookout and Natural Bridge. At night you will see Glow worms and Fire flies.

 

On the way to the Gold Coast stop into the famous Yatala Pie Shop and do a tour of the Beenleigh Distillery and enjoy some samples of their products.

 

https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/springbrook/

https://www.beenleighrum.com.au/distillery

http://www.yatalapies.com.au/

 

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane - Noosa National Park

Noosa National Park

21. Visit the Sunshine Coast

Conversely, head north an hour and take in all that is the Sunshine Coast. Much more laid back, the beaches are equally fantastic. Visit Coolum Beach and Noosa National Park, Buderim Falls, SEA LIFE at Mooloolaba for the marine life and go to the amazing Australia Zoo owned by the family of Steve Irwin.

Climb Mt Coolum or head inland and visit wonderful towns like Kenilworth, Maleny, Montville and Mapleton plus be sure to visit the Ginger Factory at Yandina.

The Sunshine Coast is fantastic with so much to see and do.

 

SEA LIFE Sunshine CoastPurchase your General Admission Tickets here>

Australia Zoo – Purchase your General Admission Tickets here>

Ginger Factory – Purchase your Ride Double Deal Tickets here>

 

 

There are so many great places to eat out around Brisbane and Gold Coast. Read about our best 17 places to Eat and Drink

 

If you are looking for somewhere to stay in Brisbane with your Caravan or Motorhome the Lawnton Showgrounds provides the perfect place to stay. Located on Brisbane’s Northside it has power and water for just $25 per night. It is an easy walk to Lawnton Rail Station and 5 minutes drive either direction to plenty of shopping options.

 

Check out How to get to Brisbane and Southbank if you are in your Motorhome or Caravan

You may also enjoy watching https://indefiniteleave.com.au/australia-road-trip-ep-1-springbrook-national-park/

 

________________________________________________________________

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

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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

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.

_________________________________________________________________________

Socials

Follow us and Subscribe at:
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Website

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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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