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

The REAL costs to Travel Australia over 24 months

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

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

 

Ayers Rock at Sunset on Full Moon

 

About us

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

 

Fishing on Fraser Island at Sunrise

 

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

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

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

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

 

Aerial view of Haycock Point in Ben Boyd National Park

 

Our Trip

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

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

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

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

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

 

Stunning Hyams Beach

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

 

Lessons we learnt

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

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

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

 

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

Our Highest Costs to travel Australia

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

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

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

 

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

 

A couple of quick tips for traveling Oz

1.  Don’t have a washing machine

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

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

2.  Pets

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

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

 

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

 

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

3. Phone coverage

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

4. Wifi

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Groceries 🍞🍉🥪🧀

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

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

 

Takeaways 🍟🍕🌭

$3,561.61

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

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

 

Dining Out 🍽️🍸

$6,391.69
Last 6 months $162

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

Overall our total Dining Out expense was $61.46pw

 

Accommodation 🚎🎪♨️

$13,453.63
$18.98 Average per night

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

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

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

 

Fuel is just one of the costs to travel Australia

 

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

 

Fuel

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

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

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

 

Winnebago

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

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

 

Iveco

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

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

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

 

Entertainment 🏊‍♂️🎣⛰️🏝️🚁🚡

$18,429.31

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

First 6 months

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

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

Second 6 months

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

Third 6 months

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

Fourth 6 months

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

Our Highest Entertainment Costs

Our biggest adventure costs were:

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Readers who enjoyed this also read:

Our Best Free Camps

The Best Campgrounds we stayed

Our Favourite Experiences around Australia

Cost to go to Kangaroo Island

Day Trip to Fitzroy Island in Cairns

FishCosts to travel Australia included Fishing Charters in our Entertainment Expenses

Horizontal Falls was the highest tour cost while traveling Australia

 

Gas

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

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

 

Alcohol 🍾🍷🥃🍻🍸

$4,926.90

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

Cost is $47.37pw

 

MACKS, our dog  

$3,373.04 in vet and medications etc

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

 

Dog Sitting

$959

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

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

 

Gorge Tours were part of our Entertainment Cost to Travel Australia

 

Adele’s Nails

$959

Some things a girl just has to do lol

 

Clothes

$2,488.41

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

$23.93pw was spent on clothing

 

Fishing

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

$13.97 pw was spent of fishing.

 

Laundry

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

Our laundry costs were $6.98pw

 

National Parks

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

 

Medical

$1,401.05

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

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

 

Miscellaneous

$2,909.52

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

This is an expense of $27.98pw

 

Adele under the Adels Grove Sign

 

Hair & Beauty

$370.90

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

 

Our Total Costs to travel Australia

Total amount = $109,534.16

Total average per week = $1,053.21

 

How to reduce your costs to travel Australia

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Our Story

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

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

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Photography

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

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

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

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Cilla

    July 24, 2019 at 1:42 pm

    Your budget article is brilliant. One of the best and most comprehensive I have read. I have read a lot! All part of our own planning. Thank you so much for sharing. Please don’t take it down because I have linked it to my Mindmap planning sheet so I can go back to it again and again.

    • Indefinite Leave

      July 24, 2019 at 2:28 pm

      Hello Cilla, thank you for that feedback. No, we have no intention of removing it 🙂
      If you have any questions at any time just let us know and there’s heaps of other information on our website here too, feel free look around.

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Adventurers Diary

Tent Camping on Fraser and Moreton Island

What was it like camping in a tent for the best part of 4 of our last 5 weeks?

 

We loved it!!

 

Of course, the magnificent locations of Fraser Island and Moreton Island sure helped. But we really did love it.

Mostly we liked the simplicity.

 

Camping on Fraser Island

 

Camping in a Tent – Back to Basics

It brought us back to the basics of life and a greater feeling of closeness with nature.

 

We liked being so close to everything. Waking up and looking out the front opening of the tent straight out at the ocean. Watching as the sun took it’s first glimpse above the horizon as a new dawn began each day from our pillow was incredible.

 

Taking one step outside the tent and feeling the sand under our feet. The coolness of the sand and the unequivocal Australianism of sand between your toes first thing every day is amazing.

 

I loved being bare foot all day every day.

 

Putting up the tent for the first time on Fraser Island

 

Daily Routine

Our daily shower was an early morning swim in the ocean. We would wake around 5am, admire the sunrise, enjoy a wonderful breakfast before putting on some board shorts and Adele in her bikinis and enjoy the most liberating and amazing swim to start the day.

It is crazy just how amazing it would make you feel. Man I felt alive!!

 

Tent Camping and waking up to a magnificent sunrise on Fraser Island

 

In the afternoons we would rinse off under our solar shower and it was amazing how hot the water was after a day baking in the sun.

The tent held up really well to the rainy night we had on Fraser and a very windy night on Moreton.

We were in bed most nights at 7.30 and awake at Sunrise and we loved that.

Our new double burner stove was perfect and allowed us to cook a big variety of meals. Adele made the most amazing Pizza’s on the burner, they were super delicious!

 

Sleeping in the tent was so much cooler. Outside with the ocean breezes and an air bed that actually becomes cold through the night. We had to create a thick liner between the bed and us to keep ourselves warm during the night from the coolness of the air bed.

Being in a tent forces you outside. There’s not a lot to do inside the tent so you sleep in there and not much else. The rest of the day you are outside, experiencing adventure, interacting with nature and enjoying the beauty of the great Australian outdoors.

 

Stunning sunset on Moreton Island
Tent Camping on Fraser Island

 

Our Camping Equipment:

We borrowed a mate’s Coleman Riverview 8 Tent. We wanted to keep the size to a minimum to save on space and weight and it was perfect for us for these camping trips.

There was plenty of room inside and the simplicity of it was awesome for packing and unpacking, especially as we setup 3 times as we moved around on Fraser Island.

My mate also lent us his PRIMUS 60L dual zone fridge/freezer plus his 200amp AGM battery to run it. This was a lifesaver and was so perfect for us. It drew little power and worked ridiculously well.

We had our Waeco 35L fridge which we ran from our 120amp Lithium battery. We ended up turning this one off after a few days and didn’t even take it to Moreton Island.

 

Tent Camping and waking up to the magnificent sunrises on Fraser Island

 

The portable toilet was a Kings model you can buy from the 4wd Supacentre. We paid just $79, heaps less than other ones we looked at. It was excellent and worked perfectly.

Our portable 2 burner cooktop is a Campmaster we bought on special from Big W for just $35. We really loved it and didn’t bother taking our Weber Baby Q with us and now don’t think we will need it. The Portable burner did everything we wanted and it’s so much more compact and easy to use.

 

Adele fishing on Moreton Island

 

For lighting we had our Ryobi 18v area light plus my awesome aircraft grade aluminum 1000 lumen torch. If needed we also had lighting from the canopy of the 4wd.

Our Solar shower was less than $10 from 4wd Supacentre and it also worked perfectly. Afternoon showers were fabulous and after the day in the sun the water was genuinely hot.

I did put a hole into our first one when on Fraser, it was my fault as I put it up on a branch with a broken branch behind it that punctured a hole, but at $9.95 it was no issue to replace it again.

 

Dingo checking out our campsite on Fraser Island

 

Camping Royalty

The Royal Chair that Queen Adele would sit and wave to passing 4wd’s was so good but sadly it too succumbed to a Dingo attack on Fraser Island and it had to go to Royal heaven. We got it on special at Big W for just $15 but it was the last one and now we can’t get another.

It was so comfy and we had to fill the base with water which gave it weight and kept it stable, unless of course you sit in it on top of a dune and it does backflips and rolls over and breaks your rib. Poor Adele, was so bloody funny though lol

 

Adele sitting in the Royal Chair waving to passing 4wds

 

It had been about 25 years since we last went camping in a tent and back then it was with an old tucker box with Dry Ice and we had to dig holes to go to the toilet. For cooking we had to lug around a gas bottle and stove and also a gas light. Camping is way easier today with the more modern and sophisticated tools at our disposal.

 

If you haven’t been camping in a tent recently, consider the opportunity to go back to basics and embrace life in it’s most simple form.

 

My Tip for Tent Camping: Check weather forecast first, it’s a lot less fun if it is raining and or there are gusting winds.

 

Safe Travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

 

Also check out our videos Moreton Island Everything you Need to Know

and Exploring Fraser Island Beaches, Tracks, Creeks and Rocks by 4wd

 

You may also enjoy reading our 21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

and What it REALLY costs to Road Trip Australia

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Adventurers Diary

Our Best Travel Tips

It’s 1398 days on a road trip of a lifetime for us at Indefinite Leave and we have loved every single moment, the good, the bad, the ugly and everything that comes with it, so we have had plenty of time to identify our our best travel tips for you.

4 years ago we came to a point where we knew we wanted more. Work was killing us, we had become lost in city life, our morals had become corrupted. Our lives felt mundane, every day was like Groundhog day and the stress and pressure of work, a mortgage, more bills, housework and everything else we all deal with was taking a toll. Our desire to travel and explore was off the Richter scale.

We needed more, we wanted to see magnificent sunsets, be amazed by an outback night sky, interact with animals in the wild and experience places we had never been.

 

Our Best Travel Tips - Moreton Island

 

The Changes in our 4 years

A lot has changed since we left, we started out as 4 and now we are 2. Our eldest son Matt was with us for the first 2 years and when he finished up just before Christmas 2017 he was a new man. He found happiness, he found joy, he had so many great new friends, he had new skills and he was more confident. We miss having Matt with us but his time had come to create his own new life.

We also started with our beautiful Golden Retriever named MACKS. Wow, she had a ball traveling the country with us for her last 16 months. Devastatingly we had to let her go in June 2017 as arthritis had crippled her.

Kev was a complete frog when we left and really felt the cold. Now the cold doesn’t bother him so much and he swims in much cooler waters than ever before. His fishing hasn’t improved though haha

Adele is really enjoying life without work. Much less stress, far more sleep. Not so many nights laying in bed with her mind racing thinking about what needs to be done tomorrow at work. This lifestyle really suits us both.

 

Climbing Mt Kosciuszko - Sitting on Top of Australia

Our Best Travel Tips For You

For the last 1398 days this has been our experience, so here’s our best travel tips for you:

– Embrace everything about life on the road. There will be bad days and very bad days. But they will be outweighed and outnumbered by the good days.

– Say Hello to everyone you meet. A simple question like how long are you staying or where are you from can open the door to amazing new friendships. Strangers are friends you haven’t met yet.

– Australian Wildlife and Marinelife is amazing.

– Say yes. Don’t overthink things, bad weather, rough track, a bit unsure, just do it!!

– Found a nice secluded spot to yourselves? Crank some great music up a bit, spread out, have a glass or 3, dance and live the moment.

 

Lake Birrabeen on Fraser Island

 

– It’s all about Freedom. Open space with nowhere to be.

– There’s nothing better than a great fire beside a river or on the beach, a few beers/rums and wine, new mates and a view to die for.

– See Australia, don’t just exist out there. Climb that Gorge, walk that trail, take that scenic flight, visit those caves, do the Gaol tour, go on the fishing charter, see that island. Because it’s about experiences.

– The human mind and body can do a lot more than you think it can.

– Live life on your own terms. Make your own daily choices and live irresponsibly.

– You can make more money at home but you may only have one chance to really explore Australia. Do it while you can.

– Don’t rush, see everything you possibly can. Uluru, Karijini, Kakadu, The Cape are all a long way. You will probably never get there again so take your time and enjoy the moments for as long as you can.

– It’s an adventure, not a holiday.

– No stress allowed!! So be sure to leave it at home.

– Fall in love with your partner all over again.

 

Best Travel Tips - Fall in love with your partner all over again

– It’s all about the journey.

– Get a Samsung phone. Their cameras are amazing.

– Get lost. Literally, go get lost and enjoy the experience.

– Step out of your comfort zone and do what scares you.

– Leave behind life as you know it and build a newer, better, more adventurous you.

– Don’t turn on TV, it’s just junk and because it can be depressing.

– Telstra or Boost, because that’s your only options.

 

Best Travel Tips - A 4wd does get you places others can't

 

Wikicamps is your Bible but the best places are found by chatting to other people.

– A 4wd does get you places others can’t. So will being self contained.

– Free camp. You will meet more people, friendlier people, have more space and privacy and love the experience more.

– You will see more and it will cost a lot less without your pet.

– When you’ve decided the absolute minimum ‘must take’ essentials for your trip, then reduce it again.

– Back up your photos often because it’s beyond tragic if you lose all of those memories.

 

What are your best travel tips? Share them in the comments below 🙂

 

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

If you enjoyed this blog, you may also enjoy reading:

What it REALLY costs to travel Australia

Our 22 Best Free Camps in Australia

Our 29 Best Campgrounds in Australia

Motorhomes vs Caravans

Magnificent Honeymoon Bay NSW

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Adventurers Diary

Motorhomes vs Caravans – the facts

Motorhomes vs Caravans! This is a discussion we hear so often, so what’s better, Caravans or Motorhomes?

This question is messaged to us a lot. We read about it online all the time and it’s a constant in discussions around the campfire and at Happy Hour all across the country. I even went and watched my mates in my old cricket team play yesterday and one of them brought up the subject.

 

Motorhomes V Caravans - the facts

 

Which is fine except it rarely involves the Facts!!

In most cases those who own Caravans argue why they are better while Motorhome owners inherently argue why theirs is better.

Neither Motorhomes or Caravans are perfect

The truth is, neither is better than the other.

Each one has benefits the other one doesn’t have.

Now of course there’s numerous other options too including Fifth Wheelers, Campervans (whizz bangers), Camper Trailers, Slide Ons, Tents, Swags and more. But most people travel in Caravans or Motorhomes and these are the two that are almost always discussed in comparisons so I’ll stick with just talking about them today.

It’s at this point I’ll stick up my hand and say I’ve never owned a Caravan. I’ve towed trailers and boats and all sorts of things but never a Caravan. Personally I’d be happy if I never did but the reality is it’s probably inevitable that one day we will.

Our choice of weapon for our almost 4 years so far around Australia is a Motorhome. We met, traveled with and spent so much time with others who tow Caravans. We saw their processes, watched them as we followed up the highways and of course discussed their caravans in length over many dampers and a Rum or three around a fire at night. I think I’ve got something of a grasp on towing a Caravan however admittedly not the experience.

 

Free Camping in our Motorhome

Our decision not to tow

We decided from the beginning not to tow. We thought if we needed a vehicle we would use a Taxi or hire a car. On a couple of occasions, we did use Taxi’s but never ended up hiring a vehicle. We’ve heard others say the same thing, we’ll just hire a car, but that didn’t happen for us and it really isn’t a solution either.

We chose not to tow because we thought the size of our 8m Motorhome was already big enough to deal with and we didn’t want the extra cost of maintaining another vehicle.

But let’s be honest, most travelers traverse the country by Caravan which has to suggest for most people it is the preferred method.

 

Motorhomes v Caravans - the facts

 

If we were starting over again and I knew then what I know now, I’d have still chosen a Motorhome but I would have taken a trailer and a decent 4wd. But we were complete rookies and we are very happy with the decisions we made, they were the right choices for us at that time.

Read all about our decision for buying our Motorhome here

The Motorhomes vs Caravans Debate

Let’s look at the argument, Caravans vs Motorhomes.

The 2 favourite lines by Caravan owners are:

With a Caravan you can unhook and use your car!!

This is true and it is the greatest benefit of Caravans vs Motorhomes. It can be counter claimed by Motorhome owners that they too can tow a vehicle. This is a fair argument however it does have limitations. Towed vehicles are almost always a Suzuki which are the most suitable to be flat towed. Some travelers will tow a trailer but weight limits usually see this method also limit the Motorhome to towing a smaller car such as the Suzuki or similar.

 

Motorhomes and Caravans on display at the Brisbane Caravan and Camping Show

 

The benefit here of the Caravan is the tow vehicle is normally a larger 4wd. With this option you can take a Swag, small tent or similar and leave the Caravan behind for days to go off track and see more places. Realistically it simply opens more doors to see more places.

 

There’s also beach camping such as 80 Mile Beach and Warroora Station in WA, some amazing places along the beaches at the bottom of WA, Gibb River Rd, Carmila Beach in Qld, Cape York, Tomato Island and Roper Bar, Gunlom Falls in the NT and no doubt the list goes on and on of great places a 4wd and Caravan can go that a Motorhome can’t or shouldn’t.

This is without doubt the greatest benefit of a Caravan over a Motorhome.

Check out our video of how we almost got bogged in the motorhome!

 

Sunset reflecting on our motorhome at 1770

Motorhomes vs Caravans – the facts

So lets look at the Facts:

Common statement: In a Motorhome you have to pack up everything to go to the shops to buy Bread or Milk!!

Despite what too many people proclaim, you never have to “pack everything up” to go down the shop to get milk and bread. NEVER HAPPENS!!

Never, Ever, Ever!!

When you arrive in town in a Motorhome if you need groceries you go get them. If not, you are either towing a vehicle or, if like us you only have the Motorhome, then you are going out most days anyway.

We don’t set up like you do in a Caravan. We don’t put out an annexe, actually we often didn’t even put out the awning. No awning mats, no ropes, no permanent structure. It takes little more than 5 mins to put a few bits of cutlery away, bring in the slide-out, take down our curtain, unplug the power if on a powered site and be driving away.

 

Aerial view of freecamping with our motorhome at McGaurans Beach

 

It’s simple and easy and not once did we ever have to do that because we needed to go around to the shop for milk. Lets debunk that myth now forever.

 

Shops are often walking distance anyway but again, it was never an issue and I don’t remember ever needing to walk to the shops to buy something we needed.

 

Motorhome Benefits

Motorhomes don’t roll over.

Ok sure, it’s possible, but it’s so rare it’s reasonable to say it never happens. Stories of Caravans rolling over however seem to be a daily occurrence. It’s so common there’s enormous debate about whether Caravan owners should have a special license and we are now seeing weigh stations popping up around the country to police it.

This was a major factor for us deciding to choose a Motorhome.

 

Motorhome V Caravans - the facts

 

In a Motorhome we can stay places you can’t in a Caravan

We stealth camp!!

There I’ve said it. We keep it a secret because we know there’s always going to be those that want to tell everyone else how they should live their life and how there’s rules against it blah blah. The very politicians who make our rules break rules themselves every day of the week. Much much bigger rules that have far greater impact than us pulling up somewhere for the night.

Anyway, I digress 🙂

We can park places you couldn’t get away with in a Caravan. Hotel carparks, Shopping Centre carparks, Sportsgrounds, general parks and boat ramps. We’ve stayed in them all and more and whilst some Caravan owners might too, it’s much easier to do in a Motorhome and get away with it.

(I just know I’m going to regret disclosing this… )

 

It’s cheaper in a Motorhome

With our Kitchen with us everywhere we went, we never ate out. Our food, drinks and cooking equipment were always on hand saving us heaps.

We also liked never needing to find public toilets let alone having to use one. Our bathroom was always with us.

If we pulled up somewhere and thought let’s go for a swim or get out the fishing rods, our gear was always there.

We also never found ourselves annoyed because we left the camera behind.

Our Motorhome has 6 tyres, 2 less than many 4wd and caravan setups.

1 vehicle to maintain unless you choose to tow.

No hitching and unhitching. As you get older for many it becomes a chore.

Motorhomes rarely get stolen. Caravans are a definite target for lowlife thieves.

 

Willow RV Caravan on display at the Caravan & Camping Show

 

Caravan Benefits

You can go more places. As discussed previously, the 4wd opens up so many more places a Motorhome just doesn’t often allow you.

More space. The 4wd gives you the whole tray and with a rooftop rack you can get a lot more up there too. We looked at Caravans recently at the Brisbane Camping Show and they don’t seem to have the external storage we do with our Motorhome though.

Having your base. It’s great that you can park the Caravan and know you have that base to come back to in the afternoon that’s all set up and you can just walk in and relax. It only takes us 10 minutes in the Motorhome but sometimes after a long day it would be great to just turn off the ignition and reach for the esky for a cold beverage.

The 4wd is perfect for carrying firewood. We didn’t have anywhere external for that and the one time we decided to get some firewood and we put it inside the Motorhome, we ended up with white ants inside. Never again!!

Lots of people do have external setups in their Motorhome for firewood but it’s so much simpler and easier with a 4wd.

Securing your Campsite

Knowing your Campsite is secure when you leave for the day. In our almost 4 years we never once came back to find someone had taken our spot. We always left our table and chairs out and all was fine when we returned. We did often comment, I wonder if our stuff is still there or wonder if someone has taken our spot. It never happened but it was something that would briefly be on your mind as we drove back. Not such an issue with a Caravan, you just hope the Van is still there I guess lol

 

The fuel economy from my experiences reading and talking to both Caravan and Motorhome owners is they are pretty similar. As mentioned though, we weren’t towing a vehicle. Smaller Motorhomes than ours and those without the overhead cabin that we have would achieve better fuel economy and probably be more fuel efficient than most 4wd and Caravan setups.

 

We now do own a 4wd, having bought a Triton recently. So far we have used the 4wd for trips to Fraser Island and Moreton Island so no major trips where we have had to decide how we incorporate both vehicles but that time will come very soon.

 

There it is, my thoughts on the real differences between a Caravans vs Motorhomes. Sure, there are other factors but I think these are the major differences.

What are your thoughts regarding Motorhomes vs Caravans?

 

If you’re considering which way to go for your Big Lap of Oz, hopefully we’ve given you some valid points to consider. Most importantly, it doesn’t matter how you do it, just do it and enjoy the adventure 🙂

 

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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

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This post may contain 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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