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Adventurers Diary

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island

In our travels all around Australia over more than 4 years we can tell you, Fraser Island is as spectacular as anywhere. It’s one place everybody should want to visit in their lifetime as everything to see and do on Fraser Island will leave a lasting impression.

There is so much that is unique about the World’s Largest Sand Island but you’re going to need a 4wd and at least a few days just to see the main attractions. Add another few days to relax, absorb your surroundings and catch a few fish. Even learn the techniques for worming, now that’s a challenge.

Poyungan Rocks Sunrise
Mornings on Fraser Island

There are a lot of great day trips you can do but it’s like watching the split second highlights of your favourite footy teams win on the news. You get the idea of it but you really want to see so much more and now wished you’d watched the whole thing.

Fraser Island is diverse, unique, stunning and spectacular. It is steeped in so much history.

With decades of experience of coming to Fraser Island and having lived here for an extended period with the island almost to ourselves we have an intimate knowledge of this majestic location that everyone wants to see.

Everything there is to See and Do on Fraser Island

These are the primary places you will want to go when you visit Fraser Island.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Lake McKenzie
Lake McKenzie

Lake McKenzie

There are over 100 freshwater lakes on Fraser Island but none as incredible or as popular as Lake McKenzie.

The Lake is rainwater and has no creek or river access. Just like you experience on spectacular Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays, the sand is pure silica.

The water feels soft as you swim and is cooler than the ocean waters making it very refreshing.

Aerial View of Lake McKenzie

There is a fenced picnic area to enjoy your lunch you brought with you. No food is allowed outside this fenced area.

No trip to Fraser is complete without visiting Lake McKenzie.

How to get there: From the ocean beach take the Eurong exit and follow the track and signs. It will take approx 25-30 mins and this track can be rough and slow due to all the traffic and tourist buses that use it. You can also access it from the Cornwell Rd track just north of Eurong. From Kingfisher Bay Resort, exit towards the ocean beach and look for the sign to Lake McKenzie.

Can I park close by: Yes, there’s a big carpark at Lake McKenzie with an easy 100m walk to the lake.

Are toilets available: Yes, you will walk past them for the entrance to the lake.

Is there phone reception: No

Looking up at the trees at Central Station
Central Station

Central Station Rainforest

Whenever you visit Lake McKenzie you should always stop at Central Station which is only a few kms nearby.

Central Station was originally a Logging Station and you can still see the cabins and some of the equipment they used on display. It is surrounded by magnificent rainforest with large ferns and an amazing canopy from the trees, some hundreds of years old.

There is an information board on display telling the details of the history of Central Station.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island
Wanggoolba Creek

A short walk takes you to Wanggoolba Creek through the rainforest alongside a stream that is so clear at first you won’t even believe there is water flowing. The next moment you will notice a leaf floating by and that’s when you realise there is actually water flowing. That’s how incredibly clear the water here is.

The boardwalk takes you further into the Rainforest beside the crystal clear Wanggoolba Creek where the surrounding beauty will leave you in awe of just what makes Fraser Island so unique.

A campground is also close by and there are toilets and a picnic area.

How to get there: From the ocean beach take the Eurong exit and follow the track and signs. It will take approx 25 mins and this track can be rough and slow due to all the traffic and tourist buses that use it. You can also access it from the Cornwell Rd track just north of Eurong. From Kingfisher Resort, exit towards the ocean beach and look for the sign to Lake McKenzie. Central Station is nearby, just follow the track and look for the signs.

Can I park close by: Yes, there’s a carpark at Central Station with an easy walk in to Central Station.

Are toilets available: Yes.

Is there phone reception: No

Looking down on the wreck of the S.S. Maheno

S.S. Maheno Wreck

The Maheno was built in 1905 in Scotland and began life as a Luxury Passenger Liner which accommodated 234 First class passengers, 116 Second class passengers and 60 in Third Class.

There was so much hype about its arrival in Australia that on its first voyage it created enormous attention at every stop.

At the start of World War 1, by official order, the New Zealand Government recommissioned the Maheno as a Hospital ship. After the war the Maheno was restored once again back to her former condition and returned to work as a passenger ship operating across the Tasman between Australia and New Zealand.

In 1935 the Maheno was retired as bigger and better ships were built. It was sold to ship breakers from Japan. The same company also bought the Ship named the Oonah which they decided to use to tow the Maheno to Japan.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - S.S. Maheno
Maheno Wreck

Whilst under tow the ships hit an unseasonable July cyclone as it passed Brisbane and the tow ropes broke and the Maheno was at the mercy of the wild seas before eventually being grounded on the beaches of Fraser Island.

The Maheno soon became a tourist destination with tour guides taking groups on fishing trips on the Maheno. They would fish off the decks of the abandoned ship and sleep in the cabins at night.

Wedding on the Maheno

The Maheno even hosted a wedding. Customs officers were required to oversee the ships equipment and chattels. One of the Customs officers had already postponed his wedding 3 times and so it was proposed to have the wedding on board the ship and the Captain agreed.

The Bride and Groom plus all the guests climbed a 9m high rope ladder to board the ship for the wedding.

85 years later and the ship still remains, even after being used as bombing practice by the Australian Air Force and for weapons training by the Secret Commando Unit on Fraser Island.

It’s now a rusted wreck with not too much left but it remains one of Fraser Island’s most popular and iconic pieces of history.

How to get there: Follow the ocean beach north from Happy Valley for 10 mins. It is a few kms north of Eli Creek.

Can I park close by: Yes, find a space to park high up on the beach.

Are toilets available: No

Is there phone reception: Sometimes if you have Telstra but very slow if available

Have you read our Ultimate Guide to Fraser Island. 

Adele wading through the waters of Eli Creek
Ever popular Eli Creek

Eli Creek

Eli Creek is an inland fresh water creek which flows an amazing 4 million litres of crystal clear sand filtered water into the ocean every hour!!

That’s a huge 96 million litres or pure fresh water every day!!

As one of the most popular and safe places to swim on the island, every day people float down Eli Creek on their favourite blow up mat or tube. You can also walk through the creek or just relax and enjoy lunch on the edge of the creek.

With so much water filtering out of Eli Creek into the ocean every day, driving past the beach in this section should always be done at low speed and with care. There’s almost always a big washout and it changes daily.

How to get there: Eli Creek is just a few kms north of the township of Happy Valley.

Can I park close by: Yes, you can park backing on to the creek.

Are toilets available: Yes, walk over the bridge and follow the sign straight ahead.

Is there phone reception: No

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Champagne Pools
Champagne Pools

Champagne Pools

Another great place for a swim on Fraser Island is Champagne Pools. From the carpark it’s an easy boardwalk stroll to find these big naturally formed rock pools facing the ocean.

As waves crash over the rocks and fill the pools with ocean water it creates bubbles and froth similar to when you pour a glass of Champagne, hence it’s name.

The best time to swim here is low to mid tide. At high tide or during rough seas it might be dangerous with waves crashing over the rocks. Fish are known to enter the pools with the waves also.

Look between the rocks to find an array of beautiful coloured fish and other marinelife including crabs and shellfish.

How to get there: To find Champagne Pools head north up the beach to Indian Head and take the track behind Indian Head to the beautiful Bay on the other side. Drive up the beach to the next headland where you can park on the beach or drive up the track to the carpark next to the entrance. It is an easy stroll along the boardwalk to Champagne Pools.

Can I park close by: Yes, there are two carparks with an easy walking track to Champagne Pools

Are toilets available: Yes, at the main carpark.

Is there phone reception: No

Indefinite Leave on Fraser Island
Parked on the Beach with Indian Head in the background

Indian Head

Indian Head is a rocky headland on Fraser Islands Eastern beach. It is located at the end of 75 mile beach and is the most Easterly point of the island.

The top of Indian Head provides spectacular views and it is common to spot Humpback Whales, Sharks, Rays, Turtles and more in the surrounding crystal clear blue waters.

Fishing is banned either side of Indian Head during August and September each year however for the rest of the year it is a great location to wet a line.

How to get there: Head north from the Maheno Wreck for approx 20 mins.

Can I park close by: Yes, you can park either side of Indian Head or at the base of the walk up.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

For more on Fraser Island, be sure to read: Camping on Fraser and Moreton Island How we ended up on an Island in Lockdown

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - The Cathedrals
Coloured sand cliffs – The Cathedrals

The Cathedrals

The Cathedrals are coloured sand cliffs created over thousands of years by wind and rain blown in from the Pacific Ocean.

Their structure and appearance resemble that of church cathedrals and hence this is how they got their name.

Located a few kms north of the Maheno Wreck they are worth stopping to view and learn more about.

How to get there: The Cathedrals are a short drive past the Maheno Wreck along 75 Mile Beach.

Can I park close by: Yes, park on the beach in front. Please do not climb on the Cathedrals or any dunes.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Beautiful coloured sands of The Pinnacles
The Pinnacles

The Pinnacles

Take a walk along the track into the Pinnacles to discover the incredible coloured sands of one of Fraser Island’s most historically enchanted locations. Dreamtime stories of the local Indigenous people tell of the fight for the heart of a local woman who fell in love with a Rainbow Serpent and it ultimately led to the many different colours of the sand.

Early morning as the sun’s rays glisten on the coloured cliffs is the best time to view The Pinnacles.

How to get there: The Pinnacles are along 75 Mile Beach just north of the Maheno Wreck.

Can I park close by: Yes, park on the beach at the start of the track in to the Pinnacles.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Evertything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Sandy Cape
Aerial view of Sandy Cape

Sandy Cape

The Sandy Cape is the northern most tip of Fraser Island. A truly stunning part of the island with large sand blows, clear turquoise water and the rough wild seas where the oceans meet at the tip.

The spit at Sandy Cape continues for another 30kms beyond the tip of the beach.

Camping at the tip is fantastic as you’re often the only ones there however there are no facilities and amenities.

During season Loggerhead and Green turtles nest along the beaches in this northern part of the island and therefore driving at night is not permitted.

How to get there: Follow the ocean beach as far as you can go. You will need to navigate Indian Head, Waddy Point and Ngkala Rocks. Plan the drive around tides and give yourself plenty of time.

Can I park close by: Very few people at the Cape, find a sensible spot and enjoy.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Places to stay in Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay: Rainbow Beach Holiday Village Hervey Bay 48hr Rest Stop The Pier Caravan Park Urangan

The Cape Lighthouse
Cape Lighthouse
Photo by Malcolm Griffin at Travel Australia Art Gallery

Cape Lighthouse

Due to the amount of shipwrecks around Sandy Cape a lighthouse was built in 1870. The now Heritage listed Sandy Cape Light is the tallest Lighthouse in Queensland.

To visit the lighthouse drive north from Orchid Beach, past Ngkala Rocks and to the northern tip of the island. Follow the beach around to the western or calm side and drive down the beach for 6kms. Park your 4wd and take the walk to the Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse also marks the furthest you can drive down the western side of Fraser Island from the northern tip. The beach south of the Lighthouse is closed to vehicles.

How to get there: Drive to the northern tip at Sandy Cape and follow the beach around to the calm or western side. Drive for 6kms down the beach until you see the sign.

Can I park close by: Once you park at the beach it’s a soft sandy walk for a couple of kms to the Lighthouse.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Looking down on 75 Mile Beach
Fraser Island’s 75 Mile Beach

75 Mile Beach

The Ocean beach on Fraser Island stretches approximately 123kms. Prior to Australia changing to the metric system in 1970, this equated roughly to 75 miles and this is how it got its name.

The Beach is one of Australia’s most stunning scenic drives and is a recognised National Highway. This means all road rules apply including driving to the speed limits, keeping to the left as we do in Australia and drink driving (DUI) limits apply.

Driving along the beach you may witness breaching Humpback Whales, Dingoes, Snakes, many fantastic tourist spots on the island and other island visitors and their vehicles. You will also see airplanes who have designated runways along the beach.

Beach conditions change every day and it is vital to look out for washouts, soft sand and pedestrians. It is ideal to plan your driving around 2-3 hours either side of low tide for easier driving and better fuel economy.

Never drive on the sand dunes.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Lake Wabby
At the water’s edge of Lake Wabby

Lake Wabby

Lake Wabby is located approximately half way between the township of Eurong and Poyungan Rocks.

Pull up into the carpark on the beach and take the 4.5 km return walk over Hammerstone Sandblow and down the steep dune into Lake Wabby. This sandblow is slowly filling Lake Wabby and in course will completely engulf the entire Lake.

Trekking over Hammerstone Sandblow to Lake Wabby
Hammerstone Sandblow

Hammerstone Sandblow

The Hammerstone Sandblow is just one of 36 Sandblows on Fraser Island.

Lake Wabby is a freshwater lake which looks Lime Green in colour and is a gorgeous spot to cool off after the walk here.

You can also continue your walk to the Lake Wabby lookout which is a 7.5km return trip from the beach entrance.

How to get there: The entrance to Lake Wabby is approx 5 kms north of Eurong along the ocean beach. You can also access it from the Cornwell Track Rd.

Can I park close by: Park on the beach and it is a reasonably easy 2km plus walk in to Lake Wabby.

Are toilets available: Yes at the beach entrance to Lake Wabby.

Is there phone reception: No

Ngkala Rocks

Ngkala Rocks is a headland and outcrop of rocks north of Orchid Beach. Known for it’s 4wd challenge in crossing the soft sand track to bypass the rocks or crossing up and over the rocks at the front.

The right tyre pressure for the conditions, ideally good ground clearance and some recovery gear will see you through however there’s always someone bogged on the track and long delays are often the case when trying to get over Ngkala Rocks.

It’s all part of the fun on Fraser Island.

How to get there: Drive north of Orchid Beach for 5-10 mins until you reach the rocky outcrop.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Memorabilia of the S.S. Maheno on display at the Happy Valley Retrest
Happy Valley Retreat

Townships and Resorts on Fraser Island

There are a few small townships around the island where you can find food, coffee, bait and fuel to purchase during your stay.

The shops also have a lot of great photos and memorabilia about the island. Happy Valley Retreat includes models of the original S.S. Maheno and a number of large photos and information boards about the wreck and the island in general.

How to get there: Eurong, Happy Valley, The Cathedrals and Orchid Beach are all on the ocean side of the island and Kingfisher Bay Resort is located on the Western side.

Can I park close by: Yes, each township has plenty of parking.

Are toilets available: There are public toilets at Eurong, Happy Valley and The Cathedrals. Orchid Beach does not have public toilets. Public toilets are nearby at Waddy Point.

Is there phone reception: All the townships have Telstra coverage and some coverage with other networks.

Watch our video at the 7.15 minute mark to see when I got lucky and captured the experience of a Super Hornet flying over.

Super Hornets

Planes flying above Fraser Island is very common but it’s the Super Hornet Jets that really grab your attention. They are super fast, super loud and are above you and gone before you have time to grab a camera.

Throughout the year but especially in September they fly from Townsville to Amberley in Brisbane. In September they do practice runs for their annual flyover during the Brisbane Riverfire spectacular. They fly very low over Fraser Island making the experience of speed and sound one you won’t miss.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Air Fraser Scenic Flight
Fraser Island Scenic Flight

Scenic Flights – Air Fraser

Air Fraser operates 15 minute scenic flights from different locations around the island. What they take you to see will depend on where you take the flight from.

They use the beach as a runway to take off and land. This makes for a unique experience when a plane flies over you just metres above your vehicle. You can park and watch them take off and land on the beach.

Be aware of your surroundings and any planes that may be landing or taking off and give them the appropriate space to fly safely.

We did a flight over Lake Wabby, Lake McKenzie and Central Station.

Cost is usually around $80 per person.

Find out everything there is to see and do from Hervey Bay to Bundaberg

Watching the Humpback Whales migrate past Fraser Island
Humpback Whales

Fraser Island Animals

Fraser Island is home to a large array of wildlife and marine animals. All the animals are wild and should be treated with caution and never be fed. Keep a safe distance from all the animals and appreciate them from a distance.

Marine Life

Dolphins, Sting Rays and Sharks are common in the waters around Fraser Island. They come up close to the beach at times and can easily be seen around the island. You can often spot them from atop Indian Head.

Humpback Whales during their season of June to November migrate north before returning south again are easily spotted as they play and breach in the waters off Fraser Island.

Day tours from Hervey Bay are available to go sight seeing and see the beautiful Humpback Whales up close.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Sea Snake on the beach
Sea Snake

Snakes

Sea snakes are another common aquatic animal often spotted around Fraser Island, sometimes washed up on the shores. These should never be approached as whilst they are a passive snake they are also highly venomous.

There are 18 species of snakes around the island and they are especially active in summer. One-third of Fraser Island’s snakes are venomous including the Eastern Brown and Coastal Taipan.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island
Dingoes, Mum Dad and Pup

Dingoes

There are quite a number of dingoes roaming Fraser Island and a visit is sure to see you come across one on the beach or across the many inland tracks. Dingoes are very cunning and incredibly opportunistic and will watch you for hours in an attempt to steal food from you. It is vital not to leave any food where they can access it.

The Fraser Island dingo is the purest breed of dingo in Australia. They are naturally lean and walk up to 45kms per day across the soft sands of Fraser Island.

Birds

The birds around the island are majestic. Large Eagles and Osprey soar above the ocean beaches. Watch as they swoop on stunned fish after being released back in the water by fisherman. Australia’s native and iconic Kookaburra are another feature to the island. We witnessed them whilst we had lunch at Lake McKenzie.

The Australian Pied Oystercatcher is common to see along the beaches. It is easily recognisable for it’s red beak and is often searching for worms and crabs in the sand.

Other birds rest along the beaches after long flights from distant countries. Resting and building energy reserves for their long flight back is important so they are best left undisturbed.

Lizards

Monitor Lizards roam the bushes, shrubs and lakes and aren’t to be messed with. They have large sharp claws used for digging and capturing their prey. They are fascinating to watch but don’t get in their way or try to handle one.

Like all animals on the island, view from a safe distance.

Awesome Sunrises on Fraser Island
Fraser Island Sunrise

Sunrises

Early mornings on Fraser Island are well worth it to witness the dawn of a new day. As the dark turns to day the Sunrises over the ocean beach are nothing short of spectacular.

Head to the beach with your camera and enjoy the stunning views each morning.

Don’t miss reading our Ultimate Guide to Fraser Island for all the information about visiting.

There is so much more to Fraser Island if you have a few weeks to explore this magical location. Everything to see and do on Fraser Island is simply amazing! The Great Barrier Reef begins just a few short kms north of Fraser Island.

We truly love Fraser Island, it is one of the most extraordinary places on our planet.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography

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

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

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

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/34thTP1  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Adventurers Diary

I Can’t Do 4 Walls

I Can't do 4 Walls

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

Why I can’t do 4 walls

Although I don’t know everything about my future and I reserve the right to change my mind, after 4.5 years of living in Darwinny our Motorhome, I love it so much I don’t want it to change for my foreseeable future.

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

Can't do 4 walls

Offers from Friends and Family

During our time whenever we do get back home to Brisbane, there were lots of times where we were invited to friend’s places, sometimes even offered a place to stay.

On a number of occasions, we received text messages from friends “I’m away for the weekend, the spare keys are under the mat, go relax in a bed and use the pool for a few days”.

Adele holding a small croc
Koorana Crocodile Farm Yeppoon

We were so grateful for their offer and thoughts for us. Plus, we love that we have so many wonderful and kind friends.

When we did a housesit for my niece, it was awesome, beautiful pool, nice home, Foxtel, heaps of room to park the Motorhome. It was perfect, except I found within just a day or two I can’t do 4 walls.

I was back doing what I used to do, sit and watch TV, stay at home and not be productive.

I wasn’t LIVING!!

I Can't do 4 walls

Everyone collects a lot of stuff

We visited family and friends in their homes and all I see is “stuff”. The same stuff we used to have. All those possessions I thought that made me happy.

Every now and then you’d blow off the dust and get a broom to the cobwebs and I would use my “stuff” again but for the most part it would just sit there doing nothing.

Just money wasted which made us believe we needed to go back to work again week after week to fund the life everyone else has and we were copying.

Moreton Island Sunset
Sunset Moreton Island.

Our friends and family may read this but I’m sure they’ll understand the context of what we mean. We discussed this with them anyway.

While we passionately respect and love our family and friends, a house just isn’t where we’re at any more.

I just can’t do 4 walls.

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

I Can't do 4 Walls

Brisbane will always be home

We really miss our Mums, both of us have lost our Fathers now, and we miss our sons Matthew and Cameron. Also we miss our friends plus, I miss playing cricket and hanging out with all my mates.

It’s not easy to just pack up and leave and it’s even harder to stay away.

For me, my entire life of 51 years before we left was lived in Brisbane. I grew up living in the same family home, we didn’t move house even once until I was married.

 7 Essentials – Tours to Experience

  1. Reefsleep in the Whitsundays is an amazing adventure. Spend the night on a pontoon sleeping in a swag on Hardy’s Reef in the Great Barrier Reef
  2. The Ocean Rafting tour from Airlie Beach is a truly fun day out. They took us to the best snorkeling places and the entire day was amazing
  3. For the best Full Day Island tour in Cairns we recommend the Fitzroy Island tour
  4. The Humpback Whale Swim in Exmouth remains one of our ultimate highlights of our time around Australia. We highly recommend doing this tour
  5. If you are on the East Coast, you can swim with Humpback Whales on the Sunshine Coast. The tour leaves from Mooloolaba
  6. Swimming with Whale Sharks at Exmouth is also extremely popular and a great day out with the team from Eco Adventures on Lattitude 22
  7. One of Tasmania’s best tours is the Tasman Island Cruise with Pennicott Wilderness Journeys out of Port Arthur. Three hours of cruising the highest sea cliffs in the Southern Hemisphere and enjoying an up close look at hundreds of seals as well as dolphins and birdlife.
Lara Wetlands
Full moon and a fire, Lara Wetlands

Adele has lived in Townsville and moved around different homes, but I hadn’t. Therefore, I was very used to routine and stability. Given my personality that was probably a good thing.

Recently, we spent time in Brisbane and the South East seeing everyone we could and exploring places we had never seen in our own “backyard”.

I didn’t enjoy the traffic being back home in Brisbane, the hustle and bustle doesn’t do it for me now, but it’s still home and our Family are all there.

Brisbane is home and always will be.

Can't do 4 Walls

What I miss the most

During this time back in the City was when I realised I yearned for things I learnt to love when road tripping around Oz.

3 specific things stood out that I missed.

  • Sunsets and Sunrises
  • Open fires
  • The Stars at night
Can't do 4 Walls
Sunset at Wild Horse Mountain Lookout

Nobody at home talks about seeing an amazing Sunset.

There’s something special about a magical sunset that we just love.

The colours, the differences when there’s a cloud or fire in the distance, the different views across oceans or rivers, over barren land and between mountains or ranges.

It symbolises we’re near the end of another day, an achievement that we survived and enjoyed another episode of our lives.

It resets the clock to tomorrow, when our world is once again an open book to make it another tale, another incredible memory along our journey.

They are a great time for reflection, did we achieve something wonderful today. What can we do tomorrow that is even better?

Sunsets can be so different yet all so spectacular. We just don’t appreciate them at home.

I Can't do 4 Walls

An open fire is awesome!

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

I love waking up in the morning, getting the coals fired up again and cooking some bacon and eggs.

Lighting a fire in downtown Brisvegas is a sure fire way to upset the neighbours and have the local Council issuing a huge fine.

While settled in over that fire at night, it’s so wondrous to look up and absorb the big picture.

Who am I, why am I here, what else is out there, what would it be like to go to the moon, how amazing is life and how our planets work.

I really enjoy looking up to the stars at night, imagining a life where I get to choose my tomorrow. So after experiencing this magnificent lifestyle, I just feel I can’t do 4 walls now.

I Can't do 4 walls

Life on the road is so amazing. Every day is filled with adventure and experiences. So many great memories.

Yes, don’t box me in.

How does that song go:

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

Did I mention, I can’t do 4 walls…..

Pin – I Can’t Do 4 Walls

Can't Do 4 Walls

You might also enjoy reading:

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

We are Adele & Kevin, an Aussie couple from Brisbane in Queensland Australia who have embraced our adventurous spirit and ventured out to explore the world around us. We had spent so much time overseas we decided it was time to see our own truly amazing country and we needed to take some time to see everything it has to offer.

Our Aim is to inspire others to travel and help design the greatest adventure they can experience.

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Photography and Socials

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

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

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

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/34thTP1  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  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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Where to Find Us

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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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

For the first 2 years of our travels which started in February 2016 we documented everything we spent and recorded it to allow us to help give others a base idea of what it might cost to travel Australia.

We have read other 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 have detailed everything that it really cost us to travel Australia for 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 cost us to the cent.

Of course though, everyone’s travels are different and this is just what it cost us. Use our report to guide you to estimate your own potential expenses.

Ayers Rock at Sunset on Full Moon

About us and how we travel

We were 3 adults as our son who had just turned 23 travelled 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 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 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 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 through our adventures others could make up their own itineraries.

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

Lessons we learnt on our travels

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 really learnt about our costs to travel Australia 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.

Looking for ways to reduce your accommodation expenses as well as food and groceries? Read How to save money on Accommodation and How to save money on Food and Groceries

We searched for the best value Fuel and looked to conserve fuel by reducing weight.

We didn’t fill up our water tanks until we got to our destination therefore reducing weight and providing better fuel economy.

On a continual basis, we 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.

Here’s a few ways we have found that you can save money on fuel while traveling Tips on Saving Fuel Costs While Traveling

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 and had a pool to swim in during the day.
  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 islands like Great Keppel and Fitzroy Island, 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.

Here’s a few ways that you will help you save when staying in Caravan Parks: How to save Money staying at Caravan Parks

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 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.

For tips on how to embrace and enjoy the wonderful experience of traveling Australia: Our Best Travel Tips

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 your 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.

You may enjoy reading: Traveling Australia with our dog MACKS and A Tribute to MACKS the Best Dog I’ve ever known

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.

We traveled Australia with our beautiful Golden Retriever Macks for the first 16 months of our adventure!

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

Here is what is really costs to travel Australia for us over 24 months:

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

You may enjoy finding out our ways on saving money on food and groceries:
How to save Money on Food and Groceries

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
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.

There’s no regrets with this cost, we wanted to see all of Australia that we could and many of our greatest memories have been the incredible tours we did.

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.

Here are some of our highlights in the first 6 months:
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

Our Second 6 months highlights included:
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

During our third 6 months, Tasmania and Kangaroo Island were both highlights:
The Very Best Things to See and Do in Tasmania Kangaroo Island
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.

Some of our favourite experiences on our adventure have been during our fourth 6 months: Our Favourite Experiences as we Travel Australia

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.

For some great places to stay around Australia, check out our Best Free Camps, Campgrounds and Caravan Parks and save them to your own list: Our 22 Best Free Camps in Australia Our 29 Best Low Cost Campgrounds in Australia Our Best Caravan Parks around Australia

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

You may enjoy finding out our ways on saving money on food and groceries and alcohol: How to Save Money on Alcohol

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 all about our experience of traveling Australia with a Dog: Traveling Australia with our dog 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 on 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 or $1 per day.

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 than it was for us!

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

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 to travel Australia.

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 it really costs to travel Australia and what type of 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.

If you are seriously planning your own adventure and are looking for information on what you will need, what to do with your house, ways to work while you travel and much more, download The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Road Trip for just $24.95!

Pin – What it Really Costs to Travel Australia!

What it really costs to travel Australia

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Photography

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

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

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

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/3nx5pyG  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, every day use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/33xYeht – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/34thTP1  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  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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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

Mackay – Whitsundays region, so much to see and do

The Mackay to Whitsundays drive is so full of fun and exciting things to see and explore, we love it every time.

Photo1-IMG_6198

With the help of some friends who live in Mackay, we received some great tips on what to see and do.  Our caravan park manager, Macca from Bucasia Beach in Mackay, was such a chilled dude and helped us out with ideas too.

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