Get the F###ing Fire Extinguisher!! - Indefinite Leave
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Get the F###ing Fire Extinguisher!!

There’s a major story that we have never told, but a lot of time has gone by and I feel the time is now right. Our Motorhome Air Conditioner caught on fire.

You know, flames from the roof, bellowing smoke, fire brigade, campground jam packed with hundreds of people all around us.  All of this with Adele inside the Motorhome while the roof was alight with flames and smoke!!

Extinguishing the fire from the air conditioner

After I put out the fire

Motorhome Air Conditioner caught fire!

It was Easter Friday 2017. Earlier to this, we had been to Kangaroo Island in South Australia. We arrived back on the mainland a few days prior and went straight to Rapid Bay Campground. Our YouTube channel has a video of the campground when we arrived and another the day of the fire. We were told there were 900 people camping there over Easter.

It was as simple as I plugged in the Generator and started it. Whenever we plug into electricity the Air Conditioner unit the standby light comes on. It’s our way of knowing the power is connected. On this occasion however Adele was inside and heard a fizzing sound and there was no light. She came out to tell me what she heard so I went inside myself to see why the light hadn’t turned on. I checked the unit and tried manually turning it on but nothing. Then I tried the remote control, still nothing.

Putting out the Fire!

Next minute absolute mayhem as someone came running over yelling to us we were on fire. Get the F###ing Fire Extinguisher!!

motorhome air conditioner caught fire

As you can imagine, it was immediate panic and the following few minutes are a blurr. Immediately I raced to the back of the Motorhome and climbed the ladder to see flames coming from the air conditioner unit. Someone had already unplugged the Generator and raced away from the Motorhome with it to take that risk out of the equation. I quickly asked for my 20L container of water to put out the fire when someone yelled out not to put water onto an electrical fire.

I’m glad someone was thinking with common sense!!

Adele grabbed our fire extinguisher and it was thrown up to me. I’d never used one before but very quickly worked it out and began giving the Motorhome a foam bath. It worked fast but this stuff went everywhere.

On the roof of the Motorhome there was powder residue all over it but the gift kept giving. When we got back inside, it was all over our bed and all throughout the Winnebago.

Fire damage - motorhome air conditionerNo other damage, just the air conditioner

It was obvious the fire was contained to just the air conditioner unit for which we were thankful. Fortunately there was no damage at all to the Motorhome or the roof. 18 months later now and the air conditioner has been replaced, twice actually, but I’ll discuss that in a minute.

Matt was out fishing with our mate Mick in his boat so we had Mick’s wife call him to get the message through to Matt to come back.

The Fire Brigade was called to check everything and gave it the thumbs up. They looked right over everything and told me they believed the compressor had shorted and that did make sense.

Fire Brigade callout

Fortunately we were at Rapid Bay Campground

So here we were, Easter Friday, nowhere to go, no-one to speak to about repairing it until Tuesday when shops opened again. Foam was everywhere, inside the Motorhome as well as outside.

We were the talking point of the Campground and for all the wrong reasons and photos began being posted on Instagram of our Motorhome on fire. The people there though were fantastic and very helpful.

Why the air conditioner decided that moment for the compressor to short out we don’t know.  We were thankful it did do it then, when there were so many other people about to notice it. This also meant there were others to help us to put it out properly, rather than just days before when we were free camping in isolated locations around Kangaroo Island.

 

Here’s what I do know though!!

End of the drama you’re thinking? No No No, it was only just beginning.

Replacing the Motorhome Air Conditioner while we flew home

The air conditioner that had been in our Motorhome was wayyyyyy too small and therefore was working too hard when it was used. It only barely cooled the Motorhome down when it was on and it was a hot day.

We bought our Motorhome second hand and it came with a Dometic B2200. It looked to be the original air conditioner unit but there’s no way for me to know for sure. What I do know is that the B2200 Dometic Air conditioner unit is designed for a 5m vehicle.  This unit was too small in capacity for our Motorhome.

I didn’t know about all this until afterwards when I did some research.

Fortunately, we did manage to get on to our insurer CIL straight away the next day, they were awesome even though it was Easter Saturday. We decided to go see CaraRest in Adelaide and arrange for them to do the insurance work of replacing the air conditioner. Soon after Easter we were due to fly back home to Brisbane as I was the MC for my niece’s wedding. This meant we could leave it with them for the 10 days while we were away and they would have plenty of time to see to the repairs.

When we dropped off the Motorhome, the owner of CaraRest said to me he would be installing a Dometic Harrier Air Conditioner, the model suited to our Motorhome.

Fantastic, no problem.

 

You may also enjoy reading:

How much does it cost to travel to Kangaroo Island
Our 18 months Expenses to Travel Australia
Ante Chamber Bay campground, Kangaroo Island
Our fun stay at Discovery Parks Tanunda, Barossa Valley SA

External rooftop view of Motorhome Air Conditioner

Our flight back to Brisbane

It was 10am and our flight was 4pm, thankfully we had plenty of time because 40 minutes into our taxi ride, when we were almost to the airport, I realised I left my wallet back in the Motorhome. Without my license I had no identification to show at the airport, so we had to turn around and go back. When I arrived the owner’s daughter served me and took me out to the workshop to our Motorhome. They were already working on it so I jumped in through the open side door to the back of the Motorhome. I reached through into the front cabin, grabbed my wallet and we were back on our way.

During the week I followed up with a phone call to the Owner to check on progress, yes everything will be ready by Friday, the day before we were due back to pick it up. Again on Friday, I rang to check on progress and was assured it was almost complete, it would be ready when we got there on Saturday. Ohhh and by the way he said, we couldn’t fit that Air Conditioner, the solar panels on the roof were in the way so we put in a B2200 Freshjet. I figured he knew what he was doing so ok, see you Saturday.

Back to collect our Motorhome

When we arrived the Motorhome was brought around to us. It was 11.30am and they closed at midday. The owner stood there with his pad and biro watching us while we all had our suitcases and luggage in our hands, over our shoulders and basically our hands were more full than a centipede’s sock drawer.

Motorhome Air Conditioner

Given he showed no signs of opening the door, even if it was for a lady with her hands full, Adele decided to open the door to the back of the Motorhome and when she did the handle just fell off in her hands. We all stood there wondering what was happening before asking what the deal was. The Owner immediately responded that Adele had applied too much pressure and broke it.

You’re kidding right!!

A few minutes back and forth, I just wanted to get into the Motorhome and put down the bags. We knew what we were being told wasn’t adding up because one thing he said was they never used the back door. That seemed so odd, that they would lug their tools and an air conditioner unit over the front seats, squeeze their way between the two front seats, over our Waeco 40L fridge/freezer which at that time sat between our seats to access the rear of the Motorhome when there was a perfectly good side door. Besides, I had to come back to get my wallet remember and guess which door they had open!!

The new Motorhome Air Conditioner Unit

I went inside and looked at the new air conditioner unit and straight away it looked odd. It was clearly much smaller in size to the previous one and that one hardly worked as it was. Quickly I googled it and found out it is made for a space of 25m3 (we are 49.5m3) and a vehicle of maximum length of 5m (we are 8m). Our Motorhome is W2780 x L8000 x H2230 internally giving a total approx area of 49.5m3. I asked him about it and he just said the one he wanted to put on wouldn’t fit and he put a like for like in it. He insisted that was all he had to do.

Check specifications here

Check more specifications here

At no time were we angry or swear etc, we simply asked questions and believe we made valid points such as why didn’t he call me to discuss options before deciding not to install the one he said he would. It was at this point he decided to yell at us to leave and walked off, slamming the door to the premises and locking it.

Did that reaction suggest he was feeling guilty about something, I guess only he could answer that!!

Here we were with a broken door handle plus an air conditioner totally unsuitable to our Motorhome. It was a Saturday and again the Monday was a Public holiday so we had to wait 3 days before we could get answers to the issues. We were ready to leave for Uluru but had to spend more unknown amount of time in Adelaide.

Our Dealings with CIL were magnificent

Before leaving, we rang CIL and told them what we knew and asked do we take possession of the Motorhome to which they said yes. So back to Rapid Bay we went for 3 more days.

Lets just say, we will never darken the doors of Cara Rest in Kilburn in Adelaide ever again and I highly recommend you don’t either.

Throughout our entire ordeal, CIL were magnificent. It’s why we were so disappointed when we had to change companies, you can read all about that here –https://indefiniteleave.com.au/caravan-motorhome-insurance/

By this time we wanted to leave Adelaide, we were pretty shattered and were looking for some positive experiences. It was also by this point we had run out of funds, nothing left, zip, zilch, zero. The stress was starting to tell. We spoke to CIL on the Tuesday and they said obviously we didn’t want to go back for them to fix the repairs and we confirmed we didn’t want them anywhere near us or our Motorhome. We said there was no point testing the air con in Adelaide in 22c cool weather, it will always seem cold.

So they agreed we should leave Adelaide and arrange repairs further up the road, maybe in Coober Pedy or Alice Springs. The door handle worked from the inside, just not the outside.

Shredded tyre

More drama

As we drove out of Adelaide just an hour or two…. Boom!! One of the tyres disintegrated and blew out. It was one of the rear dual wheels. So we limped into the nearest town just nearby, a place you’ve probably never heard of called…..Snowtown!!

Ohhh shit……!!

Needless to say, we weren’t thinking an overnight stay here was something we were looking forward to. If you’re unsure what I’m talking about, just google Snowtown. Our headspace was already very ordinary, this felt like another blow. I kept telling myself, this is a test, the universe is asking me how much do you really want this life?

Tyre Blowout Snowtown

My business for reasons I couldn’t understand just wasn’t happening. I was doing a lot of work as we were traveling but contracts kept crashing and I was left without being paid anything for all my time and costs. Instead of the normal 1 in 5 contracts not proceeding on finance or other issues I had lost 8 out of 9 contracts while traveling. Each one that crashed was a dagger in my back and totally unexpected. Financially, we were now having to go into debt to continue.

This was when we became super awesome at traveling on a budget.

Only very few people know about this dark time we went through, that is our great friends we had met and traveled with and were keen to catch up with again. Jason, Denise and little Millie from the Facebook and Instagram page West Aussie Nomads and Mick, his wife L and their 2 boys all of whom we now proudly call great lifelong friends. We didn’t discuss details with any family or friends back home, we didn’t want to worry them when they were so far away.

Luckily we had been doing this long enough now to know there were going to be great times again, we just had to get through it.

Motorhome Air Conditioner repairs at Mobile Caravan Repairs Darwin

Repairs finalized in Darwin

We got ourselves to Darwin and went to see Paul who does Mobile Caravan repairs there and he was sensational. He showed us a caravan he was renovating and it was probably half the size of our Motorhome and he was putting a bigger air con in it, the B3200. Also he said he hoped the Insurers wouldn’t want him to keep the one installed in ours as it was so small he’d never use it.

Once he spoke to the Insurers and provided other really damning evidence and opinion, CIL backed us up entirely, organising the Harrier air conditioner to be installed plus replacement of the door handle, we were told the cost of it was sent back to the original repairer. Whether that is what happened I’m not privy to but it’s what we were told. Needless to say, CIL’s representative told us they were very disappointed with the original repairer.

There’s a comment made by two people within the industry that reflects so poorly on the original repairer that I’d love to share but it’s opinion and not fact, so that one you’ll have to ask me about if we meet one day.

We had the motorhome air conditioner replaced in Darwin in a day, yes the solar panels had to be re-positioned but it was obviously easily done and could have been done originally, and a new door handle was installed. That was a huge relief but the Travel Gods decided we needed one more devastating blow, the time to make a call on our beautiful Golden Retriever MACKS. It was time to say goodbye.

Farewelling MACKS

Now we were truly shattered, our souls were basically destroyed.

Macks on her last days in Darwin

Let me tell you, this is so hard to write, tears are beginning to flow as I go back in time to share with you about this horrific two month period of our life on the road. They were cruel times.

The repairs were completed and we’ve had no issues with them since. We went heavily into debt and had to spend some time back in Brisbane getting control of our finances again. Therefore we headed home for Christmas and spent 4 months focused solely on getting back on track. Just when we got back in front we had to replace the rubber membrane of our roof in the Motorhome and that blew $8000 and left us with no surplus cash once again.

It had been fun times…. not!!

Honouring MACKS

We honoured MACKS our beautiful Golden Retriever in every way we could think and today the Motorhome is called Darwinny, in remembrance of her and her resting place. She will always be part of Indefinite Leave and her collar, mat and lead stay with us.

We thank our great friends we mentioned for getting us through. More importantly, we have remained mates and catch up often and they feature in our e-book now available called Travel Chat with Indefinite Leave.

Motorhome Air Conditioner - Repairs in Darwin

Thank you to Pauls Mobile Caravan Repairs

We can’t thank Paul from Pauls Mobile Caravan Repairs enough, he really knew his stuff and couldn’t have been better to deal with. Contact Paul on 0438 120 571 if you are in Darwin and need any help.

Also we remain very thankful to CIL for what they did for us even though we are now with a different insurer.

To everyone who followed our journey on our pages and offered us a friendly comment, chatted to us, messaged us and inspired us to keep going, and there were so many, thank you, you really don’t how much you helped us through that journey of our adventure but we sure do.

Our Blog became our place where we could go, put on a brave face and share positive thoughts and get back more in return.

Now go check your Fire Extinguisher, check it is accessible, in good working condition, isn’t out of date and all of you know how to use it, it may save your vehicle or even your life.

Safe travels

Kev& Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography and Socials

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

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

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

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Adventurers Diary

Ocean Rafting the Great Barrier Reef in Whitsundays

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

 

You’ll have the ride of your life!!

 

Ocean Rafting Tour - The Ride of your Life

Ocean Rafting Northern Exposure Tour

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

That’s just for starters!!

 

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

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

Ocean Rafting Snorkeling

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

 

Snorkel Whitsundays

 

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

 

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

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

 

Hill Inlet

Fun at Hill Inlet

Whitehaven Beach

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Lunch on board the Ocean Rafting Tour

 

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

 

Hill Inlet Lookout

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

 

Hill Inlet Lookout

Ocean Rafting Tour pull into the beach at Hill Inlet

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Whitsunday Islands National Park

 

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

 

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

 

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

Read more information and Book your Tour here

 

With our guides from our Ocean Rafting Tour

 

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

 

Where to stay in the Whitsundays?

 

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

Book your Hotel stay in the Whitsundays here>

 

For Caravan Park Accommodation:

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

Base Backpackers Airlie Beach

 

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

https://pin.it/52ggvyqo55wxkr

Mackay to Whitsundays so much to see and do

https://pin.it/sz6oigtwdyj6vr

 

Our Story

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

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

 

Socials

You can find us on YouTube and follow us Facebook.

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Adventurers Diary

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

The REAL costs to Travel Australia over 24 months

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

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

 

Ayers Rock at Sunset on Full Moon

 

About us

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

 

Fishing on Fraser Island at Sunrise

 

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

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

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

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

 

Aerial view of Haycock Point in Ben Boyd National Park

 

Our Trip

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

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

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

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

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

 

Stunning Hyams Beach

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

 

Lessons we learnt

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

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

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

 

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

Our Highest Costs to travel Australia

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

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

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

 

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

 

A couple of quick tips for traveling Oz

1.  Don’t have a washing machine

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

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

2.  Pets

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

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

 

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

 

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

3. Phone coverage

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

4. Wifi

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Groceries 🍞🍉🥪🧀

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

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

 

Takeaways 🍟🍕🌭

$3,561.61

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

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

 

Dining Out 🍽️🍸

$6,391.69
Last 6 months $162

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

Overall our total Dining Out expense was $61.46pw

 

Accommodation 🚎🎪♨️

$13,453.63
$18.98 Average per night

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

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

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

 

Fuel is just one of the costs to travel Australia

 

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

 

Fuel

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

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

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

 

Winnebago

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

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

 

Iveco

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

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

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

 

Entertainment 🏊‍♂️🎣⛰️🏝️🚁🚡

$18,429.31

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

First 6 months

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

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

Second 6 months

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

Third 6 months

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

Fourth 6 months

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

Our Highest Entertainment Costs

Our biggest adventure costs were:

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

Readers who enjoyed this also read:

Our Best Free Camps

The Best Campgrounds we stayed

Our Favourite Experiences around Australia

Cost to go to Kangaroo Island

Day Trip to Fitzroy Island in Cairns

FishCosts to travel Australia included Fishing Charters in our Entertainment Expenses

Horizontal Falls was the highest tour cost while traveling Australia

 

Gas

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

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

 

Alcohol 🍾🍷🥃🍻🍸

$4,926.90

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

Cost is $47.37pw

 

MACKS, our dog  

$3,373.04 in vet and medications etc

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

 

Dog Sitting

$959

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

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

 

Gorge Tours were part of our Entertainment Cost to Travel Australia

 

Adele’s Nails

$959

Some things a girl just has to do lol

 

Clothes

$2,488.41

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

$23.93pw was spent on clothing

 

Fishing

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

$13.97 pw was spent of fishing.

 

Laundry

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

Our laundry costs were $6.98pw

 

National Parks

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

 

Medical

$1,401.05

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

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

 

Miscellaneous

$2,909.52

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

This is an expense of $27.98pw

 

Adele under the Adels Grove Sign

 

Hair & Beauty

$370.90

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

 

Our Total Costs to travel Australia

Total amount = $109,534.16

Total average per week = $1,053.21

 

How to reduce your costs to travel Australia

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Our Story

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

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

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Photography

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

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

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

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Adventurers Diary

A Day Trip to Fitzroy Island in Cairns

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

Fitzroy Island – A perfect Day Trip from Cairns

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

Green Island Vs Fitzroy Island

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

 

Indefinite Leave on Fitzroy Island

Indefinite Leave on Fitzroy Island for the day

Fitzroy Island Ferry

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

Fitzroy Island Glass Bottom Boat

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

 

A day Trip to Fizroy Island

Leaving behind Cairns and our wake

Foxy’s Bar and Nudey Beach

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

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

 

Cocktails on our Day Trip to Fitzroy Island

Nudey Beach on Fitzroy Island

Cocktails first then it was on to Nudey Beach

Fitzroy Island Snorkeling

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

 

Adele relaxing on Nudey Beach

Adele relaxing on Nudey Beach

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

Fitzroy Island Turtles

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

 

Turtle spotting

Turtle spotting on Fitzroy Island

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

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

 

 

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

 

Swinging for our Anniversary

 

How long does it take to get there?

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

 

Plenty of place to relax

Tropical Island Paradise

Plenty of places to relax on Fitzroy Island

What is there to do on Fitzroy Island?

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

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

 

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

 

Beautiful turquoise waters on Fitzroy Island

Beautiful turquoise waters on Fitzroy Island

How much does it cost and where can I book?

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

 

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

 

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

How to get there?

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

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

 

Where to stay in Cairns?

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

Book your Hotel stay here

 

Cairns Caravan Park Accommodation

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

Cool Waters Holiday Park

First City Caravilla Caravan Park

Lake Placid Tourist Park

Cairns Holiday Park

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

 

Things to See and Do in Cairns

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

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

Things to See and Do in Cairns.

Driving from Townsville to Cairns

 

 

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

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

You can find us on YouTube and follow us Facebook.

 

_____________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

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

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

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

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