Mackay - Whitsundays region, so much to see and do - Indefinite Leave
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Mackay – Whitsundays region, so much to see and do

Mackay

We arrived in Mackay just after Easter (2016) and for the next 3 weeks the region quickly became a place we felt relaxed and at peace with.

With the help of some friends who live in Mackay, we received some great tips on what to see and do and the caravan park manager, Macca, was such a chilled dude it was really hard to stress about anything.Photo1-IMG_6198

We had terrific weather most of the time, all except our day at Cape Hillsborough but we made the most of that day too.

There’s so much to see and do in Mackay and the Whitsundays

Here are our tips on what to do in Mackay and the surrounding region.

Sarina

Sarina is a small town just 34kms south of Mackay. Whilst it might be small, it packs a huge punch when you consider Sarina and Mackay provide two-thirds of Australia’s sugar. Sarina is the sugar capital of Australia with cane field farms a key component to driving the local economy.

Sugar Shed Tour in Sarina

Whilst staying in Sarina we visited the Sarina Sugar Shed. Adele’s cousin Lyn and her husband David own a local sugar cane farm and Lyn now volunteers as a tour guide at the Sarina Sugar Shed. We were able to take a tour with Lyn as our guide and it was very interesting to go through the process of Sugar Cane farming, taste the sugar cane and then some of the final products such as fairy floss and there own brands of Rum, Rum Liqueur, Butterscotch Schnapps and more.

Book your Sugar Shed Tour here>

Sugar Shed Tour Sarina

Sarina is also very close to the coastline with local beaches such as Armstrong Beach and Sarina Beach less than 10 minutes from town.

Hay Point

Hay Point is nearby, just 15kms further north of Sarina and is one of the world’s biggest Coal distribution terminals. We took a drive to the Hay Point lookout where we had spectacular views of the coastline and islands and we counted the many coal ships waiting offshore.

Hay Point

islands off Mackay

Mackay is one of regional Queensland’s largest towns with a population of approx. 75,000. Several islands are located just offshore from Mackay including Brampton, Keswick and St Bees Islands. They offer great fishing, beautiful beaches and a quiet, tranquil location to visit by boat.

Brampton Island was once a thriving Island resort location until it was closed in 2011 for renovations, which have never occurred. It was reported in 2015 that redevelopment plans had been approved, let’s hope Brampton is back as a tourist destination sometime soon.

Keswick Island offers a range of accommodation including Glamping or a Beach House. Camping is also available on the island.

Eimeo Pub

Ever wanted to relax at a pub with magnificent ocean views, overlooking beautiful islands with boats moored in their coves, where the water is that spectacular blue and green colour and you sit up so high you can see it all and feel like it’s literally at your fingertips.

The Eimeo Pub has all that and more.

Eimeo Pub Mackay

The food is also good. I ate a seafood linguini and it was as delicious as any I’ve ever had. Adele enjoyed the Calamari the first time and on our second visit the Pork Belly.

Did I mention the views?

Eimeo Pub has great views

All up we visited the Eimeo Hotel 3 times during our stay in Mackay. Some meals were great, others not always but the views steal the attention, especially on a clear day. It sits high in the mountain looking out over the cliff face to Brampton Island, Keswick Island and the Southern end of the Whitsundays.

www.eimeohotel.com.au

Mackay Beaches

Our stay was spent at Bucasia Beach. It’s long beaches and fantastic views makes relaxing and romantic beach strolls enjoyable.

You can fish from the beach or try the mouth of the river nearby. Yabbies are plentiful and make great bait for an assortment of fish you can catch.

Fishing at Bucasia Beach

The Bucasia Beach Caravan Resort at first glance may not be the most modern park in which you will stay but the facilities are good and clean. Most of all it is right on the beach with incredible views. The park is dog friendly, it has a pool and good free wifi. Talk to the managers about how they can help your stay more enjoyable, it’s amazing what they will do to assist you.

Being dog friendly and absolute beachfront it was a perfect location for MACKS to enjoy numerous swims at the beach. A short stroll across the dune and she was swimming for as long as we were prepared to keep throwing the stick.

Bucasia Beach

Both the sunsets and sunrises from Bucasia Beach were fantastic. We would often take the time to watch as the sun rose in the morning and set in the afternoon.

Bucasia Beach Sunset

We also had plenty of local birdlife and Possums to entertain us. Lorikeets, Ducks and Cockatoos would often come to say hello as did the Possums at night. We fed them fruit, mainly apples or grapes. Bread is not ideal and can kill them whereas fruit is much more natural for them.

Feeding the Lorikeets at Bucasia Beach

Like most beaches in Queensland, midgies are an issue so remember to apply a repellent as often as required. Talk to Macca the manager, he has a repellent worth giving a try.

www.bucasiabeach.com.au

 

Mackay Harbour Marina

The Mackay Harbour Marina is a new modern facility with 500 berths, a large upmarket residential complex and is also an important base for large boats including Super Yachts.

Locals will often spend Sunday lunch at one of the restaurants or enjoy fish and chips whilst listening to a local band playing. The food is great, the bar has plenty of drinks on offer and the outlook over the marina and the yachts provides an excellent ambience for a Sunday sesh.

Lunch at the Lighthouse at Mackay Harbour

Mackay Harbour Marina

You can also take a walk or short drive out to the point from the Marina where a rock wall provides excellent fishing and a great spot to watch the sunset.

Take a drive up to the Slade Point Lookout, which is just 5 minutes from Mackay Harbour, for a fabulous viewpoint back towards Eimeo and down on to Lamberts Beach.

From here you have clear unobstructed views of the ocean and beaches nearby and can see any boats or ships in Harbour.

 

Eungella National Park

You will need at least a full day to visit Eungella National Park and Finch Hatton Gorge, a short drive west from Mackay. An overnight trip is probably ideal.

Eungella National Park is one of the things to do in Mackay & Whitsundays

Eungella is one of the few places where you can view the ever elusive Platypus swimming in the wild. Broken River offers terrific viewing locations, you just need to time it right and be a bit lucky. We were lucky enough to find one, swimming and playing in the river and we stood and watched “him” for an hour. Also swimming with our new Platypus friend were a number of turtles of all sizes.

Platypus in Eungella National Park

We went for a walk upstream and found some beautiful river streams and bushwalks plus we saw Kangaroos and Wallaby’s and a range of beautiful birds and some amazing rainforest.

Be prepared, the temperature atop the range is normally around 10 degrees cooler than Mackay.

Whilst in Eungella, have lunch at the Eungella Chalet, which provides incredible views out over Pioneer Valley. From the rear of the Hotel, Paragliders would jump off to fly through the valley, soaring high above the range.

Paragliding Platform at the Eungella Chalet

Finch Hatton Gorge

Finch Hatton Gorge is located at the foot of the range and within a short drive in from the main road. From the entry point a walk of just 1.6kms begins a journey through Rainforest to the first waterfall. Another short walk and you will find the Wheel of Fire cascades, more waterfalls and a large rock pool. There are some lookouts with fabulous views also.

 

Melba House

On our way back to Mackay we stopped at Melba House, the home of Dame Nellie Melba who was a world renowned Australian Operatic Soprano singer in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Born in Melbourne, where she took her name Melba from, the family moved to Mackay after her mother’s sudden death in 1881 where her father built a new sugar mill.

Melba House is full with Memorabilia and information about Dame Nellie Melba and her life as an Australian who made International fame.

Melba House out from Mackay

Her death was front page news throughout many countries around the world. She died of Septicaemia in 1931 at the age of 69.

 

Cape Hillsborough National Park

A visit to Mackay has to include a stay at Cape Hillsborough National Park. The Cape Hillsborough Nature Tourist Park is a perfect place to relax and enjoy the region. Located just 30kms north of Mackay, a feature is the Kangaroos and Wallabies that make their home throughout the Tourist Park and especially along the beach at Sunrise each morning. In the early morning they go to the beach to eat the weed washed up overnight by the tides.

Seeing the Kangaroos at Sunrise at Cape Hillsboroough is one of the best things to do in Mackay
The Wallabies are much more timid than the Kangaroos who allow you to get quite close, but remember, these are wild animals and not pets. You should never pat a kangaroo in the wild.

There are 3 walking tracks which take you around the mountain with various lookouts with great views. Unfortunately the day we stayed there was 100mm of rain and we didn’t get the opportunity to do the walks. Due to the rain I decided to catch up on some work at reception and was kept company by Bridget and Emily, the local kangaroos who don’t like the rain either, so they shelter in the games area next to reception.

Cape Hillsborough Tourist Park resident kangaroos

The park also provides other facilities including an excellent big pool, Mini putt putt, pool tables and table tennis.

Birds are plentiful and the black cockatoos and kookaburras are easy to find.

www.capehillsboroughresort.com.au

Cape Hillsborough & Nearby Beaches

Not far from Cape Hillsborough are the beachside towns of Seaforth and Haliday Bay. Here you can find some beautiful beaches with safe swimming opportunities with stingers nets available. We tried some fishing from the beach without success but it was a very enjoyable few hours on such beautiful beaches.

Seaforth

 

The Leap

The turnoff to Cape Hillsborough is just past a tiny town of The Leap. The town consists almost entirely of The Leap Hotel where we stopped for lunch on our way back to Mackay.

The Leap Hotel near Mackay

The Leap derives its name from an historic event in 1867. Local farmers had been losing cattle to suspected Aboriginals who were spearing the cows for food. The police were called and in those days it has been noted by historians that the local police would actually kill full tribes of aboriginals. Once trapped on top of the mountain a mother with her child jumped from the cliff rather than face the police. The 3yo daughter survived and later married an Englishmen and had 2 children, a boy and a girl. Descendants of one of the children now live in Brisbane.

The Leap History

 

Whitsundays

The Whitsundays are an amazing aquatic playground made up of 74 islands and every one seemingly more amazing than the last. The town of Airlie Beach is the gateway to this amazing marine wonderland of tranquil turquoise waters and pure white sandy beaches.

Hill Inlet is one of the best things to see in Whitsundays

The Whitsundays provides something for everyone regardless if you are looking for somewhere to relax or an action packed adventurous experience.

Spend the day captaining your own yacht and sailing around the islands or take a tour including free drinks and make your own party. Relax in Airlie Beach’s man made lagoon or go Parasailing. Or try Stand Up Paddleboarding or take a fishing charter to some of the best and closest reef fishing you will find so close to shore. Relax at the many fine restaurants and party at night in the nightclubs or pubs in Airlie Beach.

Here are just a three of the fantastic tours we took around the Whitsunday Islands from Airlie Beach, simply click on the link to book your tour:

Reefsleep

Ocean Rafting Adventure

Camira Sailing Tour

Whitehaven Beach is one of the best things to do in Whitsundays

Regardless of your preference you can find a lifestyle to suit you right here.

For more about Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays read all about it here – http://indefiniteleave.com.au/top-13-must-airlie-beach-whitsundays/

Whitsunday Crocodile Safari

The Proserpine River is known to have the highest population of Salt Water Crocodiles on the Eastern coastline and the Whitsunday Crocodile Safari is fantastic at taking you on an educational tour of the river and spotting Salt Water Crocodiles. They also take you on a Wetlands tour, exploring the area and teaching you some fantastic survival tips and interesting features of the region.

Crocodile Safari Prosperpine

The Mackay Whitsundays region is a travelers paradise. With so much to see and do it will provide something for everyone. A trip to Queensland should always include a visit to Mackay, it’s an area you can always see more than once.

There’s is so much to see and do in Mackay and surrounding region. Did we miss anything?

What was your experience of Mackay?

Kev, Adele and Matt

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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.

 

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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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