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How to save money on Accommodation

Save money on accommodation

Working out how to save money on accommodation is important because the cost for somewhere to stay each night can be one of your biggest expenses. It will of course depend on your setup, style of travel, where you go and your experience.

We found the longer we traveled, the more experienced we got and the less it cost us.

After 12 months on the road our average cost per night for accommodation was $33.12. It was costing us around 14% of our expenses.

At the 2 year mark accommodation was 12% of our expenses and now our average per night is $15.15. We have certainly reduced our accommodation costs as we have learnt more and gained experience on our travels.

Over the last 2 years our average cost for accommodation has been just $7.62 per night.

We have worked hard to find ways to reduce our costs and save money on accommodation with Free camping just one of those. On other occasions, opportunities just became available. Today we share everything we have learned on how to save money on where to stay overnight.

Save money on Accmmodation
Camping Free at Uluru in 2017

Here are our tips on How to Save Money on Accommodation


WikiCamps is the traveller’s bible, it’s a fantastic app that the owners have done an amazing job to create, but it’s not the Law of Camping Accommodation. It doesn’t know everything as it’s run by us as users. It only knows what information we enter into it. Also it needs to be seen to reflect compliance, but not everything in life is black and white.

There are many more places you can stay that aren’t in Wikicamps!!

Use Wikicamps as an absolutely invaluable guide and everyone that sets off on your Big Lap needs to have it, but don’t limit your thinking to it having the only places you can find to stay.

Wikicamps is an app you can download to your Phone or Tablet for just $7.99.

Free Camps and RV Stopovers save money on Accommodation

This is the best and most common way to reduce your costs for overnight stays. There are so many fantastic locations to stay for free or very low cost all around Australia.

Check out our list of Free camps here –

Free camping obviously will save you money on accommodation but there are other advantages too. It’s more relaxed and usually you have a bit more space too.

There are still a lot of places that you can’t free camp and that’s why having other options is just as important.

Our website has hundreds of great locations all around Australia you can search by location or camping type.

Save money on Accommodation
Brown Bay SA

Low Cost Campgrounds also save money on Accommodation

Free Camps aren’t the only way to save funds on the road. There are lots of Low Cost locations to stay also.

These include Showgrounds, Pubs, Parks, Clubs, Station stays and Home Stays where you can stay for a small fee and will save you a lot of money on accommodation.

Check out: Our Best Low Cost Campgrounds around Australia


It’s probably debatable about saving money at Vineyards, for us it’d be a lot like staying at Pubs and we would absolutely over indulge haha

There are vineyards around the country though that do offer the opportunity to stay overnight. With some it may not be advertised but by asking the question you might find they say yes.

We spent some time on the road with my cousin. We went south from Mt Gambier and they headed north for a night. They ended up staying the night in the vineyard car park after the owner said it was OK and they even got given a couple of bottles of wine that had been opened. They were a little worse for wear the next day when we caught up again and I was very unhappy at missing out on the fun.

Get Discounts

Caravan Parks are still an important part of traveling Australia. For families they can be great places for the kids to have a lot of fun and enjoy their experience on the road. For us it’s about the location and having power to run our air con and a pool to swim.

We have stayed at some awesome Caravan Parks that have had the most amazing water parks which were fun for everyone.

You don’t have to pay full price at Caravan Parks, there are lots of ways to enjoy discounted stays and actually save money on accommodation.

Read more: How to save money when staying in Caravan Parks.

Save money on Accommodation by free camping
McGaurans Beach Vic

Leave the children at home

Ok, just threw this one in to see if you are paying attention lol

Wait, is it an option…… no…. ok!!

Save Money on Accommodation by talking to the Locals

We pulled up in a car park by the river at North Haven in NSW and an older man came over and asked if we were staying there the night. The answer was No as we were just there to take a look at the river and maybe do some fishing.

We were being very cautious as we didn’t know where he was going with it. We had no intention to stay in that spot the night anyway but it did seem strange. Turned out he used to have a Motorhome and was a local and he gave us all the details of where we could stay. One spot that the Rangers don’t enforce any rules and another where the Rangers couldn’t do anything.

We ended up in a great spot by the river for a couple of nights for free and have been back again since too.

He was a lovely fellow, hope he’s OK as he was having some cancer issues at the time.

That is just one example of locals giving us Gold information. We met a young family at Dalmeny Campground and then bumped into him again in his hometown further south. He gave us a premium location to stay that we enjoyed all to ourselves for 3 nights, listening to the waves and enjoying some spectacular beaches and fishing.

These are just 2 occasions, there have been other circumstances too. The more people you meet and are friendly to, the more opportunities that arise.

5 Essentials – Outside RV Accessories

  1. To plug your RV with standard 15amp in to standard residential 10amp power source you will need a converter. We love our waterproof Ampfibian and after over 4 years it’s still perfect.
  2. Most people carry a Generator for back up power. 4wd Supacentre has a good low cost and popular generator while the Yamaha 2000w is a robust yet quiet excellent performer.
  3. A 20m 15amp Power Lead will ensure you reach your power source in Caravan Parks and Campgrounds.
  4. You will want a good blue Drinking Water Hose. Your typical green garden hose is not suitable for drinking from.
  5. A 4 way tap handle will help you find water whenever you need it

Find places that Council don’t have jurisdiction

The Council don’t own everything in town. You’d be surprised where you can actually stay that Rangers don’t have jurisdiction over and no-one else will be bothered.

The big trick to this is don’t put anything outside, not even your step down to climb in your rig, no awning, nothing. Don’t even leave your TV aerial up for the night. The obvious one is also to contain your water and leave the area tidier than when you arrived. Don’t stay in the obvious prime positions such as at the beachfront, beside the river or where a lot of people will pass by.

Free Camping on the advice of one of the locals in town

Be Self Contained

We stayed at so many Free Camps around the country that require you to be self contained. While a technical definition of self contained can be different wherever you go it’s pretty obvious that it will mean have your own toilet and shower and be able to contain your black and grey water.

We can all argue about definitions, it’s meaning and having a clear National ruling on it but reality is, having a toilet, shower and capturing the after effects will open a lot more places to stay that will save you money on accommodation.

Read about: Our 12mths Costs traveling Australia

Understand the difference between Signs

No Camping sign isn’t necessarily the same as a No Overnight Stays sign.

Firstly, it’s important to acknowledge there is no absolute definition of Camping in Australia. Therefore, any Council can define camping differently.

Any sign installed by a Council relies on legal definition and legality. This is why you will usually see signs state No Overnight Stays or similar that clearly state that you can’t stay in your vehicle. A sign simply saying No Camping without any other information could easily be argued that Camping is staying in a Tent.

If the No Camping sign also has an image of a vehicle with a line through it, then that is different, it clarifies and it includes a Caravan or Campervan etc can not stay overnight.

Excerpt from an article in RV Books

Michael Eburn, Barrister and Associate Professor at the Australian National University’s College of Law wrote on the website that, A notice, regulation or sign can be challenged on the grounds of uncertainty.  In Director of Public Prosecutions v Priestley [2013] NSWSC 407 the defendant was acquitted of the offence of sleeping in Martin Place contrary to a sign that prohibited ‘Staying Overnight’ on the basis that there was no sensible way to understand what ‘overnight’ meant. Justice Adams said ‘Notices or rules which impose “criminal consequences for breach must be… sufficiently certain to enable the relevant tribunal as well as those brought before it to determine whether the impugned conduct is prohibited”.

The article went on to say – So, the answer to the question of ‘what does ‘No Camping’ mean?’ depends on who put up the sign or notice. A sign or notice from a government authority should, ideally, refer you to the Act, regulation or by-law that they rely on to regulate camping. You need to go to that legislation, regulation or by-law to see what definition applies. Where there is no definition, and where an inspector attempts to impose a penalty, you would have the option to ask a court to determine what ‘camping’ means in the particular circumstances. That is unhelpful as it is both expensive and it means you cannot know, in advance, what is or is not permitted but it does mean that allegations of ‘prohibited camping’ can be challenged.  And if the alleged prohibition is too uncertain it may be void.

If the definition of “overnight” can be challenged and won then how would “Camping” be defined by a court?

Save Money on Accommodation
Carnarvon Gorge

Making the right decision

Of course, being right doesn’t necessarily make it the right decision. Get a fine and it’s still going to be cheaper to pay it than try to defend it.

For us, we will consider a lot of factors. Are we in a large city or a small town? Is where we are a busy position? Would we expect there to be an issue for some reason? For example parking in a boat and trailer bay at a boat ramp (don’t do it). How private is it and any other factors that give us the feeling it may cause us an issue?

If the only sign is just a No Camping sign with no other instructions we will weigh up all the factors before making any decision. No Camping though does not necessarily mean you can’t stay in your vehicle. It also doesn’t guarantee a Ranger doesn’t want to make quota or he’s having a bad day and won’t fine you.

For us, we have stayed in a lot of different places and great spots where we have never had an issue.

Meet people, be friendly and don’t be Negative Nancy

It would be impossible to travel the country and not make new friends. I couldn’t imagine how you could not make great new friends on the road. We have met some of the most amazing people traveling Oz and we now have some amazing mates all around the country.

We certainly never expected or intended it to happen but we have stayed in the driveways and front yards of so many of our new friends all around Australia. Every time it has been a privilege and an honour to be asked and offered such kindness. Therefore we have always tried to respect the opportunities and friendships of those that have extended us such generosity.

Be friendly, be kind and enjoy every moment on the road and similar opportunities for a few nights here and there will likely become available for you too.

Visit relatives and friends around the country

We really enjoyed catching up with family and friends who live around the country and often we were invited to stay with them. My Cousin lives in Karratha and we had 2 weeks with him in his apartment and it was great fun.

We stayed with friends for 3 weeks and then 6 weeks in Darwin on their acreage which really allowed us to explore Darwin and see the Top End more than we might have otherwise.

We stayed with my brother in Longford in Tasmania for some of our time there and Adele’s cousin in Sarina on their cane farm.

Meeting family and friends around Australia we hadn’t seen for a long time or very often was a big highlight of our time on the road. The opportunity to stay with them made it even better. Make the time to stop and visit your family and friends and they may offer for you to stay too.

Aerial view of Dalmeny Campground
Dalmeny Campground

House Sitting will save money on Accommodation

Our great friends we met and spent a lot of time with around Australia did numerous house sits as they traveled.

At first they had some trouble being selected but once they had one they found it easier. We visited them at most of the house sits they did and they enjoyed spending time with the animals, looking after the yards and sometimes a pool. They enjoyed the opportunity to have some space again with a house after long periods in their Caravan.

Our friends were able to stay for weeks at no cost.

They used Aussie Housesitters to find their places to stay. You just sign up, membership is $84 for the first year with reduced fees for renewing members.

If you would like to look at it further just follow this link for Aussie Housesitters. Simply sign up and get access to hundreds of opportunities to house sit all around Australia.

Plan where you will be during peak periods

Having a plan around where you will be during peak periods such as school holidays, Easter and Christmas can help you avoid paying any premium prices for places to stay and therefore save money on accommodation.

At these times of the year most places are often booked out and full. So without a plan you could be forced to pay huge prices to stay somewhere you didn’t plan to.

Try to work your itinerary to spend these times away from the crowds and Tourist areas and staying at less Commercial places where it’s quieter and you can still find a good Free Camp or somewhere to stay at the right price for your budget.

Free Camping where the Council does not have jurisdiction

How to Save Money on Accommodation is just one of a series of articles we have compiled on ways to save money while traveling. You may also enjoy reading:

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How to save money on Accommodation


What are some great ways you save money on accommodation?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave


Photography and Socials

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

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

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

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black –  –  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 –  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.


Where to Find Us

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Adventurers Diary

I Can’t Do 4 Walls

I Can't do 4 Walls

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

Why I can’t do 4 walls

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

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

Can't do 4 walls

Offers from Friends and Family

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

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

Adele holding a small croc
Koorana Crocodile Farm Yeppoon

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

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

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

I wasn’t LIVING!!

I Can't do 4 walls

Everyone collects a lot of stuff

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

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

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

Moreton Island Sunset
Sunset Moreton Island.

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

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

I just can’t do 4 walls.

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

I Can't do 4 Walls

Brisbane will always be home

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

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

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

 7 Essentials – Tours to Experience

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

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

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

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

Brisbane is home and always will be.

Can't do 4 Walls

What I miss the most

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

3 specific things stood out that I missed.

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

Nobody at home talks about seeing an amazing Sunset.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Can't do 4 Walls

An open fire is awesome!

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Can't do 4 walls

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

Yes, don’t box me in.

How does that song go:

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

Did I mention, I can’t do 4 walls…..

Pin – I Can’t Do 4 Walls

Can't Do 4 Walls

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Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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

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


Photography and Socials

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

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

Canon 800d – – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.


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

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black –  –  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 –  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.


Where to Find Us

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








This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

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Adventurers Diary

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

The REAL costs to Travel Australia over 24 months

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

We have read other Budgets online and on travel pages but we believe ours is the most accurate and fully detailed report. 

It provides all of what you need to be prepared for and to know what it really costs to travel Australia. There’s more costs than just Caravan Parks, Campgrounds, Fuel and Food.

You need to Budget for all the potential costs or at least be prepared for what might happen.

We have detailed everything that it really cost us to travel Australia for 24 months, nothing is missed. There’s also no guesses, we keep receipts for every cent we spend and record them into a spreadsheet.

We rarely pay cash for anything so it’s all able to be checked against our statements. We know exactly what it cost us to the cent.

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

Ayers Rock at Sunset on Full Moon

About us and how we travel

We were 3 adults as our son who had just turned 23 travelled with us and we paid for almost all of his costs.

After 2 years, once we got back home to Brisbane, Matt moved in to his brother’s place and from now it’s just Adele and myself however for the duration of these Expenses, Matt was with us.

We drive an 8m Winnebago Motorhome RV with no tow car and therefore it was our only vehicle.

Fishing on Fraser Island at Sunrise

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

The difference between what we spent in the second year in comparison to the first is significant.

You may be smarter and more experienced in the beginning than us and be able to keep your costs down a lot better than we did.

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

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

Aerial view of Haycock Point in Ben Boyd National Park

Our Trip

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

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

For us, we started out with a 2 year plan before going back home. We wanted to see as much as absolutely possible as we expected we wouldn’t be back.

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

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

We tried to see as much as we could and through our adventures others could make up their own itineraries.

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

Lessons we learnt on our travels

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

We really learnt about our costs to travel Australia and how to manage our expenses and were able to stop staying in Caravan Parks and almost entirely Free Camp. We began catching a lot of our own food, Fish, Prawns and Squid were often filling our freezer.

Eating out stopped and Pub stays, while they might be Free or low cost, you end up having a meal and some drinks and before you know it the Free Pub stay just cost $100 or more for a night.

We rarely stay at Pubs or if we do, we prefer ones where we pay a small fee and there’s no expectation of having to eat or drink there.

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

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

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

On a continual basis, we sent back to home anything we weren’t using, clothes, tools, kitchen utensils and anything that we realised we wouldn’t need or use. If we hadn’t used it in 3-6 months the likelihood was we wouldn’t need it again.

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

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

Our Highest Costs to travel Australia

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

  1. The heat had us staying in caravan parks so we could plug in to electricity for our air con and had a pool to swim in during the day.
  2. There were so many more major attractions with tours to experience.

    From sailing the islands off 1770, Yeppoon and Whitsundays, scenic flights over the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns and visiting islands like Great Keppel and Fitzroy Island, staying at and seeing Lake Argyle, the incredible trip to Horizontal Falls from Broome and we didn’t even do places like Bungle Bungles which were on fire at the time we went past.

    We also spent a lot in Winton and especially Longreach, there’s so much to do there. For us, the south of Australia was easier to control the budget. Cool nights made Free camping easy and there was so much more choice for Free camping in the South.

    The sights to see weren’t nearly as hard on the budget except the cost to Tasmania and Kangaroo Island.

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

The more experienced we became the more we were able to reduce our costs.

There are tours all over the country for Lighthouses and old Gaols to visit but once you’ve seen a few it’s hard to get excited about seeing another one.

We didn’t visit any Zoo’s as we always planned to do Dubbo Zoo which we finally did near the end of the 2 year adventure. The budget frees up a bit as you go in this regard.

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

A couple of quick tips for traveling Oz

1.  Don’t have a washing machine

Two of the greatest issues you will face traveling Oz is space and weight and the washing machine effects both.

It will use so much water and they are so small you need to do so many loads.

I recently asked a Mum parked next to us as we discussed her washing machine in the caravan and they were a traveling family of parents and 3 children, How often do you wash? I was already expecting the answer and wasn’t surprised when she said, Every day!!

For us, we would prefer less washes in bigger machines and if we were road tripping Oz when our kids were younger that decision would be even more so.

The cost for us the whole trip to wash our clothes in Laundries and Caravan Parks turned out to be just $726 over 2 years. $360 a year ($1 a day) is a ridiculously small amount of our total overall budget and we don’t have all the issues of carting a washing machine around with us.

I know many others love their washing machine, fair enough, but we don’t expect we would ever travel with one ourselves.

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

2.  Pets

It’s so hard to leave your pets behind, we couldn’t do it either, MACKS had to come with us. If it were for just 3-6 months we probably would have left her at home but for 12 months or more that’s a tougher decision.

Traveling Australia though is so much easier, cheaper and less restrictive without animals.

If your goal is to really explore the country and you have a good option where they could stay, then maybe best to leave them behind.

If you know you are planning to go traveling and thinking of getting a dog, our advice would be wait until your trip is over and get your puppy then.

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

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

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

If your plan is to travel long term then there are plenty of options to travel with your best friend and see everything there is to see.

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

3. Phone coverage

Telstra has the best coverage by far. If you rely on phone reception choose Telstra or possibly Boost.

Optus and Vodafone are not going to be suitable if phone coverage is important for you. Our videos of everywhere we have stayed let you know what phone coverage was available.

4. WiFi

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

When Caravan Parks say they have Free WiFi, it’s a miracle if it’s anything useful. Usually it’s terribly slow, very limited in the amount you can use and that’s assuming it actually works.

Don’t rely on Caravan park WiFi, many of them should be ashamed of their claims of having Free WiFi.

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

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

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

Groceries 🍞🍉🥪🧀

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 🍟🍕🌭


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 🍽️🍸

Last 6 months $162

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

Overall our total Dining Out expense was $61.46pw

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

Accommodation 🚎🎪♨️

$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.


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.


Costs related to the Motorhome part of our vehicle was:

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


This is the Costs related to the mechanical part of the Motorhome.

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 🏊‍♂️🎣⛰️🏝️🚁🚡


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

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

First 6 months

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

Here are some of our highlights in the first 6 months:
Sleeping in a Swag on the Great Barrier reef
13 Must do in Airlie Beach and Whitsundays
Best Things to See in Cairns

Second 6 months

$5,733.90 – Darwin to WA to Tasmania. Included Horizontal Falls, Swimming with Humpback Whales, Broome Fishing Charter, Rottnest Island

Our Second 6 months highlights included:
Best of Broome
Things to See and do in Darwin

Third 6 months

$2,113 – Tasmania to Great Ocean Road to Uluru to Darwin to Mt Isa. This also Includes Tasman Island Cruise and Bruny Island Cruise plus Gordon River Cruise

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

Fourth 6 months

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

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

Our Highest Entertainment Costs

Our biggest adventure costs were:

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

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

Your costs for these tours and adventures is going to be dependent upon your budget and what your plans are that you want to experience.

For us these were incredible experiences that we will never forget, but they do cost money and often don’t come cheap.

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

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

FishCosts to travel Australia included Fishing Charters in our Entertainment Expenses
Horizontal Falls was the highest tour cost while traveling Australia


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 for the cheapest local retailer.

Alcohol 🍾🍷🥃🍻🍸


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

Cost is $47.37pw

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

MACKS, our dog  

$3,373.04 in vet and medications etc

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

Dog Sitting


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

Read all about our experience of traveling Australia with a Dog: Traveling Australia with our dog MACKS

Gorge Tours were part of our Entertainment Cost to Travel Australia

Adele’s Nails


Some things a girl just has to do lol



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


New rods, tackle, bait and gear

$13.97 pw was spent on fishing.


This is such a small cost. We started with a washing machine, never used it, found it way too small to wash our clothes yet takes space and becomes a weight issue.

Also commits you to staying at places that cost money to access so much water. We use Laundries and find it easy to do.

Our laundry costs were $6.98pw or $1 per day.

National Parks

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.



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.



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


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

Our Total Costs to travel Australia

Total amount = $109,534.16

Total average per week = $1,053.21

How to reduce your costs to travel Australia

In summary, could you do it cheaper, Absolutely!!

Your costs to travel Australia could be much lower than it was for us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Story

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

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

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

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What it really costs to travel Australia


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

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

Canon 800d – – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.


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

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black –  –  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 –  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

Mackay – Whitsundays region, so much to see and do

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


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

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