Things to See and Do in Top End Darwin, NT - Indefinite Leave
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Things to See and Do in Top End Darwin, NT

Things to see and do in Darwin

Darwin in the Northern Territory (NT) is home to some of Australia’s most incredible natural and iconic landmarks and has fantastic Things to See and Do.

Even without taking into account Uluru, Kings Canyon or West MacDonnell Ranges, the spectacular and historical locations of the NT have left us completely in awe.

 

Mindil Beach at Sunset - Things to see and do in Darwin

Sunset at Territory Day in Darwin 2017

 

Darwin maintains its place in Australia’s history through events such as the attack by the Japanese in WW2 and Cyclone Tracy which devastated the city in December 1974. Despite these disasters Darwin has rebounded and is now a winter getaway for traveling southerners and International tourists.

The opportunities to see Salt Water crocodiles in their natural habitat and fishing for the big elusive Barramundi are tourism drawcards for Darwin and the Northern Territory. July 2016 was our first time here and we loved it so much we came back for 6 weeks in June and July 2017

 

Litchfield National Park - Things to See and Do in DarwinLitchfield National Park, near Darwin

 

Here are our tips of places not to miss when you visit the Top End in Darwin.

Territory Day

Territory Day in Darwin is a must. It’s the celebration of the Northern Territory gaining its place in it’s own right here in Australia and is the only day in the NT where anyone can buy and let off fireworks. It’s the only place in Australia that allows public to let off fireworks.

 

Territory Day in DarwinTerritory Day Fireworks in Darwin are truly spectacular

 

There are some conditions to their purchase and use but it’s so much fun and seriously amazing to watch.
The fireworks can only be purchased on the day, July 1st.
Fireworks can only be let off between 6pm until 11pm.
Fines of $1250 apply to letting off fireworks outside these time periods.

Mindil Beach is the place to be in Darwin for Territory Day. We watched Killing Heidi and Pete Murray perform in concert before a fantastic fireworks bonanza took place on the water in front of us. The Markets are open and all this with an amazing sunset display.

 

Kev stageleft at Territory DayRight next to the stage for Killing Heidi concert at Territory Day Darwin 2017. They were superb.

 

This year in 2017, we shared the beach with 15,000 others for a great night.

The Casino let off fireworks all night and we could see an incredible fireworks display happening at East Point from our vantage point at Mindil Beach.

 

Sunset Dinner with Ash and AmyDinner with friends Ash, Amy and baby Ripley

Darwin Sailing Club

Never one to pass up a dinner invitation we had 2 nights out with friends and both were fantastic value with incredible sunset views. We met friends for dinner at the Darwin Sailing Club where the Beers and Ciders were great, the food was good but it was the Sunset that stole the show. A fire in the distance provided a perfect haze which completely enhanced the sunset’s effects.

www.dwnsail.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/TheDarwinSailingClub/
Atkins Drive, Fannie Bay
08 8981 1700

Trailer Boat Club

The Trailer Boat Club next door to the Sailing Club is another great place for a meal. They have excellent value dinner and drinks and you can relax under the Darwin winter skies and stay cool in the breezes directly off the ocean. Enjoy the sunsets that will leave you breathless.

https://dtbc.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/Darwintrailerboatclub
8 Atkins Drive, Fannie Bay
P: 08 8981 6749

 

Darwin Dinner with Maurice and ShaneThe Trailer Boat Club was a great place to enjoy dinner with friends from home who were visiting Darwin

Seafood on Cullen

Seafood on Cullen at Cullen Bay is an enormous smorgasbord with a huge range of delicious food for $40 per person. This is the best smorgasbord I’ve been to in many years. It’s also located directly on the beach with amazing sunset views to enjoy with your dinner.

You’ll need to arrive very early or book to get the best seats in the house though, it’s always busy here.

www.facebook.com/seafoodoncullen

 

Mindil Markets - Things to see and do in DarwinThe Road Kill Cafe at Mindil Markets in Darwin

Mindil Markets

An evening out at the Mindil Markets at Mindil Beach is a must whenever you visit Darwin. There’s an incredible array of stalls and so much choice for food. Also there’s plenty of entertainment and once the sun begins to set the beach right behind the markets becomes a sea of faces ready to watch another incredible sunset.

There’s heaps of parking and lots of stalls. Make sure you visit the Mindil Markets.

www.mindil.com.au

 

Stokes Wharf - Things to see and do in DarwinChilling out at Stokes Hill Wharf

Stokes Hill Wharf

Stokes Hill Wharf was our first night out when we were in Darwin. We sat on the wharf edge watching the boats as they went by, the big fish that swam below and as the sun set we had front row seats to seeing day turn to night. Darwin was quickly becoming a location we were falling in love with.

 

Wave Pool Darwin - Things to see and do in DarwinThe Darwin Wave Pool is very popular

Darwin Lagoon and Wave Pool

The Wave Pool and Darwin Lagoon were close by at Stokes Hill Wharf and we made sure we enjoyed a swim. It was a public holiday and plenty of locals were enjoying another fantastic winter day in Darwin.

The lagoon is safe to swim and there’s floating pontoons and balls to climb on and enjoy as well.

The Wave Pool is $7 per day
The Floating Pontoons are $15 per hour

 

Darwin Military Museum - Things to see and do in DarwinInside the Darwin Military Musuem

Darwin Military Museum

The Darwin Military Museum is fascinating. It recounts the war times for which Darwin was at the coal face.

The Theatrette provides raw live video of the day Darwin was bombed by the same Japanese forces that attacked Pearl Harbour. Did you know more bombs were dropped on Darwin than Pearl Harbour?

Inside are Timelines, details, photos and videos, interactive displays and so much information.

 

New Recruits

 

Outside, there are many artifacts and equipment from WWII including canons, vehicles, bunkers, weaponry and lots more.

The Darwin Military Museum is an ideal place to visit to learn more about the history of when war came to our Country.

Cost to visit is
$18 Adults
$8 Children 5-16 years old
Free Children under 5 years old

www.darwinmilitarymuseum.com.au

 

WWII Underground Oil Storage Tunnels - things to see and do in DarwinThe Underground Oil Storage Tunnels in Darwin

WII Underground Oil Storage Tunnels

Near Stokes Wharf is the Underground Oil Storage Tunnels where it was planned to store oil during the war period. After many issues, by the time the tunnels were ready the war was over but it’s a fascinating insight into those times with a lot of information.

We enjoyed our visit here and reading all about when the war came to our shores here in Australia.

$8 Adults
$7 Seniors
www.waterfront.nt.gov.au/darwin-waterfront-precinct/history/world-war-ii-tunnells/

 

Kakadu - Things to see and do in DarwinEntering Kakadu

 

Kakadu National Park

A visit to Darwin has to include one of Australia’s most iconic and historical locations of Kakadu. Give yourself 3-5 nights and spend time exploring this amazing region.

There are so many highlights to discover in Kakadu including:

Fogg Dam

Adelaide River Jumping Croc Cruise. Meet big bad Brutus with a missing leg thanks to a fight with a Bull shark
Bark Hut. Enjoy lunch and a drink and meet the Emus and animals.

Book an Adelaide River Jumping Crocodile Cruise from Darwin here>

Window on the Wetlands

Check out the amazing informative display and head upstairs for the awesome view out over the wetlands of Kakadu.

Corroboree Park Tavern

See Buffalo, Crocs, pigs, kangaroos and more

Cahills Crossing

Access from Kakadu to Arnhem Land. If it’s flooded, forget it. Watch as the Barramundi try to cross the shallow waters from one side to the other and Salt Water crocodiles wait for their meal on the other side. No swimming!!

Ubirr

Incredible art work on the rocks here at Ubirr. Climb to the top for incredible views –https://youtu.be/9DHT1Zq1IO0

 

Kev at the top of UbirrStanding on top of Ubirr

 

Jabiru

The main township of Kakadu.

Crocodile Hotel

From above the Hotel forms the shape of a crocodile. Enter the foyer and see the incredible aboriginal artworks.

Yellow River Water Cruises

Discover these amazing wetlands teaming with wildlife.

Gunlom Falls

A generally safe location to swim with magnificent naturally formed infinity pool.

Jim Jim Falls

An amazing plunge waterfall which falls into a pool below. It is registered on the Australian National Heritage List

These are just a few of the many amazing places to see in Kakadu.

Also take a closer look at the incredible termite mounds, which are such a common part of the landscape.

You will need a National Parks pass to enter Kakadu.

Cost to enter Kakadu
$40 per adult
$20 per child 5-15 years old
Free for children 0-4 years old
$100 family pass
Northern Territory residents are free
Tickets provide access throughout the Dry Season 1st April – 31st October.
* prices as at 2017

www.kakadu.com.au

 

Florence Falls Litchfield National Park - Things to see and do in DarwinFlorence Falls in Litchfield National Park

 

Litchfield National Park

Litchfield National Park is nearby to Kakadu and provides an entirely different experience.

With great swimming holes and fantastic waterfalls Litchfield is perfect for swimming but it’s still important to remain croc aware.

Magnetic Termite Mounds

The magnetic termite mounds are unique to the area. You will notice they all face North/ South direction to provide the best shelter from the harsh climatic conditions. These mounds hide an amazing and complex engineering design under the clay. This clay is also so rock hard it has been broken down and used to build homes.

 

Buley Rock Holes Litchfield National ParkSwimming in the Buley Rockholes, Litchfield National Park

Buley Rock Holes

Buley Rock Holes are a cascading water flow over the rocks, in and out of small but deep rock pools. It’s a very popular and fun location for cooling off in the top end.

Florence Falls

After a walk along the track looking down into the valley below we took a walk down 135 steps to access Florence Falls. This was our favourite location in Litchfield NP. An incredibly beautiful and tranquil location to swim and have lots of fun.

Wangi Falls

Another ideal swimming hole with flowing waterfalls. It was closed the day we were there but if you can, take a walk to the lookout above.

Litchfield is truly fabulous with so much fun things to see and do. We don’t compare it to Kakadu, these are two very different locations and both are exceptional.

Read more here about Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks
We recommend staying at the Florence Falls Campground in Litchfield

 

Katherine Gorge - Things to see and do in DarwinThe amazing Katherine Gorge

Katherine

Just a 3 hour drive south of Darwin is Katherine and Katherine is the turnoff from the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory to head west to Western Australia.

Katherine Gorge or Nitmulik Gorge

Katherine is also home to Katherine Gorge  or Nitmulik Gorge as it is also known. It is best seen by tour or kayak, we chose the 3 Gorge tour.

The spectacular Katherine Gorge is made up of 11 Gorge’s of which 8 are accessible. Most common however are the first 3 which remain the easiest to access. Tour guides can really make or break a tour and we were lucky this day to have Chris as our guide, he was funny, informative and provided fantastic insights via his own aboriginal heritage.

 

Adele swimming in Katherine GorgeSwimming in Katherine Gorge

 

The tour guides explained the aboriginal art in the rocks which were thousands of years old. From the first Gorge we made our way further by boat to another Gorge and were taken past amazing cliff face formations, caves, sandy beaches and on to the third Gorge on our tour.

We saw fresh water crocodiles throughout the Gorge so when it came time for a swim some were reluctant but not us. The opportunity to swim in Katherine Gorge doesn’t happen every day so we made the most of the fresh cool waters.

Visiting Katherine Gorge is an incredible experience you won’t forget.

Tour cost $129 – Adults
$63.50 – Children

www.nitmiluktours.com.au

 

Bitter Springs MatarankaBitter Springs, Mataranka

 

Mataranka

Mataranka is best known for Bitter Springs, a slow flowing river of hot thermal springs with a constant temperature over 30 degrees Celsius.

Bitter Springs

Take a pool noodle with you and float for a few hundred metres downstream enjoying the crystal clear, warm waters. Be warned, the walk back can seem quite cool after your warm “bath” in the hot springs.

The Thermal Pools are further upstream and provide two pools to relax and enjoy. These natural springs have crystal clear waters and are a warm temperature all year round.

 

Palmerston Water ParkRacing Slides at Palmerston Waterpark, awesome fun

Darwin Water Parks

Palmerston Water Park

Palmerston is an outer suburb of Darwin and has a fantastic free Water Park. There are small wading pools for the kids and a giant waterslide for those a little bigger. We had a great time racing to the bottom on the waterslide.

My Tip: Keep the front of your mat up to increase your speed, keep your elbows tucked in and hold on.

The waterpark is closed on Tuesdays. The slides open at 2pm.

More details and opening times here – https://nt.gov.au/leisure/sport/find-a-sports-facility/palmerston-water-park

 

Leanyer Water ParkThe Leanyer Water Park is fantastic

Leanyer Water Park

Leanyer is home to another Free water park in Darwin. This one has a pool, fun park and 3 big water slides.

The Leanyer Recreation Park is about 10kms east from Darwin and offers great fun for all the family. Lifeguards are on duty at all times, there’s lots of shade and area to enjoy a picnic lunch.

Leanyer Recreation Park is closed on Mondays.

More details and opening times here – https://nt.gov.au/leisure/sport/find-a-sports-facility/leanyer-recreation-park

 

Sunset at Nightcliff Jetty, DarwinSunset at Nightcliff Jetty, Darwin

Nightcliff Jetty

The Nightcliff Jetty is a perfect place to cast a line, enjoy dinner or view another magnificent Darwin sunset.

Matt caught a few squid and no doubt we will go back for more. You can buy fish and chips from the food vans or utilise the BBQ’s in the park to enjoy dinner or a Sunday lunch. The Nightcliff pool is an easy walking distance away too.

This was our chill place, where we would go to relax. For this reason it’s where we went and sat for hours immediately after we had our dog MACKS put to sleep. We sat here for hours, reflecting, shedding lots of tears and consoling each other. For us, it was the perfect place to mourn our beautiful girl who loved her adventure around Australia as much as we do.

 

A refreshing swim at Berry SpringsSwimming in Berry Springs

Berry Springs

Berry Springs is just 57kms from Darwin and only 38kms from Palmerston and is a genuine must see.

A small waterfall of beautiful clear spring waters flow into a big open pool.

It is generally safe to swim at Berry Springs during the dry season with more precautions to be taken during the big wet.
* Late July 2017, Berry Springs has just been closed for 5 days due to a 1.6m Saltwater Crocodile being spotted.

 

Under the waterfall in Berry SpringsUnder the waterfall in Berry Springs

 

Take a noodle with you and use the current flow from the waterfall to take you downstream to the big pool perfect for cooling off.

Enjoy lunch at the BBQ’s and many tables available. Have some chocolate covered mango ice cream from the kiosk or home made creamy passionfruit ice cream, both are ideal on a warm day in the Top End.

You ‘ll really enjoy a visit to Berry Springs and you only need a few hours from Darwin.

 

The view of the beach from the deck at Crab Claw Island ResortThe view of the beach from the deck at Crab Claw Island Resort

Crab Claw Island Resort

The Crab Claw Island Resort is a short hour and a half drive west of Darwin through Berry Springs. The last 15kms is dirt road but it’s well graded and a really easy drive regardless if you are in a Motorhome or Caravan.

This is a fairly remote region so don’t expect 5 stars. This is a perfect location if you like to relax by the beach with a cocktail and love fishing.

 

Sunrise at Crab Claw Island ResortSunrise from the beach at Crab Claw Island Resort

 

There are 2 pools plus a great restaurant and bar overlooking Bynoe Harbour. You can hire a boat for half a day or a full day and explore the area by water and go crabbing and fishing. Wallabies, Peacocks and Scrub Turkeys have all come wandering through our campsite.

Don’t enter the ocean waters here, there can be big crocs and big sharks very near the shore. In fact, we saw both just a short cast of our line into the water. Stay on the beach and you’ll be safe.

The Resort campground is surrounded by mangroves so make sure you bring your insect spray.

https://indefiniteleave.com.au/crab-claw-island-resort-bynoe-harbour-northern-territory/
www.crabclawisland.com.au
https://www.facebook.com/CrabClawIslandResort/

 

Dundee BeachLooking down onto Dundee Beach

Dundee Beach

Dundee Beach is a 45 minute drive further past Crab Claw Island Resort. This is a very small fishing town which is very popular with boaties. Offshore are a number of reefs and perfect fishing environments.

The beach is beautiful and the sunsets spectacular. Dundee Lodge is located right at the beach and offers accommodation as well as pub meals and drinks to enjoy for lunch.

The road to Dundee Beach is fully sealed and an easy drive from Darwin.

 

Darwin FishingMatt with one of his hauls of Queenies

 

Darwin Fishing

Looking for a great location to go fishing?
The fishing in Darwin is superb. Directly from the beach at East Point, Matt has caught Queenfish, Mackerel, GT’s and more.

Matt fished sunrise and sunset and flicked silver metal lures. Low tide is best as it allows you to get out past the rocks, but beware of the fast incoming tide.

If you have a boat or can access one, the offshore fishing is sensational with many reefs located all around the harbour.

What do you love about Darwin? What are your favourite things to see and do in Darwin?

Tell us in the comments section below.

Thanks
Kevin & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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

The new Go Pro 7 – https://amzn.to/2vyuP4X –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

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

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Adventurers Diary

Ocean Rafting the Great Barrier Reef in Whitsundays

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

 

You’ll have the ride of your life!!

 

Ocean Rafting Tour - The Ride of your Life

Ocean Rafting Northern Exposure Tour

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

That’s just for starters!!

 

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

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

Ocean Rafting Snorkeling

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

 

Snorkel Whitsundays

 

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

 

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

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

 

Hill Inlet

Fun at Hill Inlet

Whitehaven Beach

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

Lunch on board the Ocean Rafting Tour

 

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

 

Hill Inlet Lookout

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

 

Hill Inlet Lookout

Ocean Rafting Tour pull into the beach at Hill Inlet

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Whitsunday Islands National Park

 

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

 

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

 

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

Read more information and Book your Tour here

 

With our guides from our Ocean Rafting Tour

 

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

 

Where to stay in the Whitsundays?

 

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

Book your Hotel stay in the Whitsundays here>

 

For Caravan Park Accommodation:

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

Base Backpackers Airlie Beach

 

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

https://pin.it/52ggvyqo55wxkr

Mackay to Whitsundays so much to see and do

https://pin.it/sz6oigtwdyj6vr

 

Our Story

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

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

 

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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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