Remote fuel prices .... be prepaired !!!

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 15:34
ThreadID: 106783 Views:4039 Replies:10 FollowUps:22
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The "big" out-pouring of tourists is about to begin as people head off from there cozy little nests and tackle the bush with the cooling of the weather, so if you are one of them planning a long and remote trip be ready to pay for high fuel prices, remember that buying and carrying it is not always the best option, it is heavy and consumes space if "additional" fuel is carried, yes it may be rather scary looking at the prices I will quote but it will be up every ware so plan for it and don't get caught, if it means cutting off 500klms and staying longer someware then plan it now, you can buy it cheaper, store it and carry it but also plan that VERY carefully, it is heavy, it takes up room, it is potentially very dangerous if it leaks you stand to lose a LOT of money and it is messy to add to it, you can actually drive SLOWER, yet I have seen it done, and I don't mean on the main roads as slow driving tourists are a danger in there own right, on the gravel and dirt tracks people are STILL driving like idiots, what is the hurry, it is just a waste of fuel and trashes the roads ....
And PLEASE DONT abuse the remote fuel outlets, they don't dictate the prices, most are on gen-sets so it costs them more just to be operating, support them as best you can and they will still be there next year, avoid them and they will have no choice but to shut and it is us the tourist that suffers when we need that nice "remote" spot to stop at and relax and it is gone, just try to picture how it would be with some of the iconic remote places gone, it is not a good picture ...

Anyway, todays news .....

Diesel price at Wadeye (NT) has risen to $3.66 a litre in the past two weeks.
Unleaded fuel is $3.33, up by $1.50 from six months ago.
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Reply By: Member - TowBall - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 16:09

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 16:09
Hi Joe - The same could be said about remote caravan parks - I always use caravan parks, you can only free camp so many days - use them or lose them.......
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Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 16:41

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 16:41
Yes, so true, we worked it all out for a trip from Nt QLD to Alice, across the guts to Perth and if we took a very light set of gear (we have 3 kids also !!!) to do a quick camp over night and used accommodation for the rest it was cheaper, we had to carry it all in a std 105 series petrol, std tanks and we did not carry any extra fuel, we had a 60L engle but could of had a smaller one, you don't need to carry much food as it is not that far between stops, even with fuel it was simple, we could wash clothes, no worries about bedding and we have an awesome nights sleep in a motel or room and just be careful what you buy food wise, as you do anyway with 3 kids, we had 2 spares just in case and only had one flat, 80ks out of Isa, fixed it on the car with a "string" and it lasted all the way to Perth, it was simple to travel as we could maintain a good speed on the tar with no trailer and as good as a "petrol" cruiser gets on fuel .... what a lot of people don't factor in is the cost of there set-up's, they spend a fortune on camper trailers or vans and are limited where they can go, costs more in fuel and limited on speeds on the tar and most end up spending nights in accommodation in the end as they are over setting up a camper ......
A lot of complaints also say they are far more expensive these days, back years ago they were half the price, well I also used to earn $35,000 a year a "long time ago", most now earn $70,000 a year
yes "use them or lose them"..................
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Follow Up By: Member - Noldi (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 18:33

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 18:33
Well Joe, not sure I agree with your analysis of costs, In the last 15 months I have had 23 days out bush, even at $100 a night it soon adds up. Setting yourself up does not have to be very expensive. I personally would not count staying in hotels as getting away in the bush. I find when I’m away with a fire and cold beer people tend to congregate and have a chat. Conversely when staying in hotels I find more often or not people lock themselves in their rooms and watch getaway or some 4wd show, still different strokes.

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Follow Up By: Michael ( Moss Vale NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:12

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:12
We prefer our rooftop tent and free camps but we like to stay in small town caravan parks, they are mostly inexpensive and friendly and helps them earn a living! Just love tiny towns! Michael
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Follow Up By: Member - Toyocrusa (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:59

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:59
Really have to agree there Michael. The smaller the town, the friendlier the locals. We stopped at Ivanhoe one time for a quick snack and it took two days to leave. This has been repeated many times in other small towns. There is just so much history and plenty of knowledgable long term town folk. Cheers, Bob.
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Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:04

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:04
Hi "Noldi",
What I base it on is the outlay some, not all, make, keeping in mind we have 3 kids, we look at the cost of buying for instance a camper trailer that can handle the roads we have been on and it is pushing up to $10,000 for a reasonable one, yes you can get them for half that but you have to be careful, that $10,000 goes a long way towards accommodation and it gives us the freedom to go places, also to set up just a car for camping with 3 kids takes a LOT of gear, we did pack enough to camp very "lightly" but could not wait to get a decent room .............
Mind you I have to admit we live bush and are VERY lucky in a lot of ways so we don't need to go to extreme's to have a fire ect, for us right now it is 10klms and we are on a very remote beach up in Cape York ...... actually it is our kids that are very lucky, we do the hard work to get here :-)
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Follow Up By: Member - Noldi (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 10:29

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 10:29
Joe sounds like kids are kids all over the country. I no longer have my camper as we sleep in the back of the ute, I believe a lot of the roads we now go on are to harsh for the CT. When I bout it (showing my age) it was $7,000 Had it for several years did some big trips ended up selling it for $5k. Pretty happy, but I take your point after 10 days in the bush a nice hotel with hot shower is worth the cost
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:10

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:10
Well, your obviously not talking about me Joe,

I am a traveler, not a tourist:-)


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Reply By: Member - Rosco from way back - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:13

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:13
I certainly agree with most of your comments, but >50% increase in fuel price in 6 months seems a tad steep to me. I have some trouble accepting their base fuel price or running costs would have risen by such an amount.

Having said that, it will certainly not deter us from remote travel, but the gravy train can only hold so much and sometimes I think the ladle size is adjusted with a whisker too much vigour.
AnswerID: 528626

Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:16

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:16
Having managed a few very remote places I can vouch for it but I do accept that it is very hard to understand why from an "outside" point of view, thing is when fuel goes up the freight also goes up, most transport mobs now have a fuel "surcharge" that goes up and down like a yo-yo and even with a contract in place the freight costs will change at the will of fuel prices, power alone is expensive and when remote you have to get most stuff frozen, so you have "freezer" freight, the MOST expensive, you have to run freezers and most remote places are HOT, at Doomadgee we had a $44,000 pa power bill, that hurts, the same set up in a city would be 1/4 of that as they can buy what they need for the DAY, no big storage, and it is chilled and fresh ......
But good to see it does not deter you, nor us, we just factor it in and head off ... cheers Rosco
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Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:20

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:20
Oh, for some sentence structure.
Capitals and sentences would be lovely, if reading it is intended.
A bit like a Telstra phone seller. Constant and can't focus on what is being said.
AnswerID: 528627

Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:24

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 21:24
Where you my old teacher, I have been busted now ....
Anyway we are all tourists, travelers n dumb bushies n we cant spell anyway, my eyes are shot so I could not even make out if it was a "cap" or lowercase but it reads ok with a real quick read so I am sure most wont complain :-)
I cuold "text" it like ma kids do with "K"s and loll's and whatevr else they do, but strangly msot wuold raed it fine
I do agree I am a bit shabby at it but I hope my point is in the "mess" ..
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:50

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:50
Yes it is a mess, I agree.

With a slight modification to the text it makes it even more interesting.
Like this! Merely one more stage of condensation.

Whereyoumyoldteacher,IhavebeenbustednowAnywaywearealltourists, travelersndumbbushiesnwecantspellanyway,myeyesareshotsoIcouldnotevenmakeoutifitwasa"cap"orlowercasebutitreadsokwitharealquickreadsoIamsuremostwontcomplain:-)Icuold"text"itlikemakidsdowith"K"sandloll'sandwhatevrelsetheydo,butstranglymsotwuoldraeditfineIdoagreeIamabitshabbyatitbutIhopemypointisinthe"mess" ..
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Reply By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:52

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 19:52
No where near that out here yet thankfully, so keep planning those GCR trips :-)
And good sentiment in the rest of it Joe.
We try and keep our fuel price as low as we can, and often a tad less than other roadhouses out this way, but gets harder and harder to justify doing that when go outside and see people topping up with jerry cans out the front.
Luckily we have such amazing food here I suppose hey ;-)


AnswerID: 528632

Follow Up By: Albany Nomads - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 13:14

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 13:14
Thanks Al
Myself and a mate are hitting the GCR come last week of April from west to east
I run on petrol , I assume I can get unleaded opal fuel
Does the opal fuel have a lower octane than say standard unleaded
Kind regards
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Follow Up By: Tjukayirla Roadhouse - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 20:28

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 20:28
G'day Albany nomads, yes we have Opal here, as do the other roadhouses along the route. opal is equivalent to 91 ulp.
Be sure to drop in and say g'day :-)


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Reply By: CSeaJay - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 23:18

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 23:18

Good sell mate but no way is a 50% increase justified. Do the maths it is a ripoff. I can't believe one can be advocating support for this.
Believe me I always support local, within reason and happily pay a little more. But no one can justify a $1.50 / litre price hike! In 6months. It cannot be justified by any or all of the reasons you go on about.
AnswerID: 528643

Follow Up By: Alan S (WA) - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 23:33

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 23:33
Hey CJ,

What's the maths formula you using, if you can show how you work it out , I am happy to believe you.

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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 23:48

Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 at 23:48
Hay Alan

Carrying the extra weight of a longranger and a few jerry cans cannot cost circa $150 to $200 extra in fuel consumption per tank. That implies doubling my fuel consumption by carrying 150 to 200kg extra.
Id rather fill up, bypass a ripoff station and support a roadhouse further on that has reasonable prices. That way I am rewarding the reputable roadhouse by buying even more fuel (filling up my normal plus longranger plus jerry cans) from him. :-)
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Follow Up By: Alan S (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 00:23

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 00:23
But you said 50% increase is a ripoff, aim asking you how you know. You said if you do the maths it's a ripoff.
I am asking you to show me the maths. Not talk about carrying sufficient fuel to be able to buy cheaper.

Put up how you know it's ripoff, I am interested in how you know.

FollowupID: 811239

Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 00:33

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 00:33
hey that's fine and nobody is forcing anyone to actually do what I simply "suggest" but the point I am getting at is the whole concept of stacking a car up with jerrys and all sorts of other stuff just to "avoid" the perceived "rip-offs" is kinda taking all the joy away from the original intention of getting away from exactly THAT, 100L in a tank should get you at least 800klms on bad day, if you have not passed a fuel station by then you are in trouble ......
I remember a classic in my travels where I was following a group of caravans and ole ferts, and they were all on the UHF about fuel at 3-ways in the NT, they came from Isa direction and heading to Darwin, they all made the decision to turn LEFT at the tee on Stuart Hwy and fill up the tanks at Tennent Creek just to avoid the "rip-off" at 3 ways, it just blew me away that they seemed to think they would save more by driving further, we worked out it would have saved each one about $10 bucks, and yes all in rigs worth about $100,000.oo PLUS, and all the talk was about was who was ripping off where and where they could save 10 cents next, NOT ONCE did we hear about any sights to visit or places to go and nothing about the country they were driving through ..........
There whole lives seemed to be totally wrapped up in the next "saving" and nothing more, it was actually sad, if not pathetic and yes I guess they have worked hard and saved and own what they have but what a BORING life to die looking for the next "rip-off" to avoid, sorry but I just don't and wont get that .....
The only time I have been impressed with a set up to store copious amounts of "fuel" so these particular people could tour LONG distance without having to "top-up" was a BULK wine storage tank, yes the "fuel" was WINE hahah they filled up about 40L down in the wine country and headed north, THAT my friend is maths, a 5000k + range in that tank ... brilliant people with the right focus, lets face it, do those maths, you will save more in wine $ than worrying about fuel $ ................. and a LOT happier
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Follow Up By: Alan S (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 10:38

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 10:38

Its incredible that people can without even looking at a business cost to gain an understanding of why it is expensive make a determination that they were being ripped off.

I understand that they may not like paying the price but that doesn't mean the price is a rip off.

Our expectations of high wages for a quality lifestyle has grown, but we expect everyone else to provide for our lifestyle at a low cost.

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Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 14:58

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 14:58
In Australia we are actually very wealthy and lucky to be so but it has not done us all a great deal of good, you see more and more older people in very expensive rigs that have no idea how to handle them or the roads and so often also come un-stuck, you should see some rigs that come up here to Cape York, thousands spent on them to do the trip and it could be done easily in a std 4wd, the super long range tanks that people fit often make me wonder yet fuel stops are what, 400klms apart, at the furtherest, yet it cost them hunderds for the tanks and fitting, the local dudes do it in a crumoodore bro, to easy eh .....
That fact now is we are "money" rich and "time" poor and we have lost appreciation and respect of how hard it is to survive out bush, but don't get me wrong as I have "black-listed" some places only after I have been, they have been rude and just plain not nice people so I will NOT go back and will openly tell other people, but I try to visit first to make my own opinion and also one staff member can be bad for the rest, most often they don't last long and it goes around again ........
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Follow Up By: CSeaJay - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 18:01

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 18:01
Hey Alan
Mate I am not complaining about paying higher prices at out of the way places and I do support them.
I think you are focussing on the rate/price and if my post did not spell that out properly I apologise.
What I am on about is how something can rise/increase by 50% .
I have seen many a forum where people complain if prices rise 10c a litre around Easter for fuel. People complain that it is taking advantage of families etc. well I recon $1.50 rise is the ripoff. It is the escalation in the price. I fully understand a high rate at out of the way places. But not such an increase. There are many businesses affected by general escalation and anything transported are affected by a price rise. But 10 maybe 15% not 50%
One can turn the question around. Can you somehow justify that they could escalate their price by 50%? Then I will believe you that it is fair, and I will go and fill up there.
I have travelled a fair bit in many remote places both in and out of season and have gladly payed top dollar for fuel and frozen bread. But those places do not fluctuate from one season to another by 50%
Cheers, CJ
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Follow Up By: Alan S (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 22:28

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 22:28
I think joes reference to wadeye was a example of the cost you could pay. Certainly looking at other posts wadeye looks a special case. It's location I wouldn't say is remote.

Our local garage used to get a delivery every week, after the delivery the price would be set base on cost for the next week. Considering you can get a 10 15 cents fluctuation in normal price, his weekly change could be quite high. One week buy high, next week it could be very high.

If you then consider that same price cycle on a place that maybe only gets a delivery every two to three months,( well 33 on the canning used to get 1 a season). And the selling price can fluctuated quite a lot.

You could then say get more regular delievries, but smaller delivers cost more, so it's a vicious circle.

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Reply By: pop2jocem - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 01:48

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 01:48

Had to enlist the help of Mr Google and his maps to locate just exactly where Wadeye NT was.
Now we will be heading up that way in a couple of months and apart from the GRR we intend to make it up as we go. I agree with the concept of supporting the little guy in the small town where possible for most of the reasons you have laid out, but one thing I am very grateful for is the fact that my 4WD carries in tanks enough fuel to visit places like that and not have to spend $3.66 per liter. I am not going to argue whether they are completely justified in their pricing or being a little over the top because I have no idea of the costs of running their establishment. I do however know my own financial situation and while I enjoy getting out there and travelling this great country I also do need to keep an eye on costs.
By the way neither my van nor tow vehicle cost anywhere like $100,000. More like $50,000 for the pair but I get the same view out of my windows as I travel.

AnswerID: 528650

Reply By: Penchy - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 08:45

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 08:45
Wadeye is pretty far out of the way though, so I expect most things to cost more there. What does a fresh loaf of bread go for - $10?
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Follow Up By: Ross M - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:42

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 11:42
Fresh??? Cannot be, unless baked on the premises.
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Follow Up By: Member - Joe n Mel n kids (FNQ - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 15:09

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 15:09
Correct about "fresh" as it is impossible to do unless baked on site but I will say that almost all communitys keep the "basic & essentials" goods at a very low margin and stack it on things like cigs, coke and other non-essential items, it is now a standard practice to have F&V, milk, bread, meat and any "healthy products at very low margins ....
The bread would be around $4-5 bucks a loaf, keeping in mind it has to be transported frozen and stored on site frozen and because most have fortnightly deliverys it is a big order that takes up a lot of space in the freezers, we at Mapoon order around 200kg of bread (frozen) each fortnight and it comes from Cairns, it has to go all the way around the tip of oz and back down to the port at Weipa, we then drive in every week in a small freezer/chiller truck and pick it up ....... that also goes for our F&V, so you imagine the time from picking to selling in our store, yes WEEKS so we also have a lot of wastage we have to wear, it takes about 2-3 days in just barge time .....
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 18:43

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 18:43
Seems this fuel price is not justified, given the terminal gate price is around $1.50 per litre according to the Territory's Automobile Association (AANT)

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Follow Up By: Member - Heather L - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 22:21

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 22:21
My outback motto - never pass by a fuel stop or a toilet - and don't complain about price or cleanness - the next ones might be worse.
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Reply By: Bongo (NT) - Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 22:46

Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 at 22:46
Terminal Gate prices are one thing. But the fuel has to get to Wadeye (Port Keats). It involves transport by barge which adds an extra dimension to the pricing structure.
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