Cost of an around Australia Trip

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 15:46
ThreadID: 108425 Views:3770 Replies:12 FollowUps:1
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I know that this question will be a bit like asking how long is a piece of string, but what would an around Oz trip cost?

I am assuming that this has been thought about by many people before, and that people may have come up with some varying formulas (e.g. cents per Km, average cost per day for accommodation etc.)

Travel would be with a 3.0l Patrol with a Jayco ~1600kg camper staying in a combination of Caravan parks & remote campsites.

Also, does have anyone have any ideas of ways of offsetting these costs? e.g. Casual/seasonal work schemes around the country?

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Reply By: Les PK Ranger - Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 16:05

Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 16:05
From what I'v read here and other places, it is more a question of $ per day.
Easier to get to a figure for you and yours :)
Tried to find a good thread (I reckon it was here) about cost / day, think it was $100 or so ?)

It's apparently a fairly good base to work out :
How many km a day avg driving per week (then 5/7 etc days a week driving, work out fuel / servicing avg costs)
How many nights / days free camping or in cara parks etc per week
How much food / alcohol per week
How much avg cost for other grocery like washing powder, misc such things per week
Other small allowance for maintenance / repairs

Be brutally honest about expected expenditure :)
Get your total week, divide by 7 for $ per day.

Work out your distances inc side trips, and approx days away (inc avg rest days) and x by $ per day, should give you an idea.

Work ?
Try some of these on the road, or check before going to see what sort of things you can find . . .
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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 16:16

Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 16:16
Hi Patrol,

If you can do a site search you will find a lot of threads about this question. The general consensus is that a trip costs about $1 per kilometre, although there is a lot of variation around this mark.

Fuel and associated vehicle costs are pretty well fixed with some variation related to fuel consumption figures and unforseen vehicle costs.

The big variables relate to accommodation, food and drink. If you use a lot of expensive caravan parks, eat out a lot and consume a lot of grog the costs go up - maybe 50% more. If you are more like us, using CPs maybe once every week or 10 days, preparing our own food and being light drinkers then the $1/km figure might be almost halved.

The other variable is costs of those special treats like helicopter/plane flights, boat trips etc. Our view there is that it has cost a lot in fuel etc to get to those special places, and we might not ever be back, so better take the opportunity to do the flight, ride etc.

Re food costs, be aware that your food cost at home may not be a good basis for determining what food will cost as you travel. If you are travelling through more remote areas food will be more expensive and there will be less variety. And you probably cant take advantage of specials and bulk buys that those of us who are used to city shopping get used to.

An unexpected cost (though not a major item) is the cost of laundry, especially when you hit $6 a load washing machines.

Hope that helps a bit.


J and V
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Reply By: Crusier 91 - Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 18:28

Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 18:28
Our neighbours did it in a similar set up 12 years ago. it cost them $8k in fuel back then.
AnswerID: 534759

Reply By: Member - Odog - Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 19:00

Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 19:00
Wife and I, did 8 week trip, from near Canberra to Perth and back, on way over did Eyre Peninsula, and on way back from Perth we went via Augusta around to Esperance.
We traveled 10360km
Fuel cost us $2300
All up I think we spent about $8400
We stayed in a mix of caravan parks, national parks, free camps, and 2 nights in motels on way home..
We drove a 150 d4d manual prado, towed a cub regal off road ct
We did quite a lot of sand driving, with trailer attached
We didn't really skimp to much, ate well, could have done it a bit cheaper I guess, but hey, your on holidays!
So our cost per week is about $1000
Hope this helps.. Cheers Odog
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Follow Up By: Member - Odog - Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 19:08

Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 19:08
Sorry, FYI, we stayed max about 20 nights in caravan parks, mostly just to charge up batteries on mains power and to have showers and do washing, we didn't eat out much, maybe 10 meals.
While in Perth stayed 4 nights with family. Cheers
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Reply By: steved58 - Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 19:56

Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 19:56
Not a clue what it cost us too much probably if you have to work it out do a reasonable trip and you will get a feel for the costs working it out to the last cent tends to spoil a holiday we did about 28000kms alot of the costs you have at home as well
AnswerID: 534762

Reply By: Joanna W - Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 20:43

Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 20:43
Do you need solar charger for travelling around Austrilia? I can support you on this. hehe
AnswerID: 534764

Reply By: Motherhen - Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 22:58

Saturday, Jun 21, 2014 at 22:58
It will cost you as much as you have - no more and no less. It is very different for us all. Fuel is the biggest cost, and you need to double this to allow for maintenance.

Yes, if you are prepared to do anything, particularly in tourist season in the north, there are opportunities.Camp hosts in national parks get free accommodation.

You can contact me at for more about working on the way around.


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Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 10:23

Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 10:23
Patrol - I've always worked on at least $1000 a week when SWMBO and I are on holidays - but we don't skimp, and we eat out a fair bit. We drink very little. That $1000 a week doesn't include the cost of getting there.

At home in the city, our basic living costs are $600 a week. We own the house and have no mortgage costs.
That weekly amount covers everything to do with running a household of 2 people. Food & drink, water & power & gas, rates, insurances, licences, replacement household appliances, eating out about 3 or 4 times a week, and eating at home for the other 17 or 18 meals. We rarely do takeaways and we usually go out for very reasonably-priced pub and restaurant meals.
That $600 doesn't cover fuel for the family car. That's an extra we pay for separately. We average about $40 a week for fuel and that's only city running.

Living on the road bumps up these costs substantially overall, even though some things , like rates, are removed from the equation. You've still got all the other everyday costs.
Basically, you can't lower your overall everyday living costs when travelling. They go up - substantially.
You have the problem of substantially-increased food and fuel and repair costs in remote areas.

If you don't already do it, do an accurate costing of your current weekly household budget based on what you've spent in the last year.
You don't have to run out a 20 page spreadsheet, just a big notebook and write it out.
I did this when I moved in with SWMBO and we drew up the household running costs and split it down the middle.
It works great, once you've pinned your actual weekly costs for each area down.

Then you take your current living costings and add in the kms you might be doing each week, and add the cost of fuel for doing those kms.
Add the same amount for vehicle and van maintenance costs. Add insurances. Add 20% more for overall food costs as compared to what you spend now.
Add in a calculation for weekly accommodation costs. You can work on $30 a night for caravan parks, unless you do a long-term-stay deal.
You can free camp maybe a third or half the time at best - unless you can camp for free with friends or relatives.

If you get a job with someone in a rural area, you may be able to position your van on the employers rural property and get very low accommodation costs.

If you have reasonably-good skills and a work ethic, you won't have trouble getting temporary or short-term work in remote areas.
Operating plant such as loaders, bobcats, dozers, graders, trucks - working for a shire gives you plenty of spare time, but only basic wages - there's fruit and vegie picking in season in some areas - there's always plenty of labouring jobs if you're fit.

Good luck with the scheme, I trust you work it all out. One of the advantages of taking it slow and working around the country, is that you get to spend a fair amount of time in one area, get familiar with it, and get to see a lot of things you miss when you're travelling fast.

Cheers, Ron.
AnswerID: 534778

Reply By: Ted G - Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 11:42

Sunday, Jun 22, 2014 at 11:42
Hi patrol
We have done the big lap years ago and travel every year for lengthy periods, Toyota Prado diesel 20 ft Retreat caravan 2500kgs stay mostly caravan parks (not big 4 allergic to the jumping castles and price) and some free camps or national parks over the years a good average is to allow $1,000 per week. This covers travelling, food, park fees etc not any costs for the house. Some people do it for a lot less but we like to live.
Work is available as there are less back packers now travelling we only do work via emails.
Have a great trip.
Regards Ted
AnswerID: 534784

Reply By: Member - mike g2 - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 00:49

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 00:49
Hi Patrol, as they suggest-varies. basic mileage (minimum 20K around the coast only) by average fuel per km for your rig. (lots of sources for this). use your current food cost per f/nite and allow 50% of days in paid accom at average $35 a nite for a pwr site. then there's some spending $. last big trip we did we had to draw $10,000 to complete it. we did WA to SA, NSW, Vic, ACT, ferry to and around Tas and ret to WA in about 5 mths. look up RAC, Big4/Family parks etc for info and fuelwatch. should give you more ideas. I guess about $25-30,000 to do it , being away 6-8 mths.
offset by seasonal work/itinerant or locums .
MG. good luck, we should be out there later this yr, see you on road.
AnswerID: 534835

Reply By: Pradobob - Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:36

Monday, Jun 23, 2014 at 11:36
We have a Prado D4D and tow an 18' Coromal weighing in at about 1.8t. We cost our fuel usage at 25 cents/km. I do my own servicing at 5000km intervals, so each one of them is about $100. I buy my filters before I leave Adelaide. I buy the rest on the road at Repco. etc. We cost our accommodation (caravan parks mainly) at $300/week. We are members of 4 CP chains.
Typically we are away for 3 months or more. (duration of the Adelaide winter) We cover about 20,000km on our trips.
Other costs for us revolve around boat tours, entry fees etc. You can do as much or as little of this as you like.
Wherever you go you have to eat, so I don't class that as a "holiday cost". We eat out rarely. I drink $40 worth of beer every week, but I do that at home anyway.
I also solar generate about $600 worth of electricity while we are away, which gets "banked" by our supplier. I am currently $800 in credit.
I hope this helps.

AnswerID: 534854

Reply By: shanegu6 - Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 13:19

Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014 at 13:19
My wife and I and 2 kids aged 6 and 2 travelled around oz for 15 months and it cost us about $50000. We travelled in a Nissan patrol CRD and a 23ft triple bunk van. Probably 70 - 30 ratio of paying and free camping.
AnswerID: 534918

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