Travelling oz on a budget

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 23:16
ThreadID: 24820 Views:3037 Replies:10 FollowUps:21
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Hi all!
Im new here so I will start from the beginning.My hubby and I are planning to tour this fantastic land of ours with our 2 kids(will be 11 and 7 in 2007) in 2007.We will be driving in an 80 series deseil LC and towing a 20-25 foot caravan and anticipate being on the road for 12mths.Our goal is to see as much as we can on a budget.But here is my much do we need to budget?? Fuel is relatively easy to figure out but what about the rest??
We are planning on being pretty self sufficiant(ie solar pannels on c/v,carrying own water etc) and are palning on staying in caravan parks only 1-2 times a week.But how much should we budget for each week we are on the road??
As we are not leaving til Jan 07 we have plenty of time to save and dont really want to work whilst we are travelling.
What sort of money have others who have done the trek around oz or currently doing it budget??
I just need a rough idea so I can start off the piggy bank.
Look forward to hearing your advice.
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Reply By: chel - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 05:26

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 05:26
Hi Katrina,
We are a family with three kids ( 9,11,12). I would budget for around $100 - $150 per day, this for fuel, camp site,etc. Some days you will have left over money other days you may not. depending on how far you travel in a day and what touristy things you pay to see. Hope this helps. Michele
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Follow Up By: G-wizz - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 08:19

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 08:19
$55000 to tour the country for 12 mths?

[ View Image]
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Follow Up By: Steve - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 17:50

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 17:50
I just knew it was good old fashioned reasoning. For a minute I thought it was getting a bit hysterical
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Reply By: Member - John C (QLD) - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 08:22

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 08:22
That $100.00/day seems to be about the magic figure. But that was 2003/2004. Maybe a bit more with fuel prices.

We are doing it in stages, a month here and there, but asking the same question of others we bump into onto the road, and are doing it all in one go, it seems about right. Not being extravagant, well at least a bit stingy, but doing it reasonably comfortably.

The fuel is the expensive bit. Especially if you allow for the fact that you eat at home or on the road!
Another interesting point talking to a few of the grey nomads who do the whole circumnavigation, is that they all seem to do between 20,000 to 25,000k getting around Australia, whether it is 3 months or 12 months. A bit fo 4wding and more remote places might add a little more.
Can any one else confirm that figure?
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Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 08:57

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 08:57
John, that figure is correct. Depending upon how many optional bits you do of course. I've been round the big apple twice and both times travelled around those distances.
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Follow Up By: Well 55 - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 07:34

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 07:34
The wife and I did it in '94 for 12 months but covered 34,000k, and worked on $100 every 1000k.

We did a lot of free camping, and still managed to do a lot of the touisty things.
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Reply By: Time - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 10:32

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 10:32
Just me and SWMBO, but we usually budget $100 per day for all costs (fuel, food, booze, camping fees etc), sometimes we average a bit more, sometimes a bit less, but that is pretty close to the mark. Also, always have $$$ set aside for those unexpected costs (vehicle repairs etc).


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Reply By: kat - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 12:10

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 12:10
Thankyou for your is much appreciated.
WE were kind of leaning towards $100 per day to allow but I think we might up that to $150 per day just in case.I am so excited about doing thins trip that I have done so much research in the last couple of weeks!We wont have a set ittenery but just have a rough time to be in areas eg we want to be in Tasmania by March,the snow fields in July etc.
Ideally we dont really want to travel more than a couple hundred k's a day(the exception of course is when we do the long hauls like the nullabor)as its not fair on the kids and we want o enjoy the surrounds as well insterad of concentrating on the black top!
Well I am enjoying reading the threads on this site so no doubt you will be hearing my 2cents in the future!
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Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 16:21

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 16:21
Nullabor is not a long haul to pass by in one big drive.

Plenty to see, take the side tracks out to the coast and enjoy the remoteness. This will also keep average costs per day for fuel down.

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Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 19:01

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 19:01

Your rig pic. Is that the old tunnel to the west of Bundaberg?
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Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 22:38

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 22:38

Duncs here, don't know if Alan has answered you elsewhere but I"ll have a crack before he does.

I reckon the pic is on the road down to Wombeyan Caves near Mittagong in the NSW Southern Highlands.

This could end up an interesting guessing game. Maybe an EO sticker for the neatest correct answer?????

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Reply By: Willem - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 16:37

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 16:37
Hi Katrina

We have recently completed a 3 month trip(not towing a van) with mostly camping and some accommodation. We travelled close on 16,000km which included about 2000km of 4x4. The cost was roughly $110 per day which included purchases of art and other STUFF along the way.

I would budget $50,000 for 2007. If you stay out of Caravan Parks you will bring your costs down substantially. There are plenty of free camping areas especially if you stay off the major roads.

We towed a 27ft van around Oz for 5 years and clocked up 275,000km. But that was ten years ago when fuel was 70c/l :o)

Keep the weight down and the stuff you take. Take minimal clothing with you and if need be you can buy clothes at op shops. Try to be as self sufficient as you can. Put a budget aside for buying presents or souvenirs

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Follow Up By: Member - Alan H (QLD) - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 21:07

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 21:07

The tunnel on my rig pic is the one on the road south west of Sydney heading towards Wombeyan Caves. This is also through solid rock with no liner but was made for the road. 2WD drive road.

The one near Mt Perry was built for the railway and now used as a road and is much longer. I always pass through it just for hell of it if I'm near Mt Perry.

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Reply By: Member - Norm C (QLD) - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 20:16

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 20:16
Not part of your question, but Camps Australia Wide (3rd edition just released) is a good reference for free and cheap camp sites around Australia. May help to keep the costs down.
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Reply By: atoyot - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 22:27

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 22:27

We did the trip in 02 with our 2 kids (4 and 7 then) in our 100 series diesel (no turbo) with 16" off road van and we budgeted for between $100 and $150 a day. In the end, we were right in the middle at $1000 per week. We did the trip in 14 weeks, so we probably could have saved a bit by not jamming it in (more bush camps, less eating out etc). We did a few cruises/flights/attractions etc that you could save on, but our attitude was that we weren't going all that way to save money here and there and not see things. We looked on it as an investment in our kids, and we haven't looked back.

Going for 12 months, $50K sounds about right, but bush camps and not eating out help. Also, calling up on the CB for the best fuel prices can save a bit as well. Some servo's don't advertise that they give discounts for being members of different organisations, and the more frugal travellers seem to know the cheapest places. Best thing we found was to talk to some of the older wanderers in some of the not so flash rigs and they have all the tips on free camping at places you wouldn't believe possible. From knowing when the rangers might be around to feigning a mechanical problem (complete with split hose or broken belt), they know all the tricks.

It's also worth while joining Big 4 and Top Tourist (we found Top Tourist were a bit cheaper and almost as good, and sometimes better than Big 4) for when you do stay at parks. Every now and then, it's worthwhile getting a site with an ensuite as a luxury as the kids love that. We even got one with a bath once.

We found that a lot of places were looking for people to do work short term in places where you might want to stay for a week or so. Things like looking after the shop to mowing grass. If you have to, there seems to be lots of places where you could do a bit to get some money back in the kitty. We ran in to quite a few travellers doing a bit of work here and there and it didn't affect their holiday too much.

The only other advice I can offer is try to find somewhere to camp as early as possible in the mid afternoon. Free camps fill quickly in some places at certain times, and it's no fun trying to find somewhere in the dark, and having to pay for a van site. Again, talking to people going in the opposite direction helps here. We went round anti-clockwise and we were just behind the crest of the wave of grey nomads, so we didn't have too much trouble.

One last thing; the cheapest way to keep in touch with everyone we found was to use Pocketmail. Email convenience (no attachments), works on any phone and only a local call everywhere in Oz.

We had a laptop too, but it's a pain to try and find a phone line to plug in to. We maily used the laptop to keep on top of the money situation. It's easy to find any old phone though. We've still got our pocketmail thingy and we've lent it to relatives a few times, so it's been around the world now. I think that they're about $150 to buy, but if you were interested, I'll find out if my wife wants to get rid of ours.

Have a great time and enjoy the planning phase and sorry for the length of this post.

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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 22:46

Monday, Jul 18, 2005 at 22:46
Not one person has taken into account that diesel will be $3 by then (its going to walk $2.00 in this year), so it will probabably be way around $200 instead of $100.
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Follow Up By: Steve - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 08:19

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 08:19
are you mystic Meg or what?
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 09:53

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 09:53
You disagree?
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Follow Up By: gramps - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 12:34

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 12:34
Tend to agree somewhat with Truckster re budgetting closer to $200 per day for 2007. I'm budgetting $200 for 2008 which is the earliest I could manage 'the pilgrimage'. I think his fuel price estimate ($3) is bordering on worst case scenario but it is as accurate as anybody else's will be this far out.
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Follow Up By: Steve - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 17:20

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 17:20
no, but I don't have a crystal ball either. Nor do I believe everything I read. Unless you actually know something we don't.......??????????
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 09:27

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 09:27
Damn, the secret is out, fuel will never rise again.. if the barrell price goes up, fuel will never rise again even if it hits $100 a barrell... Nope, no reason to..
- even if it means that fuel companies will start taking billions of dollars loss it wont go up...

Yes.. the secret is out.
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Follow Up By: gramps - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:10

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:10
Now,now Truckster. We all know the inherent philanthropic nature of oil companies. How can you possibly call it a secret?
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:16

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:16
Dang, another secret is out that it wasnt a secret.

I'm shocked that people cant see it coming. We are screwed.

With really only 3 big players left in Service stations err Petrol stations - Mobil, Coles and Safeway, Skys the limit... and oh, no they wont work it out between them to 'suggest' a price.. No, cant say they would fix it, cause that would be norty of me.

Thanks to the Toothless tiger "ACCC" for allowing this to happen.. I remember that useless scrote on tele saying something like
'there will be enough competition to have competitive prices'
wonder how much he was paid...+ free fuel card for life.

Independants are dying off faster than John Howards promises or Bracks' popularity.. or George Bush's brain cells (both of them).... 4 I drive past on way home from work are now boarded up - thats within 6-12 mths..
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Follow Up By: gramps - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:41

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:41
Fixing prices in the oil industry ..... never! As you mentioned, you only have to drive an area close to the two new players outlets to see what has happened to independent competition. Even some of the 'name brand' outlets have shut up shop.

Are you sure the 'uber Bush' has/had two brain cells?
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:48

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:48
do you work for the CIA?? ;) LMAO

doubleya is only called that cause his 1 brain cell split..
yea, you are right about the new players.. almost Mafia style of the 1920/30s...
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Follow Up By: gramps - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 14:20

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 14:20
'doubleya is only called that cause his 1 brain cell split'


until I thought .... 1 to 2 to 4 to 8 to 16 ...........

Imagine how dangerous he'd be then!!!


Sorry about the diversion. Definitely overbudget on fuel. By 2007 fuel will (sorry Steve, I believe it is a given) be considerably more expensive than it is now. In some of the remote areas you will definitely be paying close to what Truckster has estimated and the higher of the prices we now pay in metropolitan areas will be the once in a blue moon specials from discounting wars IMHO.
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Follow Up By: Truckster (Vic) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 14:53

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 14:53
Remote areas: willem paid $2.20 the other day in a remote area.

I was talking about the city, not remote.. it wil be 4-5 bucks by then remote for sure.
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Follow Up By: gramps - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 16:56

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 16:56

You could be right but it would need several huge increases in the price of oil over a relatively short timeframe. Well (no pun intended) in excess of what we have experienced so far.

Of course, our revered political leaders (of either persuasion) will not be able to resist the temptation to increase their percentage of the take by increasing the fuel tax/excise/levy for some bull$#@! reason pertaining to the environment, renewable energy, etc etc etc.

Queenslanders may very well be the first to experience an overall increase in the price of fuel. They may receive less of a subsidy each year in the not too distant future.
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Follow Up By: Steve - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 19:03

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 19:03
nothing like a bit of good old fashioned reasoning. Thought we were gettin a bit hysterical for a minute.
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Reply By: Austravel - Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 15:41

Tuesday, Jul 19, 2005 at 15:41
Mate just returned from 12 mths touring. Did everything they wanted but don't think the did any flights. Mainly used caravan parks or NP's so paid for camping with power nearly every night. They spent $35k, did close to 45,000 klm. From memory food was around $10 (lived well), fuel was something like $7k.

My thoughts are you could do it for as little as $500 a week and the sky is the limit for the upper level. If you don't smoke, use some free camps, eat basic don't do many tours and check out the sites yourself I can't see it costing much more than this. Sure you can spend more. I just worked out getting 20l/100k and fuel being $2 a litre it will be approx $300 per week on fuel for 40,000klm. If there are no major breakdowns and you get some free camps and are mainly going to see the natural sights then $2-300 extra per week would do us.

Will soon see as I hope to be doing it next year for 6mths.
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Reply By: Member - MrBitchi (QLD) - Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:00

Wednesday, Jul 20, 2005 at 10:00
Our recent trip in petrol Pajero, towing camper, we averaged 16.5Lt/100. Did 6,200Ks and fuel cost approx $1200, $200/1000ks. Deisel price is currently dearer than petrol and I agree with Truckster, by 2007 it will be substantially dearer.
Towing a 25ft van I'd reckon you'll get around the same consumption as my Pajero so I'd budget on at least $300/1000ks for fuel, mabe even more. Add in more for on the road servicing costs, oil change every 5000ks seems to be the go.
Allowing for 25,000ks that means your fuel bill alone is going to be around $7,500.
On top of that we usually found daily costs to average around the $50 mark, that's around $18k for 12 months, plus camping fees. These vary but currently around $25 for a powered site, $9,125 for a year. Lots of free camps around that can reduce this cost.

So far you're looking at around $35k, plus vehicle servicing, tyres etc, and I'd call that conservative.

You should also have a reserve in case of something unexpected happening. How much? How long is a peice of string?

$35K works out at around $665/week so the magic figure of $100/day is allready taken care of before inflation. My advice would be to budget for around $120/day and make sure you have a reserve.

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