A roadtrip budget For the East Coast of Australia does not have to be expensive! In fact, we’d go as far to say that it’s one of the cheapest options! Impossible you say? We’ve done it – 6 weeks in a camper, driving up and exploring the amazing coastline and this is how we managed it…
Total Cost: $2750 AUD Per Person For 6 Weeks!*
The Campervan, $2800 AUD, 41 Days Hire
For 41 days hire of a 2 berth campervan, we paid $2800 AUD or $35 AUD per person per day! To put that into prospective an average hostel dorm is $30 AUD per person per night, but with the camper you get so much more flexibility, freedom and effectively, a private room every night of the week.
Tours, $954 AUD
Due to the flexibility that your own transport provides you’ll pay less for tours, you can drive and guide yourself around any and all attractions. We decided to go on the following tours: Sailing the Whitsundays (2D/2N) $285pp, Australia Zoo $47pp, Dolphin Marine Magic $36pp, Great Barrier Reef (day tour) $109pp. In addition to this we self toured the Great Ocean Road ($90pp), Daintree Rainforest ($120pp) and Nimbin ($50pp). By doing self guided tours we managed to save a whopping $520 AUD between the two of us!
Fuel, $876.36 AUD
Travelling approximately 5000kms we began our journey in Melbourne and finished in Cairns. We took many detours, including The Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island and heading in land when there were sights to be seen and even visited a different beach almost everyday. Even doing this many kilometres in a non economical van ($170/1000kms) it was a far cheaper option than the hop on/hop off Greyhound bus pass who charge, $1058 ($529pp) from Melbourne to Cairns or the 5000km pass for $1570 ($785pp).
Food, $473.39 AUD
Australia is expensive, especially when it comes to food – If you are on a tight budget then be very prepared to skimp in the supermarket. To give you a good idea of what $40pp per week gets you, this is what we ate and drank each day:
- Breakfast – Coffee and porridge with powdered milk
- Lunch – Peanut butter/marmite sandwiches
- Dinner – Pasta/rice with kidney beans, diced tomatoes, herbs and a couple of eggs
- Snacks – Apples, Bananas and biscuits
- Drinks – Water and the occasional bottle of cheap cola.
Our weekly supermarket shop was around $50 AUD between us with the remainder of the food budget being spent on a couple of splurge days and few bottles of wine.
This is where we saved a huge amount of money! We stayed in free camps which saved us hundreds. Free campsites can be found all over the place, there are thousands in Australia. If your doing what we did then you absolutely must pay a few dollars and download the ‘Wiki camps Australia’ app, which will show you the location of every single free camp. All up we paid for 4 nights accommodation 2 campsites costing $27 per night and 2 nights in a hostel costing $20pp per night. If your wondering how much you’ll save free camping, here’s our trip as an example:
Total Nights 41, cheap campsite per night $20, total cost for 41 nights $820
That’s a saving of $820 AUD by free camping!!!
Public Transport, $89.50 AUD
You will have to spend a little money on public transport, but you can be sure it’s money well spent. If you go to Sydney with your campervan don’t bother driving, park in an outer suburb and catch a train in. We spent $20pp on public transport in Sydney which was enough for 3 days travel, it saved us time, hassle and parking charges. The other $49.50 was our transport costs to and from the airport.
Parking, $24 AUD
There’s free parking everywhere in Australia, we only paid for parking once while on the East Coast and that was for secure parking while we went away on a Whitsundays 2 day 2 nights cruise. Again, we’d recommend the ‘Wiki Camps Australia’ app as you can search for free parking, turns out that there is always somewhere free close by.
Miscellaneous Items, $157 AUD
This is definitely something that we didn’t account for that you should. So what did we spend $157 on? Mainly replacement parts for our GoPro and some souvenirs, 5 items in total but these little bits and bobs quickly add up and if your not careful they will have a notable impact on your budget.
That’s it! Every cent spent whilst driving up the east coast. We had 41 days with our campervan and 44 days in total.
All up this is what we spent:
$2749.12 AUD Per Person
Which makes it…
$62.48 AUD per person per day!
*Note: In the case of travelling solo, you’ll probably want to go with the Greyhound bus pass. Unfortunately, the campervan option only works out cheaper when travelling in a pair or more.