How much does it cost to travel around Australia for one year?

How much does it cost to travel around Australia for a year?

How much does it cost to travel around Australia for a year?

A few months ago we published the blog post How much money do we need to travel around Australia with an overview of our travel expenses for the first half year of our road trip through Australia. In this post we will tell you how much money we spent for the whole road trip through Australia for one year. You can also find useful tips on how to reduce your travel costs for a road trip around Australia.

How much does it cost to travel around Australia for a year??

After six months of travelling around Australia we have been very surprised about our expenses.

We have spent less money than we had budgeted.

In our travel budget for Australia we had budgeted AUD 24‘150 for the first six months but we only spent AUD 13‘356. Compared to the AUD 146 we had budgeted, we only spent AUD 82 per day.

How much does it cost to travel around Australia for 1 year?

The most important question is: Did we comply or did we overspend our budget?

YES! Our budget for 1 year Australia was very tight but we have managed to keep our costs even lover than we budgeted.

For the whole road trip around Australia for one year we budgeted AUD 50‘000. At the end of the year we spent AUD 33‘000. For a very expensive travel country like Australia, that’s not a lot of money for a whole year of constant travelling. During our road trip around Australia we spent AUD 91 per day.

The budget for our road trip around Australia

The budget for our road trip around Australia

Following costs are included in the budget:

How did we manage to travel around Australia with AUD 33‘000 for a whole year?

There is only one possibility to travel around Australia on a small budget. You need a car and some camping gear. Only with your own car and camping gear you can reduce the extremely high costs of accommodation, eating in restaurants and using local transportation in Australia.

What are the biggest cost factors and how did we reduce these costs

Costs for food and drinks in Australia: AUD 6‘954

We have spent AUD 6‘954 for food and drinks and it’s the biggest cost item in our budget. It’s no wonder that food and drinks is our biggest cost item because good food is important to us. Even if we travel on a small budget we like to enjoy good food and have a glass of wine or an ice cold beer from time to time.

Eating and drinking in restaurants is very expensive in Australia. We saved a lot of money because we bought our food directly from farmers or in supermarkets and cooked our meals by ourselves.

Shopping groceries in small places in the Outback is much more expensive and the variety is sometimes very limited. In our camper we had a fridge and whenever we have been in big towns we stocked up on supplies.

Fuel costs in Australia: AUD 6‘230

The distances in Australia are tremendous and the Toyota Landcruiser is not the most fuel efficient vehicle in the world. During our road trip through Australia we covered almost 34’000 kilometres and spent AUD 6’230 on fuel. The costs for the fuel could have been even higher.

We reduced the costs for fuel with filling our dual tanks (180l) up where Diesel was cheap and reducing the speed to a maximum of 80 km/h. With the limitation of our average travelling speed to 80 km/h we have been able to reduce the diesel consumption of our Landcruiser to 11 litres per 100 km.

Costs for flights: AUD 4‘762

Starting in Europe, you have to fly around the globe to visit Australia. It’s a long way and the air fares are not particularly cheap. We also had a stopover in Singapore on our way to Australia and a stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Chiang Mai on our way back. During the road trip we flew to Bali and Flores and all these flights are included in our numbers as well.

We reduced the costs for the flights with thorough research on the internet and compared many different options of different airlines and different dates. It’s a bit of work but it’s worth the effort.

Costs for accommodation in Australia: AUD 4‘095

If you don’t have your own camping gear, you have to stay in Hotels and Motels and you will spend heaps of money on accommodation. Hotels, Motels and rooms in B&B’s are very expensive in Australia and your costs for accommodation will explode.

Even the campgrounds are getting more and more expensive. A site for a small camper starts at around AUD 20 in cheap places away from the coast. If you like to be on the coast during peak season, you have to be prepared to pay up to AUD 80 for a site.

We stayed on free camps as much as possible and also liked the cheap or free campsites in the national parks. The investment in our Toyota Landcruiser camper was definitely worth and we saved a lot of money on accommodation.

Have you been to Australia? Do you have some tips you’d like to share? How much does it cost to travel around Australia for a year? Your experiences and comments are very welcome.

10 thoughts on “How much does it cost to travel around Australia for one year?

  1. Yes, definitely agree that the only way to see Australia on a budget is by buying your own campervan. Some of the best campsites are run by the Department of Conservation, they’re often in the most beautiful spots in National Parks and only cost between $6-12 per night.

  2. Hi Renni, here are a few more saving tips for Australia. Yes, it’s (bloody) expensive but you can save yourself a lot of money if you know a few insider tips.
    If you like going out to restaurants choose the ones that are BYO – here you can Bring Your Own alcohol such as a bottle of wine. They usually charge a corkage fee, but it’s still a lot cheaper than buying a bottle of wine at a restaurant. Also look out for specials on Tuesdays, many restaurants, activities, museums and other entertainment offer discounts on Tuesdays. Don’t buy fruit and vegetables at supermarkets – look out for markets instead, they are much, much cheaper. And my last tip if you have time to travel think about camper relocations. Restrictions apply but if it works out you can rent a campervan for $1 a day doing this.

    • Hi Nina
      Thanks a lot for the aditional saving tips. Very helpful for travellers or people who plan to go to Australia.
      We totally agree that it’s worth to check for specials on Tuesdays.
      We also heard about the very attractive rental fares for campercan relocations. Definitely something to check when planning a road trip.
      Cheers & Happy New Year.

  3. I had a bad experience camping when I was in high school, but as I look at the costs to get traveling and seeing my own country, I think it will be the most practical way to do it!
    I’m not a huge fan of driving but I think I also need to just get over that because my car is economical on fuel and will at least get me anywhere that’s paved.

    • Hi Vanessa,
      Thanks for your comment and soooo sorry for the late reply.
      Driving around Australia is totally worth a try even if you do not like driving. It’s the best way to explore the amazing country your are living in. We loved it. And camping… Australia is probably the best country in the world for camping 🙂 Maybe you give it a try in the future.
      Happy travels,

  4. Great write up! I have been wanting to go to Australia for sometime now, but the cost are just too high. I think camping and having your own transport is the best option. Did you have it difficult to drive in Australia? or was it easy to get around and use an international drivers licence?

    • Thanks 🙂 Sorry for the late reply.
      Australia is great for travelling and when camping it’s an affordable country. Driving in Australia was easy. We always carried our Swiss drivers licence with us and the translation of our licence. That was enough even for buying a car and the insurance.
      Cheers from sunny Switzerland,

  5. One extra tip that will save you some money too,
    download the app ‘Wiki Camps Australia’ it shows you all the campsites and hostels in australia and many of them are free! ( Not the hostels ) You can limit your search results also, for example, to only show free sites or sites with a toilet, so to say. The app also shows day use areas and tourist attractions. I live in AUS, when you can, try to shop at ALDI, it is our cheapest supermarket and has great quality food.
    Hope this helps and happy savings!

    • Hi Cacie

      Thanks for your comment. Yeah, the Wiki Camps App is great. We use it daily and we also recommend it to people who plan a road trip around Australia. So great to know about free camps and also to compare prices of caravan parks.

      Shopping at ALDI is another great reommendation. We miss ALDI in the Northern part of WA and the NT.


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