Considering Touring Australia? You Are Not Alone…

The great Aussie touring dream is alive and well.

Earlier this week, I came across an article which shared what I thought were some interesting stats on the cost of touring Australia.  The guys that posted it are Jeffery Clan and a van, a family with 2 young boys (2 and 5 YO), who returned last week from an almost 9 month trip around Australia.  They travelled for 260 days, completing almost 46,000 km driving around Australia in a Holden Trailblazer and Billabong Wonderer Caravan.

I found their key stats most interesting. They are below

Total spend – $48,200 (that’s $1,285 per week)

⛽️ $11,411 Total Fuel ($304.29 week)
? $5267 Camp Sites ($20.05 per night)
? $777 Total Alcohol tab..mostly James lol
? $7354 Total Groceries ($196 week)
☕ $5943 in Coffee & eating out ($158 week)…over half of this was coffee at least 2 per day at around $11 each time..yikes
? $9339 in experiences. This is paid entry to national parks, boat cruises, shark swim ect ect and $2065 of this included the boat to Tasmaina
? $337 at laundromats ($9 per week)

I posted this to our Facebook page, where it quickly became one of our most popular recent posts. With stagnant house prices, sharemarket volatility, and media reporting future sentiment to be shaky, it makes sense that people are interested in domestic travel rather than the big overseas vacation.

I’ll never forget spending 8 weeks on the road travelling Australia with my grandparents and my Mum when I was 10 years old. It was such an amazing experience, and I definitely didn’t miss out on anything at school!

Regardless of the reason for the interest, it is really pleasing to see that so many Australians want to get out and road trip their way around this great country. The Jeffery Clan have shed some great light on the cost of touring for 8 months with a young family, but the beauty is that this is not a fixed amount.  Want to go cheaper?  You could go for a shorter period of time.  You could take a tent or swag and camp, saving fuel by not having to tow a van.  Or even take a camper trailer which will reduce the fuel bill compared to a Caravan.  You could even pick-up some work on the way around to help sustain the trip. There are so many choices out there and ways to make it work – it’s up to you to build your dream trip.

It’s no mean feat what the Jeffery Clan have achieved and while it came with significant cost, I’ll bet you they’ll look back on this trip as one of the best of their life.  So what are you waiting for?

Got a question about touring the Country that you’d like answered?

We are going to reach out to the Jeffery Clan and ask them to answer your questions about travelling Australia.  If you’d like a question answered, please email with the questions you’d like to ask.  We’ll put them to the Jeffery Clan and post their responses in the next edition of the Campfire.

Hope to see you out there!


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Comments 10

  1. Hi Aiden,

    We also kept tabs on costs for a recent 8 week road trip from Perth to Cairns and back via Darwin and the Savanna Way. We were in a Ford Ranger with a Travelander Slide-on Camper. There were the two of us, both recently retired. The numbers are distorted a bit because of the long drive through WA (5 days at 7- 800 km/d) to the NT where our holiday really started.
    Info as follows:
    Distance traveled 16,640 km, or 2080/week
    Total Cost about $11,500 or $1440/wk
    Fuel $3,776 or $470/wk diesel (max $3/L, mostly about $1.65L). Economy averaged about
    12.5 to 13.5L/100 km depending on conditions – wind (head or tail), on road/off road etc.
    Accomm $1360 or $24/n mix of free camping, C/parks and N/parks (no hotels or cabins)
    Groceries $1023 (incl booze) $128/wk. (This also applies at home so not really a holiday cost)
    Eating out, coffees etc $1641 or $205/wk. We probably bought lunch about 3 times a week
    and dinner at least twice a week.
    Experiences $2348 or $290/wk. Includes Reef snorkeling a fishing charter and boat cruises.
    Vehicle servicing and tyre rotation $520
    Sundry (everything else) -incl parts for minor repairs, laundries, books, maps, car wash,
    souvenirs etc $475 or $60/wk
    We are not particularly frugal and happy to spend on experiences we want, and cant drive past when a grilled barramundi is on offer! A couple of years ago we spent about $1100/wk, over 3 months with less distance per day, more free camping and less high cost experiences.

    In comparison, we spent about $15,000 in total for a 5 and a half weeks in Europe, self guided, using public transport and staying in 2 or 3 star accommodation.


    Jim and Mary

    1. Post
  2. Cost of living in cities has probably meant people buy a good second hand Van and travel Aust at their own pace
    Where they can control expences in their own time
    If they still struggle with cost then they become perm residents in caravan parks
    It all becomes relevant to each circumstances

  3. Excellent fuel economy from your Trailblazer towing the van.
    At an average $ 1.55 per litre for fuel you obtained 6.25 km/litre.
    Beats my Everest Trend towing campervan.

  4. The final cost of a holiday should be calculated by subtracting what it would normally cost you (for each of the categories listed only) to live your “normal” life back at home over the same period.

  5. hi all you travellers out there, I think mr davis hit the nail on the head it really comes down to each wanderers cicumstances for our part we would not spend a lot on meals and coffees they very quickly mount up and we never free camp but it can be a way of saving lots on a trip we are in our 80 s now and still caravan, pull a big van 24 ft with a landcruiser and dont tour now, instead we just go up to sth east qld for about 12 to 14 weeks stay in a good park always ensuite sites meet up with like minded old friends have a great time we are away from home for 16 weeks cost approx $5000 all up and that includes lots of cappucinos and meals at clubs etc but you cannot tour on a budget and live the high life simple economics

  6. It;s a bit over the top, coffee breaks 11 bucks a pop, bring your own and a hot water flask, eating out? only on rare occasions I would do, I have been to the tip of Australia, Motels est. 1800,- bucks, Diesel est from Melbourne 3000,-bucks, whilst at Lakeland the Diesel was cheaper than in Cairns $137,- bucks, ex Melbourne $142,- Dollars, rip off Melbourne, that was 2017 September

  7. As pensioners, when we travel we spend mainly on fuel. We start out with a reasonably full pantry and fridge and suppliment at supermarkets in larger towns along the way. Experiences would be our next largest expediture. Free camps and food and drinks made in van keep costs down. There is no way we could spend over $1000 a week. We have been on a lrge. number of trips and many more are planned.

  8. Our dream to ‘do the big lap’ is getting closer so I’m working out budgets and basic plans – with wiggle room built in. Fuel prices are our largest item and, from our experiences on shorter trips in the Territory and north West, almost unpredictable. We won’t miss going back to desert, Kimberley and Pilbara areas but know that if we can save on the south east we can enjoy the north. Entertainment must include the MFSRF at Corryong and Big Red but fishing will have to be off jetties so these can happen! Maybe we’ll learn some tips from other travelers as we go – I’m keen to be savvy but still have the trip of our dreams. Sure beats sitting at home reading about other’s seeing our fantastic country!

  9. I travel a lot and very rarely exceed $400 a week I stay at free camp sites which are everywhere and most often are a lot nicer than payed one’s

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