How much did the Aussie road trip cost us???

Australia, WA Roadtrip — By on December 2, 2010 3:10 PM

People often ask me how I can afford to travel so much. Long term travel doesn’t have to be expensive and it is quite possible to travel for months on a small daily budget. If you are willing to rough it, sleep in strange places, and eat lots of PB&J, you will be surprised how affordable a long road trip can be.

With that being said, Australia is an expensive country to travel in compared to other places I have been. But budget travel is possible down under so long as you do not need 5 star accommodations and dine out at expensive restaurants. There is so much to see and do in Australia (especially in Western Australia ) that does not cost a penny.

Below is a breakdown of all expenses for the 6 weeks we were on the road. Our daily budget goal was $30 per day per person; however, we did spend more on average per day ($37) due to the unexpected high cost of petrol!


Accommodation – $249.00

When at all possible we opted to camp at free rest stops or down random dirt roads. We both found sleeping inside the Jeep to be surprisingly comfortable! We did pay to stay at a caravan park from time to time whenever we needed a shower (once every 5 days!) and when I preferred a toilet versus “popping a squat” which usually resulted in my peeing on my feet! Caravan parks costs about $15 per person on average in WA.

Activities – $80.00

The only activity we had to pay for was kayaking in Katherine Gorge. Hiking and swimming in beautiful gorges is free!

Having a National Parks pass saved us about $15 per park visited but besides park entry fees the costs associated with exploring this remote part of the country is quite minimal.

Car Expenses – $288.00

The decision to purchase the Jeep versus renting a car saved us heaps of money and we actually made $100 reselling the jeep. We purchased Hercules for $4200 AUS and sold for $4300. While purchasing a car in a foreign country may seem daunting, we were surprised as to how easy the process of buying and selling a vehicle in WA really was!

There was very little cost associated with maintaining the Jeep aside from the cost of petrol. We purchased a roadside assistance plan for $165 (which came in handy when keys got locked in the car!), had to patch a tire at the start of the trip, and buy extra oil and coolant.

Food – $800.00

When shopping for groceries we always bought what was on sale, sticking to cheap meal options like pasta, rice/curries, and PB&J and flavored tuna sandwiches. Breakfast was usually cereal with powdered milk mixed with water, fruit and a cup of tea.

Our most random meal we threw together in an attempt to use the last of our groceries was ramen noodles with eggs and canned corn and peas with a splash of soy sauce … surprisingly, not bad!

We did treat ourselves to dinner at an actual restaurant only one night during the trip. While in Exmouth we could not resist dining at Pinocchio – rated the best Italian restaurant in all of Australia and strangely enough located inside our caravan park. Our craving for pizza was not satiated by the very disappointing and flavorless pizza pie.

Petrol – $1312.00

We were not prepared for the extremely high cost of petrol in many parts of WA. Petrol cost $1.85/liter in parks of the Kimberley where the only gas station available for 300 miles had no competition. We did learn of this handy website Fuel Watch that helped us locate the petrol station selling the cheapest gas in town.

We also were able to save on petrol costs by picking up other backpackers along the way who contributed money toward fuel cost.

Other – $122.00

There were very few “other expenses” such as sunscreen, bug spray, cell phone top ups, internet cost, etc.

TOTAL: $2848.00

Divided by two = $1424.00 each

38 days traveled = $37.00/day

Our budget travel and camping skills were refined during this trip and I reckon I could do a similar road trip for even cheaper next time!

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  1. Gabriel says:

    Hi!! I think I am going to do this roadtrip but I wanted to ask you if you purchased the jeep in Perth or where? And how much did the jeep cost??


    • Kelly says:

      Hello! The jeep cost us $4200 AUD and we sold at the end for $4100 AUD! Definitely worth the small hassle to buy and sell a vehicle, made the trip very affordable. Good luck!

  2. Dhairya says:

    Is that possible to buy and sale car easily as tourist in australia … as I want to visit for just 20-30 days.
    If purchasing and selling car takes a lot than it will be tough deal

    • Kelly says:

      buying and selling a car in australia is super easy! i was surprised how easy it was! there are heaps of backpackers wanting to buy and sell cars, just be sure to do it during the busy season (summer) and plan to sell in a bigger city (we bought in darwin and sold in perth). just look for signs in hostels to buy and post your sign in hostel to sell. is a great site to use as resource. i recommend buying/selling as you will save so much money. we made $100 on our car sale, so the trip only cost us petrol and accommodation. good luck!

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