We set off in Jura, our new Sunliner Pinto motor home, exactly one month ago to complete the Big Lap of Australia. So far we have travelled the grand total of 2,104 kms and expect to add another 30,000 kms on top of that before completing our trip. The attached map shows we have followed the coastline down from Sydney to Melbourne and have then travelled north up through the Yarra Valley before heading back down towards Melbourne. We are absolutely loving the places we have visited and although too early for favourites we would highly recommend Kiama in NSW and Cobram in Victoria.
Earlier Blogs have updated the story of our travels and include photographs of some of the many highlights. This Blog may not be of so much interest to some readers as it is a breakdown of our expenditure. The reason for including this is because during our preparation phase and as we continue to follow other Nomads, we have benefitted from knowing how much things were likely to cost. Everyone will have their own priorities and we know that as we travel further north we can expect to pay more for diesel, groceries and some big ticket excursions but accommodation costs are likely to come down as we make more use of free camping sites.
We are two adults travelling in a brand new motorhome with no children and no pets. Excluded from our costings are the outlay for the motor home with the added bike rack and bull bars, our electric bikes, insurance, phone package and all the extra bits required to kit us out for the road. On the positive side, this S.K.I. holiday (Spending the Kids Inheritance) should mean less for the tax man in future!!!
Month one may not give the best indication for what lies ahead. Partly this is because we had the luxury of staying with my cousin Lyn for six nights which saved us money on all fronts (apart from alcohol). Before casting any aspersions on my poor cousin, I should explain that we have spent the past few weeks sampling gin, wine, port and beer at various boutique wineries and distilleries. Many of the purchased items have been set aside for Christmas and other special occasions – or at least that is the plan….. Still it was quite an eye opener to see that we spent on average $1 more on alcohol per week than we did on our grocery shopping. Included within sundries are things bought from charity shops like books and some kitchen utensils, as well as Mike’s recent haircut, gloves, hot water bottle and fan heater (its been cold!) from local shops and stores along the way. We have done 3 nights free camping by the side of the road and have also made some savings by using a Top Parks Discount Card at some holiday parks. We have not skimped on entrance fees to visit tourist attractions that have held our interest and particularly enjoyed our visit to the Ned Kelly Museum, the Healesville Sanctuary and the Paddle Steamer trip down the Murray. Many of our best days however have been following bush trails, walking along deserted beaches and exploring the many fabulous cycle paths and that just comes with the territory.
The figures don’t quite add up as I’ve rounded figures up, divided by the 31 days in the month and multiplied by 7 to get a weekly average. Essentially however we have spent $750 a week, divided up as follows:
Weekly Average Expenditure by Category (Exchange rate £1 = $1.75)
Diesel Fuel $95
Alcohol (!) $146
Eating Out $66
Entrance Fees $35
Gas Refills $6