Friday, October 26, 2012

Our around Australia trip comes to an end

Well it seems just like yesterday that we wrote our first blog post on this trip and we have now reached the end of our trip around Australia.  Just what have we done:-

·         51,158 Kilometres

·         9721.31 Litres of Diesel (total cost $15,622.74) Average price per litre $1.607

·         348 days on the road with an average cost per night $20.98 per day made up of:

·         Caravan was used for 279 nights

·    Tent was used for 31 nights

·         House sitting for 23 nights

·         Motels for 15 nights

·         We spent 221 nights in caravan parks or national parks where a fee was payable

·         We free camped 89 nights

In addition to the above nights (348 in total) we took two breaks totaling 128 days spent in New Zealand and Melbourne

We left Melbourne on 4 July 2011 and having completed our trip we returned to Melbourne on 22 October 2012.  We set a budget for our trip and came in slightly under budget however there was unders and overs in various budget categories.  It pays to expect the unexpected and have contingency monies set aside for these. The big one that you will never expect is R&M, we had a near new Nissan Patrol so had only allowed for normal servicing and a set of tyres – wrong, when you set this budget then treble it and you might be close, you see those outback roads will break what would seem to be the unbreakable!  Be prepared to be ripped off, whilst 99.9% of the population that will either service your car or supply you with goods are honest and very helpful there are also some real rogues out there as well.

It’s been fantastic.  We have met people who are on their 5th and 6th time around Australia.  We have met people who have sold their home to buy their dream rig and travel.  We have seen people out there in all shapes and sizes of caravans, fifth wheelers, motor homes and tents.  We have met people of all ages from young families travelling and doing odd jobs to survive through to 80+ year olds.  We left with a fantastic caravan that we really enjoyed and arrived back with a trailer – the caravan does not fit next year’s plans and a good offer was too good to pass up.   We have had a ball and I must say have absolutely no regrets.

If you have read our posts during our travels and it’s made you decide that it’s something that you would like to do, then stop dreaming, set a date and get out there and do it.

As for Gill and I, we are going to enjoy being in a house for a few months. She is probably going to enjoy being a little way away from my singing and I for one are going to enjoy spending some time with family and not having to continually be conscious of the house or as some of my American friends refer to it, the snail that we are towing.

Anyway I will as per usual leave it up to Gill to have the final say TTFN


It is hard to believe that I am typing the last installment of our “Around Australia” blog.  We had dreamed and planned for this trip for a number of years and always knew that before we eventually returned to New Zealand on a permanent basis we would like to travel the lap around Australia.  Even with all the planning, I don’t really think that we knew what we were actually letting ourselves in for.  We retired from paid employment and within days had set off.  We had gone from working full time roles and the social interaction that provides, and living in a suburban three bedroom home to being together every day within the confines of either the Patrol or the caravan.  We have survived!  We are still best friends and would we do it again, yes and we are already planning what is next for us.

Peter has driven a mighty long way towing a large caravan and never complained.  I would have towed about one thousand kilometres of the total distance.  We never received a traffic infringement or came near to having an accident.  We got to within four hundred kilometres of home before we were pulled over by a Police team conducting a drink/drive check and Peter was squeaky clean.  He is an expert at backing the caravan and could put it exactly where he wanted.  He did most of the setting up and packing up.  We will not miss the red dust from Central and Western Australia – it got into everything and in fact we have had to put the sheets and towels into the rubbish as we just couldn’t get them clean even though they had been soaked for days in Napisan!

We met some very interesting individuals as we travelled through the various towns and settlements.  We had very little interaction with the Aboriginal people which is a bit of a shame.  We would love to have had the opportunity to spend some time on one of the outback stations and meet the folk that call them home.  We admire the work of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the School of the Air – what a great support they are to the people of the outback.

So what is next – like Peter has said we will now take some time off the road and return to New Zealand for family time.  We will enjoy “living” in our own home and not having to be constantly on the move and visiting new places.  It can be tiring being a tourist.  In 2013 we will again hit the road for a few months and the plans for that time are still in the early stages – perhaps some of the outback tracks like the Simpson Desert and others, spending some time in the warmer states in northern Australia.  Who knows time will tell but we do know that we still enjoy travelling and each other’s company and before too long we will be ready to hit the road again.

Thank you for sharing our lap of Australia with us – we have enjoyed taking you along for the ride.



  1. Hi Gill and Peter

    I just found your blog and really enjoyed reading through some of your posts, especially the ones about the places I've travelled to in Australia. I'm sorry I didn't find you while you were still on the road. It would have been exciting to follow your adventure as it was going on.
    Many happy travels in the future and hope to read about them sometime!

    1. Thanks Helen we have had a ball and as you would see we are out of here again in the next few weeks