With such a huge variety of budget-friendly national parks, beaches and natural attractions, it’s easy to explore Australia while travelling on a budget.
Travelling by camper gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace, but there are a few costs to consider when budgeting for a road trip. Deciding which Australian attractions to visit, where to stay, as well as things like petrol, food and drink - the list goes on.
Luckily, there are also plenty of ways to save on your trip. Travelling in a camper means you can stay in caravan parks and campgrounds and extend your budget by alternating nights of free camping to save on accommodation costs. Additionally, having a bed and fridge on board means you have the opportunity to buy groceries and save on eating out.
Let’s dive into all the things to consider when budgeting for a two-week campervan holiday.
Australia has a vast landscape - it is almost the size of the United States and about 50 percent larger than Europe. When road tripping around a country with so much ground to cover and so many things to do and see, it’s worthwhile to prepare a budget in advance. That way you aren’t caught off guard with unexpected expenses.
With many of the best things to see and do tucked away out of easy reach from city centres, it can be helpful to budget for things like:
This will allow more money for things that really matter on your ultimate Australian road trip.
When considering the costs of your two-week road trip, it’s important not to forget anything.
At Mighty, we are big believers in making adventure possible for everyone, no matter their budget. Because of this, we have a variety of campers ranging in price and facilities for different needs.
Our best value 2-berth Highball campers are smaller vehicles with simple cooking facilities targeted to travellers who want to spend most of their time outdoors. While our more inclusive 6-berth Big Six campers come with a shower and toilet on board and are the perfect spacious option for families and larger groups. It’s a good idea to pick your camper based on your needs for the two weeks, e.g. if you are going to The Outback, you might want a fully self-contained camper.
It's also good to keep in mind that prices will vary at different times of the year, especially in peak seasons. Check out if there are any seasonal deals running so you can get the best value on your road trip.
Australia has a big landscape with plenty to explore - so it’s important to add petrol to your budget. Mighty campers each have a fuel tank size ranging between 70-75 litres, and the cost to fill them will vary depending on your location and how far you plan to travel.
Taking the time to plan your itinerary can help you get a rough idea of your petrol costs. Using apps like FuelMap to compare fuel prices around Australia and the thl Roadtrip itinerary planner to map your route are great ways to ensure you don’t go over budget.
While eating out once or twice can be a nice treat, cooking in the camper can be a great way to save you from relying on overpriced roadhouse meals in remote areas. Meals in Australia tend to be around $25 for a meal per person - maybe $15 if you can find a good deal. That works out to be over $45-$75 per day, not including any road trip snacks.
For a two week trip, you can easily stock up your pantry and fridge to cover most of your time away. Visiting supermarkets as you drive through well-established cities is a great way to reduce the premiums you can often find in remote areas.
There are currently around 16 toll roads in Australia - chances are while travelling between iconic Australian attractions, you may encounter a toll bridge. Different variables affect the charge, including:
Tolls are collected electronically and you either need to have a toll pass or pay online soon after to avoid a late fine. If you want to avoid the hassle, it can be worth detouring to avoid them. The thl Roadtrip app is a great tool to help plan your route to avoid tolls where possible.
Parking is also another thing to be mindful of when planning your trip. Try parking a little further away from touristy hotspots and walking to your destination to save on parking.
You can pack in a lot in two weeks travelling around Australia. There are plenty of free things to do, like:
With so many great tourist attractions to see, it's good to plan what you want to work into your budget.
Start by making a bucket list of all the destinations you want to visit, and then narrow down the list by checking out the costs online. It’s good to remember that Australia is also filled with beautiful landscapes and World Heritage sites that are free to visit which may balance out some higher-cost attractions.
Here is a general idea of prices of Australian attractions you can expect to pay:
Australia has many options for parking your camper overnight. Staying at a mix of paid and free parking areas is a great way to cut down on camping costs during your two-week road trip. Plugging in at powered camping sites will also give you the chance to charge the batteries so you can keep your fridge going and your camera batteries charged throughout your two-week trip.
When planning your camping spots, consider what you will need in terms of facilities, e.g. do you need to charge the camper at night to run air conditioning in hot climates? Are daily hot showers a necessity?
Roadhouses are a great option for outback areas when looking for a cost-effective safe place to stay. Costs will vary depending on the location and campsite facilities available, but typically a campsite will cost around $15-20 AUD per vehicle.
Holiday parks are a great place to make use of the campsite facilities, such as:
Caravan parks can cost between $25 and $90 per night, depending on location and time of year. However, on average, you can expect to pay around $35-40 AUD per night for a powered camping site.
Free camping spots are a good option for camping for no cost. These are usually a little further away from tourist destinations but are great if you’re looking for a simple, easy place to sleep in your campervan for free.
National parks are cost-effective and provide the chance to get out in nature while staying close to natural attractions. These are typically unpowered with minimal campsite facilities and cost between $6-15 AUD per person. But don’t worry, there are still plenty of ways to keep yourself entertained without electricity, including:
Spending quality time is what road trips are all about!
Roadside rest areas are also a good free campsite option. These are usually located on the sides of highways close to, or on the way to, tourist attractions. As they have no facilities, it's important to have a self-contained vehicle so that you can keep these spaces clean for other travellers passing through.
While it does take some planning, a two-week camper trip around Australia can be done even with a small budget. Taking the time to plan things like your route, campervan meals, and checking out free things to do will all go a long way to help you stick to your budget.
If you’re looking for more travel inspiration and ways to budget for your trip, you can read more on our blog. But if you’re ready to rent a van for your two-week campervan adventure, check out all our latest deals and book your Mighty camper today.