As you can well imagine, we needed to purchase a fair amount of tools, toys and necessities before departing our our big trip around Australia. Basic stuff. Like a car. And tent. (I’m not joking, we had to buy a car and new tent before departing.)
We wanted to document all that we purchased and for how much to give you an idea of what you may need and how much you’re looking at outlaying before you even hit the road on your trip around Australia. So… here goes. I’m sure I will start weeping as I write this, but everything has turned out to be necessary thus far, so I’m happy there were not many (or any) frivolous expenses.
Please do not look at the final figure and run screaming – we did purchase a car and have included the insurance and transfer or ownership fees in this. If you already have the car, you can knock quite a lot of this final figure.
Pre-departure expenses – Colour of Sunshine camping trip around Australia
|TOTAL||$4,719||*or $1,119 excluding car costs|
|Item purchased||Cost||Item notes
*How to cheapen it up / why we spent to much
|Aero bed||$120||The one thing we were okay to splurge on was the bed. Monique is prone to a bad back at times and whilst we're certainly not old, we're not getting any younger either. A lot of research went into this bed and we chose the Aero bed as it is simply the best. We tracked down a wholesaler in Croydon, Victoria who we go the bed from at a decent price. It comes with a rechargeable automatic pump (a life saver) and is super, super, super comfortable. We got the double size sports Aero bed, and would recommend it highly.
You can find Aero beds at great rates (if you're not located near Croydon, Victoria) on Amazon.
|Camp kitchen||$120||In Chile we purchased a Doite brand 'cooktop' burner, it is small and light and perfect for camping. We also purchased a Doite set of camping pots, pan and plates. It is also light and compact. We found it much easier to purchase these things in Chile than Australia at the time. However since we purchased ours we have seen an influx of these light cooktop burners on the market. We have not yet seen this same Doite set in Australia and cannot find it available online either, however similar sets can be found at Tent World or Rays Outdoors.
Noteworthy: In Chile the camping equipment is made for climbing mountains, it is made for carrying and climbing. The camping equipment in Australia is made to fit in an RV or caravan. Most items in Australia are much bulkier and heaver.
|Camping chairs (2)||$36||Lets be honest, all camping chairs feel the same. No matter how much you pay for them, none are really all that comfy and you want to spend as little time in them as possible. So, do as we did, and buy the cheapest QUALITY chairs you can find. You want to get a decent quality chair that can withstand the weather as you'll be leaving them outside most nights (if you're anything like us). Our chairs are Wanderer brand, and we got them on special at BCF.|
|Car||$3,000||We are traveling in a 2002 Ford Falcon Forte AU III wagon. She/he (we are still debating on gender) is called Bestia Peluda - Spanish for 'the hairy beast' and is in great condition. We picked her up for the bargain price of $3,000 via CarSales.com.au. Monique's fantastic brother picked us up and took us to see the car 1.5 hours from Melbourne. He is also a mechanic so that was useful. He gave the car the thumbs up and we handed over the deposit. The car came with roadworthy and rego for approx 6 months. Yep, Bestia Peluda was a bargain!|
|Car insurance and transfer of ownership||600||Just as it sounds, this is comprehensive insurance (we found Bingle to be the cheapest) and the costs to transfer the ownership of our new car through VicRoads.|
|Esky/cooler||$55||We purchased this on special at Rays Outdoors. Be sure to become a member a few months out from your trip and keep an eye on membership discounts. This baby was half price and we can use it as a 12v cooler or as an esky with ice. Perfect!|
|Hiking boots (2 pairs)||$320||Great investment pieces. We purchased one pair of Columbia hiking boots each. Anai bought hers in Chile and Monique in Australia for approx the same price. They are leather (which we have found better than Goretex) and keep us dry, warm and allow us to trek through the bush with ease.
|Sleeping bag||$60||Monique already had a good quality sleeping bag, so we just purchased an additional one on special at Rays. We sleep in cooler climates with one sleeping bag opened up underneath us on top of a cotton fitted sheet, then on top of us a cotton flatsheet topped with another sleeping bag opened up and a woolen blanket that we were gifted by our Chilean family. We use the cotton fitted and flat sheets as both a bit of luxury, but mainly to that the sleeping bags to not get too dirty/stinky/wet with rising damp as they take much longer to wash and dry than the cotton sheets.|
|Solar power kit||$570||We purchased a Goal Zero Yeti 150 Solar Generator Kit with Nomad 20 Solar Panel. It has been one of our best purchases to date. The battery pack allows us to book unpowered sites and can be charged by either the solar panel or in the wall. We would recommend that you do not attempt this trip without some form of solar power system for your gadgets. We purchased ours directly from Goal Zero, however now as I write this is realise that it would have been cheaper to purchase it from Amazon.
If we had one tip, it would be to think about your electricity needs seriously. We overestmated ours and it turns out that we could have done with only the Goal Zero Nomad 20 Solar Panel to charge our phones directly as we really only used the battery pack on a few occasions.
|Suitcases (2)||140||Again, sign up as a member for Rays Outdoor and just wait for the right product to come on sale. We purchased 2 rolling soft bag-style suitcases at close to half price.|
|Tent||$229||We found it was cheaper to order a tent online in Queensland and have it shipped down, rather than buying it instore in Victoria. Go figure. We decided on a tent with great ventilation. Made by Oztrail, it is called the Sundowner Dome tent and it perfect for us. We purchased it through a store called Tent World.|
|Travel bluetooth speakers||$69||These are the only items that we could have really done without, but we all need a bit of music to enjoy life that little bit more. We bought these from Myer on sale, and find that the bluetooth does not drain our phone batteries at all. Very happy with them.|