How much does it cost to travel around Australia?

If you’ve wondered how much it will cost to travel around Australia by 4wd here are my expenditures after travelling solo for 304 days (10 months). I attempted to keep track of all costs though probably lost a few receipts along the way, so may have spent an extra $2000 all up.

My 4wd was self sufficient for sleeping, cooking and food/water storage.

All currency below is in Australian Dollars.


Fuel came in as the most expensive at $4587.69+.

  • Total fuel cost $4587
  • Total litres used 3300L
  • km travelled 29662km
  • Cheapest fuel $1.199/L Glenn Innes NSW
  • Dearest fuel $2.09/L Kings Canyon NT
  • Avg fuel consumption for whole trip: 8.98km/l (25.36 mpg UK) or 11.13 Litres/100km in 200tdi 110 Defender @ approx. 3 tonnes
  • Typical fuel consumption: 8km/l


I spent most of my trip staying in either free camps, national parks or caravan parks. I stayed in backpacker hostels only a few times. National park campgrounds ranged from free to $53.30 per night with $10 per night the average. Caravan parks ranged from $15 to $40 with $30 per night the average. I used the WikiCamps app to help locate places to camp.

  • Accommodation $ 3991.25+


I cooked the majority of my own meals on my rear door of my car or using camp kitchens at caravan parks. The meals were simple meat, veggies, fruit, rice, pasta, noodles, tachos etc. I rarely ate out at restaurants or bought takeaway in order to save money. I also did not drink alcohol or soft drinks with water my primary drink of choice. Much healthier, cheaper and less weight to carry. I would purchase 1-2 weeks of food at a time when in a town with a supermarket. I have a 35L Engel fridge for cold goods and everything else was stored in boxes.

  • Food $3214.59+


Spending money was for all the tours, entry fees, public transport, souvenirs, consumables like batteries and personal hygiene products that are not food, and any other nick knacks I found.

    • Spending/souvenirs/tours $4231.19+
Car repairs and maintenance:

The greatest cost during travelling was keeping my Land Rover Defender going due to a couple mechanical issues which unfortunately popped up despite having already spent money on replacing the components before departing. This included $2000 on replacing my turbocharger which I had rebuilt only 30000km before. Also my newly reconditioned gearbox had a main seal fail after 17000km costing another $2200 to replace all seals. While I had the opportunity I also had my swivel housings rebuilt for $1500 which was one job I didn’t have done before I departed.

Other costs were servicing the car every 5000km with new oil and filters as required, other minor repairs plus shipping costs for spare parts.

  • Total Car repairs and maintenance $8630.80+
  • Repairs and maintenance minus major vehicle repairs $2930

Total approximate cost of 304 days travelling for 1 man around Australia

  • Total cost $24655.42+
  • Total cost minus major vehicle repairs $18955+
  • Daily cost minus major vehicle repairs $62.35 per day

The average monthly cost for the 10 months minus all the car repairs and maintenance was $1453 per month.

For my initial estimates of the costs I used the Expedition Australia free Big Lap budget spreadsheet. This provided a good estimate overall which I updated once I got a feel for how much I was spending each month. My initial estimates were over $1000 more per month than what I was spending.

I hope this helps with the planning of your own trip.  Keep up to date with my adventures by Liking me on Facebook and subscribing on YouTube. Subscribe to my mailing list for updates and tips of my future Australian travels.

Safe travels!


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Brett is a film maker, hiker, adventurer and Defender owner. He loves the outdoors and feels most at home travelling remote outback places in Australia. The idea of waiting till retirement to begin exploring Australia is not the path Brett has chosen, instead choosing to live life now. Join him on his adventures.

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  1. Hi and thanks for the info. We are only 9 weeks into our never ending ( well hopefully, never ending) journey. Our 75 series cruiser, about the same weights towing a 26′ van, again about the same weights is not getting anywhere near that consumption. You can easily double it, bummer. Would dearly love to get back into a defender, but not too sure how it would handle towing the van. Anyway, thanks for the info. Regards, Jack and Tracey.

  2. Good Job …… Thanks! I’ll double the fuel as I’m towing a van and I do like a few fothy one’s ….got keep old pubs alive 😉 so this will add costs too.

  3. That’s great. Even you spend that much amount on your traveling, Still, the experience you have gained is Priceless.

  4. Not bad for 10 months, and as expected fuel is the killer. For perspective over xmas the wife and 2 kids went to Canada/US/Mexico (boat cruise to Mexico which made that part cheaper), for a bit under 3 weeks, cost over $15k.
    I’m doing the Cape solo over 4-6 weeks and expect to spend around 5k, barring “repairs”.

    1. A good comparison there Rob. Cape York should be a great trip. I did it solo back in 2008 with only 1 blown shock absorber getting me stuck in Seisa for a few days till a new one was flown up from Melbourne.

  5. Im at the early stag of preparing for my trip around Australia. Am planning also to take my Car Touch up business cosmetic bumper, alloy wheel and some quarter panel repairs, with me which should help with costs.
    Am also hoping to find a travelling companion to come with me.
    Early 2019 should be ready to go, but honestly im not sure where to start .
    Any suggestions here about any of the above would be welcome!

    1. If you can work along the way it would certainly help with costs. I’ve seen mobile coffee 4wd’s kitted out, and hairdressers operating in campsites. As far as companions, sites like gumtree share rides, various other travel or 4×4 forums can help locate someone. Backpackers might also help with costs for short stints.

  6. Just did 1 month in Tas from Vancouver Island Canada. 6000km all around Tas. December 2017 to January 2018
    All in AUS$…
    Air Canada flight return $1200
    Car rental Toyota Rav 4 from hertz $990 for 27 days.
    All other expenses $1800.
    This also included flights Melbourne / Hobart, airport shuttle bus, buying an air mattress, cook stove, pots, esky, WIFI 70GB through Optus, all food including eating out, ice for the esky every 2 or 3 days, first night and last night in hotel rest of the time I slept in the car, fuel, Parks Pass, etc.
    My total for the entire month including everything and I mean everything was pretty well exactly AUS$4000.
    The little butane fuel canisters were only $1.25 each and they lasted 60 to 70 minutes each.

  7. Hi Brett me and a friend are taking off around aus ay the start of September, I have a passive income of 3k a month and an Iveco motor home, I know this is going to be quite sufficient for what we are doing, we will be taking it slowly and spending as much time as possible in each place to stretch the trip out and make the most of it. I have done this before but my friend is extremely nervous about the funds side of it as she has no real passive income, she does a lot of craft work ie dream catchers and macrame type stuff which will keep her busy while I’m surfing and I’m sure also with a little setup outside the van to sell her work while I’m surfing she will also be pleasantly surprised with a bit of extra money coming, also willing to bunker down and work here and there to bring some extra finances in , I was just hoping your could give some words of wisdom to help ease her mind about the financial pressures that she fears. Thanks mate!

    1. Hey Steve. With that much each month you guys are set. I live off around $1600 a month. Loads of odd jobs you can do along the way. Just stop off at backpackers for a night and get some ideas, or apply at local employment agencies in fruit/veg picking areas. If you’re willing to work bound to be those in more remoter regions desperate for a hand.

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