Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Monday, July 1, 2019

A month in a camper in Australia... June Expenses

Well, we did pretty good. In fact, even though the grand total for the month is slightly higher than planned, our actual day to day living expenses here in Australia are pretty much right as we expected.

We spent a total of $2,175 CAD ($1,660 USD) for the month.

It's interesting, but most people told us prior to this trip to be aware that Australia is very expensive.

And in some things, prices are slightly higher than in Canada. But in other things, prices are slightly lower than in Canada. And some things are actually quite a bit lower than in Canada. Overall, we're finding it might actually be slightly cheaper here!

I think some people might travel to Australia and find it expensive because they are on holiday and spend more in restaurants or doing things that they wouldn't normally do. And sure... if you're going to eat out, and play tourist, then yes, you will probably find it expensive here.

But we just live the way we normally do. During the month of June, we ate out twice. And we went to a pub once. And we only paid for camping twice. 28 nights were free (keeping in mind that we were visiting friends for some of that time... thank you friends!)

Here's how it all broke down... (note that the following prices are in $CAD. For $USD equivalent, subtract around 25%)

Fuel: We spent $425 on diesel fuel, only about $75 higher than we had planned. Bundy doesn't get great fuel mileage, but it's not a big deal. It is far superior than our North American motorhome, Sherman! We drove about 2,000 kms (1,300 miles) in the month,

This is approximately how much of Australia we saw in once month!
Zoom out to see how much of Australia we visited.

It would take us years to see Australia! The same way that it has taken us years to see Canada, the United States, and Mexico!

Propane: We spent $48 on propane. To refill the tanks is fairly inexpensive, but we also have a small heater that uses those little one lb cylinders, and because the cylinders themselves are imported from the U.S., they are expensive... around $10 each and we bought three of them during the month. The heater works great, but it's been a little chilly some evenings!

Groceries: We spent $560 on groceries, and that included stocking the bare cupboards and the empty fridge. Not any different from what we would expect to spend in Canada. July should come in under $500 in this category.

Alcohol: During our normal travels, we spend anywhere from $100 to $250 a month on booze. Beer and hard liquor are more expensive here, and we haven't been drinking any of it. But wine is far cheaper than in Canada! So at $160 for the month, we've been happily consuming our fair share of grape juice!

Miscellaneous: This category was higher than normal because of the things we had to buy for the camper. Two different inverters (one for the cab) a phone holder for the cab (to use as a GPS), and a lot of small things. Also included were a couple of laundromat visits, and our cellular access. Speaking of which, cellular access here is probably 1/3 the cost of what it is in Canada. So the next time someone tells you that it's expensive in Canada because of the vast country and the small population... ask them how Australia manages to do it!

Entertainment: Two meals out, and a visit to the pub... grand total, $84.

Overnight: Finding free overnight spots is easy in Australia. We paid for one night ($14) and left a $2 donation (as requested) at another.

Motorhome: We spent $582 on Bundy and Joyce. Mostly related to three things... a new house battery, the oil and filter change, and the new flooring. We don't expect to have any problem recouping any of that when we sell it.

What do you think? $2,175 for a month of exploring Australia... not a bad deal! July should be even cheaper.

Hot deal... record low price on the KitchenAid Professional Stand Mixer. Choice of three colors.

And in Canada...


  1. Your comparison between Australian and Canadian prices is interesting. I'm not surprised spirits are more expensive here, but a little surprised about beer. I think our very basic beers are cheap enough but are they drinkable? Not by me. $70 a day for two people is very little.

    1. I agree with you regarding the cheap beers. Some of them are not even really beer, in my opinion. But we have the same problem with cheap beers in Canada and the U.S.. The other difference though is that most of the beer here in Australia is in smaller 330 ml bottles. Most beer in Canada is in 343 ml bottles. Not a huge difference, but it is a difference that affects the price per ml.

  2. Kevin... you can cut down on the price of the small 1lb propane canisters by buying an adapter that will let you refill from your larger propane tank. Order on Amazon and reuse the small tanks for a fraction of the price, we use them all the time on our Buddy heater with no problems. Good Luck

    1. Yes, I need to do that. Thanks for the reminder!


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