Month 4 budget and stats

Month 4 was mostly about the Top End. We started the month in Katherine and made our way from there to Kakadu then on to Darwin, across the border from the Northern Territory into Western Australia and over to the west coast. What you’ll notice about this month is that this is a very expensive part of the country for RV parks. We also treated ourselves to a pricey trip to Horizontal Falls and to a GoPro camera, both of which we think have been worth the outlay.

Our regular reminder that we’re two adults travelling full time in an 8-metre motorhome (affectionately known as Della). We’ve saved long and hard to travel from the UK for this trip, don’t have dogs or kids with us, and we’re not working while we’re on the road. And for those readers who work in £, the exchange rate we’re working on is £1 = $1.78. The average for our Month 1, 2 and 3 figures are in brackets for comparison.

Budget for Month 4: $4590

Total spend in Month 4: $6437 ($6291). Still waiting for our first month on budget!

Breakdown
Groceries, including toiletries: $989 ($1134)

Booze: $123 ($166)

Misc: $532 ($130). This was mostly the GoPro camera which we actually wish we’d bought sooner.

Kilometres driven: 3719 (3648)

Fuel: $659 ($703) (averaging about 11.95l/100km this month)

Clothes: $58 ($157). We’re starting to have to replace items that were white when we arrived in March! We’re now buying black t-shirts from Target and using the old white ones as cleaning cloths for the van!

Eating out: $677 ($449). We spent a week in Broome and had a few more meals and drinks out than usual this month.

Attractions: $1861 ($589). We blew the budget this month on the Horizontal Falls trip. We also did a sunrise cruise at Yellow Water and a sunset cruise at Lake Argyle – and enjoyed them all.

Medical: -$197 ($208). Month 3’s trip to the dentist for Chris was refunded by our travel insurance company! 👍🏼

Transport: $56 ($50). Bike inner tubes. It’s huge thanks to Broome Cycles that we didn’t have to buy a lot more of them. Those prickles! 🤬

Phone: $51 ($50). Includes 25GB data.

Van consumables and maintenance: $188 ($558). Includes gas refills and new windscreen wipers.

Hairdressing: $0 ($8). That’s still only one $25 haircut for Karen since the end of February!

Laundry: $37 ($23). No matter how many hot washes our whites get, they’re still grey!

Sites: $1348 ($839), average $45 ($28) a night. The NT and WA are expensive! No sign of things getting any cheaper on the west coast yet either!

2 (4) x free/donation

3 (6) x low-cost (less than $20)

26 (20) x caravan parks/campsites

Most expensive: Cable Beach Caravan Park @ $60 ($56)

Least expensive: Spring Creek and Ellendale rest areas – free

Ongoing Yahtzee scores (games): Karen 40, Chris 36

Books read: Karen 5 (5), Chris 13 (8) 😳

Favourite sites
Wangi Falls Campground – the National Park campgrounds we’ve stayed at have been great – the pitches are some of the biggest we’ve found, the settings are fantastic, and they’re great value for money. The camp at Wangi in Litchfield NP is right next to the falls and if you get up early enough you can have the place to yourself!

Eighty Mile Beach Caravan Park – despite a slightly bumpy 10km road in, this CP is beautifully maintained, has direct access to the beach, and the first ice-cream happy hour we’ve found. Makes the list for that alone!

Kakadu Lodge Caravan Park – meeting up with our friends from Brisbane for a weekend edged this one into our list, but the sites were spacious and the shady swimming pool area provided welcome relief in the heat.

Lake Argyle Caravan Park – a chance for us to get our infinity pool photo of course, but we also enjoyed the laidback atmosphere here. Oh, and the quiz night! Who thought a team of three Brits would be in third place at one point, even if they did peak too soon?!

Favourite things in the last month
Hiking up to Pat’s Lookout to get a great view down onto Katherine Gorge, then swimming in the gorge at the end of Butterfly Gorge.

Doing a Lake Argyll sunset cruise which included swimming in the lake and having a drink off a floating bar!

Having Wangi Falls to ourselves for an early morning swim.

Having dinner and watching a film at the Deckchair Cinema in Darwin.

Spending time with friends at Jabiru.

Making new friends then bumping into them several times in different places.

Chilling on Cable Beach.

Enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Yellow Water on a sunrise cruise.

Benefiting from excellent customer service from the guys at Broome Cycles.

Least favourites
Bike punctures. Looking on the bright side, motorhome punctures would have been far worse.

We’re currently in Coral Bay on the west coast and making our way down to Perth in time for a trip home for two weeks in October. Then we’ll be back to complete our lap by March. Stay tuned!

Sunset on Cable Beach, Broome
Sunset cruise and happy hour in Lake Argyle
Darwin’s Deckchair Cinema
Action on the Yellow Water sunrise cruise
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8 comments

  1. Wow! What a great blog. Just “discovered” you and have back read your adventures from the start. Great read.
    Love how you spent $92 first month in souvenirs and nothing since. Ran out of room or just found that memories are made, not brought? I did HF a couple of years ago but in reverse to you. Best day EVER. Expensive but worth every cent (penny) and more.
    I head off on my lap feb next year and am currently in the planning, downsizing stage.
    Keep enjoying life on the road. Travel safe.

    Like

    • Hi Ray! Thanks for reading! Just read about your Broome adventure – so different to ours!
      We bought a souvenir from Eumundi Markets early in our trip but haven’t seen anything else quite right yet – but I’m sure we will. But your point about making memories rather than buying them is a good one.
      Enjoy your planning stages, and happy travels in due course!

      Like

  2. Lots of fabulous activities in Month 4. I thought accommodation up that way might have got cheaper with all that open space. Bar bill quite conservative when I note what ours was per week in Month 1!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • 🍷🍷🍷 We’ll have to stock up before we meet up with you!! You might find the Top End cheaper when you get there, but it definitely wasn’t for us. As we come down the west coast prices are very gradually going down.

      Like

  3. Hi Karen and Chris
    fun to read your blog 🙂
    We are planning a 6 month tour through WA, NT, SA next year, starting in June in Perth in a 4WD Camper.
    I’m planning the budget at around AUD 6’000/month, based on a calculator I found here: https://www.expeditionaustralia.com.au/product/extended-big-lap-budget-spreadsheet/
    This is quite a detailed Excel calculator I found realistic with many tipps and proposals.
    Have fun on your trip and enjoy!!! …And don’t spoil the budget again, I will be watching you! 🙂
    Martin

    Like

    • Hi Martin! Thanks for reading! Thanks for the link! We read lots of other travellers’ budgets before we set off and found them fascinating, but it’s only when you get going that you find out what you spend more/less on. It’s all part of the fun! Enjoy your trip! And happy planning! 😀

      Like

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