It’s actually been six weeks since we last tallied our figure but that’s because we went back to the UK for two weeks in October. The figures below don’t take that trip into account so there are no airfares, hire car or gifts for family and friends included. If you’re going to set off on an extended trip like ours you should factor in the likelihood of wanting to make a trip home at some point, so having a few dollars/pounds in the bank to cover it is a good idea.
In our sixth month on the road we travelled around the SW corner from Perth. There’s plenty to see and do in this part of the country so we’ve spent our monthly budget (and just a fraction more) without having travelled a great distance. After the long drives to get to Perth we’ve really enjoyed spending less time behind the wheel but we’ll catch up on that next month as we cross the Nullarbor!
Before we get to the numbers, remember 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 = $1.83. The average for our Month 1, 2, 3 , 4 and 5 figures are in brackets for comparison.
Our bonus figure for this month is our average daily spend on gas: $0.93 We use gas every day for the kettle and BBQ, and for hot water (and heating if we need it) if we’re not on a powered site.
Budget for Month 6: $4590
Total spend in Month 6: $4782 ($5896) Nearly! Definitely better than average!
Groceries, including toiletries: $826 ($1112)
Booze: $53 ($154) In an effort to halt expanding waistlines, we haven’t had a drink since we’ve been back from the UK, so for half of our sixth month, hence the lower than average spend here.
Misc: $348 ($200) There’s a variety of items in this category this month including some Waxiwrap sandwich bags in an effort to reduce our single-use plastic, a replacement saddle and seat post for Chris’s bike after an attempted theft (see Least favourites section below), and some boxing gloves and pads. Beware, bike thieves! 🥊
Kilometres driven: 2095 (3875) The SW corner of Australia has lots to see and do and it’s all relatively close together, hence a much lower than average kilometreage this month. (Is that a word? Mileage seems a lot more natural.)
Fuel: $386 ($739) We averaged 11.2l/100km this month which is down. Chris is pleased, and says it’s probably because we’ve been driving along smaller roads on which Karen is less likely to go flat out at 110kph!
Clothes: $31 ($106) Emergency socks and a couple of other bits which we can’t remember.
Eating out: $612 ($508) When we get to a city we have more options for eating out so we’re less likely to make a sandwich for lunch and more likely to have the occasional coffee break or lunch stop.
Attractions: $658 ($750) We’re on the high side in this category in month six as a result of having done a wineries tour in both Margaret River and the Swan Valley plus entry to Albany’s Historic Whaling Station, the National Anzac Centre, and the Valley Of The Giants Tree Top Walk. All worth every cent, particularly the whaling station which didn’t look hugely promising but turned out to be really eye-opening.
Medical: $0 ($85) 👍🏼
Transport: $158 ($41) We took our bikes on the ferry over to Rottnest Island for a day from Fremantle and although this might look a bit exxy (as they say here), it was one of our favourite days of the whole trip. Having the bikes with us meant we could make our way round the whole island at our own pace and stop for a swim or a snack whenever we wanted to. (There is a bus that runs round the island but you have to work with their timetable.)
Phone: $55 ($50). Includes 25GB data.
Van consumables and maintenance: $557 ($393). This includes gas refills, a new toilet cassette and chemicals, a new water-in hose filter and a replacement drinking water tap filter. We decided to treat ourselves as the cassette and filters are worked hard every day!
Hairdressing: $0 ($5). Slightly cheating here because there was a haircut in the UK!
Laundry: $46 ($27) We seem to have had an extra clean month!
Sites: $1052 ($990), average $34 ($33) a night.
1 x free/donation
0 x low-cost (less than $20)
6 x national parks
24 x caravan parks
Most expensive: Mandalay Holiday Resort, Busselton @ $53. Also the noisiest and busiest when we were there in school holidays!
Least expensive: Cosy Corner East campsite (free)
We stayed at each of the National Park campgrounds below for two nights and they were our favourites of the month. The things we love about the NP sites are the space, the settings and the peace and quiet, not to mention value for money at $11 pppn. While you don’t usually find more amenities than a drop toilet, in our experience these are clean and well respected by other campers.
Conto Campground, Leeuwin-Naturaliste NP
Old Shannon Mill Campground, Shannon NP
Potters Gorge, Wellington NP
Favourite things in the last month
Visiting Rottnest Island with our bikes. If you go, don’t miss the sealions at Cathedral Rocks.
Cycling along the Wilderness Ocean Walk (WOW) Trail from Ocean Beach to Lights Beach in Denmark (20km round trip). This is a shared use path for walkers and cyclists and although it’s described as easy, the coastal section is best described as undulating, but the scenery is worth the effort. We also really enjoyed the cycle from Busselton to Dunsborough along the coast (approx 53km return).
Swinging through the giant tingle trees on the Valley Of The Giants Tree Top Walk. We also joined a free tour through the Ancient Empire Walk at ground level which was interesting and informative.
Taking a Swan Valley Tour of the wineries close to Perth. The other people on a tour like this make or break it for us – the food and wine is usually good so it’s all about the guide and your travelling companions and we had great fun on this trip. What we would NOT recommend is cycling the Swan Valley Food And Wine Trail because a lot of it is on a main highway which doesn’t make for a relaxing time on two wheels. We found that out the hard way!
Discovering more about the fortunes of the ANZAC troops at the National ANZAC Centre in Albany. Some uncomfortable learning but a great memorial.
Discovering that someone had tried to get the bikes off the van while we were shopping just outside Perth. Fortunately all they succeeded in getting was the saddle and seat post from Chris’s bike, but it’s reminded us to do a quick walk-round of the van after we’ve left it in a public car park before we set off again.
Battling the mozzies and March flies.
We expect to cross the Nullarbor in our next month on the road. We’re not sure whether to expect a long boring drive that we want to get done as quickly as possible or a unique experience that we linger over. Find out next time!