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.

  • 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.

  • 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. 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.

2 thoughts on “How much does it cost to travel around Australia?”

  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.

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