We recently completed a 4 week holiday around New South Wales. Our original plan was to head drive across the Nullarbor to Perth for Christmas but being 2020 the boarders were still shut so we hooked up the camper and went on a tour of NSW instead.
If you’re thinking of doing a lap of NSW yourself, you might be wondering how much it actually cost. We had an estimated budget of $5000 for 4 weeks which included all of travelling costs – accommodation, fuel, food and sightseeing.
It actually ended up costing us $6,368 in total for 25 days of traveling. Which is an average of $254 per day. So lets see where it all went.
NSW Road Trip Cost
How much it will cost you to travel in NSW, or anywhere in Australia, will depend on a number of factors. Where you are going, how you are travelling there, what you are wanting to see on the way, and the type of accommodation you are booking. So here are a few stats regarding what we did on our trip.
Length of trip: 25 days. We were originally booked for 26 days but the last few days were washed out with rain so we took an opportunity to pack up on a dry afternoon and got home a day early. We’d already paid for that nights camping spot though.
Kilometres travelled: About 6,500km.
Fuel used: Diesel. This was generally on par with basic unleaded, sometimes more, sometimes less. But if you use premium you will find your fuel cost more expensive. We were also towing a camper trailer which increases fuel use (as does roof top tents). If you aren’t towing anything, you will find your fuel costs less, if you are towing a heavier caravan, you will use more fuel.
Where did we stay: The majority of our nights were in a caravan park (sometimes powered, sometimes not). We also free camped, stayed in National Parks and spent a couple of nights on a place we found on HipCamp. Two nights we spent in a cabin at a caravan park (in Broken Hill where we wanted air conditioning) and one night where we ended up upgrading to a cabin from a campsite due to it pouring with rain when we got there. There was also one night in accommodation at the Western Plains Zoo.
We tried not to spend excessive amounts on accommodation, but we weren’t travelling overly budget either. We spent money treating the kids (and us) to a night at the Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo for Christmas, but we also did a few cheap nights in National Parks or free camping. You could easily bring the accommodation budget down by choosing more cheaper or free camping spots. A great way to look for camping sites is to download the WikiCamps App.
Our NSW Travel Budget
We originally thought we’d spend around $5000 to do our NSW road trip, which would include all costs for the holiday. We ended up Spending over that, so here is a breakdown of our various costs.
|Accommodation / Camping fees||$1732.85|
|Restaurants and Takeaway||$1565.03|
|Souvenirs and other shopping||$607.47|
We had a rough guide to where we wanted to visit and our first 8 days of travel was booked before we left. Our itinerary ended up getting changed a bit after that, partly due to the weather and partly we just changed our minds on what we wanted to do and how much we wanted to drive. It was easy enough to find camping spots as we were in Central NSW by then and off the coast, so not as busy.
We weren’t particularly going for a budget holiday. We had our camper trailer because we love camping and exploring, not because it offers us a cheaper way to stay in places (although it does). $474 of our accommodation was for a night at Dubbo Zoo. This was a one off treat for Christmas but our accommodation cost would be much less if we were in the camper that night instead.
We were travelling in the summer school holidays and over Christmas / New Years so Caravan Parks and other accommodation was at a premium. You could keep these costs down a bit by going during more off peak times. Our first week of travelling was actually before official school holidays started so if we’d left the week after our first 5 days would have cost an extra $30 per night!
Our food was the most expensive part of our travels, but you could easily get this amount down if you packed lunches and relied more on groceries then quick food. We tended to always cook our own dinner, but spent probably more than we should have on food when we were out and about seeing things during the day.
Fuel is a necessary cost and you can’t do much to get it down. The more you travel, the more fuel you’ll need. We travelled about 6,500 kms, from the South Coast to Central NSW, all the way out to Broken Hill and back through to the North Coast. Fuel costs vary wildly depending on location.
Sightseeing costs included entry to any attractions. Mine tours, Japanese Gardens, bike hire at the zoo etc. We also did a lot of free things and exploration. I think we got the mix right and chose what to do in each town that would interest both us and the kids. The Sightseeing costs also included a yearly National Parks pass that we bought before we left, which allowed us to go into all the National Parks without paying a daily entry fee.
Souvenirs and other shopping includes anything we bought that wasn’t food. Stuff the kids wanted, our growing stubby holder collection and anything else. It also includes some hardware supplies when we had to make running repairs on the camper.
A budget for travel depends on so many things. Where you visit, how you stay, what attractions you go to and how you eat. But no matter what your budget, you can get out and enjoy this great country. I hope this little insight into how much we spent travelling around New South Wales gives you an idea of what sort of money you’ll need to go travelling yourself.