I've been lurking around these hallowed forums for a while, but finally it's my turn to jump in with a cry for help!
On our RtW trip next year we'll be arriving in Australia in mid-April and travelling from Cairns to Sydney, but can't decide whether to hire a campervan for a few weeks, or hire a car and stop over in hostels.
As ever, costs are a major deciding factor; can anyone advise as to the costs of parking up a campervan overnight? Are we restricted to designated camping sites? Are there any other pros or cons -or costs- that we should be aware of?
Thanks in advance for your help guys.
I reckon it would be significantly cheaper hiring a car and living in hostels.
But a camper gives you added flexibility and campsites are just as cheap as a hostel provided there are a few of you to share the bill.
Hi Andy, I'm an Oz Travelhelper
Cost is a major factor. So here's a scenario for you
Say you were travelling for 4-weeks in a campervan from Cairns to Sydney. Your travelling in April so its out of peak season meaning vans are generally cheaper. A budget van with all the gear will cost you $70 - $85 per-day excluding fuel so $2,380 in rental costs. You wouldn't get much change out of $500 for fuel as you will easily do over 3000 Kilometers between Cairns and Sydney. A campsite to park a van in costs $30 per-night (but you can camp anywhere unless there is a sign that says you cannot, and believe me, there is a ton of free space for a campervan between Cairns and Sydney). You'll save heaps of money by cooking your own food in the van - sometimes. There are some very cheap eats for travellers on the East coast. So basic costs excluding beer and activities and insurance
Campervan = $2,380
Fuel = $500
Campsite = $840
Total = $3,720
A car that you could occasionally sleep in would cost minimum $35-$40 a day. A backpackers hostel for a couple (twin or double rooms) would be $60 a night
So again your basic costs
Car = $1120
Fuel = $300
Hostels = $1,680
Total = $3,100
If you want some websites to check out regarding vans try
There's really no hidden costs or pitfalls. If you research and get a quote on insurance per-day, van-costs per day, cost of filling the gas bottle ($25.00), food isn't expensive, and you can control your own entertainment costs.
Hope this helps. let me know if you need any more info
majito is right and that's a pretty accurate suggestion in terms of costs too I'd say.
I just wanted to point out that campervans are generally more economical the longer you want to go if you are really planning to travel 'backpacker style'. In this case, you'd be looking at buying a small (camper)van and then reselling it when you leave. For such a short period though, a car is probably going to end up cheaper, especially if you want some luxury every now and then while you're campervanning (ie. paid campsites).
Check out Wicked Campers. They have some cheaper camper rentals. You would be looking at $62 a day for a four week stint in one of their vans. Just hope you like the paint job Also, while some campsites charge, you will also find that there are a LOT of free options available. From roadside rest areas (with facilities), to proper campsites, to plain old parking lots in touristy areas. I don't think you would actually have to pay for any campsites if you didn't want to. Though you will want to, as some of the better parks do have fees.
So, let's just say you got an el cheapo Wicked Camper and made do with free campsites.. Your costs would improve dramatically to a total of $2236 (using Majito's fuel/time calculations), which would make the camper a considerably more viable option.
Oh, and welcome to TP
thank you all for the incredibly helpful replies (and to majito for doing the sums for us )
Guided by your suggestions, I would like to warn in advance any Australians reading this to beware of a couple of lairy poms in a Wicked Campervan scooting around Queensland and New South Wales next April!
Very best wishes, and happy travelling,