Australia, Planning and Experiences 17

2 month itinerary for our Great Australia Road Trip

In one weeks time we embark on our next adventure – nearly 2 month road trip in Australia – famous for having some of the world’s most unique wildlife and diverse natural environments – pristine beaches, rainforests, red deserts and home to a several natural world heritage sites. We will be traveling through Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and Queensland (might try to touch on North Territory as well). It is a one way journey starting in Melbourne March 24th and finishing off in Cairns May 12th. In between we travel a distance of approximately 6000 km over 50 days passing through stunning coastal areas, mountains, rainforests, beaches, wetlands, scrubland, cities and lot of nothingness in between!


In a nutshell, here is our route from Point A to Point B, but there are lots of point C,D,E etc as we weave inland and explore the Outback from somewhere in Queensland (still working that out.)

How are we travelling?

We fly to Melbourne from Auckland and after spending a few days there city sightseeing, we take the Spirit of Tasmania overnight ferry to Devonport, Tasmania. Ferry leaves at 9pm, gets in at 7am. Once there we have a rented a car from Europcar for five days and are doing loop around Tasmania (details further below) before we return to Melbourne via ferry. There we have rented a car from Hertz for 2 weeks from Melbourne which we return in Sydney. Tip: We rented the car in Tasmania Monday to Friday and got a really good deal as no weekend involved.  We searched at different car rental comparison sites, found the cheapest and then went directly into their own websites and booked with them.

In Sydney we pick up our tried and trusted Britz campervan Hire and Rental which we have used for all three campervan trips in New Zealand. We love the freedom that comes with campervan travels and are excited to be doing this adventure in a new country. See post here on why we thought campervan travel with the kids was such a great idea! We slow travel by campervan from Sydney to Cairns, zigzagging through different national parks, islands, beaches and explore bit of the outback in northern Queensland. After 4 weeks we return the campervan in Cairns and fly out to Bali, Indonesia.

Britz campervan

Britz campervan

Where are we staying?

We are doing it differently this time – in the past we have done AirBnB – had some unique experiences with this, self catered apartments, motels and the odd hotel here and there. We use mostly, read reviews on tripadvisor, and usually go with the cheapest (best) offer. Our needs are basic – clean and enough space for four of us to sleep in! Thrown in a pool sometimes, kids are happy. We also stay with family and friends scattered across the world.

Ossies Chalet Apartments, Ohakune

Our review of Ossies Chalet Apartments, Ohakune and what ticks our boxes when choosing accommodation

We are adding couchsurfing to the mix now! In the past we have hosted several couchsurfers at our home in Sheffield and met some really awesome and interesting travellers. We plan to do the same this time and are staying with lovely couchsurfing hosts who were kind and generous enough to accommodate our family of four. We will tell you all about this new experiencing surfing once we have stayed with hosts in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales. We are also staying with friends in Melbourne, Ocean Grove and Sydney. We still have several gaps in between April 4th and 11th so do give a shout out if you know of anyone who can host us – we have our own mattresses, sleeping bags and are willing to floor it – near Yarra Valley, Gippsland and Alpine Park National Park (see details below on what’s planned so far.) The last 4 weeks, we are in our campervan.

What are we taking?

Our packing and travel planning for road trips hasn’t changed too much since we did the 3 week epic road trip in Europe through seven countries – see post here with more details on what we take.

The list:

  • 4 day bagpacks and 3 small carry ons
  • 5 tops, 3 trousers/shorts, 1 jumper/jacket, bathing costumes (I sneaked in a dress or two for me and Shama).
  • Gadgets – laptop so I can blog, camera, 2 kindles, 1 DS, chargers, 2 pairs of Binoculars
  • Medicine and Emergency Kit
  • Insect repellant, sunblock, toiletries
  • 2 portable mattresses and 2 sleeping bags
  • 1 pair of sandals and 1 pair of hiking/walking shoes each
  • few books, study materials (kids missing school for 5 months), arts and crafts, Australia Lonely Planet
  • Board games -we are big on family bonding over board games 🙂
  • Impractical but fun stuff we are taking – BB8 – so we can share a picture of this cute little robot droid travelling down under. Shama is also taking a cuddly toy penguin which turns into a pillow.


Backpacks in tow, it's off to Morocco we go!

Size of the kids backpacks, we bought these 1.5 years ago when we went to Morocco

What is our budget?

So far campervan hire, car rental and our return ferry tickets to Tasmania – which itself cost $1200 for four of us, expensive, could have flown for half that price – have cost roughly $4200. We have another $5800 for accommodation, food, fuel and attractions for 50 days – that $116 a day for four people (kids are quite big now and eat as much as me, rooms cost more for 4 people, hardly any discounts with our 8 and 10 year old now.)

I read up a few posts on how much to budget for Australia road trips and it varies depending on travel style – this article was the most helpful for our kind of travel with lots of useful tips on saving money. Steph at Big World Small Pockets has oodles of information on budget travels in Australia, super helpful 🙂 Our goal is to spend under $10,000 for the two months in one of the most expensive countries one can travel in, Yikes! We did our Europe trip on €100 a day (for 4 people) so let’s see if we can make it happen here too…there will lot of supermarket/BBQ food, bread and cheese, cutting down on the wine and beer (right.) Good thing we are working with a few tourism partners throughout Australia which I am super excited about promoting! More on that once we start the trip 🙂 

What’s planned so far?

Here a snapshot of our trip planning so far (all plans subject to change as we get on the road).

Melbourne – We are staying with friends in Melbourne and plan to hang out with them, do some city sightseeing and see wildlife at Phillip Island for the day.

Tasmania – We get here early morning by ferry and head to the East Coast, explore Freycinet National Park -“dramatic pink granite peaks, secluded bays, white sandy beaches and abundant birdlife” and the surrounding region, onwards to Hobart for 2 days and back up to Devonport via Cradle Mountain National Park -“ancient rainforests and alpine heath.” I am most excited about seeing Tasmanian Devils at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary!

Great Ocean Road – one of the greatest coastal drives in a the world, a 243km road along the southern coastline of Victoria, I must have read a dozen posts on this trip and seen hundreds of pictures! The one that excited me the most is this one from fellow travel blogger from Travel Tales of Life who had just been here 2 weeks before. In fact, I loved following their entire 3 weeks in Australia as we are doing lot of the same things during our time in Tasmania, Sydney and Great Ocean Road.

12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road

12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road

After this it’s a bit hazy as we make our way to Sydney over 10 days – and we still don’t have much of the accommodation sorted here, only one couchsurfing host in Canberra. We plan to make a loop suggested by Mark from Wyldfamilytravel who hails from Gippsland and we love nothing better than advice from locals!

Melbourne to Sydney Route

Melbourne to Sydney Route

Enjoy vineyards in the Yarra Valley region, get down to Wilson Promontory National Park, go fishing in Gippsland Lakes, hike in Alpine National Park and then make our way to Canberra. We hope to do little bit of sightseeing before making our way to Sydney where we drop off the car and pick up Campervan.

Between Sydney to Brisbaine and onwards to Cairns -No plans made yet – Fraser Island-Gold Coast-Sunshine Coast-Noosa-White Sunday Island-Cairns-Great Barrier Reef-Daintree Rainforest-Outback Queensland – All plans free flowing and will pan out over the course of four weeks and dependent on budget.

Some of the wildlife we hope to see:

What we hope to not see!

Sydney Funnel Web, Redback spiders and other venomous spiders in Australia :-/ These 2 months will be very different from all the nature travel we did in New Zealand past one year! Few other deadly creatures to look out for – box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, Taipin and other snakes..the list goes on..

How are we feeling? What else do we need to do?

We are really looking forward to our upcoming adventures in Australia and after. We are a little nervous about leaving our ‘paradise bubble’ in New Zealand – we had such an amazing one year here – and moving to Bangladesh. It will a big change for the kids, for the whole family.

We would LOVE to get your feedback on anything else we should be considering for road trip and campervan travel around Australia, any must see off the beaten track destinations in all these places? We look forward to meeting new people, hanging out with old friends and having new experiences and adventures.  Give us a shout out if you are a local and want to meet up anywhere along this route. Am pretty sure over the course of 7 weeks, we might tire of each other’s company 😉

Most recent shot of us, farewell dinner in Auckland

Most recent shot of us, farewell dinner in Auckland

If you want to pin for future planning!Itinerary for our 2 month Road Trip around Australia


The Selim Family Raasta

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  • Sue Slaght says: March 17, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Have a fabulous time! I am so jealous of your 2 months and so excited for you all at the same time. Two weeks was definitely not enough. Thanks so much for the shout out. Looking forward to following along!

  • Shere says: March 18, 2016 at 12:43 am

    Great trip, we did the same trip 3 years ago (excluding tasmania ). From the great ocean road, you can take a ferry to the other side of Melbourne. It saves a lot of time.
    Wilsons promotory is really worth it! ! We had lots of rain between Melbourne and Sydney, indeed we were just a couple of hours ahead of road closures because of the floods.
    If I remember well, we spent around 4000€-5000€ in a month and it was just the two of us.

    • says: March 18, 2016 at 12:45 am

      Will have to look up your blog for any posts you might have of your trip! good to know that Wilsons Promontory is great and about the ferry too. Australia is such an expensive country to travel in, lets see how far we can stretch our money for the four of us 🙂

  • Steph of Big World Small Pockets says: March 18, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Awesome post and awesome plans – so excited for you and thanks for the shout out too 🙂

  • Monica @We Travel Together says: March 19, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    So jealous, even we’ve just finished our month long road trip in Australia. Hope you’ll have a great time there you guys. Look forward to your updates during your trip. We’ve been there twice, and used Britz both times – it’s a good company. Drive safe and watch out for the kangaroos 😉

  • Lyn - A Hole in my Shoe says: March 20, 2016 at 1:37 am

    The Gippsland area is incredible, I lived there for 2 years and hope you get a chance to explore there. Check out Yarra Valley, Sassafras, Dandenong Ranges (1000 step Kokoda walk in Fern Tree Gully), Black Spur drive, Yarragon and the surrounding areas (where I lived), Latrobe Valley, the Great Alpine Road, Lake Eildon, and before you board Spirit of Australia while in Port Phillip Bay check out St Kilda. I could go on and on, my post Winter in Melbourne has pics of some of these areas.

    • says: March 20, 2016 at 5:48 am

      Awesome! Thanks for all the suggestions Lyn, starring them on google maps now 🙂 I will head to your blog now and check out the Melbourne posts, I remember reading them a while back. We are in Melbourne for 3/4 days so should have time to check out a bit!

    • Linda Bibb says: March 22, 2016 at 1:46 am

      I think it’s great how we can all share our tips and ideas. God bless you Lyn, there’s more than enough to do in your list to keep everyone entertained. You’ve gotta love how much Australia has to offer! We’ve talked about an epic drive like this so I’m really looking forward to reading Samiya’s posts, just as I have with yours. 🙂

  • Elaine J Masters says: March 20, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    It’s been great watching the kids grow up a bit over the past year. What intrepid little travelers now adding couch surfing to the mix! I hope your journey is as wonderful as possible. With all the preparation and your deep travel experience, I’m sure it will be wonderful.

  • Dana says: March 20, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I have never been to Australia but when we do I am going to take your advice! Awesome post.

  • Amy Whitley says: March 20, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    I would love to do this! Sounds pretty expensive, considering you have a camper van, but I hear that’s par for the course with Australia. Will need to start saving!

  • nonsoloamore says: March 20, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Wow. Amazing. I didn’t know that Australia is expensive. But Australia is definitely on my bucket list. 😉

  • Lillie says: March 21, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    What a detailed, useful itinerary! You’re inspiring me to finally pack our family of four into a plane to traverse the world from Boston and follow your footsteps!

    • says: March 21, 2016 at 6:47 pm

      haha 😀 Thanks Lillie, happy to inspire other families to travel too!

  • Florence says: March 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm

    Super tips 🙂 I’ve shared it on Pinterest!

  • Bill says: May 26, 2016 at 4:53 am

    I am curious why you chose a car from Melbourne to Sydney? A campervan is what I’m considering for that route. In 2013 spouse and I did a car trip from Sydney to Daintree, then Cairns, over 28 days and thoroughly enjoyed it. Wishing for campervan for our next travel to OZ.

    • says: May 26, 2016 at 5:03 am

      good question! We had lot of friends and family we could stay with that part of our journey so it made more sense economically to rent a car. We also couchsurfed a few times this route, hence we chose rented car. In hindsight, we enjoyed the freedom and flexibility of campervan travel far more and would have preferred to do that the whole trip! good luck for planning your journey, and feel free to ask any questions 🙂

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