And that’s a wrap! As of today, my great Australian road trip is over. Over the past 72 days, we have driven over 8,000 kilometers, crossed 34 rivers, seen 11 gorges, and gotten bitten by an innumerable number of bugs. I am ending this trip a tanner, tougher, more weathered version of myself. My heels are cracked and possibly permanently imbued with dirt. My sun bleached hair is filled with split ends. My white socks will never be white again. In all, I have had a roaring good time. Kane and I have drunk beers under starry sky after starry sky, had impromptu dinner parties on remote beaches with new found friends, and have gotten to see so much of this beautiful country.
The crazy thing is that when I think back over all the amazing things we have done these past two and a half months all I can think of is how there is still so much more to see. We wanted to do the west coast properly so we spent all our time working our way slowly from Perth to Darwin, but that’s all I’ve really seen. I have yet to see the Red Center, Uluru, the forests of Tasmania, the Great Barrier Reef, the Nullibor plains, the Great Ocean Road, and so much more. This trip has shown me the beauty of Australia and I firmly intend to return to see the rest of it. In the meantime, here’s a fun/possibly helpful list of Australian road trip counts that I kept on our journey.
Time on the Road: 72 days
Total Kilometers Driven: 8,251 km
Total Money Spent on Fuel: $1632
Most Expensive Fuel: Mt. Barnett Roadhouse on the Gibb River Road, $2.05 per liter!
Liters of Fuel Used: 1060
Money Spent on Car: $15,000 upfront and $2,128 spent on services over the trip
Number of Flat Tires: None, even after we drove the Gibb on a particularly terrible year!
Number of Times Bogged: I’m gonna call this one ½, we had a moment in a dry river bed on the Fitzroy River, but Kane got us out alright.
Cartons of Beer Drunk: 4, not bad considering that is about 5 beers a week per person.
Bottles of Wine Drunk: 16, okay maybe we didn’t drink as much beer because we’re just winos…but a lot of this wine did go to cooking, so there’s that.
Money spent on Campsites: $2,333, breaks down to an average of $32 a day on accommodation
Nights Spent Free Camping: 5
Approximate Money Spent on Food: $3480, that breaks down to just under $50 a day for two people, about $25 per day per person.
Animals Seen: Dingos, kangaroos (euros and big reds), wallabies, snakes (black headed python, king brown, and unidentified tree snake), birds (too many to count, but some notable ones are pink and grey galas, cockatoos, pelicans, sea eagles, emus, and many different types of parrots), sharks (black tip reef sharks, lemon sharks, bronze whaler sharks, and a shovelnose sand shark), dugongs, way too many different types of fish to count, blue spotted sting rays, octopus, dolphins (spinners and bottlenose), humpback whales, quokkas, a bilby, green sea turtles, sea snakes, wild donkeys, fresh water crocodiles, salt water crocodiles, a bandicoot, and a water monitor lizard
Fastest Pack Up Time: 30 min
Fastest Set Up Time: 30 min
Original Set Up Time: 2 ½ hours, ya we were slow at first, but hey now we can set the tent up in no time at all!
Monica’s Favorite Places: The Ningaloo Coast, Karijini National Park, and the Gibb River Road
Kane’s Favorite Places: The Ningaloo Coast, Karijini National Park, and 80 Mile Beach
Lessons Learned: Tie the rubbish bin inside the car, unless you want to catch a kangaroo red-pawed as he pilfers your leftovers at 3 am. Also, even if it isn’t windy when you’re setting up, always peg down the tent like you’re preparing for a cyclone, you never know when the gale force winds will decide to hit. And last, but certainly not least, don’t leave chocolate on the dashboard. The sun is lava and will roast anything in it’s path.
Monica’s Best Camping Tip: A good night’s sleep makes for a good day. Do yourself a favour and buy a good bed, bring an eye mask and ear plugs, and make sure you have enough blankets. Sleeping in a tent night after night means the sun and/or intrusive wildlife will be your alarm clock. If you’d rather not get woken up at the butt crack of dawn by a thousand screaming cockatoos, bring ear plugs. Also, while a large section of Australia is very hot, some places, like Karijini in winter, do get very cold at night so be prepared.
Kane’s Best Camping Tip: Dishes can always be done in the morning. It’s never any fun to wash dishes in the dark, so let them sit, grab a piece of chocolate, and enjoy your evening.
Things We Would Do Differently: Free camp more! This time around we wanted to see all the major sights and, in this area, it meant staying at paid campsites far more often than free camping. However, when we did free camp, such as on the Fitzroy River and at James Price Point, it was wonderful.
Final Lesson Learned: Australia is a beautiful country, now I just need to find time to see the rest of it!