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Published: October 28th 2007
Our entire trip....
when we see it like this it really makes us realise just how far we've driven!
This is a (very) short blog, just to say that we’ve made it to Sydney on time, actually with plenty of time to spare. On our way down the coast we stopped briefly in Byron Bay to have a look, and camped for a few days in the forest surrounding the city, gaining a few moments of peace before we spend two weeks in the big city.
As soon as we arrived we got the van serviced, the wind screen replaced (damn Road Trains) and put an advert on Gumtree
. While we waited for a call I visited the hospital for one of my regular check ups, to ensure I’m still healthy and free of cancer. Thankfully I am…. Yay!!!!
I had to pay for the time with the consultant and all the tests and x-rays privately, but a friend recommended I visit medicare, Australia’s answer to low cost/free medical care. As it turns out, Australia and the U.K have a reciprocal agreement, and after filling out some forms, we were given a card and were able to reclaim back some of the costs from my hospital visit… Result! It also helped when we visited the travel health clinic
...and it's ridiculously photogenic harbour!
to pick up some antimalarials, so I’d definitely recommend popping into an office, for any long term travellers to the country.
It also only took 2 days for someone, to come round and snap up the van, I’m sure it was it was due to the low price we put it up for because we weren’t desperate to try and make money from the sale, unlike most people in our situation.
For anyone interested here are some of the financial stats from the trip:
Buying price of van: $3850
Accessories (new bed, stove etc..): +$280.60
Maintenance (tyre, windscreen, oil, service, etc…: +$470.50
Miscellaneous (stamp duty, rego): +$288.60
Selling price of van: -$3200
Subtotal: $1689.70 (£734.65)
NSW: $135.23 Total: $4036.45 (£1754.98)
There are other things to consider though… We spent 62 nights sleeping in the van, choosing to free camp wherever we could and only staying in a few campsites ($165.7/£72.04) along the way. Assuming we would have paid about $20 a night each in a hostel, we saved $2354.30 (£1023.61) on accommodation.
The savings keep adding up of course if
you take into account the cost of travel, we travelled over 16,000 km on this trip; a Greyhound
pass for this distance would have cost us $1615 each. Also we went to plenty of places which would have only been accessible by tour if we didn’t have our own transport, Kakadu being a prime example, our 3 day jolly in the park cost us one tank of petrol (~$50), and I’d hate to imagine how much a guided tour would have set us back. We were also in control of where we went and how long we stayed.
There are disadvantages of course, the driving being the main one, I’m sure we’ll never experience true isolation like that again, and of course we were lucky in that we had no serious problems with the van, leaving us stuck in the middle of nowhere. You’d also better make sure you get on with the people you’re travelling with too, as you’re effectively living in a few cubic meters of space with them 24/7. All this aside though, for the trip we did, I really don’t think there’s a better way to do it, both in terms of value and the
The Opera House...
...you never get bored of taking photos of this beautiful building!
freedom having our own set of wheels provided. Would I do it again? Without a doubt… It was an incredible adventure, one I’ll remember for life!!!!
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