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Last Updated on March 3, 2019 by Amy

I have very bad news for you.  Let me just get this painful part out of the way; I can not narrow down this trip for you.  I can not give you highlights.  Because every single place we went to on our trip for 6 weeks in Australia was AMAZING.

Despite ending on a low note (our fault, not Australia’s), the whole trip was pretty amazing.  We would be very hard pressed to pick a part we would leave out if you only had 5 and a half weeks.

All the blog posts

Driving Versus Flying around Australia

Australia is such a huge country, and we would have loved to cover it via buying a car like we did in New Zealand.  We knew we had to get to the Red Centre, and driving to the Red Centre takes far too much time out of a six-week trip.  It just isn’t feasible to get to as many places as we did in six-weeks if you plan on driving.  I think an east coast road trip is an amazing option if you want to get a long drive in (and buy a car).  It would be cheaper, but you would miss out on the center of the country and the west coast.

Alternatively, you can use a relocation deal to get a campervan for $1 a day.

Trip Statistics

  • 41 Days
  • All 6 states & mainland territories
  • 9 flights
  • 3,000 km of driving
  • 5 scuba dives
  • 1 surf lesson
  • 3 awesome Milky Way shots
  • 5 biggest cities in Australia
  • 3 boat trips

Nights Breakdown

  • Canberra: 2
  • Adelaide: 2
  • Driving to Melbourne: 6
  • Melbourne: 4
  • Tasmania: 8
  • Bondi: 3
  • Uluru: 2
  • Kings Canyon: 1
  • Alice Springs: 2
  • Fremantle: 2
  • Ningaloo Reef: 5
  • Perth: 3

It’s important to remember that we’ve spent a lot of additional time on the east coast already, including nearly 3 weeks in Sydney and 3 days in Brisbane.  Between May 1 and mid-July we will be taking our sailboat from Scarborough (outside of Brisbane) to Thursday Island.  We look forward to a lot of amazing stops between now and then.


 

Some of my Favorite Photos

Looking down the axis in Canberra from Mount Ainslie.
Kangaroos in Canberra's Mount Ainslie Nature Reserve.
Yes, we see you and you are very cute.
Remembrance poppies for the fallen soldiers at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
The Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road
The Blue Lake Lookout at Mount Gambier.
My favorite Melbourne Laneway art.
Fur seal in Tasmania.
Dolphin jumping for joy in Tasmania.
Port Arthur Massacre Memorial in Tasmania.
The Milky Way over the Bay of Fires Bush Retreat in Tasmania.
David’s got the pose down! Learning to surf in Bondi.
The Milky Way over Uluru.  The red and green bands in the sky are airglow (a faint emission of light by the atmosphere).
Beehive rock formations at Kings Canyon Rim Walk.
David and I at the Sounds of Silence Dinner.
Back to home base.  Diving Ningaloo Reef with Sail Ningaloo.
*smooch* happy anniversary to us!
Sial Ningaloo out on the Ningaloo Reef.
Quokkas on Rottnest Island.

Australian Airlines

We flew four major domestic airlines:

  • Quantas
  • Virgin
  • Jetstar Airways
  • Tigerair

Our strategy was to fly non-stop as much as possible (which we achieved) and not have to get up insanely early anywhere, so we did spend a bit more on our flights than someone who’s absolutely penny-pinching.

We got served food on every Quantas flight we took, although it was usually pretty bad.  Quantas and Virgin always allowed 23 kg of luggage, versus Tigerair and Jetstar that had additional fees for luggage over 15 kg.  The additional fee depends on the length of time for your flight.  Additionally, Tigerair and Jetstar charge a fee to pick your seats.

I did look at booking using a third-party website for a few flights, but when I ran the numbers, it was only a few dollars more to book directly with Quantas or Virgin.  Weirdly, third-party sites are allowed to advertise a lower price for these airlines, but then charge additional fees for seating, etc.

Cell phone service

My SIM card is Vodaphone, and David’s is OVO.  Vodaphone did not have service in parts of Tasmania or Exmouth.  OVO had service in all of Tasmania and in parts of Exmouth.  Telstra is the best option if you are traveling extensively in Western Australia.

6 Weeks in Australia Trip Costs

I would say David and I have a moderate budget when traveling.  We skimp on accommodations and do lots of free activities in order to eat delicious food and buy the one or two really big special activities that we got to do.

Airfare:  We spent $4,500 AUD ($3,500 USD) on airfare.

Accommodations:  Of 34 nights in hotels or Airbnbs, we paid an average of $130 AUD a night.  That’s $4,400 total over 34 nights.  The most expensive nights were at Exmouth Escape in Exmouth, WA (very nice apartment-style) and Outback Pioneer at Uluru, NT (meh).

Car Rental:  We did 3 car rentals for a total of $1,300 AUD (Adelaide to Melbourne, Tasmania, and Red Centre).

Final Thoughts

We had an amazing time.  We’d seen a lot of the country, and many Australians we talked to said: “wow, I’ve never been to most of these places”.  Australia is such a huge and diverse country, and we are so glad to have been able to explore so much of it.  And we’re not done yet!

 

PS.  The next few blog posts are going to be boat project related!  Enjoy.  🙂

 

Looking for more big trip ideas?  How about a month (or more) in the US or 35-days in New Zealand?

11 Comments

  1. Hi Guys, I just watched your youtube video about the race you had with Sandy Cheeks and Cheeky Monkey. I purchased Sandy Cheeks in February 2018. She is moored just around the corner from you in Newport Marina. We refueled on Sunday and saw you at Scarborough. Are you going to be around tomorrow night (Tuesday 1st May)? I would love to catch up.

    regards

    Craig Symons (Sandy Cheeks)

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