East Coast Road Trip

Fraser Island In Queensland - An Awesome part of an East Coast Road Trip!

Fraser Island In Queensland - An Awesome part of an East Coast Road Trip!

Hiya, I am planning an East Coast Road Trip of Australia and would really appreciate an idea of an itinerary and costs based on what you can recommend!

I would like to make it as cheap as possible, and would like to see the top 10 things to see in Australia. I'm planning on going from 1st December 2013 and coming back in the beginning of March 2014 (3 months). I would be travelling from London with a friend.

I'm interesting in hiring a car as well if that would make it easier to get around! I'm also very eager to see the Great Barrier Reef.


How exciting that you are planning an East Coast Road Trip. It's good to get things organised so you can save enough money to fuel your trip!

If you are going to be here for 3 months then you should have time to cover all the key places. A couple of watch outs would be that January is school holidays and everywhere gets booked up and shoots up in price. I'd recommend booking that bit of your trip well in advance to get the best places to stay.

I'd also try to be in Sydney for New Years Eve - yes it's expensive but it is something you should do once in your lifetime, so orgainsing your trip to start in Queensland and then travel down to Sydney and then on could work well.

Hiring a car for 3 months could be expensive - it might be better to buy a cheap car when you get here. Places like Bondi in Sydney have heaps of notice boards with backpackers on-selling cars.

Are you thinking of staying in hostels? This is clearly the cheapest way to go or get yourself a tent when you get here and stay on camping sites. Or you can hire/buy a cheap campervan for your trip? These are all things you need to think about. What type of experience do you want?

In terms of an itinerary I''d try to cover the following

Cairns - Great Barrier Reef (your timing will mean you are in the wet season so expect it to be too hot, plenty of rain and less than ideal weather conditions for seeing the reef - you may be lucky though!

Cairns to Brisbane via the Whitsundays and Noosa- you can stay at Airlie beach to keep the costs down or indulge and stay on Hamilton Island for a couple of days, being sure to visit Whitehaven Beach for a day trip too

Brisbane to Sydney - stopping off at the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Port Stephens
Sydney for New Year, day trips to Hunter Valley and Blue Mountains

Sydney to Melbourne - via Kiama, Jervis Bay, Phillip Island and maybe Canberra if you fancy some museums.

Melbourne To Adelaide via the Great Ocean Road, visiting the wineries of the Barossa etc
From Adelaide you could fly or catch the Ghan up to Ayers Rock/Alice Springs to see the centre
Then back to Adelaide to do Kangaroo Island.

I think that would be enough - you could try to incorporate Tasmania or Perth and the Margaret River in after that but personally I think the above would be awesome and give you a real taste for Australia. I'd avoid the top end and Darwin as this will be in the rainy season when you are here.

In terms of budget- here's some rough estimates in Australian Dollars:

Buy a car/cheap campervan: $5k to $8k
Buy a tent- $100
Petrol: $70 for every 350km - so probably about $,1200
Hostel or campsite cost per night: $50 per night each
Money to eat/tourist trips: $50-$80 per day each
The Ghan/Flight to ayers Rock - $250-$400 each

All up, I think you need about $25-$30k between the two of you in Australian Dollars to do this. This is doing it really cheaply so a bit more would be good.

Exchange rates aren't in your favour at the moment with the Australian Dollar being very strong at the moment but hopefully by the time you get here, things will be better.

You should be able to find more information on my website on all of the above areas. Start on my top 10 page, particularly looking at the East Coast Road Trip links as these are my recommended stop off destinations.

You can also use the search box on my home page to search for any of the destinations above.

Travel in Australia - Top 10

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