It’s been several months since my last post and I expect some of my regular readers were worried that we had suffered a Wolf Creek-like fate in the depths of the Australian outback. But the truth is we rushed back home to Melbourne and got caught up in the usual busy-ness of living in a big city. Work and life returned to normal so quickly it was like we had never been away.
Although we didn’t waste much time on our return to Melbourne, we caught up with friends along the way and saw some great places. So here is some of the photos from the last leg, and if you scroll to the end of the post you will find some further information that might be useful if you are planning a similar trip.
If you live in Victoria and want to drive some dunes check out the Portland Dune Buggy Club.
Distance – We did about 16,000km with more than 1,500km of that on dirt roads.
Fuel – We spent $5,500 on unleaded. We averaged about 23.5L/100km which is about what we expected. Obviously most diesel 4WD’s should use less fuel than that. The most we paid for fuel was $2.20/litre (Gibb River Road) but mostly we paid $1.40-$1.50/litre in decent size towns.
Duration – We were away for 11 weeks and felt a bit rushed at times. Another week or two would have been good.
Accommodation – We free camped about one third of the time, about one third of the time in cheap campsites like National Parks and budget caravan parks (under $30/night) and the other third in caravan parks at more than $30/night. (The most expensive being $79 at Coral Bay). $50-$60/night was pretty common for a powered site.
Caravan – We purchased a new Jayco Starcraft 17.58-3 Outback. It was a great van and performed well. We sold it shortly after we returned and it were happy with the resale value. We had a few minor issues which were fixed under warranty. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another Jayco. I didn’t like the 3-way fridge but our favourite features included: toilet, hot water system, external table. If I was going to buy another caravan to keep I would be looking for: Compressor fridge and more solar panels, 200+ litres of fresh water, built in inverter, additional USB charging points, wider bed, slide out BBQ, more external storage and maybe a grey water holding tank. But all this stuff would cost a lot more and you won’t get this in a 2,500kg caravan (which was our towing limit with the Prado). So given our weight limit and budget it was the perfect family van.
Thanks for following our journey!