The plan for Oz was pretty simple, I intended on spending a few days catching up with some buddies in Sydney before heading back to Byron Bay for a much needed surf fix with my buddy Nic. That was it. That was the plan!
However like all of my travel plans it went tits up pretty quickly – this time around though it was due to my buddy Scotty offering me a spot on his east coast roadtrip checking out all the hostels in the VIP Backpackers network.
And being a backpacker I was never going to say no to a few weeks free accommodation and a bit of a roadtrip around Australia!
It was pretty enlightening talking to the people on the other side of the backpacker bubble – the hostel owners and tour operators who spend so many hours creating the adventure people flock to Oz for. It was an eye opener to realise how only a small handful of businesses own pretty much all the tour companies, booking agents and hostels on the east coast – it’s a huge industry run by a small network who repackage and reband everything so you’d never know they were interlinked!
After relaxing on the Whitsundays, rafting the Tully River and diving on the Great Barrier Reef I flew back to Sydney again in time for the Vivid Sydney Festival which was absolutely amazing and I bumped into an old buddy from Byron and a couple girls I met in Raglan, New Zealand and headed back up the coast to Byron again…
It was an unexpected month but a pretty damn good one!
And onto the budgets and stats…
Overland Distance; 3641kms
Flight Distance; 1219.45 kms
Total Distance; 4860.45 kms
Main Spots; Sydney, Byron Bay, Surfers Paradise, Brisbane, Noosa, Airlie Beach, The Whitsunday Islands, Yepoon, Mission Beach, Cairns
Transport Taken; train, campervan dive boat, sailing boat, raft
Flights – 1; CNS-SYD (Jetstar)
Australia – £1307.02 over 31 days = £42.16 per day
Total spent – £1307.02 over 31 days = £42.16 per day
I was pretty lucky to score 2 weeks free accommodation and a couple trips whilst teaming up with Scotty but I’ve still totally over spent, it;s crazy how expensive Australia is to travel these days. I started by trying to stick with my £25 a day budget but soon realised this needed to be significantly upped to survive and actually have fun!
If you were going to include the cost of my trips and extra accommodation in this budget you’d need to add another £400+ ….an expensive month all round!
Cheapest Place – well apart from a free roadtrip it’s been expensive all round. I’d say Byrons been my cheapest stop though – $27 a night accommodation inc a free meal each night and then surfing is free, other than that it’s just food and goon I need to pay for so it’s been easy to stick to my $50 a day budget!
Most Expensive Place – Sydney is probably the most expensive place, but this is mainly due to the fact eating out is heaps expensive and there’s so much to do. This month has been a budget killer though!
Biggest Splurge/Unforeseen Expense – To be honest I haven’t splurged that much this month, mainly because of the fact I was roadtripping with Scotty but also because I’ve already done all the expensive things on the East Coast (like Fraser Island and sailing the Whitsundays)
Highlight – there’s been quite a few this month actually. White water rafting was sweet as and both my road trips were heaps good fun too. The Vivid Sydney Festival was an unexpected one as I didn’t even know about it until I landed! Yamba was an unexpected discovery too!
Lowlight – To be honest I can’t really complain about anything this month – except of checking my bank balance at the end of it!!
The east coast of Australia is pretty damn epic for taking pictures – but my favourite shot of the month has to be the iconic Sydney Opera House, during the Vivid Sydney Festival – an amazing sight to see this Aussie favorite in a different light…quite literally!
This month is all about surfing!
I’ve spent the last couple of months bouncing around every other day and I need to sit tight for a bit, sort out my travel plans, eat healthy and get some serious surf training in!
And there’s only one place that can deliver that kind of lifestyle and still keep me immersed in the world of backpacking – Byron Bay.
So I’ve checked into Aquarius Hostel for the rest of my stay here and will be surfing, sleeping, blogging and partying away the rest of my Aussie experience!
Happy days indeed!