East Coast Australia

We are on the Road for 5.5 weeks now and have done the East Coast from Brisbane to Cairns in 4 weeks.

In  average we were  driving 170km a day and tried not to drive for more than 2h when kids were having a nap.

It’s an easy drive on the Bruce Highway all the way to Cairns and can be done with any type of car.

Agnes waters

Polarsteps is another great free app that lets you share your travel destinations and creates a map which can then be ordered as a photobook with all the pictures and descriptions after the trip and can be used for any country.
We have seen the East Coast 10 years ago and have decided to make other stops this time but we couldn’t drive past Airlie Beach which is a little City.

We didn’t recognize it anymore as so many things have changed and it has grown! It’s still a little Backpacker town but we loved it.

Airlie Beach

The Reefstar Cruise Day trip to the Whitsundays was worth it again and we loved the glass bottom boat so we could see the Great Barrier Reef and didn’t have to go snorkeling as the kids are too small for it.

Whitehaven Beach and too sunny for the kids

Another really kids friendly City was Townsville and ‘The Strand’ which has a long Esplanade with a free Aqua Splash Park, 5 playgrounds, a Lagoon and Cafes.

Townsville The Strand
Townsville Castle Hill Lookout

No wonder it’s one of the fastest growing Cities on the East Coast as people love what they see and decide to move!

Unfortunately swimming is not possible in the beautiful Ocean in most places above Rockhampton as crocodiles might be in the water but most bigger cities have a free Lagoon anyway.

Cairns Lagoon

You can use a lot of free camp sites on the road and all bigger cities are more expensive.

Cairns was the most expensive city so far and has high season in winter. We have stayed in Cairns for a week at the BIG4 Coconut Resort which is a 5 Star Resort with cabins, campgrounds, playgrounds, pools, entertainment and the biggest jumping pillow in the world!

Biggest jumping pillow in the world
BIG4 Coconut Resort Cairns

Sign up to become a BIG4 member and get a 10% discount each time at any BIG4 caravan park.

The place was the best one we had so far and was very safe compared to other cheaper campsites in Cairns.

We also went to Hartley’s Crocodile Adventure Farm which is only a 30 min drive up north (use your BIG4 card to get 10% off) where we saw a lot of crocodiles and you can even try their meat! It’s one of 14 crocodile farms in Australia.


This were just a few stops we had but we have experienced and seen much more!

Now we need a break from our holidays and are flying home for 2 weeks to have holidays with family !
We are looking forward to continue our Trip from Cairns to Darwin and have made many friends in Cairns who we will hopefully meet on the way.

If you see us on the Road say Hi ??

Check our fb page where we have uploaded a little Video of some of our best moments so far!

How much does it cost to travel in Australia with 2 kids? 

Let’s talk about money, the most important factor when traveling….

We are on the road for 4 weeks now and still loving it! 

When we were budgeting our travel expenses we have calculated with daily expenses of $100 for all of us. 

We have crunched the numbers today and we are only slightly above our daily budget with $122 per day. It looks like food is our biggest expense (must be the Happy Meals and Frappes) although we avoid to eat out and cook in the caravan most of the times.

I’m the biggest fan of Apps and we are using the free version of Housekeeper! 

Here are our expenses:


Transports are our Fuel Expenses and our Audi’s Diesel Fuel consumption is 9 l without towing and about 12 l when towing.

Clothing are our Laundry Expenses.

We are traveling slow, so slow that even Trucks and Road trains are overtaking at 100 km/h but we are not in a hurry and so far have made approx. 2500 km (plus a few km on the bikes) 

But we are only 1372 km from home which might be a lot for other countries but Australia is big!

It takes a while to put the kids to sleep sometimes and so we drive around or explore the Cities while they nap. 

A life on the Road is cheaper than owning a house, is much more fun and is less work! We don’t miss the big cleanings, garden work or pool maintenance. 

The following Video is the reason that our Leisure budget was higher but how could you miss the Whitsundays and Whitehaven Beach when you travel the East Coast in Australia ? 

Free camp, caravan park or low-cost campground?

We try to do a mix of free camping, caravan park and low cost campgrounds and so far did 2-3 days of free camping per week and if the kids need some entertainment or we need to do laundry, then we go to caravan parks which are between $35-45 a night for a caravan.

The best app to find a place is Camper Mate as it has a great map and comments about all the stops. There is also one available called WikiCamps.

Low-cost campgrounds/caravan parks usually attract a lot of permanent living people which makes it look unattractive and scary. Some of them are mining or farm workers and some of them live there as it’s cheaper than renting a place. 


Horizon Kangaroo Sanctuary Agnes Water

A stay at the Horizons Kangaroo Sanctuary in Agnes Waters was one of our best experiences.

 The price for a site was $30 unpowered and the money goes towards raising little orphan Joeys. 

The place has a good kitchen, toilets with hot showers and a beautiful view! It’s accessible for every car but a bit narrow for very large caravans. 

As it is a small campground it was great to sit at the campfire with all visitors and share stories which you usually don’t have at the caravan parks with mostly retired people. 

Another top low-cost campgrounds we stayed at was a farm stays called Alkoomi Adventure Farm in Marmor (between Gladstone and Rockhampton) which is $5 p.P per night with hot showers, toilets, kitchen and a camp fire with all visitors. 

Collecting eggs at 4:30pm which are sold there
Camp fire and marshmallows
Sunrise
Farm Adventure

All money goes towards a charity and they offer farm activities for $50 for 2h which include horse riding, quad, motorbikes or kayaking. The owners are a lovely couple who enjoy their farm life and like to give this experience to their visitors. 

Free campsites are usually near the motorway and are sometimes a bit noisy, most of them have a 20h stay rule and if you just want to stop for a sleep or to safe money, they are fine but for most of them you need to be self-contained if you travel in a caravan and rangers drive around to check. 

The best free camp site so far was in Childers which had water, toilets, playground, BBQ area and even free wifi! It is behind he main road and CBD and you can’t hear any traffic.

Childers free campsite
​​

Saint Lawrence has also a great stop with free coffee and tea provided by the Qld Department of Transport and volunteers. 


The further we travel north, the cheaper the caravan parks get and so we try to pick the BIG4 or TOP Tourist parks which offer a lot of entertainment for the kids and during school holidays it’s even better as they have a program every day! Prices for a non powered site are around $33-40 per night. 

Own washing machine or public laundry?

Kids will go through a lot of clothes when you travel and doing laundry is an essential part of our trip.

Before we started we were thinking if we would need a Single or Twin tub washing machine which you can get for about $100 from eBay or if it’s easier to use a public laundry and after 2 weeks on the road we know what suits us! 

Single tub washing machine which could only hold 2 shirts and 2 undies

Here are the Pro’s and Contra’s.

Washing machine

  • + Washing can be done everywhere and anytime
  • – Needs a storage space 
  • – Can’t wash big loads 
  • – Requires warm water and not always possible with our caravan if we free camp
  • Requires power

Public laundry 

  • no storage needed 
  • + one big load can be washed 
  • + no power and water needed 
  • – have to wait for it to finish and empty immediately

Caravan parking washing machine 30 min, $4
My little helper
Even the kids can be washed ☺️

Conclusion

We are washing 1 big load per week for $4 (30 min) at the caravan park and decided to pack more clothes instead of storing and connecting the washing machine which also saves us time. Some urgent items can be hand washed if required. 

Let us know in the comments what you prefer!