Month Eleven on the Road – September 2019

MONTH #11
Kuranda > Alice Springs
2,310 kmIn Muddie
$1567.80FUEL
$576.95GROCERIES
$6,368.06TOTAL SPEND
6FISH CAUGHT

Wow…. September was an EPIC month and we have did/saw so much but that also comes with the big price tag.

We started off in Kuranda and ended in Alice Springs. Along the way we snorkled, went paddleboarding, swam in the ocean, went gold prospecting, found saphires, caught our first red claw, went to the NT for the first time, saw the rock and the Olgas, used the heater for the first time in the camper, had an amazing meat pie, made some great new friends and ended the month with Muddie on a tow truck… again. 🙁

Looking back at all we have done over the last month it is no suprise that we blew the budget for the month. But it was worth every cent and would do it all again except having to put Muddie on a tow truck.

Turns out that we aren’t real good at budgeting or sticking to it but practice makes perfect, right?

But this is how we went..

Distance Travelled = 2,310 km

Expenses

Fuel: $1,567.80
Groceries: $576.95
Eating Out: $224.15
Alcohol: $431.27
Accommodation: $125.82
Truck: $606.96
Camping Gear: $1,474.12
Boat/Fishing Gear: $0.00
Entertainment: $0.00
Personal: $227.98
Bills: $341.00
Misc/Incidentals: $729.81
Permits/Licences: $62.20
Total: $ 6,368.06
Weekly Average: $1,485.88

Facts

Cheapest Fuel: $1.43 (United, 105-115 Cairns Rd, Gordonvale QLD)
Most Expensive Fuel: $2.17 (Shell, 257 Yulara Dr, Yulara NT)
Big Things Seen: Big Boot - Tully, Big Mango - Bowen, Frosty Mango - Bowen, Big Pumpkin - TNQ, Big Watermelon - TNQ
Nights Free Camped: 16
Nights Low Cost Camped: 3
Nights Caravan Parks: 8
Nights Family Friends Sitting: 3
Times We Set Up Full Camp: 4
Longest Stay (Nights): 6
Shortest Stay (Nights): 1
Days On The Road: 14
Boat Trips: 0
Fish Caught: 6
Fish Caught - Brendon: 6
Fish Caught - Leah: 0

Favourites

Location - Brendon: Bowen, Qld
Location - Leah: Ilfracombe, Qld
Campground - Brendon: Tully Gorge National Park, Qld
Campground - Leah: Tully Gorge National Park, Qld
Fishing Spot - Brendon: Tully Gorge National Park, Qld
Fishing Spot - Leah: Burke River, Boulia Qld
Activity - Brendon: Uluru, NT
Activity - Leah: Valley of the Winds hike, The Olgas NT
Meal Out - Brendon: Beef Ribs, Curtain Springs NT
Meal Out - Leah: Beef Ribs, Curtain Springs NT

Summary

Once again we had a significant overspend of roughly $826.88 per week.

Seems we didn’t really pull it in on the luxuries like we were meant to and once again spent to much on booze and eating out. Next month “should” be a little better with hopely no big expenses but we are going to be visiting friends and family so we will see.

We also had some big ticket items purchased this month including a generator and some new hard drives and SD cards. The brakes and rotors needed to be replaced in Muddie and a tyre bead repair was needed.

Even though we spent 8 nights in caravan parks our accomodation costs were low this was due to our stay in Alice Springs was covered by RACQ as Muddie went in for more repairs.

Since purchasing our camper we haven’t needed to use the heater as we have steered clear of the cold weather. But the first time we used it was in mid-October in NT. Yes, it was too cold to go outside without gloves, beanie and a big jacket. Who would have picked NT to be the location.

So quick run down on our favourites for this month:

Town/Place – Brendon’s was Bowen, Qld and it is easy to see why the place is absolutely beautiful and with perfect weather having a dip/snorkel/paddle in the ocean it is hard to beat. But for me it was Illfracombe and not so much for the town but the Wellshot Hotel is awesome definately one of my favourite country pubs.

Campground – We both agreed that Tully Gorge National Park was hands down the best. We stayed at alot of places but this was “Gorge”ous (had to do it). Check out our review to find out more.

Fishing Spot – Tully Gorge was Brendons favourite with landing a few jungle perch in the fast flowing Tully River. For me Burke River where I caught my first ever redclaw.

Attraction – Well both of our favourites were in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. Highlight for Brendon was Uluru as he wanted to visit it for a long time and for me hiking the Olgas was on my bucket list. 

Meal – For both of us it was the beef ribs at Curtin Springs Station. They are sourced from the station and really well cooked and huge. Would definately recommend them if you are out that way.

In October we headed back to the east coast to visit friends and family. Then make our way down to the south coast of NSW where we will stay for the next few months.

~ Leah

Month Ten on the Road – August 2019

MONTH #10
Pennefather River > Kuranda
2,310 kmIn Muddie
$1293.47FUEL
$782.1GROCERIES
$3,391.14TOTAL SPEND
47FISH CAUGHT

After nine months in Cape York we have started to head south west for the next chapter of our adventure. The past nine months have been amazing, we have been lucky enough to meet some unreal people to share our adventure with, have some awesome experiences all within a magical place. Cape York is and will always be a very special place to us and with only scratching the surface of this diverse area we will be back…

Second month of trying to forward budget and we blew it…. again! Interestingly enough by pretty much the same amount. It is proving to be harder than we expected to stick to a budget on the road when your life is so unpredictable. But if it helps keep us in line and not working for a little longer it is worth the effort. So for now we are going to stick with it.

So this is how we went..

Distance Travelled = 2,310 km

Expenses

Fuel: $1,293.47
Groceries: $782.10
Eating Out: $155.50
Alcohol: $333.05
Accommodation: $371.40
Truck: $235.50
Camping Gear: $0.00
Boat/Fishing Gear: $26.93
Entertainment: $0.00
Personal: $9.00
Bills: $154.19
Misc/Incidentals: $0.00
Permits/Licences: $30.00
Total: $ 3,391.14
Weekly Average: $765.74

Facts

Cheapest Fuel: $1.67 (Weipa Service Centre, Weipa Qld)
Most Expensive Fuel: $1.95 (Independent, Lockhart River, Qld)
Big Things Seen: None
Nights Free Camped: 11
Nights Low Cost Camped: 14
Nights Caravan Parks: 6
Nights Family Friends Sitting: 0
Times We Set Up Full Camp: 8
Longest Stay (Nights): 6
Shortest Stay (Nights): 1
Days On The Road: 10
Boat Trips: 12
Fish Caught: 47
Fish Caught - Brendon: 44
Fish Caught - Leah: 3

Favourites

Location - Brendon: Pennefather River, Cape York Qld.
Location - Leah: Stones Crossing, Cape York Qld.
Campground - Brendon: Pennefather River, Cape York Qld
Campground - Leah: Wenlock River east of Stones Crossing, Cape York Qld
Fishing Spot - Brendon: Pennefather River, Cape York Qld.
Fishing Spot - Leah: Janie Creek, Cape York Qld.
Activity - Brendon: Fishing at Pennefather River, Cape York Qld.
Activity - Leah: Night excursion to see if turtles had come ashore to lay eggs
Meal Out - Brendon: Zinger Burger - Wild Cape Cafe Mapoon, Cape York Qld.
Meal Out - Leah: Wild Cape Burger - Wild Cape Cafe Mapoon, Cape York Qld.

Summary

Okay with an average weekly overspend of $150.40 it was time to take a good hard look at why we were so over budget.

This month we couldn’t blame bills or truck repairs, we simply blew out on what could be classified as luxuries not necessities. Food, booze and accomodation. Yep a little too much fun…

Food was over due to doing a little bit of a cook up and stock up for the next few weeks whilst we are travelling south.

Booze well we are both to blame, finally into civilization that sold Brookvale Union Ginger Beer, I lashed out and had a drink or two (of course Brendon needed to drink with me. lol!)

Accomodation turns out even low cost camping in National Parks for 14 days can blow the accomodation budget. Looks like free camp where possible from now.

We have decided to buy a generator we have been getting by without one but to keep up with all our gear and two fridges we are going to join the gennie bandwagon. So that is a big expenses budgeted for next month.

Next month we are going to continue south west to Uluru through Central Queensland. Brendon is really looking forward to striking it rich in the goldfields at Clermont. And I am hoping for some water we can swim and paddle in without being eaten.

~ Leah

Month Nine on the Road – July 2019

MONTH #9
Weipa > Pennefather River
727 kmIn Muddie
$481.44FUEL
$557.57GROCERIES
$3,087.99TOTAL SPEND
25FISH CAUGHT

We are offically back on the road….. Yewwwww!!!

With Muddie all fixed up it was time to say goodbye to Weipa Caravan Park which was our home for the past six weeks. We packed up and headed straight to Pennefather River, Cape York and OMG…. it is beautiful. It is easy to see how some people come and stay for a few months every year. We loved being back near the water again and Brendon is fishing everyday for most of the day. We saw out the rest of the month at Pennefather River.

Financially, July has been an interesting month it is the first time a budget has been put in place for the month. It is always something that I had planned to do, being a planner, but it was hard whilst we were in Care taker mode. So after looking at upcoming large expenses and everyday expenses I did up a budget that was tight but realistic. I went back to my old school budgeting technique of having envelopes for each type of expenses, but this time there is an app for that. So every time a dollar was spent it went straight into the app.

Both of us also earnt a little pocket money on the side which was ours to spend how we wanted. Brendon did some metal detecting and I collected 10c drink containers from the beach, parks and other campers. So for a few hours of “work” we got some extra money in our pockets.

So armed with a total budget of $2446, this is how we went….

Distance Travelled = 727 km

Expenses

Fuel: $481.44
Groceries: $557.57
Eating Out: $60.70
Alcohol: $157.35
Accommodation: $46.00
Truck: $1,259.00
Camping Gear: $0.00
Boat/Fishing Gear: $202.44
Entertainment: $0.00
Personal: $51.58
Bills: $114.16
Misc/Incidentals: $157.75
Permits/Licences: $0.00
Total: $ 3,087.99
Weekly Average: $697.29

Facts

Cheapest Fuel: $1.67 (Weipa Service Centre, Weipa Qld.)
Most Expensive Fuel: $1.69 (Weipa Service Centre, Weipa Qld.)
Big Things Seen: None
Nights Free Camped: 5
Nights Low Cost Camped: 0
Nights Caravan Parks: 25
Nights Family Friends Sitting: 0
Times We Set Up Full Camp: 1
Longest Stay (Nights): 25
Shortest Stay (Nights): 5
Days On The Road: 0
Boat Trips: 8
Fish Caught: 25
Fish Caught - Brendon: 22
Fish Caught - Leah: 3

Favourites

Location - Brendon: Pennefather River, Cape York Qld.
Location - Leah: Pennefather River, Cape York Qld.
Campground - Brendon: Pennefather River, Cape York Qld.
Campground - Leah: Pennefather River, Cape York Qld.
Fishing Spot - Brendon: Pennefather River, Cape York Qld.
Fishing Spot - Leah: Pennefather River, Cape York Qld.
Activity - Brendon: Fishing at Pennefather River, Cape York Qld.
Activity - Leah: Watching the Sunset at Pennefather River, Cape York Qld.
Meal Out - Brendon: Burgers at Barramunchies (Weipa Caravan Park)
Meal Out - Leah: Burgers at Barramunchies (Weipa Caravan Park)

Summary

So first crack at a month on a budget and we over spent 🙁 With an average weekly spend $697.99 and a budgeted average weekly spend of $570.75. It is easy to see we blew the budget out of the park. Lol..

This was primarily due to the bits and pieces that needed to be completed on Muddie: gearbox, fuses, new tow-pro and new second battery.

Accommodation costs were low even though we were in a caravan park thanks to RACQ Ultimate Roadside Assistance.

The other areas we over spent were groceries, personal, fishing/boating, and alcohol. But the overspend in alcohol was covered by Brendons metal detecting haul.

So over all we did okay for our first month with the extra Muddie expenses. A little tweaking is required which will be an ongoing thing as our travel plans/circumstances change.

You guys HAVE to check out Pennefather River on your next Cape York Adventure.

As for what is ahead for August, we have no idea yet but that is the beauty of this lifestyle you just go with the flow…

~Leah

Month Eight on the Road – June 2019

MONTH #8
Bamaga > Weipa
862 kmIn Muddie
$430.25FUEL
$563.50GROCERIES
$3,899.20TOTAL SPEND
15FISH CAUGHT

Well the month of June didn’t quite go according to plan.

We said farewell to the Croc Tent Crew as we headed off to our next adventure the Weipa Fishing Classic. On arrival we treated ourselves to a night out only to discover that Muddie wouldn’t start when we went to head home.

After going in for repairs we discovered that not only did she need a new crank angle sensor but also needed a new gear box. A gear box isn’t something that is easily sourced from within the Cape so we have to wait for one to come up from Melbourne.

So with our time in Weipa being extended Brendon is making the most of fishing before we start to head inland in the next month or so.

We cancelled our committment as volunteers for the Big Red Bash as we are unsure if we will be able to make it in time with the gearbox. This was a little bit sad but it goes back on the bucket list.

As for the Weipa Fishing Classic no prizes won here and actually everyone agreed that the fishing wasn’t much good this year.

This is how we went…..

Distance Travelled = 862 km

Expenses

Fuel: $430.25
Groceries: $563.50
Eating Out: $54.50
Alcohol: $251.80
Accommodation: $124.00
Truck: $1,329.09
Camping Gear: $2.50
Boat/Fishing Gear: $365.87
Entertainment: $80.00
Personal: $92.49
Bills: $33.21
Misc/Incidentals: $571.99
Permits/Licences: $0.00
Total: $ 3,899.20
Weekly Average: $909.81

Facts

Cheapest Fuel: $0.00 ()
Most Expensive Fuel: $0.00 ()
Big Things Seen: None
Nights Free Camped: 0
Nights Low Cost Camped: 0
Nights Caravan Parks: 26
Nights Family Friends Sitting: 4
Times We Set Up Full Camp: 1
Longest Stay (Nights): 26
Shortest Stay (Nights): 4
Days On The Road: 1
Boat Trips: 6
Fish Caught: 15
Fish Caught - Brendon: 11
Fish Caught - Leah: 4

Favourites

Location - Brendon: Weipa, Qld
Location - Leah: Weipa, Qld
Campground - Brendon: Weipa Caravan Park, Weipa Qld
Campground - Leah: Weipa Caravan Park, Weipa Qld
Fishing Spot - Brendon: efueling Jetty, Evens Landing(Weipa) Qld
Fishing Spot - Leah: Mission River, Weipa Qld
Activity - Brendon: Weipa Fishing Classic evening entertainment
Activity - Leah: Weipa Fishing Classic evening entertainment
Meal Out - Brendon: Brisket Burger, Fishing Classic
Meal Out - Leah: Doughnuts, Weipa Fishing Classic

Summary

Average weekly spend was up there again with $909.81…

What blew us out this month was primarily the repairs on Muddie, which will unfortunately flow into next month aswell.

Luckily RACQ Roadside Assistance covered most of our accomodation costs whilst we waited on repairs in Weipa.

After Brendon’s bad luck with his fishing rods up north, we decided to buy him a new one since he was nearly restricted to my pink one.. lol.. But it will help with the food bills. We also had a couple of extra bits and pieces for the fishing classic.

Our Incidentals/Miscellanous was also up this month as at the nightly entertainment for the Weipa Fishing Classic it was cash only and we brought dinner and Doughnuts…. mmmmm doughnuts there each night.

So, now we are on the move I have drawn up a budget that will kick in next month. Hopefully this will get us on track.

We haven’t a set plan for next month as yet as it is very dependant on when Muddie will be right to go.

~Leah

Month Seven on the Road – May 2019

MONTH #7
Bamaga
1,156 kmIn Muddie
$522.14FUEL
$434.51GROCERIES
$2,377.40TOTAL SPEND
22FISH CAUGHT

May was an EPIC month hands down our favourite up the Cape (so far) and it was Brendon’s birthday…

We had some great time off exploring other areas of the Northern Peninsula Area and camping at the mouth of the Jardine River was awesome. It is a great place to camp and if you have a tinny it makes it even better. We both agreed that it is right up there with the best campsite.

After spending an afternoon making our own lures the Croc Tent Girls went on a all girls fishing trip to Fly Point. It absolutely pissed down, blew a gale and no one caught anything but we had a blast.

But what was the stand out highlight for both of us is spending 10 days on the Old Telegraph Track, having an epic time and meeting some awesome people. Both of us already can’t wait to get back there, but we had somethings to do first.

So with all the excitement and travelling around this is how we went…

Distance Travelled = 1,156 km

Expenses

Fuel: $522.14
Groceries: $434.51
Eating Out: $148.38
Alcohol: $428.00
Accommodation: $25.00
Truck: $120.00
Camping Gear: $0.00
Boat/Fishing Gear: $0.00
Entertainment: $130.00
Personal: $181.00
Bills: $143.58
Misc/Incidentals: $194.79
Permits/Licences: $50.00
Total: $ 2,377.40
Weekly Average: $536.83

Facts

Cheapest Fuel: $2.01 (BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld)
Most Expensive Fuel: $2.02 (BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld)
Big Things Seen: None
Nights Free Camped: 14
Nights Low Cost Camped: 0
Nights Caravan Parks: 1
Nights Family Friends Sitting: 16
Times We Set Up Full Camp: 0
Longest Stay (Nights): 13
Shortest Stay (Nights): 1
Days On The Road: 12
Boat Trips: 5
Fish Caught: 22
Fish Caught - Brendon: 15
Fish Caught - Leah: 7

Favourites

Location - Brendon: Moreton Station, Cape York Qld
Location - Leah: Bramwell Station, Cape York Qld
Campground - Brendon: Jardine River mouth, Cape York Qld
Campground - Leah: Canal Creek, Old Telegraph Track, Cape York Qld
Fishing Spot - Brendon: Jardine River mouth, Cape York Qld
Fishing Spot - Leah: Jardine River mouth, Cape York Qld
Activity - Brendon: Driving the Telegraph Track, Cape York Qld
Activity - Leah: Driving Gunshot and Palm Creek, Old Telegraph Track, Cape York Qld
Meal Out - Brendon: Sneaky Meat Pie from Moreton Telegraph Station, Cape York Qld
Meal Out - Leah: Dim Sims, BP Bamaga, Cape York QLD

Summary

So with an average weekly spend of just $536.83 and with such an amazing time I think we came in pretty damn good…

Yep, the alcohol went up considerably this month with birthday celebrations and buying drinks to enjoy on our camping it added up quickly and was a shock when we saw the final figures. Have to pull that back in.

Fuel for our exploring cost us over 20% of our total spend but worth every cent.

Sadly this was the last full month of our stay at the Croc Tent which was bittersweet. We love the Croc Tent Crew and it has become home but we will also be starting the next chapter of our adventures.

Next month we will be heading to Weipa for the Weipa Fishing Classic then making our way down the coast to see family and friends. Then off to the Big Red Bash in Birdsville Yewww!!!

Month Six on the Road – April 2019

MONTH #6
Bamaga
1,006 kmIn Muddie
$652.71FUEL
$1179.72GROCERIES
$3,959.84TOTAL SPEND
21FISH CAUGHT

April was another expensive month of ups and downs but hey these happen no matter if you are on the road or at home.

Lets get the downs out of the way first. I finally went to the Dr about my knee and after some scans I have a torn LCL which is the ligament that supports the outside of the knee. Whilst I am lucky it is only a tear and it is not separated it has created a bakers cyst behind my knee which seems to be the source of the pain. So reluctantly I had to pull out of the marathon but it is better to look after myself for the long run.

On the positive with the Maxtrax arriving we had our first camp out since arriving in Cape York and we had a ball. It has been over 18 months since we really went camping last with saving and getting organised for the trip. We checked out Ussher and Sadd Points in the Jardine River Resource Reserve and what spectacular locations. We have already completed reviews on both of them if you click on our “Campsites” tab you will be able to check them out.

This month had the large bill of Muddie’s rego, our big Coles Online order and some bits and pieces that needed to be replaced. One thing I will say is Cape York is hard on your gear resulting in higher wear and tear.

But this is how we went….

Distance Travelled = 1,006 km

Expenses

Fuel: $652.71
Groceries: $1,179.72
Eating Out: $213.68
Alcohol: $345.00
Accommodation: $13.10
Truck: $784.51
Camping Gear: $188.41
Boat/Fishing Gear: $0.00
Entertainment: $0.00
Personal: $0.00
Bills: $27.56
Misc/Incidentals: $555.15
Permits/Licences: $0.00
Total: $ 3,959.84
Weekly Average: $923.96

Facts

Cheapest Fuel: $2.01 (BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld)
Most Expensive Fuel: $2.02 (BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld)
Big Things Seen: None
Nights Free Camped: 2
Nights Low Cost Camped: 1
Nights Caravan Parks: 0
Nights Family Friends Sitting: 26
Times We Set Up Full Camp: 0
Longest Stay (Nights): 26
Shortest Stay (Nights): 1
Days On The Road: 3
Boat Trips: 0
Fish Caught: 21
Fish Caught - Brendon: 19
Fish Caught - Leah: 2

Favourites

Location - Brendon: Sadd Point, Cape York Qld
Location - Leah: Sadd Point, Cape York Qld
Campground - Brendon: Sadd Point, Cape York Qld
Campground - Leah: Sadd Point, Cape York Qld
Fishing Spot - Brendon: Sadd Point, Cape York Qld
Fishing Spot - Leah: n/a
Activity - Brendon: Beach combing at Ussher Point
Activity - Leah: Exploring the Jardine River Resource Reserve
Meal Out - Brendon: Steak - Bamaga Tavern, Cape York Qld
Meal Out - Leah: Fish and Chips - Loyalty Beach Campground, Cape York Qld

Summary

So this month we came in at an average spend of $962.84 per week…. but it has set us up for food and Muddie is now registered for another year.

Our high food expense will cover us for food till we leave the Croc Tent next month. We will be heading to the Weipa for a few days for the Weipa Fishing Classic. There is a Woolworths there so we can restock again then when we know where to next.

After going out exploring this month we are super pumped to get out there and do some more exploring. But I think what we are both looking forward to the most is getting down to the Old Telegraph Track it is something that we have been keen to do all wet season and it will finally be dried out enough to take it on.

Each month we will provide you with the information about how much life on the road is costing us and some facts about what we have done that month.

Month Five on the Road – March 2019

MONTH #5
Bamaga
1,059 kmIn Muddie
$432.83FUEL
$514.42GROCERIES
$3,925.78TOTAL SPEND
35FISH CAUGHT

Well it felt like it was a VERY wet month and with Tropical Cyclone Trevor hitting the lower regions of Cape York it was also a windy one. So, needless to say it was a quite month up here at the Croc Tent.

So even without doing much it was an expensive month with the replacement of the maxtrax, tablet and go pro.  Food was also up as we started to hit the end of the supplies from our Coles Online order.

One down for the month was that I hurt my knee and which meant that I was unable to train for the marathon that I was really looking forward to. I had decided due to the injury that maybe I am best to complete the half marathon if I recover in times.

The weather didn’t stop Brendon from heading out fishing and there was some good catches this month including some sharks from the wharf at Seisia.

This is how we went…

Distance Travelled = 1,059 km

Expenses

Fuel: $432.83
Groceries: $514.42
Eating Out: $239.42
Alcohol: $0.00
Accommodation: $0.00
Truck: $598.00
Camping Gear: $134.70
Boat/Fishing Gear: $63.59
Entertainment: $1.00
Personal: $79.99
Bills: $139.43
Misc/Incidentals: $1,722.40
Permits/Licences: $0.00
Total: $ 3,925.78
Weekly Average: $886.47

Facts

Cheapest Fuel: $1.96 (BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld)
Most Expensive Fuel: $2.01 (BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld)
Big Things Seen: None
Nights Free Camped: 0
Nights Low Cost Camped: 0
Nights Caravan Parks: 0
Nights Family Friends Sitting: 31
Times We Set Up Full Camp: 0
Longest Stay (Nights): 31
Shortest Stay (Nights): 0
Days On The Road: 0
Boat Trips: 0
Fish Caught: 35
Fish Caught - Brendon: 29
Fish Caught - Leah: 6

Favourites

Location - Brendon: Seisia, Cape York Qld
Location - Leah: Roonga Point, Cape York Qld
Campground - Brendon: Roonga Point, Cape York Qld
Campground - Leah: Roonga Point, Cape York Qld
Fishing Spot - Brendon: Seisia Wharf, Cape York Qld
Fishing Spot - Leah: Seisia Wharf, Cape York Qld
Activity - Brendon: Trip to the mouth of the Larydinia
Activity - Leah: Trip to the mouth of the Larydinia
Meal Out - Brendon: Steak & Chips, Bamaga Tavern
Meal Out - Leah: Burger, Bamaga Tavern

Summary

An expensive month with an average weekly spend of $886.47.

It is true what they say about not being able to have good stuff and live in Cape York. For this reason we were once again big spenders this month, big ticket items included:

  • Replacement tablet for Leah
  • Replacement Go-Pro
  • Replacement of lost Maxtrax
  • A rechargeable headlamp for Brendon which will save money eventually as we are always buying batteries.

I felt that we have started to find our groove with spending and everything is finally getting sorted. In saying that the weather is starting to dry up, creeks are going down and it is time to start exploring more which means more fuel which means more expense.

Once again we will be continuing on at the Croc Tent for the next month it is hard to believe that we have already been here for 5 months.

~ Leah

Month Four on the Road – February 2019



MONTH #4
Bamaga
1,280 km In Muddie
$568.61 FUEL
$119.26 GROCERIES
$1,625.23 TOTAL SPEND
10 FISH CAUGHT

First things first check out the number of fish Brendon caught…..

Well February was definitely a month of ups and downs….

We had limited opportunity to get out an explore this month due to Care Taking responsibilities so when we did get out we tried to make the most of it. We had a couple of trips out on the boat and caught some fish, I saw and filmed my first croc of the trip. We checked out a few camping areas we have never been to and got some footage and information to make up a review for you.

I decided to do my first marathon which is in the second week of April. I have not done any exercise since leaving Brisbane even then it was restricted to walking to and from public transport. So needless to say I have had to buy something I can wear to train and complete the marathon in as it was not something I had planned on.

Now, whilst February has been our cheapest month it will be leading into one of our most expensive due to the need to replace a few items. Our tablet has died and our action cam will no longer focus and despite attempts to repair both we have been unable to. I brought them in the same purchase back in 2014 so for tech gear these days I guess they have had a good run.

Also the weld on the bracket that holds our Max Trax on our spare wheel broke and our Max Trax fell off. By the time we realised and headed back someone had already picked them up. And despite the sign out the front and the post on the Facebook community noticeboard they were not returned even with the offer of a reward.  I am absolutely devastated as there were two sets including my purple ones that Brendon often jokes that they are the only purple set cause no one else would buy them.

This is how we went….

Distance Travelled = 1,280 km

Expenses


Fuel: $568.61

Groceries: $119.26

Eating Out: $79.14

Alcohol: $88.00

Accommodation: $0.00

Truck: $0.00

Camping Gear: $264.00

Boat/Fishing Gear: $28.01

Entertainment: $0.00

Personal: $308.86

Bills: $0.00

Misc/Incidentals: $169.35

Permits/Licences: $0.00


Total:
$
1,625.23
Weekly Average: $406.31

Facts


Cheapest Fuel: $1.82 (BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld)

Most Expensive Fuel: $1.96 (BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld)
Big Things Seen: None
Nights Free Camped: 0

Nights Low Cost Camped: 0
Nights Caravan Parks: 0
Nights Family Friends Sitting: 28
Times We Set Up Full Camp: 0
Longest Stay (Nights): 28
Shortest Stay (Nights): 0
Days On The Road: 0
Boat Trips: 3
Fish Caught: 10
Fish Caught - Brendon: 10
Fish Caught - Leah: 0

Favourites

Location - Brendon: Siesia, Cape York Qld (not alot of actual towns up here)
Location - Leah: Siesia, Cape York Qld (not alot of actual towns up here)
Campground - Brendon: Roonga Point, Cape York Qld (we didn't stay but it was really nice when we went to look)
Campground - Leah: Roonga Point, Cape York Qld (we didn't stay but it was really nice when we went to look)
Fishing Spot - Brendon: Seisia Wharf, Cape York Qld
Fishing Spot - Leah: Fly Point, Cape York Qld
Activity - Brendon: Exploring the local free campsites
Activity - Leah: Exploring the local free campsites
Meal Out - Brendon: Chips from the bakery (Leah doesn't know..shhh!), Bamaga Bakehouse Qld
Meal Out - Leah: Cheese & Bacon Rolls, Bamaga Bakehouse Qld

Summary

So another month without a budget as such and I think we did pretty well coming in with a weekly average spend of $406.31.

With minimal money spent on food and no bills except for Brendon’s telephone we thought it may be time to purchase a few things that we needed or needed replacing:

  • Light weight hiking tent – We sold our swag before leaving mainly due to the weight. It was also a little impractical as I wanted to do some multi-day hikes.
  • Our personal expenses were up but included:
    • Some clothes for training and running in the marathon. It was not something I packed for or even owned in the past.
    • Another Ninja Shark snorkle mask pack so we both have one.

So looking forward to March we know it is going to be an expensive one with the replacement of the Maxtrax, camera and tablet. We noticed that fuel has gone up over the past few weeks so fuel expenses will also increase. We may also need to by some more food soon.

We hope by the month we will have some content available to help you make the most of your trip to Cape York.

Once again we will be staying with the Croc Crew (Croc Tent Family) but we also have lots of plans to get out there and explore the Cape.

Month Three on the Road – January 2019

MONTH #3
Bamaga
717 kmIn Muddie
$350.88FUEL
$927.36GROCERIES
$4,773.85TOTAL SPEND
1FISH CAUGHT

Well I can now say with confidence that having a strict budget like so many other people travelling is just not going to work for us. So, these posts will be information on our expenses for the trip and how much we spend each month unrestricted not how much we were allowed to spend.

That being said we spent a lot again in January but this was mainly due to the payment of our annual premium for our health insurance and a Coles order with food for the next 6 weeks.

January had quite a bit of bad weather and we had Care Taker responsibilities to attend to but despite that we did get away on a couple of small drives. We headed to the tip for the first time since moving up here which seems crazy.

The tinny was launched for the first time in Jackey Jackey Creek, Cape York, Qld (there is a blog post about that adventure) and there was other fishing trips in January.

So this is how we went…..

Distance Travelled = 717 km

Expenses

Fuel: $350.88
Groceries: $927.36
Eating Out: $49.73
Alcohol: $305.00
Accommodation: $0.00
Truck: $12.00
Camping Gear: $153.41
Boat/Fishing Gear: $241.46
Entertainment: $0.00
Personal: $314.49
Bills: $1,954.30
Misc/Incidentals: $415.22
Permits/Licences: $50.00
Total: $ 4,773.85
Weekly Average: $1,077.97

Facts

Cheapest Fuel: $1.82 (BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld)
Most Expensive Fuel: $1.88 (BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld)
Big Things Seen:
Nights Free Camped: 0
Nights Low Cost Camped: 0
Nights Caravan Parks: 0
Nights Family Friends Sitting: 31
Times We Set Up Full Camp: 0
Longest Stay (Nights): 31
Shortest Stay (Nights): 0
Days On The Road: 0
Boat Trips: 2
Fish Caught: 1
Fish Caught - Brendon: 1
Fish Caught - Leah: 0

Favourites

Location - Brendon: Seisia, Cape York Qld
Location - Leah: Seisia, Cape York Qld
Campground - Brendon: n/a
Campground - Leah: n/a
Fishing Spot - Brendon: Jackey Jackey Creek, Cape York Qld
Fishing Spot - Leah: Jackey Jackey Creek, Cape York Qld
Activity - Brendon: Launching the tinny for the first time at Jackey Jackey Creek, Cape York Qld
Activity - Leah: Visiting the Tip, Cape York, Qld
Meal Out - Brendon: Dim Sims, BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld
Meal Out - Leah: Dim Sims, BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld

Summary

So our weekly average for the month of January 2019 is $1,077.97. Still a little higher that what I originally thought but it is what it is.

This month we had a few large expenses that will be either a one off expense or set us up for a little while, they included:

  • Coles Online Order (6 weeks of food)
  • Annual Health Insurance
  • New Shoes for Brendon
  • Ninja Shark Snorkle Mask for Leah

Fingers crossed that this is the end of the large expenses for a while at least.

We also discovered that with the humid weather and the consistent rain of the wet season in Cape York we have now got some mold developing on the awning walls of the camper. So to help fix this we have purchased some dehumidifiers for when it needs to be shut up. We purchased some products to remove the mold and reseal the canvas to prevent it coming back. This will be applied when the weather starts to dry up, in the meantime it is spraying the canvas every day with a mix of vinegar and water.

Next month we will continue on as Care Takers of the Croc Tent, Cape York.  We are hoping to get out there explore a bit more of the Cape and share our adventures with you.

~Leah

Month Two on the Road – December 2018



MONTH #2
Bundaberg > Bamaga
2,048 km In Muddie
$877.97 FUEL
$1009.04 GROCERIES
$3,834.33 TOTAL SPEND
4 FISH CAUGHT

Wow…. What a month December was, it was our first full month living in the camper and we also started as Care Takers of the Croc Tent in Cape York, QLD. December was a steep learning curve as we got use to life in the camper, the ins and outs of living in a remote location and the role of Care Taker.

One of the benefits of being Care Takers is that we have a permanent secure and free base for the next few months. With the luxury of being able to unhitch and know the camper is safe we have the freedom to explore Cape York. So whilst we weren’t towing between destinations we still did a lot of driving making as much as possible of our time here. We have noticed that the price of fuel rarely changes and for the past few weeks it has been $1.82 for diesel.

Groceries generally cost a little more than in other areas due to transportation costs. But we were pleased to find out that locals can get their groceries through Coles Online however, I would not suggest this as an option if you are just visiting. We had a large order of groceries delivered on the 31st December 2018 which both Brendon and I were very excited to see arrive. There had been terrible weather and we were concerned that the boat would be late or for safety reason the unloading would be delayed. We had been craving some snacks like chips and lollies and because they were not “required” we had not wanted to buy them at the local prices.

With our rushed effort to make it to Cape York before the turn in the weather we did a quick 30 minute run around of Woolworths in Mareeba and that was it for our food preparation. To say we were disorganised would infer that there was some kind of organisation which there wasn’t. Unfortunately this total lack of organisation resulted in lots of additional trips into town to get stuff, pushing fuel and food expenses up more than we had hoped. We did still have a lot of the pre-made dinners (that were prepared at my Parent’s house, thanks Mum!) so we ate those most nights.

Last month with all the large expenses our average WEEKLY cost was $4,241.52, I can happily say that our total MONTHLY spend for December is a LOT less than that. We have come in at total spend of $3,834.33 for the MONTH.

So for December and for the second month running I didn’t prepared a budget prior to the start of the month, but this is how we went….

Distance Travelled = 2,048 km

Expenses


Fuel: $877.97

Groceries: $1,009.04

Eating Out: $11.90

Alcohol: $210.00

Accommodation: $16.00

Truck: $0.00

Camping Gear: $0.00

Boat/Fishing Gear: $0.00

Entertainment: $0.00

Personal: $20.00

Bills: $197.94

Misc/Incidentals: $1,355.48

Permits/Licences: $136.00


Total:
$
3,834.33
Weekly Average: $865.82

Facts


Cheapest Fuel: $1.82 (BP, Bamaga Cape York Qld)

Most Expensive Fuel: $1.87 (BP, Bamaga Cape York Qld)
Big Things Seen: None
Nights Free Camped: 0

Nights Low Cost Camped: 1
Nights Caravan Parks: 1
Nights Family Friends Sitting: 29
Times We Set Up Full Camp: 3
Longest Stay (Nights): 29
Shortest Stay (Nights): 1
Days On The Road: 3
Boat Trips: 1
Fish Caught: 4
Fish Caught - Brendon: 4
Fish Caught - Leah: 0

Favourites

Location - Brendon: Seisia, Cape York Qld
Location - Leah: Seisia, Cape York Qld
Campground - Brendon: Moreton Telegraph Station, Cape York Qld
Campground - Leah: Moreton Telegraph Station, Cape York Qld
Fishing Spot - Brendon: Moreton Telegraph Station, Cape York Qld
Fishing Spot - Leah: Seisia Wharf, Cape York Qld
Activity - Brendon: Swimming at Fruit Bat Falls, Cape York Qld
Activity - Leah: Swimming at Fruit Bat Falls, Cape York Qld
Meal Out - Brendon: Hot Chips, BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld
Meal Out - Leah: Hot Chips, BP Bamaga, Cape York Qld

Summary

Our weekly average is down to $865.82 which is $3,375.70 less than last months which is awesome. It seems that most people say $500 per week when travelling so we may have to look at a few things in the next few months, but there is a strong feeling that a strict budget isn’t going to suit us.

Our large purchase for the month was a metal detector it accounts for 1/3 of our expenditure for the month but is a one off purchase and will hopefully ‘eventually’ pay its self-off.

This month our fuel costs didn’t vary too much from November when we drove from Newcastle to Charters Towers with a lot of running around in Bundaberg. This is primarily from doing trips into town every day we did a couple of small trips out and about too.

The Coles Online order and the remaining premade dinners should set us up for the next 5 weeks, so whilst it was a big expense it should make things better for the next month.

We did review and change the plan of Leah’s phone. She was on a $79 per month plan with Optus and with no Optus reception here is was a waste of money. She has changed over to a SIM only plan which only costs $30 for 90 days.

We are also reviewing our current health insurances as we are sure we can get a better deal by reducing cover. We don’t want to cancel it yet as we don’t want the lifetime cover loading if we need to start it again.

As we adjust more to how things work up here we aim to reduce our expenses further and attempt to be more organised.

Each month we will provide you with the information about how much life on the road is costing us and some facts about what we have done that month.

Next month we will be continuing on as Care Takers of the Croc Tent, Cape York.