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Budget Campervan Travel

Ready to explore Australia without blowing your budget? Our budget campervan hire options offer the perfect solution for travellers wanting big adventures without the big price tag. Our well-equipped and reliable campervans provide all the freedom and excitement of a road trip, at prices that won't break the bank. Whether it's a short weekend getaway or an epic cross-country journey, we've got the ideal ride for you. Kick off your budget-friendly adventure with us today!


Why Hire a Cheapa Campa for your next campervan road trip

Discover Affordable Rates

Enjoy budget-friendly pricing that lets you tailor your trip to your budget, tastes and preferences. 

Cruise in Well-Equipped Campers

Travel comfortably with fully-equipped campervans that have everything you need.

Flexible Booking Options

Book online, by phone, or in person, making it easy to plan your adventure.

Pet Friendly

Bring along your furry friend for the adventure with our pet-friendly campervan hires.


Budget-friendly must-dos on your next camper road trip

Embark on a budget-friendly campervan road trip and explore Australia’s national parks, visit iconic landmarks, and relax on stunning beaches without breaking the bank. Discover hidden gems and enjoy scenic drives, all while cooking your own meals in your campervan's kitchenette. Visit local markets for fresh produce and unique souvenirs, camp under the stars at low-cost sites, and connect with locals for insider tips on the best affordable spots. Capture lasting memories of your adventure with plenty of photos along the way.

Check out our favourite affordable things to do in cool places around Australia.


Alyssa Tresider
/ Categories: AU Blog

Top Tips for Travelling Australia on a Budget.

Dreaming of an epic Australia road trip without spending a fortune? You're in the right place! Whether you're hitting the road solo or with a group of friends, we've got the top tips to help you explore Australia on a budget. From renting a campervan to finding free activities and budget campgrounds, this guide covers everything you need to make your adventure unforgettable and, most importantly, affordable. Get ready to discover how to travel Australia cheap and enjoy the very best this amazing country has to offer! 


Why you should explore Australia

Australia is a country of stunning diversity — from the iconic Sydney Opera House to the arid Outback to the Great Barrier Reef, there's no shortage of places to explore. Australia road trips offer the perfect opportunity to experience it all. Whether you’re dreaming of parking up in the vast Outback, exploring pristine beaches, hiking through lush rainforests, or simply driving by charming coastal towns — an Australia road trip is the perfect way to see the multifaceted beauty of Australia.  

Better yet, exploring Australia on a road trip allows you to uncover hidden gems that aren't always highlighted in typical travel guides. It also gives you the flexibility to check out the free and low-cost activities in each area. On an Australia road trip, you have the flexibility to visit the serene Pink Lakes in Victoria or discover the quirky art scene in Hobart, go snorkelling in Ningaloo Reef, hike the Overland Track in Tasmania, or go surfing in Byron Bay. 


Our top 15 tips for travelling Australia on a budget

Travelling around Australia on a budget doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the best experiences. With some careful planning and smart choices, you can make your trip affordable while still ticking off those must-do experiences and attractions. In this section, we'll share our top 15 tips, including the best ways to save on accommodation, transportation, food, and activities. From renting a campervan to exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, these tips will help you maximise your budget and plan your ultimate Australia road trip.


1. Rent a campervan

Renting a campervan is one of the best ways to explore Australia on a budget. Cheapa Campa offers affordable options that combine transportation and accommodation, giving you the flexibility to travel at your own pace and explore off-the-beaten-path destinations. With a campervan, you can wake up to a new view every day, whether it's a secluded beach, a national park, or a scenic mountain range.

Not only does renting a van to travel save you money on accommodation, but it also allows you to cook your own meals, reducing dining expenses. Plus, having your own transport means you can easily visit remote areas that might be difficult to reach otherwise. This is particularly beneficial for budget travellers who want to experience the true essence of Australia without the high costs associated with hotels, restaurants and tours.

Image: Lachlan Gardiner


2. Plan your trip during the off-season

Travelling during the off-season is a smart way to save money on your Australia road trip. The off-season varies depending on the region you visit, but generally, it includes the shoulder months outside of peak summer and major holidays. By planning your trip during these times, you can take advantage of lower rental rates for campervans and discounted fees at campgrounds.

During the off-season, you'll also find fewer crowds, making it easier to enjoy popular attractions without the long lines and higher prices. For example, visiting the Great Barrier Reef or Uluru during the off-peak months can provide a more intimate experience while saving you money. Additionally, many national parks and attractions offer seasonal discounts, so it's worth researching the best times to visit each destination to maximise your budget.


3. Use fuel discount apps

Fuel can be one of the major expenses when you're travelling by campervan in Australia, but using fuel discount apps can help you save significantly. Apps like Petrol Spy allow you to compare fuel prices at different stations along your route, ensuring you always get the best deal. Another useful app is FuelMap, which also provides a comprehensive map of fuel prices and locations across the country.

Additionally, some supermarkets and retail chains offer fuel discounts when you spend a certain amount in-store. For instance, Woolworths and Coles often have promotions where you can save a few cents per litre if you shop with them. Keeping an eye out for these deals and planning your fuel stops accordingly can make a big difference in your Australia road trip travel budget. This small but effective strategy helps you stretch your van travel budget further, allowing you to allocate more funds to experiences and activities.


4. Cook your own meals

Eating out frequently can quickly drain your travel funds. As such, one of the best ways to save money on your Australia road trip is to cook your own meals. Opt for accommodation with kitchen facilities or invest in a portable stove for your campervan. This not only saves money but also gives you the flexibility to enjoy meals whenever and wherever you want.

Shopping at local markets and grocery stores is a cost-effective way to stock up on fresh produce and ingredients. Farmers' markets are especially great for finding fresh, local produce at reasonable prices. Looking for some inspiration on campervan-friendly meals? Check out the best meals to cook in a campervan for some delicious and easy recipes perfect for van travel. By preparing your own meals, you can enjoy a variety of foods while keeping your budget in check.


5. Stay in budget campgrounds

Australia offers a wide range of budget-friendly camping options for those travelling in a campervan, including free campsites, national park campgrounds, and affordable holiday parks. Using websites and apps like WikiCamps, the thl Roadtrip app, and CamperMate can help you find suitable spots to stay overnight. These tools provide user reviews, amenities, and prices, making it easier to plan your stops.

Budget campgrounds not only save you money but also offer unique opportunities to connect with other travellers and experience Australia's natural beauty up close. Whether you're camping by the beach, in the forest, or near a bustling town, there's always a budget-friendly option to suit your needs. Some campgrounds even offer basic facilities like toilets, showers, and cooking areas, ensuring you have a comfortable stay without spending a fortune.

Image: Simon Beedle


6. Utilise free and low-cost activities

Australia is brimming with natural attractions that are free or low-cost to visit. National parks, beaches, hiking trails, and botanical gardens provide countless hours of fun and adventure without spending a dime. For instance, on a road trip from Sydney to Brisbane, you could easily hike the stunning trails of the Blue Mountains, snorkel in the clear waters of Jervis Bay, and enjoy a relaxing day at one of the Sunshine Coast’s many pristine beaches.

Many cities also offer free cultural experiences, such as public art installations, festivals, and community events. By taking advantage of these activities, you can have a rich and varied travel experience without overspending. Make sure to research the free and low-cost attractions in each destination you plan to visit to maximise your budget.


7. Take advantage of free city tours

Many Australian cities offer free walking tours that provide an excellent introduction to local history, culture, and attractions. These tours are often run by knowledgeable locals who work for tips, making them an affordable way to learn about the city. Popular cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane all have free walking tours that cover key landmarks and hidden gems.

These tours not only help you get your bearings in a new city but also offer insider tips on the best places to eat, drink, and visit. It's a great way to start your city adventures and decide where you want to spend more time.  


8. Travel with a group

Travelling with friends or family is a great way to reduce costs and make your Australia road trip more enjoyable. Splitting expenses for accommodation, transportation, and food can significantly lower your overall costs. When you rent a travel van, sharing the cost with a group makes it much more affordable. Plus, cooking meals together and sharing the cost of groceries further stretches your budget.

Group travel also means shared experiences and memories, making your trip fun and social. Whether you're exploring national parks, hitting the beach, or discovering new cities, having friends and family along can enhance the adventure. Additionally, some tours and attractions offer group discounts, so travelling in a group can provide financial benefits beyond just splitting costs.

Image: Lachlan Gardiner


9. Use public transportation in cities

When travelling around cities in your campervan, it can often be more economical to park at a campground and use public transportation for the day. Cities like Sydney and Melbourne have efficient and affordable public transportation systems, including buses, trams, and trains. By using public transport, you can save on fuel and parking fees, which can be quite high in urban areas.

Public transportation is also a great way to experience the local culture and get around without the hassle of navigating stressful city traffic. Many cities offer daily or weekly travel passes that provide unlimited travel on public transport, making it easier to budget for your stay. For example, the Myki card in Melbourne or the Opal card in Sydney can be used on various modes of transport, ensuring you get the most out of your urban adventures without breaking the bank.


10. Get a national park pass

Australia is home to numerous stunning national parks that offer some of the best things to do in Australia, from hiking and wildlife spotting to enjoying scenic views and outdoor activities. If you are looking to take advantage of free outdoor activities and plan to visit multiple parks, purchasing a national park pass is a wise investment. These passes allow unlimited entry to participating parks, saving you money on individual entrance fees. For example, the Parks Pass in Tasmania covers entry to all national parks for up to two months, which is perfect for an extended road trip Australia adventure. By having a pass, you can explore these natural wonders without worrying about the cost, making it easier to plan a budget-friendly itinerary. For more information on national parks passes in each state, check out the state national parks websites below: 


11. Look for free Wi-Fi

Staying connected while on the road is important, but internet access can be expensive and add up! Fortunately, many cafes, libraries, and public spaces in Australia offer free Wi-Fi. Use these spots to check emails, update social media, and research your next destination without incurring extra costs.

Some fast food chains and shopping centres also provide free Wi-Fi, making it convenient to stay connected while grabbing a bite to eat or shopping for essentials. Planning your stops to coincide with these free Wi-Fi hotspots can help you manage your budget more effectively and ensure you have internet access when needed.

Image: Byron Smith


12. Research free events and festivals

Australia hosts numerous free events and festivals throughout the year, providing fantastic opportunities for campervan travellers to experience the local culture without spending a lot of money on activities and experiences. From music festivals and food markets to cultural celebrations and community fairs, there’s always something happening.

When planning your road trip itinerary planner, check local tourism websites and community boards for information on free concerts, markets, and cultural festivals. These events not only offer entertainment but also a chance to mingle with locals and immerse yourself in the vibrant Australian culture. Here are a few of the top free events and festivals in each state across Australia to get you started.


Free events and festivals in NSW


Free events and festivals in Queensland


Free events and festivals in Northern Territory


Free events and festivals in South Australia


Free events and festivals in Victoria


Free events and festivals in ACT


Free events and festivals in Tasmania


Free events and festivals in Western Australia


13. Plan your route efficiently

One of the best ways to save on fuel and time during your Australia road trip is by planning your route efficiently. Utilise GPS and mapping apps to find the shortest and most fuel-efficient routes between the destinations on your road trip itinerary. Apps like Google Maps and Waze can help you avoid traffic congestion and identify the quickest routes.

Additionally, planning your stops in advance can help you find the best campgrounds and fuel stations along your route. By mapping out your trip carefully, you can maximise your time exploring and minimise the amount of time spent driving, which is particularly important when travelling long distances in Australia.


14. Pack smart and light

Packing light can make a significant difference when travelling in a campervan. Not only does it save on fuel consumption, but it also provides more space and comfort inside your campervan living space. Bring essential items and versatile clothing to avoid unnecessary purchases on the road. Opt for lightweight, multi-purpose gear that can be easily stored and transported.

Consider packing items that can serve multiple purposes, such as a sarong that can be used as a towel, blanket, or picnic mat. Bring a small first aid kit, reusable water bottles, and portable cooking equipment to save on expenses. By packing smart, you can ensure you have everything you need without overloading your campervan, making your journey more comfortable and efficient.

Image: Simon Beedle


15. Explore off-the-beaten-path destinations

Popular tourist destinations can often be expensive, but seeking out lesser-known spots can offer unique experiences without the high price tags. In fact, exploring rural areas and small towns can often hold some of the best things to do in Australia and provide a more authentic and affordable Australian adventure. These off-the-beaten-path destinations also often have lower accommodation costs, cheaper food options, and free or low-cost activities.

For instance, instead of visiting the crowded beaches of the Gold Coast, you could consider exploring the serene coastal towns of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia, with its equally stunning azure waters. You can also discover hidden gems like the ancient rock formations in the Grampians or the charming town of Albany in Western Australia. For more inspiration on incredible and affordable unique Aussie destinations, check out our list of the top 10 unique places to visit in Australia.


Think Australia sounds like fun?

Exploring Australia on a budget is not only doable but incredibly rewarding. By following these top tips, you can soak up the diverse landscapes, vibrant cities, and rich culture without draining your wallet. From renting a campervan to cooking your own meals, there are countless ways to save money and still have an epic Australia road trip.

So, are you ready to hit the road? Book your Cheapa camper online at Cheapa Campa and pick it up from any Cheapa branch to kickstart your adventure. With smart planning and a dash of adventure, your budget-friendly Australian road trip is just around the corner!


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Campervan Deals

Wanting a deal on your Australia campervan road trip? Look no further than Cheapa Campa! While our campervan hire rates already offer great value, there are often extra special deals to help you hit the road, saving your precious moolah so you can max out the good times on the road. Check out our latest and greatest deals below and get ready to explore with Cheapa Campa.

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Long Hire Offer

Do you love road trips across Australia & New Zealand as much as we do? You're in luck with our Long Hire Offer! If you are travelling for more than 21 days, you will receive 5% off daily vehicle...
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