Van Life Australia Monthly Budget Report – March 2021

Welcome to another Van Life Australia Budget post, where we open up completely about our expenses while travelling and living in our campervan full-time. This is our monthly breakdown for March 2021.

Ever wanted to know just how much it costs to do #vanlife in Australia? Well, you’re in luck because that’s exactly the kind of information we aim to share with you!

We’ve been super diligent by keeping track of every dollar we spend as we cruise around Australia in our Sprinter campervan, and this has allowed us to figure out what aspects of this full-time van life costs us the most, and where we can save money.

This has led us to create this Van Life Australia budget series, and we’re excited to bring you our tenth edition.

You can read our last monthly budget posts here:

Want to know what we spent in March of 2021? Read on…

Don’t forget to follow us on social media, where we share the real story of what it’s like travelling and living in a van full-time!

Cape Pillar Sunset Orange Day 2
Sunset from the Blade on the Three Capes Track

Van Life Australia Budget – March 2021

What you’ll find below is just how much we spent living in a van full-time for the entire month of March.

First up, a few notes:

  • This budget does not include any of our business expenses or income.
  • Some things in here are not necessarily van life-related, but we decided to include everything anyway in the interest of being transparent.
  • We don’t splurge, but we definitely don’t try to live as cheaply as possible.
  • We are vegetarians, so we save money on meat, but we also eat healthily, so our food costs are higher than some people might spend living on the road.
  • This is the cost for two people.
  • The budget doesn’t include things like car registration and insurance, which we pre-pay yearly, unless it falls into the current month we’re documenting.


This month we spent the month still travelling around Tasmania. This will be our last month in this beautiful island state, and we were so sad to leave.

We headed across to Mt Field National Park and Strathgordon, explored down to Cockle Creek then to Bruny Island, around Hobart and down to explore the Tasman Peninsula.

After ending last month exploring Maria Island, we went across Mt Field National Park to do some hiking and further on to see the Gordon Dam. Turns out Marlee is too long and we couldn’t get to the top of the hiking area at Mt Field National Park as the road is thin and windy.

We did the popular lower waterfall circuit which took us to 3 beautiful waterfalls. After Mt Field, we kept heading towards Strathgordon to see the Gordon Dam. This dam is huge.

We headed down to Cockle Creek to hike to the furthest point we could go in Tasmania. We got great weather when we were there. The weather can be extremely harsh in this area.

We stayed for a couple of nights before heading to Bruny Island. This island was great for food tasting, wine and beer tasting and for hiking.

We got back from Bruny Island and explored Hobart. We stayed with my friend just outside of the centre of Hobert on their vineyard. We went to MONA which is an art exhibition and it was very interesting.

We spent the whole day there. Then we left Hobart and explored the little historical town of Richmond, which was beautiful. After the day there we headed down to the Tasman Peninsula.

We hiked out to the end of Cape Raoul to catch the southern lights. It was so magical and peaceful but unfortunately, the clouds rolled in on us and did not go away.

Cape Raoul Camping Milky Way Southern Lights
Managed to grab a quick photo before the clouds come and covered the sky

Then we headed to the Tasman Peninsula to check out Port Arthur Historic Site before going on our 4-day Three Capes Track. This hike was a highlight for us.

The coastline in the Tasman Peninsula is stunning. Jagged rocks and large cliff tops, it’s magical. We left Marlee at the Port Arthur Historical Centre and tracked off.

The cabins were beautiful and the trail was well maintained. We got to hike out to Cape Pillar and Cape Hauy which both were amazing. This track would be great for people with a reasonable fitness level and for all ages. We highly recommend it.

As our time comes to an end in Tasmania, we really enjoyed exploring this state. There is so much to see and do and so many free camps to stay at.

Total Kilometres Driven: 1,445 KM

WHAT WE SPENT – March 2021

Let’s dive into the breakdown of everything.

Note – All prices are in AUD.

Food (Groceries)$865
Food (Dining Out)$213
Accommodation (Campgrounds)$137
Coffee (Take-Away and Aeropress)$20
Phone Bills$103
Laundry + Showers$29
Van Maintenance/Items$62
Entertainment (Spotify, etc)$12
Attractions / Activities$124

Total Cost$2,275
Monthly Van Life Australia Budget March 2021

So there you have it! 

For the month of March 2021, we spent $2,275 on van life in Australia.

This month was a bot over budget for us, but we did stay at a few paid campgrounds, ate out a bit and splurged on groceries because of the Three Capes Track.

Now let’s break down each part for you guys.

FUEL – $387

As we have said in the past posts, fuel was a little more expensive in Tasmania than the mainland. We spent some of the month hiking so no fuel was needed during this time.


We got a lot of groceries from local produce stalls on the side of the road and from supermarkets. The groceries are a bit more here in Tasmania as food is exported in from the mainland.

We tried to stock up when we went to cities and major towns to try and save some money.


We dined out a couple of times this money. There was no special occasion, we just got lazy and bought lunch or dinner. It is nice not to cook sometimes.


We had a mix of half paid accommodation this month. In Mt Field National Park you have to pay for the campground here. It is cheap, central to all the hikes and you get hot showers included.

Then we moved onto Bruny Island which was the same. It is in the national park and you have to pay a small fee to stay at the campground on the neck.

We were lucky to have a friend in Hobart so we stayed there for a few nights.

Then moved on to the Tasman Peninsula which has no free camping at all. We stayed at a private camp on the entrance which was a reasonable price with good phone service for our work then later moved closer to Port Arthur so we could start our 4 day/3 night Three Capes Track.

The cheapest camp on the Tasman Peninsula was at Fortescue Bay but there was no phone reception.

Check out our guide to free camping in Tasmania for more info.

  • Paid Camps – 15
  • Free Camps – 16
Marlee at Fortescue Bay
Marlee at Fortescue Camp at the end of the Three Capes Track

COFFEE – $20

We did not buy many takeaway coffees this month, and we had a stack of beans still with us. This is definitely the best we have done since being on the road.

ALCOHOL – $246

As usual, we caught up with old friends and made new friends.


Our bill is the same every month. I am with Optus and Jarryd is with Telstra. For us working online, we are glad we have both networks to bounce off.

When one doesn’t work, usually the other does. I have 500GB for $48 and Jarryd has 180GB for $55.


We did a lot of laundry this month. We had a very active month with lots of mountain biking and hiking.

We don’t have a lot of clothes so we needed to do laundry more regular as our clothes stunk after these activities.


We went past a well-stocked up chemist so I got some more medication and vitamins so we don’t need to worry later on.


Picked up a few things for the campervan. There are a few little surface rust spots so we treated them before they got worse.


This is for Spotify. This is one subscription we are happy to pay for. We listen to it daily.


We ended up booking for a few random attractions this month, with the biggest expense being MONA in Hobart.

Total Cost – $2,275


There you go everyone – our tenth monthly van life budget.

If you found this helpful at all please leave a comment below, share it with anyone you think will find it useful, and make sure you follow our journey on Instagram and YouTube!

This is the tally of our monthly costs so far on the road. All amounts are in Australia Dollars:

  • 1st month total = $2369 (June)
  • 2nd month total = $2675 (July)
  • 3rd month total = $3460 (August)
  • 4th month total = $4338 (September)
  • 5th month total = $4819 (October)
  • 6th month total = $5447 (November)
  • 7th month total = $3518 (December)
  • 8th month total = $3204 (January)
  • 9th month total = $1707 (February)
  • 10th month total = $2275 (March)


Happy travels!

Alesha and Jarryd

About the Author - Alesha and Jarryd - Van Life Theory

Hi! We're Alesha and Jarryd, the founders of Van Life Theory! We're currently travelling around Australia in our 2008 Mercedes Sprinter campervan and sharing our best experiences, stories, reviews and adventures as we go along. Make sure you follow along on our Instagram and YouTube!

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