If you are wondering whether it’s possible to explore Tasmania on a budget, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together all the details of our 3-month journey in this post about a practical budget for travelling Tasmania in a campervan.
After of exploring the east coast of Australia in our campervan, Marlee, it was time to head to what we had heard was the most beautiful state in the country – Tasmania!
Tassie had been on our travel bucket list forever, and at the beginning of 2021 we finally got the chance to tick it off when we sailed across the Bass Strait with no fixed itinerary and a thousand different things we wanted to do.
We had heard about all the amazing adventures that could be had there, from multi-day treks to gorgeous boat cruises, but being such a remote place we had no idea what things would cost.
In the end we stayed in Tasmania for 3 months, and us being us we kept track of every single dollar we spent the whole time. From fuel to accommodation, attractions to alcohol and everything in between – if it cost us, we documented it.
READ MORE: Check out our complete guide to free camping in Tasmania, guaranteed to help keep your budget in check.
Tasmania is also meant to be a paradise for van lifers thanks to the abundance of free camps around, so bringing Marlee across was a no-brainer.
We bought our ferry tickets for the Spirit of Tasmania, opting for the night sailing so we could wake up in the state, and off we went!
It was about 9.5 hours to get to Devonport and we woke up to the most spectacular sunrise. Welcome to Tasmania!
But it’s safe to say that Tasmania quickly became our favourite place in Australia for van life, especially with all the free camps you can find.
We spent about $1100 on our campervan for a return ticket and 2 passengers with a recliner chair instead of a cabin.
Every campervan or caravan is different as they will price you on the length of the vehicle. We did not add this in our grand total for our Tasmania trip as we wanted to do the costs within the state.
If you would like to see the full breakdown of our monthly spendings down for our 3 months in Tasmania.
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Tasmania on a Budget – 3-Month Travel Costs
Now we are going to break down our 3-month trip travelling around Tasmania out of our campervan.
During our time travelling from west to east and south to north, we drove 5,362km around the state and spent a total of around $8,000, or $2,667 per month.
Here’s how it breaks down:
JANUARY – Exploring the West Coast of Tasmania
This first month in Tassie was massive, and we won’t go into everything we did there during January because that would be an entirely new blog post in itself.
After taking the Spirit of Tasmania we got off the ferry and headed west. We thought this would be better as it was the school holidays and we knew the east coast would be busy.
Our first amazing camp was on the beach at a town called Penguin (and yes, fairy penguins came right up to Marlee), photographed the Bridestowe Lavender Farm and visited a bunch of awesome waterfalls.
We then headed to the wet and lush West Coast, a region not as many visitors get to The weather was wet but that didn’t bother us. This side of Tasmania is raw and rugged, and we visited a lot of beautiful old-growth forests, quaint fishing villages and wild beaches.
After exploring the west coast we headed north to explore the stunning Tarkine region, home to some of Australia’s oldest temperate rainforests and coastal heathland, with strong links to the Tasmanian Aboriginal people. The Tarkine Loop is definitely worth doing.
Our last stop on the east coast was Stanley before heading to Cradle Mountain National Park. We loved exploring this historic fishing village. It was such a picturesque town, and not to be missed if you are visiting Tasmania.
Finally, it was time to end January with a real adventure! We booked ourselves on the legendary Overland Track that goes from Cradle Mountain National Park to Lake St Clair and gave ourselves 8 days to hike 113km through the Tasmanian alpine.
We were both so excited about this hiking adventure. We left Marlee at the Cradle Mountain Visitors Centre and took off with all of our gear and food on our backs.
The Overland Track ended our month of January and we were looking forward to exploring the east coast of Tasmania the following month.
READ MORE: See our full January budget breakdown in this post.
FEBRUARY – Exploring the East Coast of Tasmania
February was an interesting month for us, with a good chunk of it spent sitting by the beach working 14-hour days. The rest of it was spent adventuring, exploring and hiking. Just the way we like it!
We finished off the Overland Track and needed a good camp to wind down and relax. So we headed to an amazing free camp and parked up for the next 14 days.
We parked up at Swimcart Beach in the Bay of Fires and got a spot right on the beach thanks to our friend who saved us a spot. Our spot was incredible, and we could hear the waves lapping on the beach all day and night. It was by far the best campsite we stayed at in all of Tasmania, and it was pretty hard to leave.
After Swimcart Beach we backtracked up to Derby to meet up with some other friends and some mountain biking! On our way out of Derby to head down the east coast we stopped off at Little Blue Lake, which is an old mine and the water is turquoise from the minerals in the dirt.
We made our way down to Freycinet National Park and stayed at a free camp just outside of the town for a few days to do some hiking. After those hikes in Freycinet National Park, we then head toward Triabunna to visit Maria Island. This was another highlight of our trip.
We stayed on the island for 2 nights and camped in our tent. This island amazed us with its history, the hikes with stunning views and lots of furry animals. Definitely do not miss it.
There are so many wombats here! Too many to count. There are also Tasmanian devils but we never saw one. We only heard them in the night.
READ MORE: See our ultimate guide to free camping in Australia!
MARCH – Exploring the Southern End of Tasmania
This was our last month travelling around Tasmania. After passing through Hobart, we headed across to Mt Field National Park to do some hiking.
Our first stop was Strathgordon to check out the Gordon Dam. This dam is huge. From there we headed down to Cockle Creek to hike to the furthest point we could go in Tasmania. We had great weather when we were there and did some hiking.
After Cockle Bay, we headed to Bruny Island to do some more hiking, see the lighthouse and try some food and taste some beer and wine.
We got back from Bruny Island and explored Hobart. We went to MONA, an art exhibition, and spent the whole day there because it was so interesting.
Following that, 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 to check out Port Arthur Historic Site before going on our 4-day Three Capes Track. This hike was a highlight for us. We highly recommend it.
As our time came 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: 5,362KM
Our Tasmania Travel Budget – What We Spent in 3 Months
Here is a breakdown of our spending for the 3 months of exploring Tasmania.
Let’s dive into the breakdown of everything.
Note – All prices are in AUD.
|Fuel / Transport||$1663|
|Food (Dining Out)||$347|
|Coffee (Take-Away and Aeropress)||$165|
|Entertainment (Spotify, Netflix, etc)||$36|
|Attractions / Activities||$1514|
Now let’s break down each part even further. Over the 3 months, we spent a total of $8,000 AUD, which is about $2,667 per month.
We are not the cheapest when it comes to our budget. We do splurge out on items from time to time. And we do not mind a drink now and then. We also drink too much coffee and we definitely do not budget when it comes to our food shops.
Please keep this in mind as your budget may be higher or lower, depending on your preferences. But this is a good estimate you a Tasmania road trip.
ACCOMMODATION (CAMPGROUNDS) – $267
Tasmania has down is the best state in Australia when it comes to free camping. The camps were amazing. Some of the best free camps we have ever stayed out in all the time we have lived in a van in Australia.
A majority of the camps are unpowered, which was perfect for us as Marlee is an off-grid campervan, complete with a large battery system and solar panels.
Our campsites ranged from staying deep in the forest under Australia’s oldest temperate rainforests to staying right (literally) on the beach. You can stay at these camps anywhere from 48 hours up to 28 days for free. How good is that?!
Some of the camps are just a place to park for the night. But others have toilets, showers, laundry and decent phone reception. Best of all they are all FREE!
We found all our camps on the app WikiCamp which we highly recommend you getting before travelling around in a campervan or caravan in Australia.
Over our three months of travelling we stayed at:
- Paid Camps – 20
- Free Camps – 69
As there are so many free camps around Tasmania, you will only have to pay for campgrounds every now and then. That is if you need to be plugged in for electricity, water or plumbing.
Around Hobart and on the Tasman Pinnacle there are near no free camps so you will have to pay for camping if you intend to be in those areas.
FUEL/TRANSPORT – $1663
Surprisingly the price of fuel was not that much more expensive than the mainland of Australia. We looked for the well-known fuel and we also try to fill Marlee up with Premium Diesel. That is a little more expensive than regular diesel but it is better for Marlee and we look after that girl.
We did drive in circles sometimes during our times in Tasmania as we didn’t have a plan. We accidentally missed places and drove back to see them. Have a plan if you go and this will save you money in your fuel budget!
Some of our budget for the Fuel/Transport section was for the transfer after we completed the Overland Track and for our travels to Maria Island.
FOOD (GROCERIES) – $2,415
The groceries were a little more expensive than the prices on the mainland. The giant supermarkets like Coles and Woolworths were a little expensive. But the prices at IGAs in the remote area were very high due to their locations.
There are independent growers and bakers that we came across and their produce and bread were amazing!
If you do see any stalls on the side of the road, do stop and purchase their items. They are way better than what you will find in the stores.
FOOD (DINING OUT) – $347
We caught up with a few new friends in Tasmania that we met on the road or we had known through social media.
It was nice to get out of the campervan and have a meal in a restaurant every now and then since we have all been not allowed to for such a long time. This is the main reason we eat out, when we’re catching up with people.
We also had to stop at the bakeries sometimes for the famous Australia pies. Well, veggie pies for us.
COFFEE – $165
Other than making coffee in the campervan with our Aeropress, we also like to go out to nice cafes for a drink sometimes.
When we would go out and get coffee, we would try to catch up with people and make it a treat.
ALCOHOL – $666
Our spending on alcohol was high and something every month we say we need to watch. With van life you get caught up in meeting new people and a way to socialise is to take a drink and sit around the fire and have a chat.
So on one hand we blew the budget on alcohol, but on the other hand we had lots of fun. So was it worth it? You tell us…
PHONE BILLS – $309
This is the same for us every month. Jarryd did transfer his phone plan to Telstra a couple of months back which was a little more expensive. But it is worth having 2 different telecommunication plans in Australia so that when one doesn’t work, the other usually does.
For us working online, we are glad we have both to bounce off. I have 500GB for $48 and Jarryd has 180GB for $55.
We both work full time on both of our businesses so having good internet while we travel is important. We found the signal in Tasmania was not too bad and there were only a few times where we both had no signal at the same time.
LAUNDRY – $68
Laundromats were easy to find in the major towns and cities in Tasmania. We were paying about $5 for a load of clothes to wash and a $1 for 10 minutes in the dryers. This the the average prices for laundry.
Surprisingly we came across one free camp that had free laundry which was amazing.
HEALTH/MEDICAL – $267
During our time in Tasmania we had to get some medication and vitamins from a chemist. There are chemists in every major town and city.
VAN MAINTENANCE/ITEMS – $283
When we were parked up at Forth which is not too far from Devonport, we had some time to get some work down on the campervan. We fixed up some small things on the van that needed to be down.
There are major car shops like Super Cheap Auto and Bunnings in the town of Devonport so it was easy and convenient to get what we wanted.
ENTERTAINMENT – $36
As for entertainment, we only pay for Spotify now which is what we listen to daily. We do not mind paying for this. It is worth it.
We cancelled our Netflix account as we felt we were watching the same tv shows as we couldn’t find anything else. If we wanted to watch a tv show, we would turn to YouTube documentaries or free apps with movies and tv shows.
ACTIVITIES AND ATTRACTIONS – $1514
Over the three months, we did a lot of exploring and did so many activities and went to so many attractions.
We did 2 multi-day hikes which was the Overland Track and the Three Capes Track. Both we had to book and pay a fee for.
We also visited the Mona in Hobart which was an interesting experience. Definitely worth going if you are into alternative art. We enjoyed it.
We visited the Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary does so much for the animal and teaches people about the animal. It has it’s own hospital that you can watch procedures through the window. It is definitely a great place to support.
Total Cost – $8,000
If you are making the effort (and paying the ferry fee!) to take your campervan or caravan to Tasmania you might as well stay long enough to make the cost worthwhile.
For us, three months was the perfect amount of time to explore our newfound favourite Australian state.
But if you don’t have that much time for a road trip, we’d encourage you to spend at least 2-3 weeks exploring this beautiful island. Please feel free to use our Tasmania road trip budget as a starting point for any amount of time you plan to spend exploring Tassie.
We’re sure that whether you free camp or pay to camp, cut back on the coffee and alcohol or spend more than us going out, you’ll find a way to make it work for such an incredible experience!