Travel Australia


Why is Travel in Australia so expensive?

I was so thrilled to get a return flight to Uluru from Brisbane for $189.00.

Then Jetstar called. They had to cancel the flight from Brisbane, and the only one they could give me in exchange was one leaving at 6am from Brisbane Airport. I explained that I live on Russell island and could not make that time, but they said no other, so I accepted it. This meant that I would have to overnight in Brisbane, so I could get a taxi to take me to the airport by 5am to get the flight to Uluru. I booked a hotel at the cost of $100.00, and a taxi would cost me another $25 or $30. Then there is travel to Brisbane bus, train and ferry approximately $12.50 for a senior with a Go-card.

I started searching accommodation at Uluru. The only resort is 20 kms from Uluru and to see the sunrise or sunset I need to take a tour at the cost of $80 a day.  (or a Hop on Bus $210 for  3-Day Pass to travel to Uluru). That is the cheapest option. There were others which were triple that price or more. Backpacker dorms of 28 people are $48 a night so a week’s dorm accommodation would cost me approximately $350.00. The cheapest single room was $184 and a week would cost $1,288.00. Other rooms were $280 plus a night…some prices bordered on ridiculous.

I would like to visit Kings Canyon while I am there. The cost of travel to there is $150.00 each way so $300 return. To go to Alice Springs was $180.00 each way, $360 return. In view of this I decided to book a car as a cheaper option with flexibility. As I am a senior I incurred extra charges making a 4-day booking $455.00. As the 7 days was too expensive, I decided I would have 4 days travel, take a 3-man tent and camp, as camping there was $20 a night at Kings Canyon, and $39 at Uluru and free at Curtin Springs 72 kms from Uluru.

So, I planned the trip differently based on camping. I would need to take a throw or blanket, a torch for light, and if the camping was too hard, I could sleep in the car, so I booked a larger vehicle. I discovered petrol was going to cost me $200.00 if I drove to Kings Canyon and back. I also needed an Uluru Park Pass, so paid $25 for a 5-day pass, which I decided would be enough for my stay.

I planned to collect the car from the Airport, drive and look at Uluru and the Resort, then drive to Curtin Springs for my first night of camping. Next Day drive to Kings Canyon, do the Rim walk and drive back. Because of Petrol cost, I was not going to Alice Springs, but overnight again at Curtin Springs and see Mt Connor and maybe the salt Lakes. To stay at Curtin Springs Cattle Station was $184 a night cheapest option. I wanted to do the Salt Lake walk but the cost for that is $1,335, with a full moon walk at $620…. all walks were sadly well out of my affordability.

All this was now sorted so day 3 and 4 I drive to Uluru using my 5-day pass to take photos and see the sunrise and sunset from the vantage points I could get to with no further charge because I had the car. Then Day 4 to 7 I hit major problems. I called to make the booking to be told that temperatures were 38 degrees and very hot day and night, and I would find the tent very hot. I could hire blankets from them for $20 deposit. So, I book dorm accommodation but only for 2 days as dorms booked out on the 6th, so I book camping. Then I worry about what I do there as now I have no car, and every trip costs money. The cheapest option was to book a 3 day Hop on Bus Pass which is $210.00.

I could have kept the car for 3 extra days for the same amount.

This is starting to get ridiculous. I still have not added costs of water and food…that would be at least $30 – $40 a day so another $250.00 for food. I start to rethink the trip. It will be hot, dusty, and I will be trying to sleep on the bare ground with one or two blankets in the heat. There will be flies, and I will be alone in a strange area with my bag and belongings traveling unknown roads in areas I have been before. I start to total what its going to cost me, adding on return travel with the sky train costing another $25 and then the bus, train and ferry back to the islands. I decide I would rather use the money to go to Bali or Singapore or Vietnam or China or just travel in my Campervan.

I call Thrifty and cancel my car, then Booking and cancel the hotel, then Uluru and cancel the dorm, I did not have to book to camp…and I will stay home instead and have a few nights at Surfers for my birthday. Jetstar was most unfriendly, offered me no alternatives and cancelled my flights. I have no refund because it was a special fare.

Why is it so expensive to travel in Australia?

Marguerite Carstairs©

Uluru-Ayers-Rock-Map-595Stuart Wells

Published by Ladymaggic

Artist, Traveller, Researcher and Writer, currently living in Australia where I photograph and share experiences and events as I travel. Travel photos and videos about many places in Australia​ and the world

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