Fuel Costs when Travelling Australia


"What will my fuel costs be when I Travel Australia?" is a question we are frequently asked. Given that fuel will be one of your major expenses as you travel, we thought we would share our experiences to help you know what to expect, what to budget for fuel, and advice on how to spend less on fuel. After all, what Australian wants to give an oil company any more money than they absolutely have to!

For more advice on different fuel types as you Travel Australia, click on our Diesel Petrol LPG page here or at the bottom of this page.

How many KM around Australia and how much will it cost?

A trip around Australia that involves going all the way around, and seeing most things one would expect to see and allowing for a decent amount of detours, will generally mean driving around 30,000 to 35,000km. This will vary from person to person, but it is a very good rule of thumb from our experience, and that of many other travellers we know and have met.

To establish what your fuel costs may be, you will need to know your cars fuel economy. The easiest way to think about fuel economy is expressed as Litres per 100km. Using Litres per 100km allows a range of really easy calculations, from budgeting, to planning how much fuel you need to carry and distances between fuel stops.

To work out your cars fuel economy in L/100km, set your trip metre to zero when you have filled up, drive as you normally would, and then the next time you fill up record the amount of litres and the km on the trip metre. You then use the following simple formula:

Litres divided by the km, then multiply by 100.

Eg. I fill up with 70 litres of fuel and have travelled 320km

70 litres / 320 km x 100 = 21.8 litres per 100km

Once you know how many litres per 100km your car uses, you simply apply that figure to the trip you are proposing and you will know how many litres you will use. Multiply this figure by the price per litre you expect to pay, and you have a $ amount that will allow you to budget fairly accurately.

Our Fuel Costs

On all of our major trips around Australia, we have kept very detailed records of fuel consumption and purchases, and collated them in an excel spreadsheet to enable accurate analysis.

Our travelling set up is a 1998 Toyota Prado running on LPG and petrol, towing a caravan that weighed up to 1900kg loaded.

Our figures:

  • Fuel economy - 30 Litres per 100km towing on LPG
  • Fuel economy - 20 litres per 100km towing on Petrol
  • Lowest LPG price $0.55/l - Ballarat
  • Highest LPG price $1.39/l - Timber Creek NT
  • Average LPG price $0.906/l
  • Lowest Petrol price $1.33/l
  • Highest Petrol price $2.29/l - Mount Barnett Station Gibb River Road
  • Average Petrol price $1.79/l
  • Cost per km $0.3087
  • Fuel cost per week (8 months around Australia) $258
  • Total fuel cost (8 months around Australia) $8935

These figures are based on a 2008 trip at a time when world oil prices were at an all time high of around $150/barrel. We have used figures from this time because it means that these figures will be conservative compared with current prices, so you should be "covered" if you use them.

Visit our Fuel Saving Tips page to see some great ways we have learned to save money on fuel as you Travel Australia.

Pros and Cons of Diesel LPG Petrol to Travel Australia

More Money Saving Tips as you Travel Australia

Fuel Saving Tips

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