Started in Aug ’15 when we browse Air As*a cheap ticket for 2016 holiday (you’ve got to have 2016 estimation holiday date in hand before). If you asked me why Australia? I need cheap ticket for holiday & see what to see from there. So 2016 holiday destination is based on cheap ticket? Yes & options that we can do driving trip as well. I’ve researched before that Australia has 5 best driving trip route, here is the list :
- Perth-Busselton-Albany-Esperance-Perth, South WA (2400 km, need min 5 days)
- Perth-Geraldton-Exmouth-Newman-Perth, North WA (3200 km, need min 6 days)
- Melbourne-Great Ocean Road-Adelaide (900 km, need min 4 days)
- Darwin-Alice Springs-Port Augusta-Adelaide (3000 km, need min 6 days)
- Brisbane-Cairns-Brisbane (1800 km, need min 6 days)
I assumed driving rate 800 km/day & spent 1 day in destination city. Holiday date that fit 5 days is on 13-17 Aug 2016. The cheapest ticket that I can find is Denpasar-Perth return at IDR 2.2 million. Jakarta-Denpasar by Lio* Air is IDR 1.1 million.
Visa Australia is next! I arranged my visa via VFS in Kuningan City at IDR 1.6 million (bring cash), use form 1419 subclass 600 for tourist, click here. It took max 15 working days til visa approved (mine is 3 days), they will sent visa via email, the requirement are :
- Passpor with min 6 month before expiry date & 2 color pic with white background 4*6 cm
- Sponsor letter from company that explain you’ll be back to Indonesia to work
- Family card copy & ID card, better if you can bring the original document
- Last 3 month active bank account statement (better provide min twice of budget trip), ie AUD 100/day, you’ll go 5 days, save min AUD 1000 in bank account. TIPS! I knew later that the more you put in account, will be granted 3 years visa rather than 1 year
Check temperature! For clothing decision. Summer in Australia is between November & February. We’re going to Western Australia in August. Perth – Busselton – Albany temperature 15-17 deg C, Esperance temperature 18-21 deg C, York temperature is 21-23 deg C. Overall temperature is 15-23 deg C. Weather forecast said that few days gonna be rain so we bring waterproof jacket for trekking.
Rent car or public transport? We decide to rent car to explore Busselton – Albany – Esperance & use public transport while in Perth. As for the rent car, I was comfy with Apex Car Rent while in NZ, but they didn’t have the branch in Perth. Then we go to this site to check cheapest & recommended car rent. The sole car rent is at AUD 160 for 4 days but only Hertz that provide reduces lialibity to 0 at cost AUD 32/day. They charged GPS at AUD 11/day, so total car rent became AUD 83/day. Later I knew that Australia has expensive car rent but cheap public transport, on the contrary with NZ). Do research then we found Bayswater car rent in Guilford Rd, click here, but we have to return the car on same place & ride public transport to go here (outside airport). We rent Toyota Corolla Hatch 2011 matic at AUD 83/day for 3 days that cost us AUD 248 (NZD 62/day when we used Apex in NZ), they charged additional AUD 100 as deposit & you’ll get it back after returned the car (the process took approx 3 weeks). That price is included top cover (damage excess AUD 0), extends area of use until > 500 km (because we included Esperance, you can eliminate this cost if you just drive until Albany), & GPS (sole car rent price is AUD 25/day).
10 TIPS for renting car abroad
- Wherever you rent car, always choose options top cover (damage excess AUD 0). It will freed us from damage lialibility that is included in the contract.
- Better rent GPS, sometimes signal lost in certain are if using google maps, we experienced it in NZ. As anticipation, we use maps.me, an offline map app.
- Do loop route (pick up & return at same place) rather than drop on different place, they prob charge higher, as car provider will need to relocate the car with fee.
- The longer you rent the car, usually the rent price drop around AUD 3-5/day.
- Try to rent the car outside airport, as prob there are airport fee charged to the car.
- There are no significant price if you rent manual or automatic transmission in Australia or NZ, except if you decided to rent from Europcar.
- Choose car with age max 7-8 years & has <=1800 cc for fuel price budgeting. I assumed 1500 cc car will need 1 litre to go 15 km, 1800 cc car will need 1 litre to go 12.5 km & 2000 cc car will need 1 litre to go 10 km, CMIIW. Optimized route before departing, count your km based on places you want to visit using google maps, then usually I multiplied it using factor 1.4 (for when we get wrong direction & wanna go to places outside itineraries), divided by 12.5 km (we rent 1800 cc car) multiplied again by fuel price (AUD 1.3/litre) so we get fuel price budget estimation.
- Always asked what the petrol they used (ours are unleaded 91, the green handle, in Bayswater car they wrote it on fuel tank), do research / asked how much is the car fuel tank capacity (usually 40-50 litre) & how many it is filled already before departing. If you wanna free from hazzle when picked up the car, you can ask full to full fuel options (they fill the fuel full & you have to return the car with full fuel as well). When we were in NZ, we didn’t used this options & they returned the excess money on fuel.
- Checked which area that requires highway fee (South part of Western Australia & NZ didn’t required highway fee).
- Except you are very experienced driver, choose wisely which country you want to drive car rent. I would recommend country that obey the traffic rules. Also check in your international driving license (you’ll need to have one), whether it covers the country you choose. For additional driver in NZ & Australia only required your origin country driving license & additional driver fee is depend on car rent provider you choose (in Bayswater & Apex, it’s free).
Driving car in Australia. The steer wheel is on the right side of car & drive on the left side of road. There are no specific tips as the traffic regulations is similar with international.
Operating cost estimation. Australian currency is AUD. AUD to IDR is 9.8k that time. I divided the budget into 3 category, visa & flight (IDR 4.9 million), expense that can be paid using credit card (hotel AUD 120/day for 2 person, car AUD 62/day for 2 person, national park entrance AUD 12/vehicle for each Torndirrup National Park, Fitzgerald National Park, Cape Le Grand National Park), cash expense (fuel AUD 1.3/litre, bus average 4 AUD/one way for 2 zones, eat AUD 50/day, SIM card AUD 25, etc). For resuming :
- Visa & flight IDR 4.9 million
- Hotel IDR 2.35 million for 4 days per person
- Car IDR 1.25 million for 3 days per person
- National Park entrance IDR 175k for 3 National park per person
- Fuel IDR 1.25 million per person for 2400 km in 3 days need 192 litre or 4 times refill
- Eat IDR 2 million per person for 4 days and 8 times eat
- Sim Card IDR 250k for 500 MB data for 10 days
- Bus IDR 300k for 2 days 8 times trip
- Souvenirs IDR 500k
- Groceries & snack IDR 200k
Total budget trip estimation is IDR 13 million. Cash needed is IDR 4.3 million. I brought 20% contingency, so total cash I brought is AUD 550. Next we shall see the must visit destination while in South part of Western Australia, ciao!