The newest addition to our sellers in the car market is Digby (from the Netherlands) and Sophie (from France.) They purchased a 95’ Mazda E2000 here in Sydney back in January.
When checking them into the Car Market I asked them about their trip around Australia and if they had any tips for buyers looking at doing something similar. This is what they had to say! – Enjoy.
So guys, welcome back! Tell us where and when you purchased your vehicle?
We flew from Tokyo into Sydney just after New Year and decided that our first 3 days we would dedicate to finding a good van. Both of us are not mechanically minded so it was important to find a vehicle that was going to work well while we travelled. For a while we didn’t find anything we liked but then thanks to Edd and Delz we got a good one!
How long did you stay in Sydney before setting off around Australia?
We spent New Year flying from Tokyo to Sydney which was a little weird. Nobody said happy New Year on the plane but we looked at our watches and celebrated it. We where not in Sydney for long before we set off but managed to check out a lot of the tourist spots like the Opera House and the Botanic gardens, It’s a place that you must visit while over here.
How much did you pay for your van?
We paid $5’500 for our van in peak season. We were happy paying that as it came with loads of camping equipment and added extras that saved us money while travelling!
Our Vehicle is a 1995 Mazda E2000 van. It has reasonably low kilometers of 280,000 and comes with heaps of camping equipment that we have added to since we have owned it!
Looking back, do you think it was worth the money you paid for it?
We thought that it was good value for money given all of the camping equipment that came with it! It also had lower kilometers than a lot of other vans we looked at. It came with a Pink Slip and we got a pre-purchase inspection done before we drove away as we didn’t know much about buying a van, we wanted to be safe.
The thing that I liked most was the LPG engine. I had been warned not to buy a van with LPG as they can be expensive to fix and can have quite a lot of problems but we got our one checked by a mechanic before we drove away.
It is a lot cheaper than unleaded petrol and saved us lots of money in fuel. It cost on average $120 to travel 1000km which is the same as travelling from Sydney to Brisbane.
A lot of travelers give their vehicle a name, Did you?
The previous owners named the van “The Beast” which we didn’t really like so we wanted to change it. After travelling up to Byron way we called our van “Woodgee” It was named after a local surf brand called ‘Mt Woodgee” We got lots of stickers and put them on the side of our van!
So where did you guys travel to?
We drove from Sydney to Cairns and all the way back down again. The main reason we decided to buy was so we could have complete freedom. If you travel for a long time it is also a lot cheaper. We looked into renting a car or taking a bus first and staying in hostels but it would have cost us a lot more money. We could stop off and stay in places that we liked for longer. We made lots and lots of stops along the way.
We used to try our best to find new things that you wouldn’t find on a typical tourist path. We stopped and worked in the Gold Coast for a while. It was amazing waking up in the morning on the beach going for a surf and then going to work.
How long did you Travel for?
We travelled for 3.5 months. We met a lot of people that done the same trip in 4-5 weeks but we wanted to take our time and see as much as possible.
What was your favorite part of Australia?
Two places that really stood out were Crescents head, Queensland and Burleigh Heads, Queensland. They were amazing locations for surfing and not massively over-populated by tourists like Byron Bay and Surfers Paradise.
We wanted to get off the beaten track and explore places where not many people visited. We planned our trip quite well but still found new places all of the time. We would meet new people everywhere we went and swap stories and new places to check out, Crescents head and Burleigh Heads where just two of many.
If you could do this all over again is there anything you would change?
No! We loved every minute of our travels and plan to come back again really soon, maybe to do the west coast but there is still so much to explore on the east coast. The country is HUGE!
Do you have any tips to give any potential buyers looking at doing something similar to what you guys have done?
Even if you are good with cars, spend a small amount of money on a mechanic to do a pre-purchase inspection before you consider buying. We have heard so many horror stories while travelling of people that have got a vehicle for a really good deal and then spent an extra $1500 – $2000 on new parts. Sometimes it is better to work a little more before you start travelling and buy a better vehicle that you know will get you around safely. The last thing we wanted was to be stuck on the side of the road in the heat with a car that does not work!
Lastly take your time! This is probably going to be the only time you will have the opportunity to do something like this so don’t try to rush it. If your on a working holiday visa sometimes its best to either work along the way or work before you start travelling so money doesn’t become a problem and you have to cut things short!. Take lots of pictures and enjoy your time!
So, what’s next?
We are only half way through! After Australia we are off to New Zealand, then South America, North America then Home! – STCM
Thanks guys! Sounds like you have had a trip of a lifetime. You can continue to read about Digdy and Sophie while they travel the world! Check out their blog.
If you would like to become the new owner of their awesome van it is currently for sale at the Sydney Travellers Car Market. You can also view it here
Come down between the hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Saturday and 10:30-3:00 on Sunday and speak with the STCM team for free advice on what’s best for you!