A COUPLE spent just over £1,000 renovating a 30-year-old camper van so they could travel around Australia, while being trapped in the country during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Tommy Lloyd, 29, and Becca Hill, 23, bought the 1991 Toyota Hiace for $9,500 Australian dollars (£5421.51) in 2021.
The British couple were living in Noosa, Queensland, when they were approached by a mechanic who recognised the pair from Becca's Youtube channel.
Tommy said: "It was as if he had been sent from heaven because he was able to help us find a van."
Before meeting their reliable mechanic Tony, the couple had spent three months searching for their dream home on wheels.
They started the project in August, 2021, taking eight weeks to renovate while they were both working in Australia.
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The van was already equipped with a bed and a kitchen, but they wanted to be self-reliant on the road so they installed a solar panel.
They made the space their own by tie-dyeing curtains, adding a surfboard rack and jerry mount cans, while decorating the van with white cushions and bed linen.
While they paid for the parts, Tony the mechanic did all the renovation work for free, bringing their renovation total to $2,000 Australian Dollars (£1,116.60).
Tommy said: "Luckily Tony, our mechanic guru, knew all of the places we could get the parts we needed and at the cheapest prices."
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After they kitted out the van, they drove around the entire circumference of Australia, covering 15,906 kilometres (9,883 miles).
While on the road, the couple spent around $1,720 per month on utilities such as food, fuel and activities.
On the road they ticked off bucket-list activities such as swimming with whale sharks and manta rays, getting up close and personal with a kangaroo, bungee jumping naked, becoming qualified divers and playing with sea lions.
Becca said: "It was incredible to have the country's most famous and beautiful areas, such as Whitsunday Island, the Great Barrier Reef and Fraser Island, all to ourselves.
"We feel like the luckiest people in the world to have had the one in a million chance to see these world-renowned landmarks in complete privacy and seclusion.”
Tommy said: "To do everything we wanted to do as a tour while eating out and seeking out flights would have cost us around $30,000 each but we managed to do it for less that half of that and still see all of the things we wanted to see."
Despite a few breakdowns along the way, the couple who live in Manly, Sydney are planning a trip to South East Asia where they will be hitting their road again in another trusty van.
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