The Great Budget 4wd Trip Around Australia – Week 6

Suzuki Magnetic Island

Last week our tip of the week was to be flexible with your plans….

Well, as most of you know by now, that was precisely what we needed to be when a great opportunity came our way!

Yes, after only 5 weeks on the great budget 4wd trip round Australia, we’ve put our bags down for a little while!

We had always planned on doing some work on our way around this great big island, mostly because we only have a tiny budget of only $5000 AUD between us!

Initially, our plan was to work 1 month at a time on our journey, however we couldn’t let this great position pass us by.

So folks, I’m delighted to announce we are now officially the managers at a beautiful little guest house on Magnetic Island in Queensland!

With accommodation for 40 and 15 hire cars that are rented out daily, it’s a lot of work, but a great challenge that we are thoroughly enjoying!

Our plan is to stay put here for 2-3 months to earn some cash and top up our funds before heading off again.


The beauty of taking this extended job on now, rather than working a month at a time, is that it consolidates a chunk of our intended employment into one timeframe, essentially meaning we can then travel much longer without having to look for work again – hoorah!

This has the flow-on effect of actually saving us a lot of time too, because it eradicates the extra days/weeks that it takes to find work each month.

In reality, the whole caper of finding work can actually be harder than the job itself and quite stressful as a result. It certainly takes up valuable exploration time, which after all is the purpose of our trip.

So that’s the reason behind our decision.

Now here’s how it happened!


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We arrived into Townsville initially to get some tyres changed and to complete some official stuff for my visa application, which I needed to do.

We were getting to the point where we knew we were going to have to work soon too, so, as we were sitting at The Strand – Townsville’s Water Front area – staring across at Magnetic Island, we decided to check the old trusty gumtree for any jobs going there.

Well sure enough, there was one!

Things progressed pretty quickly from there and you can read more about it in last week’s installment, but suffice to say, we soon ended up on Maggie Island for an overnight stay and working interview!

After the hands-on and successful interview, we returned to Townsville and spent 2 more days at Rambutan YHA (possibly the best hostel in Australia!) to chill out and prepare for life on Magnetic Island.

Mostly this involved a hugemungous food shop, as we were not really sure what we could and couldn’t get there.


Then, before we knew it, it was time to get on the ferry with our trusty Landy and start our awesome new adventure.

We arrived at our new home / workplace at around 7pm.

After a quick dinner and chat, we were off to bed in preparation for an early start on our first official day as guesthouse managers! eek!

Luckily for us, the owners were here for most of the first week, doing some building work and giving us some training … or we would have really been in for a huge challenge!

It was a bit scary seeing them leave on Saturday, as we knew we were on our own from here on in, but also very satisfying knowing that they were comfortable with us and knew we would be alright.

The owners are two great larrikin Aussie blokes with a no-nonsense approach, but who are extremely helpful, very generous and friendly.

They have been great with us and are a big part of the reason why we are having such a good time.

Our days are now pretty busy!

Right from the get-go at 7am when we open reception, we are on our feet checking all the communal areas, online bookings and rental cars ready to go out to customers.

There is also the pool to check, paths to sweep, check-outs to organise and volunteers to feed and give duties too! Then there’s the laundry, the hiring of snorkel equipment and of course answering the phone!

We offer a free shuttle service with our car hire, so someone is also always constantly ferrying people around.

This is probably the best job however, as you get to enjoy life away from the chaos for a bit and to feel the breeze and the sunshine!

Most of our cars are Suzuki Sierras’ or Vitaras’ with no roof – this means they are a lot of fun to be driving around this little island in its perfect weather.


Although our days are busy, they are also pretty structured and well planned.

That said, there is always something that comes along to test our flexibility!

Like today, for example, when we had to try and pick up 18 people to hire 6 cars in the space of 15 minutes– that takes some fast thinking.

Obviously we needed to be tested some more, because not long after we got a phone call from a customer who had a car that wouldn’t start.

As such, we needed to drop them off another car and then encourage a group of lads to give us a push start to get the car going!

Not bad for a days work!

Oh, I forgot, we also had to go change a flat tyre.

But, don’t worry, it’s not all work and stress.

We are actually having a fab time, so stay tuned to hear about all our adventures in the forthcoming months.

PS. Did I mention that our company car is a Rolls Royce!

There’s gotta be some perks right!

Rolls Royce

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