Grey Nomads In Australia

Grey nomad is a term generally used to describe retired Australians over 55 years old who travel for an extended time (weeks, months, or years) and cover more than 300km in a day across semi-arid and coastal Australia – at least this is the official definition according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

In reality, the term is used more flexibly and travel plans vary greatly depending on the person and their own interests.

So, who are these grey nomads? What do they do when they’re out exploring Australia? And how can you be just like them?

What Is A Grey Nomad?

As we already mentioned, the term “grey nomad” can refer to a lot of different people. Generally people agree that these are Australians over 55 years old who travel for an extended period of time. The length of these trips can vary from a few weeks to a few years, or even indefinitely if you decide to sell your house and make a permanent lifestyle out of travelling.

There are all sorts of grey nomads living different lifestyles, from budget to luxury.

What Do Grey Nomads Do?

Again, this is different for everyone. Some grey nomads prefer to simply relax and explore at their leisure, spending their time in cities and towns and becoming a source of income for local economies.

Those who like to keep their hands busy can seek out jobs as well. Grey nomads work in all areas. They provide helpful labour to locals (like gardening or house-sitting) or they’ll continue to work in their pre-retirement profession (such as nursing, teaching, or writing). Grey nomads are especially valuable to regional towns and farms because they can help by picking fruit, performing light manual labour, and doing volunteer work at community centres and museums. This is either done in return for money or a place to park.

What Do You Need To Become A Grey Nomad?

Housing & Transport

You don’t need to sell your house, buy a motorhome, and never look back. But you do need to figure out a plan based on the lifestyle you want to life.

Will you keep the house you have? Or does it make sense to downsize and put the extra money towards a motorhome? Most grey nomads travel long and they travel often, so it’s up to you to decide what you need when you’re ready to come home.

The best thing about buying a campervan or a motorhome is that they will hold their value for years to come, which makes them a great long-term investment. You’ll definitely want something comfortable since you’ll be driving a lot.

Not sure what to buy? Check out our campervan and motorhome comparison and see which suits your lifestyle the best.


If you’re planning a long trip you’ll need to accommodate for finance. Good news, if you don’t want to dig into your retirement savings or your super, you can work on the go!

If your profession isn’t in demand, now is the time to learn a new skill or try something new! You could even capitalise on your hobbies if you enjoy writing, arts and crafts, gardening, or working with tools.


One of the most important things to do is to share your travel plans with someone. This ensures that someone knows where you are in case of an emergency.

You’ll also need to do your research so you know how to get help in remote areas with no service. Spend some time looking into satellite phones and beacons.


Local newspapers and word of mouth are great, but they can only get you so far. Take your search online and scour the internet for websites dedicated to grey nomads. Here you’ll find forums, helpful guides, and classified sections (including help and work wanted). This will help you figure out where your next best destination is if you’re new to living life on the road.


Before you head out, you’ll need to decide what type of grey nomad you want to be and what lifestyle you want to have. Are you spontaneous and ready to travel at any moment? Do you want to research your routes and destinations thoroughly? Do you just want the basics, or do you like to bring everything with you?

Also, where do you want to go? Are you following food, sights, seasons, entertainment, or your own dream itinerary?

You don’t have to lump yourself into one category, there’s plenty of time to try it all! Learn about the grey nomad lifestyle and do your research – this way you know what to expect when living on the road. Safety and health should be your priority.

So, Are You Ready For A Lifestyle Of Travelling?

The grey nomad lifestyle is not a self-sufficient one, and there are plenty of startup costs with things like buying your motorhome, purchasing all the equipment you’ll need to be safe and comfortable, and the ongoing cost of living. But after a little initial investment and some careful planning you’ll be sure to discover a great lifestyle for yourself and enjoy the freedom of travelling!

Not sure if you should rent or buy? Read our article on the benefits of renting and buying a motorhome in Australia!

If you’re keen to try the grey nomad lifestyle without committing to your own motorhome just yet, try organising a rental by calling our friendly reservations team on 1300 664 485. You’ll want to check out our Cruisin’ Motorhomes and GoCheap Campervans vehicle pages to see what motorhomes are available to hire at our branches.

Or, if you’re ready to invest in a motorhome of your very own, check out the used campervans and motorhomes for sale on our website. If you don’t see the type of vehicle you’re interested in, go ahead and submit an enquiry form or give us a ring on 1300 124 329.