The Chair’s Where? Merredin, Western Australia

By Perth / Western Australia /

So, you have arrived in Perth after a nice flight, you’ve gone to the Perth airport car rental kiosk to grab your vehicle of your choice and then you have been to the more well-known destinations like Mandurah, Bussellton, Jurien Bay and the like. You will have seen plenty of ocean, long sandy beaches and lots of coastal attractions but surely that’s not the end of your journeys? Surely it’s time to go a little inland and explore a true wheatbelt town? Yep. Time to broaden your travel horizons and head to the township of Merredin.


The township of Merredin is a comfortable three-hour drive from Perth. The route is well signed on a major road with all necessary fuel, shopping and sightseeing available to break up the drive.

Merredin is part of the wheat belt and as such is a town steeped in tradition and history. The wheat belt consistently acts as a major provider of revenue to the state of WA and Merredin across the years has assisted in this endeavour. Despite it being a strong provincial support town to the broader farming communities, Merredin is increasingly making itself known as a tourist destination with many stories to tell.


The township offers up an assortment of tourist attractions that will tempt most travellers to the area. Better still, the township has made sure that vehicle parking, whether big or small, is very easy and close to all attractions.

Whilst a good walk is a good walk, sometimes it adds a dimension when one can get out of the vehicle close to what it is you wish to see. This certainly assists the elderly and less firm amongst our fellow travellers – so be quick to take the grandparents as well!

RAILWAY MUSEUM – A group of local and dedicated residents have kept the thrill of the railway alive and well in Merredin. Come see original old buildings, railway artifacts and traditional rolling stock from years ago. Among prize possessions is a 1897 steam locomotive that hauled the Kalgoorlie Express for many years.

WAR MUSEUM – This small museum is also managed by volunteer locals who wish to keep a piece of history alive and well. A terrific display of older military vehicles many of which are in perfect working order. There are numerous interesting WW11 sites around the area and museum staff are only to happy to provide directions.

SILO ART – three big silos provide for some great photo opportunities as you come into town from the west. See the amazing video above by Peacock Visuals with Kyle Hughes Odgers.

WALK/CYCLE TRAILS – for those wanting to be a bit more active try the North Trail, or the South Trail and check out all sorts of history like the old brewery site, Merredin Peak, Pioneer Cemetery, and the list goes on.

TOURS – Why not try the Njaki Njaki Aboriginal Cultural Tour, or the Discover the Wheatbelt Tour?

Check out six great reasons to visit Perth


There are several motel options in Merredin to help make your stay comfortable. But I chose to stay at the Merredin Tourist Park. A great venue with large powered sites, great cabins, a pool, excellent bbq facilities and very helpful and friendly staff. So bring your car, your caravan, your motorhome and check out Merredin in a fabulous place to retreat to.

M for Merredin, and M for Must see.

Happy travels,


(DriveNow has teamed up with “The Chair”, none other than Dennis Werthenbach, the enigmatic and super popular chairman of the board for Family Parks Holiday Parks & Campgrounds – for more than 26 years, Family Parks has represented independent caravan parks and camping grounds, promoting fantastic holiday destinations for travellers young and old. With so many great caravan and camping parks throughout Australia and New Zealand, Family Parks is more than just a holiday, it’s a unique holiday experience.)


Fun Things To Do in Auckland This Anzac Day

By Auckland /

Auckland is a world-class city that has all you’d expect from a capital and more, with natural wonders right on its doorstep. Whether you’re passing through this unique city on Anzac Day or a local and want to make the most of the public holiday, we’ve picked some key celebrations and fun things to do! 

In a single day, you could be climbing the city’s highest tower, exploring wineries and hiking through pristine rainforest. All you need to do is find a great hire car deal from Auckland Airport with DriveNow and you’re all set.

Visit Sky tower in Auckland (pictured)

At 328 metres tall, the Sky Tower is an icon of Auckland’s skyline. Tourists who stop in Auckland even for just one day tend to make sure the Sky Tower is at the top of their list. Admire the panoramic 360-degree views of the city and its natural surrounds. You can also enjoy a superb lunch or dinner at the top so you have longer to take in the views. Daredevils can take up the offer to go bungee jumping off the tower. Sky Tower has something for everybody and on Anzac Day it will be lit up in red with a poppy emblem as a mark of respect for those who fought in the war.

Explore wineries at Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island, Photo by weta2000nz on Flikr

All it takes is a 35-minute ferry ride to get from Auckland to Waiheke Island. Travel to this island and you’ll be amazed at the beautiful vineyards and beaches that await. The island is home to more than a dozen high-class vineyards. Sample the region’s finest drops as you take in breathtaking views in every direction. There will be two Anzac Day parades to commemorate those who died in the war and honour the servicemen and women who returned.

Auckland War Memorial Museum

Auckland War Memorial Museum. Photo by Wiki.

A visit to Auckland War Memorial Museum on Anzac Day is a must for anybody wanting to be a part of the commemorations. A museum-wide celebration will take place all day with various activities from uplifting music to poetry and speeches to allow visitors to reflect on the sacrifices of war. The museum will be free to enter for everyone on Anzac Day, where you can explore the special exhibitions such as the Lego Brickman, Wonders of the World. Perfect for those with younger ones in the party.

Laze the day away at the West Coast beaches

Auckland’s West Coast Beaches. Photo by Lightning Todd on Flikr

Auckland’s west is as wild as it is marvellous. You’ll discover remote, untouched beaches that soothe the soul. Piha Beach is popular with surfers and swimmers. Karekare is a great, isolated spot for travellers who are looking for natural beauty. Make sure you take the time to see Karekare Falls while you’re in the area. People also flock to Muriwai for its impressive coastline.

Mount Eden hike

Auckland is home to nearly 50 volcanoes. Many of these have spectacular walking tracks to the top and panoramic views. One of the best short hikes is Mount Eden. At 196 metres high, it’s the city’s highest natural point. Gorgeous views of the city and harbour await.



Adventures in autumn – four awesome Victoria hiking trails

By Victoria /

Autumn is one of the best times of year to go on a Victoria hiking trip. The season in between the scorching summer heat and the cold winter means you’ll enjoy blue skies and comfortable temperatures. There are plenty of stunning Victoria hiking trails around, whether you want to trek for a few hours or a few days. 

Hire a car from Melbourne Airport with DriveNow and explore some of these awesome Victoria hiking trails.

Cope Hut to Pretty Valley

Drive about four hours north east of Melbourne to the Heathy Spur car park just past Falls Creek. This is an incredible place to start if you’re looking for an overnight hiking adventure. It’s a relatively easy trek to Cope Hut, where stunning views from the top of Alpine National Park await. There’s also a scenic trail that leads to the aptly named Pretty Valley, where you can camp overnight. Make your way back towards Falls the next day, or you could easily add on another few days of hiking along the Falls-Hotham Alpine Crossing.

Grampians Peaks trail (pictured)

It’s one of Victoria’s iconic long hikes in a stunning part of the countryside. This three day/two night circuit leaves from Halls Gap and treats walkers to spectacular views of rugged mountains. Along the way you can stop for the panorama from Pinnacle Lookout and discover the Grand Canyon’s ancient rock formations. The trail will require some skill but it’s bound to take your breath away. Picture courtesy of Visions Victoria.

Masons Falls Circuit

There’s nothing like a walk with a waterfall view waiting at the end! It takes about four and a half hours to walk the Masons Falls Circuit. It’s also just a short drive along Melbourne’s northern fringe at Kinglake National Park. It involves walking south along the Sugarloaf Ridge track through forest, before passing the 570-metre summit of Mount Sugarloaf. You’ll admire the Melbourne skyline before continuing on through forest, where you’ll eventually find yourself on a viewing platform. The stunning falls are best viewed after recent rains.

Cape Schanck to Gunnamatta track

This 17km hike takes you to a stunning part of Victoria’s coast. Cape Schanck is an hour and a half drive from Melbourne’s CBD. It takes you through national park, the gorgeous coastal Moonah woodland and pristine beaches. There are three key lookouts along the way. Each offers incredible views of the coast. As with all hikes, make sure you bring adequate water and food.



7 Types of People You Don’t Want to Road Trip With


The best road trip companions

Planning a road trip is almost as fun as the trip itself. Picking the route, packing up the hire car and prepping the snacks will get you pumped up for the adventure ahead. However, there’s one element of this process that you might want to give some extra thought; and that’s who you’re taking on your travels with you.

Now, we aren’t suggesting you ruthlessly tell your friends and family that they’re no longer invited, but some people are just made to be co-pilots, and some, (as you will see from our handy guide) are not. Check these out before you select your crew and you should be in for a hassle free cruise.

1. The Sleeper

We all get sleepy now and again, it happens. But when travelling in a party of two, everyone knows it is passenger etiquette to stay awake and keep the driver company at the wheel. The sleepy passenger will tend to put their feet up and doze off within the first few miles, waking up just as you’re pulling in to a service station. Nobody wants to be singing solo on a road trip, so choose wisely and leave the snoozy ones at home.

2. The Messy Eater

 A road trip wouldn’t be complete without an array of tasty treats to keep everyone going during the journey. However, if it looks like you’ll have to call in a cleaner once your co-pilot has left the vehicle, they’re going to be more hassle than they’re worth. Leave this person at home and meet them for dinner instead.

3. The Backseat Driver

This person should really know why they’re being fired. Backseat drivers will treat you like they’re your driving instructor, yelling instructions from the back and telling you when you’ve done a wrong manoeuvre. No matter how many great jokes this guy or girl might tell, they’re not going to be a great addition to your road trip squad. Don’t be put on edge whilst driving; it’s a safe bet to leave this passenger off your list.

4. The Nervous Passenger

This passenger is almost as distracting as the Backseat Driver, but this one probably can’t drive and really hates being in a car. No matter how carefully you drive, they’ll still squirm and squeal and tell you to slow down. Warn your nervous passenger that they’re killing your vibe (unless you really are driving too fast, in which case SLOW DOWN!) and if they continue to screech, don’t invite them back.

5. The One Who Can’t Sit Still

Expect to hear the words “are we there yet?” many times from this type of passenger. They will spend the whole trip fidgeting, changing seating positions and putting their feet up on your dashboard whilst pressing buttons they probably shouldn’t. If you still prefer this to The Sleeper, invite them on board but bring your headphones.

6. The Music Changer

Road trip rules are whoever calls shotgun controls the music. Music can really make or break a trip, so choose wisely when it comes to your in-car DJ. Imagine driving down a scenic road listening to an all-time classic and just before the big chorus kicks in, the song changes. Complete disaster! Nobody wants to travel with a music skipper, so state your rules before anyone gets in the car.

7. The Disconnected Passenger

Only marginally better than The Sleeper, this passenger will be glued to their phone the whole journey. You may get the occasional grumble from them as you try to engage in conversation, but don’t expect much. They have much more interest in scrolling through Instagram than they do in chatting to you. This person needs a good digital detox before they are allowed a seat on your road trip, so leave them behind.


Picking the right travel companions can turn a good trip into a phenomenal trip. Leave these 7 types of passengers behind next time you head off in your car or campervan rental and just let the good times roll.


Treat yourself to one of these Melbourne luxury experiences for couples

By Melbourne /

When in Melbourne you don’t have to travel far to lap up incredible luxury experiences. From taking to the skies to hitting boutique stores, Melbourne has a lot to offer someone seeking luxury experiences in the city.

All you need is a set of wheels to get started. Save with a DriveNow hire car package and then sign up for one of these luxury experiences.

Yarra Valley Balloon Flight

It’s an early start to your day, but a flight over one of Victoria’s spectacular wine regions is well worth it. You’ll admire rolling hills, vineyards and surrounding forest, with the CBD skyline in the distance. You’ll be in a comfortable basket with a small group. At the end of the flight top it off with some cheese and wine in the Yarra Valley.

Stay overnight at the zoo

This is bound to be a night you’ll never forget. Werribee Open Range Zoo offers a Slumber Safari, which is a perfect getaway for couples or families. You can go ‘glamping’ with a beautiful tent lodge that features heaters, coolers, electric blanets and en-suites. Just 30 minutes from Melbourne CBD and you’ll feel like you’re in the heart of Africa, as you admire the sunset over an intimate dinner and then you wake up to lions roaring and elephants trumpeting.

Shop til you drop

Melbourne is world-famous for its shopping experiences. For high-end fashion there are many options, including luxury designer heaven on Collins Street and Chapel Street. There’s also the new and refurbished Chadstone Shopping Centre that has reopened with retailers like Burberry. Find everything you need, from bags to clothes and homeware at this stunning venue.

Jump on a horse and carriage tour through the CBD

You’ll feel like you’re travelling back in time when you begin your tour on a horse-drawn carriage through Melbourne city. Champaign and a rose are waiting for you once you step on board. Once upon a time a horse and cart was how people moved around the city. But today it’s a beautiful treat as you admire the city surrounds. See famous and historic sights like Federation Square and Flinders Street Station. The tour is perfect for a romantic afternoon.



Coachella Spotify Playlist

By California /

Coachella returns this weekend for its 18th year and if you’re heading to the infamous music and arts festival, you’re in for a treat with our Coachella Spotify playlist. The festival organisers never fail to disappoint on the eclectic mix of unbelievable music talent, and this year isn’t any different.

Coachella Spotify Playlist

Louis Futon’s set at Coachella. Photo by Eric Ward on Unsplash

With three incredible headline acts; Beyonce, The Weeknd and Eminem it’s already set to be an unmissable gig.

The Queen B herself had to bow out of the 2017 event due to being pregnant with twins. So, she’s back this year and it’s her first major gig since giving birth which is bound to be as fierce as ever.

Headlining on Friday is The Weeknd who has recently dropped his new single, Call Out My Name just in time for his highly-anticipated performance. And, closing the festival on Sunday is the rap god himself, Eminem. After making a comeback in 2017 and collaborating with some huge talent, we wonder if he’ll bring any surprise guests to the stage?

As well as these colossal acts, the line up has a whole host of brilliant artists and bands, including; Miguel, CHIC, Jamiroquai, Kendrick Lamar and so many more.

If you’re lucky enough to have Coachella tickets and heading to California in your DriveNow hire car, whack on our playlist to get you in the mood. For those who aren’t going, don’t worry! Turn up the volume and allow these tracks to put you in the moment.

Listen to the Coachella Spotify playlist here:


New Zealand South Island stunners for campervanning


The South Island of New Zealand is one of the world’s most beautiful areas. There are mountain peaks, reflective lakes and even charming, historic towns in between. The South Island has it all

Fly into Queenstown, where you can hire a campervan for your New Zealand South Island adventure. Start your journey with one of these four stunning sights.

Milford Sound

Milford Sound is one of New Zealand’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s a breathtaking sight at any time of year despite rain, hail or shine. The mountain peaks, valleys and waterfalls were carved by glaciers during the ice age. Go trekking, take a boat ride on the lake, try your hand at kayaking or simply stroll through the village. Any activity treats you to the amazing scenery.

Abel Tasman National Park

This is New Zealand’s smallest national park but it’s still large enough to spend days exploring. Hiking and swimming are the best ways people spend their time here. Go on a boat cruise, have fun canoeing or even spend the day in luxury on a sailing yacht. On the water and in the sun is how you want to spend your time in this picture perfect corner of the world.

Te Anau Glow Worm Cave

Join a guided underground cave tour to experience an unforgettable sight! Walk through a limestone passage on foot where you’ll find thousands of naturally glowing lights illuminating a dark cave. The caves are about 12,000 years old, with rivers flowing through them and still carving out the shape of the caves. Guided tours are intimate and limited to groups of 12, as you learn about these mysterious creatures and the area’s history.

Franz Josef Glacier

This spectacular World Heritage Area is famous for its glacier. Every year, people travel from all over the world to join a guided ice trek over the glacier. Many also opt for a helicopter scenic flight, which treats you to incredible views of the glacier and surrounding mountains.



5 Reasons to Head for the Hills on The Gold Coast

By Australia / Gold Coast /

The Gold Coast is one of Queensland’s premier destinations. With sun, sand and surf waiting for you all year round.

If you’re there for the Commonwealth Games and fancy seeing something a little different, hire a car from the Gold Coast and head for the hills. Drive thirty minutes inland from the beaches and you’ll find the Hinterland, which is full of rainforests, farms and vineyards.

Here are five things to do when you’re there.

Sip some wine

The Gold Coast Hinterland is a fantastic destination for wine-lovers. It’s one of Queensland’s fastest growing wine regions, thanks to the range of micro-climates creating perfect growing conditions for a variety of grapes. Mount Tamborine (pictured), Mount Nathan, Lamington and Canungra are full of top-notch wineries. Some wineries that we recommend include Albert River Wines and O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyards.

The Knoll Lookout, Mount Tamborine. Photo by Wiki.

Hiking in Springbrook National Park

Hiking is a popular pastime in Springbrook National Park. The track to Natural Bridge, which has formed over millions of years from water pounding onto the roof of a basalt cave, is one of the most popular. It’s the perfect place for a picnic. At night in summer, the cave is equally enchanting. Take a guided tour to see amazing glow-worm colonies, fireflies and even luminous fungi.

Water cascading into a creek at Springbrook National Park. Photo by Lenny K Photography

Visit the Cheese Shop and Factory

Just an hour from Brisbane and in the heart of Mount Tamborine is the Witches Chase Cheese Company Shop. Deliciously soft and hand-made cheeses are waiting to be sampled and bought. The factory proudly produces small batches of high-quality cheeses and other dairy products, such as ice cream. This amazing destination could keep you tied up all day!

Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk

Walk 30 metres above the ground through the rainforest canopy. Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk is an exciting eco-adventure that’s suitable for all ages. The 1.5km long path at Skywalk treats you to views of lush rainforest leads you to the crystal clear rock pools of Cedar Creek. During the trip, you’ll encounter rare butterflies and other rainforest animals.

Skywalking in the Tamborine Rainforest. Photo by Daniela on Flikr

Get up close with Alpacas

The Mountview Alpaca Farm is an exciting destination for people of all ages, especially kids. Not only is the beautiful view of Tamborine Mountain and the Gold Coast likely to inspire you, but you can cuddle and pat alpacas! For just a few dollars you can buy a large bag of food and feed these friendly animals. There’s also a gift shop, where you’ll find unique alpaca-themed goods from Australia and South America.

Also, check out Romantic drives … Coffs Harbour to Crystal Castle, Byron Bay



5 things to do between Adelaide and the Barossa Valley

By Adelaide / Australia /

The beautiful Barossa Valley is a renowned wine-producing region, famous for its Shiraz. Just northeast of Adelaide you’ll discover rolling green hills, historic towns and high profile vineyards regarded as some of the best in the world.

Hire a car from Adelaide and start ticking these items off your bucket list.

The Barossa Valley, Adelaide. Photo by Flikr

Murray Street Vineyards

Murray Street Vineyards was established in 2001, with the vision of creating unique artisan wines. The Tasting Room and cellars were inspired by early Barossa architecture, making you feel as if you’re entering another era when you step inside. Apart from its lovely interior, the experience is also about the wine. Visitors often rave about the Shiraz, Rose and the Marsanne, to name a few favourites.

Hot air balloon rides

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of this region is by air. A hot air balloon ride gives you the opportunity to take in the marvellous sight of the sun casting its early morning rays over the valley’s rolling hills. It’s the perfect activity for a romantic weekend away. The views are breathtaking as you float along with the breeze. You’re sure to remember this special moment for the rest of your life.

Hot air balloon ride. Photo by Gaetano Cessati on Unsplash

Chateau Tanunda

Australia’s oldest and largest chateau is known as the Icon of the Barossa Valley. Hence why you can’t leave the region without visiting this attraction. Chateau Tanunda was built around 1890 and has since become famous for handcrafting some of the region’s finest drops. You can also explore the vineyard and gardens as you soak up the amazing scenery.

Chateau Tanunda. Photo by Flikr

Barossa Farmers Market

You don’t know fresh food until you’ve tried the Barossa Valley’s homegrown specials. Fresh food comes straight from the farms and onto the market shelves. Locals travel to Agnaston for their weekly grocery shop. But the market is increasingly growing in popularity among tourists. You’ll find fruit, vegetables, bread, honey, nuts, oils and more. Fill up your basket and create one of the best homemade dishes of your life. Not only will your partner enjoy a meal made with love, but you’re also giving back to Aussies who work hard to feed the nation.

The Barossa Trail

Many people love to explore the valley’s gorgeous scenery by foot or bike. Pack some snacks and plenty of water as you spend the day moving from town to town. The trail is 40km long and connects the Barossa Ranges to the Adelaide Plains. It treats you to charming riverside views and the natural beauty of the agricultural landscape. A popular part of the exercise is stopping by the towns to sample some fine wine on the way back.



How to Make the Most of your New Zealand Campervan Rental

By New Zealand /

Hiring a campervan can be an exciting way of exploring New Zealand with the whole family, especially for your kids – imagine the delight on their faces at the prospect of living in a house with wheels! If it’s your first time travelling in a Campervan in New Zealand or anywhere for that matter, here are some things to keep in mind.

Read More

The Chair’s Where? Arno Bay in South Australia

By Adelaide / South Australia /

Not too many of us haven’t heard of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. This peninsula has been tagged the ‘Seafood Frontier’ and for good reason.

With iconic fishing industries based around Port Lincoln, with aquaculture developing kingfish, tuna and mulloway stocks, fishing charters abundant, an abundance of prawns and the world-renowned Coffin Bay Oysters, it is no wonder people flock to the many quaint and historical villages that front this coast line.

Shaped like a triangle, the Eyre Peninsula has a sea coast on both the east and western sides ensuring a visitor can pick the ‘wind and weather’ to suit the occasion!

Arno Bay

So we have all heard of Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Coffin Bay, Streaky Bay and the like. All great and well known as feature places on the Eyre Peninsula. But have you entertained a visit to Arno Bay?

Being some 530km from Adelaide, this venue makes for a good road trip by car or motorhome. The drive will allow great views of the pristine waters associated with both the St Vincent Gulf and the Spencer Gulf.

Both areas abound in history, the roads are sealed major routes and all relevant services and shopping is readily available along the way. The township itself has a long history both as a fishing community, a source of supply for hinterland farmers, and as a significant cog in the growth of the wool industry.

In town a ‘must do’ is the Big Shed – with a collage of information accounting for more than 150 years of history.

Take a stroll along the Boardwalk and Mangrove Trail whilst enjoying the view. Oh, don’t forget the nearby pub for a great feed and a quick coldy!

Arno Bay Caravan Park

Having decided there is so much to see and do, and having driven for a while, it is time to find somewhere to stay for the night (or two).

So why not the local caravan park? I mean ‘wake up and smell the roses’, this place is great! I mean literally ‘smell the roses’! The rose garden adjacent to reception has over 200 rose bushes planted and is a delight to see, and smell.

Here we already see how friendly this place will be,  you can borrow cutters from reception, cut some roses, and enjoy the bouquet in your room, van or motorhome during your stay. A real first for the traveller.

After having decided on a cabin or a site, it is time to check what day of the week it is. At this venue Wednesday is Fish and Chip night, Saturday is Beef and Burgundy night, Sunday is a free Pancake Breakfast! Every day sees cheap ‘prawns and oysters’ available for the discerning traveller. Better still – the venue is licensed so enjoy an Arno Bay Shiraz, a cold beer or something else if you prefer.

The fishing!

The park is well situated for shore and boat fishing.

Testimony to the likelihood of catching fish is a well appointed ‘fish cleaning’ facility contained within the park but, better still, only a few steps away is an old style jetty for young and old to try their angling skills.

The jetty is steeped in history as well – it was built, then lengthened, lengthened again, and then shortened to the current dimensions. Why, I hear you ask? All to do with the types of boats and ships that tied up at this location across the course of a century.

Nearby one can find the ‘famous’ Jetty Café. This place opens early so if a good breakfast is on the agenda – walk about 100 metres and there you have it. Bacon and egg rolls, breakfast wraps, sit-down brekky and other tantalising morsels to make a positive start to the day.

Great venue, great staff, great town – great experience.

Happy Days and Happy Travels.


(DriveNow has teamed up with “The Chair”, none other than Dennis Werthenbach, the enigmatic and super popular chairman of the board for Family Parks Holiday Parks & Campgrounds – for more than 26 years, Family Parks has represented independent caravan parks and camping grounds, promoting fantastic holiday destinations for travellers young and old. With so many great caravan and camping parks throughout Australia and New Zealand, Family Parks is more than just a holiday, it’s a unique holiday experience.)