Apr
28
2016

Hot relocation deals in New Zealand and Australia

By Australia / New Zealand /

If you haven’t yet discovered DriveNow’s amazing one way rentals deals then you’ve been missing out!

Relocation rentals are a win win situation for both parties involved. The rental company doesn’t have to pay big bucks to transport a vehicle to another city, while the customer receives incredible deals for as little at $1 a day.

Consider taking up one of the offers below. But you’d better be quick to jump on these limited deals before someone else does!

Auckland to Queenstown
Price: $5 a day
Travel dates: May 4th-8th
Terms: Minimum four days, maximum seven days hire
Do you need to travel between these two cities in early May, or perhaps you’re looking around for a last-minute road trip? Then look no further than this Britz Voyoager campervan deal, where your sleeping quarters are comfortable and decked out with everything you need. You’ll also receive the first 2000km free.

Christchurch to Queenstown
Price: $5 a day
Travel dates: May 8th-11th
Terms: Minimum three days, maximum six days hire
Pick up an incredible deal for your Christchurch to Queenstown driving trip. You’ll score 750km free and a brilliant campervan to go along with it. The Frontier is decked out with three double beds, cooking and bathroom facilities. For a bit extra, you can also hire an outdoor table and chairs.

Queenstown to Christchurch
Price: $5 a day
Travel dates: May 10th-13th
Terms: Minimum three days, maximum six days hire
Your Britz Outbounder has the capacity to sleep four people, with the company touting the vehicle as “absolute luxury for a couple”. It has a spacious bed, bathroom and kitchen area and is fully decked out with modern amenities. With this deal you’ll also receive 750km free.

Brisbane to Melbourne
Price: $5 a day
Travel dates: April 27th-May 2nd
Terms: Minimum four days, maximum five days hire
You’ll have all the freedom you desire with this Britz Explorer deal. The four berth motorhome is complete with a mini-kitchen and bathroom and has the capacity to sleep four adults. DriveNow is offering more than 2200km free and up to $80 free fuel.

Hobart Airport to Melbourne
Price: $5 a day
Travel dates: May 7th-14th
Terms: Minimum four days, maximum five days hire
You’ll receive up to $350 free fuel and more than 850km free. Drive from Hobart Airport to Melbourne in a Maui Ultima. You have the flexibility to choose whether you prefer a king-sized bed or two singles. This two berth caravan is extra spacious and it also features wonderful storage space for your road adventure.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Apr
26
2016

5 things to do in San Francisco

By United States /

San Francisco is one of California’s most visited cities – and for good reason. It’s famous for it’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and hilly landscape.

Pick up a hire car from San Francisco Airport and explore this amazing city by visiting these five attractions.

Cable cars

When you’re tired of walking up those hills, you can always turn to a cable car for an enjoyable rest. These are a National Historic Landmark, which treats you to amazing views of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island and Fisherman’s Wharf, to name a few attractions. Jump off at Mason and Washington Streets to pay a visit to the Cable Car Museum, where you’ll discover the history and the fascinating workings of the cable car.

Visit Alcatraz

Although once the site of Western United States’ first lighthouse, Alcatraz Island became home to a federal prison from 1934 up until the early sixties. Through a tour of the prison you’ll learn about the fascinating history of famous prisoners who were confined here, life in these cells and also the many attempts at escape. If you want a real spine-tingling experience then opt for the night tour.

Golden Gate Bridge

It was once called “the bridge that couldn’t be built” but after finally opening in 1937 after four years of delays, the struggle against elements such as strong winds and tides finally paid off. Today the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the seven wonders of the industrial world and tourists travel from all over the world to photograph it. After seeing it from a distrance, it’s also worth walking or cycling across the 1.7mile long bridge.

Telegraph Hill stairs

Stairs aren’t for everyone, but if there’s a set of stairs you must experience it’s the 400 stairs on iconic Telegraph Hill. You’ll see beautiful gardens and coloured Victorian-era cottages along the way. The good news is if you struggle going up, then consider heading in the other direction to make the experience more enjoyable. While you’re walking, keep an eye and ear out for Telegraph Hill’s famous wild parrots.

Lands End

Tucked away in the northwest corner of the city at the entrance of San Francisco Bay are many stunning views, which many travellers often don’t even know exist. Walk the Coastal Trail and Lands End and you’ll pass views of shipwrecks, hillsides of wildflowers and even the ruins of Sutro baths. This rugged stretch of coast also features Cypress forest, surrounded by plunging cliffs. It’s the perfect setting if you want to get away from the crowds while still admire the gorgeous city.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Apr
22
2016
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On the road out of Vegas – 5 hot spots within two hours

By Las Vegas / United States /

The glitzy strip and bright lights of Vegas are like magnets for all of America’s fast cars and even faster women and men, but if you can look away and beyond there are some great short trips just around the corner. Here are five within an hour once you jump in that car rental and hit the open road.

Valley of Fire (pictured)

Meander through the mesmerising Valley Of Fire, Nevada’s oldest state park, with countless moments of nature’s beauty smacking you in the senses. The park earnt its name from its fiery red sandstone, formed from fossilised sand dunes more than 150 million years ago by a shift in the Earth’s crust, faulting and wind and water erosion. Today, only wild animals dwell within Valley of Fire year-round. Rattlesnakes, kangaroo rats, kit foxes, coyotes, bighorn sheep and the white-tailed antelope ground squirrels are just a few. Oh, and cougars, of course, “but only at night”, as my highly entertaining guide Mike Franklin pointed out, “as opposed to the Strip – these particular cougars are hard to spot given they’re minus the bright red lipstick and high heels.”

Lake Mead and Callville Bay Resort & Marina

Monster-sized man-made Lake Mead is a major recreation area in addition to being a major water artery for the region, originally formed by the building of Hoover Dam on the Colorado River in 1935. Callville Bay Resort and Marina hums with houseboats, jet skis, and speed boats. The big drawcard is the ultimate houseboat adventures on offer providing a visual feast of desert/water contrasts, mountains and canyons. All Forever Houseboat rentals include a waterside, barbecue, kitchen and a top deck with canopy; deluxe widescreen TVs and stainless steel kitchens. Wildlife comes out to play up around the banks and I was lucky to get close to a coyote, eagles, mallards, grebes and hummingbirds. If you’re lucky, a bighorn sheep may wander down for a drink.

Red Rock Canyon

Conditions are hot and dry in summer so load up on bottles of water. The fast pace of the Strip quickly subsides once out on the highway as scenery smacks you in the senses. Copper-coloured mountains leap out from the desert floor highlighted by Red Rock Canyon’s bluffs, cliffs and petrified sandstone boulders. Time really does stand still out here. These mountains were formed by geological forces including fractured faults where the earth’s crust collided over millions of years and fossilised sand dunes. Some cliffs reach a kilometre high. It really is breathtaking. The 20km round-trip tourist route at the actual site is a must-do.

Hoover Dam

Let’s see, we’re back in 1929 in a harsh climate, remote location and facing solid rock. So why not build a massive arch-gravity dam? Something with 2.4 million cubic metres of concrete, spillways, the lot? Crazy but brilliant, and also serving the dual purpose of being a film set for great flicks such as Transformers and more recently San Andreas. The sheer size of this man-made but essential engineering masterpiece really is hard to put into words, so taking a guided tour of the powerplant and passageways within Hoover Dam itself is highly recommended to gain an understanding of the purpose this mighty Nevada icon serves.

Boulder Brewing Co

Let’s face it. Any drive in the desert is thirsty work, so this is a must stop-off point. The small township of Boulder is where the craft beers are cold and tasty and the atmosphere warm and addictive. Practically a museum in itself, Boulder Dam Brewing Co is a few minutes down the road on the return to Vegas. Mementos such as axes, picks and gauges used in the construction of the dam adorn the inside walls and in the beer garden. Owner Lisa explains the brewpub is Boulder City’s hot spot for music which can be “anything from bluegrass to rock ’n’ roll and old-fashioned country”. Get stuck into the food menu, too, which is a mix of naughty but nice treats including battered pickles and cheese-loaded pretzels, burgers, salads and pub fare. The beers, of course, are the focal point. Boulder Dam Brewing Co brews everything from European pilsners to happy pale ales to rich, creamy stouts.

SCOTT PODMORE

 

Apr
22
2016

Top eats in Washington DC

By United States /

Heading to Washington DC for your next holiday? Visiting the capital city of the United States is an incredible opportunity which every traveller should experience. Even more important is the need to explore the city’s best restaurants while you’re there.

Hire a car from Washington DC Airport and explore these top eats in Washington DC.

Ambar

Through blending centuries old tradition with modern, cutting-edge creativity, Ambar proudly serves up the “flavour of the Balkans”, which tempts all your senses. It’s held the number one spot on TripAdvisor for some time now, which means a night out at Ambar should be at the very top of your to-do list in Washington. The restaurant features smaller servings, giving you all the more opportunity to sample different flavours and textures from the Balkans.

Fiola 

This trattoria opened in 2011 and has since become renowned as the place to go in Washington DC whenever you want exquisite, delicious Italian. Tender pappardelle with bolognese sauce is just one of the popular dishes on the menu, with pizza, seafood and also desserts highly regarded on the menu. It’s clear that chef Fabio Trabocchi definitely knew what he was doing when he opened Fiola. No doubt he’ll continue warming the hearts and stomachs of thousands of diners for years to come.

Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab

The restaurant has an interesting history, which you can hear all about when you next visit. The first legendary restaurant opened in Miami Beach in 1913 and it consisted of eight tables on the front porch of Joe Stone’s house. in 2014, Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab premiered in the nation’s capital on 15th Street NW in Washington DC, only a few steps from the White House. Diners keep returning in droves, saying they’ve never tasted seafood or prime steak quite like Joe’s.

Rasika

Rasika is where upmarket Indian cuisine meets Washington DC. It’s arguably the best Indian restaurant in the entire city and you’ll find plenty of scrumptious meals for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. Tandoor fanatics will think they’ve gone to heaven at Rasika while the aroma of fresh herbs and spices fill the air. Rasika’s signature dish is crispy baby spinach leaves smothered in mouth-watering yoghurt, which diners say literally melts on their tongues.

Rose’s Luxury

At Rose’s Luxury you won’t be able to book a reservation, which means you’ll have to line up for a table. For a 5.30pm seating on a weekend, it’s not uncommon for a line to already be forming and hour and a half earlier! However, when you sit down at Rose’s Luxury and enjoy a dish for the first time, you’ll understand why the restaurant is so popular. You have your choice between Jewish, Japanese, French and Thai food, to name a few options. No matter what, you’ll always discover something you love at Rose’s Luxury.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Apr
18
2016
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5 places to park your camper within 2 hours of Brisbane

By Australia / Brisbane / Queensland /

There’s no better way to explore sunny Queensland than in the comfort of a campervan. Not only is it cost-effective but you can travel at your own pace and know you always have somewhere to sleep!

Hire a campervan from Brisbane Airport and make your way to one of these fantastic holiday parks.

Big4 Gold Coast Holiday Park (pictured)
Have the time of your life at the Big4 Gold Coast Holiday Park. During the day you can explore some of Queensland’s most popular surf beaches and return to your accommodation where there’s a huge pool with a monster water slide for the kids. You’re also within walking distance to the famous theme parks, including Movie World and Wet’N’Wild.

Coolum Beach Holiday Park
Only a short drive north of Brisbane is the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Park your campervan at Coolum Beach Holiday Park, where you’ll have direct access to a white sandy and patrolled surf beach. This holiday park is also within walking distance to shops and restaurants and is set on ten acres of stunning beachfront land.

Jolly Swagman Caravan Park
If you ever find yourself in Toowoomba then make sure you head into the city centre. There, in the heart of town, you’ll come across Jolly Swagman Caravan Park, which boasts award winning gardens and the famous statue of Jolly Swagman and his dog. Speaking of dogs, this is one of the few sites where you can bring pets along on your holiday too, provided you make an application.

Esk Caravan Park
This little slice of paradise, known as Esk Caravan Park, sits in the stunning Brisbane Valley. It’s set between lakes Wivenhoe and Somerset (which are conveniently only a short drive from the caravan park) and is also surrounded by beautiful mountains and creeks. In a quiet and peaceful setting, the Esk Caravan Park is also the ideal place to spend your days enjoying all kinds of water activities.

Green Mountains Camping Area
Sit in the lush Lamington National Park, the Green Mountains Camping Area is made up of a grassy sloping hill, with campervan sites cut into it. You’ll feel right in amongst the wilderness, which makes this location an extra special place to stay. There are plenty of walking tracks leading you to spectacular views around the park within easy walking distance.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Apr
18
2016
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Five things to do in Newcastle

By Australia / New South Wales /

There’s so much to do in Newcastle,  from surfing the waves at the beach, to chilling out at a trendy bar or café, to exploring the city’s great surrounds.

Hire a car from Sydney Airport, drive two hours north and explore the incredible surrounds of Newcastle.

Knobbys Lighthouse (pictured)
A local icon since it was established in 1858, Knobbys Lighthouse is a must-see for anybody visiting Newcastle. Visitors walk 800m from the car park up a steep climb to marvel at the beautiful 360 degree views of the city and the Pacific Ocean. The Knobbys Lighthouse grounds are open every Sunday from 10am to 4pm and entry is free.

Hunter Valley Zoo
Get the family together for a day out at the Hunter Valley Zoo. There are popular daily shows, such as Wombat Talk and Patting and the Lion Lock Down and Meet the Keeper shows, which will keep you busy for hours. While your there you can also get up close with cheeky meerkats and dingoes, take a photo with a koala or learn more about our famous Tasmanian devils.

Treetop Adventure Park
With nearly 100 challenges high up in the tree tops, this adventure park will have you sliding down 20 different flying foxes, crossing suspension bridges and much more. From 20m high you’ll also be able to take in the stunning Blue Gum Hills Regional Park. The experience is suitable for people of all ages, with each course having different grades of difficulty and each participant able to go at their own pace.

Myall Lakes National Park
This national park is one of New South Wales’ largest coastal lake systems and it’s also one of the states most visited parks. It’s also home to a 76m high flooded gum, known as The Grandis – one of the tallest trees in the states. The stunning beaches and lakes within the national park are perfect for swimming, while on land you can go hiking.

Sea kayaking
Head out and explore the stunning ocean off Newcastle’s coast. There are many tour companies that will take you in a small group and keep you safe as you glide through the waves. Operating a kayak requires no previous experience, as your instructor will teach you all you need to know. The activity is suitable for the whole family. Whether you want to paddle along as fast as you can or at your own leisure, the choice is yours!

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Apr
14
2016

Five things to do in upstate New York

By New York / United States /

New York is one of the world’s most famous cities. Millions from around the globe travel there every single year to experience the hustle and bustle of the city, its skyscrapers, shopping malls and historic attractions. But how many actually travel outside the city and head north?

There are many beautiful landscapes and cities to be seen. Pick up rental car at New York Airport and make your way to Upstate New York.

Here are five things to see and do while you’re there.
 
Tour Strawberry Fields
The gorgeous, small town of Skaneateles is a four and a half hour drive north of New York City. Surrounding the area are dozens of berry farms, where you can pick your own. Take along your biggest basket and head out with the family to spend hours picking the sweetest looking strawberries. Most of the farms open in June, when the strawberries begin to ripen.

Thousand Islands
Just over six hours north west of New York City sit the beautiful natural phenomenon known as the Thousand Islands. Take a guided diving tour to explore the underwater depths of the area or go kayaking on the water. There are also may historic sites to visit,, such as Boldt Castle. There are even quaint restaurants where you can dine in style and boutique shops at villages scattered throughout the region.

Hike the Adirondack Mountains (pictured)
These mountains are often described as an “outdoor paradise” with more than 2,000 miles of hiking trails and more than 3,000 lakes and ponds.  With a seemingly endless view of surrounding mountains, there are more than 40 with summits above 4,000 feet above sea level. The highest and one of the most distinctive is Mount Marcy, at 5,344 feet. Here you’ll also find the state’s highest lake, called Lake Tear, which flows into the Hudson River.
 
Finger Lakes Wine tour
With nearly 10,000 acres of vineyards on sloping hillsides at more than 120 different wineries, it’s no wonder thousands of visitors choose to flock to the Finger Lakes region. The area’s specialties include sparkling wines, pinot noir and Riesling. There are many great wine trails to choose from, including the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail or the historic Keuka Lake Wine Trail, where wine growing dates back to the 1860s.

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
This Cooperstown museum is touted as the “home of baseball” and a place to honour one of America’s greatest games. At this site you’ll learn about baseball’s early years and how it has evolved over the generations. But perhaps the most interesting section of the museum is where you learn about some of the greatest men and women to ever take to the field. Of course, this includes exploring the early days and post careers of famous names such as the one and only Babe Ruth.

BRIANNA PIAZZA