Oct
31
2016

Road trip Sydney and beyond – 5 great drives this summer

By Australia / Australian Capital Territory / New South Wales / Sydney /

If you are to Google Earth our beautiful country you would quickly realise we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to road trips throughout our enormous continent. Once you jump in a Sydney car rental every road leads to a great adventure. But where to start? Try these suggestions.

Sydney to Leura (pictured)

Set your sights in a westerly direction and head for Wentworth Falls via the M4 Motorway. Catch some gorgeous little towns along the way including Glenbrook, Faulconbridge, Hazelbrook and continue on to magnficient Wentworth Falls. The views over the Jamison Valley are hard to beat and there are some great opportunities for  a walk through the Blue Mountains National Park. After that take the 10 minute drive to Leura where you can take a stroll checking out the local shops, galleries and craft stores while having a bite in one of the gourmet cafes.

Grand Pacific Drive

This southerly sensation is arguably Australia’s best, a spectacular driving route that takes in ocean views, countless beaches and such hotspots as Stanwell Tops, Bald Hill Lookout and Sea Cliff Bridge, a sight to behold that swerves out from the cliffs over the sea. Heading off from Sydney, it all starts in Royal National Park before cruising through Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama (a stop off at Easts Beach Big4 Holiday Park is a must!).  Explore quaint seaside villages, drive through rainforests and enjoy a stellar coastline with an endless supply of views.

Discover the Poachers Way

It may be a three hour journey (no stops) from Sydney, but it’s both the journey and the destination that provide loads of highlights with this one. The journey south will take you through such touristy treats like Bowral and Goulburn before you reach the region surrounding Canberra. Welcome to the Poachers Way, a tourist route where you can sample the fine food, wine and art produced by local chefs, winemakers and artists. Visit the towns of Yass, Hall and gorgeous Murrumbatemen along the way and enjoy the high quality produce and discover the handcrafts and local produce of local businesses and artisans.

Hunter Valley

Wine country, yes, but you don’t necessarily need to be a big fan of the grape! Hunter Valley is a two and a half hour drive from the heart of Sydney and while it has a smorgasbord of beautiful rolling vineyards, wineries and great cellar doors, there are also such attractions as Hunter Valley Gardens (with 10 stunning storybook feature gardens), luxury retreats like the Chateau Elan at The Vintage, a splendid golf and spa resort, restaurants galore, and national parks with great walks on offer.

Port Stephens

Head north and hug the coast for a couple of hours and providing you can avoid beautiful distractions like the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle you will stumble upon Port Stephens. There’s a lot to do here, from enjoying “blue water paradise” with 30km of pristine coastline for a swim, fish, whale watching expedition or a dolphin cruise, otherwise hit the sand dunes at Stockton Beach on a quad bike or discover national parks and a superb marina at Nelson Bay for a shop or bite to eat.

Also try Six Summer Sensations in Sydney and Sydney To The Blue Mountains – 5 Ways To Play

SCOTT PODMORE

 

 

Oct
30
2016

Sink your teeth into these Melbourne food adventures

By Australia / Melbourne /

Melbourne is a food-lover’s paradise. There are plenty of food adventures for you to experience around the city.

Hire a car from Melbourne Airport and sink your teeth into one of Melbourne’s best food adventures.

Go Italian at Degraves Street (pictured)
Degraves Street is one of the most charming places in Melbourne. Bluestone cobbles cover and gorgeous cafes line the street. It’s home to some of the best desert dishes in town. You’ll find an endless array of homemade Italian dishes, such as fresh pizza and pasta. Café Andiamo or Il Tempo are some of the venues that are regularly packed with happy customers. Waffle On is always a food choice for a delicious treat afterwards.

Queenie’s Food Tours
This tour takes you to some of the best food experiences around Melbourne. Make sure you begin the day on an empty stomach. The organisers have carefully researched several locations only to pick the finest restaurants, cafes, dessert shops, chocolatiers and gourmet stores. That means you’ll be wanting to sample several different foods at every stop! If you’re a sweet tooth then you’ll love the Sweet Dreams Walking Tour. Enjoy scrumptious chocolates, cakes, macaroons, tarts… you name it!

Yarra Valley Winery Tour
The Yarra Valley Winery Tour takes you to four wineries in the beautiful Yarra Valley wine region. Not only do you get to enjoy gorgeous scenery one hour east of Melbourne but the boutique wineries and lunches are unforgettable. The tour is flexible and the local driver lets you choose which wineries you visit. The beauty of this is if you’re on a private group tour you can even choose to stay longer at the one location if you’re enjoying it that much.

Dine on cheese and wine
Cheese and wine is perhaps the best combination in the world. Melbourne has many hidden fromageries that are fit for a king. They’re spread across the city but there’s one little place in St Kilda that will win you over. Il Fornaio’s farmaggerio artiginale for some of the best Italian cheeses you’ll ever find. They’re homemade by two sisters whose family consists of a long history of cheese makers.

Hopetoun Tea Rooms
Established in 1892, the Hopetoun Tea Rooms have been won over millions of dessert lovers over that time. It’s located inside the Block Arcade, which offers a glimpse into the CBD’s charming history. The tea rooms continues to offer quality, old world charm and fine food in this beautiful location. It also has a fantastic menu. The organic teas are a menu favourite and are bound to catch your attention.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Oct
28
2016

5 great places to stay in the McLaren Vale region

By Adelaide / Australia / South Australia /

The McLaren Vale region is one of the most beautiful areas of South Australia. The region features superb wineries, beaches, trails and charming places to stay.

Hire a car from Adelaide Airport, drive 35km south of the city and stay at one of these great places.

Bellevue Bed and Breakfast
Relax and indulge at Bellevue B&B. Wake up in the morning for a delicious three course homemade breakfast. It’s just what you need before heading out to explore Mclaren Vale’s famous wineries. Your charming accommodation also has free WiFi, a dining area and an outdoor entertaining spot where you can lounge in the sunshine and enjoy some of the region’s best drops!

3 Divas Luxury Accommodation (pictured)
This is a gorgeous place to base yourself for your stay in McLaren Vale. It’s located in the heart of McLaren Vale and within walking distance to restaurants and wineries. Your options include a self-contained log chalet, The Marlene, which spoils you with beautiful vineyard views and a 2-person spa. Then there’s the Moscato Cottage, which takes you back to the 1850s. The stone cottage is also in a gorgeous rural setting and perfect for a romantic getaway.

Wine and Roses Bed and Breakfast
This multi award winning accommodation has everything you need for a relaxing getaway in wine country. The iconic 5-star B&B is perched in a quiet, residential area and is only 6km from the Coriole Vineyards and 12km from the gorgeous Aldinga Beach. Rooms include 4-poster beds, balconies and a private courtyard. Full breakfasts are provided.

The Vineyard Retreat
This stylish retreat has four guest houses; each with gorgeous views of the wine country. You’ll be staying in an elegant guest house which has all the modern necessities you need, along with old-fashioned double French doors to your very own outdoor verandah. There’s even an outdoor Jacuzzi, where you can enjoy ocean views with a wine in hand. There are also many luxury tour options to explore the region.

Sally’s Cottage Rural Escape
Sally’s Cottage is located in the Hope Forest area, with nearby wineries within easy reach. It’s also close to historic sites, walking trails and other towns such as Willunga and Mount Compass. This recently renovated 4 room cottage sits on 4.7 hectares. It oozes simple charm and tranquillity and has everything you’re looking for in a perfect getaway.

Also try Five Great Regions To Explore From Adelaide

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Oct
21
2016

What’s hot in Wellington NZ

By

New Zealand’s incredible capital city, Wellington, is located on the North Island. It boasts many exciting attractions, from the exciting Weta Cave mini museum to the iconic red cable cars that take you to the top of Mount Victoria. The city also has a vibrant food and wine scene.

All you need to do is hire a car from Wellington Airport https://www.drivenow.com.au/new-zealand/car-hire-wellington.jspc# and drive yourself to one of these hot up-and-coming events.

Wellington Sky Show Fireworks (pictured)
6th November, 9pm
Every single year the Wellington Sky Show lights up the sky over the city’s harbour. This spectacular fireworks display marks Guy Fawkes Night and has been running since 1995. It’s perhaps one of the most unique displays you’ll ever witness too, with the fireworks show synchronised with soundtracks on local radio stations. Grab a bite to eat and enjoy the show from Wellington’s waterfront – one of the best vantage points in the city.

Black Moon
31st October
Another great event to add to you to-do list is to head down to Space Place to watch the Black Moon show. With the show running on the night Halloween, Black Moon is bound to alert your senses. It’s terrifying and definitely not for the faint-hearted! The show tells a gruesome tale about evil spirits related to Wellington’s night sky, all while you witness frightening visuals projected onto the planetarium dome above, This sound and visual experience is suitable for adults.

Diwali Festival of Lights
23rd October, 1:30-10pm
It’s one of the most colourful festivals you could ever imagine! Indians all across the world come together to light candles and lamps to signify triumph of light over darkness and Wellington is no exception. It’s one of the most important Hindu festivals and it’s growing on the New Zealand calendar. The event attracted more than 150,000 visitors in 2015. This year a busier and even more exciting line-up of international dance acts and art workshops is expected to see that legacy continue.

Shelly Bay Market
23rd October – 20th November
People of all ages can head to The Lodge for this gorgeous boutique style artisan, arts and crafts market. There are several different stalls where you can snatch up beautiful gifts for a good price. The stall holders are also friendly and more than happy to have a chat with you about their unique creations. This market showcases some of the best local art and creativity, which you’ll never find anywhere else.

Also try Places To Park Your Campervan In Wellington

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Oct
18
2016

Campervan adventures in Christchurch

By Christchurch /

55745910 – group of teenage hipsters on a roadtrip having fun, standing at the campervan. young friends outside on a summer day.

Christchurch is the oldest city in New Zealand. It’s also one of the most beautiful and is recovering after the devastating 2011 earthquakes. Whether you want to explore the city’s famous gardens, hit the snow or go on an outdoor adventure in the forest, Christchurch has everything. 

Planning a trip to Christchurch but wondering where to park your wheels? Visit DriveNow’s website to hire a campervan so you can begin your adventure in this beautiful city!

Christchurch Top10 Holiday Park

This holiday park is the largest accommodation provider in the city. It’s located on the outskirts of the CBD, making it an ideal place to base yourself during your stay. After you’ve explored the area for the day, you can enjoy the park’s spacious grounds, park facilities and pool. It’s always a favourite with young families but it also accommodates for all types of travellers, including business and backpackers.

North South Holiday Park

North South Holiday Park is located just five minutes from the airport, so you won’t have to travel far after picking up your campervan from the airport. If that’s not ideal enough, you’re also a short drive to wineries, wildlife parks and shopping malls. Powered and unpowered sites, cabins, BBQ facilities and a swimming pool with a sauna are some of the park’s highlights.

Amber Kiwi Holiday Park

Another centrally located holiday park, which sits between Christchurch Airport and close to the CBD. There’s a range of accommodation options, including camping or staying in your campervan. Park facilities include free wifi, car wash, two communal kitchen, a TV room with more than 50 channels. There’s plenty to keep the kids occupied while you rest and enjoy your holiday. Not to mention this place took out winner of the “Kiwi Holiday Park of the Year” award in 2014 and 2015.

South Brighton Holiday Park

A beautiful holiday park right beside South Brighton Beach. You can explore the highlights of the city but come home at the end of the day to a tranquil beach surrounding. Walk along the sandy shore, hire a boat, go swimming or surfing or completely lounge around with a book. From the shore near the camp there are no commercial developments, making it a wonderful place to holiday.

Also check out Seven Great Eateries In Christchurch

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Oct
13
2016

6 summer sensations in Sydney

By Australia / Sydney /

Sydney is the perfect destination in the summer. It’s the time of year where you can spend pretty much your entire trip outdoors as you explore each attraction the city has to offer. Whether that’s a stroll along the beach, an adrenaline-filled activity or an evening of fine dining, Sydney has everything. But one of the best things about Sydney is its food scene.

Hire a car from Sydney Airport and choose from these six summer sensations.

Visit a dining precinct
This city is bursting with fantastic places to eat and drink. There are plenty of lively and emerging dining hubs, including Surry Hills and Chatswood. In Chippendale you’ll find a chic restaurant called Ester. It’s tucked away with its arched openings and dimly lit space. Sweet tooths should consider heading to Black Star Pastry in Newtown. A mouthful of one of these delicious sensations will change the way you think about dessert forever.

Explore a produce market
Fill your weekend with markets! There’s plenty to choose from. One of the most reputable is Carriageworks Farmers Market. This award-winning authentic farmers market is held every Saturday. Fresh, seasonal produce from more than 70 stalls fills the site, located in the heart of the CBD. These delights are picked and packed with love.

Chill on a rooftop
Sometimes where you’re dining is almost just as important as the tastes filling your mouth. Welcome to Glenmore at the Rocks, where you’re treated to 180-degree views of the harbour and CBD from a rooftop. Enjoy these sensational views as you enjoy scrumptious, high-end pub food. It’s the perfect place to enjoy dinner and sunset on a summer’s night.

Go on a gourmet safari tour
Food lovers unite for a gourmet safari adventure! Your guide whisks you to some of the most exotic food precincts in the city. You’ll learn about culinary food and customs while feasting on some of the most flavoursome dishes. Gourmet safari tours give visitors a taste of China, Greece, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Africa, to name a few cuisines.

Chinatown night market
Chinatown is one of Sydney’s most popular international food scenes. Walk just a few metres and you’ll feel like you’ve entered an entirely different country. Here, you’ll receive a good taste of Chinese culture. At certain times of the year there’s even food stalls that line the streets, giving you ample opportunity to sample several dishes. Think Hong Kong, Hanoi, Tokyo, and more!

Dine on the water
Sydney Harbour is one of the most beautiful stretches of water in Australia. At night the water lights up with reflections of the city’s main attractions, such as the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. How else better to spend a romantic evening then on board a luxury dinner cruise with million dollar views on the water?

ALSO try 5 Short Road Trips From Sydney

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Oct
12
2016

Discover Launceston and surrounds

By Australia / Tasmania /

Launceston is one of the most beautiful places worth discovering in northern Tasmania. This gorgeous riverside city is full of charm and history. Immerse yourself in Launceston and surrounds and tick these four activities off your adventure list.

All you need to do is hire a car from Launceston Airport and check out these highlights.

The National Automobile Museum of Tasmania
This museum features over 100 years’ of stylish automobiles. Rolls Royce, Aston Martin and Jaguar are some of the big brands you’ll get to admire. The upper level of the museum is home to many motorcycles. It’s a must-visit for rev-heads who are keen to learn about history and the technological advances over time. There’s also a chance to take home some memorabilia.

Tamar Valley wineries
The Tamar Valley stretches from the rolling hills surrounding Launceston to the beautiful beaches of the Bass Strait. The valley is home to forests, vineyards and orchards, which makes it the perfect destination to relax and sample fine wine. You’ll find award-winning wineries throughout the valley. At the heart of the region is the Tamar Valley Wine Route, which is the oldest wine region in Tasmania. You’ll find winery after winery, all noted for Chardonnay, Pinor Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Riesling.

Launceston Tramway Museum
Step back in time by taking part in a 1940s tram ride at the Launceston Tramway Museum. Live part of the state’s history as you travel along the Inveresk precinct rail track past beautiful forests and valleys. It took seven years to restore Launceston’s only surviving double bogie tram. While here, you can also explore the museum’s large, modern display gallery.

Cataract Gorge
Locals call it “The Gorge” and it’s just minutes from the city centre. Travel a pathway along the cliff face, which looks down onto the South Esk River. It was originally built in the 1890s. There’s also a swimming pool and open area on the southern side of the First Basin. You’ll also discover hiking trails, gardens and wildlife, cafes and the gorge’s famous chairlift.

Also try Hobart City guide.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Oct
10
2016

Chicago: 5 great ways to play in the Windy City

By United States /

Chicago, nicknamed the ‘Windy City’, has so much to offer its visitors. There are outdoor activities, historical attractions and food and shopping tours to keep you occupied.

Hire a car from Chicago Airport and discover these five great ways to play.

Bike and Brew Tour
Explore Chicago’s unique breweries with a scenic bike ride along the city’s famous Lakefront Trail. Sample food and some of the best beer as you visit the Chinatown and Pilsen neighbourhoods. Your local guide teaches you about Chicago’s beer scene and its long brewing history. This ride is not only educational, but it’s also a lot of fun.

Navy Pier
Chicago’s famous Navy Pier has a long and fascinating history. It opened to the public in 1916 as a dock for freights and a public event venue. In World War Two, the site transformed into a Navy training centre. Today the ‘People’s Pier’ is a great entertainment venue and vantage point to admire the city’s skyline. Some of the main attractions include the 4000 square feet of tunnel inside the Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze. There’s also theme park rides, a children’s museum and a large, lush botanical garden.

Chicago Crime Tours
The Windy City has been home to some of America’s most famous criminals and gangsters. Explore this underworld with a sightseeing tour. An experienced guide takes you to the sites of some of the most horrific crimes from the 19th century through to recent times. Learn about the devastating St Valentine’s Day Massacre, The Untouchables or The Chicago Mob. This tour will keep you on the edge.

1893 World’s Fair Walking Tour
The Chicago World’s Far was originally held to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the New World. Today, the very site where it was held has become one of the city’s key attractions. A walking tour takes you back in time as you learn about entertaining and unusual facts about the event. Delve into the games, food, drink, architecture and entertainment that brought the city to life.

Tall Ship Windy
The Windy City is home to is very own Tall Ship Windy. The majestic 148-foot vessel represents the Golden Age of Sail. Jump onboard for a sailing adventure and prepare to be mesmerised by its character and charm. You can even join in with raising the sail and relaying orders. Prepare to be inspired as you admire the city skyline while learning a thing or two about sailing.

BRIANNA PIAZZA