Nov
30
2017

Wet and wild is the Northern Territory summer

By Darwin / Northern Territory /

The NT is stunning all year round, yet when the wet season rolls in like clockwork every November, it adds a certain vibrancy to the landscape as floodplains fill and spill into surrounding waterways and the green foliage thickens and deepens in colour. Touring the Top End in your Darwin car rental in the green season also means you’ll be visiting out of peak, so your Territory trip-of-a-lifetime won’t break the budget as hotels and tour operators offer generous discounts.

If you’re ready for a cool change this summer, here are Tourism NT’s picks to whet your appetite for travel in the green season.

DRAMATIC DARWIN

The tropical capital is treated to vivid sunsets, spectacular light shows and refreshing rains, which bring a cool change during the summer months. Darwin’s famous Sailing Club at Fannie Bay or the Darwin Waterfront are the perfect places to watch the show unfold.

A visit to modern-day Darwin is also a journey back through Australia’s war time history. East Point Reserve, just 10 minutes’ drive from the city centre, is home to a cool collection of artillery that’s housed in the original concrete bunker used by the army to plan the strategy for the wartime defense of Australia’s northern shores.

The Territory’s famous ‘build up’ and run-off from monsoonal rains also make for great fishing from January to mid–March and the Territory’s famous Million Dollar Fish competition provides a million extra incentives for anglers to stay, play and fish in and around the Top End.  For those that prefer to feed their fish rather than catch them, Aquascene offers a daily fish feeding experience in the heart of Darwin that’s perfect for families. Expect to see inquisitive mullet, milkfish, catfish, bream, batfish and barramundi coming in to feed. For more visit www.milliondollarfish.com.au

A LUSHER LITCHFIELD

The swell of wet-season waterfalls, like popular Wangi Falls, makes for epic Instagram-worthy images when taken from the lower viewing platforms at Litchfield National Park, just a short 90-minute drive from Darwin’s CBD.

While the 4WD tracks and some walking tracks close during the green season, most of the park remains open year-round as do the popular gin-coloured Florence Falls and Buley Rockhole.

If you’re heading to these parts, then a trip to the Tolmer plunge waterfall really showcases the power of Mother Nature and it’s easily accessible in green season.  A quick dip in the infinity pool at Greenant Creek offers unbelievable views from the escarpment and, if you are lucky, you’ll have the place to yourself during the wet. In fact, this spot is so good, that Litchfield Park Rangers rate it as one of small must-do experiences in life.
More: northernterritory.com/darwin-and-surrounds/litchfield-national-park

For those that love their camping, it’s also much easier to nab a great camping spot at this time of year and soak up the quiet.  Outdoor types can roll up your swags and join Territory Expeditions’ Three day Kakadu/Litchfield small group camping expedition every November to April.

KAKADU-IT

Uluru aside, a visit to World Heritage-listed Kakadu is one of the most spiritual experiences a traveller can experience on home soil.

In the green season, a scenic flight is one of the best ways to fully appreciate this ancient and rugged landscape as water buffalo roam with free abandon, green spear trees reach their full height, billabongs swell and fill and waterfalls are in full-flow. Operators like Kakadu Air take in the park show-stoppers – Jim Jim and Twin Falls – the sight of which guarantees to make your cameras whir as fast as the helicopter’s rotors as the drama unfolds below.

On the ground, sealed roads make exploring a breeze and Nourlangie Rock (or Burrunggui as it is known to the Gun-djeihmi speakers) is one of the most impressive ancient galleries in Kakadu. This open-air gallery was the wet season home for generations of Aboriginal people and Park Rangers stress it’s important to look and not touch to preserve the site for future generations.

A cruise on Yellow Water – a lush, tropical billabong that’s home to wild buffalo, crocs, 120 species of reptiles and flocks of native birds (some 300 species in total) and all manner of flora – is a must-do on any Kakadu trip.  Kakadu Tourism offers a 90-minute trip through the wetlands – complete with expert commentary from super-enthusiastic guides and the occasional trumpeting of brolgas (which can be heard up to 2km away) – which brings visitors nose to snout with the region’s famous salties.

A range of discounted cruise options and accommodation packages are available during the green season including a Sunset and Sunrise cruise package, with overnight stay at Cooinda Lodge, or slip into safari life or embrace the emblem of the NT and stay in the park’s famous croc-shaped hotel, Mercure Crocodile Hotel.

For a touch of understated bush luxury, treat yourself to a night or two at Bamurru Plains lodge, perfectly plonked on a privately-owned buffalo station right on the fringes of Kakadu National Park. Surrounded by savannah woodland, you’ll wake to birdsong, feast on bush-inspired gourmet meals and fall asleep to the sounds of nature. The property is closed during the early months of the wet season (Nov to Feb), operates as an exclusive fishing lodge from February to April and reopens in May.

LEANER, GREENER KATHERINE (NITMILUK)

Stretching from Queensland to Western Australia, the Katherine Region is where the outback meets the tropics in a region that’s filled to the brim with dramatic gorges, river ways, thermal springs and waterfalls.

In country as beautiful as this, it’s always a good idea to take to the skies and soar over the Z-shaped lands to really appreciate the diversity, so make sure your camera is fully charged. No less than thirteen dramatic gorges dot the landscape and names like Biddlecombe Cascades, Crystal Falls and 17 Mile Falls roll off the tongue as you fly low along the escarpment towards Arnhem Land.

More: www.helispirit.com.au/all-tours/katherine-gorge-helicopter-tours/

A little closer to terra firma, Nitmiluk Tours run their Nit Nit Dreaming Two Gorge Cultural Cruise through the lands of the Jawoyn people and continue during the green season until the water levels rise too high. For water babies, Mataranka Hot Springs and its neighbour, beautiful Bitter Springs, are located just a 50 minute drive south.

Immerse yourself in nature with a hike through the Nitmiluk National Park to the Southern Rockhole – one of the few places where you can swim in park during the wet season. The walk is more hike than stroll as you clamber over the rocky escarpment so BYO good walking shoes. And, at day’s end, retire to your Safari Tent in the National Park campground, complete with resident wallabies and a side of fresh NT air.

Some call it the green season; we just call it a summer well spent in the NT.

SCOTT PODMORE (with Tourism NT)

Nov
29
2017

Sydney New Year’s Eve party hot spots to bring in 2018

By New South Wales / Sydney /

With Sydney set to throw the world’s most exciting New Year’s Eve party party featuring outstanding fireworks displays, we’ve asked the Destination NSW team to reveal some of the city’s best vantage points and parties for revellers to ring in 2018.

As NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events Adam Marshall says: “Every year Sydney erupts into a kaleidoscope of colour as the nation’s biggest-ever fireworks display welcomes in the New Year. With many locations across the harbour foreshore to view the fireworks, as well as festivities and parties to experience, celebrating New Year’s Eve in Sydney is another great reason to book a holiday to NSW.”

Here are some great options to watch all the action

Sydney - New Years Eve

The Rocks

Campbell’s Cove is on Hickson Road north of the Overseas Passenger Terminal, offers front row views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Revellers are advised to arrive early as the area usually reaches capacity at around 4pm. Admission is free; Opening times: 9.30am 31 December to 1am 1 January.

Circular Quay

To nab a spot on the forecourt of the Sydney Opera House it’s best to arrive as early as possible as this iconic spot reaches capacity early in the day. Food and drinks are available for purchase onsite. Admission is free; Opening times: 7.30am 31 December to 1.30am 1 January.

The Royal Botanic Gardens

Mrs Macquarie’s Poinnt is one of the most popular viewing spots for New Year’s Eve due to the location’s fantastic views. This vantage point also offers food and drinks available for purchase onsite. Admission is free; Opening times: 10am 31 December to 12.15am1 January.

Barangaroo Reserve

This year, celebrate New Year’s Eve at Sydney’s Barangaroo Reserve. The Reserve is one of the best-value ticketed New Year’s Eve venues on Sydney Harbour. The spectacular harbourside location, superb views of the sunset and the western façade of the Sydney Harbour Bridge make Barangaroo Reserve the ultimate spot to enjoy the 9pm and midnight fireworks. The site will feature light entertainment, picnic spaces, food and beverage hampers available for purchase and family-friendly alcohol-free zones, as well as licensed areas. Tickets start at $40 for adults and from $5 for children. Juniors under two are free. Tickets are available for purchase from ticketek.com.au. Admission is ticketed; Opening times: 6pm 31 December to 12.45am 1 January.

Darling Harbour

Viewing spots around Cockle Bay are prized locations and this year will be no exception. With a free program of live music and light shows from 7pm, as well as the famous 9pm and midnight fireworks, Cockle Bay is set to be one of the most exciting, free family-friendly locations to celebrate the end of 2017. Admission is free; Opening times: 11am 31 December to 1.30am 1 January.

Sydney Harbour Islands

Shark Island will be transformed into an island paradise this New Year’s Eve. Guests will be treated to a live DJ and some of the best views of Sydney Harbour. Dance to the tunes of DJ Adi Toohey and Sydney’s own Recess DJs. Sliders, fries and desserts will be available for purchase from Slippin’ Sliders. Tickets start from $232 for adults and from $165 for children. Children aged under four are free. Tickets include ferry transfers to and from Rose Bay.

Sydney’s other islands including Cockatoo Island, Goat Island and Clark Island offer a range of exciting New Year’s Eve events. For a lively celebration book a ticket to enjoy a three-course meal and Garden Party on Clark Island with tickets priced from $395 for adults and $242 for children. Children aged under four are free.

On the water

For a ‘ferry good view’ of the fireworks, jump aboard an iconic Sydney Harbour Ferry from Manly or Rose Bay Wharf for a front row seat of the fireworks. Exclusive tickets are now available for the Harbour of Lights Parade which gives visitors a tour of the Harbour and the closest views of the 9pm and midnight fireworks. Guests can pack a picnic to enjoy on-board with tickets starting from $150 for adults and $125 for concessions.

Sydney CBD

Sitting 47 floors above the city and offering 360 degree views from the deck of a revolving restaurant, O Bar and Dining is one of the most exclusive places in Sydney to see in the New Year. Choose to have an eight-course degustation dinner or rolling chef’s tapas taking in Sydney from all angles in the unique circular dining room. The cuisine is based on chef and owner Michael Moore’s healthy eating philosophy and complements an extensive wine list and innovative cocktail menu of modern, classic and vintage drinks. Tickets start from $475 for adults (18 years+ only).

Portside Sydney will host an exquisite ‘La Riviera’ themed party this New Year’s Eve with open-air dining and uninterrupted views of the world-famous 9pm and midnight fireworks on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Guests can enjoy free-flowing French Champagne, cocktails, live food stations and canapes by Lauren Murdoch all night as they enjoy the live music beneath the stars, under the sails of the Sydney Opera House. Tickets are priced from $695 for adults (18 years+ only).

While demand is high, revellers can still book a hotel room in the city to ring in the New Year. Travellers are advised to book fast as hotels will be at capacity on 31 December.

For a full list of Sydney New Year’s Eve vantage points visit www.sydneynewyearseve.com and find your Sydney car rental here.

Nov
27
2017

5 great Australian music festivals for summer

By

We come from a land Down Under where women glow and men plunder, and we have an endless supply of incredible music festivals. Diversity is the key so there is a festival somewhere in our great southern land to suit all tastes. Where to begin? Why not start with a campervan rental and book a holiday park to park your wheels before getting in tune with one of these five for the summer of 2017-2018.

The Toyota Country Music Festival Tamworth (19-28 January 2018)

TEN days, 700 performers, 2800 events and more than 50,000 country music lovers. Clearly there are big numbers behind this giant country music fest which this summer showcases the likes of Troy Cassar-Daley, Adam Harvey, Amber Lawrence, Beccy Cole, John Williamson and more.  From free shows every night in the park, to buskers, stalls, children’s activities and street performers there is a helluva lot going on. Choose from thousands of free and ticketed shows over the journey of the festival in the pubs, clubs and hotels around Tamworth.

Rainbow Serpent (26-29 January 2018)

A monster electronic music, arts and bush festival in Lexton, in country Victoria, the Rainbow Serpents clearly is one of Australia’s most popular festivals. The event is revved up for its 21st celebration, a long way from its humble beginnings of a small gathering in a secluded clearing to become an internationally renowned weekend of dance, colour, expression and celebration. People now travel from all over the world to Western Victoria to experience what some have said is the best outdoor festival of it’s type in the Southern Hemisphere. As the organisers say, it’s a “fresh discovery of opportunity and escapism, a chance to connect with like minded individuals and to celebrate nature, community and harmony.” No longer just an electronic music festival these days you can expect to experience a unique combination of music, art, performance, spiritual discussion, relaxation and healing.

Falls Festival (New Year’s Eve)

The Falls Music and Arts Festival celebrates 25 years this year and is one of the longest running, boutique music events in Australia. The festival is inspired by European style events, with a great selection of talented bands, DJs and comedians from throughout the world. Set in four venues including Lorne, Byron Bay, Marion Bay and Fremantle. Some big name artists this year include Flume, Peking Duk, the Kooks, Glass Animals, Daryl Braithwaite and more.

Woodford Folk Festival (27 December 2017 to 1 January 2018)

Woodford Folk Festival is one of the largest folk festivals in the world. The program taps into Australia’s cultural, artistic and social expression with music, cabaret, dance, comedy, workshops, debate, street theatre, films, forums, circus and visual arts, including an entire children’s festival and spectacular fire event on New Year’s Day. More than 2000 performers and 438 events are programmed featuring local, national and international guests. This year will be the 31st Woodford Folk Festival and the 23rd held at Woodfordia.

Mona Foma (12-22 January 2018)

Tasmania’s annual eclectic music and arts festival, Mona Foma (aka MOFO) is set in Hobart and curated by Brian Ritchie, bass player from the rock band Violent Femmes. The 2018 instalment of Mona’s popular festival will see the event branch out into Launceston for the first time, with a three-day “Mini Mofo” weekend to feature Grammy-winning Australian star Gotye and culminate in a free block party at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery. Mofo then returns to Hobart for several events before the big “Weekend at Walshy’s” features dozens of performances on-site at Mona from January 19-21.

Nov
24
2017

Western Australia road trip – Perth, Margaret River and Albany

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Everybody has to experience their own Western Australia road trip at least once in their life. WA has some of the most scenic attractions in the country, and most of them are in the south west.

Pick up your campervan rental deal with DriveNow in Perth. Your Western Australia road trip takes you from WA’s capital to Margaret River and Albany.

Stopover 1: Perth

Begin you 1100km Western Australia road trip in Perth. Pick up your campervan rental from Perth Airport. While in WA’s capital, you can squeeze in a cruise along the beautiful Swan River. For an epic day, take a 90 minute ferry across to Rottnest Island, where you can go snorkelling or relax on stunning beaches.

Stopover 2: Bunbury

Drive just under two hours south of Perth to arrive in Bunbury. One of the most popular activities for visitors is to go dolphin spotting. The main bay is home to more than 150 bottlenose dolphins, all of which can be admired from the shallow waters. Or, like many nature lovers, you can take a tour and go swimming with wild dolphins.

Stopover 3: Margaret River

The next stop on your Western Australia road trip takes you a further 100km south to Margaret River (pictured above, supplied by margaretriver.com). Thrill-seekers can catch a break with the incredible surf beaches nearby. It’s also a great place to watch migrating whales between June and November. There are plenty of wineries to visit, with Margaret River being a major wine producing region of southwest WA.

Stopover 4: Augusta

Adventure just half an hour south of Margaret River and you’ll come across a coastal town that’s often left out on most traveller’s itineraries. Australia’s most south-western town is close to the stunning Jewel Cave, Boranup Forest and Hamelin Bay. Augusta’s hiking tracks and bayside scenery make it an ideal place for adventurers and keen fishermen.

Stopover 5: Walpole

Walpole is about 245km southeast of Augusta. Walpole is famous for its Valley of Giants Tree Top Walk. This nature-based ecotourism attraction boasts a scenic 600m walk which takes you high into the canopy, allowing you to explore the world from the trees above.

Stopover 6: Albany

Your end destination is the stunning Albany. You could spend days relaxing by the turquoise waters of West Cape Howe National Park or Torndirrup National Park. You also have many nature walking tracks to choose from. If you’d like to learn about the region’s whaling past, visit a museum which was a former whale processing plant, the Historic Whaling Station.

Nov
19
2017

Your self-drive itinerary from Adelaide to the Eyre Peninsula

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The Eyre Peninsula is one of the most beautiful regions of South Australia. We’ve organised an itinerary guide for you to see the highlights of the Eyre Peninsula. It’s about a 1500 km round trip, with visits to Port Augusta, Port Lincoln and Venus Bay.

Find a bargain car rental deal from Adelaide Airport with DriveNow and begin your journey.

Night 1: Port Pirie (pictured)

Drive 220 km north of Adelaide to arrive at your first stop, Port Pirie. Between the sheltered waters of the Spencer Gulf and the gorgeous Southern Flinders Ranges, is this lovely coastal city. A visit to the local Historic and Folk Museum is a must. Step back in time as you explore buildings from the late 1800s and the remains of the largest marsupial that ever lived.

Night 2: Port Augusta

The second stop on your Eyre Peninsula self-drive holiday takes you to Port Augusta. This small city is full of things to do if you like getting outdoors. There’s the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, the Wadlata Outback Centre and the famous Water Tower Lookout.

Night 3: Cowell

Cowell is the perfect destinations for families who love swimming at the beach and fishing. One of the best spots for swimming with young kids is Lucky Bay, which is just 16 km north of Cowell.

Night 4: Port Lincoln

Drive 160 km to reach one of South Australia’s destination for adventure-lovers, Port Lincoln. The town’s most popular (and famous) activity is shark cage diving. This terrifying but thrilling experience lets you come face to face with the ocean’s greatest predator.

Night 5: Venus Bay

If you love exploring rugged coastlines and local wildlife, then make the time to do the South Head Walking Trail. Visitors who do this walk often spot sea eagles, dolphins and sea lions, to name a few. If travelling between May and October, keep an eye out for whales on their migration.

Night 6: Port Broughton

This is another great fishing spot on your tour of Eyre Peninsula. Port Broughton is a fantastic place to go out on a fishing charter. It’s perfect if you’re not very experienced, as you’ll have the help of local guides who can teach you a few tricks to improve your luck. There’s also a Heritage Centre in town, where you can pour through old photos and artefacts about the town.

Night 7: Adelaide

Travel another 170 km and you’ll come to the end of your journey of the Eyre Peninsula. Stay in Adelaide as long as you like. There’s plenty of things to do, including spending time on the beach at Glenelg, visit the zoo or the beautiful Adelaide Botanic Garden. You can even go shopping at Rundle Mall or base yourself here and take an overnight trip to Kangaroo Island.

Nov
14
2017

Your next Darwin road trip: from NT’s capital to Broome

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If you’re planning a Darwin road trip then be sure to check out DriveNow’s car and campervan rental deals from Darwin.

We also have an itinerary planned out for you. Make sure your Darwin road trip takes you through Kakadu, the Kimberleys and onto Broome.

Night 1: Darwin

Begin your Darwin road trip to Broome by picking up your campervan. Make sure your supplies, food and water are stocked up. While you’re in Darwin you should also try to visit Crocosaurus Cove, where you can dive into the cage of death and come face to face with a crocodile under water. Also visit the Mindil Beach markets and stick around for sunset.

Night 2: Kakadu (pictured, Ubirr rock area)

Just over 250 km southeast of Darwin is the small town of Jabiru. This is the perfect place to base yourself if you want to explore famous attractions like the Nourlangie Rock Art site. You must also make time to visit the stunning Ubirr rock art and the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Jim Jim Falls.

Night 3: Katherine

Drive more than 300km along the Kakadu and Stuart highways to Katherine, southwest of Jabiru. Some of the most popular activities for travellers include canoeing along the Katherine River between majestic cliffs, beaches and gorges. There are waterfalls, rock pools and Aboriginal rock paintings along more than 100km of walking tracks.

Nights 4, 5: Kununurra

Travel about 500km west to arrive at Kununurra, one of Western Australia’s youngest towns. Take a scenic tour flight of the Bungle Bungle Ranges, which is widely regarded as one of Australia’s most spectacular geological landmarks. You can also go swimming in the stunningly blue Lake Argyle, which is also known at the ‘jewel of the Kimberley’. The lovely Ord River is perfect for a boat cruise or a leisurely canoe trip. The Argyle Diamond Mine is also popular with visitors to this spectacular region.

Night 6: Halls Creek

Discover Halls Creek, which is located on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert. Use your time to discover the nearby Purnululu National Park if you haven’t done so already. It’s also worth taking the time to sign up for a tour of the Wolfe Creek Crates, which is the world’s second largest meteorite crater.

Night 7: Fitzroy Crossing

Just under 300km from Halls Creek is Fitzroy Crossing, the gateway to the Geikie Gorge National Park. This place holds spectacular scenery, waterways and majestic cliffs. Some of our top picks for activities include exploring Windjana Gorge National Park, taking a cruise along the Geikie Gorge River and Barramundi fishing.

Night 8: Derby

Northwest of Fitzroy Crossing is Derby. This small town is famous for its tidal mud flats, which has the highest tidal range of any port in Australia. The Boab Prison Tree is a 1500 year old tree, just south of the town, is iconic and widely visited by travellers. Horizontal Falls is another place worth visiting.

Night 9: Broome

Travel more than 220km southwest of Derby to arrive at your end destination, Broome. You’ll find yourself in one of Western Australia’s most beautiful natural areas, with white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and historic attractions. China Town, Matso’s Brewery, Gantheaume Point and a camel ride along Cable Beach are some of the things you should add to your to-do list.

Nov
08
2017

Driving Tasmania’s East Coast – a guide to your self-drive holiday

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Tasmania’s East Coast is the place with all the spectacular scenery, white sandy beaches and ancient forests waiting to be explored. The best way to see it all is with a self-drive holiday.

You just need to hire a car or campervan from DriveNow. Your itinerary of Tasmania’s East Coast begins in Hobart and ends in Launceston.

Day 1: Hobart

Collect your DriveNow hire vehicle in Hobart to begin your trip of Tasmania’s East Coast. Use this day to explore the city centre and waterfront. Just 30 minutes west of Hobart is Mount Wellington. Make your way to the summit of the mountain, which stands 1271 m tall. You’ll see incredible views of the Tasman sea on a clear day.

Day 2: Port Arthur (pictured)

It’s one of the country’s most eerie places. The British created the penal settlement, known as Port Arthur, in the 1830s. Take a guided tour to learn about the convicts who were imprisoned here and the hard labour they endured. The World Heritage-Listed attraction is only 95 km from Hobart.

Day 3: Triabunna

Drive another 105 km north and you’ll arrive at Tribunna, the gateway to the beautiful Maria Island. Stay here to explore the nearby wildlife sanctuary as well as the walking and cycling trails. On your way you can stop by Marion Bay for lunch as you admire the crystal clear waters.

Day 4: Bicheno

Continue north for Bicheno, one of Tasmania’s most beautiful seaside towns. This natural wonder is also a great spot to go whale watching or get up and close with penguins with a guided tour. Make sure you visit the gorgeous Coles Bay. From here you can also see Tasmania’s most famous attraction, Wineglass Bay.

Day 5: St Helens

About 75 km north of Bicheno is St Helens. This is the best place to base yourself if you’d like to discover the Bay of Fires, which stretches more than 50 km from Binalong Bay to Eddystone Point. It’s famous for its white sandy beaches and orange granite boulders. There’s a good chance you won’t be able to put down your camera.

Day 6: Scottsdale

Head inland to Scottsdale. It’s a 98 km drive, which will only take you about an hour and a half in travel time. This means you have plenty of opportunities to stop and admire scenery along the way. On the top of your to-do list in this lively agricultural town is a visit to the Bridestowe Lavener Estate, where you can learn about lavender’s uses for cooking and perfumes, while surrounded by beautiful, rolling hills of purple.

Day 7: Launceston

Your journey through Tasmania’s East Coast comes to an end when you arrive at your final destination, Launceston. People who enjoy the outdoors will want to flock straightaway to Launceston’s famous Cataract Gorge. The nature park is truly spectacular, with activities like white water rafting available. But if the weather isn’t too good, then art lovers should head indoors, beginning with a visit to the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery.

Nov
06
2017

Sydney driving holiday ideas – head for Melbourne

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Melbourne skyline view at night

Feeling like a self-drive trip that encompasses the best of New South Wales and Victoria? Our recommended Sydney driving holiday will take seven days to get to Melbourne, which is just enough time to let you stop off at key attractions along the way.

Pick up a campervan and follow our Sydney driving holiday itinerary.

Day 1: Sydney

Pick up your campervan from DriveNow and explore some of Sydney’s famous heights like the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Opera House and the one and only Bondi Beach.

Day 2: Goulburn

Drive 195 km south west to Goulburn. On the way you can take a detour to visit the area around Bowral, home to the Wombeyan Caves and the International Cricket Hall of Fame. Once you arrive at Goulburn you should visit the ‘World’s Biggest Merino’. The 15.2 metre high was built in 1985 to honour the region’s proud wool industry history. The Rocky Hill War Memorial and Museum, which explores the town’s war past, is another fascinating place to see.

Day 3: Canberra

Canberra is only 90 kilometres from Goulburn. Here you can explore Australia’s rich political history with a guided tour of Parliament House. The Australian War Memorial is also something you have to do while in Canberra. The shrine and its museum is a memorial to Australians who fought and died in war.

Day 4: Wagga Wagga

Travel another 240 km and you’ll arrive at Wagga Wagga. The Temora Aviation Museum is a popular spot for travellers. Learn about the different types of aircraft on display and the men and women who flew them during Australia’s wars. The city’s Botanic Gardens swwill also be a lovely spot to have a picnic or walk around especially if you’re visiting in Spring.

Day 5: Albury

Drive to the border town of Albury, where people love to do any sort of activity on or by the water. Walk or go for a bike ride along the famous Murray River. It’s also a wonderful spot to go canoeing. Water skiers and boat lovers also enjoy hitting the nearby Hume Dam, which is surrounded by rolling green hills.

Day 6: Glenrowan

Visit one of the most significant sites in the life of Victoria’s most infamous bushranger, Ned Kelly. Glenrowan is where Ned Kelly and his gang were finally captured after being on the run from authorities for two years. If you’re fascinated about this man’s life, it’s worth stopping by Beechworth on the way to tour the Old Gaol. It’s a haunting place and Ned Kelly is one of the many criminals who were held here. Make sure you stop by the famous Beechworth Bakery for some homemade, scrumptious pies afterwards.

Day 7: Melbourne

Your last section of your Sydney driving holiday sees you drive 230 km all the way to your end destination, Melbourne. There, attractions like the MCG, Eureka Skydeck, the Observation Wheel, St Kilda Beach and Lygon Street await. But if you’d like to enjoy some more country views, take a detour to the lovely town of Alexandra for lunch and travel through the Yarra Valley wine region into Melbourne.

Nov
02
2017

Great Queensland drives: Brisbane to Cairns

By Brisbane / Queensland /

This Brisbane to Cairns itinerary is without a doubt one of the world’s most stunning coastal drives. This self-drive holiday is full of stunning coastal spots that you wouldn’t believe existed until you saw them.

Spend 10 days following DriveNow’s 10-day Brisbane to Cairns itinerary.

Days 1, 2: Noosa

It’ll take roughly two hours to travel 145kms from Queensland’s capital to your first destination. Surf beaches, white sand and crystal-clear waters await. But if you like a quieter, more relaxed local vibe, then Peregian Beach is the place. Travel inland to explore the rolling green hills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Pay a visit to the Maleny Cheese Factory to taste some of the most scrumptious Buffalo Brie. Montville is another great stopover where you’ll discover the amazing French-style Poets Café, which boasts a gorgeous interior and sweeping countryside views.

Days 3, 4: Hervey Bay

Drive 190kms north and you’ll arrive at the lovely Hervey Bay. From mid July to early November, visitors flock to the area to watch humpback whales migrate up and down the coast. The sight is truly mesmerizing. Make sure you’re ready bright and early to get on a tour boat to witness this annual migration. Make sure you also find time to visit the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island. Get ready for clear rivers running over white sand and lush rainforest. There’s also the famous Lake McKenzie, where the water is so stunningly clear that it cleans your jewellery as if it were brand new!

Day 5: Gladstone

A three and a half hour drive north of Hervey Bay brings you to Gladstone. But no trip to this part of Central Queensland is worth it without a stop at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery. Take a tour to learn about the town’s history linked to rum. Once you arrive at Gladstone you’ll want to head straight to the beach or hire a boat to go fishing.

Days 6, 7: Airlie Beach

Airlie is a bustling tourist town, which also acts as the gateway to the Whitsundays. There are many sailing tours to choose from. You can sail to Hamilton Island, Daydream Island or Hook Island, to name a few. Whatever you do, you must not miss a trip to the incredible Whitehaven Beach. It’s radiant white sand and turquoise waters regularly earns its reputation as Australia’s number one beach.

Day 8: Townsville

Another 275kms north of Airlie Beach is Townsville. On the way you can stop for lunch in Bowen and enjoy some of the region’s famous mangoes. Once you arrive in Townsville, there are plenty of activities to choose from. Visit Magnetic Island for a day in paradise or climb the city’s iconic Castle Hill.

Day 9: Mission Beach

About an hour and a half from Townsville is Australia’s highest single drop waterfall. At 268m high, Wallaman Falls is a must-see for anyone who loves a good swim in a rainforest. It’s situated in UNESCO World Heritage listed Wet Tropics. Continue north to Cardwell, and if you’re prepared to go off the beaten path for a while you can see the stunning natural beauty of the Cardwell Spa Pools. You’ve never seen water so blue in your entire life. Before the end of the day, land yourself a spot at Mission Beach to relax.

Day 10: Cairns

Your Brisbane to Cairns itinerary is coming to an end. But the good news is that once you reach Cairns there’s still an entire world of exciting activities waiting for you. Whether you’re adventurous and want to hike some of Queensland’s highest mountains, set off to explore the Great Barrier Reef, or chill at a cafe by the beach, Cairns has something incredible to offer everyone.