Dec
31
2017

Summer food festivals around Australia

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Food festivals are the best type of event for food lovers. The great thing about summer in Australia is you’ll find incredible food festivals across the country. Whether you’re after fresh, tasty raw produce, scrumptious sweets and deserts, international cuisine or hearty meats, there’s an event that’ll tempt every taste bud.

Snag a bargain car hire deal from DriveNow in your nearest capital city and make your way to one of these fantastic food festivals.

Taste of Tasmania

December – January
For a whole week, Hobart’s beautiful waterfront comes alive with the iconic Taste of Tasmania. The event features more than 70 stalls that offer everything from seafood, cheese, fruits, vegetables and small goods. Snatch up some cool-climate wines and boutique beers and ciders on offer.

Crush Festival

January
Celebrate the best of food in the beautiful Adelaide Hills during the annual Crush Festival. Take your senses on a journey as you sample wines and scrumptious produce grown in the region. There’s also delightful music, theatre, art and markets to keep you busy for this one-day festival.

Apollo Bay Seafood Festival (pictured)

February
Grab the family and a picnic rug and head to Apollo Bay, just two and a half hours south west of Melbourne. This enchanting seaside town becomes a fabulous location for a feast for one day in February, with local and fresh seafood plentiful. There are loads of top drops, market stalls, live entertainment and cooking demonstrations from celebrity chefs.

Great Australian Bites

January
Spend your Australia Day stuffing your face with some of the best food this great country has to offer! By the Brisbane River you can enjoy culinary delights from award winning local bars, restaurants and cafes. Pop up Great Australian Bites events are also held across regional cities and towns in Queensland, including Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays.
BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
30
2017

How to do your Canada snow holiday – visit Whistler

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If you’re planning a Canada snow holiday then Whistler is surely at the top of your list of destinations to visit. Many professional skiers and snowboarders consider it one of the world’s greatest winter destinations.

Your Canada snow holiday at Whistler will provide you with more than 200 trails along with more than 8000 acres of terrain for skiing or snowboarding.

Pick up a hire car or campervan at Vancouver airport, and drive 2 hours north to Whistler. Here are some of the most exciting things to do during your Canada snow holiday.

Surfs Up

There are many incredible trails to explore during your time at Whistler. But which one is the best depends on who you’re talking to. However, Surfs Up consistently ranks as one of the best among experienced skiers and snowboarders. There are steep cliff drop offs to thrill you while beginners can still have a go at other parts of the mountain, such as Burnt Stew Trail. One of the best things about this trail is the stunning 360-degree view.

Explore Whistler Village

Whistler Village isn’t your average indoor escape from the cold elements. Whistler Village is an attraction within itself. It has more than 200 shops, cafes and restaurants to explore. Food lovers will praise the chocolate shops and eateries with award-winning chefs. There are art galleries, bookstores and other specialty shops to keep you busy for hours.

Admire the views

There are incredible views surrounding Whistler. If you’d like to see one of the most popular, then head to Panorama Ridge. It’s a scenic hike located between the towns of Whistler and Squamish. Stroll through forests and meadows full of wildflowers. The peak sits at 2133m and offers views of two stunning mountains and Garibaldi Lake. This hike can easily be accomplished in a day, but make sure you’re prepared and leave early.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
23
2017

5 great places to park your wheels and discover Perth attractions

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Perth is Australia’s sunniest capital. It’s also one of the world’s most liveable cities, largely because there’s so much to do. Perth attractions include pristine beaches, exciting bushwalks and a vibrant food and wine scene,. ‘

These Perth attractions make the west coast such an appealing holiday option for families in caravans. Pick up your keys after securing a cheap Perth caravan deal with DriveNow and visit these places.

Perth City

Perth (pictured) is a great city for dining and for exploring beaches. It’s also a perfect spot to base yourself if you want to explore Perth attractions. One of the best places to admire in the hills just east of Perth is Lesmurdie Falls. There’s a two kilometre walk circuit that takes you to the base of the falls. You can also take a short ferry ride to Rottnest Island. Spend the day snorkelling with colourful fish and surfing. Or just relax on the beach.
Where to stay? We recommend Karrinyup Waters Resort.

York

This town, about an hour and a half east of Perth, oozes historical charm. Set in the heart of the picturesque Avon Valley, it’s like you’ve stepped back in time to the early colonial days. Walk past beautiful Victorian and Federation-style early buildings along lovely streets. Even just go for a drive and get lost in the valley.
Where to stay? We recommend York Caravan Park and Camping Grounds

Kalamunda

Travel about half an hour from Perth, where you can explore Kalamunda. It’s famously known as the beginning of the Bibbulmun Track. People don’t realise that you don’t actually have to hike the full 100km trek to enjoy the trail’s beauty. You can actually stop in at certain parts of the track like Mount Cooke and take in the views.
Where to stay? We recommend Banksia Tourist Park

Margaret River

This small town, just south of Perth, is known for its boutique wineries and breweries. Not just that, but you also have incredible surf beaches, limestone caves to explore and short but picturesque hikes. Margaret River is also a great place to base yourself if you want to go whale watching. June to November is the best time to see these magnificent creatures make their annual migration.
Where to stay? We recommend BIG4 Taunton Farm Margaret River

Swan Valley

The Swan Valley is one of those incredible places where you’re surrounded by postcard perfect views. It’s almost too good to be true! Rolling green hills and fantastic vineyards away. Yet it’s only about half an hour from downtown Perth! Take a tour of a distillery and sample fine wine and cheeses.
Where to stay? We recommend Swan Valley Tourist Park

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
21
2017

Where to stay and park your campervan for Parkes Elvis Festival

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Every year the small town of Parkes comes alive with a festival to celebrate the King of Rock n Roll’s birthday. The Parkes Elvis Festival is held in the second week of January, to coincide with Elvis Presley’s birthday. It boasts more than 150 events over five days of all things Elvis.

The Parkes Elvis Festival attracts more than 22,000 fans from across Australia and the world. The event features non-stop live entertainment, including the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, a street parade and a renewal of vows ceremony.

You just need to find a cheap campervan hire deal at Sydney and travel five hours west to be part of this iconic even. It’s an epic celebration of the life and music of Elvis Presley. Park your wheels at one of these places!

Spicer Caravan Park, Parkes

This quiet park is only a short walk from the town centre. Yet it’s far away enough from the highway that you won’t be kept up at night with noisy traffic. The park features barbeque facilities, nearby sporting fields and shady sites to keep you cool during the summer.

Double D Caravan Park, Peak Hill

This is another lovely park where you have the convenience of being close to the Newell Highway but minus the noise of traffic. It’s a quiet space that’s pet friendly and features a barbeque and fish pond.

Peak Hill Caravan Park, Peak Hill

The friendly town centre of Peak Hill is just an easy walk away from your accommodation. Come home to a lovely natural bush setting. But you’ll also have free wireless hot spots and TV access from all sites. It’s also a pet friendly site.

Apex Riverside Tourist Park, Forbes

This scenic park is known for its stunning views of the Lachlan River. Relax in a quiet and peaceful surrounding with riverside access. It’s a great spot if you love fishing or going for a swim without a hassle. It’s also just a short drive from the historic town of Forbes.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
18
2017

Your travel guide to Coffs Harbour and surrounds

By New South Wales /

Coffs Harbour is a beautiful town on the North Coast of New South Wales. It’s a great summer getaway favourite for many travellers, thanks to its stunning beaches and iconic attractions like the Big Banana. But it’s also known for its many natural wonders. To do the region properly, you need a car to explore the region. You’ll easily find a cheap car hire deal with DriveNow. Drive six hours north to Coffs Harbour, where you can get started with some of these must-do activities.

Explore Bindarri National Park

This pristine park has many walking, bike and 4WD trails that are just waiting to be explored. It also has plenty of scenic spots that are great for a picnic or birdwatching. The clear, cascading Bangalore Falls should be at the top of your list. It’s a 500m walk from the carpark, but you’ll feel like you’re in your own private oasis.

Take a Segway tour

Go off-road with an eco-friendly Segway. Your guide teaches you how to operate the Segway before taking you on a tour of the coastal city. Enjoy fresh air as you breeze past attractions and stunning scenery, while getting a little history lesson along the way. Choose from a morning or afternoon your.

Visit Coffs Harbour Butterfly House

Enter the home of more than 400 Australia butterflies in a tropical rainforest setting. Every colour you can possibly imagine flashes before you at the award-winning attraction The best time to see them is between 10 and 2pm, when the butterflies are generally more active.

Do the Mobong Walking Track

Pack a picnic and begin a leisurely walking track, that initially follows a historic tramway once used for timber logging. Follow a tranquil creek, with beautiful pools, waterfalls and lush forest of the way. Listen out for birds and rare frogs while keeping an eye out for ancient trees along the way.

Relax at Diggers Beach

This is a great place to spend the afternoon if you want some R&R. It’s a popular sport for surfers and tourists who love the summer weather. But if you’re one to hide from the sun’s harsh rays, then the wide beach also has a lot of shade. Diggers Beach is also right across the road from the iconic Big Banana.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
14
2017

Where to stay for the Tamworth Country Music Festival

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The Tamworth Country Music Festival is held every year in January. The city in northeast New South Wales draws massive international acts and about 50,000 fans from across the world. Country Music plays a pivotal role in culture in the city with the famous Big Golden Guitar. The Tamworth Country Music Festival is often regarded as one of the world’s top music festivals, and it’s the second only to the Nashville Music Festival in terms of its size and reach. With the influx of visitors to the area for the two weeks, accommodation completely book out up to a year in advance. Your best bet is to find a campervan hire deal at Sydney and drive nearly five hours to Tamworth to park your wheels at one of these places. Make sure you book early.

Riverside Camping Grounds

When in town for the Tamworth Country Music Festival, the Riverside Camping Grounds are just a short walk away from all the action in the Tamworth CBD. This central location is also just next to the beautiful Peel River, where you can relax after enjoying non-stop music.

Tamworth North Holiday Park

Tamworth North Holiday Park is set in a good location. It’s within easy reach of several parks, museums, cafes and shopping centres. Powered and unpowered sites are available. Landscaped gardens surround the park, which also features a swimming pool and BBQ facilities.

Fossickers Tourist Park Nundle

If you can’t find somewhere to stay in town during the festival, then Fossickers Tourist Park at Nundle is a great option. It’s a 50 minute drive from the capital of the Golden Guitar but here you can relax in a tranquil setting in the hills. It’s the start of the famous Fossickers Way, which is a scenic 380km tourist drive.

Chaffey Dam Camping Reserve

Here’s another option that’s also a 50-minute drive from Tamworth. But the scenery makes it well worth the drive. Set on the Peel Valley, you can enjoy plenty of swimming, fishing and boating on a beautiful lake. Not to mention the abundance of wildlife in the area. Great music and great scenery… who could ask for more?

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
12
2017

Coonawarra region for a summer holiday

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The Coonawarra region is famous for its superb wine, festival and food scene. The town is just under 400km southeast of Adelaide, making it a great destination for a weekend getaway, if that’s all the time you have.

But if you have a week or two, then Coonawarra is a great place to spend the summer. There’s plenty to do, from sussing out wine cellars to exploring the area’s history. Just hire a car from Adelaide with DriveNow and tick these activities off your bucket list.

Katnook Estate

In the heart of the beautiful Coonawarra region, lies Katnook. Its history dates back to 1867, and today it has numerous accolades to its name. For example, it’s the official wine for the country’s largest arts organisation, Opera Australia. Katnook Estate vineyards include Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Pinot Noir.

Hells Hole Sinkhole

This large sinkhole has existed for thousands of years. It sits in the depths of the Lower Glenelg National Park’s pine forest, near Mt Gambier. It’s less famous than Mount Gambier’s Blue Lake, but these deep blue hued waters are worth seeing at least once in your life. Admire this spectacular sight from the viewing platform.

Mary MacKillop Historical Centre

Penola is about a 15 minute drive from Coonawarra. You should consider stopping by this small town to explore the Mary MacKillop Historical Centre. It’s dedicated to Australia’s first saint of the Catholic Church. You’ll find it interesting to learn about the difference she made to the lives of many Australians through helping them.

Fishing along the Limestone Coast

Head for the coast, where the Limestone Coast has many great fishing spots. You’ll find places that are perfect if you want to case out by boat, beach or jetty. Some of the best fishing hotspots in the region are found off Cape Jaffa, Port MacDonnell, Beachport and the Glenelg River.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
11
2017

Easter campervanning along the Murray River

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The Murray River is a stunning, iconic wonder. It forms the border for New South Wales and Victoria and encompasses various landscapes. The great thing about the Murray River is that it stretches more than 2,500 kilometres long, meaning you can find your own quiet paradise anywhere from the Victorian alps to the sandy shores of Goolwa Beach, South Australia. Even if it’s peak period for school holidays, you can escape the crowds for a few weeks by the Murray River.

Hire a campervan from Melbourne, travel north and stay at one of these places.

Echuca Holiday Park

Stay riverside to the Murray River, while also being within walking distance to the historic Port of Echuca (see pictured). One of the best things to do while in town is to jump on board paddlesteamer to learn about the area’s history, dating back to the 1800s. Echuca Holiday Park also has great BBQ and entertainment facilities, including a shared lounge and tennis court.

Lake Hume Tourist Park

Travel just over three hours north of Melbourne and you’ll find a picturesque gem on the Murray. Lake Hume Tourist Park offers lakeside accommodation, perfect for families looking for a relaxing getaway. It’s also a great spot for water sports. But you’re also close enough to the border city of Albury if you’d like to duck into the centre for shopping or dining.

BIG4 Yarrawonga Mulwala Lakeside Holiday Park

Here you’ll find yourself staying right on the shores of lake Mulwala. You’re close to the boat ramp if you want to launch your boat on the lake and go out fishing for the day. Yarrawonga is most famous for water skiing. Many locals even call Yarrawonga a water skier’s paradise!

Clearwater by the Upper Murray Caravan Park

This is a peaceful, pet friendly park in the tiny town of Tintaldra. The historic village sits beneath the Snowy Mountains, right on the Mighty Murray. It’s just over 20km from Corryong, which is famous for its Man from Snowy River Bush Festival, held every April.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
07
2017

Christmas spirit sweeps over Melbourne

By Melbourne / Victoria /

Melbourne comes alive for some serious Christmas spirit every year as shopping hotspots dress up for the occasion. The Visit Victoria team shared the news with Melbourne car rental specialists DriveNow on just where to go to find the Spirit of Christmas, along with what’s open and when.

From markets to the Myer windows, selfies with Santa and a merry activation in Federation Square, there’s something for locals and visitors alike as Victoria celebrates. Try these:

Federation Square (until 25 December)

Federation Square will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland offering festive fun for the whole family. The jolly man in red is in residence, found beneath a 16-metre-tall tree and waiting to make his list of naughty and nice children. A light show takes over at 9:00pm every night, with a six-metre bauble glittering in the Square.

State Library of Victoria Christmas Projections (until 25 December)

The iconic State Library of Victoria will light up across December, with its stunning architecture featuring a bright and swirling projection show that tells the story of the North Pole’s preparation for the big day. The show begins at 9pm every night.

Myer Christmas Windows (until early 2018)

As iconic as Santa Claus himself, the Myer Christmas Windows in the Bourke Street Mall are a Melbourne institution. Celebrating ‘The Completely and Utterly Perfect Christmas’ by HC Floren, it’s best to get there early and avoid the queues. The Giftorium on the sixth floor provides plenty of inspiration for those on the hunt for presents that surprise a loved one.

Christmas Laneways (until early 2018)

Degraves Street, Alfred Place, Howie Place, Meyers Place and Manchester Lane are some of Melbourne’s most iconic laneways and in 2017 they’ll be decked out with boughs of holly, fairy lights, baubles and in some cases, a reindeer too. Did someone say Instagram?

The Gingerbread Village (until 24 December)

The Gingerbread Village by EPICURE returns to the Melbourne Town Hall in 2017, brought to life by award-winning pastry chef Deniz Karaca and his talented team in an effort to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital. This year they will craft the F1 Grand Prix circuit, adding to the existing village comprising 500 kilograms of gingerbread, 360 kilograms of royal icing, 150 kilograms of marzipan and around 800 miniature Christmas trees for the festive backdrop.

Christmas with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (16 Deccember)

Feet will be tapping as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra perform favourite festive orchestral works, such as ‘The Nutcracker’ by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Christmas Eve’ at the Arts Centre’s Hamer Hall, where a recent renovation and the very latest sound technology has cemented the venue as one of the world’s great music halls.

Carols by Candlelight Sidney Myer Music Bowl (Christmas Eve)

Those attending will join in the chorus at Carols by Candelight, a now 80-year long celebration of music that donates 100% of profits to the efforts of Vision Australia. For locals and visitors alike, this is an unforgettable evening of music, laughter and memories. Spectators can enjoy a BYO picnic on the grass, watching and listening to your favourite carols by artists like Marina Prior, Denis Walter and Silvie Paladino.

Skate with Santa (every weekend in December)

Budding Winter Olympians can take to the ice alongside Santa at O’Brien Group Arena, with skating for the whole family a fantastic way to begin the build-up to Christmas Day. It’s on every Saturday and Sunday across December, from 11am – 3pm.

Queen Victoria Market (until 25 December)

The North Pole comes to Melbourne’s most iconic market this December, as thousands of Melburnians stock up on the trimmings required for a feast to remember. More than 250,000 people are expected to pass through in the days leading up to Christmas, with entertainment from carollers to feature alongside Santa Claus and cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef Lynton Tapp.

South Melbourne Market (until 25 December)

An Australian Christmas abounds for Melburnians on the hunt for seafood, and the South Melbourne Market, Coventry and Cecil streets, is the place to be for prawns, crayfish, crabs and oysters this festive season. There will be extended trading from 20 December and Santa and his elves will be on site to support with any final gift ideas.

CHRISTMAS TRADING HOURS

As Christmas Day fast approaches, it’s time to plan ahead. Below is an update on Christmas trading hours for the major centres across the city.

Chadstone, the Fashion Capital
11 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
18 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 12:00am (midnight)
36 hours of trading: 8:00am, Saturday 23 December – 6:00pm, Sunday 24 December

Melbourne Central
11 December – 23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm

Highpoint
11 December – 13 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
14 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
18 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 11:59pm
34 hours of trading: 9:00am, Saturday 23 December – 5:00pm, Sunday 24 December

Emporium
11 December – 23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm

Westfield Doncaster
11 December – 13 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
14 December – 15 December, 9:00am – 10:00pm
16 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
18 December – 20 December, 9:00am – 10:00pm
21 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 11:59pm
23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 8:00am – 5:00pm

The District, Docklands
16 December – 20 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm
21 December, 9:00am – 8:00pm
22 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
23 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
24 December, 10:00am – 6:00pm