Jan
30
2018

The Chair’s Where? Conway Beach, Queensland

By Queensland /

Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour are well identified tourist destinations along the central Queensland coast.  Alive with resorts, upmarket shopping, scenic attractions and the like, these centres are a busy and cosmopolitan part of the broader tourism of Queensland. But the central Queensland, Whitsunday region has some terrific hidden gems that will tempt even the most discerning of traveller. One such gem is the beautiful Conway Beach.

Location

Situated only 39km from Airlie Beach, this small township is truly a hidden gem. Largely populated by retirees, the settlement is nestled in a large bay as beautiful as anything else the Whitsundays has to offer. A sweeping tranquil bay, with a golden sand beach, water the colour of aquamarine and flanked by green coloured hills… the view is amazing. Easy access is gained along a bitumen, two lane road that runs through rain forest and gently hilled areas making for great photo opportunities. There is birdlife in abundance.

The Hub

Without doubt, the hub of the Conway Beach community is the Conway Beach Tourist Park. The venue started life decades ago as a ‘rough’ camp for intrepid fisher folk determined to make angling a real success. The area remained a ‘secret’ for many years but progressively morphed into a camp ground area visited by people other than just fisherman. As time moved forward the decades saw an increase in camp facilities, the arrival of caravans and motor homes and the birth of a more modern managed camp ground.

Beware toothy neighbours on your porch!

Conway Beach Tourist Park

The venue is now an accomplished tourist park venue with an appeal to all manner of customers.  Management has a wealth of experience and this is clearly reflected in the positive customer ‘experience’ available. As a result, well appointed cabins and significant shaded sites (both powered and unpowered) combine with wonderful guest facilities. Facilities come in all shapes and sizes from a fish cleaning area complete with pots to cook your crabs, a water park, a large pool, sandpits and play areas, pizza making and the list goes on.  The peel of laughter from both young and old is loud and clear, as guests are taken by ‘train’, on the Beach Express, the short distance to and from the beach.

Unique

Plenty of good reasons to attend Conway Beach already, but what about the Diner! (pictured top) George’s Diner is named after the owner and it is a scene straight out of an episode of Happy Days!  An absolute ‘must see’ when attending the Whitsundays, the diner is exactly what you would expect and feels like it has been transported forward in time from the 1950s.  Formica table tops, lots of chrome, neon lights and signage all compete with a full size jukebox for your listening pleasure. Don’t forget the menu – sodas, burgers, fries, coke, ice cream, this place has it all. To top it all off, like any good diner, the Banana Split is simply brilliant. This is a must-see and a must-experience venue.

Happy Days and Happy Travels.

THE CHAIR

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

Jan
29
2018

Get a taste for this year’s Noosa Food & Wine Festival

By Brisbane / Queensland /
Tipis on Noosa Beach

The Noosa Food & Wine Festival continues to boom and this year’s event on May 17-20 will have over 30 great events so there’s every reason to get your holiday accommodation sorted and your Brisbane car rental booked in and prepare to cruise up the highway for a feast for the senses.

The Festival Committee says one of the hottest places to be is under the Noosa Tipis on Noosa Main Beach: “This stunning venue opens on Friday night as it hosts the Festival Opening Party, celebrating Noosa’s amazing collection of restaurants coupled with some of Australia’s leading wines and continues to party across the weekend with great events presented by some of Noosa’s finest restaurants.

Check out the festival’s five great reasons to book your tickets now…

One… RISE & NOURISH WITH BEYOND EXPERIENCES

Ground your feet in the sand, take in the fresh air and immerse yourself in yoga and a nourishing breakfast under the Beach Tipis. Beyond Experiences will present a unique fusion of health and wellness offerings, showcasing talented and passionate souls.

Zenko Yoga will lead a 60-minute beach practice that will awaken the senses through breath and movement, while taking in the best view in Noosa. This feel-good flow will energise, stretch, centre and focus you in preparation for a fulfilled day.

Nutritionist and founder of Changing Habits, Cyndi O’Meara, will share her inspiring story along with insights into her sustainable farm located in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

A nutritious Cyndi O’Meara-inspired breakfast will be served on the beach, showcasing local produce from Noosa’s own Shambhala Farm. A healthy breakfast wouldn’t be complete without a fresh Noosa Cleanse juice and a splash of champagne!  (Stand-up event.) Saturday 19 May 6.30-9am $80.

Two… UNDER THE MOON IN MAY

Watch the sun set from the Beach Tipis?as you join Bistro C, Boardwalk Bistro and Rococo for a sublime night of food, wine and entertainment to remember. (Stand-up event.) Saturday 19 May 5-9pm $195. (Please note this is an 18+ only event).

Three… RICKYS CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH UNDER THE TIPIS

There’s no better way to start a Sunday?than with a Champagne breakfast. Take in stunning sea views with Laurent-Perrier in hand, delicious canapés by Rickys Head Chef Josh Smallwood and chilled Sunday sounds by DJ Mike. (Stand-up event)

Ticket includes one Champagne Fizz served on arrival, one glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne, plus six canapés (four small canapes and two substantial canapes). Sunday 20 May 9.30-11am $75. (Please note this is an 18+ only event).

Four… NOOSA AMOUR ON THE BEACH

Experience four of Noosa’s finest restaurants – aromas Noosa, Rickys, Locale Noosa?and Wood Fire Grill at a four-course lunch showcasing produce from Maravista Farm and matching wines by Pizzini Wines together with a welcome drink on arrival. (Sit-down event.) Sunday 20 May 12-2.30pm $165. (Please note this is an 18+ only event).  

Five… TIPI APERITIVO CLOSING PARTY

What is Aperitivo? To the Italians, Aperitivo refers to a refreshing alcoholic beverage or cocktail shared with friends at sunset. It is meant as an appetizer or opener to your night with the intention of stimulating your appetite for a night of food and fun!

For the finale of Noosa Food & Wine 2018, Noosa Boathouse and Dal Zotto Wines are presenting just that! Join them for the Official Closing Party and enjoy the sunset on Noosa Main Beach, slip off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes.

Grab a Dal Zotto Prosecco cocktail while you decide what you’d like to nibble on. With Noosa Boathouse Chef Shane Bailey and Chef Matt Golinski at the helm, there will be some fantastic local food on offer, so be prepared to try some amazing produce from the Noosa region.

The music kicks in, as does a night under the stars full of fun, food and festivities….Welcome to Tipi Aperitivo. Tickets include: Beach Tipi entry, 2 hours of Dal Zotto Prosecco cocktails and wine (5-7pm), generous amounts of food by Matt Golinski and Shane Bailey, plus live music by Honey! Cash bar available 7-9pm. Sunday 20 May 5-9pm $149. (Please note this is an 18+ only event).  

Also see Great Ways To Play on the Sunshine Coast at Easter

Jan
26
2018

Love is in air for Sydney and surrounds this Valentine’s Day

By New South Wales / Sydney /

With Valentine’s Day less than three weeks away, now’s a great time to book your Sydney car rental and treat your loved one to a special escape. AccorHotels have some fantastic options for lovebirds.

Harbour Rocks Hotel, MGallery by Sofitel

This Valentine’s Day guests at Harbour Rocks Hotel’s Scarlett Restaurant (pictured) are invited to enjoy a four course degustation dinner, plus a glass of bubbles on arrival and a red rose. Priced from $160.00 per person, or $130 per person for AccorPlus members. The meal must be fully prepaid and is non-refundable, subject to availability and conditions apply.

To book, visit www.harbourrocks.com.au

Novotel Lake Crackenback

Guests are invited to rekindle their romance in the picturesque Snowy Mountains with the High Country Romance Package at Novotel Lake Crackenback. The package includes two nights accommodation, buffet breakfast daily, a two course dinner at Alpine Larder, a relaxing 45 minute massage for each guest, late check-out and complimentary resort activities including tennis courts and archery. Priced from $479 per person, the package is subject to availability and conditions apply. To book, visit www.lakecrackenback.com.au

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

This Valentine’s Day Sofitel Sydney Wentworth presents High Tea au Chocolat. The hotel’s renowned pastry team has partnered with the chocolatiers of Weiss chocolate to create a sinfully sweet surprise for guests to share with their amour. Priced from $69 per person, $79 per person including a glass of sparkling wine and $89 per person including a glass of Vevue Clicquot. For more information and to book, visit www.sofitelsydney.com.au

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour

The Ultimate Romance Package is presented by Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour this Valentine’s Day. Guests will enjoy an indulgent three course dinner and bottle of Champagne for two, served by a butler from their very own private balcony of one of the hotel’s luxurious suites. The suites offer one the world’s most romantic views of Sydney Harbour and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Priced from $1,199, the package also includes overnight accommodation, early check in, late check out and breakfast for two at Q Dining. Subject to availability and conditions apply. To book, visit www.pullmanquaygrandsydneyharbour.com

Jan
25
2018

Five great reasons for a summer escape to Queenscliff

By Melbourne / Victoria /

Steeped in history, Queenscliff’s modern, cosmopolitan touch is driving everyone south in Victoria to discover its charms in accommodation, dining, train rides and seaside appeal among dozens of other reasons. From its early beginnings in the 1850s when it became a strategic defence post close to the entrance of Port Phillip which in turn provided shipping access to Geelong and Melbourne, it’s become a hot-ticket item for “great escape” destinations in Australia.

Only a 90-minute drive to the Bellarine Peninsula in your Melbourne airport, Queenscliff has dozens of reasons for a weekend – or week-long – escape, but here five standouts.

360Q – a waterfront feast for the senses

Great ocean views, superb service, incredible food and live entertainment. There’s 10 words or less that should be enough to suggest you’d be crazy to avoid spectacular 360Q waterfront restaurant (pictured) at Queenscliff Marina. The venue was closed in 2014 but was reborn over 12 months ago under the management of charismatic Mornington Peninsula celebrity caterer and restaurateur, Barry Iddles, who has breathed new life into its two venues – the Hooked on Fish Cafe Bar and Restaurant downstairs and the spectacular 360Q function space on the first floor.

Upstairs you can soak up views across Queenscliff’s $38 million marina, with the city of Melbourne in the distance, Port Phillip Heads and the town of Queenscliff from its enclosed viewing deck which guests access via a spiral staircase. The food itself is adventurous and memorable. Think entrees like sweet corn and jalapeno fritters with lime and chilli glaze or Idamaes summer duck salad with peach salsa. Mains hit the spot with popular menu items such as Sri Lankan rubbed lamb rack with cardamom pilaf rice, green beans and raita or Dendeng balado beef short rib with coriander rice & fried basil. Of course, the location requires some choice seafood and it certainly delivers by capitalising on local produce – try Portarlington mussels with lemongrass & chilli, coconut broth, or the simple but sensational Furphy battered whiting fillets, crunchy chips, lemon and tartare. Desserts are must, namely the Chocolate molten pudding w vanilla ice cream and a compote of raspberries, or Coconut creme brulee with papaya & lime.

“This was an incredible opportunity to relaunch a venue that locals and Melburnians alike know and love,” Iddles told DriveNow. “It’s the perfect spot for residents to come for a casual lunch or breakfast, for tourists off the ferry to stop and relax during their day trip and its magnificent views will mean we’ll soon be the most talked-about function space on the Bellarine coastline.”

Sleep easy at beautiful Benamda B&B

This historic cottage is one of the oldest buildings in Queenscliff still in use and has an old-fashioned irresistible vibe with hosts Geoff and Anne at the helm.

Benambra Boutique Bed & Breakfast offers a relaxing escape in the heart of town where you can experience an ambience of the 1870s with modern day comforts and homely food. Lovingly restored and in immaculate condition, it provides seven rooms with ensuites; two with spas. Everything is nearby including the beach, restaurants (360Q only 10 minutes by foot), shops and the ferry to Sorrento.

Homemade cake with tea or coffee is served on arrival and every morning begins in the dining room with a hearty breakfast like grandma used to make. Plus you can tap into the hosts’ wealth of local knowledge and top tips.

Eco Boat Tours

After you wander the historic streets to work off a big breakfast, book in with the South Bay Eco Adventures crew for any number of tour types at Queenscliff Harbour.

Take your pick from Bay & Bass Strait tours, Bird Watching & Photography, South Channel Fort Tours, Mud Island Tours, Dolphins, whales, seals and penguins, private charters and more. These guys offer an up close nature based adventure you won’t forget highlighting the unique history, wildlife and coastal landscape of the area.

Rock out on the Blues Train

They say nothing quite captures the essence of the blues like a steam train in full swing, and this Blues Train is always rockin’.

The Blues Train leaves Queenscliff Railway Station after guests enjoy a buffet style dinner with local wines, beers and spirits. Then the real party begins. It’s a full meal and show, four blues artists and the full train ride to Drysdale return over five hours.

A tipple or two at Scotchmans Hill

From a broad selection of wineries in the region, Scotchmans Hill is a must with lots going on as new owners work on some renovations. Established in 1982, Scotchmans Hill is a producer of premium cool maritime climate wines and is rated among James Halliday’s Top 100 Australian Wineries. Immaculately maintained vineyards overlook Port Phillip Bay, and the wines are to die for, which can be sampled in the cellar door. Must include the wickedly delicious freshly made platters out in the courtyard.

SCOTT PODMORE

Jan
22
2018

Last minute Brisbane relocation deals that are cheap as chips

By

Planning an affordable holiday isn’t just about being smart with your money. You have to be patient as you actively seek out the best deals. One of the easiest ways to lock in a bargain is to keep a close eye on the deals that feature on DriveNow’s relocation page. This includes top Brisbane relocation deals for as little as $5 a day, with plenty of extras such as free fuel.

Customers reap the benefits of an affordable holiday while hire companies don’t have to pay relocation costs to move their vehicles interstate where demand is highest.

Every day one-way rental bargains are published, according to when the companies need to move their cars or campervans across the country. The list goes up on the DriveNow website between 8.30 and 9.30 every morning. Whether you’re looking for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane relocation deals, there’s always opportunities waiting to be snapped up.

Even better, sign up to DriveNow’s relocation watch list which will give you easy access to the different deals popping up.

Here are some of the types of incredible Brisbane relocation deals up for offer…

Brisbane to Melbourne

This deal is available for a minimum of four days and a maximum of five days. For just $5 a day you can secure a Venturer that comfortably fits a couple. Travel nearly 1700 km to Melbourne, while stopping off at locations like the Gold Coast, central New South Wales and Victoria. Your deal also includes up to $50 free fuel and 2233km free.

Brisbane to Sydney

Just over 900 km south of Brisbane is Sydney. It’s worth considering one of DriveNow’s Brisbane relocation deals for this trip, because the route takes you almost entirely along the coast. Spectacular views await as you stop off at surf beaches south of Brisbane, Byron Bay and Newscastle. You can pick up a Highball campervan for $5 a day over three days. The vehicle features a double and a single bed.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Jan
21
2018

How to Spend a Family Easter Weekend in Sydney 2018

By New South Wales / Sydney /
Sydney Opera House

Sydney is a fantastic place to spend Easter 2018 with your loved ones. Photo by Frances Gunn on Unsplash

 

Still not locked in your Sydney Easter plans with the family? You’re not alone. Every year thousands of families find themselves with the same conundrum.

The great news is there are plenty of options for how you want to spend the long weekend in Sydney for Easter 2018, without having to leave the city.

The annual Easter Markets

The Grounds of Alexandria made headlines for featuring Australia’s largest chocolate egg, which gets smashed up and shared on Easter Sunday. The 3 m high, 300 kg chocolate Easter egg is why so many families come back year after year. But the venue also attracts people from all walks of life with its magical Easter Markets over the long weekend. See storybook characters roam around and browse different pop up stalls, many which feature delicious food.

The Great Centennial Park Egg Hunt

Easter Activities Sydney

Give the kids a treat with an Easter Egg hunt in Sydney this year!

Make the journey to central Sydney to see the city’s largest Easter egg hunt in action! More than 1,000 children jumped on board the adventure last year, and plenty more are expected to return. The egg hunt is full of surprises and challenges, all of which are rewarded with chocolate! The hunt takes just over half an hour to complete, making it an easy and enjoyable time out with the family. You just need a map to help navigate the route, which costs $17.50.

The Australian Museum Egg Hunt

For some Sydney Easter family fun, take the gang to the galleries of the Australian Museum to begin the search for Aussie animals and their eggs. All you need is a trail map and a love for adventure. Along the way, the kids will learn about the different animals, such as snakes, dinosaurs and even insects, that lay eggs. Not only will you get to eat your very own chocolate bilby, but you’ll get to witness real ones too! The hunt runs every half hour on Easter Saturday and Sunday, at a cost of $15 each.

Sydney Royal Easter Show

From late March to early April, thousands of people flock to the famous Sydney Royal Easter Show. It’s a perfect fit for people of all ages. You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to showbags, scoffing delicious food and cuddling farm animals. Expect highly competitive agricultural and art and craft competitions, which attract a large and enthusiastic audience. You can’t miss this milestone event in the Sydney Easter calendar.

If you feel like escaping the city for a bit of an adventure, make sure you snap up one of DriveNow’s cheap car hire deals from Sydney Airport. Then you’re in a great spot to explore all of what the glorious NSW countryside has to offer.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Jan
10
2018

Places to visit this summer in Victoria

By Victoria /

View over Yarra river in melbourne

Victoria in the summertime is magnificent. It’s glorious and there’s no place you’d rather be than enjoying the sunshine while hiking through pristine forest or swimming at one of Melbourne’s iconic beaches. Or perhaps your idea of summer means staying indoors to escape the unbearable heat.

Whatever you want to do this summer, Victoria is a place that has endless opportunities for anyone. You can easily pick up a cheap car hire deal from Melbourne Airport with a DriveNow bargain. Once you’re all set, hit the road to explore one of these destinations for the day.

Melbourne bayside

On a hot summer’s day, southeastern beaches are a godsend with their cool waters. They don’t seem to heat up no matter how high the mercury rises. Do you fancy roller skating along St Kilda’s famous shoreline? Relax at Brighton Beach or there’s Mentone Beach, which is a great spot to take a picnic for the family and have a dip.

Escape the heat via an ice rink

In the heart of Docklands, the O’Brien Group Arena is a major drawcard for professional ice skaters and anyone who’s daring enough to give it a try! Ice skating is fun, no matter how much experience you have. Have a laugh with your friends as you listen to some pumping beats and cruise around the rink where it’s always cool.

Hike to Masons Falls, Kinglake National Park

Drive just over an hour north east of Melbourne City to Kinglake National Park. Pack your lunch in a backpack and some drinking water and begin the full day 13km walk. It’ll treat you to scenic views of the spectacular falls. You’ll spot incredible wildlife and discover how the area has regrown since the devastating Black Saturday fires of 2009. You can also do the easy Masons Falls Walk, a 700m one-way walk to Masons Falls lookout.

Take a road trip to Lake Daylesford

The beautiful Lake Daylesford is a magical spot to take a dip in the summertime. Daylesford is one of the most beautiful, historic towns in all of Victoria. It’s full of gold rush history and charm. Walk around the lake, go kayaking or just enjoy an iced coffee at one of the nearby cafes with stunning views. Best of all, it’s only an hour and a half drive northwest of Melbourne.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Jan
03
2018

Things to do at Port Fairy Folk Festival

By Great Ocean Road /

Port Fairy in southwest Victoria is a quiet seaside town and a popular stopover for couples travelling the Great Ocean Road. This beautiful and charming place is also home to Australia’s premier folk music festival. It’s held every year in March and showcases national and international acts. The streets of Port Fairy come alive with buskers and people who love and appreciate everything to do with folk music.

This March grab a bargain car hire deal at Melbourne Airport and drive three and a half hours west of Melbourne. Here are some of the best things to do when you get there.

Enjoy the music

Of course, the Port Fairy Folk Festival is all about the music! The festival includes dozens of acts acts performing folk, acoustic roots, bluegrass, blues, jazz and country roots. Admire to some of your favourite folk artists live on stage while also discovering new talent you haven’t heard of before. There’s the award winning Western Australian artist Gina Williams, and groups like The Teskey Brothers (pictured), Tex, Don and Charlie and All Our Exes Live In Texas. You’ll also get to see international legends like Andy Irvine and Violons Barbares in action.

Explore the art and craft stalls

The festival also boasts some top notch craft and market stalls. The Port Fairy Folk Festival has a reputation for its vibrant craft scene. Its stalls sell unique, handmade itesms. There are sites available across the town. There are also workshops for children, where they can learn to make some of these amazing gifts.

Hike Tower Hill

Drive to Tower Hill so you can walk across what was once an active volcano, about 4 km wide. In decades past it was full of fields to grow crops, it became a motorbike racing site, and eventually a rubbish dump. But since the area started to be reforested with more than 300,000 trees over the past 40 years, native animals have flocked to the area. It’s now a beautiful area of state park with five scenic self-guided walks. You’ll uncover old lava flow, stunning wetlands and a variety of birdlife.

BRIANNA PIAZZA