Campervan of the Month: June – Maui Platinum River Campervan


The Maui Platinum River Campervan has been designed from the ground up for family space and comfort and ticks all the boxes and then some.

Vehicle Maui Platinum River Campervan Rental – 6 berth
Style Mercedes or Volkswagen 2WD
Engine 2.2L Turbo Diesel
Fuel 13 litre per 100km / 75 litre tank
Features Automatic, Power Steering, ABS
Bed  3 x Double (linen available for rental)
Kitchen  4 Burner Gas Stove & Grill, Microwave, 140 Litre Fridge
Bathroom Toilet & Shower -pressurised hot & cold water
Storage Lockers in rear of cabin and large external storage locker
Features  Leather upholstery, Reading lights, External Awning, DVD/TV, CD/Radio
Included Fly screens, 82 litre Fresh water and 82 litre waste water tanks, 9Kg Gas bottle, Safe, Upper bed Safety nets
Optional 2 x Booster & Child Seats, Outdoor Table & Chairs

This modern spacious motorhome was created with family travel in mind and in true Maui fashion delivers everything you need and then some. No Shortcuts have been taken in particular when it comes to sleeping with 3 large double beds, above the cabin, in the middle and down the back of the rear living space.

Maui Platinum River Campervan Interior Shot
The self-styled Apartment Kitchen is equipped with everything that you’d expect to find, well….. in an apartment, with 4 ring gas stove and grill, Microwave oven (although this only operates when you are connected up to mains power) and a larger fridge/freezer than normally found on board. Great idea.

Moving to the bathroom – no problems here, with shower powered by pressurised hot and cold water and toilet. Box ticked.

Keeping the kids entertained on the move or in the evenings is made that bit easier with LCD screen and DVD player for favourite movies and the 2 living areas allow for parents to retreat for a bit of R &R. Alternatively extend the electrically controlled external awning and enjoy the outdoors.

When it comes to driving, 2 can sit up front whilst there are 4 seatbelts in the rear cabin, of which the forward facing pair can be used for booster and child seats. For that added bit of comfort there’s leather upholstery and of course AC and heating in the front cabin at all times and down the back when plugged into the mains.

For the technically minded, the Platinum River comes in 2 configurations powered by Mercedes and Volkswagen 2 Wheel Drive vehicles with automatic transmission. As with most larger campervans on the road today the Platinum River is surprisingly easy to drive once you have conquered reverse.
Under the bonnet there’s a 2 litre turbo diesel engine running a long at a respectful 13 litres per 100kms giving a fuel range of around 750kms or thereabouts.

Maui Platinum River Campervan Exterior shot

Finally to storage. There’s plenty of locker storage space in and around the rear cabin and a large externally accessible storage area at the rear of the of the vehicle is deep enough to take those essential, or not so essential, golf clubs! Best tip on storage? Take soft bags rather than suitcases – soft bags make better use of the flexible storage space.

Maui has a well earned repuation of providing some of Australia’s best equipped Motorhomes and the Platinum River Campervan is a great exmaple of this and ideal for a family campervan holiday.


For further details visit the DriveNow Maui Platinum River Campervan Hire page. if you are interested in comparing campervan rental pricing DriveNow can help you research and book your campevan holiday with impartial advice. For the latest rates and vehicle availability check out our Campervan Hire home page.


Top 10 Travel Apps (+ 1) according to DriveNow’s Smart Phones


The advent of smart phones and the online app store have added a whole new dimension to travel giving you the ability to plan, purchase, explore, share and record your travels all in real time from virtually anywhere in the world with virtually anyone in the world.

Today there are over a staggering 500,000 apps available on iTunes of which close to 20,000 cover travel alone. Although a later starter Android has played fast catch-up and has an equally impressive 500,000 apps although travel has yet to gain quite the same numbers as iTunes.  The third and most recent player in the market is BlackBerry with BlackBerry World and over 60,000 apps and around 3000 travel related.

With these sorts of numbers determining a top 10 is a hard ask, so we took a closer to home approach and checked out the apps we were using on our phones in the office. Here’s the result in no particular order of course ……..

Our Predictable standout favourite?

DriveNow-itunes-logo Car Hire
Price: Free
Developer: DriveNow Pty Ltd
Platform: Android, iphone

OK, Admittedly we are slightly biased of course, but our favourite would have to be our very own DriveNow Car Hire App.  No surprises there I guess, having nurtured and raise it from birth this happy appy will help you find and book a great rental deal at all major and popular Australian destinations. We love it, we hope you find it useful too and would love to hear your feedback. With that, enough of the spruiking and onto the other contenders.



WikiCamps Australia
Price: $0.99
Developer: Angry Robot
Platform: Android, iphone/ipad

WikiCamps Australia is dedicated to sharing information on caravan parks, camping sites, backpacker hostels and farm stays around Australia. It’s a great tool to research where you plan to stay before you leave or whilst you are on the road. Find out things to do and see in and around your destination and share the things you discover with others. You can rate the places you visit and a neat little feature allows you to record and store information when out of phone range to automatically be uploaded later.


Google Places
Price:  Free
Developer: Google
Platform:  Android, iphone/ipad

The Google Places app ticks all the right boxes when looking for a great free guide to local services and attractions. The main screen lists services broken down by 9 categories:- Restaurants, Coffee, Bars, ATMs, Petrol Stations, Hotels, Attractions, Pizza and Post office.
The inclusion of Pizza as a separate category points to the American origins of this app but does not detract from its relevance or richness of content. The app is quick, easy to view and simple to use providing plenty of information and locations using Google maps.


XE Currency
Price: Free
Developer: XE.com Inc
Platform: Android, BlackBerry, iphone/ipad/ipod Touch

One of the most popular currency conversion websites in the world, XE is a simple but comprehensive currency converter that does exactly what the labels says. A perennial favourite featuring in many top ten travel lists. Enough said.


Wi-Fi Finder
Price: Free
Developer: JiWire Inc
Platform: Android, iPad, iphone

A location app rather than purely travel, Wi-Fi Finder finds free or paid public Wi-Fi hotspots with the important option of downloading an offline database to enable you to get online when on the move. Scan for hotsposts in your immediate location and for public wi-Fi around the world with the option to filter by location type such as hotel, airport or cafe and provider type.


Tripadvisor Hotels Flights Restaurants
Price: Free
Developer: Tripadvisor
Platform: Android, iPad, iphone

TripAdvisor has taken it’s highly acclaimed approach to hotels, restaurants and more recently added flights from website to smart phone and tablet with a simple and easy to app. Plan and book ahead or use their Near Me Now Function to find out about what’s happening in your vicinity or where to stay, visit or eat.


Price: Free
Developer: Skype Software S.a.r.l
Platform: Android, iPad, iphone, Symbian, Windows Phone,

Traveling overseas can often incur costly mobile phone calls – even receiving a call in many countries can be expensive. Skype provides a cheap and free alternative. The name synonymous with free VOIP calls and video calls, Skype is available on both the Android and Apple Platforms as well Windows Phone and Symbian powered handsets. Find a free wireless hotspot and fire up your Skype app and make free Skype to Skype calls and video calls. With the pre-purchase of minutes calls home to regular landlines or mobiles are charged at the already discounted skype rates.


tripIt – Travel Organiser
Price: Free
Developer: TripIt Inc
Platform: Android, iPad, iphone, BlackBerry, Windows Phone,

TripIt collates all your travel plans making them available on their website, your smartphone or tablet. Simply email all your travel bookings – airline, car hire, hotel or restaurant reservations to TripIt and they regenerate your itinerary into an easy to read and access format available both on and offline. You can share your itinerary with family. friends and business colleagues, update and change on the fly, synchronise with your calendar and access a host of other information. There’s the option to upgrade to the Pro edition for an annual fee to receive additional alerts and access the add-free edition.


Price: Free
Developer: Microsoft Corporation
Platform: iphone

Whilst at first glance Photosynth may not appear to be a pure blood travel app one of the best things about travel is sharing your travel experiences with friends and family. Photosynth enables you to take and collate multiple photos of your surroundings and share interactive panoramas online via Twitter, Bing Maps, Facebook (with the free Photosynth.net service), email or as a simple image. Recent enhancements allow you to shoot left, right, up and down to provide an absolute 360 view point. With over 6 million users this has proven to be one of the 2011’s most popular iTunes photo apps. Only available on the iPhone.


FlightAware Flight Tracker
Price: Free
Developer: FlightAware LLC
Platform: Android, BlackBerry, iPad, iphone

A great little app for tracking flights worldwide by Flight number, Flight Route or Airport. Go a step further and set up a free account on FlightAware and personalise your tracking with MyFlightAware and My Alerts. The Nearby feature allows you to track and view details on flights close to your location and search for other destinations around the world, although you can’t zoom out on the map and track a wider field of aircraft. Ads are slightly annoying but hey that’s what comes with most free apps these days.


London Tube Deluxe
Price: US$0.99
Developer: Malcolm Barclay
Platform: iPad, iphone (on the UK iTunes store)

OK this one made it on the list as we have a lucky staff member heading off to London for the Olympics. The Tube can be challenging even for locals, this handy app lets you plan your journey, find stations, keeps you informed of delays or line closures with live departure times and tells you where your nearest station is. Ideal for those new or visiting London especially during what is expected to be a very busy 2012 summer.



Campervan of the Month: May – KEA 4 Wheel Drive Rental


Discover what makes this 4 Wheel Drive the perfect companion for two to take you off the beaten track and discover the ultimate Australian camping adventure.

Vehicle:      Kea 4 Wheel Drive Rental – 2+1 berth

Style:           LandCruiser Wheel Drive Camper 2011 and later models
Engine:        4.5L Turbo Diesel
Fuel:            14 litre per 100km / 2 x 90 Litre tanks
Features:     Manual, 5 Speed, Power Steering, ABS, Air Bags

Beds:           1 x double and 1 single – linen provided
Kitchen:       1 Burner Gas Stove, Fridge, all Cooking utensils
Bathroom:    External Shower, 90 Litre Fresh water tank
Storage:       Internal in rear area
Features:     AC (Driver Cabin), Heating, Radio, CD Player

Included:     Fly screens, volt meter, fuel tank monitors
Optional:     Portable toilet for hire

Built on Toyota’s durable LandCruiser the Kea 4WD Pop-Top fleet are all 2011 or later models and come equipped with a 4.5 litre V8 Turbo diesel engine, manual transmission and long range fel tanks (2 x 90 litres) giving you that extra range often required when travelling in more remote parts of Australia.

Kea Camper 4 Wheel Drive Rental interior 4 Wheel Drive Rentals have traditionally been quite ‘busy’ down the back when combined with Campervan duties with so much needed to be packed into a relatively small space. KEA’s Pop-Top has taken a refreshingly differently approach and with the roof up offers clever use of space.

The kitchen is well equipped with sink (with ‘ambient’ water – non-heated), cooking and eating utensils and plenty of storage space. 2 single burner stoves providing cooking facilities and a 80 litre fridge sits neatly behind the drivers.

An external shower can be plugged into the side of the vehicle to make use of the 90 litre fresh water tank although as with the sink the water is not heated.

The Pop-Top is surprisingly easy to raise, release 4 clips and push the roof up and you’re done. A 64 watt Solar panel sits on top of the roof which also has fly screens for those hot nights on the road. Power down back the can be supplied by hooking up to the mains on powered caravan park sites, the solar roof panel and a 12 volt dedicated house battery.
KEA 4 Wheel Drive Rental Bedding Bedding comes by way of a double bed sitting up in the Pop-Top itself whilst the kitchen area converts to a large single bed below.

Comforts up front include everything we just about take for granted these days, with Air-Con in the Driver’s cabin, CD Radio that has Aux and USB ports for the ubiquitous MP3 player and from a safety view point the vehicles are air-bag equipped.

In a nutshell the KEA 4 Wheel Drive has everything you need to go off road and explore that little bit further without having to rough it completely. The Landcruiser is the perfect vehicle for the Australian environment with a proven track record of being one of the hardiest and most resilient of 4 Wheel Drives.

So who is the Pop-Top best suited for? Whilst 2 + 1 child will work and work well, the best combination is undoubtedly 2 travellers.


Further information on the 4 Wheel Drive Pop-Top and other vehicles available from KEA Campers is available on the DriveNow KEA Campervan Rental fleet page. For the latest rates and vehicle availability check out the DriveNow Campervan Hire home page.


Campervan of the Month: April – Britz Renegade Family Motorhome



FAR from being a wild rebel April’s Camper of the month, the Britz Renegade 6 Berth Motorhome, is ideal for family travel with some great features thrown in.

Vehicle:        Britz Renegade 6 Berth Motorhome

Style:                 Dual Cab 6 Seater
Engine:              2.4L Turbo Diesel
Fuel:                  18L per 100km / 75 Litre tank
Features:          Automatic, Power Steering, ABS, Rear View Camera

Beds:                3 x doubles OR 2 x doubles and 2 x singles – linen provided
Kitchen:            4 Burner Cooker, Microwave, Fridge, all Cooking utensils
Bathroom:        Shower, Toilet and Basin. 75 Litre Fresh water tank
Storage:           Internal in rear area and large external storage locker
Features:         AC Heating, TV, DVD, MP3 jack, automatic awning

Included:         Rear Front Seat TV/DVD Players, Front Seat Fridge

Unique in the Britz family the Renegade is a dual Cab configuration with seats up front for 6 ensuring the family travels together. The rear bench seat can accommodate 4 booster seats (albeit with a tight fit) and there are anchorage points for 2 baby seats that can be secured by baby bolts. A mini fridge located between the front seats ensures cools drinks for the longer journeys and Britz provide portably TV/DVD players to hand on the back of the Driver and Front passenger seats to help entertain the kids.

For the Driver. The Renegade is a two wheel drive equipped with a 2.5 litre turbo diesel, power steering and automatic transmission. Air bags are restricted to just the one for the driver, whilst a rear vision camera lets you know what’s going on behind and converts to a near view focus when reversing. The Renegade is definitely thirstier than other campervans of its size consuming around 18 litres per 100kms and giving it an effective range of 400km on the open road between drinks.

Unlike most other 6 berth motorhomes the Renegade does not have a walk through between the driving area and rear of the vehicle and there are no seat belts fitted in the living area. Britz designed this intentionally this way to have families travel together and provide an alternative to their other motorhome vehicles where passengers can sit in the rear of the vehicle whilst travelling.

Britz Renegade Motorhome Accommodation

When it comes to accommodation down the back all the bases are covered. There’s a reverse cycle heating and air-conditioning unit, TV & DVD/MP3 player and 2 double Power points for any additional things you need to bring with you. Power comes by way of 12v battery, mains hook-up and Solar panels on the roof, although the A/C & heating Unit, Microwave and power points will only work when the vehicle is hooked up to the mains. A neat feature is the positioning of the LCD TV allowing it to be viewed inside and out with speakers mounted externally. Tip: Remember to wind down the TV Arial before you drive off !!

The bathroom is equipped with all the essentials of toilet, shower and basin all supported by a 75 litre fresh water tank. The kitchen has everything you will need with a sink, microwave, 4 burner cooker, 4 way powered 110 Litre Fridge (Solar, mains, gas and battery) and cooking utensils.

Bedding comes by way of 3 double beds that can be reconfigured into 2 large singles and 2 doubles. A large almost queen size over-head cabin bed provides ample space for a couple or can be split into 2 great singles with a dividing curtain. There’s no chance of little ones falling out with a safety net that clips across the bottom of the bed. Downstairs the front and rear seating areas convert into two double beds. The front double is not ideal for long legged adults and when set up it makes for a tight squeeze to pass into the kitchen area, but given the bed can quickly be set up and dismantled any inconvenience is pretty minimal.
Brtiz Renegade Motorhome Bedding AccommodationThere’s plenty of storage space in the rear accommodation area and as with all motorhomes it’s best to travel with soft bags rather than suitcases. Another nice feature of the Renegade is the external Storage locker that’s large enough to hold the golf clubs! The external motorised awning is mounted outside the door with controls just inside the door. Not all the Renegade fleet are equipped with motorised awnings, some have manual awnings. Britz advise that the automatic awnings cannot be requested – ie you get whatever the vehicle you are assigned has been configured with.

So who is the Renegade best suited for? If you are 6 adults on the larger side of life then the seating in the back of the dual cab will make for a tighter squeeze and the length of at least one of the double beds could lead to cold toes. However families of 6 or couples of average height will have no such problems and the up front dual cabin configuration keeps everyone together to enjoy the road whilst keeping accommodation separate down the back.

For more information on the Renegade and other vehicles available from Britz, visit the DriveNow Britz Campervan Rental fleet page and for the latest rates and vehicle availability check out the DriveNow Campervan Hire home page.


Campervan Rental Auction in Support of The Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal



Feel Good about your next holiday and help support this year’s Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal.
DriveNow’s inaugural Campervan Rental auction is up and running and waiting for your bid!

In support of the 2012 Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, DriveNow is auctioning 7 days of all inclusive Campervan Rental in Australia or New Zealand. The winning bidder could find themselves discovering fabulous New Zealand in a 6 Berth luxury family motorhome or exploring the great Aussie Outdoors in an adventure off-road 4 Wheel Drive Camper.

You get to choose the type of camper you want to rent and where. Bidding is easy, simply visit the DriveNow Campervan Rental Auction – Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal page for full details, sign up and start bidding.

The auction closes at 3.00pm (Sydney time) on Friday 6th April 2012 with all proceeds going to the Good Friday Appeal. The winning bid will be published on the DriveNow auction page at 3.00pm on Saturday 7th April.


British and Irish Lions Australia Tour 2013


2013 sees the return of the British and Irish Lions to Australia for a 9 game tour featuring three Test matches against the Wallabies, in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and 6 provincial games against Super 15 teams across the country.

The last visit in 2001 was an invasion of red with over 10,000 touring fans watching the Lions take an early series lead with a convincing 29-13 win in Brisbane. The turning point of the series came just after half time in the 2nd test at the Docklands stadium in Melbourne when the Wallabies seized control of the game to run out 35-14 winners and clinch the series in Sydney a week later with a 29-23 win.

Whilst Wallaby supports will be happy to look back on 2001, Lions fans will be hoping for a repeat of their 1989 success when the visitors became the only Lions team ever to come back from 1-0 down to win a series 2-1.

The last 12 years has seen a massive resurgence in the popularity of the Lions and 2013 is anticipated to be the largest event yet with some estimating over 50,000 fans flocking to Australia to follow the tour.

Such large numbers means accommodation will quickly be taken up and what little is left will be hard to come by and expensive. This extends to Campervan hire which has become a popular alternative to traditional hotel accommodation since the 2001 Tour.

Recent experience of last year’s Rugby World Cup and the Lions Tour of New Zealand in 2005 saw campervans rent out fast.

For those looking for camper rentals, there is a solution. By booking early you are guaranteeing yourself a lower price, locking in your rental rate and ensuring you have the widest choice of campers. Perhaps best of all, there is no need to pay for your vehicle when you book. Payment is due just 6 weeks prior to pick up.

Campervans can be picked up and dropped off in all major cities and there are plenty of holiday parks offering powered sites right across the country and in the cities of all games.

For further information visit our British and Irish Lions Australia Tour 2013 Events Page or contact the team at DriveNow in Australia on 1300 547 214 (in the UK 0800 047 0660) or email us at lions@drivenow.com.au. You can view rates and vehicles on our Campervan Rental page.


Some-time DriveNow Blog Contributor


Discoveries Down the Great Ocean Road

By Australia / Great Ocean Road /

One of Victoria’s most popular and most written about Car journeys is the Great Ocean Road. Officially starting at Torquay and finishing at Allansford the road is just over 240 kilometres long and includes some of Victoria’s premiere attractions.

For our Trip we picked up a hire car in Melbourne through DriveNow (that’s the Ubiquitous plug out of the way) and headed south down the freeway to Geelong about 60 mins away. We decided to make the outward journey down the Great Ocean Road and cut inland for the return trip via the Princes Highway.

First piece of advice – if a fellow traveller is prone to car-sickness have them sitting up front – the road and journey whilst stunning does weave, twist and turn!

Tip Number two – if travelling down the road during the summer, expect to take your time, it’s a popular spot.

Our first stop breakfast at the Arab Cafe (in our humble opinion the best breakfast along the road) at Lorne, one of the most popular holiday destinations on the south coast with the famous Pier to Pub swim held each January and the Falls Festival over New Year. Its name sake, Erskine Falls – a 40 metre waterfall, located 10 kms behind Lorne is well worth a visit.

Onwards to Apollo Bay for an early lunch and then into the Cape Otway National Park. This is where the Great Ocean Road cuts in land away from the coast. Make sure to visit and climb the Lighthouse at Cape Otway, a great spot and part of Victoria’s migration history. It also offers visitors the chance to see Koalas up close. We thought finding them was going to be a challenge but in fact stopping off just past the cattle grid on leaving the lighthouse they were there in abundance!

The kids were keen to try the Otway Fly Treetop Walk at the Otway Fly Treetop Adventures centre just off the Great Ocean Road at Lavers Hill and whilst it meant for a long day it proved to be a great idea.

Set up in 2003 the Treetop walk allows you to literally walk in the canopies of trees 100 ft above the forest floor. Mountain Ash trees soar above your head and stunning Tree Ferns offer a kaleidoscope below with the Spiral Tower taking you up almost 50 metres above the ground and over 600 metres of continuous raised walkway.

Make sure you take the kids down the Prehistoric Path Journey for a close encounter with dinosaurs. There’s plenty to see but they need to keep their eyes peeled as dinosaurs appear from all sorts of directions and a giant python can easily be missed!


Otway Treetop walk adventour

The Walk takes around 60 minutes and there’s a visitor centre, cafe and playground. We visited in September 2011 and costs were $24 per adult and $10 for children. For the more adventurous the Fly Zip Line Tour takes you through the forest traversing (think “Flying Fox”) between ‘cloud stations’ in a 2.5 hour adventure (www.otwayfly.com). Definitely something we’d have done but with 2 young children it’ll wait for another day.

Our final destination was the iconic 12 Apostles; although truth be told finding 12 was no easy task!

We had to double back onto the Great Ocean Road from the Otway Treetops to Lavers Hill but it still took less than an hour to get there. Sadly, gone are the days when you could actually walk right out onto one of the Apostles. Today we have car parking the other side of the road, cafe, information centre, helicopter joyrides, an underpass, boardwalks and fences preventing any adventurous incursions. However, given the increasing popularity of the Apostles perhaps this more restrained approach is a good thing.

The coast really speaks for itself. The limestone stacks are set in stunning scenery and if you can get there on a clear sunset evening you will have photos to last a life time. Loch Ard Gorge, London Bridge (part of which truly did “fall down” in 1990) and the Gibson Steps (providing access to the Cliff beach) all make for an extraordinary piece of coastline.

The return leg home is quickest by going onto Port Campbell (another 10kms or so) and the cutting up in land back onto the Princes Highway to Geelong, jumping onto the newly extended freeway at Waurn Ponds and back to Melbourne (around 3+ hours).

It’s definitely a long day and for those who have the time staying down at one of the many B&Bs is a great option. There’s absolutely no doubt though that this trip is something to be experienced by all visitors and in fact by all Victorians.

Chris C
Sometime Blogger


Relocate a campervan from $1 a day


FAMILIES, backpackers and road-tripping couples looking to save money on their next holiday will love DriveNow’s campervan and car rental relocation scheme which can set you off on a dream road trip from as little as $1 a day.

As long as you have time and flexibility on your side, you could save hundreds of dollars in travelling costs with DriveNow’s one-way specials.

Seasonal changes between the states, or an increased demand for vehicles because of festivals or events, means there are campervan rentals forever on the move and in need of relocation. Each morning DriveNow publishes its latest deals for travel in the next two to three weeks.

Imagine taking the kids from Darwin to Brisbane in a six-berth dual-cab camper for $5 a day – and having a whole week to get there. Or how about a five-day trip from Adelaide to Brisbane in a six-berth motorhome?

Fuel subsidies are offered and there are no booking fees, but you do need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice. And don’t overstep the delivery date or you will be hit with a hefty fee. Extra days can be had for $75 a day.

DriveNow’s Russell Matters says the deals are perfect for flexible travellers.

“They’re dirt cheap and a great way to travel. You can pretty much snap up a campervan for $5 a day, sometimes $1 for a road trip,” he says. “The deals are totally transparent, too, as some of our competitors charge booking fees. We don’t. What you see is what you get.’’

Simply fill out the online form and you’ll be away on a great Australian road trip for a bargain basement price.

Visit www.drivenow.com.au/onewayrentals.jspc for the deals.

Phone 1300 547 214 or email savemore@drivenow.com.au


Great Ocean Road & The Grampians – Victoria driving holiday itinerary ideas

By Australia / Great Ocean Road / Victoria /

The Great Ocean Road region hugs the contours of Victoria’s rugged south west coast and offers visitors one of Australia’s greatest and most spectacular coastal drives.

Start your journey in Geelong and the Bellarine Peninsula and discover beautiful beaches, great eateries, a fascinating heritage and an enormous range of recreational opportunities from fishing and golfing to diving and surfing. Take in the colourful and lively ambience of bayside Geelong, Victoria’s second largest city, or visit quaint Queenscliff and discover the town’s rich maritime history, excellent restaurants and heritage hotels.

Along the coast, seaside resort towns such as Lorne and Apollo Bay are the perfect base for a seaside escape. They offer stunning beaches and water sports as well as some of Australia’s best rainforest scenery in the nearby Otway Ranges.

One of the most visited stretches of the road is Port Campbell. Buffeted by wild seas and fierce winds, the coastline around Port Campbell has been sculpted over millions of years to form a series of striking rock stacks that rise out of the Southern Ocean. Known as the Twelve Apostles, they are one of the most spectacular natural attractions in Victoria.

The Great Ocean Road region also has a rich maritime past. Historic towns such as Warrnambool, Port Fairy and Portland allow you to enjoy seafaring village life, with their fishing wharves, beautifully preserved colonial buildings and maritime museums recounting the stories of ships that have foundered off the rugged shipwreck coast.

Traveling on the Great Ocean RoadThe Great Ocean Road is one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives. The road extends from Torquay in the east to Nelson in the west with the stretch between Lorne and Apollo Bay being the most picturesque. Huge cliffs, towering rock stacks, raging surf, tranquil bays, beautiful beaches, lush forests and fun filled resort towns are all part of the experience.

There are plenty of touring “add-ons” to expand the Great Ocean Road experience whether travelling further inland to the Grampians National Park and the Goldfields, across Victoria’s western border to south east South Australia or around Port Phillip Bay in the east taking in the Bellarine and Mornington peninsulas. Call into Visitor Information Centres along the way for maps, official Visitor Guides and local advice.

Halls Gap is the main tourist hub in the heart of the Grampians. The picturesque town is set in the Fyans Valley at the foot of the of Wonderland and Mount William ranges and is the perfect place from which to explore the Grampians National Park, one of Victoria’s most outstanding natural features.

The Grampians in Victoria

The town is within easy reach of many natural attractions including unique rock formations, scenic lookouts and waterfalls. The area is popular with lovers of outdoor activities, from bushwalking and abseiling, to fishing and canoeing. Whether you are seeking a relaxing escape or wilderness adventure, Halls Gap provides everything you need for an enjoyable holiday.

From the local village stores, the taste tempting wineries and the colourful galleries, to the majesty of the Grampians National Park, with its wildflowers and waterfalls, Halls Gap is the heart of this region.



6 Tips for Stress Free Car Hire


There’s no need for car hire to be a stressful process, here’s a few tips on how to ensure things run smoothly and avoiding nasty surprises:

  • Book Earlier – Always the best advice as this ensures the best rates and locks in the vehicle you’re after. With no Credit Card details required when booking through sites such as DriveNow.com.au and no booking or cancellation fees locking in Car Hire has never been easier.
  • Booking Optional Extras – If you need Baby or Booster Seats, Sat-Nat aids or other optional extras ensure these are requested when making your initial booking as there will be limited numbers available in each location.
  • Read the Contract – Not the most interesting of things to do, however ensure you know and understand what your obligations are and what the rental company is responsible for.
  • Check your Car – Before leaving the rental depot check the inside and out of your vehicle for any damage or markings and compare against the documentation supplied by the rental company. Take photos and/or notify a car rental representative so it can be recorded before leaving their premises.
  • Obey the Rules – Rental companies place certain restrictions on where their vehicles can be taken. Some examples of where not to drive include, beaches, off-road and on unsealed roads (house-drives excepted), through fords and above the snowline (unless snow-package taken). Driving in these areas invalidates all insurance and means you would be liable for all costs in the event of damage or an accident. If in doubt check with your rental provider when picking up the vehicle that your travel plans do not contravene their terms and conidtions.
  • Notify the Car rental Supplier – If you need to extend your rental period or change your drop-off location let the rental company know as early as possible. You will incur additional charges however the earlier you contact the rental supplier the lower the charges are likely to be.

The Team at DriveNow


5 Money saving Tips when Hiring a Car


Here’s some great tips on how to keep the cost of renting a car down to a minimum:

  • Book Earlier – Possibly the best tip. The earlier you book generally the cheaper the rental rate you will secure especially around peak times such as Christmas, Easter and School Holidays. Many rental companies have automated pricing systems that raise rates depending upon how close the pick up date is and vehicle availability. With no need to provide credit card details and no cancellation fees you’ve nothing to lose plus you secure the vehicle you’re after. This is particulary important if you’re in the market for a People-Mover (7 seater) around a peak time.
  • Compare and you will save – Make use of booking sites such as DriveNow.com.au, offering a free service with no booking or cancellation fees you can compare cars and prices from all the major rental companies. Your booking is made directly with the rental company and confirmed to you via email with no payment required until you pick up your car.
  • Fill up before you drop off  – Make sure your car has a full tank of fuel when you return it to the rental company – some rental providers charge a premium for topping up fuel tanks.
  • Insurance – All rental providers have a standard excess fee – this is the amount you are liable for in the event of an accident. This excess amount can be reduced by paying a daily excess reduction fee when picking up your rental car. However many travel insurance policies and some credit cards cover this excess. It’s worthwhile checking.
  • Notify the Car rental Supplier – If you need to extend your rental period or change your drop-off location let the rental company know as early as possible. You will incur additional charges however the earlier you contact the rental supplier the lower the charges are likely to be.

The Team at DriveNow

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Port Fairy Folk Festival Accommodation – The Campervan Rental Alternative

By Melbourne / Victoria /

Port Fairy Festival Campervan Hire – Melbourne
RAPIDLY becoming Australia’s leading Folk event, the Port Fairy Folk Festival takes place over the Victorian Labor Day long weekend each March And this year falls on 11-14th March. Located 290 kilometres west of Melbourne, Port Fairy attracts performers from around the world and 2010 saw it complete its 34th festival with record number of visitors and artists.

The increasing popularity has meant the limited Port Fairy accommodation is in much greater demand including Campervan and Motorhome hire. In recent years, particularly 2010, DriveNow has had to turn away many Festival visitors as our Victorian Campervan suppliers have quickly run out of vehicles even 2 weeks out from the event.

The secret is to get in early; you’ll find better rates, more choice and have a much better chance of securing the vehicle you’re after.  For those who are new or returning to campervan hire much has changed over the past few years. Long gone are the days of cramped conditions, uncomfortable beds and minimal facilities. The vast majority of Campervans today come with bathrooms including shower and toilet, fully equipped kitchen, LCD television, DVD players, double beds (and we mean double beds not large singles!) and plenty of space.  And even the largest 6 berthers are surprisingly easy to drive.

Combining your wheels with your bed is a great way to take in the Festival and there are several holiday parks in The Port Fairy area that offer powered sites. Again the secret is book in early as they are snapped up quickly.

DriveNow enables you to instantly compare campervan rental rates, vehicles and features of campervans for hire right around Australia including Melbourne – the closest vehicle pick-up point.

We also cater for those after car hire with rates and vehicles from Avis, Hertz, Budget, Europcar, Redspot and Thrifty, all available for pickup in Melbourne, Geelong, Avalon & Melbourne Airports and the surrounding suburbs.

Some tips on Campervan rental for the festival:

Once you have booked your Campervan it’s a good idea to secure a powered camp site. The Port Fairy Showgrounds have some powered sites, other Holiday Parks in the area include:

  • Book Early! – seriously, avoid disappointment, there’s not an endless supply of vehicles
  • Closest Campervan pick-up and drop-off point is Melbourne
  • There are minimum rental periods – starting from 5 days for Britz, Maui & Backpacker and 7 days with KEA and Apollo
  • Book a Powered Camper site with one of the Holiday Parks below – again book early they go fast
  • Campers are easy to drive and superbly equipped
  • If you’re new to Campervans you’ll be pleasantly surprised what you get these days
  • DriveNow has the best pricing – of course !


Belfast Cove Caravan Park
139 Princes Highway
03 5568 1816

Gardens Caravan Park
Griffiths Street
03 5568 1060

Koroit-Tower Hill Caravan Park
High Street Koroit
03 5565 7926

BIG4 Port Fairy Holiday Park
115 Princes Highway
03 5568 1145

Gum Tree Caravan Park
Toolong Road
(3km east of Port Fairy)
03 5568 1462

Southcombe Park
James Street
Port Fairy
03 03 5568 2677

Catalina Takeaway & Van Park
Princes Highway
03 5568 1608

Killarney Camping Ground
Killarney Beach Killarney
0428 314 823

Yambuk Camping Ground
Carrols Lane Yambuk
0419 006 201

Chris C
Sometime Blog Contributer – DriveNow Team