Jan
12
2011

Say g’day to the Don – a road trip to the Southern Highlands

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

ONE can’t indulge in a picturesque road trip after picking up a rental car in Sydney and heading to the Southern Highlands without popping in to say hello to “the Don”, the greatest cricketer the world has ever seen. Of course, to the uninitiated, we’re talking about the great Don Bradman, “the boy from Bowral”, who blasted world bowling attacks for thousands of runs around cricket grounds worldwide. No-one has come close to conquering his unsurpassable Test cricket batting average of 99. Unfortunately, the cricket legend left us almost a decade ago but his memory lives on at the Bradman Museum in Bowral, a place which has evolved into the International Cricket Hall of Fame. The journey to this regional highlight south of Sydney isn’t a long one, only a one and a half hour to two hour leisurely trip as you exit Sydney via the M5 and end up on the Hume Highway. The drive itself really starts to…

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Dec
31
2010

The Hunter Valley’s best kept secret – a beaut road trip from Sydney to a garden wonderland

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

THE last time my husband and I were in the Newcastle/Hunter Valley region we were heading southbound and on a watertight timeframe so we didn’t have the opportunity to take a detour via Pokolbin and check out one of Australia’s best kept secrets – the Hunter Valley Gardens. So on a recent trip to New South Wales we decided to grab a hire car in Sydney and head north on the M1 for an one-day road trip and then scoot inland after Cooranbong, taking in some off-the-beaten-track townships like Killingworth, Seahampton and Greta before arriving at spectacular Hunter Valley Gardens. Smack in the middle of winery country, this day trip was reserved wholly for the gardens; we’d done the winery tour thing pre-kids but this was a trip with little people in mind. The gardens themselves are beautiful. Situated on 16 hectares, they are thoughtfully themed and meticulously maintained. The moment you walk through the gates, there’s an immediate magical…

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Oct
31
2010

Sydney to Manning Point … and ‘neverending hamburgers’

By Australia / New South Wales /

COASTAL delights often come in small packages, and after snapping up a hot DriveNow deal on a Sydney campervan hire, we discovered our little seaside gem, Manning Point, after a four-hour drive north of Sydney hugging the east coast. The drive itself is quite spectacular, as you begin with a 15km drive along the Pacific Hwy before launching into a 130km cruise up and down the snaking, sloping smooth road of  the Sydney Newcastle Fwy. Then it’s a quick diversion back onto the Pacific Hwy for 40km before slowing things down to absorb the countryside – and watch for occasional potholes – as you wind your way through the mid-north coastal area’s city’s cities and hamlets including Taree and Old Bar. Roadside signs inviting you into Oyster farms and farmhouse stalls offering homemade jams and free-range eggs are the precursors to your arrival at Manning Point, a 25-minute drive east of Taree. We parked our camper at beautiful East’s Ocean…

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Oct
17
2010

GREAT SOUTHERN DRIVE & STAY … FOR FURRY FOUR-LEGGED FRIENDS

By Melbourne / Victoria /

DO you have a four-legged family member holding you back from that relaxing dream campervan holiday? No problem. I’ve discovered the most incredible place in southern Victoria where you can take your furry best friend with you. Forget expensive boarding kennels and any idea of a last-minute calls to family and friends for doggy-sitting duties. And there will be no more separation anxiety and psychotherapy sessions for your pampered pooch if you dare to read on, so start packing those doggie bags and leads and prepare to hit the highway. Nestled among gently rolling hills of the enchanting Tarra Valley is one of Victoria’s best kept secrets. Less than a three-hour drive in your Melbourne Campervan Rental, and only 3km from the magnificent Tarra-Bulga National Park, Best Friend Holiday Retreat awaits in lush secluded rainforest surrounds, with all-year-round waterfall and natural rock-formed swimming pool. Beginning with an easy drive from Melbourne along the Monash Freeway and Princess Highway to Traralgon,…

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Sep
12
2010
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Why hug the east coast? Head for the hinterland

By Australia / New South Wales /

There’s always a place to grab a campervan along the central area of Australia’s east coast, whether it be from Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne, and most road trippers usually stick to the destination allure of hugging the coastline going from one sunny seaside location to another. While there are countless reasons to follow that particular, well-worn route, there are just as many reasons to occasionally veer off the beaten path and head inland to the many wonders that await – none more so than the hinterland region accessible from a stretch of coastline that runs from Ballina to Byron Bay. Only half an hour away is a little township called Alstonville tucked away 15 minutes in a westerly direction from Ballina, or three quarters of an hour south-west of beautiful Byron Bay. Alstonville may not possess the pizzazz of central coast hotspots you often find in glisteningtourism brochures, but this historic village has plenty to offer as a place for some…

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Apr
12
2010

Romantic drives … Great Ocean Road in Victoria

By Victoria /

CALLING all lovers, it’s time to warm up your wheels and start your engines – the DriveNow team has asked me to suggest some of the most romantic drives in Australia for starcrossed lovers. Forget the caravan of love, our focus is the campervan of love and you needn’t worry about forking out for a costly mobile love machine with wheels as you can hire a camper for a steal on the DriveNow website. Click up a pick-up and drop-off deal from Melbourne and you are all set for the first of our Romantic Drives series in 2010 – Great Ocean Road. Without further adieu, pop a rose in your front grill and hit the Princes Freeway and Bellarine Highway to make your way to the charming township of Queenscliff. There’s nothing like a bit of coastal road cruising to kick-start your journey along the Great Ocean Road, which is possibly Australia’s most romantic scenic route. But make be sure…

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Mar
27
2010

Great driving holidays – Brisbane to Townsville (Qld)

By Australia / Brisbane / Queensland /

FAR North Queensland is a region like no other in Australia and this drive is clearly a Top 10 campervanning adventure in the country. It’s a long drive (18-20 hours straight, a few days including stops) that hugs the coast from Brisbane all the way up to Townsville. Most importantly, there are loads of great stops to make along the way. The direct route on the Bruce Highway is more than 1300km, so it would be well worth allowing a couple of weeks at least if you have the time as there are at least five stops that simply shouldn’t be missed. Pop these down for consideration when planning your itinerary: STOP 1: Maroochydoore. God’s own country with one of the most magnificent little beaches you’ll find Down Under. It should take you no more than 2 hours to reach from Brisbane. Maroochydore boasts some super family attractions including Top Shots mini golf park, Underwater World to meet some of…

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Feb
27
2010

Australian music festivals well worth the drive

By

EVERYONE loves a music festival, whether you love blues, country, jazz, pop or rock. So snap up a campervan rental deal with DriveNow, hit the highway and prepare to dance, sing, eat and drink ’til your heart’s content. While there are loads of big ones such as the Big Day Out, Good Vibrations and V Festival that do the rounds countrywide, don’t forget the smaller ones that might just offer something a little more intimate and also give you the chance to look around. Try these for size … 1) Riverboats Jazz Food and Wine Festival. Every July this one attracts jazz and wine lovers in their droves from all corners of the country, so head down the Hume Highway in your campervan or hire car to this historic river port township set on the banks of the mighty Murray River for some smooth jazz, great food and wonderful nearby attractions. It all happens in late February. 2) Byron Bay…

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Aug
05
2009
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Driving holidays – Sydney to Coffs Harbour (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

The great thing about cruising in a campervan to Coffs Harbour is that you can either do it from Brisbane or Sydney, therefore offering two very different journeys to enjoy. For us, we chose the Sydney option and while it would take about seven hours maximum with no stops, we spent five days negotiating the route along the Pacific Highway, a great option for some diverse stop-overs along the way. Newcastle First port of call was Newcastle after a leisurely two hour cruise. This city is one of extremes – a rougher element stemming from its early days as a shipping and commercial centre, with iron and steel mills built. While some parts of town are eyesores, the rest is beautiful, including some amazing beaches such as Stockton, Nobbies and Mereweather, while the Honeysuckle Boardwalk – an area that was a once derelict harbour area – now boasts funky restaurant-bars, a brewery and a great walk. Forster Second port of…

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Jun
27
2009
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Driving holidays – Port Augusta to Adelaide (SA)

By Australia / South Australia /

From Port Augusta to Adelaide on the banks of the beautiful Spencer Gulf, it’s just gorgeous. It’s only a leisurely two-hour drive and all easy going, big open roads. Port Augusta has some  unique attractions including the “spook hill” or Gravity Hill, near the Flinders Ranges where you face your car up this hill and put it in neutral and you somehow get pulled up the hill! It’s all true and is a fairdinkum optical illusion and very much worth the drive out there. We enjoyed the the Champagne Cruise out onto the Spencer Gulf itself and went diving for the rare Razor fish (see picture). The water here has 7% more salt in it and you float really easily, but it makes it tougher to dive down for the Razor fish. This really is a place where the Outback meets the ocean and you won’t find a more photogenic place. Also take in a visit to the Wadlata Outback…

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Jun
22
2009

Driving holiday – Sydney to Melbourne (NSW/Vic)

By Australia / Sydney /

I’ve always preferred to drive to Melbourne than fly – I just like my independence, the freedom of the road and the convenience once I get there. The direct route down the Hume (highway) can be a little tedious, just as well I’m comfortable behind the wheel! A new touring route has officially opened, however – the Sydney to Melbourne Touring Route. It’s not a new road, just a new slant on familiar territory, opening tourists’ eyes to what’s special in the states of NSW and Victoria. Keen to try out the multi-day ‘Mega Drive’, I arranged campervan hire through DriveNow, picking up my camper in Sydney. After meandering through Sydney’s southern suburbs, we diverted through the gorgeous Royal National Park, emerging at Stanwell Tops and the start of the spectacular Grand Pacific Drive. This new road skirts the spectacular Wollongong escarpment, with a bridge hovering above the pounding ocean and offering spectacular views down the coastline. I’m always blown away…

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