Aug
29
2009

Driving holidays – Bathurst to Nundle and Fossickers Way (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales /

HAVE you heard of Fossickers Way? If not, you don’t know what you are missing. Heading off from Bathurst, we stick to the main highway and head for Tamworth. Just 60km (40 miles) out of Tamworth, you will find Nundle, a tiny, quaint little village positioned at the beginning of the Fossickers Way. So, what is Fossickers Way, you ask? Well it is over 200km of area where you can indulge some time in fossicking for gems! And, boy, did we find them. Gold, rubies, sapphires … you name it. After all the years of trying to find opals in Coober Pedy and gold in the Outback, we have never ever found a thing, but doing the Fossickers Way you will find plenty! They are all destinationas relatively easy to get to by normal car and you can even take the vans down most of the roads. Nundle is also home to one of the last remaining Wool Mills. Got…

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Aug
26
2009
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Driving holidays – Nelligen to Bathurst (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales /

Now here is some very sound advice. Advice I wish I had been given earlier! We left Nelligen, bound for Bathurst, and we let our trusty Tom Tom do the talking … really, really bad idea. We went to Bathurst on a “long cut”, via the goat tracks of southern NSW. I swear these roads had not been used for many, many, many months (see attached picture). We were on this particular road for four hours, so a five-hour trip turned into an eight-hour trip. I guess the scenery was spectacular and it did give us an insight into a road definitely less travelled, so I am thankful for that, although not very thankful with four kids in the back. So, here’s an important rule: when travelling in the country, don’t use your Sat Nav! Stick to trusty maps and common sense. Once we finally arrived at Bathurst we were pleasantly surprised. I was expecting a town of petrol heads…

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Aug
22
2009

Driving holidays – Quenbeayan to Nelligen (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales /

LEAVING behind the arty town of Quenbeayan, we head east out to the coast to a little village called Nelligen. Now, it’s important to remember that when you leave Quenbeayan, be very, very careful. The road down to the coast is very, very steep. I had to go down in first gear the whole 18kms. It’s very steep and in places you feel as if you are going to get out of control. But we made it and were greeted by the outstanding BIG 4 Nelligen Holiday Park. What a place! Built on an old footy oval, it’s almost entirely surrounded by water and the Clyde River. This place is so picturesque and the kids loved it thanks to the best children’s  playground, jumping pillows and tonnes of room to run around with the footy oval still in place, smack bang in the middle of the park. For something different, take a cruise on the Clyde River or drive just…

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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
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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Mar
20
2009

Boys’ Weekend – Byron Bay (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales /

Kayaking with dolphins, having our “auras” photographed at Crystal Castle in the hinterland and laying a few bets on the gee-gees at a pub with ocean views wasn’t exactly the sort of blend I had in mind for a boys’ weekend, but hey, we were in Byron Bay and it was a case of doing as the Romans do … well, some of them, anyway. Our weekend launched the moment we touched down on the Gold Coast at Coolangatta. We hooked ourselves up with a Toyota Aurion after snapping up the hottest deal at DriveNow with Hertz emerging the winner on this particular search mission. Three blokes with a thirst for adventure and a boozy weekend in mind headed south and the party was up and away. Spirit of adventure While exploring Byron Bay, hitting the beach, entertainment, eateries and nearby hinterland only a short drive away was the name of the game, reaching the destination is a leisurely one…

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Mar
14
2009
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Driving Holidays – South Coast (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales /

As a kid, I used to make frequent trips down the South Coast of NSW with my friend’s family. Two things are etched into my mind: the lame jokes of my friend’s father about cows with two legs shorter than the others (from standing on steep hills) and the horror of car sickness. The old coast road from the southern suburbs of Sydney to Wollongong was a spectacular roller coaster, never failing to reduce my Maccas happy meal to a not-so-happy pile of goo on the side of the road. But it was all part of the holiday fun, the rising tide of nausea signalling the start of a great weekend away. A “Grand” new drive And so it was with this happy memory that I picked up my DriveNow Britz camper and headed south through the Royal National Park to Stanwell Tops, and the start of the new Grand Pacific Drive. This 140km coastal route has cut out many…

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Mar
10
2009
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Driving holidays – Lower Hunter Valley (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales /

I have a dream of owning my own rural patch of heaven, 30-odd acres of paddocks and bushland where I can keep horses, run a few chooks and write the great Australian novel. And I know exactly where this Tree Change will take place – Wollombi. This quaint little hamlet 140 kilometres north of Sydney in the Lower Hunter Valley is my secret weekend getaway. There’s nothing I love more than picking up a camper and heading up the F3 freeway, relaxation beckoning with every passing kilometre. I’m not sure if it’s a psychological thing, but as soon as I turn off at the Calga exit at Peats Ridge, I visibly relax, drawing a deep breath and filling my lungs with the pure mountain air. It’s then a leisurely hour or so through picturesque countryside, lush horse studs and hobby farms flanked by dense eucalypt forest on rolling hillsides. Wollombi rolls into sight like something from a Tom Roberts oil…

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Feb
26
2009

Driving holidays – a perfect Port (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales /

Ah, Port Macquarie – beautiful one day, blissful the next. It’s my favourite holiday destination, any time of year – winter chills disappear on its sunny beaches; while in summer cool sea breezes keep the heatwaves at bay. For my daughter and I, a road trip to Port is always an adventure. After picking up a last minute deal on an Avis Hyundai rental from DriveNow’s last minute Sydney Car hire area we hit the Pacific Highway for the crawl out of Sydney – always the worst part of the trip. But once we were freewheeling north, it’s smooth driving for four and a half hours before we reach paradise – Port, that is! There are a stack of affordable places to stay in town, but our choice this time was the Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park, located right on the Hastings River fronting the boardwalks with its distinctive colourful rocks. Talk about a room (or in our case, site!) with…

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