Mar
21
2011

Gem of the Sapphire coast – Merimbula, a dreamy coastal road trip for campervanners

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

MERIMBULA, a South-Eastern NSW hotspot known as the “gem of the Sapphire coast”, is a coastal midway point for Melbourne and Sydney, a one-hour flight from either direction but a seven-hour coastal road trip (minus the stops) along the Hume Highway that lures campers, caravanners and cabin hunters from far and wide. For those wanting to kick out the trip a few days and stop off at some great spots along the way, there’s plenty to see and do. For road-trippers who grab a Melbourne campervan rental, some key moments for us included Paynesville, Lakes Entrance, Cann River, Eden and Pambula, while northerners hiring a campervan in Sydney the highlights along the way southern route include Wollongong, Sanctuary Point, Bateman’s Bay and Bermagui. For us, a stay at Merimbula Beach NRMA Holiday Park, one of Big4’s major players in Australia, proved to be the utlimate holiday park experience from more than a dozen we stayed at during a six-week road…

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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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Jul
31
2010

Great drives – Melbourne to Sydney (Tumut, a place to sweep you off your feet!)

By Australia / Melbourne / New South Wales / Sydney / Victoria /

MANY Aussies have done the famous trek from Melbourne to Sydney along the Hume Highway, but make sure you take the time to stop in a little town called Tumut. Once grabbing a campervan rental in Melbourne head north and you will arrive at this amazing little destination after about six or seven hours later. Tumut is just before Goulburn, and is only a 25-minute drive from the highway – you won’t be disappointed! This is where you will find Australia’s only remaining original broom factory that makes good old-fashioned straw brooms. Prices start at just $10 each and have an impressive 10-year guarantee! There’s some serious sweeping to be had in these brooms, so you can’t really go wrong. Furthermore, these brooms are an absolute must for your campervan, caravan or motorhome, as they get into all the nooks and crannies. No matter what it is you are sweeping up, nothing beats a straw broom! And while at the…

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Apr
25
2010

Romantic drives … Sydney to Wollongong

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

THE Grand Pacific Drive departing from Sydney doesn’t take long to lose yourself in the chill factor as you leave the city behind and enter its southern fringe and into the sub-tropical lushness of the Royal National Park. It pays to stop off for a walk here and explore one of the oldest national parks in the world. From here, it’s a leisurely drive  offering spectacular scenery, dramatic coastal cliffside views and sandstone heaths inland. Stop off at the Hindu Temple in Helensburgh or enjoy a spot of  horseriding at beautiful Otford to really fire up the romance-o-meter before jumping back in the camper to head to Stanwell Tops for some amazing views. Before long, you will reach the charming seaside suburb of  Thirroul – reportedly the Aboriginal word for “Valley of Cabbage Tree Palms”. Thirroul was a former coalmining hamlet boasts excellent surf beach at Sandon Point. It’s golden beachfront has a wonderful grassy area to enjoy a coffee…

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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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