Dec
31
2014

Seven stunning lookouts in Australia

By Australia / Broome / New South Wales / Northern Territory / Queensland / South Australia / Tasmania / Victoria / Western Australia /

WHEN it comes to lookouts Down Under, there may not be another country in the world that matches Australia for sheer diversity and absolute stunning sights whether be inland or coastal. We fetch seven from throughout the continent to consider during that next road trip. 1. Staircase to the Moon (WA, pictured) One of the world’s great mystical wonders for sightseeing, visit Broome in the north-west from March to October and you can witness the Staircase to the Moon, a natural phenomenon when the moon rises over the mudflats at Roebuck Bay at low tide. 2. Echo Point (NSW) The famous view of the Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains is one of the best in the world, let alone Australia. Situated on the north escarpment of the Jamison Valley. An absolute stunner. 3. Mount William (Victoria) Mount William is the highest point in the Grampians National Park at over 1100 metres and offers 360-degree views of mountain ranges. Make…

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Oct
25
2014

Go retro with these 4 Australian drive in venues to catch a movie under the stars

By Australia / Darwin / Melbourne / Perth / Sydney /

GOING to the local cinema always guarantees a good night out, but nothing compares to the nostalgic charm of jumping in a car with your partner, or the family, and watching a movie at the drive in theatre. Whether you’re with your partner, friends or family, everybody loves a night under the stars. It’s an old-fashioned way to have some fun, but it’s a goodie. 1. Skyline Drive In Blacktown, 38km west of Sydney CBD When it comes to drive in movies Sydney does as well if not better than anyone with its only drive in featuring a 50s-in-America theme, perfect for anybody who wants to go back to the days of Elvis, Rock’n’Roll and puffy dresses for an evening out. The staff at the diner even bring you burgers and hotdogs in their ’50s style costumes. It’s serious retro fun at a Sydney drive in threatre that offers the lot! 2. Deckchair Cinema 13km south east of Darwin Airport…

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Oct
14
2014

Campervan Hire in the Top End – Travel Tips

By Australia / Darwin / Northern Territory /

If you are planning a campervan holiday in the Top End of the Northern Territory and exploring more remote locations, here are some tips from our experience on the road. Much of this applies to travel any way in remote Australia. If you have ideas and tips you’d like to share, please send them into writeabout@drivenow.com.au. Tips: Walk round and thoroughly check your Campervan rental before you leave the branch. Take photos of any existing external scratches or damage. Check inside that everything is working. Your campervan supplier will be helpful and will work with you on this but photos are the easiest and clearest way to document and record   If your Campervan comes with a TV you may need to use the auto-tune feature when you move between locations to pick up digital signals. In the Top End these appeared to change between Darwin, Jabiru, Katherine and Batchelor   If your campervan has a toilet cartridge you will…

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Oct
12
2014

Travel Top End Loop – Litchfield Park – Marines on Falls Day 7 & 8

By Australia / Northern Territory /

Batchelor, Buley Hole and Wangi Falls The Final destination in our loop through the top end in our Maui Motorhome was Litchfield Park. Just 80 minutes south of Darwin, close enough for a day-trippers and 244km north of Katherine straight up the Stuart Highway. 14kms off the Stuart Highway the small township of Batchelor is the gateway to Litchfield Park. Made up of a couple of pubs, a Best Western Hotel, small supermarket, fuel, Post office and 3 holiday parks, Batchelor is also home to the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education . The Batchelor airport, a former World War II airstrip offers scenic flights of the Park starting from $99 for a short flight. As is the way in remote Australia there’s always an unexpected surprise to be found in the most extraordinary of locations and Batchelor is no exception. At the heart of this small township you’ll come across a model of Karlstein Castle, the original which still…

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Oct
11
2014

Travel the Top End Loop – Lazy Lizard lunch and cruising with Katherine – Day 5 & 6

By Australia / Northern Territory /

Pine Creek, Katherine Gorge and Cutta Cutta Caves Before leaving the Jabiru area we stopped off at Mirrai Lockout, parked up the motorhome and a 20 minute walk up to the hilltop was rewarded with panoramic views of across Kakadu to the Arnhem Land escarpments on the other side of the East Alligator river. We had thought about Jim Jim Falls however as it was accessible only via a 2 hour journey on an unsealed road it was off the agenda with our motorhome – no motorhome or campervan rental can be driven on unsealed roads (unless entering a camping ground or something similar and over a short distance). The Jim Jim Falls road as with many in the park is closed during the wet becoming impassable. As we drove south we crossed countless dry river beds all with the rather telling sign “Don’t linger on bridge and no fishing”, Crocs never seemed to be far away, Lunch at the…

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Oct
09
2014

Travel the Top End Loop – Arnhem Land – Day 4

By Australia / Darwin / Northern Territory /

Arnhem Land and 20,000 year old Australians Day 4 was spent on tour in Arnhem Land and for me this was the absolute stand out of our entire trip – if you can only book one tour in the top end – make it this one. You will not be disappointed in what was a memorable and an amazing experience. The tour is organised by Lords Safaris (www.lords-safaris.com), one of only 3 operators permitted by the Land council to enter Arnhem land. Yes it is expensive at $810 for 2 adults and 2 children, however worth every cent. You experience that rare opportunity of exploring 20,000 year old Rock Art with a member of the Aboriginal clan that the art belongs to, and all in its raw natural environment. Not for the faint hearted as you’ll discover. Collected at Kakadu Lodge by mini-bus, the 17 of us were driven out to Cahills Crossing to enter Arnhem Land. Access to Arnhem…

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Oct
03
2014

Travel the Top End Loop – Kakadu and a hissy Saltie – Day 3

By Australia / Darwin / Northern Territory /

Day 3 Darwin to Kakadu and Yellow Water We collected our motorhome from the Maui depot on Bombing road in Winnellie (around $35 from the city). Allow 45 minutes for the staff to show you around the vehicle and explain how everything works. There’s DVD you can watch and we were also given a USB stick with the video. A team member will go over the vehicle with you to check for any existing scratches or damage and there’s no harm in using your phone camera to snap these just to be totally sure. Now is also the last opportunity for you to take out any optional excess insurance reduction protection. Unlike car hire your travel insurance is unlikely to cover your excess liability and given you are travelling in the Northern Territory reducing this liability is a good idea. Ours cost $45 a day although we choose not to take the $99 separate rollover cover. Next stop – the supermarket. There’s…

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Oct
01
2014

Travel the Top End Loop – Catch a Wave in Darwin – Day 1 & 2

By Australia / Darwin / Northern Territory /

A 10 day discovery of Darwin, Kakadu, Katherine and Litchfield Park by Campervan Hire with DriveNow. FOR the September school holidays the choice was left to the kids, Darwin or New Zealand? – the selection fell the way of the warmer Northern Territory, and warmer it most definitely was with the coolest day hitting a mild 37. Although a family of 4, we organised a 6 berth Platinum River motorhome through Maui which proved to be the perfect vehicle – plenty of room, easy to drive and came with everything we needed – shower, toilet, fridge, great cooker and no need to pack towels or bed linen. There’s even a TV and DVD player to keep the kids entertained and the air-conditioning made sleeping easy during the very warm nights. The Team at the Maui branch in Winnellie, Darwin were terrific, explained the best insurance options for us, showed us right through the motorhome and even have a DVD to…

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Sep
29
2014

5 bizzare events Down Under for wacky road-trippers

By Australia / Darwin / Gold Coast / Northern Territory / Queensland /

AUSSIES are know to do some bizarre things, so much so that we have events that rival the most wacky and weird all around the planet. Surely that’s good enough reason to jump in an Australian car rental and hit the road for some crazy fun. We choose five to ponder. 1. Australia Day Dunny Race We Aussies love a bit of toilet humour, so why not hold an event based on the humble Aussie dunny on Australia Day! This fun-filled occasion sees the road out front of the Sunshine Coast’s Ettamogah Pub turn into a thunderbox drag strip as contestants attempt to drag their dunny the fastest in a bid to claim the title of Dunny Race Champion of the World. More http://www.aussieworld.com.au/events/australia-day-dunny-races 2. Parkes Elvis Festival There is no shortage of these kind of events that pay homage to the King, but the one in Parkes come January every year is hard to top. From street parades to…

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Jul
24
2014

7 amazing things to do in Australia’s great outdoors before your croak it

By Melbourne / Northern Territory / Perth / Port Douglas / Queensland /

AUSTRALIA’S landscapes are so vast and diverse, with so much to offer travellers who love an unforgettable outdoor experience. Hit the road and explore the great outdoors (and underground!) with one of these exciting adventures. 1. Hang gliding in one of Queensland’s popular seaside towns Where: Port Douglas, 67km north of Cairns Hang gliding is probably the closest you’ll ever come to experiencing what it’s like to fly like a bird. Admire Port Douglas’ stunning beaches and blue waters from above, while enjoying the thrill of take off and landing. 2. Horse riding in the Snowy Mountains Where: Bago State Forest, 240 km south west of Canberra Explore a stunning landscape on horseback with Mountain Ash Trails’ half day and full day rides. Ride through the gorgeous Tumbarumba region and spot kangaroos, brumbies and kookaburras along the way. 3. Cave exploring in Gippsland Where: Buchan, 355km east of Melbourne Underground a wonderland of ancient caves awaits, formed nearly 400 million…

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Jun
27
2013

Splash out at Howard Springs Big4 in the Top End

By Australia / Darwin / Northern Territory /

EVER wondered how you can beat the heat in the Northern Territory? Well there’s a few ways to “splash out” and cool off, and not many are better than the fun that can be had at a caravan park with a big interactive water play area. The Top End of Australia is a tropical hot spot all right – hot for more reasons than one with temperatures averaging in the 30s all year round – but once you park your Darwin campervan rental or Darwin car rental at BIG4 Howard Springs Holiday Park just over 20km outside of the NT’s capital it won’t take long for the whole family to cool down in the venue’s brand new splash park. And there’s no crocodiles to worry about, either! The first of its kind for BIG4 in the state, the zero-depth multi-level aquatic play area has interactive features to suit all ages. The new area incorporates a super-sized splash tipping bucket, spray…

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