Jul
08
2010

Great driving holidays – Melbourne to Nagambie (Victoria)

By Australia / Melbourne / Victoria /

WE decided to try out somewhere close to Melbourne, our hometown, but somewhere where it felt like we were on holiday. So after a bit of research we chose Nagambie. This small town is only 90 minutes north of Melbourne, a great little place with all the services you need and a great little Victorian road trip. It has a great pub and an incredibly good bakery. In fact, people head from Melbourne to Nagambie for one reason – just to go to this bakery! There is nothing better than a loaf of extra-fresh bread. We stayed at Nagambie Lakes Leisure Park. It’s an accommodation venue out of this world. It’s also funny because the park is almost bigger than the town. And to be perfectly honest, you needn’t leave the park either; aside from going to the bakery, that is. This park has absolutely everything. It’s all new, luxurious and surrounded 360 degrees by water with the river on…

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Jun
20
2010

Great driving holidays – Melbourne to Warrnambool (Victoria)

By Melbourne / Victoria /

IF you are looking for a great weekend away from Melbourne in your caravan or campervan, then Warrnambool is the place. There are always some great Melbourne campervan deals on the go. Only a four hour drive from Melbourne, it’s easy driving with plenty to see along the way. There is great coffee in Colac and plenty of rest areas to stop off for a bit of driver reviver – pull over for a snooze if you’re a tad tired. Once you get to Warrnambool, make sure you stay down on Lake Pertobe. We stayed at Discovery Holiday Park, which has a fantastic location as you can walk to absolutely everything. The kids, especially, will love the Lake Pertobe playground. But you can’t really call it a playground as it’s more like 30 playgrounds all in one! It is easy to kill a day here and, besides, it will ensure the kids sleep very, very well that night after all…

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Jun
14
2010
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Daylesford Delights – a road trip from Melbourne to Daylesford

By Melbourne / Victoria /

BEING Sydneysiders, we didn’t want to visit another city on a romantic getaway from work and children, but after a friend’s big recommendation we hopped on a cheap flight to Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne after snapping up a hot last minute  Melbourne Car Hire deal from www.drivenow.com.au. The escape from Melbourne’s hustle and bustle was a breeze for a great Victorian driving holiday  – we picked up the Western Ring Road off the Tullamarine Freeway and followed all signs to Daylesford and an hour and a half later we entered the sleepy country town in Spa Country. It was Saturday morning so there was a gentle hum about the place, busy, but not hectic. The moment we set down our gear at Campari, our accommodation, the R&R truly kicked in. About 200 metres from Lake Daylesford, and easy walking distance to town, Campari is well priced and cosy. We spent the first day poking around Daylesford’s quaint shops and sampling…

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May
27
2010

Romantic drives … Devonport to Cradle Mountain to Strahan in Tasmania

By Australia / Tasmania /

PUT simply, anywhere you drive in this delightful little state known as the Apple Isle has romance written all over it. Best to allow a good 10 days at least to appreciate a full dose of romantic journeys, but for a trip with a difference, an idea might be to grab a DriveNow campervan from Melbourne and let it float a little while as you wine and dine in preparation for a tantalising Tasmanian road trip. By float we mean the Spirit of Tasmania, a charming overnight ferry trip across the Tasman. The value here is remarkable and to take your Camper it only costs from around the $80 mark most seasons. Upon reaching Devonport, we made the decision to head for the hills – straight to Cradle Mountain and the Discovery Holiday Park which boasts powered sites for campers, pop tops and caravans, set in earthy little bush alcoves. It really is a drive of no more than 2…

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May
03
2010

Romantic drives … Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie

By Australia / New South Wales /

THERE are some places in Australia where the weather has obviously been designed with romantics in mind – count this part of the world along the lower north coast of NSW as one such place where the sun always shines and where there are plenty of beaches to worship the rays or have a dip and ample charming little hamlets to explore. A great place to park your camper is Emerald Beach Holiday Park, just 10 minutes up the road from the Big Banana (warning: the banana is overrated and will kill any notion of romance, so skip it – though there is a cool little puzzles shop attached for those with an interest, but better suited to couples with kids in tow). This Big4 venue set on a gorgeous beachfront with wildlife everywhere, great beach walks and fishing nearby. The accommodation options are diverse, from 5 star villas to budget cabins, and “convenient shady and peaceful unpowered, powered and…

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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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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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Mar
09
2010

Great driving holidays – Normanton to Quamby (Queensland)

By Australia / Queensland /

LEAVING Normanton, we headed south to a teeny, weeny place called Quamby. The roadtrip was surprisingly easy thanks to good roads and not a lot of road trains, thankfully on this particular day. There were plenty of cattle, though, so you still have to be careful. The cattle around these parts seem to have sound road skills. Believe it or not, I actually saw a herd of cows stop and wait and then cross the road, unlike the horses up around Cooktown who wait, then run out in front of you! There is little warning that Quamby is approaching, so don’t blink or you will miss it. The town of Quamby – and, yes, it still is a registered town – has a population of only 5 (three of whom are the barmaids!) and just one property. However, many moons ago Quamby was a vibrant little village and one of the main Cobb & Co stations. Now it’s a great…

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Feb
13
2010

Great driving holidays – Mt Surprise to Normanton (Qld)

By Australia / Queensland /

WHAT A CROC! FROM Mt Surprise we head further west and back out almost to the coast to a quaint little place called Normanton. This is the home of the largest salt water crocodile ever officially recorded. And you better believe it! The local publican still has the original photograph of it. This croc came out during a wicked flood and a local lad shot it, 14 times, with his .22 calibre rifle. It could swallow you whole in one gulp and you wouldn’t even touch the sides! No wonder all the farmers were missing a ton of cattle in these parts – sometimes a herd a day, apparently. Just behind the monument of this beast of a creature is the old original prison. Very spooky! It remains just as the last prisoners left it, very airy and the writing on the wall says it all. When in Normanton you just have to go Croc spotting. No matter how scared…

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Feb
06
2010
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Great driving holidays – Cooktown to Mount Surprise (Qld)

By Australia / Queensland /

HEADING south and inland from Cooktown down to Mt Surprise was, well, a bit of a surprise – a pleasant one. Definitely take the short-cut and head along the top of the Atherton Tablelands, and cut out going back through Cairns. It’s a great drive that’s fairly easy until you reach Rolleston. From then on its only bitumen for the width of one car, down the middle of the road, so drive your campervan and carry your load carefully especially on corners, as chances are others coming towards you are using the middle of the road too! The other half of your lane is orange dirt and badly corrugated, so it’s slow going. Every now and then you will get a double land of bitumen, but not often, and no there’s no phone reception from thereafter either. It feels like the road is never ending, but it’s because of the slow going and the frequent pull-offs you have to make….

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Feb
01
2010
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Great driving holidays – Cairns to Cape York (Qld)

By Australia / Cairns / Queensland /

CAPE York is absolutely totally out of this world. No word can sum it up, no matter how much you try to describe it. Quite simply, you just don’t know how great it is until you experience it for yourself. I bid farewell to Sheree and the kids (they are having a week in Cairns) while myself and the film crew head into the unknown territory of Cape York Peninsula. Firstly, there’s a few very important things to remember. If you are travelling along, as in only one vehicle, make sure you stick to the Cape York Development Road at all times! If you are lucky enough to have a support vehicle or vehicles with you, then venture off on to the Telegraph Track. We had only one vehicle, but we still saw so much and had the best time ever. Once you get past Laura you will feel like you are in a different country. It isn’t that far…

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