5 great ways to discover Cairns and Surrounds

By Cairns /

Cairns is a tropical paradise for any person who loves the great outdoors. It’s world famous for being one of the best spots to explore the Great Barrier Reef. But what many people don’t realise is Cairns has absolutely everything to offer those who enjoy nature – including pristine rainforests, tropical islands, hiking trails and more.

Hire a car at Cairns Airport so you can easily get around to some of these incredible attractions. Make sure you book your car rental well in advance if travelling during peak season around September.

Swim at Babinda Boulders

The Babinda Boulders is a glorious swimming hole that’s popular with the locals. The cool, crystal clear waters feel like heaven in the summer. But it’s also worth visiting the attraction at any time of year. The flowing creeks are surrounded by lush rainforest and a short walk away from the main swimming area are the magnificent, tall boulders. Here’s a tip: make sure you stop by the famous Babinda Bakery on the way there!

Babinda Boulders

Hike Mt Bartle Frere

This quest isn’t one for the faint-hearted! Mt Kosciusko holds the title of Australia’s highest mountain, at 2,228m. But not far behind is Mt Bartle Frere, at 1,611m. You can hike the challenging eastern approach or opt for the easier western approach. Either route will take a full day with an early start and you should be prepared with water, food, insect repellent, and don’t forget your sunblock. The views at the top are well worth the challenge!

Mount Bartle Frere

Visit Fitzroy Island

One of Australia’s most beautiful beaches is on Fitzroy Island. Nudey Beach is stunning at any time of year, with sandy shores meeting turquoise waters. It’s only a short boat ride from Cairns and you can stay for just a few hours or several nights. Fitzroy is a popular swimming spot to see turtles. There’s also a walking track that takes you to the top of the island, where stunning views await.

Fitzroy Island

Feel the fear with Bungy Jumping

Get the adrenaline pumping at AJ Hackett in Cairns. Take a leap of faith as you throw yourself off a 50 m tower towards a pond below. It’s a thrilling adventure that you must try at least once in your life. So why not try it while surrounded by lush, tropical rainforest?

Bungy view at AJ Hackett, Cairns

Relax at Cape Tribulation

Cape Tribulation in the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest is one of the most unspoiled natural wonders. If you come in the off season, you’re likely to find you have the entire beach at Noah Bay to yourself. There are many great hikes, cafes and restaurants to explore around the area, as well as the famous crocodile spotting tours.

Robinson’s lookout at Cape Tribulation


Head north for your southern winter escape in a caravan

By Brisbane / Queensland /

It seems just about everyone has the idea to head north for their southern Australia winter escape. Can you blame them? When the north’s tempting you with blue skies, hot days and perfect beach weather, it’s hard not to think about leaving the winter blues behind. But your winter escape holiday to the north doesn’t have to be expensive. DriveNow offers a range of bargain campervan rental deals from Brisbane. Snap up one of these offers and be on your way to one of these adventures.

Have a magical encounter with turtles at Bundaberg

Bundaberg is another destination that doesn’t always rank high on the list of priorities for travellers, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Apart from being home to the Hinkler Hall of Aviation, which pays tribute to one of the pioneers of flight, it’s also the site of the most significant loggerhead turtle nesting population in the South Pacific. Learn about the important work that conservationists are carrying out at Mon Repos. It’s also possible to get actively involved in the project by helping rangers relocate eggs and watching eggs hatch at certain times of the year.

Explore towns along the Sunshine Coast

Drive a couple of hours north of Brisbane and you’ll find one of Queensland’s most beautiful stretches of coast with plenty to do. Noosa is the star attraction of the Sunny Coast, with its boutique stores, upmarket restaurants and glorious surf beaches. However, you certainly won’t be disappointed if you venture into the beautiful villages of Montville and Maleny on the Hinterland. Here you’ll find stunning lookout views of the coast, unique art shops, cafes and other rare treats.

Relax at Seventeen Seventy

The sleepy town of 1770 near Agnes Water is a five and a half hour drive north of Brisbane. It’s an ideal spot to base yourself while exploring the outer Great Barrier Reef, especially if you’re interested in visiting Lady Musgrave Island. This gorgeous town is known for its natural beauty. It’s surrounded by scenic bush walks and the pristine Deepwater National Park. Yet most travellers have never heard of this incredible place. This also means you can have a relatively quiet winter escape without the crowds.

Get beached at Byron Bay

This is the place to go if you want to spend your entire holiday in or by the water. Either relax on the sandy shores or swim at some of Australia’s famous beaches. Learn to surf, kayak, or try stand-up paddle boarding or go scuba diving. Byron Bay is the perfect place for any of these activities. The Arakwal National Park and the Cape Byron coast also have many scenic bushwalks that visitors rave about. Byron is also conveniently just a two hour drive south of Brisbane.



The Chair’s Where? Coolum Beach, Queensland

By Brisbane / Queensland /

The state of Queensland is a high profile tourist destination visited by locals, domestic and international visitors alike and Coolum Beach is no exception. Queensland is a truly great destination with an array of tourist attractions often based on natural drawcards such as ‘the reef’, the rainforest and the Outback. A truly common theme for Queensland is an emphasis on ‘sun, sand and surf’. Where better to enjoy this trifecta than the Sunshine Coast.

Sunshine Coast

The ‘Sunny Coast’, as it is called by the locals, is a favourite of many.  A wonderful tourist mecca, flanked by rolling green hills, the eerie shapes of the Glasshouse mountains, long stretches of golden beach all giving way to the deep blue sea. An hour’s drive from Brisbane via the motorway from Brisbane airport, or by flight direct to the airport at the Sunny Coast where you can hire a car or campervan, this magnificent location is readily accessible to all.

Coolum Beach

When it comes to the magnificence of the Sunshine Coast, it is hard to pass up the beauty of Coolum Beach.  Midway along the Sunshine Coast, with ease of parking, surf patrols, gentle sloping beach, and even an off leash dog area, there is a lot to love about this beach getaway. But any beach getaway is only as good as the place you choose to stay, its proximity to the beach, its facilities and its value.  So now let us go to the Coolum Beach Holiday Park…

Coolum Beach Holiday Park

As the name implies, this holiday park is directly adjacent Coolum beach. Several direct access routes lead from the park to different areas along the sandy expanse of foreshore. The venue has excellent manager/owners who keep themselves directly involved in all aspects of park life.  This ‘hands on’ approach ensures a venue focused on good maintenance, cleanliness, amenity, staff rapport, tourist advice and efficiency – all designed to provide the best of customer service. This focus is all about a super positive ‘experience’ for you, the customer. The venue is proudly a member of the Family Parks Chain. Like so many other Family Parks this venue is in fact pet friendly on sites. No need to leave the four legged friend behind – just bring a walking leash, and enjoy the time together. Better still, parts of Coolum beach are also ‘off leash’ friendly for your pets.

After the beach

A great day at the beach is enhanced by the capacity for some fantastic alternative activities. Coolum Beach Holiday Park can certainly help. Directly opposite the venue is a long expanse of specialty shops.  Everything from takeaway outlets, salons, souvenir shops, bakeries, surf retailers, clothing and a myriad other options for your browsing pleasure. Restaurants compete with some excellent clubs to challenge your culinary tastes.  Better still they are all within walking distance so risk a fine wine or two as well. Feel like a drive – head up the hills for organic foods, unique experiences at the ‘ginger factory’, pick up a treasure at Eumundi markets, listen to blues music at Tewantin – and the list goes on.

Coolum Beach Holiday Park – where great guest experiences meet the beach.

Remember to slip, slop and slap!


Also check out Great Ways To Play On The Sunshine Coast At Easter


The Chair’s Where? Conway Beach, Queensland

By Queensland /

Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour are well identified tourist destinations along the central Queensland coast.  Alive with resorts, upmarket shopping, scenic attractions and the like, these centres are a busy and cosmopolitan part of the broader tourism of Queensland. But the central Queensland, Whitsunday region has some terrific hidden gems that will tempt even the most discerning of traveller. One such gem is the beautiful Conway Beach.


Situated only 39km from Airlie Beach, this small township is truly a hidden gem. Largely populated by retirees, the settlement is nestled in a large bay as beautiful as anything else the Whitsundays has to offer. A sweeping tranquil bay, with a golden sand beach, water the colour of aquamarine and flanked by green coloured hills… the view is amazing. Easy access is gained along a bitumen, two lane road that runs through rain forest and gently hilled areas making for great photo opportunities. There is birdlife in abundance.

The Hub

Without doubt, the hub of the Conway Beach community is the Conway Beach Tourist Park. The venue started life decades ago as a ‘rough’ camp for intrepid fisher folk determined to make angling a real success. The area remained a ‘secret’ for many years but progressively morphed into a camp ground area visited by people other than just fisherman. As time moved forward the decades saw an increase in camp facilities, the arrival of caravans and motor homes and the birth of a more modern managed camp ground.

Beware toothy neighbours on your porch!

Conway Beach Tourist Park

The venue is now an accomplished tourist park venue with an appeal to all manner of customers.  Management has a wealth of experience and this is clearly reflected in the positive customer ‘experience’ available. As a result, well appointed cabins and significant shaded sites (both powered and unpowered) combine with wonderful guest facilities. Facilities come in all shapes and sizes from a fish cleaning area complete with pots to cook your crabs, a water park, a large pool, sandpits and play areas, pizza making and the list goes on.  The peel of laughter from both young and old is loud and clear, as guests are taken by ‘train’, on the Beach Express, the short distance to and from the beach.


Plenty of good reasons to attend Conway Beach already, but what about the Diner! (pictured top) George’s Diner is named after the owner and it is a scene straight out of an episode of Happy Days!  An absolute ‘must see’ when attending the Whitsundays, the diner is exactly what you would expect and feels like it has been transported forward in time from the 1950s.  Formica table tops, lots of chrome, neon lights and signage all compete with a full size jukebox for your listening pleasure. Don’t forget the menu – sodas, burgers, fries, coke, ice cream, this place has it all. To top it all off, like any good diner, the Banana Split is simply brilliant. This is a must-see and a must-experience venue.

Happy Days and Happy Travels.


(DriveNow has teamed up with “The Chair”, none other than Dennis Werthenbach, the enigmatic and super popular chairman of the board for Family Parks Holiday Parks & Campgrounds – for more than 26 years, Family Parks has represented independent caravan parks and camping grounds, promoting fantastic holiday destinations for travellers young and old. With so many great caravan and camping parks throughout Australia and New Zealand, Family Parks is more than just a holiday, it’s a unique holiday experience.)


Get a taste for this year’s Noosa Food & Wine Festival

By Brisbane / Queensland /
Tipis on Noosa Beach

The Noosa Food & Wine Festival continues to boom and this year’s event on May 17-20 will have over 30 great events so there’s every reason to get your holiday accommodation sorted and your Brisbane car rental booked in and prepare to cruise up the highway for a feast for the senses.

The Festival Committee says one of the hottest places to be is under the Noosa Tipis on Noosa Main Beach: “This stunning venue opens on Friday night as it hosts the Festival Opening Party, celebrating Noosa’s amazing collection of restaurants coupled with some of Australia’s leading wines and continues to party across the weekend with great events presented by some of Noosa’s finest restaurants.

Check out the festival’s five great reasons to book your tickets now…


Ground your feet in the sand, take in the fresh air and immerse yourself in yoga and a nourishing breakfast under the Beach Tipis. Beyond Experiences will present a unique fusion of health and wellness offerings, showcasing talented and passionate souls.

Zenko Yoga will lead a 60-minute beach practice that will awaken the senses through breath and movement, while taking in the best view in Noosa. This feel-good flow will energise, stretch, centre and focus you in preparation for a fulfilled day.

Nutritionist and founder of Changing Habits, Cyndi O’Meara, will share her inspiring story along with insights into her sustainable farm located in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.

A nutritious Cyndi O’Meara-inspired breakfast will be served on the beach, showcasing local produce from Noosa’s own Shambhala Farm. A healthy breakfast wouldn’t be complete without a fresh Noosa Cleanse juice and a splash of champagne!  (Stand-up event.) Saturday 19 May 6.30-9am $80.


Watch the sun set from the Beach Tipis?as you join Bistro C, Boardwalk Bistro and Rococo for a sublime night of food, wine and entertainment to remember. (Stand-up event.) Saturday 19 May 5-9pm $195. (Please note this is an 18+ only event).


There’s no better way to start a Sunday?than with a Champagne breakfast. Take in stunning sea views with Laurent-Perrier in hand, delicious canapés by Rickys Head Chef Josh Smallwood and chilled Sunday sounds by DJ Mike. (Stand-up event)

Ticket includes one Champagne Fizz served on arrival, one glass of Laurent Perrier Champagne, plus six canapés (four small canapes and two substantial canapes). Sunday 20 May 9.30-11am $75. (Please note this is an 18+ only event).


Experience four of Noosa’s finest restaurants – aromas Noosa, Rickys, Locale Noosa?and Wood Fire Grill at a four-course lunch showcasing produce from Maravista Farm and matching wines by Pizzini Wines together with a welcome drink on arrival. (Sit-down event.) Sunday 20 May 12-2.30pm $165. (Please note this is an 18+ only event).  


What is Aperitivo? To the Italians, Aperitivo refers to a refreshing alcoholic beverage or cocktail shared with friends at sunset. It is meant as an appetizer or opener to your night with the intention of stimulating your appetite for a night of food and fun!

For the finale of Noosa Food & Wine 2018, Noosa Boathouse and Dal Zotto Wines are presenting just that! Join them for the Official Closing Party and enjoy the sunset on Noosa Main Beach, slip off your shoes and feel the sand between your toes.

Grab a Dal Zotto Prosecco cocktail while you decide what you’d like to nibble on. With Noosa Boathouse Chef Shane Bailey and Chef Matt Golinski at the helm, there will be some fantastic local food on offer, so be prepared to try some amazing produce from the Noosa region.

The music kicks in, as does a night under the stars full of fun, food and festivities….Welcome to Tipi Aperitivo. Tickets include: Beach Tipi entry, 2 hours of Dal Zotto Prosecco cocktails and wine (5-7pm), generous amounts of food by Matt Golinski and Shane Bailey, plus live music by Honey! Cash bar available 7-9pm. Sunday 20 May 5-9pm $149. (Please note this is an 18+ only event).  

Also see Great Ways To Play on the Sunshine Coast at Easter


Great Queensland drives: Brisbane to Cairns

By Brisbane / Queensland /

This Brisbane to Cairns itinerary is without a doubt one of the world’s most stunning coastal drives. This self-drive holiday is full of stunning coastal spots that you wouldn’t believe existed until you saw them.

Spend 10 days following DriveNow’s 10-day Brisbane to Cairns itinerary.

Days 1, 2: Noosa

It’ll take roughly two hours to travel 145kms from Queensland’s capital to your first destination. Surf beaches, white sand and crystal-clear waters await. But if you like a quieter, more relaxed local vibe, then Peregian Beach is the place. Travel inland to explore the rolling green hills of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Pay a visit to the Maleny Cheese Factory to taste some of the most scrumptious Buffalo Brie. Montville is another great stopover where you’ll discover the amazing French-style Poets Café, which boasts a gorgeous interior and sweeping countryside views.

Days 3, 4: Hervey Bay

Drive 190kms north and you’ll arrive at the lovely Hervey Bay. From mid July to early November, visitors flock to the area to watch humpback whales migrate up and down the coast. The sight is truly mesmerizing. Make sure you’re ready bright and early to get on a tour boat to witness this annual migration. Make sure you also find time to visit the world’s largest sand island, Fraser Island. Get ready for clear rivers running over white sand and lush rainforest. There’s also the famous Lake McKenzie, where the water is so stunningly clear that it cleans your jewellery as if it were brand new!

Day 5: Gladstone

A three and a half hour drive north of Hervey Bay brings you to Gladstone. But no trip to this part of Central Queensland is worth it without a stop at the Bundaberg Rum Distillery. Take a tour to learn about the town’s history linked to rum. Once you arrive at Gladstone you’ll want to head straight to the beach or hire a boat to go fishing.

Days 6, 7: Airlie Beach

Airlie is a bustling tourist town, which also acts as the gateway to the Whitsundays. There are many sailing tours to choose from. You can sail to Hamilton Island, Daydream Island or Hook Island, to name a few. Whatever you do, you must not miss a trip to the incredible Whitehaven Beach. It’s radiant white sand and turquoise waters regularly earns its reputation as Australia’s number one beach.

Day 8: Townsville

Another 275kms north of Airlie Beach is Townsville. On the way you can stop for lunch in Bowen and enjoy some of the region’s famous mangoes. Once you arrive in Townsville, there are plenty of activities to choose from. Visit Magnetic Island for a day in paradise or climb the city’s iconic Castle Hill.

Day 9: Mission Beach

About an hour and a half from Townsville is Australia’s highest single drop waterfall. At 268m high, Wallaman Falls is a must-see for anyone who loves a good swim in a rainforest. It’s situated in UNESCO World Heritage listed Wet Tropics. Continue north to Cardwell, and if you’re prepared to go off the beaten path for a while you can see the stunning natural beauty of the Cardwell Spa Pools. You’ve never seen water so blue in your entire life. Before the end of the day, land yourself a spot at Mission Beach to relax.

Day 10: Cairns

Your Brisbane to Cairns itinerary is coming to an end. But the good news is that once you reach Cairns there’s still an entire world of exciting activities waiting for you. Whether you’re adventurous and want to hike some of Queensland’s highest mountains, set off to explore the Great Barrier Reef, or chill at a cafe by the beach, Cairns has something incredible to offer everyone.


5 unmissable events in Queensland this November

By Australia / Brisbane / Queensland /

THE sun shines all year round in Queensland so that’s reason alone to jump in a Brisbane car rental and head for the sun, sand and sea. But while the notoriously brilliant beach life is always available for visitors, some super events come and ago and take another 12 months before they come around again. So let’s look at 5 ripper events put forward by the Tourism Queensland team in the Sunshine State before we sign off on 2017.

No.1… Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival

November 1-5

The Noosa Triathlon Multi Sport Festival is a five-day bonanza based in Noosa on the Sunshine Coast and includes a stacked line-up of events for all ages and abilities. The schedule includes a Breakfast Fun Run and a Run Swim Run event. Super Saturday is one of the highlights of the event with the Superkidz and Special Triathlon in the morning and the Subaru Noosa Australian Open Criterium and Asics Noosa Bolt in the afternoon, which also includes the Legends Triathlon with all the events attracting a premium field and sporting legends. Of course, the crown event is the Noosa Triathlon on Sunday, which has continued its prime position of the largest standard distance race in the world. It includes a one and a half kilometre swim, a 40km bike and 10km run. With over 12,000 athletes competing over the event week, it is certainly one event you need to experience for yourself.

No.2… The Wizard of Oz in South Brisbane (pictured)

November 4 – December 3

The world’s favourite musical is returning to Australia and the London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz will have its Australian Premiere in Brisbane from 4 November 2017 before travelling to Sydney from 30 December. Producers John Frost and Suzanne Jones have announced that Australia’s leading musical theatre star Anthony Warlow will be playing The Wizard and Professor Marvel, while Lucy Durack will play Glinda the Good Witch, and Jemma Rix will be The Wicked Witch of the West. Developed from the ever-popular MGM screenplay, the London Palladium production of The Wizard of Oz contains the beloved Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg songs from the Oscar-winning movie score, all the favourite characters and iconic moments, plus a few surprises along the way, including new songs by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

No.3… Rugby League World Cup semi final and final

November 24 and December 2

The Rugby League World Cup Semi Final in Brisbane will take place on November 24 and the final will explode on December 2 in Milton, in a month when the world’s best players descend on Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea for the Rugby League World Cup in Queensland. The tournament will see 14 teams play 28 games over five weeks from 27 October until 2 December 2017 – all hoping to be crowned World Cup Winners, in what is the pinnacle event in international Rugby League. This will be the biggest sporting event in Australia during 2017, with Brisbane Stadium to host a much-anticipated Semi Final of the Rugby League World Cup on Friday 24 November 2017. The atmosphere will be electric in the stadium, and the fan experience will be unrivalled, as two of the world’s best teams battle it out for a place in the Final at Milton in early December.

No.4… Woodford Folk Festival

December 27 – January 1

Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland is an annual six day and night event. It is one of Australia’s largest and most iconic events. It is also the largest gathering of artists and musicians in Australia. The program encompasses the depth and diversity of Australia’s cultural, artistic and social expression with music, dance, cabaret, circus, comedy, workshops, debate, street theatre, films, forums, visual arts, an entire children’s festival and many special presentations including a spectacular fire event on New Year’s Day.

No.5… Australian PGA Championship, Benowa, Gold Coast

November 30 – December 3

Australia’s most energetic golf tournament, the Australian PGA Championship is back at RACV Royal Pines Resort in Queensland from 30 November to 3 December. A stellar list of Australian and international players from all over the globe are expected to compete for the Joe Kirkwood Cup. The 2017 tournament will feature an array of entertainment on and off the course, but it’s the Soniq Million Dollar Hole where the tournament really comes alive. While players aim to ace their way to a big pay day, fans will be celebrating in the sun with great food, music and entertainment.


Five great reasons to escape to The Star Gold Coast

By Australia / Gold Coast / Queensland /

The hype is building as the countdown begins for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next year. The good news for travellers looking for a bit of sun and sand on our most famous beach strip is all the action taking place with hotels upgrading or being built – none more impressive than mighty The Star Gold Coast, formerly known as Jupiters. Best of all, once collecting your Gold Coast car rental there’s only a quick 15 minute drive north and The Star Gold Coast will have you checked in within a flash.

What’s all the fuss about? Plenty. The Star Gold Coast is in the midst of an $850 million remake. Since 2014 this star of the show in beautiful Broadbeach has already undergone some serious make over work, including the snazzy refurb of more than 590 rooms refreshed Lobby area and much more. Try these five great reasons to escape to The Star Gold Coast – no matter where you’re from.

One… The rooms are dreamy

Any hotel refurbishment generally means rooms are going to hit a certain standard with a beautiful fresh look and new feel, but The Star Gold Coast has put a lot of consideration into this. Ours was a King Superior Deluxe Room, spacious and super functional. Think blinds that automatically open upon entry, strategic bedside-placed switches and buttons for lighting, aircon and other functions, all complemented by beautifully inviting interiors. But the winning move is a specially designed pillow menu and ‘The Cloud’ mattress topper exclusive to The Star and bathing amenities by L’Occitane.

Two… The food!

The locals tell me food has always been top quality at the venue, but the reinvention of The Star has introduced some world-class stunners in restaurant terms. Elegant and oozing a dimly-lit atmosphere is incredible Kiyomi, a multi-award winning hatted Japanese restaurant infusing a tapas-style approach to small dishes with intense flavours and immaculate presentation. The menu is packed with sashimi (raw), izakaya (small plates), tempura (fried), binchotan (grill), other sushi, salad, soup and desserts as well as degustation and set menu alternatives. Other newbies include scrumptious new Chinese restaurant Imperial (brand new, in fact), the earthy and spectacular Garden Kitchen & Bar, complete with huge outdoor dining and party area with a giant big screen, more Asian influence with Mei Dumplings restaurant, Cucina Vivo, and Food Fantasy, one of the best buffet experiences you’ll ever have for either breakfast or dinner. The smorgasbord offers more than 80 dishes from around the world, including an irresistible hot and cold buffet selection, roast meats and salads.

Three… Entertainment

Yes, there’s still a casino and all the fun one can have with top bars, roulette wheels and card tables, but there’s a lot more these days including a bold and bright theatre being the perfect platform to showcase some of the world’s best performers, stage shows and exclusive film premieres. Its modern architecture and cutting-edge technology make it a leading entertainment venue.

Four… Broadbeach

Literally 5 minutes walk over the bridge is Broadbeach central with loads of bars, food options, shopping and a beautiful beach to soak up the sun, sand and surf or catch a friendly game of beach volleyball in full swing. Surfers Paradise is only a 15-20 minute walk away, too, so everything’s quite close.

Five… Day trips

Take your pick. Want to head for the hinterland and more alternative charms of Byron Bay in the south? Or how about heading north for some theme park action at all the worlds including Wet ‘N’ Wild, Movieworld, Seaworld, Dreamworld and more? Head even further north and you’ll be in Brisbane. It’s a beaut location with lots to do nearby with a comfy and exciting hotel to come back to for dinner and snooze in sublime comfort.


Seven incredible spots to go surfing in Australia

By Brisbane / Great Ocean Road / Hobart / New South Wales / Perth / Queensland / Sydney / Tasmania / Victoria / Western Australia /

Pro surfer Mick Fanning may be contemplating getting back into the ocean, but even his dramatic brush with a hungry Great White can’t put a stop to Australia’s 100-year love affair of combining the board with the breakwater. In a tribute to surfing, here are seven incredible suggestions on where to catch an epic wave around Oz.

1. Sheringa, SA

While only accessible by 4WD or foot, a short hike is well worth it to discover these hidden gems in South Australia. On the southern side of a rocky outcrop, the mellow point break at Sheringa Beach offers up a challenge, but for those who really have a death wish, Sheringa Left to the north produces an unpredictable swell amongst a rocky, reefy, remote part of the Eyre Peninsula. Sharp rocks, dangerous rips, and even sharks make surfing at Sheringa something to write home about – if you survive.

2. Ningaloo Coast, WA

Famous for its incredible UNESCO World Heritage listed reef which is home to more than 500 species of fish, rays and turtles, many don’t realise that between July and October the fringing coral reef of the Ningaloo Coast serves up some pretty awesome swells. At the north of the cape, The Bommie, Dunes and Wobiri Access offer waves of varying difficulty while at the southern end of the reef, surfers at Gnaraloo can expect three metre waves even on an average day. The perfect combination of endless surf breaks and ecological wonders make the Ningaloo Coast a great getaway destination for those who can’t agree on one or the other. Make sure you have plenty of time to explore all of the Reef’s secrets though, as driving along the length of the 280km reef takes at least eight hours!

3. Bells Beach, VIC

Who can go past the famous Bell’s Beach in Torquay? Home to matted mops of salty, sun-kissed hair, surf brand warehouse sales and of course the world’s longest running professional surfing competition, the Rip Curl Pro, which since has continued to draw massive crowds over the Easter long weekend. I still remember visiting as a little kid in my oversized Rusty cap with ice cream in hand, jostling other spectators for a prime viewing spot atop the golden Torquay dunes. If you’re visiting the area, hire a car at Melbourne airport to get straight on the road towards this exceptional surfing spot.

4. Lord Howe Island, NSW

For those who strive to avoid the crowds, there are few destinations more intimate than the beautiful Lord Howe Island. With a strict cap on the number of visitors to the island at any one time, Lord Howe was once described as ‘paradise on Earth’ and ‘quite possibly the most perfect place in the world’ by globetrotter Lee Abbamonte. If anyone should know it is him, having visited every single country on the planet! There are eight designated surf spots dotted around the island, but it’s rumoured a friendly chat with the locals can sometimes reveal the very best kept secrets.

5. Gold Coast’s Superbank, QLD

For those hoping to catch a glimpse of our resident shark wrangler and other world champs Steph Gilmore and Joel Parkinson, the Superbank is your best bet, where surf breaks Snapper Rocks, Rainbow Bay and Greenmount combine. If you are lucky, you may manage to catch a wave for 2kms along the coast!

6. Yallingup, WA

Not for the faint hearted, Yallingup Reef, located 300kms south of Perth boasts consistent 10 foot waves along the Margaret River coastline. Brave surfers impress beachside spectators, while others snorkel and paddle in the lagoon, soaking up the brilliant view of the Reef’s aquatic wonderland. Surfers of all ability come from near and far to visit the famous waves of Yallingup. If you haven’t already, it’s one to add to your bucket list.

7. Lighthouse Beach, TAS

Of course, we can’t forget our cousins across the Strait, where surfers brave the chilly waters of Lighthouse Beach, a beautiful stretch of pristine coastline offering a sheltered yet powerful beach break for beginners and accomplished riders alike. Relatively deserted, this unpatrolled, isolated spot serves as the perfect oceanic escape.

And remember folks, if you do happen to be that unfortunate one in 11 million confronted by a shark, contrary to Mick’s action of ‘punching him in the back’, the best advice is to punch and claw at the eyes and gills aggressively.



Best camping spots in Australia for the Christmas holidays

By Australia / New South Wales / Queensland / South Australia / Tasmania / Victoria /

The Christmas holidays is the best season to go seeking out the best camping spots in Australia. If you enjoy warm weather and meeting new people, then this is the time to get out and about while you explore some of the most beautiful parts of Australia. 

All you need is to jump on DriveNow’s website to hire a 4WD from your nearest capital city, then go and explore one of these top camping spots.

Booderee National Park, NSW

Head to Jervis Bay to witness one of the most gorgeous white sand beaches. Admire stunning blue waters, which are full of marine life. Walking, fishing and bird watching are some of popular activities in the area. There are three un-powered camping areas in the park and it’s just a three hour drive from Sydney.

Lake Eyre National Park, SA

You’re surrounded by incredible, stark wilderness. It’s Australia’s largest salt lake, which spans 9,500 square kilometres. It’s truly a remarkable sight. At 12m below sea level, this is Australia’s lowest point to camp. There are a few camping areas to choose from, including Halligan Bay and near Muloorina Station.

Grampians National Park, VIC

If you feel like hiking through gorgeous bushland and exploring natural wonders like MacKenzie Falls, then the Grampians National Park should be high on your camping list. There are plenty of campgrounds surrounded by forest. They all have basic amenities and will accommodate up to six people and a vehicle. Book early for holiday periods.

Douglas-Apsley National Park, TAS

Tasmania’s coastline is gorgeous. But so are the rugged landscapes inland, such as the Douglas-Apsley National Park. One of the beset camping spots is just a stone’s through from the Apsley Waterhole. There’s no better place to be in summer if you want to go hiking and cool off at one of the park’s many secluded waterfalls or freshwater pools.

Bribie Island, QLD

Bribie Island is the only island in all of Queensland where a bridge connects it to the mainland. This makes it easy to get to via 4WD from Brisbane. Here, you can camp right on the beachfront to enjoy ocean views. The Ocean Beach camping area is popular, while the Lime Pocket camping area is another great spot to take the family.


Your guide to your next Aussie weekend getaway in a campervan

By Australia / New South Wales / Queensland / South Australia / Tasmania / Victoria /

Aussies love to travel. It’s a huge country out there and there’s nothing better then getting the chance to explore parts of it with a quick weekend getaway from the capital cities.

Love the bush? The beach? Or perhaps even the mountains and lakes? Regional Australia has whatever you’re looking for in your next weekend getaway.

DriveNow always has cheap Australian campervan hire deals up for grabs. Hire a vehicle and choose one of these destinations if you’re having a hard time making up your mind!

Mornington Peninsula, VIC

It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit the gorgeous Mornington Peninsula. The area always makes for a relaxing weekend getaway. It’s also just a short trip from Melbourne, about one and a half hours driving time. Blairgowrie is a gorgeous, family- friendly beach to spend your days. There’s plenty of activities around too, such as a hike up the 300m high Arthurs Seat and many shops to explore at Sorrento.

Nelson Bay, NSW

Drive two and a half hours north of Sydney to get to the beautiful Nelson Bay. On the southern shores of Port Stephens you can go for a swim or surf at this fantastic natural playground. The waters are clear, making it a great place for fishing or spotting dolphins. September to November is one of the best times to visit if you want to see whales migrating south.

Murray Bridge, South Australia

More than one million people visit Murray Bridge every year. It’s considered “the crown” of the Murray region with exciting activities for people of all ages. There’s everything from great conditions for water sports to hiking trails and even paddleboat tours down the river. Murray Bridge is only a one hour drive south east of Adelaide.

Launceston, TAS

Untouched and unspoiled, Tasmania showcases nature at its best. The lovely riverside city of Launceston, which is two and a half hours north of Hobart, puts your right in the heart of this beautiful countryside. Head further north to explore pristine beaches. Head east if you want to hike through the alpine wilderness of Ben Lomond National Park. Not far from Launceston city centre is the famous Cataract Gorge, where you can go swimming or go white water rafting for a thrill.

Noosa, QLD

Noosa is a stunning coastal town on the Sunshine Coast, about two hours north of Brisbane. It’s definitely the place to be in the cooler months when the weather down south turns cold. See crocodiles and other famous animals at Australia Zoo. Go for an afternoon walk through Noosa National Park to admire the stunning coastline. Noosa Main Beach is a popular spot to relax with the family and catch some waves.


Christmas holidays camping: book your campers before they’re gone

By Australia / New South Wales / Queensland / South Australia / Tasmania / Victoria /

The Christmas holidays is the busiest period for Australian caravan and camping sites. With the kids free and mum and dad away from work, it seems like everyone’s looking to get away for the festive season.

But you should make sure you get in early when it comes to hiring a campervan or caravan and booking a site.

Get across DriveNow’s cheap hire deals well before the Christmas holidays and consider heading to one of these incredible family destinations.

Kangaroo Valley, NSW

Drive about two hours south of Sydney for the Kangaroo Valley’s lush landscape. Some of the most popular activities include hiking through the pristine wilderness of Morton National Park, or admiring the spectacular 180m Gerringong Falls. You can also step back in time and experience life in the 1800s at the Kangaroo Valley Pioneer Museum.

Great Ocean Road, Victoria

Spend your Christmas holidays exploring one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives, the Great Ocean Road. Magical views of rocky cliffs, beaches, waterfalls and forests greet you at every turn along this 240km stretch of road. While visiting, make sure you get time to gaze upon the iconic Twelve Apostles. You may even decide to learn to surf at the world-famous Bells Beach.

Agnes Water, Queensland

At the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef is the picturesque Agnes Water, which locals also know as the town of 1770. It’s the birthplace of Queensland, home to unspoiled coastal rainforest and also rich in history. The golden sand beaches and clear waters make it a beautiful spot for families. It’s a five and a half hour drive north of Brisbane. It’s somewhat surprising that this pristine are isn’t more well-known among interstate travellers.

Bicheno, Tasmania

If you want to venture into unspoiled wilderness with the family this Christmas holidays, then Bicheno is the place to go. This family seaside holiday town is just two and a half hours north east of Hobart. Just offshore are some of the best diving spots in all of Australia. One of the most popular family activities is watching cute, little fairy penguins return to the beaches at dusk.  There are also many free campsites in the area, making this one very affordable holiday.

Victor Harbor, South Australia

Drive just over an hour south of Adelaide and you’ll come across one of the most family-friendly destinations. The kids are bound to love a ride on the Victor Harbor horse drawn tram. It’s the only place in Australia where you can do this! No doubt the whole family will enjoy the ride from Victor Harbor to the scenic Granite Island, where you can do a bushwalk to scenic lookout points.