The Chair’s Where? Gunbower Island via Cohuna

By Australia / Melbourne / Victoria /

Now we have all heard of the Murray river, the mighty border between Victoria and New South Wales, and those iconic destinations that demand our attention and interest. The pioneer village at Swan Hill and the paddlesteamer cruises at Echuca/Moama are wonderful examples and part of travel folklore.

But hidden among these more obvious travel locations are lesser known hidden gems that are equally deserving of our attention. One such location is Gunbower Island and adjacent township of Cohuna, a relatively easy drive north of Melbourne along the Hume Freeway and Northern Highway in your Melbourne car rental. Let’s have a closer look.


A progressive and dynamic small country town, Cohuna has all the necessary drawcards to make it worth a visit.  Steeped in history, all types of shopping, good services and some great local dining and wine options make for a perfect getaway. Even better, the township is a comfortable three hour drive from Melbourne which allows for some stops at antique shops, roadside fruit and vegetable stores and a changing scenery good for those with a camera addiction. But without doubt, the highlight in this area is Gunbower National Park, and the Gunbower Island, directly accessed via a bridge from Cohuna.

Gunbower Island

Gunbower Island is unique. Right from the start let’s mention this is the largest inland island in Australia. Bounded on one side by the mighty Murray River and on the other by the Gunbower Creek, the eco habitat of this island has not seen significant interruption or intrusion. As such this island is a magnificent tour de force of all that is good about natural habitats and the chance for us to share same. Would you believe there are 195 recorded species of native fauna? Yes, there are kangaroos, emus, lizards and koalas. But let’s not forget sugar gliders, the giant bullfrog and many more. That’s exciting but now let’s try the 200 species of birds on show including migratory birds from as far away as the Arctic and northern Europe. A true bird watcher’s and nature lover’s paradise. So much so that the Ramsar Treaty declares this area as a ‘Wetlands of International Significance’. Even better we can visit it by boat, four wheel drive or on foot. So why not stay close and with people who can point you in the right direction…

Cohuna Waterfront Holiday Park

The Cohuna Waterfront Holiday Park is on Gunbower Island and is bordered by Gunbower Creek. Drive up with a tent or get yourself one of the waterfront cabins. Bring a motorhome or caravan and be given a site right on the waters edge. Take advantage of bush walks, kayak trips, boating excursions, water adventures, four wheel drive information and the list goes on. Management are proud of being part of the Family Parks chain and as such consider bringing your four legged family as well. A customer service focus ensures that guests will have a memorable experience and are likely to return time and time again.

This is a great accommodation venue that is part of a truly impressive natural habitat that we can actually share and be part of.  When you do your next list remember this is a “must visit”.

Happy days and happy travels.

The Chair


Top events at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival

By Melbourne /

The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival is one of Victoria’s most impressive events. Every year, more than a quarter of a million visitors flick to Melbourne’s restaurants, bars, laneways, and rooftops for 10 days. You can visit award-winning wineries, breweries, have cultural food experiences and taste the delights of innovative, high-profile chefs.

This year’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival runs from March 16 to 25. There are more than 300 events across Victoria.

Track down a bargain car hire deal from Melbourne Airport and make your way to one of these unforgettable festival events.

10k Gourmet

Enjoy a divine five course meal, comprising of fresh seafood, locally-crafted cheeses and cool climate wines. The Bellarine Peninsla is rich in beauty and just as diverse in the types off food it produces. Sit down for panoramic views and a delicious meal at Jack Rabbit Vineyard. Each bit of food on your plate or drop of wine on your table is sourced within 10 km of the venue.

Cooking for family

Sign up for this hands-on cooking class, which isn’t just for the adults. Kids and teenagers are invited too. The aim is to encourage children to eat healthy and the class demonstrates how fast-cooked home meals can be nutritious and delicious. The class is led by Nellie Kerrison, founder of Relish Mama.

An Ethiopian Banquet

Throw down the knives and forks for this meal, as you don’t need them to experience an Ethiopian buffet the traditional way. Instead you use flat bread to scoop up the different foods. Imagine an exquisite array of spicy meat stews, lentil dishes and home-made honey and barley drinks. Enjoy your feast at a communal table with strangers and forge new relationships with the people sitting beside you.

A historic cocktail journey

Make sure you reserve your spot for this fascinating, elegant event, where you get to explore the innovations of the Dinner by Hestom Blumenthal cocktail list. Treat yourself to a tasting size of different cocktails, each of which has its own historic worth learning about. The infusions are unique, tempting your taste buds like never have before.



Five great reasons for a summer escape to Queenscliff

By Melbourne / Victoria /

Steeped in history, Queenscliff’s modern, cosmopolitan touch is driving everyone south in Victoria to discover its charms in accommodation, dining, train rides and seaside appeal among dozens of other reasons. From its early beginnings in the 1850s when it became a strategic defence post close to the entrance of Port Phillip which in turn provided shipping access to Geelong and Melbourne, it’s become a hot-ticket item for “great escape” destinations in Australia.

Only a 90-minute drive to the Bellarine Peninsula in your Melbourne airport, Queenscliff has dozens of reasons for a weekend – or week-long – escape, but here five standouts.

360Q – a waterfront feast for the senses

Great ocean views, superb service, incredible food and live entertainment. There’s 10 words or less that should be enough to suggest you’d be crazy to avoid spectacular 360Q waterfront restaurant (pictured) at Queenscliff Marina. The venue was closed in 2014 but was reborn over 12 months ago under the management of charismatic Mornington Peninsula celebrity caterer and restaurateur, Barry Iddles, who has breathed new life into its two venues – the Hooked on Fish Cafe Bar and Restaurant downstairs and the spectacular 360Q function space on the first floor.

Upstairs you can soak up views across Queenscliff’s $38 million marina, with the city of Melbourne in the distance, Port Phillip Heads and the town of Queenscliff from its enclosed viewing deck which guests access via a spiral staircase. The food itself is adventurous and memorable. Think entrees like sweet corn and jalapeno fritters with lime and chilli glaze or Idamaes summer duck salad with peach salsa. Mains hit the spot with popular menu items such as Sri Lankan rubbed lamb rack with cardamom pilaf rice, green beans and raita or Dendeng balado beef short rib with coriander rice & fried basil. Of course, the location requires some choice seafood and it certainly delivers by capitalising on local produce – try Portarlington mussels with lemongrass & chilli, coconut broth, or the simple but sensational Furphy battered whiting fillets, crunchy chips, lemon and tartare. Desserts are must, namely the Chocolate molten pudding w vanilla ice cream and a compote of raspberries, or Coconut creme brulee with papaya & lime.

“This was an incredible opportunity to relaunch a venue that locals and Melburnians alike know and love,” Iddles told DriveNow. “It’s the perfect spot for residents to come for a casual lunch or breakfast, for tourists off the ferry to stop and relax during their day trip and its magnificent views will mean we’ll soon be the most talked-about function space on the Bellarine coastline.”

Sleep easy at beautiful Benamda B&B

This historic cottage is one of the oldest buildings in Queenscliff still in use and has an old-fashioned irresistible vibe with hosts Geoff and Anne at the helm.

Benambra Boutique Bed & Breakfast offers a relaxing escape in the heart of town where you can experience an ambience of the 1870s with modern day comforts and homely food. Lovingly restored and in immaculate condition, it provides seven rooms with ensuites; two with spas. Everything is nearby including the beach, restaurants (360Q only 10 minutes by foot), shops and the ferry to Sorrento.

Homemade cake with tea or coffee is served on arrival and every morning begins in the dining room with a hearty breakfast like grandma used to make. Plus you can tap into the hosts’ wealth of local knowledge and top tips.

Eco Boat Tours

After you wander the historic streets to work off a big breakfast, book in with the South Bay Eco Adventures crew for any number of tour types at Queenscliff Harbour.

Take your pick from Bay & Bass Strait tours, Bird Watching & Photography, South Channel Fort Tours, Mud Island Tours, Dolphins, whales, seals and penguins, private charters and more. These guys offer an up close nature based adventure you won’t forget highlighting the unique history, wildlife and coastal landscape of the area.

Rock out on the Blues Train

They say nothing quite captures the essence of the blues like a steam train in full swing, and this Blues Train is always rockin’.

The Blues Train leaves Queenscliff Railway Station after guests enjoy a buffet style dinner with local wines, beers and spirits. Then the real party begins. It’s a full meal and show, four blues artists and the full train ride to Drysdale return over five hours.

A tipple or two at Scotchmans Hill

From a broad selection of wineries in the region, Scotchmans Hill is a must with lots going on as new owners work on some renovations. Established in 1982, Scotchmans Hill is a producer of premium cool maritime climate wines and is rated among James Halliday’s Top 100 Australian Wineries. Immaculately maintained vineyards overlook Port Phillip Bay, and the wines are to die for, which can be sampled in the cellar door. Must include the wickedly delicious freshly made platters out in the courtyard.



Places to visit this summer in Victoria

By Victoria /

Victoria in the summertime is magnificent. It’s glorious and there’s no place you’d rather be than enjoying the sunshine while hiking through pristine forest or swimming at one of Melbourne’s iconic beaches. Or perhaps your idea of summer means staying indoors to escape the unbearable heat.

Whatever you want to do this summer, Victoria is a place that has endless opportunities for anyone. You can easily pick up a cheap car hire deal from Melbourne Airport with a DriveNow bargain. Once you’re all set, hit the road to explore one of these destinations for the day.

Melbourne bayside

On a hot summer’s day, southeastern beaches are a godsend with their cool waters. They don’t seem to heat up no matter how high the mercury rises. Do you fancy roller skating along St Kilda’s famous shoreline? Relax at Brighton Beach or there’s Mentone Beach, which is a great spot to take a picnic for the family and have a dip.

Escape the heat via an ice rink

In the heart of Docklands, the O’Brien Group Arena is a major drawcard for professional ice skaters and anyone who’s daring enough to give it a try! Ice skating is fun, no matter how much experience you have. Have a laugh with your friends as you listen to some pumping beats and cruise around the rink where it’s always cool.

Hike to Masons Falls, Kinglake National Park

Drive just over an hour north east of Melbourne City to Kinglake National Park. Pack your lunch in a backpack and some drinking water and begin the full day 13km walk. It’ll treat you to scenic views of the spectacular falls. You’ll spot incredible wildlife and discover how the area has regrown since the devastating Black Saturday fires of 2009. You can also do the easy Masons Falls Walk, a 700m one-way walk to Masons Falls lookout.

Take a road trip to Lake Daylesford

The beautiful Lake Daylesford is a magical spot to take a dip in the summertime. Daylesford is one of the most beautiful, historic towns in all of Victoria. It’s full of gold rush history and charm. Walk around the lake, go kayaking or just enjoy an iced coffee at one of the nearby cafes with stunning views. Best of all, it’s only an hour and a half drive northwest of Melbourne.



Things to do at Port Fairy Folk Festival

By Great Ocean Road /

Port Fairy in southwest Victoria is a quiet seaside town and a popular stopover for couples travelling the Great Ocean Road. This beautiful and charming place is also home to Australia’s premier folk music festival. It’s held every year in March and showcases national and international acts. The streets of Port Fairy come alive with buskers and people who love and appreciate everything to do with folk music.

This March grab a bargain car hire deal at Melbourne Airport and drive three and a half hours west of Melbourne. Here are some of the best things to do when you get there.

Enjoy the music

Of course, the Port Fairy Folk Festival is all about the music! The festival includes dozens of acts acts performing folk, acoustic roots, bluegrass, blues, jazz and country roots. Admire to some of your favourite folk artists live on stage while also discovering new talent you haven’t heard of before. There’s the award winning Western Australian artist Gina Williams, and groups like The Teskey Brothers (pictured), Tex, Don and Charlie and All Our Exes Live In Texas. You’ll also get to see international legends like Andy Irvine and Violons Barbares in action.

Explore the art and craft stalls

The festival also boasts some top notch craft and market stalls. The Port Fairy Folk Festival has a reputation for its vibrant craft scene. Its stalls sell unique, handmade itesms. There are sites available across the town. There are also workshops for children, where they can learn to make some of these amazing gifts.

Hike Tower Hill

Drive to Tower Hill so you can walk across what was once an active volcano, about 4 km wide. In decades past it was full of fields to grow crops, it became a motorbike racing site, and eventually a rubbish dump. But since the area started to be reforested with more than 300,000 trees over the past 40 years, native animals have flocked to the area. It’s now a beautiful area of state park with five scenic self-guided walks. You’ll uncover old lava flow, stunning wetlands and a variety of birdlife.



Christmas spirit sweeps over Melbourne

By Melbourne / Victoria /

Melbourne comes alive for some serious Christmas spirit every year as shopping hotspots dress up for the occasion. The Visit Victoria team shared the news with Melbourne car rental specialists DriveNow on just where to go to find the Spirit of Christmas, along with what’s open and when.

From markets to the Myer windows, selfies with Santa and a merry activation in Federation Square, there’s something for locals and visitors alike as Victoria celebrates. Try these:

Federation Square (until 25 December)

Federation Square will be transformed into a Christmas wonderland offering festive fun for the whole family. The jolly man in red is in residence, found beneath a 16-metre-tall tree and waiting to make his list of naughty and nice children. A light show takes over at 9:00pm every night, with a six-metre bauble glittering in the Square.

State Library of Victoria Christmas Projections (until 25 December)

The iconic State Library of Victoria will light up across December, with its stunning architecture featuring a bright and swirling projection show that tells the story of the North Pole’s preparation for the big day. The show begins at 9pm every night.

Myer Christmas Windows (until early 2018)

As iconic as Santa Claus himself, the Myer Christmas Windows in the Bourke Street Mall are a Melbourne institution. Celebrating ‘The Completely and Utterly Perfect Christmas’ by HC Floren, it’s best to get there early and avoid the queues. The Giftorium on the sixth floor provides plenty of inspiration for those on the hunt for presents that surprise a loved one.

Christmas Laneways (until early 2018)

Degraves Street, Alfred Place, Howie Place, Meyers Place and Manchester Lane are some of Melbourne’s most iconic laneways and in 2017 they’ll be decked out with boughs of holly, fairy lights, baubles and in some cases, a reindeer too. Did someone say Instagram?

The Gingerbread Village (until 24 December)

The Gingerbread Village by EPICURE returns to the Melbourne Town Hall in 2017, brought to life by award-winning pastry chef Deniz Karaca and his talented team in an effort to raise money for the Royal Children’s Hospital. This year they will craft the F1 Grand Prix circuit, adding to the existing village comprising 500 kilograms of gingerbread, 360 kilograms of royal icing, 150 kilograms of marzipan and around 800 miniature Christmas trees for the festive backdrop.

Christmas with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (16 Deccember)

Feet will be tapping as the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra perform favourite festive orchestral works, such as ‘The Nutcracker’ by Tchaikovsky and Rimsky-Korsakov’s ‘Christmas Eve’ at the Arts Centre’s Hamer Hall, where a recent renovation and the very latest sound technology has cemented the venue as one of the world’s great music halls.

Carols by Candlelight Sidney Myer Music Bowl (Christmas Eve)

Those attending will join in the chorus at Carols by Candelight, a now 80-year long celebration of music that donates 100% of profits to the efforts of Vision Australia. For locals and visitors alike, this is an unforgettable evening of music, laughter and memories. Spectators can enjoy a BYO picnic on the grass, watching and listening to your favourite carols by artists like Marina Prior, Denis Walter and Silvie Paladino.

Skate with Santa (every weekend in December)

Budding Winter Olympians can take to the ice alongside Santa at O’Brien Group Arena, with skating for the whole family a fantastic way to begin the build-up to Christmas Day. It’s on every Saturday and Sunday across December, from 11am – 3pm.

Queen Victoria Market (until 25 December)

The North Pole comes to Melbourne’s most iconic market this December, as thousands of Melburnians stock up on the trimmings required for a feast to remember. More than 250,000 people are expected to pass through in the days leading up to Christmas, with entertainment from carollers to feature alongside Santa Claus and cooking demonstrations by celebrity chef Lynton Tapp.

South Melbourne Market (until 25 December)

An Australian Christmas abounds for Melburnians on the hunt for seafood, and the South Melbourne Market, Coventry and Cecil streets, is the place to be for prawns, crayfish, crabs and oysters this festive season. There will be extended trading from 20 December and Santa and his elves will be on site to support with any final gift ideas.


As Christmas Day fast approaches, it’s time to plan ahead. Below is an update on Christmas trading hours for the major centres across the city.

Chadstone, the Fashion Capital
11 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
18 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 12:00am (midnight)
36 hours of trading: 8:00am, Saturday 23 December – 6:00pm, Sunday 24 December

Melbourne Central
11 December – 23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm

11 December – 13 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
14 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
18 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 11:59pm
34 hours of trading: 9:00am, Saturday 23 December – 5:00pm, Sunday 24 December

11 December – 23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm

Westfield Doncaster
11 December – 13 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
14 December – 15 December, 9:00am – 10:00pm
16 December – 17 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
18 December – 20 December, 9:00am – 10:00pm
21 December – 22 December, 9:00am – 11:59pm
23 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
24 December, 8:00am – 5:00pm

The District, Docklands
16 December – 20 December, 9:00am – 6:00pm
21 December, 9:00am – 8:00pm
22 December, 9:00am – 9:00pm
23 December, 9:00am – 7:00pm
24 December, 10:00am – 6:00pm


DriveNow’s new rental vehicle excess insurance giving you more choice

By Australia / Christchurch / Great Ocean Road / New Zealand / United States / Victoria /

Rental vehicle excess insurance is a great option for many people who are choosing a self-drive holiday. Driving holidays are becoming more and more popular both in Australia and overseas. That’s why DriveNow has partnered with Hiccup Insurance to give customers the option of taking out affordable new product for rental vehicle excess insurance.

It’s for anyone who is hiring a car in Australia, and also Australians who are travelling overseas.

Check out some of the rental vehicle excess insurance deals that you can pre-purchase. There’s also the options of buying excess reduction when you arrive to pick up your car! Or you can stick to the standard insurance policy and not take out additional cover.

There’s an option for everybody, so check out these destinations where we recommend a self-drive holiday!

New Zealand – Christchurch to Te Anau

The best to see New Zealand’s most impressive terrains is to drive. Pick up your hire vehicle in Christchurch. After a day of sightseeing around the city, make your way to Franz Josef for your first stop. Spend a night or two here so you can trek the famous glacier of the same name. Your next stop includes a visit of Mt Cook village, where spectacular views await. Continue onto Queenstown, which is the South Island’s adventure playground. Whether you want to relax and admire pristine views or do something as daring as skydiving, Queenstown has it all. After a few nights you can head to the famous Milford Sound, where you can visit waterfalls, go trekking and admire wildlife. Next stop is Te Anau, where you can explore the surrounding nature by walks and even see the incredible glowworm caves!

Australia – Great Ocean Road

After picking up your rental vehicle in Melbourne, head west to explore one of the world’s most scenic coastal drives. Make Lorne your first stop. From here you can explore the surf beaches at nearby Apollo Bay and Torquay. You can also visit the spectacular Sheok Falls in the Great Otway National Park. Head along the Shipwreck Coast to visit famous sights such as the Twelve Apostles. There are limestome formations like Loch Ard Gorge and the Bay of Islands which are also worth a visit. End in Warrnambool with a history lesson at places like the Flagstaff Hill Maritime Museum. Throughout this entire trip you can visit scenic towns and lookouts along the way.

USA – Route 66

The good old Route 66 is the USA’s most famous self-drive itinerary, the quintessential American road trip. It often ranks at the top of travellers’ must-do lists. Driving from Chicago to LA will take four days, but there are many stopovers you’ll want to make for at least a day or two. Some of these towns include Holbrook, Arizona where you should spend a night in a tepee. While in Arizona most people also detour to spend a few days exploring the magnificent Grand Canyon. Other great sights to see include Cadillac Ranch in Texas, Santa Monica Pier in California and the Galena Historic District.


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.


Melbourne attractions you should add to your holiday bucket list

By Australia / Melbourne /

Are you planning a trip to one of the world’s most liveable cities anytime soon? There are many great Melbourne attractions that you can’t say no to. We’ve done the ground work to help you figure out what you should be adding to your holiday bucket list.

Begin your journey by sussing out DriveNow’s website for Melbourne Airport cheap car rental deals before adding one of these top Melbourne attractions to your itinerary.

Melbourne Star Observation Wheel

It’s the Southern Hemisphere’s only giant observation wheel. There’s no way you can visit Melbourne and miss seeing an incredible birds eye view of the city. The 40 storey high structure offers 360 degree views of the city. Visit during the day, at sunset, or night to see this amazing city from a different perspective.

St Kilda Beach

If you’re visiting Victoria in the summer, then you simply must make St Kilda Beach one of your must-see Melbourne attractions. Thousands of people line the golden, sandy beach when the weather is perfect, making it the hub of Port Phillip Bay. There’s people roller blading by, others licking an ice cream while children scream with joy on the Luna Park rollercoaster ride nearby.

National Gallery of Victoria

Melbourne is an amazing place for art lovers. The National Gallery of Victoria is Australia’s oldest, largest and most visited art museum. It houses an extensive collection of 70,000 paintings, sculptures and fascinating displays. Here you can learn about Australian, Indigenous and international history and culture.

Highlights of Melbourne Cruise

Cruise down the Yarra River during the day or sunset to capture the city’s beautiful skyline. The boat ride takes you past the lush river gardens, Herring Island, Docklands and the iconic Westgate Bridge. You’ll appreciate these amazing Melbourne attractions from a different perspective, all while a narrator fills you in on each landmark’s significance.


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.