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.


Pick up your campervan rental and explore one of these top destinations

By Australia / Las Vegas / New Zealand / North Island / Northern Territory / United States /

At any given time, DriveNow has an extensive list of bargain campervan rental deals. As the company continues to expand its influence worldwide, we’re able to offer more great motorhome and campervan rental deals than ever before.

The latest development includes DriveNow becoming the new sales and operational partner for motorhome and campervan rental company, Camper Travel. Essentially, DriveNow will handle and process all of Camper Travel’s bookings.

This means you can comfortably book and pick up your campervan rental from one of these destinations and trust that DriveNow has it covered. While you’re travelling in one of our most destination countries, we suggest you enjoy one of these road trips.

Australia – Kakadu National Park

Kakadu is a fantastic place for travellers to head with their campervans. This world-class national park boasts an abundance of wildlife, pristine wetlands, protected Aboriginal art sites and spectacular waterfalls. There’s little wonder why it has earned itself a spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. You’ll find it to be very camper-friendly, with many camping areas scattered throughout the park and close to natural attractions.

New Zealand – North Island

You could easily spend weeks traversing the natural wonders of New Zealand’s gorgeous North Island. Many people who are travelling to New Zealand overlook the North Island for the South. But this amazing part of the world treats your to active volcanoes, top quality wineries and sandy beaches. Pick up your rental in Auckland, explore the city and make sure you add to your itinerary places like Rotorua, the Bay of Plenty and Hobbiton (also known as ‘the Shire’ on the Lord of the Rings). Thrill-seekers may even decide to add death-defying activities like skydiving to their list at Taupo.

Don’t forget there are plenty of fantastic car rental deals available through DriveNow. Choose one and explore a place like North America.

USA – Las Vegas to Grand Canyon

If you’re up for an epic drive, say about 1,500 km, then we say look no further than a Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon road trip. From exploring the bright lights of Sin City to hiking through the desert wildnerness, this type of trip will allow you to explore something different at every turn. Witness the crazy rock formations at Valley of Fire State Park. Jump on board a boat to see the beautiful Lake Mead. Of course, take the Historic Route 66 to arrive at the Grand Canyon’s south rim, where the hiking tours begin!


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.


Tasmania a hot holiday prospect for summer

By Australia / Hobart / Tasmania /

TASMANIA was once the forgotten little state separated from the rest of Australia by Bass Strait and no real desire from most Aussies to mark it down as a summer destination. But it seems now we can’t get enough of the Apple Isle so start thinking about your Hobart car rental now with an eye on scooting way down south for the summer holidays.

Let’s not forget what happened earlier this year when Tasmania loaded up with gold across five categories at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards. Not only that, Tasmania collected seven silver, two bronze and The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel was inducted into the Hall of Fame. What’s more, Tassie picked up the most awards out of every state.

Such is Tasmania’s charm that Roy Morgan Research earlier this year revealed Hobart now outranks Perth and Brisbane as a capital city holiday destination Australians want to visit.

Awesome walks

When Lonely Planet rated Tassie among the world’s top regions a few years ago they named the Three Capes Track a must-do adventure in bushwalking … even before the first steps were taken! But it hasn’t taken long for the walk to clean up with awards. The four-day Tasman Peninsula walk features dolerite chasms, architecturally-designed lodging, Eucalypt forests and towering sea cliffs. The Tasmanian Walking Company also was noticed at the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards bagging gold. With over 25 years of experience beneath their boots, not only is the trekking terrific, it can be served with affable guides, wine and plush pillows. Walking in some of Tasmania’s most iconic locations, they add more than a touch of class to the experience with the Cradle Mountain Huts Walk, Bay of Fires Lodge Walk (and spa) and more recently the Wineglass Bay Sail Walk.

Luxurious lodgings

As Tourism Tasmania wrote after cleaning up at the awards, “mix the words luxury and Tasmania together and you’ll get Saffire Freycinet. Saffire breathes luxury and class. It’s been named the world’s best boutique hotel. It’s no stranger to first place.” As it turns out the East Coast resort can now add a new accolade – Gold for Luxury Accommodation. “Saffire appears to have the indulgence recipe just right.” Others well worth a stay include The Henry Jones Art Hotel, wth a to die for waterfront position and housed in the landmark historic colonial building, The Hotel Grand Chancellor in Hobart, and Edge of The Bay Resort at the gateway to Wineglass Bay. The Old Woolstore Apartment Hotel is also hot to trot with some major awards and ever-growing popularity for its location on the middle of the Hobart waterfront.

The great outdoors

Blessed with a natural playground where mountain peaks and ocean are always nearby, and “where a short walk can feel a world away from our major cities”, as the Tourism Tassie crew tell you. “If you’ve not heard of RiverFly 1864, it’s time to pack your rod. The outfit won Gold for Specialised Tourism Services and offers three-day guided fly fishing trips up at the Western Lakes in private eco-friendly huts. Others include Bruny Island Cruises, the coastal wilderness experience featuring ancient sea cliffs among the southern hemisphere’s tallest, sea caves and the occasional whale encounter. Par Avion Wilderness Tours also venture to places inaccessible on foot, taking silver for Major Tour and Transport Operators.

Great drives

The Great Eastern Drive follows a coastline of 176 kilometres of spectacular beauty; dramatic coastlines, world-famous beaches and unique natural attractions. Some say it rivals the best coastal drives on the planet. Check out our Car Hire Tasmania section.

For more visit Discover Tasmania


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.



Sydney summer events – five reasons you have to be there!

By Australia / Sydney /

Sydney events in the summer…

It’s the best and busiest time of year to visit. 

After hiring a car from Sydney Airport make sure you start checking out what’s on the Sydney events calendar during your stay. If you need more convincing, then here are five reasons why you have to be in Sydney this summer!

Sydney NYE
Sydney is the New Year’s Eve capital of Australia. From here you can be among the first major cities in the world to welcome in the New Year. The city is famous for its midnight fireworks at Sydney Harbour. Each more than one million people come to the various vantage points around the harbour to watch the colourful show and celebrate the end of the year in style.

Mardi Gras
Coming up in early March is the most colourful LGBTIQ celebration. Held in the heart of the city, the Sydney Mardi Gras draws 70,000 people from across the world. The parade is the highlight of the event, with epic costumes, loud music and colourful floats taking up Oxford and Flinders streets. It’s like a non-stop party that celebrates everything LGBTIQ while making a political and cultural statement.

Chinese New Year
More than one million people took part in Sydney’s Chinese New Year this year, as they were treated to more than 22 hours of live performances. The festival’s highlight is Lunar Lanterns, which features giant, colourful lanterns that represent the 12 Chinese zodiac signs.

Australia Day
People from across the country come together every year on January 26 to celebrate what it means to be Australian. The national day commemorate the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet, which changed the course of the nation forever. Sydney is Australia’s oldest city, making it the ideal location for several key events across the city.

Australian Open of Surfing
Kicking off in late February, the Australian Open of Surfing is one of the most exciting sporting events on Sydney’s calendar. Manly Beach becomes the home of Australia’s largest (and best) surf, skate and music festival for 10 days. World-class athletes and artists come together to celebrate surf and skate culture at what’s considered to be the birthplace of modern surfing.

Also try Five Ways To Play – Sydney to the Blue Mountains


Best campsites and hidden gems in NSW this spring and summer

By Australia / Australian Capital Territory / Canberra / New South Wales / Sydney /

Destination NSW know better than anyone about the best camping spots for the warmer weather that comes with spring and summer. As the team says “It’s the ideal time of year to discover some of the NSW’s secret campsites and hidden gems.”

Rent a car or campervan at Sydney airport, then off you go on a camping adventure!”

According to Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase, “NSW is filled with hidden camping gems waiting to be discovered. NSW has amazing coastal and bush camping spots that continue to stay under the radar and would make an ideal weekend away this spring.”

“These hidden camping gems are just that, secret spots that locals across NSW love due to their unique location and easy access to beautiful beaches, stunning national parks and pristine wilderness environments.”

“Tourism managers across the state have shared their favourite secret camping spots with Destination NSW for this short-list, however this does not exhaust the multitude of amazing campsites just waiting to be discovered. I encourage everyone to get out and explore NSW’s hidden gems this spring,” Ms Chipchase said.

Here are some of Destination NSW’s best secret camping spots along the coast and inland:

1. The spectacular and secluded Honeymoon Bay at Point Perpendicular on the northern end of Jervis Bay on the South Coast allows camping on weekends and during school holidays only. Allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, this rustic bush camp site is a true bush camping experience and just moments to the beaches of northern part of Jervis Bay.

2. Camp by the beach and amongst banksia trees at Picnic Point campground in Mimosa Rocks National Park. Find the perfect fishing spot, swim in crystal clear waters and enjoy scenic views of the stunning Sapphire Coastline.

3. An unknown gem, Lakesea Caravan Park Durras near Bateman’s Bay, has grassy shaded sites with BBQ drums and a campground that is kitted out for the more novice camper including a camp kitchen with free gas BBQs, fridge and oven. Just moments to Durras Beach and Lake Durras, enjoy surfing, kayaking, fishing and bush walking in nearby Murramarang National Park.

4. While many know the Central Coast’s Glenworth Valley for its horse riding and quad biking, it is it’s amazing bush camping sites will surprise people. Expect pristine, bush style campsites along the river bank with wood-fired BBQs, hot showers and plenty of peace and quiet.

5. For absolute beachfront, Beachcomber Holiday Park at Potato Point (pictured) is the place. Backing onto Eurobodalla National Park, expect to be camping amongst kangaroos and wallabies whilst cooking on the pizza oven and relaxing around the communal camp fires.

6. Outside of Mudgee in Central NSW is the pristine Dunns Swamp in Wollemi National Park. Set on the banks of the Cudgegong River and nestled amongst stunning sandstone pagoda rock formations, Dunns Swamp is a nature lovers dream with plenty of walking tracks and canoeing and swimming spots.

7. The pet-friendly Mystery Bay Camp Ground, near Tilba on the South Coast, is just moments from the beach, which has off-leash areas. Enjoy this bush camping site and all that Mystery Bay offers – snorkelling in the bay, surfing at 1080 beach, cheese tasting in nearby Tilba and of course the stunning views of Montague Island.

8. Camp under the stars and experience a true Australian outback station stay at Corynnia Station near Hay in Outback NSW. Camp under ancient black box tree on the edge of a 1,000 acre dry swamp on this working farm and discover this immense property on nature walks, paddock picnics and farm tours.

9. At the end of the dead-end road, North Coast Holiday Park Corindi Beach, on the NSW North Coast, has just 6 cabins and 64 shady campsites to choose from. Nestled beside the beach, within a bush setting enjoy gentle sea breezes and stunning bush and coastal views. Spend days fishing, snorkelling, surfing, swimming and kayaking in nearby beaches, lakes and rivers.

10. Camp in the middle of the mighty Tapin Tops National Park, in the NSW North Coast, at Dingo Tops and explore the park’s stunning waterfalls and creeks and relics from the areas forestry past. Surrounded by ancient rainforests and eucalypt forest, Dingo Tops is a quiet campground where parma wallabies, red-legged pademelons, greater gliders (at night) and koalas are frequently spotted.

For more ideas on camping in NSW this spring go to


Five jacaranda hot spots in NSW

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

Late October and November is a time Sydney and NSW is a purple explosion of jacaranda season signalling one of the most beautiful times of the year in the state.

Set against harbour backdrops in some of Sydney’s most picturesque suburbs and historic regional towns in NSW, it’s the perfect time to visit Sydney to take in the stunning sight of the jacarandas.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said: “NSW has so many jacaranda trees in bloom, we even have an annual festival dedicated to them in the historic town of Grafton.  From harbourside enclaves to regional towns, spring is a wonderful time to visit with family and friends to enjoy NSW in bloom during jacaranda season.”

Here are a few of NSW’s fantastic jacaranda spots:

1. North Shore: The North Shore suburbs of Lavender Bay, Greenwich, Waverton, Hunters Hill, Woolwich, Longueville and Wollstonecraft all display a beautiful selection of jacaranda trees during the season. Make a day of it and pack a picnic to enjoy a feast under the trees

2. Eastern Suburbs: Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs including Paddington, Woollahra and Double Bay all sport stunning lilac hues during October and November.  Oxford Street and Five Ways in Paddington always have a great selection to view

3. Sydney City: Starting at the Royal Botanic Gardens, a jacaranda walking tour through Circular Quay and The Rocks is a great way to see the trees, while taking in the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Opera House, harbour views and historic cobblestone streets of The Rocks

4. Inner Sydney:  The giant jacaranda tree at the University of Sydney is so iconic that growers at the University have cloned it to ensure it lives on.  This tree is one of Sydney’s most famous jacarandas and well worth a visit during the season.  Neighbouring suburbs of Glebe and Erskineville are also worth exploring for blue hue.

5. Grafton: Located alongside the majestic Clarence River on NSW’s North Coast, the historic town of Grafton is home to the Jacaranda Festival, taking place from 28th October to 5th November 2017. Famous for its 6,500 jacaranda trees, the Festival is one of Australia’s longest running flower festivals and celebrates the town’s magnificent lilac-blossomed trees. Festival events include the coronation of a jacaranda queen, a street parade with themed floats, markets, live performances and fireworks.Rent a car in Sydney or at the airport and make a road trip out of it!


Road trip Sydney and beyond – 5 great drives this summer

By Australia / Australian Capital Territory / New South Wales / Sydney /

If you are to Google Earth our beautiful country you would quickly realise we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to road trips throughout our enormous continent. You can get your rental car from Sydney Airport and then every road leads to a great adventure. But where to start? Try these suggestions.

Sydney to Leura (pictured)

Set your sights in a westerly direction and head for Wentworth Falls via the M4 Motorway. Catch some gorgeous little towns along the way including Glenbrook, Faulconbridge, Hazelbrook and continue on to magnficient Wentworth Falls. The views over the Jamison Valley are hard to beat and there are some great opportunities for  a walk through the Blue Mountains National Park. After that take the 10 minute drive to Leura where you can take a stroll checking out the local shops, galleries and craft stores while having a bite in one of the gourmet cafes.

Grand Pacific Drive

This southerly sensation is arguably Australia’s best, a spectacular driving route that takes in ocean views, countless beaches and such hotspots as Stanwell Tops, Bald Hill Lookout and Sea Cliff Bridge, a sight to behold that swerves out from the cliffs over the sea. Heading off from Sydney, it all starts in Royal National Park before cruising through Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama (a stop off at Easts Beach Big4 Holiday Park is a must!).  Explore quaint seaside villages, drive through rainforests and enjoy a stellar coastline with an endless supply of views.

Discover the Poachers Way

It may be a three hour journey (no stops) from Sydney, but it’s both the journey and the destination that provide loads of highlights with this one. The journey south will take you through such touristy treats like Bowral and Goulburn before you reach the region surrounding Canberra. Welcome to the Poachers Way, a tourist route where you can sample the fine food, wine and art produced by local chefs, winemakers and artists. Visit the towns of Yass, Hall and gorgeous Murrumbatemen along the way and enjoy the high quality produce and discover the handcrafts and local produce of local businesses and artisans.

Hunter Valley

Wine country, yes, but you don’t necessarily need to be a big fan of the grape! Hunter Valley is a two and a half hour drive from the heart of Sydney and while it has a smorgasbord of beautiful rolling vineyards, wineries and great cellar doors, there are also such attractions as Hunter Valley Gardens (with 10 stunning storybook feature gardens), luxury retreats like the Chateau Elan at The Vintage, a splendid golf and spa resort, restaurants galore, and national parks with great walks on offer.

Port Stephens

Head north and hug the coast for a couple of hours and providing you can avoid beautiful distractions like the Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and Newcastle you will stumble upon Port Stephens. There’s a lot to do here, from enjoying “blue water paradise” with 30km of pristine coastline for a swim, fish, whale watching expedition or a dolphin cruise, otherwise hit the sand dunes at Stockton Beach on a quad bike or discover national parks and a superb marina at Nelson Bay for a shop or bite to eat.

Also try Six Summer Sensations in Sydney and Sydney To The Blue Mountains – 5 Ways To Play


5 of the best premium hotels for business travel in Sydney

By Australia / New South Wales / Sydney /

Sydney is home to some of the best hotels for business travel in all of Australia. When you’re travelling for business you’ll want easy and reliable access to the internet and conference spaces.

Hire a car in Sydney or at the airport and book one of these hotels for your next business trip.

Shangri-La Hotel

Talk about business perks coupled with ultimate luxury. The Shangi-La Hotel is right in the heart of Sydney, which makes it the perfect base for any business trip where you have to travel from one company office to another. It also treats you to superb views of the skyline from your hotel room. Wake up to the sight of the Sydney Opera House. Relax with a spa treatment after a long day in meetings.

Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel

This gem of a hotel at Circular Quay is great for business travel. Service and luxury are at the forefront of hotel staff’s minds. You’ll have spacious, modern suites and awe-inspiring views of Sydney Harbour. It’s a high-end hotel for hosting meetings and events. You’ll also have all of the amenities and business services available at your fingertips so your work is not only efficiently completed, but enjoyable at the same time.

The Sebel Darling Harbour The Pinnacle

The Sebel is all about style, sophistication and convenience. It’s set on the south side of the harbour, which makes it right in the heart of the CBD. Ultimo, Surry Hills and Darling Harbour are right on your doorstep. If you want to take a break after work and get some exercise then the lush Royal Botanic Gardens are nearby. All of your required work amenities, including internet access and a quiet space to work, are available at the Sebel.

Adina Apartment Hotel

Another centrally located hotel to spend your days in Sydney is Adina. You’re just footsteps away from world-class attractions at Darling Harbour. This makes it a great spot to stay if you want to entertain your business associates after work hours. But Adina’s accommodation also offers you a place to relax after work that’s quite like your own home with everything you need. Right on hand are meeting rooms, internet kiosks, presentation technology and free, high-speed WiFi.

Four Seasons Hotel

Set in the heart of Sydney along George Street is the Four Seasons Hotel. You’ll find beautiful places like The Rocks nearby, where you can unwind after work ends for the day. However, this hotel is so much more than location. The business services it provides guests are impeccable. As we all know, in business you need to be ready to meet deadlines at any hour of the day. Here, you’ll have access to computer and printers 24/7 along with wireless high-speed internet access. There’s also a boardroom and professional staff on hand to help you with any queries about the facilities.