Jul
07
2019

The Chair’s Where? Ararat, a beauty in country Victoria

By Melbourne / Victoria /

TIME TO DISCOVER ARARAT Only a two hour trip from Melbourne is the rural township of Ararat, a local service town and gateway to the Grampians. A town of contrasts, I would highly recommend hiring a car or Melbourne motorhome rental and spending a few nights exploring multiple attractions including the darker side of this unique township. ARARAT IN A NUTSHELL Ararat has its fair share of bric-a-brac, curio and antique stores. Supermarkets, specialty shops, cafes and hotels all make for a good day’s browsing, shopping, eating and sampling the odd beverage or two. A short drive will take you to the Grampians which are a chain of mountains with their own unique views, activities and opportunities. Like so many towns in this broader area, it started as sheep grazing country in the 1830s but the discovery of gold in the 1850s was the true inspiration for the town’s growth. With such growth came the Chinese prospectors who stamped their…

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Jun
12
2019

The Chair’s Where? Barham & Koondrook on the mighty Murray

By Australia / New South Wales /

TIME TO DISCOVER THE MIGHTY MURRAY For all of us in southern Australia, whether a local, a visitor or an overseas traveller –  the need will arise to see the Murray River. Often referred to as the Mighty Murray, this river is the lifeblood of numerous agricultural endeavours, the actual border between Victoria and New South Wales, a mecca for fisherman, a delight for paddle steamers… and the list goes on. It is the perfect reason to hire a Melbourne motorhome, grab the wife or partner, the kids, the dog or just travel solo and head off on a great adventure. The Murray covers a huge area with access from numerous states and cities.  There are some well known destinations such as Echuca-Moama, Swan Hill and the like.  My preference, however, tends to the slightly smaller, less busy environs of Barham and Koondrook. LOCATION The townships of Barham and Koondrook sit on opposite sides of the Murray river – only…

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Apr
30
2019

The Chair’s Where? Narooma, New South Wales

By Australia / New South Wales /

TIME TO DISCOVER NAROOMA Comes a point where you have enjoyed checking out the bigger cities, like Melbourne and Sydney, but feel it is time to do some beaches, do some chillin’ out, and maybe go for a road trip. I couldn’t agree more, so grab yourself a vehicle, perhaps hire a motorhome rental, and look no further than the Sapphire Coast and the wonderful township of Narooma. LOCATION The relaxed township of Narooma is a steady four hour drive south of Sydney, or a slightly longer six hour drive from Melbourne. All roads are fully sealed major routes and are all weather accessible. The journey to Narooma will allow for numerous scenic photo opportunities from seascapes to landscapes and stunning hillside viewing platforms in between. Smaller townships along the way will provide options for ‘bric a brac’ browsing, antique purchases, local farmers’ produce, and everywhere will have a bakery with ‘the best meat pie’ award. In other words, the…

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Nov
11
2018

The Chair’s Where? Coramandal Peninsula, New Zealand

By Auckland / New Zealand /

TIME TO DISCOVER CORAMANDAL PENINSULA So you have flown into Auckland in New Zealand and picked up your motorhome rental or car. You’ve done the local sights. Been over the bridge, checked out the harbour, had several doses of traditional indigenous experience and eaten at some great local cafes. But New Zealand is so much more than Auckland and its immediate locales. Indeed, a steady two hour drive can take you to the Coramandal Peninsula. Now this truly is a region suited to a few nights stay as you move from Wahai beach to Whitianga. Why? LOCATION You don’t have to go far in New Zealand to find some great views. The mountain climbs as you head to and through the Coramandel, so allow for a photographic delight. The walking tracks, the waterfalls, the intricately balanced ecology make for a learning curve at every step. But for me, it was about the east coast of the Coramandal. HIGHLIGHTS Waihi beach. Whether…

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Oct
18
2018

The Chair’s Where? Balranald in southern New South Wales

By New South Wales / Sydney /

So you have been to the coast, done the theatre and eaten at enough gourmet restaurants. Looking for something different and feel like a road trip to somewhere unique? Well then, I suggest you pick up a motorhome, or fuel up a car and head to Balranald in southern New South Wales. Oh… may I suggest you bring some sturdy shoes or boots, you will discover why a little later. LOCATION Balranald is strategically placed just over the border in NSW.  It is a bit over 400km from Melbourne, and a bit over 500km from Adelaide. It is near to Swan Hill, a tourist attraction of its own standing.  All routes to Balranald are sealed bitumen roads and give access to assorted wineries, view and photos, farm produce like free range eggs, antiques, arts and crafts and a myriad more similar opportunities. DISCOVERY CENTRE Having arrived in Balranald can I suggest an immediate visit to the Discovery Centre. Here are…

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Oct
09
2018

The 5 Co-Pilot Commandments

By

Just because you’re not behind the wheel of a hire car or campervan doesn’t mean you don’t have a key role to play in the journey. Passengers, especially the one sitting in the co-pilot seat, are vital ingredients for a successful and safe road trip.  Here are five rules to stick by to keep your driver happy and ensure you’re invited back on the next road trip. Stay calm  We’ve all been there; in charge of giving directions and seeing instructions either forgotten or just plain ignored. Is taking the next exit on the left so hard? Sometimes it is. Between sketchy road conditions, unfamiliar surroundings and locals not letting you over, sometimes turns are just going to be missed.  Instead of freaking out, just breathe. Just give directions that will get you to where you need to go; take the next turn, or pull over to check the GPS for a suitable alternate route. If you’re doing it right, the driver won’t even know that he/she missed a…

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Jul
23
2018

The Chair’s Where? Port Fairy in Victoria

By Melbourne / Victoria /

  TIME TO DISCOVER PORT FAIRY Across the length and breadth of this great land there exist numerous iconic, historical and must visit townships. This is especially so of our coastal areas as we remember the importance of fledgling sheep farming, aquaculture, whaling and the like as economic factors vital to the growth of a prosperous and viable nation that we now have. What were once economic hubs have often morphed into wonderful tourist oriented townships – just waiting for you to visit. One such township is Port Fairy, Victoria. Indeed, it is recorded that in 1853, 19 foreign ships and 56 coastal vessels entered the port. Exports that year included wool, gold and wheat. So jump in your Melbourne car rental and get ready to visit a town that represents the type of place that made the State of Victoria become a reality. A VICTORIAN COASTAL GEM This coastal port represents all that is good about old historic sea…

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Jul
20
2018

Drive to the coolest Airbnbs in Australia

By Australia /

If you’ve booked a hire car to explore Australia, chances are you’re going to need somewhere to rest your head at night. But before you make a beeline for the nearest hostel, check out some of these incredible offerings from our friends at Airbnb. Whether you fancy a night in an enchanted cave, a treehouse or a shipping container, one thing’s for sure: you won’t forget these trips in a hurry. The Tree House Source: Airbnb If waking up in a forest high above the trees sounds like a good time to you, you’ll love The Tree House in the Blue Mountains. It might not be the cheapest night’s sleep you’ve ever had, but the views, built in jacuzzi and photo opportunities will be worth it. Grab a hire car from Sydney and you can be relaxing in your forest getaway within 2 hours. Luxury Yacht Source: Airbnb Sometimes there’s no better place to be than on the water. Why…

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Jul
13
2018

The Chair’s Where? Silo Art Trail, Central Victoria

By Melbourne / Victoria /

So you are based in Melbourne, staying in Melbourne or you have just arrived. You have done the footy, the restaurants, the coast. It’s time to get out and about and flex your driving muscles. But where to go? Why not try something different and mix a good drive, a great stay, and a terrific art experience all into one and the same. Are you keen? Yes, then jump in your Melbourne car rental and set your GPS to the Wheatbelt region of Victoria TRAVEL WEST Whether you use the Calder Highway or the Western Highway, you are assured of some great opportunities for visiting wineries, antique stores, ‘famous’ bakeries, and assorted fishing, art, sculpture and alternative distractions. But ultimately, you need to travel through to the Yarriambiack Shire, based either side of Hopetoun. At this point some wondrous art is made available to you. Art that is 40 metres high, art that is as unique as the townships nearby,…

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Jun
14
2018

The Chair’s Where? Beachport, South Australia

By Australia / South Australia /

Limestone Coast splendour The Limestone Coast of South Australia is a truly wonderful destination to visit. Magnificent sandy beaches, serious cliffs and rocky outcrops, blowholes, caves and being at the end of the world renowned Coonawarra wine district makes this a ‘bucket list’ location. Proximity helps, as both Melbourne and Adelaide are a comfortable and drive-able distance from this locale. The Limestone Coast extends for a couple of hundred kilometres, so never fear that you will get crowded in, or miss out on a spot. There is room for every one, so jump in your Adelaide car rental or bring your motorhome or campervan, tow your caravan, bring your family, bring your relatives and bring your friends. Along the way OK, so you have picked up a hire vehicle and made plans to explore the Limestone Coast area. Why not turn “getting there” into “an adventure”? Wineries, antique shops, arts and crafts boutiques will all compete for your attention as…

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May
28
2018

Where to find the best ‘Big Things’ in Australia

By Australia /

If you’re planning on travelling around Australia and have never heard of the ‘Big Things’, well you’re in for a treat. These giant, seemingly random structures are dotted all over the country, ready to be hunted down and take centre stage in your selfies. From prawns to koalas to giant gumboots, you’ll certainly know when you’ve seen one. There are over 200 ‘Big Things’ in Australia, so scouting them all out could take you several road trips. Here are just a few of the best-loved and most popular Big Things for you to factor into your  next Aussie road trip itinerary. Jump in your hire car and get your selfie sticks ready!  The Big Banana Pacific Highway, 3km north of Coffs Harbour, NSW If your travels are taking you along the north coast of New South Wales, keep your eyes peeled (get it?) for the Big Banana. Constructed in 1964, this is one of Australia’s very first Big Things, built…

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May
08
2018

The Chair’s Where? Fraser Range, Western Australia

By Australia / Perth / Western Australia /

Home on the range So you have decided you want something a bit different. You have decided you are happy for a “good drive” to get to somewhere different. You have hired a Perth campervan or you have booked accommodation and sorted a Perth car rental. You have checked the map, worked out fuel locations, worked out shopping opportunities and you have pegged some terrific sightseeing opportunities to keep you interested on the trip. Wow! I can only think of one place you’re talking about… Fraser Range Station and Caravan Park. Location and history For starters, the Fraser Range Caravan Park is set in the Great Western Woodlands of West Australia. This is the western end of the Nullabor, and constitutes the largest temperate woodland in the world. Many travellers, heading either east or west, pass by the gates of the Fraser Range station. Originally founded by John Forrest while doing an expedition from Perth to Adelaide in 1870, it…

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