A winter break in the Northern Territory – 5 things to do

By Australia / Northern Territory /

Are you desperately in need of a winter break? Luckily for you, winter is the best time to visit the Northern Territory. Instead of battling some of Australia’s highest temperatures in summer, you’ll get to enjoy sunny weather that southerners are missing out on.

To get your winter break started, look into cheap car hire deals from Darwin.

Here are our recommendations for top things to see or do on your winter break.

Explore Uluru

No trip to the Red Centre is complete without visiting Ayers Rock, or Uluru, as it’s known in Aboriginal tongue. The giant sandstone is right up there on many tourists’ bucket lists, and it should be on yours too. Get a local Aboriginal guide to take you on a tour around the rock and teach you about Uluru’s cultural significance. Sunrise and sunset are the best times to photograph the rock.

Take a dive at Crocosaurus Cove

Jumping into the water with a five metre saltwater crocodile probably isn’t the best idea. But you can actually do it safely at Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin and take home some pretty epic photos to remember the experience! The Cage of Death protects you and puts a safe distance between you and the croc. Watching these monsters open their powerful jaws for a feed while right next to them is a once in a lifetime experience.

Discover Katherine Gorge (pictured)

The Northern Territory is home to some of the country’s most stunning landscapes. Katherine Gorge is right up there. The best part about it is Nitmilum National Park spans 180,000 hectares and is home to 13 beautiful gorges. Explore this pristine region on foot, by canoe or by helicopter. While making your way through the park you can also explore Aboriginal rock art, culture and history.

Go stargazing in the Red Centre

Outback Northern Territory is home to some of the most beautiful starry nights you’ll ever witness. Stargazers say this region is one of the best in Australia to see various constellations on a clear night. Just drive from the nearest town, pick up some beers and snacks along the way. Then stop in a sandy patch, away from light, so that way you have the sky all to yourselves that night. But if you prefer company, you might want to join a tour where guides teach you how to take awesome photographs of the Milky Way.


Break the winter blues with a quick getaway to Queensland

By Australia / Queensland /

Queensland is the place to be in the colder months when you’re searching for the ultimate winter getaway. With average daily temperatures hovering around the mid-20s, it’s little wonder why people call it the Sunshine State.

If you’re shivering through gloomy, grey skies, then you’ll love a last-minute winter getaway to the north.

All you need to do is book a flight, pick one of DriveNow’s cheap car hire deals from Brisbane Airport. Then the hard part will be picking just one of these destinations for your winter getaway.

Sunshine Coast (Noosa, pictured)

The Sunny Coast, as the locals affectionately call it, is exactly that. One of the sunniest places you’ll ever visit. From the high-class bars and restaurants along Noosa’s main strip, to the quieter, relaxing spots like Peregian Beach, you’ll easily find your own slice of paradise. Make the time to take a day drive to the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. Here you’re discover quaint, historic towns like Maleny, which are full of character.

Gold Coast

This is where the surf beaches, the theme parks and the nightlife combine to create the ultimate destination. It’s a place where there’s something different for everyone, no matter what you’re looking for in a holiday. Burleigh Beach is easily the most famous sandy beach along the Gold Coast, which is also known as ‘the Bondi of Queensland’.

Fraser Coast

The Fraser Coast’s greatest asset is the beautiful, Fraser Island. The world’s largest sand island is also the only place in the world where rainforest grows on sand. It’s a great place to take the family on an adventure. There’s also Hervey Bay, which is one of the best places in the country to go whale watching during the annual migration. More than 3,000 whales visit Hervey Bay each year.

Whitsunday Coast

Whitehaven Beach is the number one destination on the Whitsunday Coast. It’s right up there with Australia’s best beaches. Incredible shades of turquoise water stretch across what’s bound to be the whitest sand you’ll ever see. It’s actually the purest silica sand in the world. One hour here and it’s nearly impossible to leave. The Whitsunday Coast is also paradise for those who enjoy sailing and snorkelling.

Cassowary Coast

Journey to the rugged Far North wilderness to explore one of the quieter spots along the Queensland coast. You won’t find massive surf breaks but what you will stumble upon is unique wildlife. Etty Bay and Mission Beach are idyllic beachside destinations where you’re guaranteed to see a cassowary. Many travellers say getting up close and personal with one of these wild, prehistoric-looking birds is a moving experience they’ll never forget.


Your guide to Melbourne’s 2017 Spring Racing Carnival

By Australia / Victoria /

Melbourne’s Spring Racing Carnival is one of Australia’s great sporting highlights. It attracts race-goers from across the nation and the word. But some of the best Spring Racing Carnival highlights aren’t only in Melbourne, but they’re in country Victoria too. 

All you need to do is hire a car from Melbourne and then you can travel to these fantastic events on the racing calendar.

Cox Plate

Every year in late October, the Moonee Valley Racecourse plays host to the famous Group One WS Cox Plate over 2040m.  It’s widely known among those in the racing community as the weight-for-age championship of Australasia. This is one event you surely don’t want to miss.

Oaks Day

‘Ladies Day’ is the top Spring Racing Carnival event on every woman’s calendar. The Group One VRC Oaks is the signature race of the day. Off the field you’ll see a competition of another kind, as women from across Australia show off their best frocks as they contend for the winner of the famous Myer Fashions on the Field.

Kyneton Cup

The Kyneton Cup is one of the great country race days of the year. NMIT Kyneton Park, which is set next to the stunning Campaspe River, is also considered one of the country’s best picturesque racecourses. More than 6,000 peple visit the town in central Victoria for the high class horse racing and off the field entertainment.

Ballarat Cup

About 17,000 people flock to the Ballarat Cup every year in November. There’s non-stop racing, with more than $1m in prize money. There’s also fashions on the field competitions, live music and plenty of delicious food to help you indulge. The Ballarat Turf Club is one of regional Victoria’s premier racetracks. You wouldn’t want to celebrate this event at any other location.

Melbourne Cup

Australia’s best known horse racing event is held on the first Tuesday of November every year. More than 100,000 people, including celebrity VIP guests, pack Flemington Racecourse to witness ‘the race that stops the nation’. Dress up in your most stylish outfit, sip on some champagne and wait at 3pm on Cup Day approaches. It’s one of the greatest social events of the year.


It’s not too late to book your last minute New Zealand ski holiday

By New Zealand /

A ski holiday is one of the best ways to spend winter with the family. Most people start to hit the slopes when snow season begins in June. But the great news is you can wait until October to go skiing or snowboarding and the trip is still going to be just as great.

A New Zealand ski holiday offers you postcard views at every turn and terrain for different experience levels.

Check out some of the cheap car rental deals on New Zealand’s north and south islands, then make your way to the slopes.

Mt Hutt, South Island

Mt Hutt is the ideal place to you if you want a laidback skiing holiday. The terrain, which includes 365 hectares of treeless slopes, is best suited to beginners and intermediates. Mt Hutt is usually never too crowded and best of all, it’s just an hour and a half drive from Christchurch.

The Remarkables, South Island

This incredible resort is, quite frankly, remarkable. Whether you’re a first-timer or an experienced skier or snowboarder, the Remarkables has it all. The ski fields are family friendly, so you have childcare options, daily ski schools available as well as bargain family ski gear hire deals at your fingertips.

Whakapapa, North Island

New Zealand’s largest ski area hosts more than 65 trails across more than 1000 hectares. Happy Valley is the best place to learn to ski if you’re a beginner, as it’s far away from the fast-moving skiiers and snowboarders. The volcanic terrain at Whakapapa also gives variety to the runs. For intermediate and advanced skiers, there are many bumps, drops, bowls and chutes to contend with.

Turoa, North Island

On the south-western slopes of Mt Ruapehu is Australasia’s longest vertical descent. It also features New Zealand’s highest lift. There are 25 black and black diamond runs, featuring natural half-pipes and chutes. The terrain is challenging and thrilling – there will never be a dull moment. While beginners can build up their confidence at the Alpine Meadow, right next to the chalet where hot meals and snacks are ready at your convenience.


Where to stay at the Queenscliff Music Festival

By Australia / Victoria /

The Queenscliff Music Festival is once again returning to the Bellarine Peninsula this November. The festival has been running since 1997, treating music-lovers to an intimate festival experience and seaside views.

This year’s line-up includes The Beautiful Girls, Bernard Fanning, The Tesky Brothers, Nai Palm and The Temper Trap.

If you’re heading to Queenscliff in late November, make sure you book your festival tickets early and check out some cheap car hire deals from Melbourne Airport. Travel an hour and a half west of Melbourne and consider staying at one of these great venues.

Vue Grand

Travellers consistently rate this accommodation as one of the best in Queenscliff. One of the most beautiful rooms is the Turret Suite, with stunning 180 degree seaside views. There’s also the Traditional Rooms, which take you back in time to the 19th century, when this extraordinary building first became a landmark.

BIG4 Beacon Resort (pictured)

Here, you are spoiled for choice. Whether you want to park your caravan, pitch a tent or stay in a spacious cabin, you’ll find accommodation to suit any budget. There is also a pool, gym, tennis court and day spa onsite.

Swan Bay Holiday Park

On the shore of beautiful Swan Bay at Queenscliff is this lovely holiday park. Choose from powered or unpowered sites, or even pretty cabins. There’s a walking track close to the holiday park too. Right near your accommodation is a boat ramp and jetty, which is perfect if you want to have a go at fishing so you can wind down after the music festival.

Seaview House

Here’s another place to stay where you can admire historic architecture. Seaview House’s history dates back to 1875 and continues to charm visitors with its traditional guesthouse atmosphere to this very day. Seaview House is also set in a perfect location – close to shops, the local maritime museum and other local tourist attractions.


Bathurst: 5 things to do on your next trip to the Central Tablelands

By Australia / New South Wales /

Bathurst is a gem of a destination in the Central Tablelands region of New South Wales. Many Australians head to New South Wales for Sydney and the beaches but fewer travellers venture west of the coast. As you’ll discover with Bathurst, there are historical sites, breathtaking landscapes and natural wonders hidden in this part of the state.

All you need to do is check out the DriveNow website for a cheap car hire deal from Sydney Airport. Drive about 200km west and you’ll reach your destination.

Here are five things to do when you’re there.

Abercrombie House (pictured)

You can explore one of the region’s heritage treasures with a tour guide or at your own pace.This Scottish-baronial mansion, which was build in the 1870s, features 50 rooms, exhibitions and displays. There’s also 18 hectares of gardens with walking trails through beautiful landscapes.

National Motor Racing Museum

Mount Panorama is the scene of one of the world’s most famous motor races. Right alongside it is the National Motor Racing Museum, perfect for car enthusiasts who aren’t visiting in when the Bathurst 1000 is on. This way you can visit at any time of the year and still experience the best of Bathurst 1000 and the speedway’s history.

Bald Hill Tourist Mine

Here you can learn about what life would have been like for a goldminer in the 1870s. Join a guided tour where you can step back in time and experience the challenges of working in an underground gold mine. You’ll walk down original mine shafts, tunnels and even get to see the tools and techniques that miners would have used.

Bathurst Farm Experience

Now, this is one experience you wouldn’t come across if you’re living in the city! The Bathurst Farm Experience lets you see how a real farm operates, and it’s very popular with children. They’ll have the change to feed the chickens, join a pony ride and cuddle up to lambs. Bookings for the farm experience are essential.

Jenolan Caves

This is one of the oldest and most spectacular cave systems in the world. The Jenolan Caves are about an hour from Bathurst and the site is open every day of the year, so local tour guides can teach you about the underground rivers and formations that make up this intriguing world under the ground. Thrill seekers can even join night tours or go adventure caving.


Phillip Island MotoGP and where to stay

By Australia / Victoria /

The Phillip Island MotoGP is one of Australia’s greatest sporting events of the year. Rev heads definitely don’t want to miss the thrilling action against a scenic, coastal backdrop. But if you want to make sure you’re staying nearby so you don’t miss any of the action, then you’ll have to book your accommodation in advance.

Whether you want to stay at a hotel, camp or rent your own house, all you need to do is check out DriveNow’s cheap car hire deals from Melbourne Airport then make your way there! Here are some of the best places to stay when you’re visiting for the Phillip Island MotoGP.

Rent a holiday home

If you value privacy – for example, an entire garden or pool to yourself – then renting a holiday house is the way to go. Expect to pay higher prices if you’re after luxury, but the good news is it can actually be cheaper per person to rent a large house for a big group. Phillip Island Holiday Homes and Stayz are some of the popular websites where you can find whatever you’re looking for, whether it’s a house with seaside views, right on the sand or a quick walk from the Phillip Island MotoGP.

The Waves Apartments

If stylish and modern accommodation is you thing, then The Waves Apartments is the pick of the bunch. Each room features a kitchenette for your convenience, plus a two-person spa for your enjoyment. You can also pick up apartments with seaside views. It has all the amenities you need for your holiday and there are six different styles of accommodation to choose from. It’s less than 10 minutes from the Phillip Island Grand Prix Circuit.

Ramada Resort Phillip Island (pictured)

Ramada Resort encompasses 65 acres of beautiful countryside, which includes natural bushland and gardens. You would never guess that this resort is just 4km from the entrance to the MotoGP track. You’ll have many great facilities right on your doorstep, including tennis courts, gyms, indoor and outdoor pools, biking trails, to name a few. You can enjoy a finely furnished studio or cottage.

Beach Park Tourist Caravan Park

If you want to stay close to the beach and don’t mind camping or staying in a cabin, then the Beach Park Tourist Caravan Park will be a great choice. There are 50 grasses sites for caravans, tents, RVs, etc. All are comfortable and only a short walk from Cowes Esplanade. To top that, it’s also just a 7 minute drive to get to the MotoGP everyday.


5 step guide to a Melbourne city escape between Christmas and New Year

By Melbourne / Victoria /

It’s a long way off but there’s a certain time of year the rest of the human race are either snoozing or have escaped to somewhere else when it comes to Melbourne city and inner city ‘burbs. With Christmas and Boxing Day out of the way and many catching their breath before New Year’s suddenly arrives, Melbourne’s a little sleepy and there are some great hotel deals on offer if you’re looking for a quick getaway.

For a two night, three day stay and play in the big smoke, here are five suggestions for a great Melbourne short stay in 12 months time. The biggest tip of all is you have to be organised so get that calendar ready with reminders.

Flights … the gang at skyscanner recently revealed some observations about the best time to buy flights for Christmas/New Year’s. According to Skyscanner’s research, the best time to buy a Christmas flight is during the week of November 21 for an average savings of more than 6%. Get on the newsletter mailouts, too, for the sales.

Wheels …  Goes without saying you need to click through to the DriveNow Melbourne airport car rental deals at any time of the year. For a three day rental you could be looking at anywhere from $150-$200+ all up depending on your choice of car and size. Will you need a car for the quick-fire getaway? Yes, though you won’t need to be in it often, but it will definitely come in handy for those little trips a few kilometres away during the day – if you choose to venture that far.

Bed … Come December the deals start hatching as distressed inventory (aka rooms that need to be booked) are on offer. We chose the delightful Melbourne Parkview Hotel in Albert Park, on St Kilda Rd. Sniff out deals closer to the date, but some rippers come with breakfast for two and free parking. Better still, everything’s within walking distance, including Albert Park Lake for a morning stroll (about 5km), Commercial Road and Chapel Street buzz, restaurants along St Kilda Road and more.

R&R … Literally 15 minutes by foot along St Kilda Rd from your hotel you will discover a treat for the senses at Leelawadee Thai Massage & Skin Care. We booked a double one-hour Thai massage in the same room mid-afternoon, allowed little feet trodding along the body for a few minutes before sinking into a luxurious and relaxing massage for $130 all up! Awesome value. While a little jelly like we skipped across the road to stylish cocktail bar The Amberoom for a jug of water and a cocktail.

Feast … Say hello to Roxborough Bar and Kitchen in Acland Street, St Kilda, as recommended by good friend and Chin Chin executive chef extraordinaire Benjamin Cooper. It’s a decent 15 minute walk from the hotel or a 5 minute $10-15 taxi. This little gem is making waves on the Melbourne food scene with its spacious open vibe, cleanliness and immaculate service in such an intimate setting (yep, it’s cosy, but it works). The food is scrumptious: snacks like Bruny Island oysters, Jamon and manchego croquetas, lime cured watermelon with goats curd and basil. Entrees to share that jump off the menu include Pippies and clams with smoked pork hock, broad beans and parsely, or how about Chargrilled Queensland king prawns, with garlic and smoked paprika butter. Sumptuous mains that hit the spot are Chargrilled 400g pasture fed Gippsland Entrecote on the bone with bone marrow butter, roasted spring garlic, silver beet puree, or Twice cooked Milawa half free range chicken diavolo with a spring pea and tarragon chicken jus. This place rocks.




The best of Birmingham in the English summer

By UK /

English summer in Birmingham is absolutely glorious. The city in West Midlands is one of the greenest in all of England, with more than 3,000 hectares of green park spaces. It also has more kilometres of canals than Venice! There’s also plenty of activities to keep you busy in Birmingham during the summer months.

Snap up one of DriveNow’s great car hire deals at Birmingham Airport and add these ideas to your bucket list.

Aston Hall

Aston Hall is one of the last great architectural masterpieces from the Jacobean era. This seventeenth century red-brick mansion overlooks a gorgeous public park. Step back in time by joining a guided tour, who explains Aston Hall’s history as you walk through the detailed interiors. Learn about those who lived here and the 1637 government attack on these walls. If you want to relax and admire the site’s beauty in peace, take a stroll in Lady Holte’s Garden.

Kingsbury Water Park

Drive half an hour North East from Birmingham and you’ll find yourself at one of the region’s most exciting destinations. It boasts 15 lakes across nearly 250 hectares of parkland. You can go for a quiet stroll or along the paths, go bird watching, or take the kids on a donkey ride. There’s even a mini railway that takes you through this breathtaking landscape. There’s something for everyone at Kingsbury Water Park.

Summer Market

The Birmingham Seasonal Markets put the city’s best food, drink, arts and music on show. Birmingham’s Summer Market is held at The Bond at Digbeth, which is one of the city’s creative hubs. For one day each summer you can enjoy a family day out where you can pick up unique, hand-crafted clothes and crafts. It’s also a great place to find delicious street food and beer. You’ll be spoiled for choice!

Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival

Moseley’s famous festival attractions thousands of people every summer. Why not be part of all the fun? The Mostly Jazz, Funk and Soul Festival brings some of the world’s best musicians right to south Birmingham’s doorstep. Throw on your dancing shoes as you move to blues, funk, soul and jazz at the gorgeous Moseley Park.


Monkey mayhem at Stoke on Trent: 5 things to do

By UK /

Stoke on Trent is one of Staffordshire’s most charming cities. It’s home to England’s pottery industry. People even famously refer to the area as ‘The Potteries’. But there’s more to Stoke on Trent than meets the eye. It’s a place full of many. Hire a car from Stoke on Trent and tick off these five things to do.

Visit the Trentham Monkey Forest

The Monkey Forest at the Trentham Estate is one of the most charming places you’ll ever visit. Walk along a path to see them swinging in the trees and interacting with each other. You’ll be able to get up close and personal with more than 140 Barbary macaques from Algeria and Morocco.

Admire Trentham Gardens

While your at Trentham make sure you also put aside the time to visit the glorious Trentham Gardens. It doesn’t matter what time of year you visit the gardens, you’ll find an intriguing landscape. Admire the Trentham Lake as you take a quiet stroll along the lakeside walk. There’s also exciting activities for kids at the children’s adventure playground, like sand pits, a zip wire and a maze.

Have fun at Alton Towers Resort

Nemesis and Galactica are some of the thrilling rollercoasters that you can hitch a ride on at this world-famous theme park. Alton Towers also has plenty of other rides that are suitable for people who aren’t chasing such an adrenaline rush. There’s plenty of options for kids too, like Nina’s Science Lab and the In the Night Garden’s magical boat ride.

Discover the Gladstone Pottery Museum

Here you’ll find one museum that shares the complete history of The Potteries. Stoke-on-Trent has become famous around the world for its pottery.  Therefore, a visit to the Gladstone Pottery Museum should be high on your priority list. Visit the workshops, watch daily demonstrations and let a guide describe the industry’s significance to the city. You can even buy some souvenirs at the end.

Step back in time at Ford Green Hall

It was home to the Ford Family for nearly two centuries. Today, you can still walk through the furnished rooms which feature old textiles and ceramics. The historic farmhouse museum takes visitors back to the 17th century and gives an interesting insight to life during this time. The award-winning museum is open Monday to Thursday from 1-4pm.


The best luxury hotels in Adelaide and surrounds

By Australia / South Australia /

There are many incredible luxury hotels in South Australia. Whether you want to explore Adelaide city, venture to the Barossa Valley or witness the natural beauty of the Flinders Ranges, we have you covered for where to stay.

First, snap up one of DriveNow’s cheap car hire deals from Adelaide. Then take your pick from one of these five luxury hotels…

The Playford Adelaide

In the heart of Adelaide’s rich cultural precinct is The Playford. It’s one of Australia’s most awarded boutique luxury hotels. If you’re looking for a truly relaxing getaway then we recommend booking one of the Studio Spa Suites. It has everything you could ever dream of and more, including a lounge area and a walk-in marble ensuite. All while you have the city’s arts, cultural and entertainment hotspot right on your doorstep.

The Mayfair Adelaide

Stay in a stunning heritage-listed building that’s right across the road from Rundle Mall, which is Adelaide’s most popular shopping strip. It has 170 rooms and suites which feature modern amenities and luxurious extras. The venue boasts a gym, business centre and function rooms. You can also experience innovative food and wine at the Mayflower Restaurant, or you can check out the rooftop bar, Hennessy.

The Louise (pictured)

Drive just 45 minutes from Adelaide and you’ll reach The Louise in the beautiful Barossa Valley. Enjoy your very own private terrace along with a spacious ensuite at this gorgeous retreat. You’re surrounded by a picturesque vineyard in a tranquil part of the Barossa Valley – that is, the old German town of Marananga.

Southern Ocean Lodge

Take the ferry to reach the pristine Kangaroo Island, where one of the most beautiful lodges in Australia awaits. You’ll stay on a secluded cliff with incredible views of rugged coastline. You’ll soak up luxury and comfort as you explore the natural island, which is often referred to as Australia’s very own Galapagos. Stay here just a few nights and it’ll be difficult to leave.

Ikara Safari Camp

Do you want a luxurious experience with a difference? Then look no further than the award-winning Ikara Safari Camp. It’s far from your ordinary camping experience. Instead, you get to go ‘glamping’ with a luxury safari tent in the highest point of the beautiful Flinders Ranges. You’ll have your own private verandah where you can sip on some wine in the evenings. There’s also plush, king size beds, air-con and beautiful furnishings. Wake up every morning to your hosts serving you a delicious hot breakfast.


Dallas activities you must experience in Texas

By Texas / United States /

There are plenty of Dallas activities suitable for all travellers. This city continues to amaze millions of tourists every year. The stadiums, the museums, the food portions in the restaurants – everything is so big! If you’re heading to the deep south, make sure you find yourself a great car hire deal before checking out some of the best Dallas activities on offer.

Join a JKF history tour

One of the must-do Dallas activities is a history tour that’s all about one of US history’s most famous presidents, John F Kennedy. Dealey Plaza is perhaps the most famous site, as it’s where he was shot dead in 1963. There are other significant sites as well, such as the theatre where assassin Lee Harvey Oswald fled to after the shooting. Hire a local guide who can fill you in on the grim but fascinating history.

Dig in with a food tour

Explore some of the most trendy restaurants and bars that Dallas has to offer. The Dallas Uptown Food Tour is one of the stand outs. It takes you to the trendy West Village, before you venture on foot to off-the-beaten-path eateries. Other tours take you to chocolatiers, wineries or popular eateries that serve up a traditional Texas BBQ. It’s just a matter of hopping online and seeing what type of food tour suits your taste buds!

Saddle up at Texas Horse Park

This will probably be one of the best Dallas activities for travelling families. You’ll find yourself in the heart of the Great Trinity Forest where people of all ages can get a taste of Texas ranching. Learn the basics of  horse riding on more than 300 acres of natural forest landscape. The great thing about this destination too is that it’s only minutes from Downtown Dallas.

See the Dallas Cowboys in action

In Dallas, footy isn’t just a game or entertainment. It’s almost a religion within itself. If you want a true Dallas experience, then make sure you visit the city during footy season to catch hometown heroes the Dallas Cowboys in action. The team’s home ground, the AT&T Stadium, is just a 20 minute drive from the city centre. It’s a modern jewel with one of the world’s largest scoreboards and luxurious suites.