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 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.


Cooling off with some Cairns attractions in summer

By Australia / Cairns /

The fierce heat of summer months in Far North Queensland scare a lot of travellers away from Cairns. What many people don’t realise is there are plenty of Cairns attractions where you can spend your days cooling off. Some of the best Cairns attractions are inland waterfalls and lakes where you can go swimming. Pick up your hire car from Cairns Airport this summer and visit one of these Cairns attractions.

Lake Eacham

Volcanic activity formed the gorgeous Lake Eacham, which is popular among locals. It’s a clear, blue lake in the middle of a cool rainforest. Take the 3.5km walk around the lake or go swimming, canoeing and have a picnic. Because it’s about an hour inland and only accessible by the windy Gillies Range, it’s not on many travellers’ radars. But if you have your own car it’s not an issue getting there.

Josephine Falls

Venture 75km south of Cairns and you’ll encounter one of Australia’s most exciting waterfalls, which is fed by rains cascading down Queensland’s highest mountain, Bartle Frere. It’s consistently ranked as a top favourite among visitors. Swim in crystal clear waters and relax with a picnic lunch on its smooth boulders. You can also slide down the bottom part of the waterfall. Park your car and it’s only a 700-metre walk through rainforest to get to the falls.

Fitzroy Island

Travel 45 minutes by boat and you’ll feel as if you’ve entered an unspoilt, tropical island paradise. Stunning blue waters, an abundance of coral and marine life along with lush forests await. Fitzroy Island has many walking trails that treat you to spectacular views. We recommend doing the 3.6km steep trek to the lighthouse as soon as you get off the boat. Then you can spend the rest of your day relaxing by the cool ocean.

Welcome Bay on Fitzroy Island

Welcome Bay on Fitzroy Island by Riftreef at English Wikipedia CC BY 2.5

Palm Cove

Drive north of the CBD and you’ll be enjoying one of the most famous Cairns attractions (pictured, image by Martin Galivursky 123rf). This quiet, relaxing seaside village is the perfect place to have a meal or coffee on a hot day as you enjoy the cooling sea breeze. After walking past the exotic, distinct palm trees, take a dip in the ocean. Make sure you swim between the nets and wear a stinger suit during summer when stingers are about.

Crystal Cascades

This is one of the most charming waterfalls and the best part about it is it’s right on Cairns’ doorstep. It’s a secluded freshwater swimming hold, hidden in a tropical rainforest at the city’s fringe. Several small waterfalls flow into large pools that you can swim in. There’s also a BBQ and picnic tables for visitors. It’s a scenic drive to get here. Once you’re at the carpark, be prepared to walk for half an hour to the falls.



Lap of luxury in Mornington Peninsula with Jackalope

By Australia / Melbourne / Victoria /

A brand new luxury hotel called Jackalope in the heart of the wine country on the Mornington Peninsula is one of five great reasons to jump in a Melbourne car rental and head south for just over an hour.

Jackalope Hotel

A reimagination of luxury and a new voice in high-end Australian accommodation has arrived with the opening of Jackalope Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula. The hotel is a personal project of 29-year-old Melbourne-based entrepreneur, Louis Li, who moved to Melbourne in 2006 to study filmmaking.

Rather than tell stories through film, hotel design is now the creative platform. In addition to luxury accommodation and idyllic vineyard views, Jackalope invites guests on a sensory journey—a delicate interplay between the ideal and the surreal—by reimagining the role of art, design, dining and storytelling in the hotel space.

Jackalope’s 46 rooms introduce guests to a reverie of relaxation. 38 sqm ‘Terrace’ or ‘Vineyard View’ categories range through to 85 sqm ‘Lairs’. Floor-to-ceiling windows and private terraces connect guests to the rural surrounds while, inside, bathroom features include deep-soak, black Japanese tubs, rain showers and double vanities.

The spa-like setting is complete with bath luxuries developed exclusively by Melbourne’s Hunter Lab, including a pinot grape skin and seed bath soak and body scrub, made using grapes from the hotel’s vineyard. A dining destination in its own right, two restaurants take their place on the site under the culinary direction of Executive Chef, Guy Stanaway. Refined dining, Doot Doot Doot, presents the region’s finest produce in a series of tasting menus intrinsically linked to the land; while winery restaurant, Rare Hare, designed by Projects of Imagination, celebrates the surrounding Willow Creek vineyard through immersive casual dining and wine experiences.

The hotel’s bar, Flaggerdoot, delights in the alchemic process of distillation. An experimental spirit stirs a daring cocktail menu of both classic and in-house creations. The space itself is an infusion of forms; herringbone floors and open fires warm the room, while commissions and installations from the likes of Peninsula local, Andrew Hazewinkel, and international icon, Rick Owens, create a sense of curated cool.
Outside, a black 30-metre infinity pool laps up to the surrounding vineyard, while a poolside pavilion offers sun lounge service and is also available for massage treatments or private dining. A seven-metre-tall namesake Jackalope sculpted by Melbourne artist, Emily Floyd, has taken tenancy at the entrance to the hotel.

Rates start at $650 per night and include a la carte breakfast, in-room mini bar, wine on arrival and WiFi. More www.jackalopehotels.com


Bass and Flinders Distillery

While on the subject of food and wine, Bass and Flinders Distillery is set in the heart of Red Hill country and is dubbed the “only bespoke distillery and cellar door” that gives you a chance to experience a journey from the stills to glass. Get insights into how they make their fine products including a range of gins, Australia’s first grape based vodka, limoncello and aged spirits. Tours of the barrel room and distillery are offered every weekend and you can score a tasting at the tasting bar. The most unique gin masterclasses in Australia are held here, too, where guests have an opportunity to create their very own bespoke gin. More bassandflindersdistillery.com

Red Hill Community Market

Rise and shine, peeps, and get your stack of cash ready for a smorgasbord of goodies at Red Hill Community Market. Since 1975 the iconic Red Hill Community Market is the place to be on the first Saturday of the month from September to May. Original Jewellery designs make a perfect gift ready to wrap. Manchester of various textures and colours to suit a wide range of tastes and homes. A whole range of exciting foods and beverages are represented, all fresh and tempting. Expect seasonal injections of local fruits and benches full of home grown vegetables. A huge selection of unique culinary delights make a mouth watering taste feast. There’s loads more. Check it out at craftmarkets.com.au/markets/red-hill.aspx

Cape Schanck – Mornington Peninsula National Park

Fantastic beaches and fabulous wines of the Mornington Peninsula are things everyone already knows, but the state and national parks really are the region’s best kept secrets. But the best thing is, they’re easily accessible and stunning. Just like Cape Schanck Mornington Peninsula National Park, for example, at the most southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula at the meeting of Bass Strait and Western Port. It has been protected since the 1800s and was made a national park in 1988 and offers spectacular scenery.
There are walks around the area with spectacular views along the rugged ocean beaches of Bass Strait towards Sorrento and Point Nepean.

Merricks House Art Gallery

Merricks House Art Gallery is a quick walk through the garden from Merricks General Wine Store and the gallery showcases talent from both the Mornington Peninsula region as well as artists from throughout Australia. The 1920 building has been beautifully restored from many years of dereliction. Polished floor boards and open plan design provide a space ideally suited to a gallery. It has become a renowned Peninsula art destination with high profile exhibitions. More mgwinestore.com.au/art-gallery

Hit the road for a scenic drive

Country roads, galleries, wineries and ocean views. You can’t get much better than going for a cruise along the Port Phillip Bay coastline from Frankston to Portsea, stopping at seaside villages and taking the detour up to Arthurs Seat for some fantastic views of the Peninsula. Also explore the peace and calm of the hinterland roads, wild Cape Schanck and historic Flinders before heading up the Western Port Bay coast.



4 of the hottest new hotels and resorts in Queensland

By Queensland /

AUSTRALIA has an endless feed of new hotels and resorts, but it shouldn’t come as any surprise Queensland often leads the pack with the most interesting and alluring. Looking for somewhere new to explore in the sunshine state after jumping in a Brisbane car rental and hitting the road? The Queensland Tourism & Events team serve up six of the finest…

Breeze (pictured) – Mooloolaba, Sunshine Coast

Breeze is a new boutique coastal property located in Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast, and is the newest luxury resort to open in the seaside suburb in over a decade. Breeze occupies prime position on the beachfront esplanade and is within walking distance of award-winning dining including the area’s renowned Spice Bar. With its fluid, exterior architecture that mirrors the ocean’s gentle waves, the property features 57, style-forward apartments designed in neutral colors and beachside décor. Breeze also offers a pool and spa, and guests have access to the beach as well as bicycles for exploring Mooloolaba and the surrounding coastal community.

More: www.breezemooloolaba.com.au.

Paradise Country – Oxenford, Gold Coast

Paradise Country, the Gold Coast’s rustic farm-world theme park, where families discover a cuddly collection of Aussie wildlife and farmyard friends, now offers overnight stay experiences. Families can turn a day out at the farm into an overnight stay with the choice of accommodation in the park’s family style camp, motor home or farm stay eco-tent. Guests of Paradise Country’s overnight stay experiences enjoy full use of the theme park that includes access to the Farmhouse restaurant and bar facilities, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and are welcome to enjoy exclusive farm stay activities including campfires and games. Paradise Country is located 20 minutes from the Gold Coast’s renowned Surfer’s Paradise, and is nearby other theme park attractions including Warner Bros. Movie World, and Wet’n’Wild Gold Coast.

More: paradisecountry.com.au

The Island – Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

Gold Coast and Surfers Paradise icon The Islander Resort has been completely redesigned and renamed The Island. Located in the heart of Surfers Paradise, The Island hotel offers 150 newly renovated, spacious rooms that are designed incorporating both classic and functional elements, while evoking a modern sense of the classic surfer film, “Gidget”. Boasting views of the hinterland, city, beach and water, guests of The Island hotel will also have access to experience the property’s revamped tropical rooftop bar, The Island Rooftop. The Island will debut a kids’ club, and programming later this year.

More: www.theislandgoldcoast.com.au.

The Johnson, an Art Series Hotel – Spring Hill, Brisbane

Recently debuted in September 2016, The Johnson is the Art Series Hotels’ first Queensland property, and is inspired by globally renowned Australian colorist Michael Johnson. The opening marks a pivotal milestone for the hotel group in expanding their dedicated art inspired offerings across Australia. Eighty-three spacious suites and two penthouses boasting spectacular views across the city, as well as multi-functional public spaces are adorned with the Sydney-born artist’s original paintings and giclee prints. Guests of The Johnson have access to the hotel’s infamous art tours and in-room art channels and libraries. Branded Smart Cars and Lekker bicycles are available for guest use, and complement the property’s array of resort-like amenities that include: a 164 foot resort style pool and deck bar; state-of-the-art fitness facility; Tumbling Stone and the hotel’s signature restaurant.

More: artserieshotels.com.au/johnson




Things to do in Darwin


Darwin is considered the gateway to Asia and it’s one of the must see cities in Northern Australia. It has everything you could ask for – scenery, outdoor adventures, wildlife interactions and family activities.

Grab a cheap car rental at Darwin Airport and put these highlights on your ‘things to do in Darwin’ list.

Watch a film at Deckchair Cinema

You can catch a movie every night of the week at Darwin’s famous Deckchair Cinema during the dry season. Most people enjoy this experience as it’s usually the first time they’ve ever watched a movie under the stars while in a reclining deckchair. The cinema is run by the non-for-profit Darwin Film Society and offers a wide variety of films to choose from.

Explore the markets

Wander through Darwin’s markets to admire the city’s rich cultural creations. The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets are the most popular with tourists. They’re also the biggest and you’ll find them located next to the Darwin Casino along Mindil Beach between April and October. You’ll find the freshest and best fruit and vegetables at the Rapid Creek market on Sunday mornings. While the Malak Evening Markets on Saturdays combine organic food, arts and crafts. 

Visit Crocosaurus Cove

Here you’ll encounter the world’s largest display of Australian reptiles. Crocosaurus Cove is touted a must see attraction when visiting Australia’s Top End. Daring visitors can actually “swim with the crocs”. Crocosaurus Cove is most famous for its Cage of Death. You’ll come face to face with a deadly saltwater croc, separated only by a clear underwater barrier.

Take a Tiwi Islands tour

From Darwin you can join a group tour to see the beautiful Tiwi Islands. The Bathurst and Melville islands are only 80 km north of Darwin. You just need to jump on a ferry to find out why this beautiful place is known as the ‘Island of Smiles’. The locals are known to embrace AFL and showcase their unique artwork.

Also try Campervan hire in the Top End – top tips!



5 things to do between Adelaide and the Barossa Valley

By Adelaide / Australia /

The beautiful Barossa Valley is a renowned wine-producing region, famous for its Shiraz. Just northeast of Adelaide you’ll discover rolling green hills, historic towns and high profile vineyards regarded as some of the best in the world.

Hire a car from Adelaide Airport and start ticking these items off your bucket list.

Murray Street Vineyards

Murray Street Vineyards was established in 2001, with the vision of creating unique artisan wines. The Tasting Room and cellars were inspired by early Barossa architecture, making you feel as if you’re entering another era when you step inside. Apart from its lovely interior, the experience is also about the wine. Visitors often rave about the Shiraz, Rose and the Marsanne, to name a few favourites.

Hot air balloon rides

One of the best ways to experience the beauty of this region is by air. A hot air balloon ride gives you the opportunity to take in the marvellous sight of the sun casting its early morning ray’s over the valley’s rolling hills. It’s the perfect activity for a romantic weekend away. The views are breathtaking as you float along with the breeze. You’re sure to remember this special moment for the rest of your life.

Chateau Tanunda

Australia’s oldest and largest chateau is known as the Icon of the Barossa Valley. Hence why you can’t leave the region without visiting this attraction. Chateau Tanunda was built around 1890 and has since become famous for handcrafting some of the region’s finest drops. You can also explore the vineyard and gardens as you soak up the amazing scenery.

Barossa Farmers Market

You don’t know fresh food until you’ve tried the Barossa Valley’s homegrown specials. Fresh food comes straight from the farms and onto the market shelves. Locals travel to Agnaston for their weekly grocery shop. But the market is increasingly growing in popularity among tourists. You’ll find fruit, vegetables, breads, honeys, nuts, oils and more. Fill up your basket and create one of the best homemade dishes of you life. Not only will your partner enjoy a meal made with love, but you’re also giving back to Aussies who work hard to feed the nation.

The Barossa Trail

Many people love to explore the valley’s gorgeous scenery by foot or bike. Pack some snacks and plenty of water as your spend the day moving from town to town. The trail is 40km long and connects the Barossa Ranges to the Adelaide Plains. It treats you to charming riverside views and the natural beautiful of the agricultural landscape. A popular part of the exercise is stopping by the towns to sample some fine wine on the way back.



5 great places to stay in the McLaren Vale region

By Adelaide / Australia / South Australia /

The McLaren Vale region is one of the most beautiful areas of South Australia. The region features superb wineries, beaches, trails and charming places to stay.

Hire a car from Adelaide Airport, drive 35km south of the city and stay at one of these great places.

Bellevue Bed and Breakfast
Relax and indulge at Bellevue B&B. Wake up in the morning for a delicious three course homemade breakfast. It’s just what you need before heading out to explore Mclaren Vale’s famous wineries. Your charming accommodation also has free WiFi, a dining area and an outdoor entertaining spot where you can lounge in the sunshine and enjoy some of the region’s best drops!

3 Divas Luxury Accommodation (pictured)
This is a gorgeous place to base yourself for your stay in McLaren Vale. It’s located in the heart of McLaren Vale and within walking distance to restaurants and wineries. Your options include a self-contained log chalet, The Marlene, which spoils you with beautiful vineyard views and a 2-person spa. Then there’s the Moscato Cottage, which takes you back to the 1850s. The stone cottage is also in a gorgeous rural setting and perfect for a romantic getaway.

Wine and Roses Bed and Breakfast
This multi award winning accommodation has everything you need for a relaxing getaway in wine country. The iconic 5-star B&B is perched in a quiet, residential area and is only 6km from the Coriole Vineyards and 12km from the gorgeous Aldinga Beach. Rooms include 4-poster beds, balconies and a private courtyard. Full breakfasts are provided.

The Vineyard Retreat
This stylish retreat has four guest houses; each with gorgeous views of the wine country. You’ll be staying in an elegant guest house which has all the modern necessities you need, along with old-fashioned double French doors to your very own outdoor verandah. There’s even an outdoor Jacuzzi, where you can enjoy ocean views with a wine in hand. There are also many luxury tour options to explore the region.

Sally’s Cottage Rural Escape
Sally’s Cottage is located in the Hope Forest area, with nearby wineries within easy reach. It’s also close to historic sites, walking trails and other towns such as Willunga and Mount Compass. This recently renovated 4 room cottage sits on 4.7 hectares. It oozes simple charm and tranquillity and has everything you’re looking for in a perfect getaway.

Also try Five Great Regions To Explore From Adelaide



6 summer sensations in Sydney

By Australia / Sydney /

Sydney is the perfect destination in the summer. It’s the time of year where you can spend pretty much your entire trip outdoors as you explore each attraction the city has to offer. Whether that’s a stroll along the beach, an adrenaline-filled activity or an evening of fine dining, Sydney has everything. But one of the best things about Sydney is its food scene.

Hire a car from Sydney Airport and choose from these six summer sensations.

Visit a dining precinct
This city is bursting with fantastic places to eat and drink. There are plenty of lively and emerging dining hubs, including Surry Hills and Chatswood. In Chippendale you’ll find a chic restaurant called Ester. It’s tucked away with its arched openings and dimly lit space. Sweet tooths should consider heading to Black Star Pastry in Newtown. A mouthful of one of these delicious sensations will change the way you think about dessert forever.

Explore a produce market
Fill your weekend with markets! There’s plenty to choose from. One of the most reputable is Carriageworks Farmers Market. This award-winning authentic farmers market is held every Saturday. Fresh, seasonal produce from more than 70 stalls fills the site, located in the heart of the CBD. These delights are picked and packed with love.

Chill on a rooftop
Sometimes where you’re dining is almost just as important as the tastes filling your mouth. Welcome to Glenmore at the Rocks, where you’re treated to 180-degree views of the harbour and CBD from a rooftop. Enjoy these sensational views as you enjoy scrumptious, high-end pub food. It’s the perfect place to enjoy dinner and sunset on a summer’s night.

Go on a gourmet safari tour
Food lovers unite for a gourmet safari adventure! Your guide whisks you to some of the most exotic food precincts in the city. You’ll learn about culinary food and customs while feasting on some of the most flavoursome dishes. Gourmet safari tours give visitors a taste of China, Greece, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Africa, to name a few cuisines.

Chinatown night market
Chinatown is one of Sydney’s most popular international food scenes. Walk just a few metres and you’ll feel like you’ve entered an entirely different country. Here, you’ll receive a good taste of Chinese culture. At certain times of the year there’s even food stalls that line the streets, giving you ample opportunity to sample several dishes. Think Hong Kong, Hanoi, Tokyo, and more!

Dine on the water
Sydney Harbour is one of the most beautiful stretches of water in Australia. At night the water lights up with reflections of the city’s main attractions, such as the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge. How else better to spend a romantic evening then on board a luxury dinner cruise with million dollar views on the water?

ALSO try 5 Short Road Trips From Sydney



Great road trips from Paris


Most people travel to France to see Paris, one of the world’s most famous cities. But few take advantage of the chance to hire a car in Paris and discover this beautiful country by road at their own pace.

Here are five great road trips from Paris. Remember, allow extra time because you’re sure to come across plenty of unexpected wonders.

Normandy (pictured)

Travel two and a half hours west of Paris and you’ll discover one of the country’s most beautiful coastal drives. There are several landmarks, from the famous island monastery Mont-Saint-Michel to the so-called D-Day beaches where some of the most dreadful scenes of World War Two took place. Another place to stop includes the colourful town of Honfleur, which inspired impressionist arists like Claude Monet.


Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is a popular resort area near the border of Italy and Switzerland. Mont Blanc is the highest summit in the Alps, making it the ideal place for snow-based activities, while also offering panoramic views. It’s a six hour drive south-east of Paris. Along the way, stop at Avallon. It’s a quaint community, situated at the edge of the Moran Forest, and it comes alive when the market comes to town on Saturdays. You can also make a short detour to Lyon, a large city with architecture up to 2000 years old.

Loire Valley

The stunning Loire Valley is located in central France, just two hours south west of Paris. This region is famous for its beautiful and extravagant palaces, which were once home to kings, queens and others from the noble class. These structures are so magnificent, that they’ve earned the Loire Valley the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is also famous for its wineries.

French Riviera

Travel seven and a half hours south on your way to the beautiful French Riviera and you’ll come across the lovely city of Montpellier. There are plenty of sites to see, from museums, gardens and historic monuments. Continue further south and drive along the coast to Nice. Along the way you’ll go through the Camargues, which are home to great vineyards and famous white wild horses. Then you’ll pass picture perfect towns of Marseille and Cassis, before making your way to the famous Nice or Monte Carlo nearby.


The trip to this tiny European country, which is bordered by Belgium, France and Germany, is well worthwhile. It’s a three and a half hour drive west of Paris, taking you through the lovely Champagne-Ardenne region. You’ll want to spend days at your destination. But some of the highlights along the way inclue the city of Reims, which is at the heart of the Champagne wine-growing region, and Verdun. Situated along the banks of the Meuse River, Verdun is home to one of the most famous battles of World War One. The Douaumont Ossuary in the town is home to the remains of more than 100,000 soldiers.




Adelaide’s unmissable events in Spring

By Adelaide / Australia /

Adelaide is known for its amazing food, wine and culture. Spring is the best time of year to visit Adelaide, as the city comes alive to celebrate those things.

Hire a car from the Airport and get ready for these spring events.

OzAsia Festival (pictured)

The OzAsia Festival has been touted as Australia’s premier Asia-focused arts festival. It runs between September and early October. It offers the latest in dance, music, film, theatre and visual arts out of Asia. Its flagship event is the Moon Lantern Festival, where thousands of people will gather to watch Australia’s largest lantern parade.

Royal Adelaide Show

South Australians will flock to the Royal Adelaide Show every September. It’s one of the state’s biggest entertainment events of the year. There’s something for everyone at the show. Mystery showbags, live entertainments and thrilling rides are always popular. Every night there are fireworks to celebrate this iconic event on the city’s calendar.

Adelaide Fashion Festival

This fashion festival celebrates innovative design and style. The festival runs over five days in October. It showcases established and up-and-coming local designers. There are several designer runways hosting 20 events. The focus is on creativity and unique style – something Adelaide designers never shy away from.

Adelaide Film Festival

This international film festival was established in 2003. It’s held over two weeks in mid October every second year. It showcases some of Australia’s best new talent. It also launches new films and art to international audiences. This event continues to grow every year.

Victor Harbour Rock ’n’ Roll Festival

This September you can literally dance the weekend away at Victor Harbour. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Festival runs in the heart of one of South Australia’s most gorgeous seaside towns. This free festival is just a short drive from Adelaide. It boasts live rock ‘ n’ roll music over three stages. It also has more than 500 vehicle displays, market stalls, memorabilia and more.

Also discover 5 things to do near McLaren Vale or Fly to Adelaide and drive to 5 great regions



5 great things to do within an hour from Heathrow

By UK /

Stuck at Heathrow Airport for a few hours with nothing to do? Instead of waiting in the airport for hours until your next flight, why don’t you explore some of the highlights nearby? Simply pick up your hire car from Heathrow Airport and do one of these five great things to do within an hour from Heathrow.

Windsor Castle
Drive just 15 minutes from Heathrow Airport to visit one of England’s most iconic castles. Windsor Castle still operates as a royal palace, where official ceremonies often take place. The majestic castle is surrounded by colourful gardens and a variety of old buildings, including the Chapel of Saint George with its colourful stained glass. Take a guided tour so you can learn about the history of the castle and the royals who have lived here.

London Tower Bridge
Journey 40 minutes east into central London to tour some of the city’s famous sights. Among the top of your list should be London Tower Bridge. It’s a marvellous structure which looks over the River Thames and other iconic landmarks, such as Big Ben. Since opening in 1894, millions of people have visited the 65m high structure. From the top you can also look through a glass floor and explore modern exhibits.

This picturesque village is unlike any other place you’ve ever laid eyes on! The main street of the village is full of Georgian-style houses and businesses. One of the great reasons to visit Denham is the traditional pubs – they prove to be a massive hit with the tourists and locals alike! There’s the Swan and just out of town is the Standard of England near Beaconsfield.

Hampton Court Palace
With its stunning architecture and medieval charm, Hampton Court Palace is one of the landmarks you’ll regret not seeing if you don’t make the time for a visit. The outside of the palace stands tall and proud in Tudor red brick architecture. Within these impressive walls are spiral chimneys, great paintings, fancy gardens and even a maze. Best of all, it’s only a 20 minute drive from Heathrow.

Stoke Park Spa
There’s plenty of things to do in Stoke-on-Trent. Also add the Stoke Park Spa to your list. It’s situated within a 1000-year-old estate. This retreat is the perfect place to go when you need to relax and it oozes elegance and luxury. There are Italian marble steam rooms, a deep relaxation room and other options which cater for your every need. Whether you want a facial, body wrap or cultural experience, this extensive menu has a treatment for everyone.