Jan
22
2016
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Family activity ideas in Queenstown

By New Zealand / Queenstown /

Apart from its reputation as a top destination for thrill-seekers, Queenstown is also a great place for a holiday with the whole family.

Here are some great ideas for family activities during your Queenstown holiday.

Canoe or kayak Lake Wakatipu

Take in the beautiful views of the mountains that surround Lake Wakatipu, as you spend a few relaxing hours paddling across the lake. There are plenty of experienced guides who will teach you the techniques and let you cruise along at your own pace.

Escape Quest

At Escape Quest, your family must solve a crime and escape within an hour! Not a real crime, of course, but this exciting game for up to five people takes you back to Queenstown’s 1860s gold rush. You’re locked in a room, as you race against the clock to search for clues to get out. There’s no doubt that this will be the most exciting game you ever play with the family!

Mountain biking

With more than 100kms of off-road biking tracks, Queenstown is an ideal destination if you’re into mountain biking tours and trails. Perhaps you want to try an extreme downhill track, or you’re after an adventurous trail ride more suited to beginners. Either way, you’ll find the experience you’re looking for in Queenstown.

Gold panning at Goldfield’s Mining Centre

Go back in time to the 19th century to explore New Zealand’s early history with a visit to the Goldfields Mining Centre. Pan for gold at the centre, which has been preserved as an authentic mining site, with gold still found by visitors. Through exploring the area’s history, you’ll also gain an understanding of the struggles and harsh conditions faced by early miners along Kawarau Gorge.

Walking trips

Head to the top of Bob’s Peak to enjoy beautiful views of Queenstown. From here, you can pick up a Skyline trail map from the Information Desk. It’ll show several walking tracks, which range from easy to difficult, and offer many interesting sites to see along the way, such as lakes and mountains.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Dec
15
2015
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Where to visit in Queenstown with your campervan

By New Zealand / Queenstown /

Queenstown is one massive adventure waiting to happen. Rent a campervan from DriveNow and visit these amazing places when staying around the city.

Queenstown Hill Walk
It’s a fairly easy walk, but there are amazing views once you reach the top. Drive to Belfast Street in Queenstown before hiking through pine forest to the summit of Te Tapunui. Stunning views overlooking Lake Wakatipu await during the three hour return journey. You’ll also learn about Maori history, Queensland’s gold rush and how Queenstown became the Adventure Capital of the World along the way with information signs.

Walter Peak High Country Farm
Experience the beautiful Lake Wakatipu by cruising across it in a vintage steamship, before disembarking at Walter Peak High Country Farm. Here, you’ll help feed adorable farm animals, watch a sheep shearing display and join horse treks or cycling excursions.

Camp and canoe at Moke Lake
Moke Lake is touted as one of the best camping spots in all of New Zealand, but it’s often overlooked in favour of Lake Wakatipu. However, beautiful Moke Lake sits in the mountains nearby, and is a perfect spot to bring along your own canoe or kayak. If you’re daring, why not go for a swim? Just make sure you bring a wetsuit!

Skiing The Remarkables
Located in the Remarkables mountain range is a popular ski field, which is just over half an hour’s drive from Queenstown. The north-facing slopes are a great spot for beginners learning how to ski or snowboard. However, the terrain is varied, which means The Remarkables is also an adventure paradise for experienced skiiers. Not to mention the amazing views!

Chard Farm winery
Close to Queenstown is Chard Farm, which was established in 1987. It makes them one of the pioneers of wine in Central Otago, producing fine cool climate wines. Sit down to a wine tasting like no other at Chard Farm. It specialises in Single Vineyard pinot noirs and Chard Farm’s philosophy is that people prefer drinking wines with interesting flavours, rather than simply tasting special wines.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Nov
18
2015

Five exciting adventures in Queenstown

By New Zealand / Queenstown /

Beautiful Queenstown, which is famous for its adrenaline based activities, is one of New Zealand’s must-see destinations. Grab a DriveNow hire car from Queenstown Airport, and use your set of wheels to explore some of the amazing things Queenstown has to offer, including bungy jumping and memorable hiking trails.

Bungy jumping
No visit to the Adventure Capital of the World is complete without a bungy jump! Queenstown is home to the world’s first commercially operated Bungy Jumping site , which was launched in 1988. There’s nothing like the exhilarating experience of jumping off the historic Kawarau Bridge, which will have your adrenaline pumping the entire time.

Gibbston Valley Wineries
Drive through the Gibbston Valley, which has become known as the ‘Valley of the Vines’. It’s one of the country’s most scenic wine growing areas, with vineyards locked between the rocky Kawarau River gorge and rugged mountain ranges. The hot dry summers and cool winters help create superb wines, with most of the region producing exquisite pinot noir.

Walking tracks
Queenstown is a hiker’s paradise. There are several short but scenic walks, which begin in the heart of town. But if you’re willing to drive a short distance to reach the iconic Mount Aspiring and Fiordland national parks, you’ll be amazed at the walking trails that await. There’s the amazing Greenstone Trail, which offers vast landscape views of valleys and mountains. Take the trek yourself, or organise to join a guided tour.

Lake Wakatipu
Lake Wakatipu is New Zealand’s third largest lake, and is surrounded by rugged, snow-capped mountains. Take a cruise along the lake in a vintage steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, to admire the panoramic views. Visit nearby villages, such as Kingston and Glenorchy. But if you’re after something more intimate, why not hire a boat and go fishing? Better yet, simply go for a swim and relax afterwards on the shore.

Bob’s Peak
Enjoy amazing views as a gondola carries you 450 metres above Queenstown to the top of Bob’s Peak. On the other hand, you could take the one hour hike through pine forests along the Tiki Trail to reach the top. It doesn’t matter how you get to Bob’s Peak, only the fact that you make it there, because spectacular views of the Remarkables mountain range, Coronet Peak and the pristine waters of Lake Wakatipu await, and they’re priceless.

BRIANNA PIAZZA

Jul
15
2014

5 Australian caravan parks with killer views so good you won’t be able to return home

By Adelaide / Australia / Brisbane / Melbourne / New South Wales / Perth / Queensland / Queenstown / South Australia / Sydney / Victoria / Western Australia /

With a campervan rental in Australia at the ready, there are plenty of parks dishing up views that are a feast for the eyes. Here are five to ponder when considering where to park your campervan while cruising Down Under.

VICTORIA – Cowes Caravan Park, Phillip Island

CAN anything top the sound of waves lapping at the shoreline and views right over the Western Port bay? It’s the recipe for a perfect night’s sleep – right after you’ve exhausted yourself exploring beautiful Philip Island in the morning and afternoon. Cowes Caravan Park is a beauty, just over two hours south of Melbourne, with sites right near the beach. The park is also pet friendly so your pooch can even enjoy the views when they’re not biting the breaking waves. The beauty of this park facing a Phillip Island quiet bay beach is that it’s an ideal family holiday park with some safe shallows providing endless entertainment for youngsters. It’s also perfect for swimming, beach walks, rock pool exploring, wind surfing, sail boarding, boating and some good beach-based fishing. Visit  cowescaravanpark.com.au

NSW – Merimbula Beach Holiday Park

One day in Merimbula we poked our heads out from a cabin and sprinted to the cliff-side viewing area at Merimbula Beach Holiday Park to watch a performance by some Humpback whales only 100m out from shore. It was mesmerising stuff, complete with the sounds, the smells and sights as everyone else in the park joined us and there was no shortage of oohs and aahs. Perched on the very edge of the point at Merimbula with spectacular ocean views is BIG4 NRMA Merimbula Beach Holiday Park. The ensuite and powered sites offer magical water views. Visit merimbulabeachholidaypark.com.au 

QUEENSLAND – Cotton Tree Holiday Park, Sunshine Coast

IS there a better park to stay at than one offering endless hours of sunshine, a gorgeous beach to soak up the rays and hit the waves, and a calm river to drop a line in or go windsurfing? Cotton Tree Holiday Park on the Sunshine Coast was winning before it was even built. Throw in an excellent big, spacious park with super facilities and you soon realise Cotton Tree is one of Queensland’s best, especially with the spectacular views thrown in for free. It’s often reviewed as being as great park for couples as much as it is for families, and is always clean and tidy with shops across the road and a bigger shopping centre only 10 or 15 minute stroll away. Be warned: if you want a waterfront site you’re best to book well in advance. They’re popular and are usually snapped up months out. Visit  sunshinecoastholidayparks.com.au

SOUTH AUSTRALIA – Discovery Holiday Parks, Lake Bonney

SET opposite beautiful Lake Bonney in the Riverland town of  Barmera, this caravan park is hard to top in South Australia for great facilities and some of the best views in the south. It’s best described as an aquatic adventureland overflowing with family friendly water sports opportunities including a popular water trampoline, swimming pool, fishing spots and more. It’s only about a two and a half hour drive from Adelaide and boasts a Mediterannean-esque climate.  Good weather, great views, plenty to do and a beaut little park where you can set up camp. Visit discoveryholidayparks.com.au

WESTERN AUSTRALIA – Middleton Beach Holiday Park

MULTI-award winning BIG4 Middleton Beach Holiday Park is set on 500m of  beach frontage at Middleton Beach, near Albany on Western Australia’s south coast. This region is home to a gorgeous coastline quite different to the east coast, and the views from Middleton Beach Holiday Park are killer. It’s also a hotspot for swimming, surfing, scenic walks, seasonal whale watching and great nearby food and wine. Visit holidayalbany.com.au

SCOTT PODMORE

Oct
17
2013
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Explore one of the world’s top adventures with a New Zealand car hire

By Auckland / Christchurch / New Zealand / Queenstown /

There is a common misconception that New Zealand, while being one of the world’s most beautiful and scenic countries, doesn’t actually offer a lot to do in terms of activities. The country boasts 33 of the world’s top 1,000 adventures, is home to the bungy jump, cable controlled base jumps and so much more, so grab a rental car and get your adrenaline boost today! Who says New Zealand is boring!

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May
17
2013

Top five South Island ski fields

By New Zealand / Queenstown /

With winter fast approaching, and arriving sooner in the south, it’s a great time to plan your South Island ski trip with a Christchurch car hire, or a rental from Queenstown.
There are over 20 ski fields in the South Island, but we’ve picked our top five so you can make the most of your trip!

Mt Hutt

If you’re picking up your car rental from Christchurch, do as the Romans do and head to the local favourite field, Mt Hutt. It’s just an hour and a half from the city to the ski field and this option offers plenty of runs for beginners and daredevils alike. It is due to open on June 15.

Ohau

For a smaller club field with plenty of atmosphere, head four hours south of Christchurch or two and a half north of Queenstown. Staying in the lodge is a must to meet other travellers, and you’ll also get a great deal on meals, accommodation and ski hire. One of the best parts of the lodge however? Spa pools. ‘Nuff said.

The Remarkables

This one’s just a 45 minute drive from Queenstown city centre, and can’t be missed – especially since kids under ten get their lift passes for free! It’s scheduled to open on June 22.

Mt Olympus

Named fittingly after the home of the gods, Mt Olympus is an approximately two hour drive from Christchurch, and has a lodge on site so you can sleep on the ski field, wake up in the morning and slide out the front door!

Treble Cone

As the largest ski area in New Zealand and host to the longest route, Treble Cone is a great field for everyone in the family. They are due to open at the end of June, and it will take a day trip to get there from Christchurch (about six hours), or pick up a rental in Queenstown to get there in less than two.

May
12
2013

Take a road trip through Middle Earth

By Auckland / New Zealand / North Island / Queenstown /

Are you a diehard Tolkien fan who has always wanted to experience the beauty of Middle Earth for yourself? Then New Zealand is the country for you.

After all, all three movies in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, as well as the Hobbit and its two soon-to-be-released sequels were filmed right here in the Land of the Long White Cloud!

Why not visit New Zealand, organise a car rental and explore some of the many destinations that featured in those hit films for yourself? We guarantee it’ll be a trip that you’ll never forget.

Hobbiton in Matamata

Nestled in the rolling green hills of the North Island, visitors to the town of Matamata will find the hidden village of Hobbiton.

This picturesque movie set has been left standing following the completion of filming and serves as a fantastic visitor’s destination for ring-buffs.

A great itinerary for a trip to Hobbiton is to book yourself an Auckland car hire, and drive down, taking in the stunning scenery along the way.

Once you arrive, you can snap a photo in front of a hobbit hole and even visit the Green Dragon Inn!

The Southern Lakes near Queenstown

If you are visiting the South Island on your trip to New Zealand, you might want to organise a Queenstown car hire instead and take a trip out to the stunning Southern Lakes.

These lakes are the same ones that featured in films such as The Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers, and the friendly tour guides will be more than happy to point out various locations to you.

Not only that, but you will also get the opportunity to handle some authentic Middle Earth costumes and weaponry!

For a truly unique Lord of the Rings tourism experience, you could even book in to stay at one of the themed Tolkien hotels that can be found in Wanaka, about an hour’s drive out of Queensland.