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Apr
10
2009
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Driving holidays – Phillip Island (Victoria)

By Victoria /

Many visitors to Victoria think of the Great Ocean Road as the state’s ultimate driving holiday, but a 150km drive south-east from Melbourne to Phillip Island clearly can’t be underestimated. It’s a great drive leading to a fabulous holiday hotspot with a plethora of things to do. A few months back we loaded up our six-berth Britz camper, hit the Monash Freeway, turned into the South Gippsland Freeway and then onto the Bass Highway and finally made our way to the island via Phillip Island Rd. Normally the trip would take roughly a couple of hours, take your time and you might find a few surprises along the way – including full scale replicas of meteorites that landed in the Cranbourne area in 1860 and Panny’s Amazing World of Chocolate where you can almost taste the Dame Edna portrait made of 12,000 chocolate pieces! Pleasure island Once on the island, don’t let it’s size fool you as there’s loads to do….

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Mar
31
2009
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Driving holidays – north east coast (Tasmania)

By Australia / Tasmania /

  The brochure promised pristine beaches, wide open skies and the dream of forgetting civilization for four days – an ideal getaway for two busy mums. In reality, the Bay of Fires Walk in Tasmania ticked all those boxes and more: no meal preparation for four days while exploring one of Tasmania’s remote coastlines, kayaking along beautiful Anson’s River and enjoying gourmet food soon proved why this is one of the world’s most popular holidays. For us, this was a chance to experience the best of both worlds. Firstly, a beautiful drive in one of Australia’s best states for breathtaking views for a couple of days, and, secondly, to experience one of the world’s great walks. Our week started the moment we landed at Launceston airport. After a swift collection of cases sans little folk, we hopped in our Hyundai Getz thanks to DriveNow with Avis offering the best deal this time around. Some great short drives As a precursor to our walking…

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Mar
23
2009
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Driving Holidays – Cairns (Qld)

By Australia / Cairns / Queensland /

The old adage “it’s a big country” certainly rings true in Far North Queensland, where distances between sights are great and the only way to experience them is by road. But that’s what makes the region north of Cairns such a great place for a driving holiday, with the open highway a journey of discovery and wonder. When you’re deciding on a vehicle, keep in mind that the further from the Big Smoke you get, the rougher the roads – you may require a four-wheel drive if you are venturing north of the Daintree or up into Cape York. The journey After settling on Toyota Camry from Budget at Cairns Airport we began our trip north to Port Douglas on the Captain Cook Highway. This 68 kilometre stretch of road must be one of the most scenic drives in Australia, winding its way through Cairns’ beautiful northern beaches, with great vantage points at Rex’s Lookout and Yule Point back down…

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Mar
20
2009

Boys’ Weekend – Byron Bay (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales /

Kayaking with dolphins, having our “auras” photographed at Crystal Castle in the hinterland and laying a few bets on the gee-gees at a pub with ocean views wasn’t exactly the sort of blend I had in mind for a boys’ weekend, but hey, we were in Byron Bay and it was a case of doing as the Romans do … well, some of them, anyway. Our weekend launched the moment we touched down on the Gold Coast at Coolangatta. We hooked ourselves up with a Toyota Aurion after snapping up the hottest deal at DriveNow with Hertz emerging the winner on this particular search mission. Three blokes with a thirst for adventure and a boozy weekend in mind headed south and the party was up and away. Spirit of adventure While exploring Byron Bay, hitting the beach, entertainment, eateries and nearby hinterland only a short drive away was the name of the game, reaching the destination is a leisurely one…

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Mar
14
2009
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Driving Holidays – South Coast (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales /

As a kid, I used to make frequent trips down the South Coast of NSW with my friend’s family. Two things are etched into my mind: the lame jokes of my friend’s father about cows with two legs shorter than the others (from standing on steep hills) and the horror of car sickness. The old coast road from the southern suburbs of Sydney to Wollongong was a spectacular roller coaster, never failing to reduce my Maccas happy meal to a not-so-happy pile of goo on the side of the road. But it was all part of the holiday fun, the rising tide of nausea signalling the start of a great weekend away. A “Grand” new drive And so it was with this happy memory that I picked up my DriveNow Britz camper and headed south through the Royal National Park to Stanwell Tops, and the start of the new Grand Pacific Drive. This 140km coastal route has cut out many…

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Mar
10
2009
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Driving holidays – Lower Hunter Valley (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales /

I have a dream of owning my own rural patch of heaven, 30-odd acres of paddocks and bushland where I can keep horses, run a few chooks and write the great Australian novel. And I know exactly where this Tree Change will take place – Wollombi. This quaint little hamlet 140 kilometres north of Sydney in the Lower Hunter Valley is my secret weekend getaway. There’s nothing I love more than picking up a camper and heading up the F3 freeway, relaxation beckoning with every passing kilometre. I’m not sure if it’s a psychological thing, but as soon as I turn off at the Calga exit at Peats Ridge, I visibly relax, drawing a deep breath and filling my lungs with the pure mountain air. It’s then a leisurely hour or so through picturesque countryside, lush horse studs and hobby farms flanked by dense eucalypt forest on rolling hillsides. Wollombi rolls into sight like something from a Tom Roberts oil…

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Feb
26
2009

Driving holidays – a perfect Port (NSW)

By Australia / New South Wales /

Ah, Port Macquarie – beautiful one day, blissful the next. It’s my favourite holiday destination, any time of year – winter chills disappear on its sunny beaches; while in summer cool sea breezes keep the heatwaves at bay. For my daughter and I, a road trip to Port is always an adventure. After picking up a last minute deal on an Avis Hyundai rental from DriveNow’s last minute Sydney Car hire area we hit the Pacific Highway for the crawl out of Sydney – always the worst part of the trip. But once we were freewheeling north, it’s smooth driving for four and a half hours before we reach paradise – Port, that is! There are a stack of affordable places to stay in town, but our choice this time was the Sundowner Breakwall Tourist Park, located right on the Hastings River fronting the boardwalks with its distinctive colourful rocks. Talk about a room (or in our case, site!) with…

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