You can talk about seeing beautiful scenery and visiting local cultures all day, but sometimes, the best thing about a road trip is the food. The South Island of New Zealand is host to some of the most worthy food destinations in the world.
Starting in the deep south, the Bluff oyster is currently in season and often considered the best oyster in the world. Demand is so high in fact, that helicopters sometimes fly out meet the fishing boats in order to distribute the oysters more quickly.
At approximately NZ$24 a dozen, these delicacies of the sea are worth blowing your travel budget on.
In the self-proclaimed adventure capital of New Zealand, Queenstown is famous are far north as Auckland for burger bar Fergburger. Open 21 hours a day, it has been known to cause aforementioned Aucklanders to road trip the 3,000km round trip just to taste arguably the best burger (or at least most famous) in the land.
On the East coast of the South Island Dunedin is home to the world famous Cadbury factory. For a reasonable $20, adults can take a tour of the factory, learning about the history and processes of the magical kingdom of chocolate creation. Most importantly however, you’ll get ample opportunities to sample the produce.
On the other side of the South Island, the annual Wild Foods Festival hosts some of the strangest things you’ll ever eat, or for the less adventurous of us, watch other people eat. It is tradition for festival revellers to dress up en-masse and enjoy the weekend wearing something ridiculous but feeling ok about it because everyone else looks ridiculous too.
PARK IN PROFILE: BIG4 GOLD COAST HOLIDAY PARK, QUEENSLAND
Where: Big4 Gold Coast Holiday Park, 66-86 Siganto Drive, Helensvale, Queensland, set on 32 acres right in the heart of Queensland’s famous theme park world.
10 words or less: Theme parks! Beautiful villas. Awesome resort pool, waterslide and café.
The lowdown: Big4 Gold Coast Holiday Park is close to all the action with beautiful villas, ample grassy sites for vans and tents, and is pet friendly. With such wide open spaces, it’s the perfect place to park your Brisbane campervan rental.
Though there’s much to explore outside including Wet N Wild, Movie World, The Outback Spectacular, White Water World and Dreamworld, as well as the heart of Surfer’s Paradise not to far away by car, the park offers plenty of reasons to stay inside: including one of the best resort style pools you’ll find in Queensland with a 1.5 storey waterslide, poolside cabanas, an inflatable screen for movies under the stars, a cool BMX track, tennis court and buggies.
“We’re the only holiday park on the Gold Coast where you can bring your dog, walk to the theme parks, camp by the riverside and see native wildlife including koalas and kangaroos right outside your tent or cabin,” owner Theo Whitmont was quoted as saying in Escape magazine.
Accommodation options range from spacious ensuite and powered riverfront sites, to luxury villas and cabins. The park has a valet parking service for all visitors, including a golf buggy ride to your cabin or van site.
The road trip’s looking good – you’ve done the groundwork, booked the Australian campervan rental, assembled the essentials, but a few last-minute items are still on the agenda. Why not avoid the Christmas crowds and click on convenience by shopping online before that next big summer road trip.
Here are a few ideas:
The Great Australian Doorstep TV Show’s clearance sale: DriveNow’s regular guest blogger Peter “Spida” Everitt’’ not only discovers Australia AND records a TV show, he also finds time to pack his website with a heap of bargains.
The Little Book of Big Discounts ($2.95) contains 36 vouchers for holiday parks, cruises and day tours, accommodation, camp gear hire and car hire. The exclusive Great Australian Doorstep Sherrin footy, at $89 (usually $195), is perfect for booting around the campsite. Throw in a deck of cards ($2.55) and a silver key ring bottle and can opener ($3.95) and you’ve bagged yourself some great value. You can also snap up some DVDs of the series.
AGFG online store: If you are away in your campervan rental for the festive season, it’s handy to have a hamper tucked away – you’ll never be short of a box of choccies or gourmet pickles for that relative, friend, or the bloke who helps you fix a flat tyre.
The brand new AGFG online shop, part of the Australian Good Food and Travel Guide’s general portal, features a first-class selection of hampers from top name brands and chefs, including a Christmas range (from $50, see a $99 one pictured). Of course, it’s nice to keep a few luxuries for yourself. How about some Maggie Beer stock (beef or chicken), Luke Mangan BBQ rub, a bit of Peter Kuruvita Chili Salt and a jar of Duck Creek honey choc macadamias to keep your camp dinners interesting? Top it off with the Original Hot Chocolate Company “chunks on a spoon”, it’ll keep the kids amused as they stir it in hot milk by the fire, or savor one yourself while watching the sun go down.
When hitting the road after you have hired a campervan in Australia, barbecue is the undisputed king of camp cooking, but imagine surprising the family with a roast, stew or dessert? Jo Clews’ Australian Camp Oven Cooking (Boiling Billy Publications, RRP $34.99) provides recipes, as well as info on different types of camp oven cooking gear, menu planning and building the right type of cooking fire.