Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Camel Cup in a Campervan.

By [Pete & Katrien] - Flickr
The dusty outback is welcoming the camels and all manner of exciting activities and performances this July.  Alice Springs' Blatherskite park- the name is as interesting as the festival- is hosting the annual Camel Cup.

'The Alice' a northern territory Australian pioneer town is holding the extravaganza and Mr & Mrs  Camel,  bellydancers, bands, rickshaw drivers and all manner of people will be showing up for the fun.

The appeal of the Camel race lies in the beasts themselves.  As the races begin some will run off, some will back up, others may spit up to 3m and still others may decide to tilt, leaving the jockey's clutching for dear life.  The race is entertaining to be sure.

By lulugal0870 - Flickr Creative commons

Watch the rickshaw rallies, bands and belly dancers, and let the kiddies enter the prettiest camel contest.  Couples can enter the 'Honeymoon Handicap' race or fancy their luck in the Miss & Mr Camel Cup challenge.

Bring a campervan and join in the fun day with Alice and all the others who come for a great day of entertainment.  This is a good reason for a road trip through Northern territories or from Queensland or Western Australia.  The famous, Uluru is nearby, so don't miss the chance to go see that.

Spend a night or three at:

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Perth-Esperance Road Trip

Western Australia is an isolated part of the country, a huge area with one major city and a lot of wilderness! Fly into Perth and get on the road with this roadtrip from Perth to Esperance. From there you can continue East or head back to Perth to see the Great Australian Bight and the southwest corner of the country in more depth.

Day 1: Perth- Augusta

Perth is a city apart. Not just in the sense of a unique atmosphere and setting, but also literally- it is geographically one of the most remote cities on earth, with no other major centres within 2,000 kilometres.The city has a sunny, mediterranean-type climate and is set on a river within stone's throw of some amazing beaches, There are multiple options to pass the time in Perth, so consider spending some days there before hitting the road. Visit the Art Gallery of Western Australia, wander the banks of the river, explore Kings Park and climb the DNA tower for amazing views, or chill out on the famous Cottesloe Beach.

Perth from King's Park
by eGuide Travel Flickr Creative Commons

Head out of Perth and down the coast on Highway 1, heading through the southern suburbs such as the beachside Rockingham and Port Kennedy. At Mandurah, the estuary and Peel inlet is a wonderland of wildlife. It is home to a school of friendly dolphins and many types of water birds, and is a great place for family water-based fun as the waters are tranquil, unlike many of the beaches on the Indian Ocean coast. Have a go at catching some prawns or crabs, or find a boat and get out on the water.

Dolphins on the Peel Inlet

Continue through the town of Bunbury, where you should get off Highway 1 and onto State Route 10. A highlight along this route is Busselton, where the longest wooden structure in the southern hemisphere (in the form of a jetty) juts out into the beautiful Indian ocean from a white-sand beach. Some great surfing is to be had in the area.

Busselton Jetty
by Johnny Akira Baune Flickr Creative Commons

From Busselton, take State Route 104 to get back onto the State Route 10 and go east, then continue east on Highway 1 towards Albany. This will take you past the coastal Walpole-Nornalup National Park, which features a 600-metre long treetop walkway, and incredible way to get amongst Australia's flora and fauna. Denmark, just before the final stop of Albany, has a great bakery and picturesque surroundings.

 Treetop Walk
by Phil Whitehouse Flickr Creative Commons

Day 2: Albany- Esperance

 Albany, Western Australia's first settlement. It is now a good-sized but still rurally-focused city on a lovely section of coast. Albany's Princess Royal Harbour is one of the most impressive natural harbours you will ever sea, and is a base for whale-watching and other water activities

Albany Beach
by Robert Young Flickr Creative Common

Continue on Highway 1 from Albany through Wellstead and Jerramungup. A notable National Park along this section of road is the Fitzgerald River National Park, an amazing place designated as a World Biosphere reserve. It is home to many rare and endangered animals, and a huge range of wildflowers- in fact these grow in abundance everywhere between Albany and Esperance.

by Lakshmi Sawitri Flickr Creative Commons
Ravensthorpe along this route is an interesting old coppermining town. If you are keen to go out of your way to the coast, turn off just after Ravensthorpe and head to Hopetoun. This is a charming beach town and popular holiday destination, becoming livelier in the summer months!

Esperance is is situated on a safe harbour, with the Archipelago of the Recherche just offshore. Surfing, scuba diving and swimming are all popular in the area. The wine industry is strong in this area, so after you have settled in to a holiday park like one of these, get out and about to taste the food and wine of the region!

 Esperance Seafront
by Tamsin Slater Flickr Creative Commons

For great deals on a variety of Perth motorhome rentals, have a look here!

Melbourne- Adelaide and the Great Ocean Road

Australia's southeast has some beautiful stretches of coast and vibrant cities. Experience them with this 3-day road trip from Melbourne to Adelaide.

Day 1: The Great Ocean Road- Melbourne to Warrnambool

Melbourne is the stately and laid-back counterpart to the hype of Brisbane and Sydney. With a New England feel and a more temperate climate, it is an exceedingly pleasant place to shop, wander and visit! Before departing on your trip, if you have a few days in Melbourne spend some time exploring and taking in the unique and multicultural atmosphere. Hot spots to visit include Chinatown, the retail precinct of Docklands by the water, Federation Square, the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Aquarium and any of a number of galleries and museums.

by Patrick Nouhailler Flickr Creative Commons

On the way out of Melbourne, take Princes Highway/M1 to Geelong. This is an industrial centre with a bustling port, so not the prettiest of all spots on the coast! It does, however, mark the beginning of the Great Ocean Road, so follow the signs through town to get on this legend of a road.

The Great Ocean Road is one of Australia's greatest scenic routes. The journey will be a pleasure on this stretch of the trip! There are many holiday parks along the way so if you want to see everything more closely, break this part of the road trip into two days. From Geelong, you will hug the coast, passing through many small towns. Take some time to have a coffee with the friendly locals! At Apollo Bay, check out the wood carvings that decorate the foreshore, a depiction of the region's relationship with the sea.

After Apollo Bay, you will leave the coast for a while (don't worry, it's coming back!) and pass through Great Otway National Park. You can take a side road out to the coast and the isolated, beautiful lighthouse at Cape Otway, or explore the walking tracks and numerous waterfalls in the Park.

 Cape Otway
by Sherman Geronimo-Tan Flickr Creative Commons

The beautiful towns, coves and beaches continue along the road- too many to describe individually! One of the stunners of the Great Ocean Road however is the Twelve Apostles rock formation. Standing tall in the wild southern ocean, these rocks are one of the most-photographed natural phenomena in the country. Visit the visitor information centre for some insight on the formation of the incredible coastline.

 Great Ocean Road
by edwin.11 Flickr Creative Commons

Port Campbell has a somewhat tragic history of shipwreck, the most notable of these being the foundering of 3-masted clipper Loch Ard in 1878- there were only 2 survivors, and their tale is told along a signposted walkway above Loch Ard Gorge near Port Campbell. These tragic past events do make for excellent diving around Port Campbell though, so get in the water if that's your thing!

 Loch Ard Gorge
by Gavin Llewellyn Flickr Creative Commons

Warrnambool, your stop for the night, is a popular beachy tourist destination. The shipwrecks continue here, and the Flagstaff Maritime Museum is a fascinating place to visit where you can learn the stories of the coast and its victims. Once a month, there are markets held at the showgrounds, and there is a viewing platform in the town for the Southern Right Whales which visit every year in winter.

Day 2: Warrnambool- Kingston SE

Head out of Warrnambool on Princes Highway/A1. On the way out, have a look at the Tower Hill Reserve- a lake and several small hills nestled inside an inactive volcano. It is an amazing haven for wildlife, with koalas, emus, kangaroos and many types of birds abundant.

 Tower Hill Reserve
by Sydney Oats Flickr Creative Commons

The road continues to hug the coast until Portland, Victoria's first permanent settlement. It is now a decent-sized centre, so reprovision here if you need anything! Many artists have made Portland their home, and there is an art centre that can be visited with a gallery and a theatre. There are over 200 buildings in the town classified by the National Trust, a gem for those interested in the history of the region.

 Portland Town Hall
by Matt Flickr Creative Commons

After Portland, the road heads inland for a while, for a pleasant drive along the Princes Highway . One attraction along the route is the Princess Margaret Rose Cave in Lower Glenelg National Park, 18km off the highway. Just after crossing into South Australia, go left onto Vorwerk Road, left again onto Main Road, right onto Border Road which skirts the border on the Victoria side then go left onto Princess Margaret Rose Caves Road. The cave is an underground wonderland, dripping in stalactites and full of stalagmites, cave coral and other amazing things. Guided tours are available.

Next town on the route is Mount Gambier in South Australia. This city is most famous for its stunning lakes in extinct volcano craters, especially the stunning Blue Lake. There are many dining restaurants in town and lots to do- if you want to spend a while here, visit the Lady Nelson Visitor and Discovery Centre on Jubilee Highway East.

Between Mount Gambier and Kingston SE, there are two routes- Highway 1 and the coastal Southern Ports Highway which starts at Millicent. Both pass through several charming small towns, and the coastal route will have you venture past beaches and lakes. The two meet up again at Kingston SE, your suggested destination for the night. On the shores of Lacepede Bay, the 'SE' is to distinguish this town in the southeast of the state with another one of the same name. Don't miss the giant lobster affectionately named Larry on your way into town, and this is the perfect spot for a casual picnic dinner, as Kingston SE is home to one of Australia's best fish and chip shops, Macs Takeaway. Kingston Caravan Park is a great place to lay your head!

 Larry the Lobster
by Alpha Flickr Creative Commons

Day 3: Kingston SE- Adelaide

Leave Kingston SE and continue on the trusty Highway 1.

This last stretch of the journey will take you past some amazing wetlands. Coorong is a national park and lagoon ecosystem. The lagoon extends over 100km along the coat between Kingston SE and the Fleurieu Peninsula, separated from the ocean by a sand dune. It is a sanctuary for birds, fish and other wildlife- recognised by BirdLife International as an 'Important Bird Area.' The lagoon and Park are a unique and interesting part of Australia, and great for recreational activities such as fishing, camping and boating, so be sure to take a look as you pass. You can take guided tours by the native people (the Ngarrindjeri people) leaving from Meningie.

 The Coorong
by Mick Morrison Flickr Creative Commons

After Meningie, head inland to skirt Lake Albert and Lake Alexandrina. You will come across the famous Murray River at Tailem Bend, and cross it at Murray Bridge. The Murray is Australia's longest river at nearly 3,000 kilometres, and was a vital waterway for many years as the main route for transporting people and goods inland. Although its glory days of steamers and riverboats are largely over, the Murray is deeply ingrained in Australia's culture.

 The Murray River
by thinboyfatter Flickr Creative Commons

Keep going along the highway into the city of Adelaide. Set on the River Torrens and extending to the coast, Adelaide is unique in that the city centre is entirely circled by parkland. It was constructed by design, and the city centre is a grid of 5 squares with the parklands surrounding it. Adelaide has wide streets, plenty of things happening, beaches to the west and rolling hills to the east. Places to visit include the Adelaide Central Markets, the zoo and Botanic Gardens, the historic Edmund Wright House, the South Australian Museum and of course the city parklands. Adelaide is considered the Wine Capital of Australia, and is home to the National Wine Centre of Australia where you can taste all manner of Australian wine. A fitting end to the journey! There are a number of holiday parks to park your campervan.

by bram.souffreau Flickr Creative Commons

Check here for great deals on Melbourne campervan hire!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Splendour in the Grass Campervans!!

OK Go at Splendour
By Bradii - Flickr
Splendour in the grass Festival tickets are sold out and the Campervans will be soon, so get in quick!!  July 27th-29th are the dates and Byron Bay, Australia is the location.

If you've already bought your tickets but not rented your Campervan yet, get onto it.  Campervans and Motorhomes are allowed at the Festival's campsite as long as they are no longer than 7.5 metres.  If you want the comforts of a  fully set-up home away from home. Then pick up your Campervan in Brisbane (an hours drive away), Byron Bay, or any other place... check out the site.

The Campground, North Beach Campground, is a nice easy walk to the Festival. 

Campervan over Tenting?

Who wouldn't? Here are a few reasons why Campervanning is definitely an advantage over Tenting
  • It may be Byron Bay, but it's still July. Rain may fall, and if it does, who's gonna be dry and cosy? The Campervanners. 
  • You don't have to share a toilet or shower with all the other smelly campers.
  • The bed will be alot more comfortable than what a tent can provide. 
  • You can cook delicious meals on the Camper's built in stove and perhaps microwave. 
  • Campervanner's can brew up a coffee in down time
  • Refrigerate your food and avoid expensive festival food.
  • Drive in with all your gear in your van, and drive out exactly the same. 
  • No Tent pitching catastrophes or time wasting. 
  • Lock up your valuables in the Campervan rather than a flimsy tent.
  • Tenters aren't allowed to bring couches to kick back on, but yours will be built in.
  • No need for torches, lights are also built in.
The list could go on and on.. 

You need to get a ticket for every person staying in the campground, it's not a one ticket per site kind of gig.  Campervan's don't have to cost the earth either, get yourself a little JUCY or Wicked Camper or similar and you'll be away running.

Find a Campervan at Campervan Hire Sale Finder! Quickly before they all run out!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

ONE WAY SPECIAL: Cairns to Sydney or Brisbane.

Australia Motorhome Rental Special!

 It's the perfect time to take a Motorhome trip down the East Coast.of  Australia from Cairns to Brisbane or Sydney.  Winter may be coming up but the beaches are still beautiful and in the north, warm.

Book any Apollo vehicle for one way rentals from Cairns to Sydney or Brisbane, you will get 10% off base rental rates and one way fee Free.  Please note travel must commence and be completed between 1st April 2012 and 30th June 2012 and Minimum 7 days & Maximum 20 days. 

Book the One Way Special here! Take a look at the road trip you could do (reversed) here!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Brisbane to Cairns Roadtrip!

Lake Mackenzie, Fraser Island
Lake Mackenzie, Fraser Island
By kevgibbo - - Flickr

The East coast of Australia is a path full of many beautiful discoveries, the best being the abundance of beaches with white sand and transparent rolling waves. Take a Campervan roadtrip from Brisbane up the coast North to Cairns. This takes you along Bruce Highway for a 1,703km roadtrip, however, don't just take the highway but explore various places off the beaten track on the way.

The best time to take a trip to this subtropical area is between April and November when it's drier and the temperature is more moderate. Pick up a camper for you and your family or friends in Brisbane and hit the road to the
Sunshine coast.

Noosa Australia
Noosa Heads Paddle Boarder
By eGuise Travel - Flickr

The whole route up passes many, many fantastic beaches so I won't name them all but be sure to spend some time when you spot one to your liking.
Australia Zoo is a top attraction, the creation of Australia's famous Steve Irwin.
Noosa Heads, Maroochydore, Caloundra and Mooloolaba are the main centre along this stretch, all resort type beach towns with plenty of great eateries, shops and of course beaches.
If you're in these parts on a Saturday or Wednesday, spend a pleasant and possibly bountiful morning at the Eumundi Markets. Head off route to Mary Cairncross park where you can get a fabulous view of the Glass House Mountains. While you're up there, take the scenic route from
Maleny to Montville where many a quaint coffee shop and craft store call home.

Spend a night in one of the many parks along the way, but we recommend:

Lake Waddy, Fraser Island
Lake Waddy, Fraser Island
By peterjoel1 - Flickr

Don't laugh at the names, but Gympie to Gin Gin is the next leg of the journey. On this leg you have the option to ferry over from either River Heads or Hervey Bay to the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. A beautiful sand island with great fishing, sparkling sand and waters, creeks and Lakes. If you want to take the Camper over, you will need a 4WD vehicle.
Go for a whale watching cruise in Hervey Bay, take a tour of the Bundaberg Rum distillery in Bunderberg or the Mon Repos Conservation Park turtles (only November to March).

The recommended park along the way is:

But if you want to spend a night or two in a more peaceful and quiet stretch of the coast, stay in Rainbow Beach, Burrum Heads Woodgate or Bargara.

Between Gin Gin and the tropical Rockhampton, there is many more coastal stops. However, Lake Awoonga and Lake Monduran are stocked with Barramundi if you want to try your luck with the rod. Rockhampton Botanic gardens are superb visit, with tropical plants, a Japanese garden, BBQ's and a tearoom. Rockhampton has many a historic building, so take a wander down Quay Street and see many of the fine buildings. Free camp along the Calliope River near Bruce Highway or stay at:

Rockhampton 31-10-2007 11-17-33
Capricorn Caves
By androoouk - Flickr

From Rockhampton, head out to Emu Park on the headland. Here, a large white sculpture - the singing ship, commemorates Captain Cook. Hidden organ pipes are activated by on-shore breezes causing it to actually sing. Nearby, are the Capricorn Caves, a huge tourist attraction. You can adventure cave through them or take a more relaxing guided tour. The huge domed cathedral cavern impresses all and the caves even have a camping ground. Further up the coast check out the coal exports or the Pine Islet lighthouse.

DSC77/Australia/Queensland/Airlie Beach harbour
Airlie Beach Harbour
By dany13 - Flickr

From McKay to Townsville we're getting even more tropical. Airlie beach overlooks the Whitsundays and is a perfect holiday destination with a tropical climate and good shopping. Take a day trip cruise over to the Whitsundays, a remarkable waterway made up of 74 islands all with perfect beaches and pristine waters. South of Townsville take some time at the Billabong sanctuary, dedicated to protecting native animals. Discover the Great Barrier reef's ecosystem at Reef HQ, an educational centre for the Marine Park.

Stay at:

Jourama Falls
By Mads Boedker - Flickr

The Townsville to Cardwell leg is where you can do an abundance of Tropical activities. Start off feasting on Mangoes at 'The Frosty Mango' roadside cafe between Rollingstone and Ingham. Camp by the Jourama Falls in the Paluma Range National Park. In this forested and beautiful area you can take a walk to the falls lookout, bathe in the swimming holes or watch the kingfishers flitting about. Take a look at the cane sugar fields or drive through the pine plantation and native forests to have a picnic by the Spa Creek swimming hole.

Spend a night or more at:

Paronella Park
Paronella Park
By Tasmin Slater - Flickr

Between Cardwell and Cairns is one of the prettiest places in Australia. Lush rainforests, rugged mountains, waterfalls and the Great Barrier Reef islands. Walk through Paronella Park private garden with stairways and even a castle. If you're game for a 15km summit walk you can find yourself at the highest peak in Queensland, Mount Bartle Frere. White water raft on the Tully, North Johnstone or Barron Rivers, suitable for thirteen year olds up.

This stretch of coast has many a great place to stay. These are a few:

Well, you have reached Cairns, 1700km+ later. From here, drop the Campervan and finish up, go up further to the fantastic town - Port Douglas or head along the Northern Coastline towards Darwin! Whatever you do, have a fantastic journey!

Find your Campervan at Campervan Hire Sale Finder. Leave us any comments for great attractions or if you've done this road trip.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Perth To Broome Western Australia Roadtrip!

Dongara-Port Denison
Dongara - Port Denison, WA
By erictitcombe - Flickr

The Western coast of Australia is a fabulous roadtrip destination with a diverse range of activities and sights. Not as popular a destination as its counterpart on the east coast, but possibly better as it's not as built up and overrun with people. With sparkling clear waters for the swimmers and surfers , deserted beaches for the fishermen and wild flower picnic areas, Western Australia would make a perfect campervan destination. The great thing about a Campervan is you have so much freedom to stop and start where you went like pulling up aside a beautiful beach and making yourself a coffee.

Begin your journey in Perth, the largest city in Western Australia. Pick up your Campervan here and head north joining highway 71, to take the more coastal route north. However, if you travel the brand Highway north, you will find yourself surrounded in some parts by stunning wildflowers (particularly between July and October.) Stop off at visitor info centres along the highway for more info on Flower areas. Near Cervantes (which is along the coast), in the Namburg National Park, you can witness 'The Pinnacles'. Thousands of limestone pillars , some up to 5 metres tall rise up out of the sands.
Gin gin on Brand Highway is perfect for a picnic lunch and Lancelin has some beauty fishing and diving.

Pinnacles desertMonkey Mia
Pinnacles desert Monkey Mia
By StormyDog - Flickr By mikecogh - Flickr

Once you've spent some time in Geraldton and sampled some Lobster, head north toward Carnarvon. Take a diversion off the highway to Kalbarri. Here you will discover some fascinating geological features, spectacular gorges and coastal cliffs along with some pretty wildflowers. Off the main highway take a left turn towards the coast to Denham. Pick up some seafood at Shark Bay Fish Factory to cook for dinner and check out the Stromatolites, near the telegraph station (tearooms and museum) at Shell Beach. Near here also is Monkey Mia Reserve where bottle-nose dolphins regularly visit the beach and... you can ride camels.
  • Between Geraldton and Carnarvon, park up the Motorhome at Denham Seaside Tourist village for the night. Overlook the sparkling tranquil waters of Shark Bay and if you're keen of fishing this place is good for you.

Coral Bay
Coral Bay
By Phillie Casablanca - Flickr

Enjoy Carnarvon for a while then head North in the direction of Nanutarra Roadhouse. Divert out to Coral Bay, an absolutely beautiful beach and be sure to head out on the Exmouth Penisula further up the coast. The protected Ningaloo Marine Park is home to the state's largest Coral Reef where you can take a plunge and explore the reef and the abundance of marine life. Keep an eye out for migrating Hump back whales between August and November. Charter boats can take you fishing diving or in a glass bottom boat.

We're getting far up the country now, traveling from Nanutarra Roadhouse to Port Hedland. Take a diversion off the main highway out to Onslow and keep a lookout for Termite mounds along the roadside. A lot of industry occur up in this region and you can check out visitors centres along the way to find out about it all. Cossack is a historic town near Wickham that is worth a visit.

Salt mountain
Salt Mountain, Port Hedland
By Newhaircut - Flickr

The road between Port Hedland and Broome is some 600 km long so perhaps plan to spend a night or two in the middle. After leaving Port Hedland look out for the stockpiles of salt ready to export overseas. Fishing along the Northwest Coast is very popular so be sure to cast a line from a beach like Eighty mile, or Gourdon Bay. Arrive in Broome and check out the Crocodile Park!

And here is where the road trip commentary comes to an end. If you like you can continue along the northern coast and end in Darwin or keep going around the whole of Australia! Get a campervan for the journey from Campervan Hire Sale Finder. Have an amazing journey! Let us know if there's an awesome spot along this route to visit.