The 5 National Parks You Should Visit in Australia

Australia National ParksSpanning about 28 million hectares, almost four percent of the Land of Oz is covered by its national parks. From mountain ranges that touch the sky—the highest points often sprinkled with snow—to arid deserts containing mysterious rock formations, luscious rainforests teeming with plant and animal life and coastal reefs that greet you with mystique aquatic resources as you dive, the country is full with these diverse landscapes that double as conservation areas to protect the environment.

We had to make tough choices here in Cheapa Campa today. We had to pick five of the best national parks in Australia among five hundred stunning natural fields turned superb travel and respite destinations. To help you with your road trip itinerary, here are our top five national parks in Australia:

Flinders RangesFlinders Ranges National Park – South Australia

You’d be surprised how lovely blue and orange mix together; the tranquil and clear skies meet with a vast bed of desert landscape. The terrain is not as plain as its stereotypical counterparts. It is home to Wilpena Pound, an area that resembles a volcanic crater or a place touched by a meteor. The park also contains Aboriginal rock art sites and also contributes largely to Australia’s geological history through the fossil remains found therein. The then mountain ranges also have become the abode of plenty local and unique wildlife. If you want to try your luck in mining for opals, head on to Coober Pedy.

Flinders Ranges National Park is only three-hour drive north from Adelaide. Take your campervan here and talk to the locals on where to get started.

Uluru-Olga-BungleBunglePurnululu National Park – Western Australia and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park – Northern Territory

You guessed it right, we couldn’t decide which one we liked better. Both national parks contain rock formations that should always be included in itineraries and bucket lists. Purnululu National Park, which is one of Australia’s World Heritage Listed Sites, is located in the East Kimberley Region. Here we will find the Bungle Bungle Ranges, a curious collection of striped rock formations that resemble beehives. Hike, trek, camp and four wheel drive in the 350 million-year-old mystery.

The Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, lying in the heart of Australia’s Red Centre, meanwhile, gives you a double dose of rock wonders with the Uluru (also World Heritage Listed) and the Kata Tjuta, which is also known as Mount Olga or The Olgas. Make your desert drive dreams come true with a 30-kilometre road trip that will enable you to see both of the majestic Australian features.

Daintree RainforestDaintree National Park – Queensland

Other than pristine natural wonders, Australia also does not run out of prestigious World Heritage Listed Sites. Daintree National Park, which lies side-by-side with the Great Barrier Reef, will be found through the gateway city of Cairns., in Far North Queensland. The tropical rainforest is teeming with exceptional biodiversity that makes others of its kind pale in comparison.

Find Cape Tribulation here and discover scenic coastal walks in fine sandy beaches and adventures in the forests that join it. In the park you can also see the crystal clear waters flowing in Mossman Gorge. Travelling in this destination is like hitting two birds with one stone except here, you’ll have more than  just two: you’ll have adventures lasting you for days and even weeks on you Cheapa Campa.

Royal National ParkRoyal National Park – New South Wales

Royal National Park deserves a special mention because of the history that surrounds it. It is the first national park in Australia and was proclaimed so on 26 April 1879. The park is also the second one proclaimed in the world after America’s Yellowstone National Park. In 1955, its name was changed from The National Park to Royal National Park after Queen Elizabeth II visited.

But history is not only what makes the park noteworthy. Located in Sydney and colloquially referred to as Nasho or Royal, the park makes for picture perfect views of the Sydney coast and is only an hour’s drive from the city centre. Hike, bushwalk, join a tour walk, camp, watch whales (seasonals), and go for a (surprise!) history lessons.

Kakadu National ParkKakadu National Park – Northern Territory

For whatever purpose it may serve, it’s only reasonable that we save the best for last but we recommend that you headline your itinerary with Kakadu National Park. Located in what is known as Australia’s Top End, the park is only three hours from Darwin, where your adventure begins. The World Listed Site, one of many but a stands out unlike the others, is the complete package.

Kakadu National Park is said to be not only a natural wonder but a national treasure. The park is a geological, biological and cultural hub. Explore breathtaking rocks, cliffs, trails and gorges, and lakes and waterfalls by walking and hiking, see the booming desert and local wildlife,  and discover ancient and Aboriginal carvings found across the park.

The best months to travel are from May to October  during the dry season when almost everything is available. The best way to travel? On an off-road vehicle or a campervan of course!

Get the vehicle you need today with Cheapa Campa to explore some of Australia’s best national parks. Call us today for more information!

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Top 10 Reasons To Do A Road Trip

Top 10 Reasons To Do A Road TripThere are moments when all you want to do is curl up idly, not straining a muscle, in bed—lazily “doing” stuff like watching TV or streaming movies all day and then to microwave all the corn kernels to create a perfect bowl of popcorn. Sounds tempting, right? While it really does seem very comforting to just relax alone at home and be idle all day, there is life outside and we’re not talking about the friendly neighbourhood you all know so well. Travel a little further and you’ll discover there’s something else out there.

Let’s face it, we’re not getting any younger and before we rip off another month from the calendar, it’s best we get something planned. Just in case you’re still on the fence, here are some of the top reasons why you should go on a road trip:

All The Bright Places

The destination will always grab the top spot on why you should travel; for some, this could be the only reason. There are so many wonderful sights and places that are just waiting to be visited and discovered. By now, we all know that you don’t need to travel too deep Down Under to find the top World Heritage sites like Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics and Northern Territory’s Kakadu and Uluru among others plus the bustling and friendly cities of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Though they say that the place is the destination, the road, we say, is the adventure!

Disconnect and Reconnect

Sometimes, you really just need a break and with a road trip, that’s exactly what you can do. For us, disconnection could meet a lot of things: a relaxing break from all the hard work you’ve been into or being unplugged from all the busyness of the real and digital world. Once you’ve learned to get by without so much technology, take advantage of it and you’ll find yourself basking in the glorious surprises of the outdoors.

Not only will a road trip help you get in touch and be one with nature and all of its wonders, if you let it, it will also allow you to reconnect with your friends and/ or family while on your way. Catch on some lost time!Travel to Reconnect

Total Freedom

Unlike other modes of travel where you have to comply with all the rules and regulations, a road trip in a campervan or motorhome will let you have total control (taking into consideration our terms and conditions and road regulations, of course). Anyway, what we mean is that you can stop wherever and whenever you want. Convenient, right?

Oh The Things We’ll Learn

When we talk about learning while on vacation, we’re not just talking about all the cultural immersions in museums and historical sites (though they are really one good reason to pack your bags and get going), we’re also in it for more pragmatic reasons. New adventures will teach you how to be more practical in terms of managing your resources like time, energy, money and food. The good news is, even after all your wandering, you’ll be taking home all the lessons you learned.

Going on a road trip will also afford you some time for introspection.

For the Food

Kangaroo PizzaSpeaking of food, who wouldn’t want to get a taste of some the best gastronomic wonders of Australia and beyond? Some might know OZ’s typical food favourites like Vegemite, Tim Tams, Lamingtons and Pavlova but some of the best are actually those which aren’t talked about very much and may seem peculiar to foreigners. Plan your road trip to visit some cool food destinations like The Australian Heritage Hotel at The Rocks for some gourmet Kangaroo and Crocodile pizzas, and varying meat pies from all the states. For some of the freshest seafood (in the world) go to Sydney while take away food has always played an important role in the industry.

The Road Less Travelled

Going on a road trip could lead you to so many possibilities and because you have time on your hands (see number three), it’s time to discover some of the places people have never been to. Close all the guidebooks and roll all the maps, fill up your tanks and start getting lost in any of the states. Even if you are, you’ll enjoy it as you get to find places you can call your own. Also, the joy of getting lost lies in the end, when you are found and are equipped with something new.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

When you travel, it’s most likely that you will be leaving some of your comforts at home. There won’t always be a bathroom nearby, it’s not always going to be smooth sailing, the weather won’t always be splendid and there are bound to be some hiccups along the way. Still, don’t let these deter you from taking time outside. Go and get out of the usual—out of your comfort zone and out of the box—and drive away and grow!

Save Money on Accommodation

Just when you thought you couldn’t afford to travel, that’s when a campervan comes along. Many people say renting a motorhome is too costly but it really is not that expensive considering the amount of perks you get along the way. Driving a motorhome is like being in a hotel on wheels. You’ll be able save some money (and some time on lousy bookings and room availability) because with a campervan or motorhome, you have transportation and accommodation both rolled into one great vehicle. Plus, you know it’s affordable when you’re with Cheapa Campa.

Travel to Meet People

“So where are you from?” asks the wide-eyed tourist. If you don’t find yourself asking this question yourself, you’ll be asked at least a hundred times by fellow tourists, vendors and all the people you meet. Yes, we’re exaggerating on the number of times you’ll be questioned but you get the point. When travelling, you’ll be able to meet a lot of different people with varying cultures and backgrounds. Take that time to learn and talk about other places you can visit or road trip to You never know, you could even make life-long friends from across the globe and travel buddies that will take you to places!

Travel with KidsThanks for the Memories

As we have mentioned, travelling allows you to bond with your family. Get up and give your life a jolt of spontaneity! Give your kids a chance to have a lasting memory on some family adventures that you had. “Remember that time when we went to the Outback?”

Hey, we’re up for a chat! Talk to us about the best campervan you can have on your road trip in Australia. Call us on 1800 777 779, hit us up on Facebook or visit our website to see all the available vehicles. Shall we get this show on the road?

 

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New Zealand Road Trip from Christchurch to Auckland

New Zealand Road Trip from Christchurch to AucklandWe just couldn’t get enough of New Zealand, can we? From the most iconic landmarks like the Sky Tower in Auckland and the Moeraki Boulders of Waitiki to its invigorating indigenous culture, the godsend country was made for road trips and self-drive adventures. You haven’t seen it all though; any of its destinations will make even the pickiest of tourists drop their jaws in awestruck astonishment. If you need one word to describe New Zealand, we’d say you choose ‘breathtaking”.

That is exactly the reason why, this time, we’re giving you a full dose of the Land of the Long White Cloud through days well spent on road trip from the South Island going to the North. Are you ready to drop everything and be a Kiwi nomad?

South Island Road Trip

Christchurch
Cathedral Square

As a gateway to the rest of Te Waipounamu, it’s always part of a Kiwi traveller’s plans. Christchurch, however, will ruin your itinerary in the best possible way. The largest city in South Island is so beautiful that you just might want to stay a little longer than planned. Through the years, especially after the Canterbury Earthquakes of 2010 and 2011, the city has exhibited small steps to urbanisation but still exudes an old world charm.

Cardboard Cathedral
Cardboard Cathedral

The Cardboard Cathedral is one of the many favourites with its colourful stained glass windows. Other places that you will want to drive your campervan to are the grandiose Canterbury Museum, a visit to the Christchurch Botanic Garden or a thrilling plunge via Rangitata Rafts.

About 360 kilometres and a thousand sights southwest, you shall find the city of Dunedin, with its fine architectural wonders and  historic literary vibe. Travelling in Dunedin is like stepping into a fantastic storybook with all the Gothic castles and expansive lush gardens surrounding them. Drive two hours further south and Stewart Island greets you with its teeming wildlife, much preserved and protected by the national park area.

Milford Sound
Milford Sound

Known to have one of the most scenic drives in NZ, Milford Sound is where you should take your campervan next before heading to Queenstown. There’s one activity that makes everything else fade in the background with Milford Sound and that is cruising. And yes, we highly recommend it. Queenstown, meanwhile, gives you a stunning escape with the Lake Wakatipu, The Remarkables, Shotover River and a glimpse of the majestic Southern Alps.

Continue along up north and but make sure you have stopovers in Wanaka, Franz Josef (to see the World Heritage Listed Glacier, of course!), Greymouth and then back to Christchurch. You think this is the end? We’re only getting started to see the north.

When you take advantage of the relocation specials in Christchurch with Cheapa Campa, we’ll throw in a ferry crossing for the vehicle and the driver.

North Island Road Trips

Not everyone travels from the South to the North so as we shake things up a little bit, we’ve come up with the itinerary to make your trip as enjoyable as possible! We chose some of the best places you can go road trip to by starting in Wellington.

Wellington
Evans Bay, Wellington

Before you rev up your engines for your self-drive adventure in the North, discover why the the capital city of NZ is certainly one that’s not to be missed. Albeit now leaning towards the modern edge, Wellington reflects the quiet and humble beginnings of New Zealand’s urbanisation. The city is full to the brim with entertainment wonders—shops, cafes, restaurants, theatres, live concerts and shopping centres. Plus, the natural setting is truly spectacular with opportunities to visit Zealandia, an eco-sanctuary deemed to be like heaven on earth, and the Wellington Zoo, protecting endangered wildlife in the city’s green town belt.

Huka Falls
Huka Falls, Lake Taupo

Head on to Lake Taupo next. Legend has it that it is the heart of the Maui’s fish; the fish is said to be the North Island, according to Maori legend. The lake is the largest in New Zealand and in Australasia. Top destinations and activities there include the likes of jet boating in Huka Falls and the dining at the Prawn Park therein, Taupo Bungy, Orakei Korako Geothermal Park, or visiting the the so-called Craters of the Moon.

Waitomo Glow Worm Caves
Waitomo Glow Worm Caves

There’s so much you can do in the North that you just might not have enough time for it all. While you’re in the area and you still have more time, why not detour to the some of the top attractions like diving to a cultural adventure with the Maori in Rotorua and the magical Waitomo Glow Worm Caves.

Auckland
Auckland’s Skyline

Picture perfect surrounds and a top-rated hotspots are all lined up to make the North Island’s largest city a worthy destination. Auckland prides itself with having some of the bests, making it one of the bests. We’d like you to finish off your adventure with a cherry on the top and the city is the sweetest you can get. The city delights you with its wonderfully busy urban culture. Go to the Auckland Zoo, see everything from the Sky Tower, go on some cruises, and countless many other ecstatic tours.

If you are flexible with your dates and don’t mind a quick getaway we’ll let you in on a little secret, we know a way how to save on a New Zealand road trip and that is via our relocation specials from Christchurch to Auckland. Find out how you can do it here. For more details about our relocations, read our T’s and C’s. Follow our Facebook page for more updates too! Ready?

 

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Experience Australian Culture on Your Next Road Trip

Experience Australian Culture on Your Next Road TripThere could be an infinite number of reasons for one to travel.  For some, it may simply be to move from one place to another, to wander aimlessly, to breathe and to be free. For some, it could be to see those places they’ve always dreamt of—those destinations they’ve written in their bucketlists, and to make the photos turn into real memories, not the other way round.

For others, it may be to experience, to be immersed in another’s culture, to experience another’s world or to live another’s life. This, perhaps, is one of the best reasons to travel. To travel for culture is like a phoenix’s ascent from the ashes after its rebirth; one understands the ways of the world differently, maybe for the better. Although it may not be easy as it sounds, it is possible.

So, now, the question is how?

Learn first and always

Some may argue that learning in the process is one of the most effective ways to learn as experience is the best teacher, so the saying goes. Still, before you even begin your trip, it will save you a lot of time (and inevitable embarrassment) to learn the ABCs and 123s of the country. Read about other people’s journeys and learn vicariously. Surf the waves of the Internet for reviews, blogs and guides.  And when the locals see you trying, they will respect you and, that, is enough reason to make them love you.

Of course, research is only step one of many and while you’re on your way, you’ll find that the nuggets of wisdom are scattered where you choose to look.

Take the extra step

Culture travel goes far beyond visiting museums to look at skillful works of art, paintings and statues. A cultural experience is not just eating what the traditional Australian food are and being able to see the country’s famous landmarks. If you want the real deal, go out, talk and listen to the people where you are. Introduce yourself and start a conversation. You may have a tour guide talking on and on about the country’s history but if you ask the important questions and listen intently, I daresay you’ll be travelling differently.

The guides in and out of the world wide web are definitely helpful but the locals will know where the best really are. Don’t be afraid to forgo famous restaurants and go visit holes-in-the-walls instead. Eat where the locals eat and try what they are doing. These are effective ways to experience authenticity without having to slice your pockets open.

Plus, now that it’s easier to stay connected, you may be able to earn life-long friends from all over the world.

Go away and be lost

Travelling with a tour group is an effective way of experiencing culture and learning about what is considered to be important; if you want to learn what is not taught, you can stray away even just for an hour or so. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, make it a day or even two.

Walk the unpaved roads and explore those less travelled (or untravelled). Discover places not in the guide maps. Go on a hunting trip of your own making. Go to the food markets and learn about the food. Ride the public transportations instead of private vehicles. Join festivals and get lost in the celebrations. Get lost!

Back to the basics

Australia is known for its natural beauty, the ever scenic destinations and splendid beaches. The country is also known for it’s stunningly rich urban jungles but the contrary does not disappoint as well. The country’s aboriginal cultures are well-preserved and are celebrated widely.

Another way to be fully immersed in Australian culture is by knowing more about and understanding the cultural heritages. Submerge yourself into their worlds, experience their simple lives, take a step back and learn the way forward.

In the end, you know you’ve had your fill when the place feels like home and not just a destination.

If you want to learn more about how you can make your campervan journey with Cheapa Campa worthwhile, keep reading our blogs. Stay tuned for updates on promos and events through our Facebook page.

 

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The Blonde Nomad experiences WA with Cheapa Campa!

The Blonde Nomad experiences WA with Cheapa CampaOk, the excitement started by getting an invitation to a Wedding in Perth, the Perth Zoo to be exact. Our original plan was to be in Western Australia (we are full time travellers) by this time to make the wedding, but life got in the way. We welcomed our second son into the world in January so have parked up with family for a while getting used to it all. So, we had to organise to fly over there.

Family travel can be quite expensive when it comes to flying from one side of Australia to the other, however there are ways to help keeping costs low, and we certainly found out how to!

Oh, by the way, I’m Kellie, in the travel world known as ‘The Blonde Nomad’, husband is Corey and we have two boys Zac (now 6) and Brett (4 months). We decided to follow our ultimate dream, we sold our house and all the contents and have been travelling and working our way around Australia since October 2013 in our caravan.

Happy kids makes for a Happy Holiday!
Happy kids makes for a Happy Holiday!

Planning a holiday always takes commitment–commitment from all members of the family. We have always included our son Zac into the ‘planning’ phase as we find it makes for a more enjoyable holiday for the entire family. So we grabbed out the map, and we showed him where we would have to fly so we could make it to the Wedding.

We are currently based in Townsville so that means a flight from Townsville to Brisbane and then from Brisbane to Perth. Then we researched things to do in Perth so he got excited, and boy oh boy there is so much to do in and around Perth.

For about a month, I tracked flight costs to ensure we were getting a good deal. Then the accommodation and car hire, which let me tell you, quickly adds up. That’s when I thought about hiring a motorhome.

The Apollo Team at Perth – great service, helpful staff with huge smiles!!
The Apollo Team at Perth – great service, helpful staff with huge smiles!!

We have been travelling for so long in our caravan we got really excited at the thought of giving a Motorhome a go! I went straight to my best friend ‘Google’ and up came ‘Apollo Motorhome Holidays’, so I clicked on and got a quote. When the quote came back, I couldn’t believe how affordable it was, under $1000 for a 4 berth motorhome for the week, I thought I’d hit the jackpot! It was going to cost an excessive amount more than that to hire a car and book accommodation for the four of us.

Even more positive was the fact we didn’t have to make a set plan: we had the freedom of doing what we wanted based on the kids and our needs. We had never been to WA before so we weren’t sure how long we wanted to stay in each place; having a Motorhome gave us all the flexibility we needed.

Pulling up into a caravan park, setup in 5 minutes, yay!
Pulling up into a caravan park, setup in 5 minutes, yay!

Through Apollo Motorhome Holidays, they have what’s called a ‘Cheapa Campa’, this brand is their value brand Motorhome basically the older type vehicles, bit of wear and tear here and there but overall our experience was fantastic. We strongly suggest you think about it for your next holiday, it saved us so much!!!

We had a rushed few days, but for those who know us (and I’m sure there are a lot of families like us around) we wanted to cram as much as we possibly could within the days we had in and around Perth. In five full days of travelling, we visited Fremantle, Rottnest Island (plenty of parking at the docks for “Bertha” as well), Mandurah, Busselton, Yullingup, Margaret River, Peaceful Bay, Walpole (Valley of the Giants), Albany (Discovery Bay Visitors Centre) and back to Perth.

Cruising over to Rottnest & landing that ‘Quokka Selfie’
Cruising over to Rottnest & landing that ‘Quokka Selfie’

We stopped in at beautiful beaches and drove along all the scenic routes. Being off peak (May), we were lucky in not having to book ahead in Caravan Parks; we just got to where we wanted to stay and pulled in late in the afternoon. The first night we were in the motorhome, we ended up driving a while and pulled into a rest stop, it’s fabulous to be able to go from the passenger seat to the bed in just minutes. Weather was glorious each day, we couldn’t have asked for better weather, just look at our pics and you’ll see what I mean.

Discovery Bay Tourism Experience ticked all out boxes, it was definitely a highlight of our trip – Albany!
Discovery Bay Tourism Experience ticked all out boxes, it was definitely a highlight of our trip – Albany!

A travel to Western Australia certainly is worth it, truly, there are so many amazing places to see and we only saw a fraction. Yes, it seems a long way away from the East Coast, but it is absolutely worth it. Travelling in a Motorhome makes it much more affordable as you can do a grocery shop and be truly self sufficient. Stopping at great parks to let the kids play, we made sandwiches, had fresh fruit and drinks at hand in the fridge, it is great. We treated ourselves on occasion and went out for meals and sampled great produce along the way, stopping at chocolate factories, olive shops and of course consumed lots of fabulous coffee which is a must do in this region! Overall, it’s a great way to stick to a budget and not let a holiday blow out the bank.

Corey reckons driving “Bertha” is easier than towing a van!
Corey reckons driving “Bertha” is easier than towing a van!

Corey, chief driver, said “Bertha” was quite easy to drive, he manoeuvred his way through the city, parking wasn’t a problem and staff were great at explaining how everything worked within the vehicle.

The boys loved it, Zac loved having the bed above the driver’s seat he called it the ‘man cave’, it was such a novelty for him, and he is used to being in a caravan. Night time would come and he was excited to get into his bed and read books. I loved it too, I felt safe and comfortable, which is a Mum’s number one priority. We had a really memorable week thanks to Cheapa Campa, conversations are already happening about where else we could travel to and hire a Motorhome, Tasmania, New Zealand, we even discussed going to the USA, who knows! Make sure you sit down and have a think about your next family holiday may take you, we definitely recommend it!

Until we meet somewhere on the road, travel safe!

Kellie Stephenson
Aka “The Blonde Nomad”
Facebook – The Blonde Nomad
Instagram – the_blondenomad
Blog – www.tbnomad.com

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Cheap as Chips Holidays with Cheapa

Cheap Holidays in AustraliaThe holidays aren’t just coming, they are here! No one has to ever wait just to have a vacation and that’s why, all year round, you can spend your free time driving from one destination to another through a campervan. We’ve all been saving up for the next great adventure but if you feel like it’s still not enough, fret not because we’ve got you covered.

Saving for travel is not really as simple as counting the fingers of your hands while travelling in a campervan and trying to save more is just another story entirely. Here are some tricks on how you can have a holiday that’s cheap as chips with Cheapa Campa.

Ways On  How To Save While On The Road

Plan your itinerary and map your route

Planning will always grab the top spot on any travel how-to list because of its importance and all the benefits. When having a road trip, it’s sometimes nice to be pleasantly surprised with an unusual route, get lost and be found. However, if you’re looking to save for your next road trip, one good way to go is to plan your itinerary so you can map your route. This trick will paved the way for you to decrease and also estimate fuel consumption.

Ask the locals

When it comes to knowing what’s best, you can trust the local homeowners to give you a full list! From the most authentic and most affordable gastronomy to the fastest way to a destination or cheap but clean hotels and motels, locals can help you. There’s no need to buy anything if you wish to talk; all you need is a dose of confidence to give you a boost. Don’t worry about pickpockets and dishonest people though, just make sure you do everything in a public place.

Google it!

If you’re not too keen on talking with the locals, there’s almost always an app for everything now. Plus, a lot, if not all, businesses are on social media now so it will be easy to see photos and direction on how to get there. Plus, there are also reviews found on some social media platforms so you can read what other people are saying about a particular place or product. Not only will you save money by not wasting on things you won’t enjoy, you’ll also save some more time for other things.

Pack the right stuff and borrow what you can

Don’t put off packing by the last minute. If you can, have a checklist with all your needs and tick them off one by one as you pack. Some things come cheaper when ordered or bought in advance while you can buy some stuff while on the road for less. Either way, always be prepared. Next, chances are , you‘ll have some friends or relatives who like to go on road trips too. You can borrow items and equipment like camping gear, grillers, or other tools. If you’re a little bit worried, you can rent some with Cheapa Campa.

Get a campervan

At first, you might think that hiring a campervan is expensive but once you’ve seen all the pros, you know that everything’s worth it. With a campervan, there’s absolutely no need to book a hotel room as your bed is always just waiting for you where you left it behind the driver’s seat. A campervan is compact, efficient and allows you to visit the places you wanna go to at your own pace. With a campervan, there’s less hassle and definitely less cost!

Save Gas

When you get a campervan, we’ve already got the gas filled for you. Then, once it runs out, you can follow these tips to save gas and save money on gas.

  1. Turn of the air conditioner when not needed.
  2. Stop and start with care. Burning rubber burns fuel too.
  3. Gauge your tires. Inflate them close to a max.
  4. No need for speed. Take it easy and marvel on the scenery.

Pack Simple Food

When going on road trip, it will be a lot cheaper and easier to plan and pack meals instead of stopping over at restaurants for every single meal. Not only will you save money on food, you’ll be saving gas and time, too!

Some of the food you can prepare are sandwiches, trail mixes, protein bars and fresh fruit. Also, you may want to consider buying food while on your way to a destination instead to ensure freshness.

For tips and tricks for where you can take your Cheapa to, follow our blog: blog.cheapacampa.com and our social media www.facebook.com/LikeCheapaCampa.

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44 Things All First-time Campers in Australia Need To Know

44 Things All First-time Campers in Australia Need To KnowTaking a trip on a campervan in the land down under? Even if you’re a first-timer, after reading this list, you’ll be camping like it’s always been your second nature! Here are tips, tricks and reminders so you can camp like a pro:

1

  1. Learn how to build a fire without matches.
  2. But don’t forget to pack matches and lighters. You can waterproof matches by dipping the heads in clear nail polish. Leave them to dry and repack.
  3. Before you set out, check weather conditions and forecasts in all the places in Australia you plan on going to. Go to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology For research.
  4. The best time to travel in and around Australia is during Spring or Autumn for awesome weather conditions.
  5. To avoid infringing rules and regulations, choose overnight camping areas. Need help with that? Just go to caravantour.com
  6. If ever you find yourself in a sleeping bag, here are some ways to keep warm:
    • Keep off direct contact with the ground.
    • Rehydrate before tucking in.
    • Do a few warm up exercises before going to bed.
    • Change a few clothing items. Wear socks or a hat, if need be.
    • Keep your mouth and nose out of the bag.

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*Let me just tell you how extremely rewarding it is renting an RV in Australia:

  1. You’re in control. Set your own itinerary and drive at your own pace!
  2. One of the best ways to enjoy all of Australia is by driving from coast to coast and you can do this with ease with a Cheapa Campa!
  3. If ever you get stuck with a inevitable bumps on the road, you can get help from our fleet team.
  4. There is no need to book accommodation.
  5. And there’s no need to pitch a tent too!
  6. Everything is within reach. You have your bed, you sink, your car and your luggage always at the ready and always on the go!
  7. While driving, you can take in all the beautiful scenery and stop if you want to!
  8. Before you leave from your stopovers, check everything first. Get the necessary tools or ask for help if you need it.
  9. Prices for campervan hires depend on vehicle type, duration and location. Check with reservations for a quote.
  10. Check and discuss your itinerary and destinations with the reservations agents. There might be some roads or places you can’t drive on or to and they’ll gladly assist you on which routes to take instead.

3

  1. Talk to strangers. Ask for directions and opinions and keep an open mind.
  2. Read, read and read. Look for reviews, forums or groups that discuss travelling (especially if there is certain place you’d like to know more about).
  3. Some of the best surfing spots in Australia are Byron Bay (NSW), Point Break  and Snapper Rocks, (QLD) and Torquay to Bells Beach (VIC), among many others!
  4. Eager to glamp it up? Try Glamping at Bamurru Plains in the Northern Territory.
  5. For more activities in OZ, here are some adventures you can try:
    • Bungy Jumping in Cairns in Airlie Beach
    • Skydiving in Byron Bay
    • Jet Boating in Sydney Harbour
    • Bondi to Coogee Beach Coastal Walk
    • Sydney Harbour
  6. Don’t be limited on these though. As the sixth largest country in the world, there are plenty places to visit and things to do!

4

  1. Make medicine and first-aid kits one of the top priorities. Never forget your prescription meds, easy solutions to common illnesses, vitamins and allergy solutions.
  2. Just in case a shower cannot be found in camp, make a DIY one. Create the makeshift shower using a large water jug and a watering can head.
  3. Bring your essentials (toiletries, especially) in small and secure containers. Secure means “no-spill” FYI.
  4. If you want to be extra minimalist, buy your essentials in small sachets that are already divided. This way, you’ll be able to ration them properly for each day of your tour.
  5. The news is not the best place to learn about a destination but it can certainly help in preparing you for possible imminent danger and for weather conditions.
  6. Do your own laundry. This way, you wouldn’t have to bring too much clothes.
  7. Pack bug repellents and citronella candles.
  8. Keep your food secure from wild animals.

5

  1. Plan your meals.
  2. Buy all necessary ingredients before you go.
  3. Pre-make what you can.
  4. Do not forget the marshmallows and hotdogs! They are essential!
  5. Bring light snacks or trail mixes to eat while driving.
  6. If you’re going camping, then you’re signing up for going easy on the meal prep. Look for meals you can cook fast and without all the hassle.
  7. Pack and repack your food in Ziploc bags for easy storage.
  8. Go out for food sometimes. On a road trip, try the bests from all those places places you’re stopping over at. At most times, this is the only chance you’ll have so go for it!
  9. Bring enough water. Never be dehydrated.

6

  1. Pack clothes for every occasion. You never really know what you’ll run into.
  2. Still, pack clothes you know you’ll actually wear and choose ones that are versatile.
  3. When packing your gadgets, keep them away from moist substances and away from getting accidentally wet. Be extra careful!
  4. Never ever forget your chargers. And make sure they’re working too.
  5. Go old school! Have traditional games in check too!
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Get More Bang For Your Buck: How to Travel on a Budget

Save UpSometimes, all that’s stopping you from the vacation of your dreams is money. You’ve heard yourself come up with so many excuse like “I have no money yet”,  “I need to save up first” or “when I’m earning more, I could travel all I want”. Sure, you do need to put some of your money in the piggy bank to save it but there are certainly ways on how you can plan a cheap holiday and maximise the mullah without much fuss.

Money, they say, makes the world go round but here are some tips on how you can get around the world for less. Travelling may cost some money but it definitely needs not to be expensive. We’ve listed down 10 ways on how to travel on a budget, whether you’re in Australia or anywhere else.

1. Read reviews.

There are times when you just want to hop on the next train out of town but the best way to not deplete your budget is to plan ahead. You may think it wastes your time but it actually saves it along with resources and energy. Read reviews on the places you want to visit. You’ll get an overview of how much you’ll be spending by reading what other people are saying about the place. Plus, you’ll get tips on how you can save money, what to avoid, if it’s too expensive or if it’s too far from everything through visitor reviews and comments.

2. Budget now.

Before you go, list down everything you want to do and try to estimate the budget for the particular activity or activities. You’ll usually find the prices and rates for everything on the Internet or by following the tip from number one. Creating a simple budget plan before the actual trip also keeps your finances in check and prepares you in case you’ll need to adjust it.

3. Do your due diligence.

Although it really is more economical to rent a campervan or motorhome, if you find yourself staying in hotels or hostels, it’s best to do your due diligence and research on rates, deals and promos of the hotels in the vicinity.  Most hotels have an early bird discount so it’s best to book months before your trip, check the Facebook pages and other social media accounts for news on promos and offers that may not be updated on their websites. Check travel agencies too for deals and packages. If your trip isn’t a staycation, there’s no need for grand and uber luxurious hotels. Chances are, you’ll be staying out all day anyway.

4. Ask the locals.

Sometimes, it’s not enough to rely on the world wide web for all the intel you need. Though the Internet is a large hub of information, there are still some places that aren’t too keen on putting up their details in the cloud. These are usually small businesses and food shops that aren’t tech savvy. Talking to locals will give you a way to find where the bests are for the best prices too. You won’t only earn new friends in a different country, you’ll also have a more authentic travel by being immersed in the local culture.

5. Cook something up.

If it’s a long trip, you might get tempted by eating in fancy restaurants every single day for every single meal. First tip, avoid eating out all the time. It’s okay to withdraw from all the spending and relax in your campervan or motorhome with some regular food. If you’re eating out, go the most authentic places and not on those where it’s just really marketing or full of yuppies. Avoid touristy restaurants. Go to where the locals eat because it’s where there’s quality food that doesn’t cost very much. After this, you’ll realize that good food doesn’t have to slice your pocket open.

6. Ask again.

You won’t always have everything you need for your campervan trip from the get go. If you need any extra items like tents, BBQs, sleeping bags and chairs and tables, ask around to friends and family if they have something you can borrow for your trip before you think of buying. Otherwise, ask our customer service as you book your Cheapa campervan from us.  If you are to splurge, look for quality and durable materials for camping gear. Keep your eyes open for items which you can reuse, lend, rent or even resell.

7. Travel for free.

There are a lot of places where you can visit and not pay a single dollar. Check the area for public attractions, scenic walks or free museums. Try going on coastal walks, parks like the Kuringi National Park, Hyde Park, botanical gardens, Bondi Beach, Byron Bay or the world-famous Great Barrier Reef (look for cheap tours). Still, you can always splurge once in a while if there’s an experience you’ve been dying to try but costs more.

8. Go on a road trip.

You might think that a road trip might be too expensive but for the experience you’ll earn, it’ll surely be worth it. A campervan, motorhome or caravan from Cheapa Campa is just the thing you need for easy-access travelling. You have a sleeper always within reach, you’ll be comfortable being able to travel at your own pace and you’ll surely enjoy not having to worry too much about transportation and accommodation because you’ve got that all rolled into one. Now that’s practical!

9. Efficient fuelling.

Australia is the sixth biggest country in the entire world and buying fuel for your self-drive campervan vacation will definitely cost you some money. To save more while travelling, first, think about the places you actually want to visit and stick to those. Drive through the best routes you can find and go to central locations where you can walk to other places and attractions by simply walking. Another tip? Stock up on fuel during Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Also, avoid refuelling on the weekends or on holidays.

10. Go with a group.

It’s always more fun to be travelling with other people. By going on a group travel, you be able to earn group discounts on most hotels and restaurants. You can also share your expenses like hotel, food and transportation. If you feel like it’s limiting you because there are so many people, remember that you don’t always have to go everywhere together. You can be at the same place for totally different reasons.

To know more about how easy it is to travel Australia and the world through a campervan, visit http://www.cheapacampa.com/. For quick updates, like our page on www.facebook.com/LikeCheapaCampa

Photo by Marlo Mancuso via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0

 

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Freedom Camping in New Zealand

Image by Tom Hall via Flickr / CC BY 2.0
Image by Tom Hall via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

There’s no denying that New Zealand is home to some of the most scenic spots across the globe. With landscapes that rival those only imagined in dreams, you’ll be able to experience the “youngest countries on earth” through mountains that graze the heavens, stunning and sun-drenched beach escapes, graceful waterfalls and lively and bountiful reefs.

One of the best ways to discover New Zealand is outdoors. While freedom camping has become all the rage in the country and is one of the favourite pastimes for locals and tourists, there are several places and designated spots that are definitely worth the extra mile. We’ve listed down the five towns you can’t miss on your trip to NZ and this time, here is everything you need to know about camping in New Zealand including the some of the best places for freedom camping, useful information and what to expect when driving a campervan.

Discover through a drive!

There are several places of interest in NZ like its many National Parks, paradise-like beaches and wonderful campsites. One of our vehicle renters even said that because New Zealand is so beautiful, he and his wife have been “unable to isolate one single highlight” for their trip and “every time they thought the scenery or their experience could not be bettered, they would be stunned, either by pulling up at another beautiful spot, or simply by turning a corner in the road”.

With a motorhome, they were able to get the “freedom and flexibility to explore areas and have experiences that they may otherwise not have had”. With your motorhome rental from Cheapa, here are some of the best places you can drive to for freedom camping:

 

  • Image by Jeff Hitchcock via Flickr / CC BY 2.0
    Image by Jeff Hitchcock via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Mavora Lakes. The Mavora Lakes can be found in the South Island and are a combination of two lakes named the North Mavora and South Mavora. Here, you’ll get the chance to take the four-day  tramping trip, go trout fishing, water sports, horse trekking and even 4W-driving!

 

  • Image by macronix  via Flickr  / CC BY 2.0
    Image by macronix via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Kaiteriteri Beach. With golden sand made of quartz and mica, it’s hard not to want to dive in to the Kaiteriteri sapphire water. Here, you can hike, chat with locals, go kayaking and seal swimming or go to the nearby Abel Tasman National Park, found in the next photo.

 

  • Image by zwennie via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
    Image by zwennie via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Marahau. One of the most popular destinations in New Zealand for summer camping is Marahau. It doesn’t only have a stunning and picturesque beach, you can also book water taxis, set off for the Coastal Track or go kayaking. Helpful tip: if you’re staying overnight, you have to buy a hut or campsite ticket from the Department of Conservation or at the Motueka visitor’s centre.

 

  • Image by russellstreet via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0
    Image by russellstreet via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

    Coromandel Peninsula.  How could you not fall in love with Coromandel Peninsula with its pristine beaches, sun-kissed landscapes and lively forests? Go for a true adventure by skydiving in Whitianga or go kayaking in the coast! In the region, you can get a dose of these free activities and destinations such as New Chums, Hot Water Beach, The Pinnacles, Mount Paku and Cathedral Cove.

 

  • Image by paul bica  via Flickr / CC BY 2.0
    Image by paul bica via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

    Tekapo and Aoraki. Spend a night under the stars in Lake Tekapo and in the Aoraki/ Mt Cook Village. With a campervan hire from Cheapa, drive away to see the stars in the breathtaking Mackenzie high country night sky or go for a more affordable walk , you can take the Pines Beach Walk for great star gazing. In Aoraki, make sure you visit Lake Pukaki for even better views plus sunrise and sunset viewing opportunities.

Freedom camping has become one of the biggest fads in NZ but before you go on you self-drive adventure in New Zealand, here are a few things you need to know:

  1. freedom-camping-sign-100Freedom camping is allowed in most public locations except on areas with the sign (see left column) in the area.
  2. Make sure you book a self contained certified vehicle as these are the only ones allowed for freedom camping.self-contained-sign-100
  3. Do away with extra charges and camp only in allowed areas. This will save you from the possibility of $200 infringement fee!
  4. Most camping locations have no waste disposal systems so make sure you are responsible for what you bring in and out of the campsites.
  5. When in doubt about freedom camping in New Zealand or if you have further questions you can visit camping.org.nz

Whether you’re travelling to or located in the North Island (Te Ika-a-Māui) or in the South Island (Te Waipounamu), we have branches to get your campervan rental for in Auckland and Christchurch respectively. Get going now and book a great self-drive holiday!

Follow us for more updates on what you can do to maximize your campervan trips with Cheapa Campa, through our websites or visit CC’s Facebook account for news and insights!

 

 

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Top Road Trip Games You Can Play on Your RV

Image courtesy of Ben Francis via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0
Image courtesy of Ben Francis via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0

There’s no denying that if adventure is what you’re after, a self-drive on a motorhome or campervan is the way to go. Road trips can be loaded with fun and this is a sure way to bond with your family even while you’re still on the road! In my experience, everyone is chirpy and full of hopeful zeal while stuffing the car with food and luggage for our trip. A few minutes into the road, we’re still belting the highest notes from Idina Menzel’s Let It Go (though no one in the family really sings) and then we’ll move on to the next songs on the play list. We share stories we have from work, from school and all sorts of things we read and heard from social media.

But sometimes, we just run out of tales to tell and we still have more energy for more fun. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of games you can enjoy for the road in the summer or any other season. And although there is a lot of competition in this technology-ridden world, nothing beats the connections you strengthen when you go back to traditional road trip games.

  • Road trip Bingo and Scavenger Hunt

These are some of the most famous road trips games in OZ. Basically, the goal for Scavenger Hunt and Road Trip Bingo are to be able to cross out or complete all the requirements on the set card. For Scavenger Hunt, there isn’t an actual category except for things that you may see outside while travelling the Land Down Under. Some popular items are kangaroos, traffic lights or maybe even cows!

Meanwhile, Bingo follows a specific category like road signages or fast food chain logos. There are some printable copies of cards available on the Internet or you can download an app that does just the trick. Better yet, you can make the card-making a DIY activity with the family before your self-drive holiday!

  • Slug a Bug or Punch Buggy
Image by Vince Alongi via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0
Image by Vince Alongi via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0

It may have a few variations regarding the name but playing Slug a Bug is one of the most famous road trip games there is! Whether it’s a long-haul, like, say, a drive to Uluru, or a quick turn to another city, this one is surely enjoyable.

The mechanics are pretty simple. Throughout the course of the entire road trip, when a Volkswagen Beetle is seen, the first person who calls out “Slug Bug!” is given the ‘privilege’ of slugging all the people in the car in their upper arm. Some variants include punching the person seated next to you which is why some parents don’t particularly like the “violence” that may ensue. And maybe because of that reason alone, Parenting.com initatiated some rules and regulations in playing the game!  Also, some play the game where new versions of the bugs are included for half a point as well.

  • 20 Questions

There are a lot of ways one can play 20 questions and there are also various types of questions you can ask. One way is to agree to ask seemingly personal questions with a partner alternately. The first person who refuses to answer a question is given a punishment.

Another way is to have the first player think of an object. The object must fall into the categories agreed upon such as animals, minerals or vegetables. The first player will then let all the guessers (the other players) know what category the object falls into. All guessers must then ask questions (must be answerable by yes or no only) leading up to the answer. After all 20 questions, the guessers take turns guessing the mystery object. The winner, then, will choose what the next mystery object is!

  • I Spy
Image courtesy of  Jodimichelle via Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Image courtesy of Jodimichelle via Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Who doesn’t know this classic of a travel game? Even if kids of this generation aren’t really inclined to knowing most road trip games, I’m sure they’ve heard of this one. The game starts with the first player saying “I spy with my little eye something…” The first player then describes (without explicitly naming) an object of his or her choice. For example, if I spot a kangaroo outside, I’ll say something like “I spy with my little eye something that starts with K and has a pouch!”

Be sure that when you choose objects for this game, you’ll go with things that can actually be found and not those which are too obscure or something that you passed by when the campervan was going fast. To make it more child-friendly, you can choose objects that can be found within your RV!

Image courtesy of John Morgan via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0
Image courtesy of John Morgan via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0

Now there’s nothing stopping you from having a great time on your self-drive holiday on your recreational vehicle! If you’re planning your trip now and and looking for vehicles to suit your needs, go freewheeling on any budget with Cheapa Campa and book with us. From campervans, to caravans and motorhomes, we’ll get you going anywhere in Australia and New Zealand!

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