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.

2

*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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Experience Australia’s Coral Coast

Image courtesy of Eddy Milfort via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0
Image courtesy of Eddy Milfort via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0

Wouldn’t it be nice to explore and experience one of Australia’s finest and most stunning coastline? All the beautiful beaches, exotic marine life, the most dramatic landscapes and pristine regions are found here in the Coral Coast of Australia.

With an expansive area of about 1,1000 kilometres and 45,000 thousand years of rich history, the Coral Coast is home to plentiful white sandy beaches, pristine and untouched coral reefs and wonderful trails of wildflowers.

Before you begin your self-drive in the Coral Coast of Australia via campervan hire, you might want to consider hiring a  4WD. This vehicle configuration is well-equipped, ruggedly-built and highly suited for navigating the varying terrains around and within the towns along the Coral Coast. The 4WD is also perfect for crossing the scenic sites along the Coral Coast if you want to fully appreciate your holiday vacation without any hitch. So prepare to leave those apprehensions behind and get ready for the ride of your life aboard a 4WD!

We have the perfect 4WD drive waiting for you at Cheapa Campa. We offer amazing low prices and great specials just for you today on your way to a fun-filled adventure to the Coral Coast.

Self-Drive Adventure Along the Stunning Indian Ocean Coastline

Start your trip by booking a campervan hire in our branch in Perth. From there, drive the scenic and stunning Indian Ocean Drive from Yanchep (approximately 54 minutes (60.8 km)). In Yanchep, splash on  to the pristine beaches, or go see a community of koalas in their natural habitats or let the Nyoongar people take you on a spiritual journey.

In less than two hours, you’ll be in Cervantes. You can drive your way here aboard a Cheapa Campa approved 4WD by taking the direct Indian Ocean Drive route.

Image courtesy of matt brand via Flickr/ CC BY-ND 2.0
Image courtesy of matt brand via Flickr/ CC BY-ND 2.0

Cervantes is primarily a fishing town but nonetheless a favourite family vacation spot because it is the gateway to one of Australia’s most unique landscape – Pinnacles Desert of Nambung National Park.  A true marvel, The Pinnacles, are a set of weathered rock spires that rise out of the yellow sand dunes.You don’t even need to get out of your 4WD to enjoy these amazing structures! Still, you can always park in the designated car park to get a closer look at these incredible limestone structures and just walk.

Once done, take the Hansen Road, step on the gas, point your vehicle in the general direction of Cervantes, head to either Hangover Bay or Thirsty Point before you continue northwards on your Coral Coast adventure for a nice invigorating dip.

Or you can travel two kilometres southeast where Lake Thetis is located to marvel at the stromatolites. These rocky looking lumps are made up of the oldest known living organisms in the planet. There are only five sites in Western Australia where these stromatolites exist. Better grab the opportunity while you’re here.

While still northbound, Jurien Bay, Dongara and Port Denison are also well-visited locations because of their various attractions (sea lions in Jurien Bay) and fun water activities like surfing, diving, sailing and also swimming, navigating your way towards these locations in your 4WD is absolutely easy!

After that, get your wheels back on Indian Ocean Drive, head up north; cover approximately 200 kilometres to reach Geraldton – the next town.

Geraldton

While in here, fresh seafood is the order of the day! This area is famous for the western rock lobster. You can also experience the cosmopolitan vibe of this town by dining out in any of its many restaurants. Don’t forget to drop by the HMAS Sydney II Memorial. Its a site dedicated to the 645 sailors who died during World War II. The site also provides an unhampered view of the town and the magnificent Indian Ocean. Geraldton’s main attraction are the Houtman Abrolhos Islands which are made up of approximately 122 coral reef ringed atolls plus a colourful array of local birds and marine life.

After a two-hour drive northward in the Indian Ocean Drive, you’ll reach the  Kalbarri National Park which is  located on the lower part of the Murchison River. From here you’ll get to see spectacular gorges that the river has carved as it made its way to the sea, creating an unbelievable and breathtaking landscape. Trek on the six-hour walking trail called The Loop that begins and ends in the Nature’s Window.

Heading north after the Kalbarri region while still en route to the Coral Coast via the Indian Ocean Drive, your next stop will probably be Shark Bay which is approximately a two-hour drive in your 4WD.

Welcome to Shark Bay

Image courtesy of Oz via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0
Image courtesy of Oz via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0

Shark Bay is recognized for its biological diversity, natural beauty and a unique sneak peek into the planet’s history. This area is home to rare flora and fauna. You can take the Shark Bay World Heritage Drive where you can feed the friendly bottlenose dolphins at Monkey Mia, while the Eagle Bluff offers a magnificent view of turtles, manta rays and even dugongs in the water.

True to its name, Shell Beach is a wonder to behold as it is shell-laden. Get your sun tans here then drive up the highway to cross the 26th Parallel into the North West of Australia from Shark Bay along the scenic Coral Coast. Drive another 250 plus kilometres along smooth pavement to reach Carnarvon.

Gascoyne Region

Carnarvon’s tropical weather allows for it to grow bananas, primarily, and mangos on the flats of the Gascoyne River. It’s also teeming with superb and fresh fruits and vegetables that are said to be some of the best tasting in the world! After all, it wouldn’t be called the “food bowl of WA” for nothing!

This town is a great starting point for exploring the rugged country inland or the wild coast leading to the south gateway to Ningaloo Marine Park which makes your Cheapacampa approved 4WD perfectly suited for this terrain.

Located around 70 kilometres north of Carnarvon, are the Quobba point blowholes. These blowholes are a fascinating sight to behold as water erupts up to 20 metres in the air! This happens when waves in the ocean forces waters into the caves below.

By now, the penultimate leg of an unforgettable road trip is about to unfold as you drive a whopping 267 kilometres from Carnarvon to Ningaloo Reef. Expect to spend more than 3 hours on the coastal road for this exciting Coral Coast journey.

Welcome to Ningaloo Reef Region

If you’re a marine biodiversity fan, this is where it gets exciting! The largest Reef in Australia, the Ningaloo Reef is home to around 500 species of tropical fish and more than 250 species of coral.

The Coast’s natural beauty and biological diversity prompted the World Heritage Site committee to declare Ningaloo Coast as Australia’s 19th World Heritage site.

The crystal clear blue waters off the coast extend towards Exmouth Coral Bay as you will soon find out. You can try snorkelling, diving or even sailing here.

Aside from the pristine deep blue waters, what many first-timers probably don’t know is that covering more than 50,000 hectares, the Cape Range National Park is another note-worthy and much visited location along the Coral Coast.

This area features amazing canyons, limestone ranges and more than 50 kilometres of unspoilt coastline that you can enjoy aboard your 4WD as it is the only way to travel here.

From Ningaloo Reef, it will take you more than two and a half hours to reach Exmouth or approximately 153 kilometres. This your last stop on your wonderful Coral Coast adventure.

Exmouth – Your Final Stop

Now on your Coral Coast’s last leg, ample time should be spent in Exmouth. After all that driving, you can probably allot half a day just lazily hanging on the beach here.

Coral Coast Australia. Image courtesy of Duncan Rawlinson via Flickr/ CC BY-NC 2.0
Coral Coast Australia. Image courtesy of Duncan Rawlinson via Flickr/ CC BY-NC 2.0

You can even watch the sea birds behind a bird hide at Mangrove Bay or try the bushwalking trail at Mandu Mandu Gorge or watch a large variety of birds in their natural habitat.

Of course, these are only some ways you can maximise motorhome road trip. There are still plenty fantastic activities that you can do while traveling the towns en route to the Coral Coast.

Now that you know all the ways you can visit and enjoy Australia’s Coral Coast, the only way to go is plan your trip and get aboard your Cheapacampa approved 4WD!

Travel the Coral Coast on your own self-drive adventure! Check out our campervans on http://www.cheapacampa.com.au/campervan_hire_vehicles.asx

 

 

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