Wildest New Zealand Destinations To Visit With Your Campervan Rental

Big things come in small packages. This adage sums up the experience you’re in for when you go on a thrilling tour of New Zealand’s wildest destinations on campervan rentals. It may be a small country, but it truly packs a wallop! Continue reading “Wildest New Zealand Destinations To Visit With Your Campervan Rental”

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Everything You Need To Know About a Motorhome Holiday in WA

If you only have been to Australia’s East Coast, you are missing half the fun of your visit in this awesome country. So, this year, go instead to the lands of arid outback  and magnificent sunsets: Western Australia (WA).

With a land area of 2.646 million square kilometres, Western Australia is recognised as the second largest state in the world. How big is that? About half the size of Europe. Getting around this state is challenging, even if you have your own vehicle. To help you plan your motorhome holiday in WA, we’ve put together a few tips for y0u.

Going North or South

Exploring the entire WA landscape will take you months. If you only have a few days or a week of vacation the best option is to choose whether to go north (Monkey Mia, Exmouth, Shark Bay, etc.) or south (Albany, Margaret River, Esperance, etc.).

Perth is the usual starting point of motorhome or campervan renters, because of the city’s many attractions and accessibility to more remote tourist areas. Visit great spots in the city like the underground tunnels of Fremantle Prison, the 82.5-metre Bell Tower, and the relaxing Rottnest Island.

Once you have chosen which direction to go, plan your trip carefully by visiting tourist spots that are near each other. For example, you can do The Indian Ocean Drive, by travelling from Perth to the Abrolhos Islands, and back in four days.

Esperance_Bay

"Esperance. WA. Views of Observatory Beach." by Amanda Slater available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/pikerslanefarm/3413430227 under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Amanda Slater

When is the Best Time to Visit WA?

Western Australia has three climate zones: Perth, South West and Margaret River, and North West and Broome. The state has a generally sunny climate with an average of 3,000 hours of blue sky a year. From the south’s Mediterranean climate, the east’s desert-like environment and the north’s tropics- WA is renowned as a year-round holiday mecca.

Perth is bathed in sunshine nine hours a day, making it the sunniest capital city in Oz. Average summer temperature is 29 °C, but can climb up to more than 40 °C in February. Winter temperature averages 12 °C on the months of June to August.

The south-west region has a Mediterranean climate which contributed to the biodiversity of the region. Margaret River’s mild weather has made it one of the best surfing capitals and a distinguished wine region. The best time to visit the beach is in December when the temperature is between 25 and 35 °C.

Broome and Kimberley are top spots for winter sunshine. Temperatures during April to September dry season peaks at only 29 °C. Green season in the region (October to March) are very humid and brings tropical rainstorms.

Getting a Good Motorhome

Motorhomes and campervans are the most convenient way for non-locals to go around Western Australia. You can easily book a vehicle online and pick it up in the rental company’s branch. In WA, it is likely in Perth.

When you walk in to get your vehicle, check if it has an up-to-date log of mechanical work to ensure that it is in good condition. Don’t accept a unit that has maintenance and repairs carried out without receipts or records. Examine the most crucial parts of the motorhome as they are often subject to damage. These are the engine, brakes, gears, steering wheel, instrument panel, windscreen and coolants.

Cheapa Campa motorhome

Motorhome Fine Prints

Advise your motorhome or campervan hire company of your itinerary in WA. Some may not allow you to travel on off-road tracks and non-national highways. Check their terms and conditions first before booking a vehicle.

Driving Around West Australia

Limit your driving mileage to 400-kilometres and take a break every few hours. Stop driving before 4 P.M. if you want to take an uninterrupted view of WA’s magnificent sunset.

Set-up your campsite two hours before dark. For foreigners, Australia’s vehicles are left-hand drives. If you are from a country that has right-hand drive cars get yourself familiar first with the vehicle you rented before driving long stretches.

Fuel Price Range

The price of oil is down for quite a while. Here are the latest fuel prices around Western Australia:

Town or City Price of Petrol per Litre Price of Diesel per Litre
Albany $1.24 to $1.26 $1.21 to $1.24
Bunbury $1.20 to $1.23 $1.13 to $1.16
Kalgoorlie $1.32 to $1.35 $1.30 to $1.32
Mandurah $1.17 to $1.18 $1.18 to $1.19
Rockingham $0.99 to $1.0 $1.15 to $1.18
Perth $1.15 to $1.20 $1.24 to $1.26

 

**Based on WAFuelFinder.com fuel price tool (February 10, 2016)

Caravan Parks

Research the available campervan parks on your planned route and mark them on the map. Some campervan parks allow online booking, but others implement a first come first serve policy. On average you will spend $35 to $60 a day for unpowered sites and $75 to $ 120 per night for powered sites, depending on the park’s location, season and the number of people in your group.

You can also ask the locals or other travellers if there are cheap caravan parks or free camping sites in the area you are currently in. See locations of caravan parks in Western Australia.

Motorhome_Campground

"Arrowtown Born Of Gold Holiday Park" by studio tdes available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/thedailyenglishshow/5585764500 under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license available at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY studio tdes

Cutting your Expenses

More features and equipment for your motorhome means more expenses. To cut down on spending, choose a unit depending on your priorities. For example, you can replace a $20 solar shower bag for a built-in shower. If you need entertainment during the trip, instead of a DVD player or TV, go for books, a music player, a deck of cards or even a guitar.

If you don’t want to re-charge your motorhome hire in a park, carry your own solar panel which will allow you to charge your gadgets without stopping in any city and paying for more fees.
This pretty much sums up the things you need to know about a motorhome holiday in Western Australia. Make sure you do your research before coming to this vast tourist hub. For more travel tips and other resources, keep on reading Cheapa Campa blog.

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10 Places You Shouldn’t Miss In Victoria

Victoria may be the second smallest state in Australia, but it sure is big when it comes to tourism. Each year, it receives 11 million domestic visitors and more than 600,000 international tourists.

Getting around Victoria is also much easier than other states, because of its interconnected roads. Renting a campervan or a motorhome will not only save you money, it will also help you cover most destinations the region has to offer.

Starting point- Melbourne

There is always something in Melbourne to please anyone. The capital city of Victoria is known for its live music, dining experience and a strong sense of artistry. It is in this city that you can pick-up your campervan or motorhome. While in Melbourne, don’t miss the free city tram ride that goes around the CBD.

Melbourne_CBD

“Melbourne CBD” BY Jorge Láscar via www.flickr.com/photos/jlascar/5374541709 under a Creative Commons Atribution 2.0 Generic. See full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ Jorge Láscar

Head to the Queen Victoria Market and stock up on food for your journey. The market’s vibrant and exciting mix of cultures reflects the energy of the city. The marketplace is also close to many dining places that can cater to everyone’s taste.

From Melbourne, go to these 10 places you should not miss in Victoria.

1. Phillip Island

Phillip Island, a sanctuary for thousands of little Penguins, is just less than 2-hours drive south of Melbourne. Be sure to visit this place at night and see these little creatures march in what is known as a “Penguin Parade.”

Other things you can do are visit the Koala Conservation Centre and explore the island’s rugged coastline. The island also has a superbike circuit that hosts international-level competitions.

2. Melbourne Cricket Ground

The “G” is the Mecca of cricket in Australia and is a must stopover when you are in Victoria, especially if your favorite team is playing, whether it is cricket or Australian Rules Football.

This stadium has been the centerpiece of the 1956 Melbourne Olympic Games. Touring the MCG grounds costs $55 for one family while children under five years old are free.

3. Eureka Skydeck 88

Watch Melbourne from a bird’s eye view 88-levels above the Eureka tower. Its viewing deck provides the best platform to see the magnificent city of the south and its neighboring areas.

Their elevators are fast at 9 metres per second and takes only 38 seconds from ground floor to the 88th. The tower’s top ten floors are also plated in 24-carat gold. Now that’s a bling-bling.

Eureka_Skydeck_88

CC_Attribution Steve Lacey

4. Dandenong Ranges National Park

Just less than an hour from Melbourne and you will find yourself out of the city and into the wilderness. The Dandenong Ranges has it all- wildlife, restaurants and great trails. If you bring seeds, you can even feed the Cockatoos, Rosellas, King Parrots and other birds nesting in the area.

Do try also the 1,000 steps Kodoka Walk, which will test out your endurance. The park also has lots of picnic grounds for you to stay and even has horseback riding sessions.

5. Bendigo Art Gallery

Art lovers will surely not miss visiting the Bendigo Art Gallery. It has been named as one of the best in rural Australia because of their well-curated collection of art pieces. Many of the gallery’s collection are British and European Continental 19th-century paintings.

The gallery has also featured top class exhibitions like The Body Beautiful in Ancient Greece, the Golden Age of Couture and Grace Kelly: Style Icon, to name a few. Bendigo is also host to the $50,000 Arthur Guy Memorial Painting Prize- the richest open painting prize in the country.

6. The Great Ocean Road

Nothing beats a road trip. And in this part of Oz, one name comes to mind- the Great Ocean Road. Stretching 250-kilometres from Torquay to Warrnambool, the trip will take you to Victoria’s surf towns, hippie communes, famous national parks and bizarre rock formations.

Because there are so many sights to see on this road, not only the Twelve Apostles and Bay of Islands, give at least two days to finish the whole course. Other must-see destinations include the London Bridge (aka the Arch), the Otway Fly and Tree Top Walk (zip-lining is highly recommended) and the Cape Otway Lightstation which has been in operation since 1848. 

Great_Ocean_Road

"Great Ocean Drive, Esperance" by Larry W. Lo available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/trippinlarry/5469027222 under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ Larry W. Lo

7. St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Attend church services or just drop by for a prayer at the St. Patrick’s Cathedral, which is just a walk away from Melbourne CBD. Established in 1863, this century-old church is one of the best examples of Gothic Revival architecture. It was named after the patron saint of Ireland, which reflects the main origin of the local Catholic community.

Dubbed as the Cradle of Catholicism in Australia, it is easy to distinguish because of its bluestone exterior and majestic gardens. The interior is accentuated by the light from ornate stained-glass and an organ with 4,500 pipes.

8. The Great Aussie Beer Shed

Not everyone drinks alcohol, but anyone will appreciate what is waiting for you at the Great Aussie Beer Shed. It is the only museum of its kind in Oz that has a huge collection of beer cans and brewery-related items. It currently has 16,000 beer cans from the country and around the world. Bar signs, modern brewery equipment, old wooden beer bottles also abound in this shack.

Its owner Neil Thomas will personally tour you around the shed and share the story behind his collection. Interested? Visit them at 377 Maryann Road, Echuca.

9. Healesville Sanctuary

Tucked east of Melbourne is the Healesville Sanctuary where you can see most of Australia’s native animals like wombats, dingoes, wallabies, kangaroos and over 200 varieties of native birds.  To get in, adults have to pay $31.60 and children $15.80. Kids get free admission on Saturday, Sunday and school holidays.

The best thing you can do is a platypus. Healesville is one of the only two places that have successfully bred this endemic mammal.

10. Peninsula Hot Springs

When you feel tired from all your travelling in Victoria, we recommend you hit the Peninsula Hot Springs which is less than two hours from Melbourne. You can find them on Springs Lane, Fingal, Mornington Peninsula.

The spring’s natural thermal mineral waters are proven to ease your tired muscles and give you a relaxing feeling. The hot springs have over 20 global-inspired bathing including Turkish steam bath, hilltop pool, reflexology walk and cave pool.

Peninsula_Hot_Springs

"Peninsula Hot Springs, Victoria, Australia" by ThinkGeoEnery available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/thinkgeoenergy/6435576097 under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0. Full license terms at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ ThinkGeoEnergy

These are just some of the places you can visit in the wonderful region of Victoria. If you need to book or rent your campervan or motorhome for your next vacation or road trip visit or call a Cheapa Camper office nearest you.

 

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