5 Waterfalls Near Brisbane You Can Drive To This Summer

When the temperature gets high, you know it’s time to go swimming and cool off. Some prefer the beach, others the swimming pools. But if you really want to have that picture perfect swim, then there is only one place to go- the waterfalls. And if you are a resident of Brisbane or anywhere in Queensland, you’re lucky to be surrounded with some of the country’s most magnificent waterfalls that are just a short drive away.

Here are five of the best waterfalls near Brisbane that we think you should consider visiting this summer:

1. Cedar Creek Falls, Tamborine Mountain

 Found in the quiet repose of Tamborine Mountain in Gold Coast Hinterland is a picturesque waterfall where you can immerse in cool waters,and lush greenery. The place is just an hour or so drive from Brisbane. The cascading waters of Cedar Creek Falls can also be viewed atop an elevated ledge, which is just 30-minutes away from its swimming holes. There are also cottages that can be rented.

2. Elabana Falls, Lamington National Park

Nestled in the Green Mountain section of the Lamington National Park is the pint-sized Elabana Falls, which has two sections- a horsetail falls and a multi-step. The scenery is also enhanced by rugged mountain scenery and sub-tropical rain forest. The park is also a famous trekking site in Queensland and home to two more famous falls- the Chalahn and Box Log. It only takes two hours from Brisbane to get here.

3. JC Slaughter Falls and Simpson Falls, Mt. Coot-Tha

Hit two waterfalls in just one drive! And it isn’t even far from the city’s Central Business District. Just a half hour drive and you can reach the JC Slaughter Falls and Simpson Falls in Mt. Coot-Tha Reserve. These nature’s waterworks are  popular tourist destinations for those looking for breathtaking views while enjoying a  picnic and barbecue. You can appreciate the beauty of both falls when more volume of water rushes through after a decent amount of rainfall.

4. Kondalilla Falls, Montville

Kondalilla_Falls

“Kondalilla falls before the sun goes down” BY Andrii Slonchak via www.flickr.com/photos/elephass/18373022776 under a Creative Commons Atribution 2.0 Generic. See full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Andrii Slonchak

Winter is not the only time to head north. Travelling along Bruce Highway past Landsborough in the town of Montville only takes less than two hours to drive. The trip will reward you with one of the treasures of Sunshine Coast Hinterland- the Kondalilla Falls in Blackall Range. In aboriginal language, the fall’s name means “rushing water.” Finding this 4-metre tall wonder will take 45 minutes of walking down 90 meters into the mountain’s forested valley.  

5. Natural Bridge, Springbrook National Park

Are you fond of caves and waterfalls? If you answered yes, you will live this next entry to our list . Water actually spills into a hole in one of the openings of Cave Creek before emerging in Natural Bridge. Its photos has been shared many times over the Internet and looks absolutely remarkable during the morning and dusk. Best of all, it only takes an hour or so to  drive from Brisbane.

If you want to have your picnic in one of these magnificent works of nature, then renting a campervan is a good choice. Not only will you save money on  accommodations, you also get to enjoy your holiday at your own leisure . To get the best deals in your campervan rental , visit Cheapa Campa’s website and pick up your van in Brisbane.

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From Sydney to Katoomba and Back: Your 2-Day Self Drive Itinerary

Sydney is without doubt, the most famous city in New South Wales. Home to the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the city welcomes millions of visitors every year.

“Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge” BY Arturo Pardavila III via www.flickr.com/photos/apardavila/23333250221 under a Creative Commons Atribution 2.0 Generic. See full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

“Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge” BY Arturo Pardavila III via www.flickr.com/photos/apardavila/23333250221 under a Creative Commons Atribution 2.0 Generic. See full license terms at creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Arturo Pardavila III

Rightfully so, because as far as tourist attractions, festivals and dining experiences go, Sydney never disappoints.  However, New South Wales has more to offer the self-drive enthusiast. After spending time immersing yourself in the city’s sights and sounds, an easy drive to the Blue Mountains is a great way to cap off the last few days of your holiday.

Katoomba is by far the most popular town in New South Wales’ Blue Mountains region. Famous for the Scenic Railway and Scenic Skyway, you are definitely in for some of the most breathtaking sights of your life. So take a break from the noise, heat and crowds of the city and marvel at the natural beauty that Katoomba and the rest of Blue Mountains has to offer. Rent a campervan now and let’s start this 2-day self-drive holiday from Sydney to Katoomba and back!

DAY 1 – Sydney, NSW to Katoomba, NSW

From Sydney, drive westward for one hour to Glenbrook, NSW the first town at the base of the Blue Mountains, via the M4 motorway. Make sure you research toll rates, though so you can avoid hassles during the drive.

Stop by the Glenbrook Visitor Information Centre if you want to book guided tours or ask for any local events you may be interested to participate in. Next, head south and drive for 14 minutes via Bruce Road to Euroka Campground.

Park your campervan and relax amidst lush greenery. Take photos of the birds, kangaroos and other wildlife running free in the area.

Red Hands Cave is your next stop because you should never leave New South Wales without seeing the best showcase of Aboriginal rock art in the country. Drive north west for 20 minutes via The Oaks Fire Trail.

From Red Hands Cave, turn back and follow Oaks Fire Trail heading back to Bruce Road where you will turn left to the Great Western Highway or A32. Drive for half an hour, heading to Wentworth Falls.

Here, you will find the most awe inspiring views of the region’s valleys, ,waterfalls and escarpments. Stop by Wentworth Lake for a picnic and spend a few hours swimming. There are also plenty of walking trails if you’re feeling a little more adventurous.

After swimming or hiking, it is back to your campervan for a quick five-minute drive to Leura. Head south onto the Great Western Highway again and take the Leura Mall exit after 4 kilometres.

With its beautiful gardens, Leura is appropriately called the Garden Village in the region. Apart from its chic boutiques and art galleries, the town is also home to the largest teapot collection in the world. Stop by and shop for souvenirs in Leura mall or take a leisurely stroll along Everglades Gardens.

The last leg of the day’s adventures will take you to Cliff Drive, which is the scenic route up to Katoomba.

Continue driving to Echo Point and stop to marvel at the breathtaking sights of Three Sisters, Jamison Valley and Mount Solitary. Book a guided tour to Scenic World where you can descent to one of the world’s steepest incline railways and “float” above the Jamison Valley on board the Skyway.

Spend the night at Katoomba Falls Caravan Park, which is one of the most popular in the area. The caravan park has facilities such as coin-operated laundry machines, electric barbecues and even toilets and showers. So park your campervan for the night, and rest up for the following day’s drive.

DAY 2 – Katoomba, NSW and Back to Sydney

From Katoomba Falls Caravan Park, it’s an 11-minute drive via the Great Western Highway, to Medlow Bath and the famous Hydro Majestic Hotel. Learn about the rich background of the Hydro Majestic by taking part in their history tour and explore the Hydro Majestic Pavillion’s vibrant displays of unique, local food and wine selections.

The next part of your self-drive tour takes you west for 20 minutes to the magnificent views of Blackheath then on towards the quaint village of Mount Victoria. From Mount Victoria, drive south west via the Great Western Highway for 11 minutes and make a slight left to Old Bathurst Road.

Your next destination, Hartley Historic Site, is home to exquisitely preserved 19th century courthouses and buildings.

Stop for lunch at one of the cafes in Hartley Valley and shop for local produce and crafts. After dining and shopping, it is back to the campervan for a 15-minute drive to Lithgow, a town famous for its industrial heritage. While you’re in town, don’t forget to make the 5-minute drive to Hassans Walls, the highest and most scenic lookout in the region.

The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden is your next stop so drive along Botanist’s Way Drive that stretches from Lithgwo to Mount Tomah. The 33-minute drive features breathtaking views of the Gnose Valley cliff walls. Stop to rest and admire the sights from Mount Tomah while enjoying a cup of local tea.

Time to head back. From Mount Tomah, it is an hour’s drive through the fruit orchards of Bilpin. Stop to take snapshots if you wish. Afterwards, take the M7 motorway straight back to Sydney.

Clearly, two days is more than enough time to immerse yourself in the beauty and culture of towns just an hour’s drive away from the big city. So what are you waiting for? Book a Cheapa campervan and start your 2-day self-drive holiday right now!

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Rotorua: New Zealand’s Cultural Capital

Nowhere is the heat more apparent in Kiwi land than in Rotorua. But it’s the kind of heat that makes you linger, the kind that makes you want to stay longer and the kind where you would not mind being drenched in sweat, even for an entire day’s trip.Rotorua

The city is located in New Zealand’s Pacific Rim of Fire, in the southern shores of the lake by the same name. The city is located in the North Island near the Bay of Plenty. Typically almost synonymous to a scorching city, Rotorua has often been dubbed as a geothermal wonderland owing to its magnetic collection of volcanic escapes: spurting geysers, bubbling mud baths and natural hot streams and unrivaled crater lakes.

Just beside the city’s busy centre, quiet yet burgeoning villages such as the Whakarewarewa are a home to not only people but also to natural phenomena like hundreds of steaming hot springs and active geysers.

Rotorua also capitalizes on adventures. Mountain biking is popular in its lush forest trails and is perfect for all bikers whether they are pros or beginners. Recently, it has earned the prestigious gold-level ride centre status from the International Mountain Biking Association. This, now, levels the city among six other Ride Centres in the world. The rivers also make for thrilling activities like whitewater rafting and speedboating—making your body tingle with adrenaline and your heart pump with energy.

Rotorua does not end there. Here and now is where and when the present is balanced by its past.

While most major cities both locally and internationally would boast only of museums and historic sites for preserving their culture and heritage after a calamity, Rotorua’s tradition endures through real experiences even after being engulfed in travesty during Mt Tarawera’s eruption in 1886, in a mist of soot and ash.

Blast from the Past

Many travel for the pleasure of leisure but for those who want to go back in time, Rotorua might just be the place to begin. Rotorua Museum is where all the learning begins. The museum puts others to shame with its attractive and innovative displays, and cinematic and interactive attractions. In this palace of a building, modern technology meets tradition and history to create an invigorating cultural experience.

The indigenous people of New Zealand, the Māori, open up their homes to guests in the spirit of Manaakitanga. With this hospitality comes their tradition of songs, performances, dances and haka (war dances), art and food. Delve into the living culture in three places: Te Puia, Mitai Village and Tamaki Village.

One of the primordial villages of Rotorua, Te Puia offers a tour to what seems like land before time. Five minutes away from the city centre, get access to the world renowned Pohutu geyser, the village’s main attraction, while having a steam box lunch.

Weaving and Carving

The village is not only known for the iconic geyser and energetic evening dance performances by the indigenous Māori people. Put your hands to work and create by heading on to the New Zealand Māori Arts and Craft Institute. It has opened Te Wananga Whakairo Rakau, a school dedicated to preserving the carving (whakairo) and weaving (raranga) heritages to the modern world.

Tattoo

The Māori not only carve wood to create unfaltering sculptures, they use the skin as a canvas to create  tattoos that reflect a person’s achievements in their tribe. The process, which can be found in the Mitai Village, is called Tā Moko  and it’s unlike modern tattoos where the skin remains smooth and is not punctured—the skin, in the face and body, is carved by uhi (chisels) to leave a groove.

Haka and Hangi

In the same village and in others as well, the Māori traditions remain alive and celebrated through vivid cultural shows and performances. The haka (war dances) and song performances depict ancestral traditions with unparalleled energy and volatile vigor.

The warriors also make a spectacle as they don their traditional clothing and paddle the ancient waka (canoe) in  makeshift rivers.

Food is another thing that often stun the visitors. The Māori bury their food and let it slowly cook through thermal heat. They call their meals hangi.

There’s so much more to discover than what we have scratched on the surface. Drive away to Rotorua, New Zealand’s cultural capital today with a vehicle from Cheapa Campa! Visit our website to book and search for specials!

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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.

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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