Travel


Adding Education While Taking an Aussie Holiday

  • Written by News Feature Team


When taking a long holiday, it makes sense for many parents to want to add in some education. Aside from keeping younger minds sharp for when they return to classes, fostering a life-long love of learning is one of the most important or beneficial things parents can help instil in their children. However, saying you want to do this and actually accomplishing it successfully can be very different things. Pushing too hard takes the fun out of the vacation for everyone involved, but not doing anything prevents anything good from happening. So prepare your campervan hire, follow these tips, and enjoy everything that this amazing nation has to offer.

Visit Places with Different Histories

Australia is a land teeming with many different interesting areas that each naturally make it easy to dive into some type of education. Take a look at historical forts or buildings and dive into the more interesting parts of local history. Play with maps and geography to see how the nation is laid out before seeing an area in person. Have any science fans? Visit zoos, national parks, or animal sanctuaries and emphasis the unique animals there, the history, or tie in old cultural beliefs or scientific discoveries to the area.

Planning to visit interesting areas can make it much easier to naturally slip in some educational content while still enjoying the experience.

Unique Entertaining Tours

Education doesn't have to be boring. Depending where you visit there are weird museums like Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum that can automatically be engaging, or you can have tours of many national park destinations given by local aboriginal guides who weave storytelling and culture with the otherwise dry facts. Take a look at experiences that are a little bit different, interactive, or extraordinary. This makes it much easier to learn and enjoy.

Prepare Quizzes with Award System

Don't think about this like a traditional oral exam or pop quiz, but do a little research yourself. If an area is known for a rare tree or animal, have games. Spot 10, get a treat of some kind, or give a random fact for each one you see and get a prize. Make something that is fun, gives a reward (nothing wrong with half way decent bribe) and by having a bit of a game and an award system you're encouraging the practice of looking, listening, learning, and really engaging with the world around them.

Let the Kids Direct Their Interests

Everyone has different interests, and if something really sparks interest then it's up to you to fan those flames! Keep an eye out to see when the interest gets hooked naturally. Do you have a child who is all about looking for wildlife? Were the stories of a local Aboriginal guide enthralling them? What about a piece of military or warfare history? A certain type of art or craft? Remember that education can take many different forms and every child is different.

In fact, you never know when something completely new will get their attention. The interest could be mild, it could be heavy, or it could be absolutely enthralling and when those situations occur, it is time to encourage that pursuit.

After all, it is still a holiday and it is better to go deep in one area and have a ton of fun rather than drag down the trip trying to push too much.





The Best Times to Vacation in Germany

  • Written by News Feature Team


Like many of its European counterparts, Germany is one of those countries that you can visit at any time of the year, and still have an amazing time. You don’t need to watch out for monsoon season, hurricanes or dust storms: you can just enjoy yourself, whenever you want to go. You’ll need to be aware of two things before booking flights though: Germany is more expensive in the summer, thanks to hot, sunny weather and an abundance of families on school holidays. Secondly, if you’re planning on heading to Munich or the surrounding area, the prices soar during Oktoberfest, and around it.

You won’t need to worry about packing too much: if you head over in the winter, you’ll need practical warm wear, as temperatures range between 5F – 38F. In spring, summer and fall, temperatures vary between 72F to 95F, but it’s always a good idea to pack some waterproofs and warm clothes, as you can’t rely on consistent weather too much! So, decide on what activities you plan on doing in the country, and see what season will make your vacation a success.

For spontaneous city breaks

As Germany doesn’t have wildly extreme weather, if you’re not planning on doing weather-dependent activities, you’ve got a lot of freedom. For city breaks, you don’t need super sunny days, and a bit of rain and wind won’t stop you from enjoying yourself. Of course, if you head over to Germany in the summer, you’ll get gloriously warm days – but you’ll also get higher airfares and hotel prices.

For exploring cities, you’ll be fine in any season: the spring and fall are usually warm to cool, with moderate rainfall. May and September are ideal times to take a city break: the weather is pleasant enough to enjoy walking around, but you won’t feel as though you’re missing out on being by the ocean on hot days. There’s plenty to do in German cities, regardless of the weather – just check out Mr Hudson Explores for more information on Berlin and its surrounding areas.

For outdoor activities

Germany is home to some of the best outdoor activities: from hiking to cycling, horseback riding to skiing, any adrenaline junky can find their favorite thrill. However, if you’re basing your vacation on being able to go outside, you need to be careful when it comes to the time of year to visit. The winter – unless you’re doing snow sports – isn’t great for outdoor fun. This is partly due to the freezing temperatures, wet weather and abundance of fog. As above, the spring and fall are great times to go, as you’ll have cooler weather but still get to enjoy the sun.

If you’re looking for glorious temperatures and endless sunny days, then head over during the summer. You’ll be able to try out everything that Germany has to offer when it comes to outdoor activities.

For cozy Christmas getaways

Nothing spells out Christmas better than the gorgeous German Christmas markets in Berlin, Dresden, Nuremberg and Munich. They’re replicated the world over, with Bavarian-style wooden houses popping up in city center markets, selling delicious frankfurters, and a range of mouthwatering sweet treats. So, if you’re prepared to brave the cold weather, you’ll be in for the perfect Christmassy holiday. Likewise, winter sports come to life in Germany, with downhill and cross-country skiing taking preference.

 

Camplify : Experience the Winter Solstice in someone else’s van

  • Written by Matilda Ferguson


While it may be tempting to hibernate during the cold weather, there are a variety of winter solstice events this year in Tasmania, Victoria and New South Wales that will make ditching the UGGs and PJs worth your while.

 

While not all of us can afford a cosy $50k+ campervan to enjoy the Winter Solstice festivities in, there’s now another option. Australia’s number one caravan and RV-sharing platform Camplify offers self-drive, tow or set-up van options to match every taste and style.

 

Dark Mofo, Tasmania

With Dark Mofo and the City of Hobart’s Winter Feast events starting Friday June 9th, this two-week festival includes art installations and live music events hosted around the city, which will keep you entertained both day and night. When you do choose to retire for the night, staying in a Camplify motorhome equipped with 1000 free movies, GPS, linen for six, solar power and satellite TV will be a welcome oasis.

 

Mid-Winter Fest, Tasmania

From 14th to 16th July, Tasmania’s Houn Valley (40 minutes from Hobart) plays host to the Mid-Winter Fest, where attendees are encouraged to join in and ‘Wassail’ (sing) to the apple orchard as they dance around the burning man. WIth live music and creative performances to enjoy, the hairy cows also provide visitors with some entertainment. Stay cosy in a luxury van such as this A-Class motorhome and enjoy the comforts of home with a full fridge, three-way freezer, air con and shower/toilet.

 

Dockland Firelight Festival, Victoria

Explore Melbourne’s Dockland Firelight Festival from 30th June to 2nd July in the Taj Mahal Mahcamper and experience the theatrical fire performances with light shows and free entry all weekend. The camper will be set-up for you by the owners, so all your need to do is bring your baggage and enjoy the use of a full kitchen, hot water system, queen size bed and more.

 

Winter Magic Festival, New South Wales

Learn to appreciate the great outdoors in this little weekender at this year’s Blue Mountains Winter Magic Festival in Katoomba. Join in on the magic with the main street closing down for a Grande Parade in celebration of the Winter Solstice, then continue the party back at the van, which is decked out in the full glam 70s flashback experience with velvet, shag pile, sheepskin and wild wallpaper. Groovy!

 

How do I Camplify?

Australia’s largest peer-to-peer RV sharing system www.camplify.com.au boasts more than 1600 vans located all around Australia. Sign-up is free and, like Airbnb, owners control the hiring process, setting their rules, pricing, availability, and (here’s where it differs) whether they set-up or allow the hirer to set the RV up themselves. Camplify also helps with insurance products, to make sure listed owners and hirers are covered.

 

With 26,000 members, the site is simple to use and connects caravan and camper trailer owners with holiday-goers creating comfortable, flexible and affordable accommodation.

 

So if you have some vacation time coming up, why not hire an RV through Camplify and take the hassle out of your holiday. To find out more visit www.camplify.com.au, and join the thriving Camplify community.  

Article & Photography by Matilda Ferguson








Australia’s Five Most Spectacular Drives

  • Written by News Feature Team


There are great drives. Then there are spectacular ones, the unforgettable ones. These are the ones you’d be mad for, the ones embedded with breathtaking spots and epiphanic panoramas worth dropping your anchor in, the ones you would want to take with wild abandon (although not quite literally) and an epic soundtrack to match. And Australia, with its wide expanse of land and sparkling coasts, has more than its share of them. There’s the rugged Outback, the famous Great Ocean Road, or really the entire massive country. So get your camper HYPERLINK "http://www.apollocamper.com/"van hire ready and hit the road, here are five breathtaking road trips to consider.

 

Great Ocean Road

 

Thousands upon thousands have made the drive; it is Australia’s most famous drive after all. At 243 kilometres, the Great Ocean Road stretches in all its glory along the coast of Victoria from Torquay to Allansford just outside Warrnambool, and paved with beaches, beach towns, waterfalls, hiking trails, land formations, and more.

 

Slip into a languid pace, don’t rush, as there are many spots to see. Take a leisurely dip in the shallow water of Anglesea, try and spot the Koalas at the Kennett River Koala Walk, seek the Hopetoun Falls, and see the Loch Ard Gorge and London Bridge. Of course, don’t miss the main show—the Twelve Apostles.

 

Red Centre Way

 

There’s something appealing about the forced intimacy of long haul drives. Add the wildness and ruggedness of the Outbacks, and that’s the true testament of a great road trip. Take a transformative five-day drive along the Red Centre Way through amazing, red desert land past some of Australia’s most breathtaking landmarks in the Northern Territory.

 

Start the trip in the town of Alice Springs and drive the 1,135-kilometre loop. There are green valleys and perennial forests to admire, hiking trails to trample on, meteorite craters to visit, gorges and canyons to explore, and of course, Uluru to marvel at. Slumber under the stars as caravan and camping spots abound.

 

The Savannah Way

 

Why stay on the east coast when there’s a lot to see in Western Australia as well? Once you’ve seen the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest, an epic journey across the country might just be what the doctor ordered. Take the Savannah Way from Cairns in Queensland through Katherine in Northern Territory to Broome in Western Australia, passing through the Outback and by less travelled sights and landmarks.

 

Visit the highland region of Atherton Tablelands, home to the Waterfalls Circuit, explore the Undara Lava Tubes, tour the Cobbold Gorge, breathe in the views at Boodjamulla National Park, and see magnificent wildlife along the way.

 

Broome to Perth

 

Everybody seems to forget about Western Australia, even Aussies themselves. But while the naturally tricked out East coast has some of the country’s most well-known sights and biggest cities, the West coast has its own collection of absurd beauties and tellurian treasures. Carve out some time to drive the zigzagging 3,900-kilometre stretch from Broome in the north to Perth in the south, and you’re in for a trip of a lifetime.

 

There are many, many stops to consider, from beach towns and national parks to emerald bays teeming with marine life. If it’s the highlights you’re looking for, then Cable Beach, Turquoise Bay, The Pinnacles Desert and Rottnest Island are definite shoo-ins.

 

The Big Lap

 

For an adventurous turn on the road that is as irreducible and incredible as the continent itself, it’s the Big Lap you’re after. The journey is long and will, at times, test your patience, but it is the ultimate, bucket list drive, if there ever was one. What is the Big Lap? It’s essentially a lap of the whole continent, which means it does take dedication and a whole lot of time. However, it is the best way to stumble into hidden gems.

 

Carve your own trails. Plan ahead or be spontaneous. Rent a campervan or hire a car. Trace the coast or let the road guide you. The world—or rather, the whole Australian continent—is your oyster.

 

Five Thrilling Auckland Adventures

  • Written by News Feature Team


For travelers looking for a dose of adrenaline, New Zealand’s capital city of Auckland offers up many thrills without even needing to leave city limits. Auckland is truly an extreme sports center and is known worldwide as a top destination for adrenaline junkies and thrill seekers. There are so many adventurous activities that it may be overwhelming choosing which ones to embark on. This is why, before you even hit up the campervan hire location to begin your journey, you should put together a list of the adventures you will definitely want to hit on your trip.

For this purpose, take a look below at the top five adventures Auckland has to offer to adrenaline junkie travelers.

Sky Jump Auckland


Over 320 meters high, the legendary Sky Tower offers a 360 degree view of the Auckland skyline and surrounding area. It also offers the change to base jump from the bridge, with Sky Jump Auckland offering a safe, well-equipped service. This straight drop over the city will be sure to get your blood pumping in exhilarating fashion. Try to keep your eyes open to take in the view, if you can!

Harbour Bridge Bungee Jump


The Harbour Bridge in Auckland is a staple of the local scenery, and the views from the bridge are absolutely extraordinary. Those seeking more excitement than a mere view, however, can also take a 40 meter plunge from the bridge by bungee cord. This fall over the blue waters will certainly fill your adrenaline quota, and you can rest assured that the whole operation is 100% safe, with thousands taking the plunge each year.

Waitomo Caves


These famous black water caves are truly a sight to behold. A subterranean netherworld beckons, full of unbelievable sights and truly alien rockscapes you won’t forget anytime soon. Many companies offer rafting tours through the caves which combine with caving foot expeditions to make for a truly exhilarating underground experience. If you want an unforgettable daylong journey underground, then the Waitomo Caves are not to be overlooked.

Skydiving


Of course, you can skydive almost anywhere in the world, but the Auckland area offers far more opportunities than most cities due to the miles of rural country just past city limits. Many of the skydiving tours on offer allow you to fly out over the city into the surrounding country, then over the nearby fields where you can do your dive. No matter your experience level, these tours offer instructions and dual-jumps for beginners and solo dives for those more experienced.

Archery


Archery has long been a New Zealand tradition, and there are many opportunities for lessons and experience in Auckland. Many companies offer packages where you can learn the ancient art of archery from the ground up, watching experienced instructors, learning about the expansive history of the art form, and of course drawing the bow yourself. Both educational and exhilarating, a New Zealand archery experience is a one-of-a-kind endeavour.

Those seeking an adrenaline rush will have plenty of opportunities in Auckland, so make sure you plan enough time in your trip to take advantage of them all.