Australia in a Campervan – Winter Fun

Kosovo_Skiing

White sandy beaches, perfect waves for surfers, kangaroos and a lot of sun block; that’s the image of Australia. But did you know Australia also has snowfields?

An Australian winter holiday is a well kept secret. Many Australians have never even seen the snow, yet it does exist. You just have to know the right places. Lucky you, because this article will reveal all.

The best times to travel to the snow are June, July and August, because that’s the low season. But the season can last until October in some places.

Hiring a motorhome for your snow holiday is a great experience, something totally different and definitely recommended to all the snow lovers out there. You will be free as a bird because you can take your motorhome or campervan anywhere you like, which means you will be able to experience a broader area than if you just stayed at a resort. Make sure you stay on the sealed roads and always be careful while driving, because snow can be dangerous.

Three out of six States of Australia provide ski slopes. All of them are located in the southern states of Australia – New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. In New South Wales there is even an alpine region called “The Snowy Mountains”.

The alpine region of Australia stretches through New South Wales and Victoria. Be aware of the fact that the weather can change quickly in the mountains and temperatures vary greatly across the area. Did you know that the coldest temperature ever measured in Australia was -23 Celsius? Here is an overview of the most popular ski slopes:

Perisher_Blue_-_Kosciuszko

New South Wales:

  1. Charlotte Pass
  2. Mt Selwyn 
  3. Perisher 
  4. Thredbo

Victoria:

  1. Mount Hotham 
  2. Falls Creek 
  3. Mount Buller 
  4. Mt Baw Baw

Tasmania

  1. Ben Lomond 
  2. Mount Mawson 

Hitting the slopes is a perfect family getaway. Get the whole family in the motorhome and drive towards New South Wales, Victoria or Tasmania. Build a snowman together, the best way to start your holiday! Go skiing, snowboarding, start a snowball fight, race downhill on a sledge, tobogganing, snow tubing, dog sled tour or take part in other amusing snow activities.  If you have never seen the snow and  never skied before, join a class; there is a range of learn to ski classes. You don’t have to purchase your own gear for your snow holiday, because the ski slopes offer equipment hire.

When taking part in any of those activities it is not uncommon to see Australian wildlife. Kangaroos, wallabies, wombats, possums and even wild horses (called brumbies) are seen in the Australian snow country.

Sun-block is part of the image of Australia, you should definitely not forget it when going on you snow holiday. Summer is not the only time you need sun-block. The sun will reflect off the snow and bounces 80% of its rays back at you. In addition wear your sunglasses, to protect your eyes too. Furthermore, drink enough water, it is cold and you will be active in the snow, so dehydration is a risk. Bring some good snow shoes and remember that they should be water-proof. It is important to keep your feet dry.

Hit the road  slopes Jack!

Cultural Festivals in 2014 – Stay in a Campervan

There is no doubt that there are great opportunities to explore Australia’s nature and wildlife in a campervan. It is up to you whether you are going to dive in the Great Barrier Reef, pose for stunning pictures in front of Ayers Rock or be enchanted by the timeless beauty of Kakadu National Park.

But what about the cultural celebrations and music festivals that shape Australia’s character? There are numerous events throughout the country that are perfectly accessible by campervan – a must-see for young and old. Why go in a campervan? The answer is simple: use it as both transport and accommodation and stay at campgrounds wherever you go.

Take a look at our Australian culture and music festival compilation for 2014. You will find the highlights by month until the end of the year.

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May

Start your journey loud and loony in Darwin! The BASSINTHEGRASS festival will carry you off to the grounds of the Darwin Amphitheatre, a place where different musical tastes collide to create a unique atmosphere. Presented by the Northern Territory government, BASSINTHEGRASS is conducted in a safe and friendly environment. Souvenir caps instead of a conventional ticket and the provision of free bottled water which is available throughout the day is a cool innovation. This year’s line-up includes Allday, Karnivool, The Amity Affliction, Vance Joy and many more. Secure your camper for Saturday 24 May 2014 today, so nothing can go wrong!

BASSINTHEGRASS
Sat 24th May
Darwin, NT

June

Take off to another wicked festival in North Queensland. River Sessions returns to Mackay this June with another line-up chock full of Australian talent. An epic line-up featuring The Amity Affliction, Rufus, Art vs Science and oodles more will take to the Mackay Showgrounds.

You can plan your trip and hire a campervan in Brisbane one week before the event and head to north. You will drive through the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Visit Noosa, one of the top three beaches in the South Pacific. Drive along the famous Bruce Highway and stop in at Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world, which is located only 3 hours from Brisbane by campervan. This heavenly place will charge you full of energy. Park your campervan at one of the campgrounds located next to the island, and take a day trip to Fraser Island.

River Sessions Festival
Saturday, 28th June 2014
Mackay, QLD

July

Don’t be afraid of winter. It’s going to be hot! July holds probably Australia’s most prominent music event. Of course it’s in the Sunshine State – where else? With over 170,000 likes on Facebook, Splendour In The Grass is an absolute must for every Indie, hip-hop and electronic music fan. Hiring a campervan in advance is certainly the best idea when planning to go insane on Friday 25 July 2014. With plenty of on-site camping, Splendour creates its own community for a weekend that is a heady mixture of coeval performing arts. From July 25 – 27 Splendour In The Grass returns with three massive days of sensational sounds from around the globe.
Book your campervan and reserve your tickets for this amazing festival! Here is all you have to know about camping on Splendour In The Grass.

Splendour In The Grass 2014
Friday 25 July 2014, 10:00am – Sunday 27 July 2014, 11:00pm
Yelgun, NSW

August

You can’t get enough of a good thing, but there are other festivals besides music festivals. If you want to take it easier, we have also got some cultural festivals for you. In case you have never been to the Northern Territory, The Darwin Festival is a must-do event for you. An 18-day feast of theatre, music, dance, cabaret and more in the beautiful tropical city of Darwin awaits you. Head to Darwin in August and catch a little of the northern Australian culture.

The festival was born out of the destruction and devastation caused by a natural disaster over 35 years ago. Don’t worry, this is the best time to go there – stay dry and avoid the hottest temperatures during the dry season. The 2014 Festival takes place from 7 to 24 August. Travel with your rental motorhome from Salamanda Travel across the tropical area of NT and experience the celebration of the town’s revival as well as the optimism of the locals.

Campgrounds are available next to the centre and the festival:

  • Hidden Valley Tourist Park
    25 Hidden Valley Rd, Berrimah NT 0828
  • KOA Caravan Park
    460 McMillans Rd, Marrara NT 0812
  • Discovery Holiday Parks – Darwin
    11 Farrell Crescent, Winnellie NT 0820

 

 

Darwin Festival
7 – 21 August 2014
Darwin, NT

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September

September will bring you closer to Asia’s arts and culture. With the OzAsia Festival, Adelaide celebrates Australia’s multicultural civilization and position within the Asia Pacific region. Experience traditions and rituals in theatre and dance, food and film through to arts and music. Be enchanted by the sensational Moon Lantern Festival at sunset. This highlight is a free community event that will impress.

Rent your campervan in Adelaide and plunge into the amazing colourfulness of the largest continent of the world, shaped by ancient traditions and customs. Discover the OzAsia Festival in your campervan and meet Australian artists who identify with an Asian heritage, as well as traditional artists from Asia. A diverse program of excellent shows for a broad range of tastes and budgets is on offer.

In your motorhome from Salamanda  you’ll be able to self-cater, and you’ll save money on accommodation. Moreover, there is the Adelaide Caravan Park right in the city, next to the Adelaide Zoo and the Adelaide Botanic Gardens. There is no better place to stay; it will take you no longer than 10 minutes to go to the city centre.

OzAsia Festival
5 – 21 September 2014
Adelaide, SA

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October

Let the summer begin with thunder! Be ready for the new #1 DJ in the world – Hardwell. During his I AM HARDWELL world tour he is coming to Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney – in that order. This is a golden opportunity to listen to probably best electronic dance music this style of music has to offer. Be sure to purchase tickets as soon as possible!

Hardwell’s sounds will move you to a different dimension and the unique beats will stir your blood. While traveling to each corner of the world, Hardwell has found fans from all around the world and keeps on amazing them.

Satisfy yourself by planning a marvellous holiday with your rented campervan. You have all three opportunities– Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.

Brisbane: Pick-up a motorhome on Friday, 3rd October over the weekend and start with Hardwell’s upcoming performance. The capital of the Sunshine State offers you a lot of sights and entertainment. You can start travelling with your campervan around Brisbane on Saturday and visit popular places like the Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Noosa and Fraser Island. Put the finishing touches to your unforgettable weekend on Sunday and pay a visit to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or head to the Brisbane Botanic Gardens or Mt Coot-ha.
Here are some campervan hire campgrounds and caravan parks:

Melbourne: If a visit to the most liveable city has always been your dream, now is the time. Combine your experiences by travelling in a campervan in and around Melbourne with peerlessly electronic tunes. Feel the dancing mood atmosphere all over Melbourne on Saturday, 4th October. Be inspired by the youthfulness and cosmopolitan nature of Victoria’s capital city.

Here are some campervan hire campgrounds and caravan parks:

  • Gladstone Park Motel
    196 Mickleham Road, Gladstone Park
    Phone: +61 3 9338 3533

Sydney: Hardwell’s last but not least I AM HARDWELL Australia tour destination is at the same time the biggest city Down Under. Many fans will make their way here and leave Sydney after the performance. But a much better idea is to hire a campervan and explore the region around Sydney – before or after Hardwell’s show on Sunday 5th October.
Here are some campervan hire campgrounds and caravan parks:

I AM HARDWELL
// AUSTRALIA TOUR DATES //
October 3, 2014 – Brisbane, QLD
October 4, 2014 – Melbourne, VIC
October 5, 2014 – Sydney, NSW

November

The Double Bay Street Festival 2014 should be an exceedingly successful day. In 2013, over 60,000 people participated in the fun of the day. Expect gourmet food, vintage, designer fashions, clothing and children’s toys. This festival is perfect for young families as it provides lots of entertainment for kids. Bring some joy to your infants and take them with you to Double Bay – only 10 minutes to the city of Sydney. They will be amused by a plenty of stalls, rides, crocodile encounters, camel rides and many different acts. Be flexible, explore beautiful Sydney and stay with your family in a campervan. It’s much easier to find a campervan park in Sydney than you think!

Please check this website for more information about campervan parks:

Double Bay Street Festival 2014
Sun 2 November
Double Bay, NSW

December

Slowly but surely, the year comes to an end. There is midsummer, hot temperatures and Christmas coming, followed up by New Year’s Eve. You can hardly wait and that’s why December is a special month – you can choose between various festivals where you can celebrate the best time of year.

Let’s get started with the Woodford Folk Festival. It’s an annual music festival held near the town of Woodford, Queensland. Hire your campervan in Brisbane and head 76 km to the north to arrive at the town, which is famous for major events. The Woodford Folk Festival is one of the biggest annual cultural events of its type in Australia.

Prepare yourself mentally and physically for six days and nights of a mix of performance styles, different genres and nationalities. Start celebrating on 27 December after your Christmas holidays and stay to 1 January with the most all the best folk, rock and roots artists. About 130,000 patrons attend annually. Some fans camp on-site overnight, but many stay for the full festival experience. So stop wondering why a campervan is such a brilliant idea. Shower and toilet facilities are available in all campgrounds. However, you should book your motorhome in advance! You’ll find more important information about camping here.

Woodford Folk Festival
December 27 to January 1
Woodford, QLD

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An alternative is the Falls Festival in Tasmania. A perfect occasion to discover this stunning isle in summer is to rent a campervan in Hobart and see the best of the natural state. Spend your Christmas holidays in Tasmania while travelling around and discovering beautiful destinations. On 29 December head to Marion Bay and experience the Falls Music & Arts Festival. You will be surprised by contemporary music performances, dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and some art forms. Of course, camping out at the event belongs to the local tradition. Enthusiasts will find beautiful beaches next to the festival.
Click on the link for more information on travelling and camping in Tasmania.

Falls Festival
DEC 29 2013 – JAN 01 2014
Bream Creek, TAS

Australia has amazing cultural events year round. They are a great opportunity to experience unforgettable moments to share with your loved ones. You’ll soon realise that travelling in a rented campervan is simply a part of Australia’s lifestyle. At the festivals, you will most probably meet new people with the same passion for the easygoing lifestyle while having fun as well as saving money with a campervan hire. Your best memories will last – whether you’re from abroad or a local.

A Salamanda Campervan Experience in Canada with CanaDream

Imagine the world’s second largest country stretching out before you … Canada, the ultimate playground for road trippers. If you’re looking for the adventure of a lifetime, a round trip through Canada in an RV is definitely the stuff dreams are made of. Canada is one of the best countries in the world to travel around in a motorhome or RV. It is safe, quiet, and there are plenty of well-equipped campgrounds. Above all, there are a range of dramatic and incredible natural landscapes to see as well as interesting things to experience and the friendly locals to meet.

An RV road trip in Canada is a fascinating adventure, no matter what part of the country you intend travelling in. It’s an experience you won’t find elsewhere in the world; the rugged coastlines, the mountains, the interesting roads and the sincere kindness and openness of the locals.

Salamanda Travel specialises in campervan, motorhome and RV hire for self-drive holidays in other countries, with a special interest in Canada. If you are looking for a great deal on campervan hire in Canada, we can certainly help you. Salamanda Travel is a preferred agent for CanaDream, one of Canada’s premium RV and motorhome hire companies. CanaDream offers 7 locations across Canada, free airport/hotel transfers, a 24-hour toll-free helpline and insulated RVs for winter use.The_New_Highway_upgrade_at_Lake_Country_Okanagan_Valley,_BC,_Canada

Salamanda Travel offers great specials on RV hire in Canada throughout the whole year. The most popular special is the ‘Early Bird Booking Special’, which can be booked between October and March for the following year. This offers massive savings such as 50% off the one-way fee, unlimited kilometers, free convenience kits, free additional drivers or travel free to the USA. So keep an eye on our Campervan specials in Canada because we regularly offer new specials, so you can take the advantage of these discounts when you hire your RV in Canada. Apart from this, Salamanda Travel offers a Price Match Guarantee, which means that we promise that whenever you shop at Salamanda Travel you are getting the best prices.

Canada is the world’s second-largest country by area; therefore we recommend planning your trip well in advance. Do some research especially on the distances; know where you are going and how long it will take you to get there. We know you’ll want to see a fair bit of the country, but we recommended not driving more than 250 km per day. This way you can really experience Canada at a leisurely pace.

What kind of Camper?
Such a big country of course has big roads which means you can drive safely in a large vehicle. Canada also has an excellent highway system.

Salamanda Travel offers five different vehicle types in Canada. All the vehicles in the fleet are automatic.

Deluxe Van Conversion
If you are travelling by yourself or as a couple the Deluxe Van is the Campervan for you. This compact vehicle offers a comfortable and functional interior, with kitchenette, spacious dining and a lounge area. It will give you all of the essentials and the comfort you could ask for  and on top of that, the vehicle is economical and easy to drive.

Maxi Travel Camper
The Maxi Travel Camper provides exceptional comfort and it is suitable for two adults and one child. The camper is mounted on a current model 4×4 truck and has a lot of features that make this a great home away from home.

Super Van Conversion
The Super Van Conversion is perfect for families and couples. It offers beds for two adults and two children, plenty of comfort and has an extra space for relaxing. This vehicle is still compact and easy to drive.
Apollo Canada MH MIDI

Midi Motorhome MHB
The Midi Motorhome sleeps four adults and two children. It provides all the features in a slightly more compact design than the Maxi Motorhome.

Maxi Motorhome  MHA
The Maxi Motorhome has everything you could ask for in an RV and sleeps four adults and two children very comfortably. It is the perfect choice for friends or families. It is the largest vehicle in the fleet.

Learn more about our the Canadian fleet; vehicle details, specifications, floor plans and gallery.

When and where to travel to Canada?
Canada is a huge country; generally speaking May until October has good weather in most regions.

East Coast
Once upon a time this was where the Vikings first landed. The country has a massive Atlantic coastline. The landscape varies from sheltered coves of pine-covered offshore islands to high rock cliffs battered by waves and wind, bordered by expanses of grey-blue ocean. Here you will find storybook lighthouses and quaint villages. If you are planning on visiting more than three historic sites, ask for a season pass to save money. Before May or after October, the East Coast will be freezing cold and be aware that many campgrounds are closed in the wintertime. CanaDream has a branch in Halifax which is a hub of live music pubs, summer festivals and historic architecture.

Central Canada
Central Canada is a region consisting of the two largest and most populous provinces; Ontario and Quebec and is home to Canada’s two largest cities, Montreal and Toronto. Central Canada offers very diverse scenery. The Great Lakes and St Lawrence region is “maple syrup” country, and of course the maple leaf is Canada’s national symbol. If you’re taking your RV to Toronto, a visit to Niagara Falls is a must. Be prepared to get wet while experiencing this world wonder, it’s a fantastic sight. Canadream has branches in Toronto and Montreal.

Great North
The Great North has pristine rivers and lakes, never-ending forests teeming with wildlife, and a fascinating Gold Rush history. The Great North of Canada is lucky enough to be home of the seasonal spectacle, the famous Northern Lights. It appears only at high latitudes on dark nights from September to March, and are actually present all year long, but can only be seen in winter when it is dark enough. The more north you go the more chances of seeing this colourful spectacle of the sky. Candream has a branch in Whitehorse.
Canada Mountain
Prairies
Imagine yourselves walking through the spectacular landscape of the movie ‘Brokeback Mountain’. If you have not seen the movie, watch it (it’s a must see!) and recognise the places where Jack and Ennis fell in love. This region is often described as endless fields of wheat under a never-ending sky.  Sculpted by ancient rivers, the moon-like Badlands was once upon a time home to dinosaurs. Discover the two billion-year-old rocks and observe the largest collection of dinosaur skeletons in the world. Canadream has locations in Calgary and Edmonton.

West Coast
The west coast borders the Pacific Ocean and is recognised for its mountains and forests. The First Nations people were the first to inhabit this region. They developed a unique form of art which often represents nature, and the west coast is well known for its totem poles. Hike along the epic coastline and mountain trails, and spot the wildlife when you go bear or whale watching. CanaDream has  a location in Vancouver.

Rocky Mountains
E
xperience enchanting hot springs and rugged mountains. This area offers everything from railway history to outdoor activities. You could also consider a trekking holiday to different ski resorts, or see the local history and geography up close. If you are taking an RV through the national parks in July and August make sure to book your campsites in advance, so you don’t waste precious time finding a campsite. The Rockies stretch all the way to Western North America, and it is possible to cross the border and visit the USA. There is a surcharge of $10 for each night you spent in the USA; simply call before you cross in to the United States and you are good to go.

Canadream has branches in Calgary and Edmonton.

Please contact us if you have any questions at all. We look forward to hearing from you!

New Zealand in a Campervan – A Snow Fields Road Trip

Been bitten by the snow bug and the travel bug at the same time? Then you should definitely visit the beautiful snow fields of New Zealand in wintertime. You can travel around New Zealand and try out the different ski areas as well.Apollo Euro Tourer

The south island of New Zealand offers lots of stunning areas to discover. Hire a motorhome from Salamanda Travel so you can enjoy your own outdoor adventure to the max. The greatest thing about renting a motorhome is that you and your fellow travellers are independent and can decide for yourselves where and when you’ll go. You’ll be free as a bird, you can stay flexible and decide to stay at one of the snowfields a bit longer than you planned. But we don’t recommend staying in one place for the whole trip, because there is lots to discover in New Zealand.

If you are able to head to New Zealand right now and if you are a massive snowfield lover, we recommend hiring a motorhome and doing a round trip through the south island. Christchurch is a good location to start and end your trip. Not just because of the international airport, but you can start your trip right away. Pick up your motorhome  and drive directly to the “Porters ski field”, and within two hours you will be standing on one of New Zealand’s magnificent snowfields, where beginners can join a class and the skilled discover the right terrain for them.

The second stop should be the Franz Josef Glacier, where you can discover Heli-hiking. Yes, it is exactly what you think. First you will fly in the helicopter to the Glacier with the finest panoramic view and then your guide and your group will hike amongst the ice caves and the seracs while be told all about the astonishing glacier – an experience you will never forget.

Travel along to Mount Cook, which is New Zealand’s highest mountain at 3.724 meters. Mount Cook will take your breath away; it’s the home of the kiwi adventures. The greatest thing about the Mount Cook area is that there are lots of different activities; go on a 4WD Argo Adventure, take a dip into one of the hot Tekapo Spings Pools  or take a tour and visit the amazing Tasman Glacier.

Drive towards Wanaka, where you must book one of the ‘Heli-Skiing’ tours. Again, yes it is exactly what you think. First you will fly in a helicopter to the mountain, take a deep breath and ski or board down the untouched powder-snow. It’s the ultimate snow adventure for both skiers and snowboarders.

When you love adventure, Queenstown is definitely not a city you can skip. There are tons of activities to  participate in, especially if you are an adrenaline junkie.  This town offers different bungee jumps, sky swings, jet boat rides, sky diving, paragliding, parasailing and many more activities. Next to this, Queenstown offers four excellent snowfields within easy reach of the town during winter.

After Queenstown it will be time to return to Christchurch, but not before you’ve stoped in Timaru. Timaru is the second largest city in Canterbury, with everything you need for a pleasant stopover. Here you can capture the spirit of the region, which means tasting the local flavours when you join a South Canterbury Food & Wine Trail, the perfect ending to a holiday you will never forget!

Brisbane as the locals know it (where to find great food)

The hidden Brisbane is my favourite part of Brisbane. To say that Brisbane is not interesting can mean one of two things – either you haven’t really looked, or you are so new you don’t know some of the local gems yet. And since, if you are on this website, you may be visiting in a campervan and just staying for a while, you are excused! Allow me to enlighten you.

Who doesn’t love food? I love it, and when I say I ‘love’ food, I mean I love decadent, sweet, delicious food that shortens your life span. If you are looking for healthy food, you are reading the wrong blog. But I will try to provide a well-balanced article.

There are a few fab joints for breakfast around town. Some of the most well-known ones are The Gun Shop, Lock and Load (both in West End), French Twist, Pearl Cafe, Crosstown Eating House (Woolloongabba). With the first two you might wonder where I am trying to send you. But it’s OK. The Gun Shop was once a Gun Shop … Lock and Load, well … I have no answer for that. It’s just a name.  Some people may question why French Twist is on the list…well, they make a spectacular french toast with banana, Nutella, maple syrup and ice cream which I love.

Lunch
Georges Seafood Paragon at Eagle Street Pier is on my list for two reasons. It’s cheap (hello half price lunches) and they seem to cook everything.  I hate seafood, so the fact I can eat here is noteworthy.  Taragindi Thai – I have never tasted better coconut rice. Always delicious, I would eat there every night if I could.

Dinner
My new favourite dinner eatery is Fat Noodles in the historic Treasury Casino building. You may be unimpressed with the Casino idea but the food is delicious, reasonable and the decor is funky. Something new catches my eye every time I visit (even though I always order the same dish).

Apparently people share food now … Well, that’s the impression when I visited Public. I feel that there is a ‘lady and the tramp’ push happening in Brisbane. Did I miss something? Is this the new speed dating? Anyway, it’s all about sharing at Public and their lack of tables means more intimacy with your dinner date.

West End Garden in West End is where I take friends visiting Brisbane. The chilli squid is amazing.

Dessert
My favourite meal of the day is dessert. Personally, I believe Brisbane should have more dessert restaurants. Milano at Ascot serves ice cream desserts similar to the ones you remember from your childhood when you visited the Big Pineapple. Passione Gelateria at Tenneriffe is a small establishment which offers some yummy Italian desserts. I am never less than impressed when I visit. Freestyler at Emporium is well known and open till late. Sometimes you’ll find it difficult to get a table. Poppie Cakes at Emporium rate a mention, as does CakeStar at Albion. Both sell  delicious cupcakes but Poppie Cakes serves rainbow cake. Google that – you will be impressed.

Meals at any time
Brisbane is limited when it comes to dining after 10pm. If you don’t want to visit the Casino I would head to the Villager, Brisbane CBD. Failing that, the Pancake Manor, Brisbane CBD is open 24 hours and provides meals other than pancakes. As the clubs close and the kebab lines are too long, you’ll see weary clubbers with shoes in hand making their way up the hill to the old church where the pancake manor is hidden.