Camper Cooking for Cold Days: Camp Desserts for the Winter

Desserts for WinterAs you probably already know,  Australia’s weather is much like a fickle-minded boy—always unsure and always changing his decisions. Even during the Winter (June to August) season, you’ll find that the temperatures vary from region to region, owing to the large size of the Land Down Under. The tropical northern areas are usually dry. Victoria is often powdery and bright with snow in the Australian Alps while the deserts and reefs remain the same all through the year.

Through our #SalamandaWinter series, we’ve written a few other things about what you can do to make the most of your snowfall experience in Australia especially in Victoria. We’ve listed 5 Winter Destinations in Australia You Shouldn’t Miss and another post for some Winter Essentials. This time, we’re fanning the flames of our campfire and we’re giving you recipes for dessert for the winter you can cook up whether you have plenty of time or are always on the go!

Desserts for the Winter Traveller

Photo from  Lauren's Latest
Photo from Serious Eats

Banana Boat

First up, we want something fruity in there and these famous treats are just perfect! We’re sliding this in the top of the list because some of the ingredients are most likely to be spoiled first. We’re looking at a refreshing way to end your first meal beside the campfire just outside of your campervan. For the Banana Boat, you’ll need the following:

  • Bananas

  • Chocolate bars or chocolate chips

  • Marshmallows

  • Aluminum foil

Here are the three steps to cook. To start off, cut your bananas in the middle (lengthwise) without removing the peels. Then, stuff the insides with chocolates and marshmallows. Finally, wrap the Boats in aluminum foils, place them on a grill or on top of hot coals and wait for 5-10 minutes!

If you want to change or add some ingredients, it’s totally up to you. You can add some other flavours and stuff like strawberries, cereals or even granola!

Photo from Lauren's Latest
Photo from Lauren’s Latest

Peanut Butter Cookie Dough S’mores

We found this one lying around on the Internet and we just couldn’t help but share it. The ingredients may intimidate you at first but it really is just simple. This recipe from Lauren’s Latest shows us how they made hot s’mores to fight cold winter nights.

  • Peanut butter

  • Sugar

  • Vanila

  • Flour

  • Milk

  • Graham crackers

  • Marshmallows

  • Chocolate bars

Mix all the cookie dough ingredients in a bowl until you have a clay-like consistency. This includes the peanut butter, sugar, vanilla, flour and milk. Set them aside. Then, toast the marshmallow over the fire. Simply assemble the snack by sandwiching the dough, the marshmallows and chocolate between the graham crackers.

Photo from Moms on Timeout
Photo from Moms on Timeout

Chocolate No-Bake Cookies

In your campervan travel, you deserve to have an easy and laid back journey. We know you want something that’s effortless but is oh-so-good too so we’ll try not to disappoint. Our last recipe was found on Mom On Timeout and it sure caught our attention for being oozingly camping-friendly. You don’t even need to go outside to cook! Here’s a list of the ingredients you need:

  • Sugar

  • Light corn syrup

  • Chocolate chips

  • Peanut butter

  • Quick oats

  • Coconut flakes

First, heat the sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan until it reaches a full boil. Then, remove the mixture from heat, add the chocolates and peanut butter until melted and combined. After that, add the oats and coconut and stir. Portion the cookies with a spoon and let cool. See? It’s that easy!

Now that you have the recipes, all you have to do is get those ingredients for your desserts for the winter and then book a campervan! Hire one from Salamanda Travel by visiting our website or calling +61 (0)7 3265 9295. Like our Facebook page and follow our Twitter account for more information and updates!

The 5 Winter Destinations in Australia You Should Visit

The 5 Winter Destinations in Australia You Should VisitTo the rest of the world, winter is that time of the year when the snow gears are being cleaned up, prepped and readied. But in the Land Down Under, we do things a little bit differently.

Australia’s vastness makes for varying climates all over the country. It may be freezing in some parts like Thredbo and Mt Baw Baw but in the northern regions it could still be warm due to their relative proximity to the equator.

Enough scientific talk though, we’re here to give you what you need to make the most of the Australian winter! Here are our top picks for the places you should visit while it’s hot (and cold too)! Here are the five winter destinations in Australia you should visit.

Winter Destinations in Australia

Lord Howe Island

Photo by patchtok via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0
Photo by patchtok via Flickr/ CC BY 2.0

 Sitting in the azure waters of the Tasman Sea, between Australia and New Zealand, is the Lord Howe Island. Its crescent-shaped island provides for indulgent relaxing atmospheres, exhilarating experiences like scuba diving, birdwatching, snorkelling, surfing, kayaking and fishing. There’s also room for hiking, trekking and walking in its famous twin peaks.This summer, you’re sure to be immersed in breathtaking stunners in the form of mountain views, cool beaches and stylish lifestyle in the Heritage-listed paradise island.

Gibb River Road

Photo by Stray Croc via Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo by Stray Croc via Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0

If you have more than a few days to spare and looking for a 4WD adventure, then the 660-kilometre Gibb River Road is the winter getaway for you. In eight days, you can get full doses of epic outback experiences from the Kimberley Region in Western Australia. Go through the Derby, Windjana Gorge, Mt Hart Homestead, Manning Gorge, Drysdale River Station, Ellenbrae Station, El Questro Wilderness Park, Wyndham and Kununurra. Life here is simple and the former cattle route still offers accommodation from  several cattle stations.

Simpson Desert

Photo by enjosmith via Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo by enjosmith via Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Another roadventure, another reason to hop on the driver’s seat and get going! Driving along the deep red sands of the Simpson Desert is nothing short of a challenge. Though arduous and requires a lot of time planning ahead, the possibilities are endless and the rewards limitless! Take the Stuart Highway from Adelaide, drive the Oodnadatta Track and dare cross Mt Dare or propel from Poeppel Corner. Plus, though the conditions might be harsh for life to thrive, there is a lovely collection of wildflowers, pine trees and unique wildlife.

The Whitsundays

Photo by brewbooks via Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0
Photo by brewbooks via Flickr/ CC BY-SA 2.0

Now it’s time to relax again and one that will never (ever!) disappoint is The Whitsundays. The islands are of lush emerald colour, the waters as clear as the purest sapphire could be with the foamy yet lazy waves crawl to pearly white fine sands. T

Mt Donna Buang

Photo by r reeve via Flickr/ CC BY-ND 2.0
Photo by r reeve via Flickr/ CC BY-ND 2.0

This perhaps is Melbourne’s best-kept secret and this reveal will surely benefit everyone who’s been looking for a bit of snow to see what the fuss is really all about. In the  southern reaches of Victoria, in the Yarra Ranges National Park, a bright explosion of white will greet you as a Mount Donna Buang is located here. Ready your winter gear! Here we come for days of snowplays and tobogganing!

Go on a winter vacation with Salamanda Travel today. Follow our social media pages in Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter for the latest updates and hashtag us using #SalamandaWinter. Visit our website on SalamandaTravel.com

Winter Destinations in Australia

The Best Travel Apps You Absolutely Need For Travelling

The 7 Travel Apps You NeedNo study is needed to prove that technology has changed the way we travel. In the most recent of years, it has increasingly shown potential not only in changing but altogether shaping the way we do things. The digital age is here and although some may argue it only brings confusion and nuances on the table, we like to be defensive and say that the former is not entirely true.

We understand that it’s an ocean out there and you could virtually drown in all that mess. So, we’ve rounded up the travel applications that you’ll actually need, away from all the digital debris. Here are the best travel apps you need to travel with (and some recommendations) that will actually solve your problems.

The Best Travel Apps Today!

Directions

Who needs directions? We know we do. There really is no point in acting like you know the directions to the place you’re driving to when, the fact is, you’re as blank as a new unlined notebook. Most of the time, all you need is a bit of help so a map app is the first things you need to tick off that list. We recommend Google Maps for its simplicity. Plus, it’s usually already installed on your phone.

Guides

The best thing about having everything on your mobile devices is the ease of access. You don’t have to waste gas driving around town in search of the best place there is. Now, all you need to do is type in where you are and there will be recommendations waiting for you to click or, in this case, tap. Get reliable information from fellow travellers on top-rated restaurants or activities you can do. For this, we assure you that the TripAdvisor mobile app will have everything you need, in the most brutally honest way possible sometimes. Runners-up for this category on our best travel apps list are Pin Drop, Schemer and Foodspotting.

Currency Converter

If you think this is not one that you should add to your arsenal, then think again. Having a quick currency converter will save you time searching; computing; and counting in your head.  XE Currency has a simple interface making it easier to navigate and uses real time to update currencies. The best takeaway is knowing the app is accurate!

Translator

We’re gonna be frank and say that if you visit another country, then you should learn at least some basic communication skills. Everyone will appreciate it and it’s always fun learning something new. Save yourself innumerable hours of searching the guidebook for how to say “How are You Doing?” in Yiddish by getting an app that gives you the answer in seconds. Download translator apps that also teach you how to pronounce a word so you don’t make a fool out of yourself. Better Translation Pro is the top-rated app on Android to do just the job. If you want one that’s of space age, try Word Lens—take a photo of a word and translate it as you need. Cool, eh?

Deals

Now who doesn’t love a great discount? If it were up to us, we’d be handing out deals and specials like they were pancakes. If you want your fair share of opportunities to save for your travels, then a good deal finder is what you need. Travelzoo keeps it fresh by updating every week, listing down the best packages on cruises, hotels, car rentals and airfares. It’s good for many countries (including Australia) and is also topping reviews on the stores!

Memory Keeping

This one might digress a little bit but after all the travels, it’s always nice to go back and reminisce the days of pure unadulterated journeys. Aside from notepads, cameras and sound recorders readily installed on your smartphones, get Instagram as your photo diary. You can even let your friends (and followers) know what you’re currently up to since it’s a social app. If you’re looking for a more sophisticated journaling experience, get Trip Journal with all its mapping and geo-tagging features!

Communication

When everything is said and done, you’ll want to have someone to go back to; someone you miss or simply someone you need to talk with. We’re leaving out other social media that can get you sucked in the digital hole (after all, travel is a way to get out of that and not the other way round). We simply recommend you getting WhatsApp or Viber (the apps make use of WiFi or your telecom’s data plan so they’re free) to communicate back to your relatives who might be on the other side of the world or that friend who you’re visiting in the region.

Download  the best travel apps now! Learn more every week on making your travels better with our blog. Like our Facebook page and Twitter to get quick updates!

 

The Ten Camping Tools for Winter in Austrlia

Winter Travel EssentialsIf you’re a lover of Australia’s balmy climatic zones found especially in the tropical and subtropical areas, then, chances are, you might not be ready for the frosts the winter can bring about. After all, Australia isn’t exactly known for teeming with snow-capped mountains and freezing temperatures. Still, when the going gets a little bit tougher than usual, remember that we’ve got you covered. Here are some of the things that you need to pack with you on your campervan adventure in the winter:

Essentials and Camping Tools for Winter

Warm hats

When you’re travelling in the winter, it can be too cold to even haul your luggage from one place to another. The trick to carrying very little but still staying warm is a light fleece hat. The basic things you need to remember is that it should be able to covers your ears and at least some part of your neck.

Thermal underwear

Some nights can get absolutely freezing and like we’ve always said, it’s better to prepare rather than finding yourself shaking, practically immobile because of the cold. On extra frosty nights, get some good reliable thermal underwear to layer with your regular clothes.

Winter boots

A pair of solid and sturdy winter or rain boots can go a very long way for protection. How else will you be able to walk the alpine resorts of Perisher and Thredbo in New South Wales without these? Make sure they’re weatherproof, light on the lacing and dark coloured (to hide mud stains). These are probably the heaviest items you’ll have so wear them on the way to save some space.

Fuzzy slipper-socks or wool socks

When the boots are starting to give way for pain in your muscles and joints, one way you can rest your feet are through some awesome wool socks or slipper-socks. We’re very particular on the material because we don’t want any feet freezing from the unbearably cold ground.

Gloves

There’s no question about the gloves. Your hands are one of the parts of your body that need the most mobility so you’ll need some thin yet efficient gloves to keep them warm and flexible. Do away with overly large (and utterly useless) mittens and find some breathable, waterproof and quick drying ones. It also helps if they have some sort of grip.

Clothing

This one can get tricky and if you’re not careful, you could end up bringing trunk loads of clothes that you don’t actually need, just because they said you should layer up. The number of items you’ll need  will really depend on the duration of your trip but you’ll need  some long sleeved shirts,  a long sleeved top that you can layer the former with, a sweater for quick visits outside and a waterproof jacket in case of rain or snowfall.

We’re also listing down some things you never thought you’d need:

  • Pack in some polarised sunglasses (make sure they’re sturdy enough) since light reflected on snow can be very heavy on your eyes.
  • Throw in some sunscreen. Yes, you can still get sunburnt from the light’s reflection from the snow.
  • Moisturiser is useful for dry skin brought about by winter.
  • We know you’ve been a victim before so prevent your lips from chapping and cracking with some lip balm.
  • One of the most dreaded things to do in the winter is splashing yourself with water so some hypoallergenic towelettes can help you deal with quick clean ups.

Got your list of essentials and camping tools for winter ready? Learn more about the basics of travelling by following our blog. Plus, get quick updates from our Facebook and snippets of information from our Twitter account.