5 Money Savvy SA Destinations

It is regarded as the hottest state in Australia, literally and figuratively! Its climate and rich earth have blessed its inhabitants with an abundance of produce, making South Australia the food basket of the commonwealth. Its vineyards and sweet wines are also one of the most popular in the country and a campervan hired to tour the state capital Adelaide, as well as the other cultural hubs, ensures a wonderful holiday.

However, some of you might have apprehensions when travelling to South Australia. You might think that it might be too expensive to travel to the southern state especially that its capital is home to several cultural galas and artistic events. But you’d be surprised to learn that there are several ways to enjoy a cheap holiday on a campervan and tour one of Australia’s famous states.

 1. The Cultural Centre that is Adelaide

The state capital was originally intended to be only 1 square mile. Colonel William Light founded the city with a desire to surround it with wide open avenues and lush green parks. The planned community was designed so that the garden city would have a ring encapsulating Adelaide’s heartland.

"Geometric Patterns Adelaide Arcade #dailyshoot” by Les Haines available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/leshaines123/4939186074/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Geometric Patterns Adelaide Arcade #dailyshoot” by Les Haines available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/leshaines123/4939186074/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Les Haines

Because of the colonial design of most of the structures as well as the parklands within the ring area, these are now regarded as “State Heritage Listed parklands.” At present, the city lives to its reputation as the centre of culture in South Australia. It is home to several pubs and clubs as well as art galleries.

The best part about the “City of Churches” is that they have caravan parks surrounding the collection of gardens surrounding the city. You can even hire a campervan in the city if you arrived via air or sea. Our office is just around 11 km away from the airport and within the city’s central business district.

From Adelaide, you can begin touring the magnificent destinations in South Australia thanks to the web work of major thoroughfares and regional roads that connect a holiday destination to the other. One of the legendary routes in South Australia is the Southern Ocean Drive which connects the city to the state’s tip. Another route is the mythic Barossa valley grapevine trail which is a trail away and back to Adelaide and around the lush vineyards of the valley.

 

2. The Food Basket that is Barossa

Arguably, Barossa Valley is home to some of the best wines in Australia and the World. In fact, Barossa wines are being exported to major cities in East Asia and in Europe. Apart from their collection of wines and spirits, Barossa is home to several vineyards and farms that are guaranteed to arouse your senses.

"Barossa Valley Way” by Chris Fithall available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisfithall/14361547070/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Barossa Valley Way” by Chris Fithall available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/chrisfithall/14361547070/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Chris Fithall

Follow the route and visit the picturesque villages around the valley like Angaston, which is recorded as the highest point of the valley. Angaston is also host to the Barossa Farmers Market. It is here where you can purchase fresh produce that you could prepare a lovely feast, which would complement the sweet wines in the region.

Meanwhile, Nuriootpa is considered as the business centre of the entire Barossa Valley. Here you can hire a bike, ride on modified tricycles or even get in a hot air balloon as you admire the magnificence of the lush green valley.

On the other hand, you can also visit the Nuriootpa Linear Park for a fascinating trip to memory lane with your kids. Just along the North Para River, the park offers a joy ride in a steam-powered locomotive that would surely bring peals of laughter to you and your children as you safely make rounds throughout the playground.

 

3. Hopping Around Kangaroo Island

Kangaroo Island is one of finest examples of nature unspoilt by the embellishment of modernisation. The island is just a ferry ride from Cape Jervis. Be greeted by dolphins as you cross the sea into a different world devoid of human interference.

"Eagle Rock” by NH53 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nh53/11051064866/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Eagle Rock” by NH53 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nh53/11051064866/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY NH53

Upon arriving on the island you would be greeted by echidnas (spiny anteaters), endemic birds, and kangaroos! Many would feel that the island was left behind by modernity, but that’s what makes its rustic beauty truly admirable. If you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll find that you’ve just found a diamond in the rough.

Head to Flinders Chase National Park and check-out its sugar-gum forests. There are also patches of mallee scrub, which accentuate the park. Of course, there’s also the Ravine des Casoars which serves as the island’s western door where you can lose yourself to the vastness of the ocean.

Then, there are the eastern settlements on the island. This is where you can get a taste of Kangaroo Island’s fresh produce as well as amazing spirits. You’ll never forget the elaborate flavours you’ve tasted in the island.

 

4. Freedom at the Flinders Ranges

Free your mind from all the stresses of city life at Flinders Ranges. This is where you’ll see the majestic Wilpena Pound. The vast bowl of red earth is one of the most remarkable destinations in the Outback. If you’re lucky you might even see fog covering the entire natural formation turning it into a cauldron of water vapour drifting freely in the sky.

"Mountains of Wilpena Pound” by Ben Cooper available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/benhamin/50727136/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

"Mountains of Wilpena Pound” by Ben Cooper available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/benhamin/50727136/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/ BY Ben Cooper

Flinders Ranges is also home to the legendary Lake Eyre, which is a catch basin of several bodies of water from the Northern Territory and Queensland. Once it floods, it is the largest lake in Australia. The flooded lake opens a lot of opportunities for both men and beast to enjoy the waters that rarely rupture its banks.

Sailors come during the occasional floods to conquer the vastness of the placid waters. Meanwhile, there are several species of birds that benefit from the waters that find the parched earth inescapable and hard to resist. It fills the lake with a variety of fish, which makes for a great fête for migratory fowl welcoming the turn of the seasons.

 

5. Remembering the Murray

Finally, there’s the Murray and its river cruises. Hop on any of the available houseboats which are actually restored paddle wheelers or steamboats from an era long lost but not forgotten. This is how the first Australians voyaged at the heartland as they discovered new habitable regions.

"Riverboat on the Murray” by John Hutchins available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/firedoc/14920726664/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

"Riverboat on the Murray” by John Hutchins available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/firedoc/14920726664/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/ BY John Hutchins

Before the first European settlers lived and thrived in the Outback, the aboriginal people have long called this place home. Now, their imprint is still visible from the mythic waters of the Murray to the “canoe trees” that whisper a thousand memories that drift in the wind.

Enjoy the tour where you’ll also have a taste of Murray’s finest delicacies. Their produce is guaranteed fresh. Also, try freshly caught Coorong Mullet that are sold along small stalls nearby the highway.

 

The best thing about these destinations is that they have campervan or caravan parks where you can park your hired motorhome for the night. Whether you begin your campervan holiday in Adelaide or in any of the popular destinations in South Australia, you’re certain there are affordable places where you can write your epic adventure!

These are just some of the best and affordable destinations in South Australia. Actually, there are more attractions out there to be discovered. Just be ready for all the fantastic possibilities that you might encounter.

Have you decided where to chart your next vacation in South Australia? Check our Facebook and Twitter pages and share your memorable campervan holidays to other motorhome enthusiasts in Australia and across the globe!

5 Holiday Campervan Grocery Essentials

Memorable holidays would be incomplete without covering all your holiday essentials. A typical holiday checklist would include buying most, if not all, of the grocery items you will need for your trip. Buying and preparing everything you need for your holiday on a camper rental is something that you must practice all the time whether you’re headed to any of the local destinations in Australia or out of the country, like New Zealand.

So before you hire a camper in your next trip anywhere in Australia or New Zealand, how about checking this list we made on groceries that you might just need for your next holiday? They might even save your life, literally. 

1. Squirrel-Sized Snacks

Dried fruits and nuts are considered as one of the most popular on-the-road treats. They come in small packets and can easily be carried and eaten anywhere.

"Santa's Nuts” by Kara available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/starmonkeybrass/3129323661/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

"Santa's Nuts” by Kara available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/starmonkeybrass/3129323661/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/ BY Kara

Nuts also pack a lot of protein that you would need in your long journey. Apart from that, did you know that almonds can help with those darn headaches? Buy a combination of peanuts and almonds and enjoy that crunchy saltiness tickling your taste buds.

If you’re not a fan-nut-tic, there are other treats that you might indulge in. How about dried fruits and berries that would tickle your tongue? There are a lot of popular fruits to choose from like raisins, banana chips, and candied fruits.

Fruits are packed with vitamin C as well as B-vitamins that are good for your immune system. 

"Fruit” by NatalieMaynor available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nataliemaynor/4477492394/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Fruit” by NatalieMaynor available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nataliemaynor/4477492394/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY NatalieMaynor

Another good thing about dried fruits and nuts is that they can be consumed even if you are on the road in your campervan. Avoid getting hungry in the middle of your journey by bringing a box of these sweet, salty, and tangy treats.

You can buy dried fruits and nuts in your favourite supermarket at affordable prices. You can even check the local market in your holiday destination to get the freshest deals.

 2. Satisfying No-Cook Meals

Speaking of food on the go, buy easy to cook, or better yet, no-cook meals for your campervan holiday. These meals can easily be reheated using the built-in gas stove or microwave oven in your campervan. However, don’t get us wrong. It’s always a joy to prepare hearty meals in your campervan during your vacation in the great outdoors. 

No-cook meals not only stave away hunger, they put in much-needed calories in your body for those challenging outdoor activities. Of course, you’d want to get the most out of your campervan holiday. That’s why you also need a body that’s ready for a day packed with adventure.

No-cook meals can also include foods that could be served for breakfast like oatmeal, bread, deli meat, fresh vegetables, and a variety of spreads. As for spreads, don’t forget to bring some margarine and good old vegemite.

 3. Stock-up on Sugary Delights

"Lots and lots of candy!” by m01229 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/39908901@N06/13552575624/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Lots and lots of candy!” by m01229 available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/39908901@N06/13552575624/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY m01229

The moment you go outside of your campervan to explore, you would certainly be using energy. That’s a lot of energy you’d be burning by walking, hiking or swimming in any of the wonderful national parks that dot the entire continent.

What better way to energise your body than to eat sugary delights like candy bars! Bring a candy bar or two in your pocket and have it ready while on the move from one scenic destination to the next. Avoid getting woozy with fatigue by eating something that would pump fuel in those muscles.

For the health conscious tourists, there are healthy alternatives to your traditional candy bar. You can buy energy bars or granola bars for the same energy boost without the fear of packing extra fat around your belly. Candy bars and their healthy alternatives are your best bet for a jolt of power for those long strolls at the legendary Outback.

 4. Agua Vida

"drof of water” by Tim Geers available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/timypenburg/4649617096/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"drof of water” by Tim Geers available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/timypenburg/4649617096/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Tim Geers

Don’t forget to bring water and energy drinks. It’s important to stay hydrated while walking under the heat of the sun. Although there would be a lot of public bubblers in the national parks, it would be great if you carry around a water bottle wherever you go.

Remember that your body is made mostly of water and it is losing a lot of liquid while you are on the move. Massive loss of fluids in your body might result in many health complications in the long run. Add to that, drinking water helps cool down your body from the sweltering heat.

5.  Handy First Aid Kit

"First Aid Kit” by DLG Images available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/131260238@N08/16800384582/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"First Aid Kit” by DLG Images available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/131260238@N08/16800384582/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY DLG Images

Meanwhile, there is one more thing that you might want to consider buying while you are in the supermarket. That would be a handy first aid kit. Buy some insect repellant, sunscreen, cotton balls, and rubbing alcohol for emergencies. Have quick remedies within reach for common ailments during your campervan holiday. Even a dip in the beach could bring its unwanted surprises. That’s why it’s better to always be prepared by keeping a first aid kit ready at hand.

These are just some of the items that you can include in your grocery list for in your next holiday. Not only are these grocery items handy, they can also be stored in your camper’s built-in fridge to store in their freshness. As for the first aid kit, you can keep it safe and away from the reach of children in any of the cabinets or compartments pre-installed in your campervan.

Do you have your list of groceries ready? How about sharing them with us? Connect with us through Facebook and Twitter and share your campervan experiences with holiday-goers around the world.

6 Big Sydney Day Tour Destinations

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”

– Lao Tzu

Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu emphasized the importance of taking that decisive action of moving towards the direction you want to go. However, where do you begin making that first step if you were in a camper van hired for a quick day tour in one of Australia’s largest and busiest metropolitan centres?

Sydney is a web work of roads, nature trails and bridges that intertwine with the vast expanse of ocean before it vanishes to infinity. A camper van hired for a quick day tour around the city is absolutely a daunting challenge. The city’s approximately 26.15 sqm of steel and concrete towers combined with parks and recreational areas make up the metropolitan region alone. It doesn’t cover the remainder of the city’s rugged nature trails, beaches, and national parks.

Let us help you take that decisive step by giving you a guide on where to go for a quick day tour of Sydney. Not only would you be able to tour some of the most spectacular sights in the city, you would also have a taste of what “the harbour city” has to offer to every traveller eager to make that first step towards a great holiday.

Big Sydney 6

Before even moving a muscle, you must remember that Sydney is a cluster of “regions.” The entire city is so rich in cultural diversity that each of these regions offer a different perspective of what Sydney is truly all about. To help you out, we searched for some of the best places for your day tour in 6 key areas just to get you started.

These locations are within the bay area and are accessible through the various public transportation available in the metropolis. The 6 “regions” are: the City of Sydney, Inner West, Northern Suburbs, Eastern Suburbs, Western Sydney and Southern Sydney.

City of Sydney

The City of Sydney is ideal for first time tourists. The community is right across the legendary Sydney Harbour where you can visit the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge and the picturesque Sydney Opera House. Both had adorned postage stamps and tourism posters since anyone could remember. Also, both of these man-made marvels could be visited by going on a leisurely stroll along Circular Quay.

"australia :: sydney :: circular quay” by hjjanisch available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hjjanisch/7312887462/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

"australia :: sydney :: circular quay” by hjjanisch available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/hjjanisch/7312887462/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/ BY hjjanisch

This area is where you can check out the city’s 1st central business district (CBD). While at the CBD, visit the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) where you can shop for jewellery and home wares. You can also try the line-up of cakes and pastries that are served in the cafés established in this iconic façade.

Speaking of shopping, why not visit Sydney’s Chinatown and Haymarket for an introduction to the Oriental palate? Immerse yourself to a parade of authentic Chinese delights as well as a showcase of gift shops that would absolutely inundate your senses.

"Sydney Chinatown” by Pablo Rodríguez available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/prodriguezmad/7756694684/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Sydney Chinatown” by Pablo Rodríguez available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/prodriguezmad/7756694684/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Pablo Rodríguez

Inner West

If you haven’t gotten your fill of the food choices sold at Sydney City’s restaurants, why not try some of those served in the Inner West? This area is all about food and shopping!

Shop around the fashionable streets of Oxford and William. Meanwhile, you can also check-out the second-hand shops at Balmain, Glebe, Leichhardt and Newtown. These streets are also filled with bookshops and cafés that would arouse any bibliophile’s interests.

Among the marketplaces founded in the area, Balmain’s could be one of the oldest, as it has been serving locals and tourists with fresh produce and tasty delicacies since the 1800’s. On the other hand, some of the shops focus on regional gourmet dishes, like Leichhardt, which serves mouthwatering Italian delicacies.

Northern Suburbs

The Northern Suburbs is where you’ll get your first treat of Australia’s wildlife. There are several places that exhibit the local flora and fauna in the continent as well as imported featured species from the African savannah and tropical forests around the world.

Taronga Zoo in Mosman is a perfect spot where family and friends can learn a thing or two about the estimated 4,000 species that have called this park their home. Apart from foreign wildlife, Taronga also hosts several endemic species like the well-loved koala.

If you’re more of a sea-loving chap, you can visit the Manly Sea Life Sanctuary. Or you can also try your agility and strength in commanding the waves at popular beaches in the area, like Manly Beach and Palm Beach. It is also here in Sydney’s Northern Suburbs that you can visit the Northern Beaches for an afternoon of sea and surf.

Eastern Suburbs

The Eastern Suburbs is also about sand, sea and surf, with Bondi Beach serving as the cherry on top of this oceanic delight. Bondi boasts of a 6 km paved path known as the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk, which features the thunderous sea juxtaposed the heavy immovable rocks to create an imagery that can only be described as breathtaking.

"Surfer at Bondi Beach” by Justin Otto at https://www.flickr.com/photos/8604504@N03/5664205924/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Surfer at Bondi Beach” by Justin Otto at https://www.flickr.com/photos/8604504@N03/5664205924/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Justin Otto

There are also other attractions in the area, most of them beaches and parks where your family and friends can enjoy either a quick dip at the sea or a relaxing afternoon surrounded by nature’s calm. Meanwhile, Watsons Bay is the best place in the area where you can buy fresh, sweet and succulent seafood. It is also known as the oldest fishing village in the city.

Western Sydney

After getting a perfect tan at the fantastic beaches at the Eastern Suburbs, take a step back in time at the heritage sites in Parramatta located at Western Sydney. The Old Government House, which was built in 1799, is the jewel on the crown of Sydney’s 2nd central business district (CBD).

Still hungry for adventure? Well, there’s also something for sports enthusiasts. If you want to catch the latest game, check out the events scheduled at the Parramatta Stadium. Then, visit Campbelltown for their scenic bush walking trails that lead you to Georges River Nature Reserve.

After that, you can end your visit to Western Sydney with a feast at Cabramatta where they serve the best southeast Asian dishes in the city. After all, they aren’t called Sydney’s “Little Saigon” for nothing.

Southern Sydney

Southern Sydney is all about nature’s finest gallery of cliffs, nature trails, and coastlines that strum the chords most familiar to the heartstrings. This area is where you can find the Royal National Park as well as La Perouse Museum, which features the history of Southern Sydney. The museum was named in honour of French explorer Comte de la Perouse who came to the continent in 1788.

These are the 6 biggest tourist zones for a memorable day tour in Sydney. Although there are a lot of them, they are all very accessible through the major roads as well as public transportation that connect them to each other. Looking at the list, your itinerary options are definitely limitless.

It’s up to you which of these destinations you would like to cover. When you’re done deciding where to take that first brave step, why not turn on the ignition of that camper van you hired and start touring the gleaming beauty of Australia’s “harbour city” – Sydney? You know you want to.

We always love to hear from you! Which of the featured tourist destinations in Sydney would you visit next? Share your love and comments via Salamanda Travel’s Facebook and Twitter pages today!

If I’m under 21, can I still hire a campervan in Australia and New Zealand?

Australia and New Zealand are very popular destinations for backpackers, mostly European and American students having a gap year and working their way around Australia. In between jobs a popular way to get around is in a low budget campervan such as the Hippie Camper vehicles.

Hippie logo

Many of these backpackers are under 21 and they are always really pleased to find an option for campervan hire that not only suits their budget and their lifestyle, but also caters to drivers under 21.

Hippie Camper is the brand that Salamanda Travel can offer for drivers who are under 21 but over 18 in Australia and New Zealand. Hippie have a range of vehicles:

The Hippie Camper Deluxe (0-3 year old vehicle)

Hippie Deluxe lifestyle

The Hippie Camper Budget (3-5 year old vehicle)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

The Hippie Hitop (4-6 year old vehicle)

Hippie Hitop Lifestyle

And finally, the answers to a few FAQs we get asked regarding Hippie Camper vehicles:

Is there a minimum rental duration?

Yes, the minimum rental period is generally 7 days, but at peak periods longer minimum rentals may apply.

How old do I need to be to drive a Hippie vehicle?

Hippie Camper hires their campervans to drivers 18 years and over, as long as you have a valid full or green P Australian driver’s licence. If the licence is not in English you’ll need an international licence or a valid, certified translation into English. To find a translator in Australia go to the NAATI website here:

In New Zealand the NZ Transport Agency provides a list of approved translators here:

Do I have to pay a bond?

All Hippie Camper rentals require a payment of a bond on pickup. The bond payable will depend on the liability option selected and the age of the driver.

The lowest bond payable on Hippie vehicles is $100 for drivers over 21 and $250 for drivers between 18 and 20 years of age. Please also refer to our blog post on liability reduction options and please always call Salamanda Travel if you have any questions you’d like to ask in person.

One-Way Relocation Rentals for Campervans & Cars

Campervan and car relocations are cheap alternatives to normal campervan hires. Relocation rentals are one-way hires that involve driving a car or campervan from one branch to another. This helps the campervan rental company to move vehicles to the branches where they are most needed.

The benefit to you is that you can quickly get from one location to another for a fraction of the cost of a regular camper hire. A lot of relocation rentals start from $1 per day, with fuel and travel allowances sometimes thrown in for free, depending on the particular relocation hire.

Campervan and car relocations are cheap alternatives to normal campervan hires. Relocation rentals are one-way hires that involve driving a car or campervan from one branch to another. This helps the campervan rental company to move vehicles to the branches where they are most needed.

The benefit to you is that you can quickly get from one location to another for a fraction of the cost of a regular camper hire. A lot of relocation rentals start from $1 per day, with fuel and travel allowances sometimes thrown in for free, depending on the particular relocation hire. Continue reading “One-Way Relocation Rentals for Campervans & Cars”