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!

Australia in a Campervan – Our Guide to Christmas in Australia

Forget the cold weather of the Northern Hemisphere and the chimney fire!

bondi beach christmas

Christmas in Australia happens during the Summer Holidays (mid-December – mid-February) with temperatures from between 28 to 35°C (sometimes even hotter) whereas in France for example it’s more like 0 to 7°C, so for Europeans or North Americans to spend Christmas “Down Under” is quite a different experience to what they are used to.

Like in Europe, Christmas is a religious celebration even if there isn’t an official religion, however, three quarters of the population of Australia identifies as Christian (Catholic or Anglican). The evening of the 24th and the lunchtime of the 25th is generally spent with the family and close friends. Some people go camping as well and celebrate with an Aussie barbie.

christmas-bush

Australia has adopted many customs from Europe and especially the United Kingdom: indeed you’ll find Christmas trees with lots of ornaments and Santa Claus, but perhaps with a swimsuit on the beach. As for the famous Bondi Beach in Sydney, they get crowds of about 40,000 on the 25th!

Like in most countries you can hear carol singers on the street, with the biggest concert being the “Carols in the Domain” in central Sydney. Apart from the classic Christmas tree there is also the Christmas Bush: a small tree native to New South Wales, and lots of these decorate the balconies of houses in Sydney and surrounds.

six-white-boomers

In Australia Santa doesn’t use reindeers but kangaroos, the emblem of the nation, another Australian peculiarity making Christmas quite uniquely different.

Let’s talk about a central element: the Christmas lunch! Here again you’ll find some similarities with British cousins. The meal generally consists of:

  • Platters of seafood
  • Turkey
  • Ham
  • Vegetables
  • Pudding
  • Fruit Mince Pie
  • Pavlova

Pavlova: a cake made of meringue, and topped with cream and fruit invented in honour of Anna Pavlova, on the occasion of the ballerina’s tour to Australia and New Zealand. The two countries claim to have invented this desert and it can be a source of conflict between both nations.

boxing day test

The following day, Boxing Day, is a public holiday common to all Commonwealth countries: it’s the first day of the summer sales and the Boxing Day Test Match – a cricket game that takes place in Melbourne in the “MCG”,  a stadium with a capacity of 90, 000, that is usually full on this day.

Family Motorhome Holiday to Byron Bay

Here at Salamanda Travel we love hearing from clients about their holiday experiences. If you have ever considered taking a motorhome away with your family, then you’ll be interested in reading about the Howard family’s recent motorhome holiday to Byron Bay. With three active kids under 8 in a motorhome and two stressed-out parents in desperate need of a holiday, this could have been a recipe for disaster. But we are happy to report that their trusty motorhome delivered them to Byron for a relaxing and fun-filled holiday. Read on for more details on the Howard’s seaside camper trip.

Here at Salamanda Travel we love hearing from clients about their holiday experiences. If you have ever considered taking a motorhome away with your family, then you’ll be interested in reading about the Howard family’s recent motorhome holiday to Byron Bay (in New South Wales). With three active kids under 8 in a motorhome and two stressed-out parents in desperate need of a holiday, this could have been a recipe for disaster. But we are happy to report that their trusty motorhome delivered them to Byron for a relaxing and fun-filled holiday. Read on for more details on the Howard’s seaside camper van trip.

Continue reading “Family Motorhome Holiday to Byron Bay”