5 Campervan Pet Holiday Hacks

Dog owners have one major concern when planning a holiday: “Should we bring the pets or not?” This question gets asked because one, not all tourist spots in Australia and New Zealand allow pets in the premises. Two, dog owners on a camper van hired for a weekend with family and friends come with challenges, mostly with keeping pets healthy and happy throughout the trip.

Should you decide to bring your furbaby with you on a hired campervan on a holiday in Oz or NZ – and we really don’t see why you won’t -We have prepared a list of hacks for pet owners that hopefully can help you enjoy that much needed holiday with your four-legged baby.

 

Fleas off, please

"Clinic dog” by CopperCatStudios available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mi2starsfan/2218392596/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Clinic dog” by CopperCatStudios available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/mi2starsfan/2218392596/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY CopperCatStudios

Dog owners should pay a visit to the local vet and have their pet checked before letting them inside the vehicle.

If your dog has ticks and fleas, don’t bring them on the trip and leave them under the care of a vet while you’re on a holiday. Bringing a dog with fleas on a long road trip can spell a lot of problems, chief among them fleas and ticks falling from your pet’s fur and getting in every nook and cranny of your hired campervan.

That’s why it is best to have your pets dewormed and checked for other diseases before that trip around Oz or NZ in a campervan. Remember, a healthy pet makes for a happy owner.

 

Beddings for your buddy

"kiyomi shiba, half-asleep and on her human dad's side of the bed.” by Taro the Shiba Inu available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/_tar0_/10616051965/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"kiyomi shiba, half-asleep and on her human dad's side of the bed.” by Taro the Shiba Inu available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/_tar0_/10616051965/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Taro the Shiba Inu

When you’ve had your pet checked for ticks and fleas, as well as worms and diseases, you might want to check-out a sturdy collapsible cage for your pet. This makes it easier to transport your pet or keep them secure while you’re on the road.

Add to that, your pet would have their own place for the night instead of sleeping on the floor or outside the campervan. A collapsible bedding for your pet adds extra protection while you are travelling. Dogs can be prone to carsickness and if they are not kept on a stable platform.

 

A Feast for Pets

"Lola sits down when she eats” by Ben Brown available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/benbrown/2089051325/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

"Lola sits down when she eats” by Ben Brown available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/benbrown/2089051325/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Ben Brown

Okay, so it doesn’t necessarily have to be a feast. Just don’t forget to bring pet food when you bring your dog with you. Your pet would be fine eating the same hearty meals you prepared for your holiday. However, it would be great if you bring pet food that would suit their dietary needs.

Add to that, bringing pet food saves time. Just open up the can or bag and pour in your dog’s food and let them have a filling meal without waiting for you to finish your dinner before they can have theirs. Aside from feeding them well, you must make sure your pets are well hydrated throughout the trip.


Bring separate bowls for food and water to keep your pets in tip-top shape while you’re on a campervan holiday to any of the popular destinations in Oz or NZ. Having separate bowls for food and water ensures your dogs have enough water even if they are in the middle of their meals. Just remember to keep the water bowl filled so your dog can 
have a drink anytime.

 

Locate with Dog Tags

When you go on a campervan holiday, your dog may wander off. This is normal for pets love to explore and, well, mark their territory. That’s why it’s always great to have a dog tag (with your name and contact number printed clearly) safely clipped on your dog’s collar, so your pet can be returned to you if they go missing.

 

Pet-friendly destinations

"Bath time” by Jelly Dude available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/eoinlane/349460732/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"Lola sits down when she eats” by Ben Brown available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/benbrown/2089051325/ under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/ BY Jelly Dude

Finally, don’t forget to plan your destinations! Choose pet-friendly holiday routes. Luckily, most of the pet-friendly destinations are just along the Great Ocean Road which offers an array of holiday destinations for tourists that would like to bring their pets with them.

These destinations have amenities specifically designed for your little loves. You can take your dogs for a walk in the park and meet other dog owners and their pets. There are even areas where your dogs can do their “business” without feeling guilty about it!

Your dogs are considered part of the family. So, treat them with all the love and care that you would to a family member. They are loyal friends that you can always trust whether it be for security purposes or as a companion to your campervan holidays in Oz or NZ.

Have you ever travelled with your pets? We’d love to hear your story! Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and be part of a community of campervan 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 Reasons to Visit New Zealand Every Year

One trip to see them all.

Have you ever seen the movie Lord of the Rings? The film was shot in one of the most picturesque countries in the world, New Zealand. And just like how the film has portrayed it, the country is charming, if not magical.

New Zealand’s unspoilt scenery, from its breathtaking glaciers, lush green forests, quaint rolling hills and crystal clear lakes has attracted millions of tourists. The country is also compact and easy to travel from its northern to southern islands thanks to budget ferries.

Renting a campervan or a motorhome is a great way to explore this small country. You can pick them up in two of New Zealand’s largest cities, Christchurch and Auckland.

Whether you have been to New Zealand multiple times or a would be first time visitor, here are six reasons why this place deserves to be on your bucket list:

  1. Hobbit Village

Relive the scenes from the Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in the village of Matamata. Take photos of Bag End, home of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. The hobbit-sized town also has 43 other hobbit holes; some of which you can enter.

Roam the area and you will notice some familiar places from the two films like the double arched bridge, the mill, and the infamous Party Tree. Run along the green pastures and rolling hills of The Shire.

Not far from Matamata to the east, lies Wairere Falls. Plunging at a stunning height of 153 metres, it is the highest waterfall in the North Island. Wairere also has a scenic walking track and a panoramic view of the Waikato plains and valley from its lookout.

Hobbiton_Village_New_Zealand

"Hobbiton" by Tom Hall available at https://www.flickr.com/photos/tom_hall_nz/15189132237 under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Tom Hall

  1. Glacier Hikes

New Zealand is famous for its snow-capped mountains and glaciers, especially in Southern Alps in the South Island. Leave your footprints in the snow while you hike through many glacial patterns.

Choose between the equally famous neighbour glaciers of Fox and Franz Josef, both in Westland Tai Poutini National Park. Leave your rented motorhome at one of the many campervan sites at the base of the mountain. Book a tour to one of these  informative guided helicopter walks.

Other things to do while in this area include riding cross-country in quad bikes, kayaking the mirror-like waters of the nearby glacial lake, and getting close with kiwis (the animal, not the people) at the Westcoast Wildlife Centre.

  1. Māori Culture

The Māori people is perhaps among  the most passionate in the world. Just listening to their “haka” war dance, popularised by the All Blacks Rugby team, lets out a fire inside your heart. The film, Whale Rider, has perfectly portrayed the life and traditions of this vital Kiwi tribe.

Nowhere in New Zealand can you experience Māori culture more genuinely than in Rotorua. The indigenous people of New Zealand are welcoming and gladly let visitors in their homes in the spirit of manaakitanga (hospitality).

Grab a seat as locals perform their evening cultural dances or join classes on how to carve and weave traditional Maui patterns. Satisfy your hunger with steamy hangi food that is slowly cooked through thermal heat.

Aside from the unique local culture, Rotorua is also a haven for adrenaline-pumping extreme sports. The surrounding lush green forest has trails perfect for all mountain bikers, rushing rivers draw many kayakers and river rafters, and bush walks are perfect for all-terrain bike rides.

Maori_Culture_New_Zealand

" Maori" by bradhoc available athttps://www.flickr.com/photos/bradhoc/9712285341 under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY bradhoc

  1. Whale Watching

New Zealand is famous for its herds of sheep grazing on lush grasslands, but there is a rarely seen animal that swims in its waters- whales. Half of the world’s whale species like Blue whales, Humpback whales, Southern right whales (Tohora), Pilot whales and Sperm whales are in NZ.

The little seaside town of Kaikoura, 150 kilometres  of Christchurch, is one of the best places to catch a glimpse of these gentle giants.  Take a photo of them slapping their tails or spouting water through their blowholes.

Other places where you can catch a glimpse of whales are in Bay of Islands where there is a large population of bottlenose dolphins, Whakatane which has a sunny warm climate, and Hauraki Gulf where you can spot orca whales and Bryde’s whales.

5. Waitomo Glowworm Caves

Are you fond of stargazing? Now, imagine doing that inside a dark cave, and instead of stars you are looking at glowworms clinging on the roof.

Waitomo Glowworm Grotto in the Northern Island is probably the best memory you will have out of your journey in New Zealand. The cave is a quiet repose that brings a magical moment as if you are frozen in time as you gaze into the living lights.

For the more adventurous,  try the nearby Lost World cave tour where you get a chance to rappel 100 metres  down a cave wall, followed by a dry carving adventure. The cave has a mystical vibe because of an eerie mist amplified by the roar of the Mangapu river echoing throughout its cavern.

Waitomo_Glowworm_Caves_New_Zealand

"Glowworms catching food - 2012-01-28" by Kristina D.C. Hoeppner available athttps://www.flickr.com/photos/4nitsirk/6781019705 under a Creative Commons Attribution. Full license at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/ BY Kristina D. C. Hoeppner

6. Marlborough Region

Toast a glass of exquisite wine as you explore the wine region of Marlborough. Close to eighty-percent of wine products in New Zealand is produced in this region including the renowned Sauvignon Blanc.

There is nothing like the seafood dining experience in one of the region’s restaurants and wineries. The regional dishes in Marlborough has components of honey, wild meat, oils and nuts produced from its

Aside from wine, the region is also famous for its historic sites and serene coastline. At Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre, they show old plane models from the World War I and II era. Meanwhile, the sea-drowned valleys of Marlborough Sounds offer great kayaking experiences for beginners and pro paddlers.

 

These six things will surely make you want to go back to New Zealand every year. Hire a campervan or motorhome if you want to explore this wonderful country in an inexpensive and convenient way.

Planning your Campervan Holiday in New Zealand

New Zealand is a fantastic destination for a self-drive holiday in a motorhome for a number of reasons.

First of all, the distances are not that great, so to drive from one location in your campervan to the next won’t take long. This will allow you to spend more time at each fantastic destination.

Another reason is that New Zealanders themselves love the camping lifestyle and there are plenty of options for those undertaking their own campervan holiday in “the Land of the Long White Cloud”. There is even a national organisation dedicated to camping  – click here.

Camping Our Way NZ

And then of course, there are the stunning destinations that you can travel to in your campervan that you book through Salamanda Travel!

Akaroa_Harbour NZ

Last but not least are the friendly locals. New Zealanders are known as a very friendly nation who will be only too happy to strike up a conversation and give you advice if they can.

So, you’re planning a trip to New Zealand and are considering hiring a campervan … we agree, it’s a great idea! But what do you need to know?

Free Airport Transfer

First of all, our suppliers offer a free transfer both from the airport and back after your journey is over. When you book a campervan with Salamanda Travel the airport transfer from either Auckland or Christchurch is included free of charge. On arrival at the airport, you simply call the number we have advised, and someone will meet you at the airport and bring you to the branch office to collect your motorhome or campervan.

Queenstown_New_Zealand_September_07

Where to Stay?

So the next thing is – where to stay?

Here there are plenty of options throughout New Zealand – caravan parks and campgrounds, National Parks, or so-called “freedom camping”.

Caravan Parks and Holiday Parks

Caravan Parks are the most convenient places to stay and enjoy your campervan holiday in New Zealand. In addition, prices are quite reasonable. However we do recommend you plan your route and book ahead, especially in the busy season which is during the New Zealand summer and holiday period from late November to March.

Private campgrounds and caravan parks offer plenty of facilities to make your campervan stay easy, such as access to power and water, so you can fill up your water tank and recharge the battery on your motorhome or campervan. They also offer facilities such as shower and toilets, laundries, camp kitchens, and sometimes campfire sites that will make your stay that much more enjoyable. Some campgrounds offer recreational facilities such as tennis courts, swimming pools, and recreation rooms with table tennis and other games.

Campgrounds and caravan parks are usually located close to attractions such as tourist sites and attractions, beaches, and so on.

Coromandel_Peninsula_Panorama

They are also a great way to meet other travellers and swap tales.

To find some options, this is a good place to start: Great NZ Accommodation Directory

Please also have a look through the following list and see if you can find something to suit you:

  • Family Parks New Zealand – this an independant group of holiday parks that provide a family atmosphere. For more information click here 
  • Kiwi Holiday Parks – these are highly recommended. For more information go here
  • Top 10 Holiday Parks – these offer affordable accommodation throughout New Zealand – go here
  • Holiday parks – a range of camping grounds here
  • Jasons – accommodation and camp sites – click here

Lake_Rotorua_panorama_1

National Parks

The NZ Department of Conservation (DOC) manages more than 200 conservation areas throughout New Zealand, including National Parks. The conservation parks feature a range of appealing natural settings, from beach settings to forests or lakes, with each one offering a wide range of campgrounds and facilities.

These DOC campsites are a great place to call in with your campervan for the night and experience the natural wonders of New Zealand. Besides that, they offer very affordable rates and you will most probably meet like-minded travellers.

Bookings are required for the serviced campsites, and also for some of the standard campsites. Fees vary depending on where the park is situated and whether or not it is serviced.  Please visit the Department of Conservation and New Zealand’s National Parks website here for more information.

Milford_Sound NZ

Freedom Camping

It is still possible to “free camp” in many areas in New Zealand, except for areas that are signposted as no camping allowed. Please be careful when choosing your site, because if you camp in a prohibited area you may be fined.

Local authorities are responsible for free stays in their own region. We recommend you check with the local information centre before setting up for the night.

The other thing to consider is the battery power in your campervan. Campervans and motorhomes run on a dual battery system – one battery starts the campervan ignition and the other powers internal appliances. Approximately every second day you will need to recharge the battery, depending on usage. So it’s a good idea to plan to stay at a powered site at least some of the time.

Most importantly, be sure to clean up after yourself and not leave any litter. In recent times, some freedom campers have not done the right thing and this will ultimately lead to tighter restrictions on freedom camping.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call us and have a chat!

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!