The 10 Joys Only Road-trippers Know to Be True

Joys only road-trippers know 1
Photo by Amanda Sandlin via Stocksnap

I’ve been on all kinds of road trips in my life. I’ve experienced breakdowns in the middle of nowhere. I’ve been through huge hail storms that made me Google “hail repair near me in Denver.” I’ve gone on them alone, with friends, and with family. No matter where or what I do, they never get old — and I’m not the only one who feels this way. So, why do we even bother going on road trips? Here are our top ten reasons:

Joys Only Road-trippers Know

1. Planning your trip!

There’s nothing like being the Type A you truly are and getting everything in order. From meal plans, clothing, to every single destination on the itinerary, the only way you’ll be happy is when you have everything down to a T.

Photo by  Syliwia Bartyzel via Stocksnap
Photo by Syliwia Bartyzel via Stocksnap


2. Driving with freedom!

One of the best things you can have while going on a road trip is the freedom of travelling and moving along from one place to another, without a care and at your own pace. When you hire a campervan or motorhome from Salamanda Travel, you’re sure to experience the drive of a lifetime!

Photo by Patrick Donelly via Stocksnap
Photo by Patrick Donelly via Stocksnap


3. Driving by scenic landscapes and seascapes!

They say that the journey is the destination and if you’re a true-blooded road tripper, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Photo by Joshua Earle via Stocksnap
Photo by Joshua Earle via Stocksnap


4. The thrill of discovery!

There’s a certain magic only discovering new things can bring. Whether it’s finding a new place to eat, tasting a certain dish or snack for the first time, finding a new shop with trinkets and thingamabobs you never knew or finding out something new about a person you’re driving with, the joy of the first time is always a thrill.

Photo by Tom Eversley via Isorepublic
Photo by Tom Eversley via Isorepublic


5. All the camping food you can make!

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, just think about all the recipes you can do while camping. It’s high time you experiment on making new and exciting food for all your camping adventures! Do away with baked beans on toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Photo by David Marcu via Stocksnap
Photo by David Marcu via Stocksnap


6. Getting lost (sometimes)!

Contrary to popular belief, getting lost doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds. Take the opportunity to learn, discover and explore new things and places. Also, by looking at it with a positive attitude, you’ll find that you’re actually having fun looking for a way out. And when you find what you’re looking for? Such bliss!

Photo by Ryan McGuire via Gratisography
Photo by Ryan McGuire via Gratisography


7. Meeting locals from everywhere and making new friends!

One of the worst advices you can take while travelling is “don’t talk to strangers”. I mean, why not? You’ll be surprised how many people are genuine, trustworthy and are actually willing to help. Some people have even found life-long friends after striking up a conversation with someone they never knew in the first place.

Photo by Joshy Washington via
Photo by Joshy Washington via


8. Bonding with your fellow road trippers!

Chances are, you’re on a road trip with your family or friends. This is the perfect opportunity to bond away from all the hullabaloo of the city, the craze of social media or interruptions from the Internet. With a road trip, you can have pure unadulterated fun and time with your loved ones!

Photo by Tom Eversley via Isorepublic
Photo by Tom Eversley via Isorepublic


9. Getting to your destination!

Sometimes you travel for the journey, and sometimes you travel to get to a destination! The excitement of knowing you’re nearing that much-awaited destination is one for the books and actually being in that place and experiencing it is like heaven on Earth!

Photo by Jay Mantri
Photo by Jay Mantri


10. Going on your way back!

There truly is no place like home. When everything has been said and done, the trip back home is still one of the best experiences one can have.

Photo by Mathieu Nicolet via Stocksnap
Photo by Mathieu Nicolet via Stocksnap

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Joys Only Road-trippers Know

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. There’s plenty of good parking too, so if you’re hoping to catch some of the exciting Events in Auckland you rarely need to worry about leaving your van behind.

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.


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.


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


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!

Help – I only drive an automatic (which campervans and RVs have automatic transmission?)

At Salamanda Travel we get quite a few enquiries from customers who are only licensed to drive vehicles with automatic transmission. So we thought we would list here which vehicles are an option for drivers who want to hire a campervan or motorhome that is guaranteed automatic.

interior campervan


All Apollo and Star RV vehicles in the USA have automatic transmission.


All vehicles in the Canadream fleet are automatic.

Australia & New Zealand

If your campervan hire is for Australia or New Zealand, the following vehicles from the Apollo Motorhomes and Star RV range are automatic:


  • The 4 berth Endeavour Camper
  • The 4 berth Apollo Euro Star
  • The 4 berth Apollo Euro Slider
  • The 4 berth Apollo Outback Camper

Star RV

  • the Aquila 2 berth
  • the Phoenix 4 berth
  • the Pegasus 4 berth
  • the Hercules 6 berth


The following vehicles consist of a fleet that is a mixture of automatic and manual (we can request an automatic vehicle, but it can’t be guaranteed):

  • Apollo Euro Deluxe 6 berth
  • Apollo Euro Camper 4 berth
  • Cheapa Campa 4 berth motorhome
  • Cheapa Campa 6 berth motorhome

Manual transmission only

In Australia and New Zealand, all Hippie Camper vehicles are manual transmission only.


Questions? Feel free to call Salamanda Travel.

How our Price Match Guarantee on Campervan hire works

So, you’re looking for the best deal on campervan hire for your self-drive holiday in Australia, New Zealand, the USA or Canada. Who doesn’t want to get the best deal?

There are lots of vehicles out there, lots of choices, quite a few different suppliers and many agents.

ConfusedSo how do I get the best deal on my RV hire?

One great way of ensuring you’re getting the best price on your campervan hire is knowing about our Price Match Guarantee and the confidence this gives you.

At Salamanda Travel, we are so confident that we have the best prices on campervan and motorhome hire in Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada, that if you find a cheaper price for the same vehicle and the same dates we’ll match it and give you a fifty dollar Amazon voucher.

Watch our clip here:

Then go ahead and test us out – get a quote today here!

Of course, some conditions apply. But if you have any questions, please get in touch.

Now I Have My Campervan, Where Can I See Australian Animals?

Known as a paradise for wildlife, Australia is  like a huge nature reserve because of its isolation. Among thousands of birds species worldwide, 300 unique and often colourful species of birds are found Down Under: the emu, the lyrebird, the kookaburra, the black swan and many different species of parrots among them.


Of course you’ll also find the famous iconic animals the kangaroo and koala, as well as their less well known marsupial cousins the possum, the wombat and the wallaby – the marsupials in themselves are unique and the only family of animals that carry their young in a pouch.

In the Northern Territory, Darwin is the perfect place to observe crocodiles (one “croc” per inhabitant) while remaining careful: crocodile attacks are real and one or two people are killed each year. The saltwater crocodile can weigh up to one tonne and measure 7 metres long. It’s considered to be one of the most dangerous animal species and it doesn’t hesitate to stalk and attack humans intentionally. Kakadu National Park is a perfect place to observe crocodiles in their natural state, but beware of the risks, listen to park rangers and always read and observe the signs.

2-crocosaurus cove-cage of death

Salamanda Travel offers pickup locations in Darwin as well as Alice Springs for campervan and RV hire, and both of these are well placed to explore the raw nature of the Northern Territory.

Another Aussie specialty is the Tasmanian devil: this notoriously bad-tempered marsupial lived on the mainland of the Australian continent 600 years ago, but is now only found living naturally in Tasmania.

The Australian ecosystem has been overwhelmed since colonisation. Several introduced animals have had disastrous consequences on the existing ecological balance. Especially the rabbits that arrived with the first colonists are out of control with few natural predators and ideal conditions to breed. Control campaigns have been developed to reduce and control the rabbit population that has exceeded 200 million at times. Currently the Afghan camels are too numerous. Their population doubles every 8 years, and they cause a range of problems in the fragile desert areas of the  Australia’s “Red Centre”.

Aussies animals are numerous and diversified. We have put together a list of places to see them, all easily accessible from our supplier’s campervan pickup locations around Australia.

  • Australia Zoo, Beerwah, Sunshine Coast: founded in 1970 by the late Steve Irwin and now run by his family, it covers 40 hectares with more than 1000 animals to see
  • Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, Brisbane: good spot to observe koalas and interact with kangaroos
  • Perth Zoo
  • National Zoo & Aquarium of Canberra
  • Taronga Zoo in Sydney – fantastic location by the harbour with access by bus or ferry as well as car
  • Melbourne Zoo
  • Sea World, Gold Coast
  • Crocosaurus Cove in Darwin: if you’re very brave (or a little crazy), dive in the Cage of Death
  • In Port Lincoln (SA), it’s possible to dive with the Lord of seas: the Great White Shark, while you are protected in a cage
  • Sea Life Sydney Aquarium


For nature lovers, we’ve got few spots to suggest as well. Australia’s numerous national parks are the best place to see animals in the wild. Check our table to find some suggestions:



Dolphins Port Philip, VIC; Noosa, QLD; Tin Can Bay, QLD; Monkey Mia, WA
Whales Hervey Bay, QLD; Gold Coast, QLD; (best season: July till November); Albany, WA
Tasmanian devil Tasmania
Turtles Great Barrier Reef, QLD, off QLD coast year-round
Fairy Penguins (Little Penguins) Philip Island, VIC
Dingoes Fraser Island, QLD, most of inland Australia
Crocodiles Darwin, NT; Daintree National Park, Far North QLD
Sea Lions Perth, WA
Seal, sea lion, kangaroo, wallaby, koala, platypus, possum, dolphins sometimes Kangaroo Island, SA
Possums Throughout Australia, even in the cities
Koala Blue Mountains, NSW; Daisy Hill, QLD

Dingo on the beach