Hippies Guide to the Best Surf Beaches in Australia

Surfing in AustraliaNever mind all the other things to do in Australia, surfing is the way to go! After all, we wouldn’t be a famous surf destination across the globe if we didn’t have all the best spots here.

We are blessed with some of the world’s best coastlines, reefs (the Great Barrier Reef, no less), and point breaks. Really, nowhere else in the world do we get an opportunity to ride waves that make us feel more alive!

We’re checking out the best surf beaches and towns in Australia to see which ones (if not all) we like best and would travel to. Plus, we’re giving you tips in how you can you can go large on your trip!

Wanna go and ride with us? Whether you are in the West or in the more popular tourist states like Queensland, New South Wales and Vic or even as far as South Australia or Tassie, you’ll find a place to call your own. Without further ado, aside from Surfers Paradise, here are the best surf spots in Australia you can drive to with a campervan!

Noosa Beach

If you want great photos to accompany your adventures, then it’s Noosa that you should visit first. The longboard breaks make for picturesque moments in the water. Plus, the waves reach up to 200 metres! How totally cool is that? Noosa is also the place where, if you’re starting out, you can learn to how to surf. The waves here at the beach located in Queensland range from mild to wild!

Bells Beach, Victoria

You know, I know it, we all know it—a list of the best surf beaches will not be complete without Bells Beach on the list. If you want to see where all the hype began, the beach is a great starting point. What makes it so wonderful are not only the biggest swells one could ever ride. The coastal locality of Bells Beach is home to the annual Rip Curl Pro, Australia’s oldest and most prestigious surfing competition, and the Music Festival Bird Rock.

Snappers Rock

Queensland’s Gold Coast is arguably one of the most picturesque urban jungles you will ever see. The city’s skyline alone is enough to take your breath away so when you mix in a stretch of sandy beaches, you know you’re well on your way to falling in love. At the southern end of the Rainbow Bay lies Snappers Rock—home to the world’s longest waves and a destination that suits all family members. The beach has nearby attractions like shops, bush walking trails, hinterlands and national parks.

If you’re a budding surfer, here are our top ten tips to get you topped up:

  1. There is a variety of surfboards, while some can even be customised to suit your style and need. The three main ones are the longboard, shortboard and funboard.

  2. The longboard is used by beginners to learn to paddle well and take advantage of smaller waves.

  3. The shortboards are used by mid-level surfers and pros to easily ride taller waves and barrels.

  4. Funboards, meanwhile, are for easy transition from beginner to pro.

  5. Get a rash guard—It’s fashion and function rolled into one. It protects you from the sun, prevents you from getting rashes from the wax on the surfboard and helps keep you warm during cold surfing seasons.

  6. Do a lot of exercise to increase your stamina. Surfing is not only difficult to begin with, it is also quite tiring.

  7. Practice your swimming as well. Needless to say, you’ll be in the water 100% of the time. Knowing how to not drown is a great advantage.

  8. Always listen to your trainers and instructors. They’ll keep you safe. ‘Nuff said.

  9. Before you do anything, do your research. You’re on the right track now, so keep it up!

  10. Most importantly, have fun. Stay gold!

Dive in, head first to the best surf beaches in Australia with Hippie Camper. Our campervans are among the most affordable in the country, the perfect way to save for more outdoor adventures! Follow our social media pages (Facebook) and go to our website now!

Western Australia in a Hippie Camper!

Western Australia in a HippieThanks to the influx of tourists and travellers in Australia’s east coast, people have been looking—well, Googling—for the country’s next great destinations. Conventions have been broken and everyone is now clamouring not for the brightest and hotspots but for places that are yet to be discovered, places that were always in the bottom of the lists and places that never captured the double-tap hearts from the get go.

Well, not really—it’s still a matter of choice between being in crowded place or having more space for relaxation or adventure. But of we were to be asked, we’d choose the latter any time.

Western Australia, located, well, in the country’s west, needless to say, perhaps is the gunner for being the less travelled in Australia since “everything” is available on the other side anyway. But in case you were wondering what there is on the country’s largest state, we’ve got you covered. Western Australia proves that just because it’s not always the first choice doesn’t mean it doesn’t deserve to be among the most beautiful places to be. Ready your Hippie campervan and let’s start travelling!

Starting from Perth, the state’s capital city, we’re giving you a bunch of fun, outdoorsy and exciting ways (and places) to help you enjoy the road less travelled. Here are our top things to do in Western Australia!

Kings Park and Botanic Gardens

More than six million people are dazzled each year by the stunning beauty of Kings Park. The park, which is about four square kilometres of grassed parkland, natural and native bushland and botanical gardens, often is the first thing travellers choose when they step into the city.

All year round, embedded in the wondrous park are magnificent wildflowers and indigenous flora. The park provides a striking view of the Swan River while the panoramic natural setting doubles as a place for children to enjoy and for adults to indulge. When planning your road trip, make sure you’re here in September, the Kings Park Festival, gives a boost of energy to the already bustling park. Feast your eyes on a spectrum of colourful festivity!

Horizontal Falls

Though not apparent at first sight, there is a certain mystery that surrounds the Horizontal Falls. Described as “one of the greatest natural wonders of the world”, the Horries are a massive and fast-moving tidal flow that course through the twin gaps of the McLarty Ranges.

The Horries are a surefire way to give you that jolt not even the strongest energy can provide. The best way to see the magnificent “waterfalls” from above is on a seaplane while if you’re up for even more thrills, ride the four wheel drives and the jet boats. The food (the Barramundi is to die for!) here is will not dampen your mood but will whet (pun intended) your appetite for even more. The Horizontal Falls are found on the coasts of the Kimberley Region. Speaking of the latter, you might want to drive your campervan there too!

Ningaloo Reef

It may never be at par with Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef found in New South Wales but the Ningaloo Reef, which is located on the fringes of a coast by the same name is definitely a force to be reckoned with when it comes to natural wonders. The World Heritage Site is part of the famous Indian Ocean Drive found along Western Australia’s Coral Coast so if you think this isn’t campervan friendly, you’ve been mistaken. The Ningaloo Reef, in all its stunning blue crystal clear waters, is found about 1,200 kilometres north of Perth.

Discover teeming aquatic fauna from the hundreds of species of fish and coral. Meet, swim and snorkel with the world’s largest fish, whale sharks from April to June. From June to November you can see the humpback whales or rare turtles. Lively corals, meanwhile, spring up all year long but are most distinct from March to April.

The Pinnacles

To say that The Pinnacles of the Nambung National Park are simply weird is a gross understatement. For us, the limestone rock formations are majestically otherworldly. The reddish rocks that jut out from the fine golden sand, a contrast to the fine blue sky, were once part of a marine life. Numerous theories on how they were formed come to play but none of them seem to make cut to be proven.

The Pinnacles give the seemingly deserted Western Australia a different texture. Wildflowers start to bloom from August to October so most travellers find it the best season for travels. As for the best time to actually visit the place, daybreak and sunsets give the already eerily area a splash of even more mystery. Plus, there are also a number of nocturnal animals and marsupials and birds like kangaroos and emu, respectively, and even black lizards found here.

Kalbarri National Park

Time has again proven its ability to create. The Murchison River, for years that are so immense in number they are uncountable, has carved gorges and formed spectacular sights in the Kalbarri National Park. Though undeniably photogenic, the park proves to be more than a picture-perfect sight to be embedded into the memories. Some of the most popular activities that can be done here, aside from sightseeing,m are fishing, boating, bushwalking and horseback riding as well as water activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, swimming and surfing.

Located less than 500 kilometres north of Perth, it’s easy to drive a campervan here. Simply take the wonderfully scenic drive through the Indian Ocean Drive passing by the Route 60 and National Route 1. Up for an adventure? Drive away today!

Purnululu National Park

Found on the eastern part of the Kimberley Region, the Purnululu National Park, is another World Heritage Site (cited in 2003) and for good reason. The national park houses the scorchingly visually stunning Bungle Bungle Range—a rock formation of eccentric shape. The Bungle Bungles, which are eroded sandstone towers, which are lava in colour, resemble waves that have been hardened by time. Though weathered, the gem of a destination is one that is a marvel to look at.

Start turning your dream adventures into a reality today. If you wish to stay here, the Bungle Bungle Caravan Park is for you!

Swan Valley

If there is one more thing Western Australia is known for, aside from its wonderfully quiet destinations and the peaceful respite they provide, it is the sophisticated wine culture that stems from the Swan Valley. The wine region is located near the Swan River, Guildford and Bells Rapids and is a great way to taste and see something out of the ordinary.

Go on wine tours while you sample some of the Valley’s most sophisticated wines. Visit the wine cellars and distilleries, go to the Gomboc Gallery and get a dose of culture at the number of art galleries and gift shops.

Take your Hippie Camper motorhome or campervan for a trip around Western Australia and its best destinations today! Book a vehicle with us and explore the awesome deals and specials to partner your travel itinerary. Let’s get this show on the road!

Read our terms and conditions and look for travel restrictions on Hippie Camper vehicles for your guidance. Happy travelling!

Cairns and the Reef: What’s Not To Love?

Cairns and the Reef What's Not To LoveThere has always been something magnetic about the water.

Perhaps its charm lies on the life it brings—its ability to supply, to create and to invigorate. Perhaps it is the mysterious surprises of both the known and the unknown, by the surface and under. Perhaps it is the promise of escape—away from what has been, what is and what will be.

Yes, it must be the escape. And the water that lies in Australia’s corner state, Queensland, might just be where that craving can be satisfied. Cairns may not always be the first thing that comes to mind when talk is averted to travelling Down Under but it certainly is no mystery as to why it has been rapidly increasing leverage in tourism, ranking fourth, rivalling major cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, and the most iconic destinations across the country.

The tropical city of Cairns, the 14th largest in the country, compensates its lack of population for the festival of attractions it seems to be; it is home to a number of heritage-listed sites and is often described as the beginning of the Great Barrier Reef’s adventures and the wonders of the Wet Tropics. Both UNESCO World Heritage Sites, they are juxtaposed side-by-side, Cairns sitting the the middle, from Port Douglas, the only one are in the world where this is so.

From the Port

Anzac Park Beach, Port Douglas
Anzac Park Beach, Port Douglas

Port Douglas, which is found 70 kilometres up from Cairns along Captain Cook Highway, will not be ranked third in the 100 Best Towns of Australia according to the Australian Traveller magazine for nothing.

The town, which was named after John Douglas, who was the Premier of Queensland has been revived after a boom and bust cycle, upon making waves happen in its Four Mile Beach. To this day, the stretch of shore and sand has always always been a tourist favourite and a said to be a quick starting point the Heritage sites especially during the lazier months from April to October. Some of the points of interest in Port Douglas that you should not miss are Rainforestation Nature Park, Australian Butterfly Sanctuary and Shambala Animal Kingdom, among others.

Into the Woods

Lying two hours north of Cairns, the Daintree Rainforest is located along the fringes of the Daintree River in Cape Tribulation, and is part of the Wet Tropics.

Said to be aged about 135 million years, one of the three of the world’s oldest tropical rainforests will never be described as lacklustre. Iridescent emeralds and jades glisten ever so lustrously against a strong sunny topaz. Some of the trees and plants are considered ancient including families of ferns and conifers.

The colours, fortunately, are not limited to the ravishing flora. A few hundred species of birds, some unique in the country, fly and nest in the surrounding the natural treetops with bats and butterflies. Along where the bark meets the roots, seen through the many hiking trails and or photogenic aerial walkways, more diversity is found; from reptilian animals like turtles and crocodile swimming the crystal-clear streams to lounging marsupials like a musky-rat kangaroo.

A helicopter ride across the canopy and to the reef really is the way to experience Daintree in another perspective but a more indulgent and immersive way is through jungle surfing and the guided nightwalks. Tour the forest with your feet never touching the ground, ziplining from one tree platform to another. Just as night falls and the nocturnal animals are wide-awake, arm yourself with a flashlight and the wit and knowledge of the guides as you explore the fascinating forest.

The Daintree River
The Daintree River

Under the Sea

You must have been living under a rock if you have never heard of the Great Barrier Reef. Suffice it to say that the coral reef system, the largest in the world, is massive…ly beautiful. Not only is it full of life, Queensland’s state icon is also teeming with accolades—among them being the biggest single structure made by living organisms and it can also be seen from outer space.

This is the part where we thank the heavens for the gift of vision. It doesn’t focus on one or two colours as, beneath a sheet of the most pristine aquamarine, lies an entire marine spectrum formed by all sorts and sizes, all living and breathing.

The Great Barrier Reef’s diverse ecology, which is topped by none, is full of life and is sufficiently represented in pop culture. Water mammals like whales, dolphins, porpoises and dugong call it a home. The species of fish almost outnumber everything else as it is abundant with clownfish, red-throat emperors and varieties of snappers and coral trouts. The saltwater crocs in the coasts, sea turtles such as green sea turtle, leatherback sea turtle, olive ridley among others come by to breed, while, hovering up in the air and nestling on the islands are 215 species of birds.

Diving and snorkelling, especially in the Magnetic Island,  are two of the most well-known adventures to do in the Great Barrier Reef. In fact, many people think that they are are the only ones you can do. Without dipping in the water, get to see the colour wheel of life through a glass-bottomed boat tour from coastal areas like Port Douglas, Cairns, Townsville or Mission Beach and Airlie Beach. You can also skydive from the latter beach for one exhilarating experience or visit Heron Islands, between the months of November to May, to see turtles journey from shore to sea.

The Great Barrier Reef, including all thousand islands spanning 2,300 kilometres, is only 70 kilometres from Cairns.

A Fish swimming in the Great Barrier Reef
A Fish swimming in the Great Barrier Reef

Tips from the locals

  1. Swimming in Cairns and along the Whitsundays, Townsville, and Hamilton during the summer can be dangerous as this is the season for marine stingers. If you really are up for some water fun, try the the locals’ little secret in Stoney Creek or the more touristy Crystal Cascades.

  2. Looking to save for more adventures? Try a campervan instead of a hotel. Living in a motorhome while you travel allows you the luxury of stopping anywhere and anytime you want. Plus, of course, you get the same amenities of a deluxe hotel. Get one from Hippie Camper in Cairns today!

  3. Truly laid back and relaxing, the Esplanade Boardwalk is a place that should not be missed. The area is a great place to take a quick break or for pleasant quiet walks during the day or dining out, skating, jogging and visiting the markets at night. And hey, there are some great food finds here too!

Hippie Camper will easily give you a road trip to Cairns, the Reef and beyond! Call us today or visit our website!

Top Camping Friendly Festivals in Australia and New Zealand

Top Camping Friendly Festivals in Australia and New ZealandIt goes without saying that there is definitely no shortage of parties in Australia. There are festivals almost everyday in its six states spanning three major time zones. Some are lavishly celebrated all over the country while others are specific to a region, town or city. In the case of the latter, many people would travel to the festival venues even if it means crossing the country!

Travelling to and from the opposite ends of Australia may seem a bit extreme but with campervan hire, it can be as easy as dialing the number and asking for reservation. If you’re on the lookout for celebrations that are worth the travel, well, here they are.

Without further ado, here are the top camping friendly festivals in Australia and New Zealand.

Let’s begin Down Under.

Splendour in the Grass

Splendour in the Grass CampingIt’s a well-known fact that Splendour is one of most popular music festivals out in Australia. Tickets run out faster than hotcakes yearly. The three-day festival highlights an international lineup that has cemented it to be among the best of the bests not only in the country but also in the world. The producers have made sure that camping with our without a campervan will be easy; offering space that will suffice for all its patrons. Splendour is located in Byron Shire in the Northern Rivers and is an iconic destination on its own.

Website:  https://www.splendourinthegrass.com/

Byron Bay Bluefest

Byron Bay Bluefest CampingStill located in New South Wales in the expansive Tyagarah Tea Tree Farm, the award-winning annual festival never disappoints hundreds of thousands of its fans with its contemporary music, globally-recognised bands and artists and electrically-charged vibe. Driving a motorhome and camping is easy the campgrounds are located on the grass lands adjacent to the festival grounds. All you need to do now is get your tickets and prepare for five days of your life that will give you the jolt you’ve been craving for!

Website:  http://www.bluesfest.com.au/

Woodford Folk Festival

Woodford Folk Festival CampingAbout 70 kilometres from Brisbane, the semi-rural town of Woodford is home to one of Australia’s most famous folk music festivals. Woodfordia, the 500-acre land to where the annual festival is done, is a haven of restaurants, cafes, stalls, parades and tree-filled campgrounds for all of its audience to enjoy. The festival is an escape from reality where people are immersed in culture, music and art from near and far!

Website:  http://www.woodfordfolkfestival.com/

The Falls Music and Arts Festival

The Falls Music and Arts Festival CampingOne of the best things about The Falls is it doesn’t just have one location. Done at the end of the year and greeting the coming new one in Lorne (Victoria), Marion Bay (Tasmania) and Byron (New South Wales), the festival is a triple treat of heart-pounding music, inspiring cultural wonders and picture-perfect memories. The boutique musical event presents a diverse range of bands, artists, DJs and comedians from all over Australia showcasing their talents for everyone. The best bit? You don’t have to drive too far because there’s surely an event in your area. Plus, the campgrounds are conducive for motorhomes and campers!

Website:  http://www.fallsfestival.com.au/

Kiwi won’t be left behind though.

Rhythm and Vines

Rhythm and Vines  CampingServing only the freshest every year, the Rhythm and Vines always ups its game by continual revamping of its lineup, venue and ambience. Now found in the Waiohika Estate in Gisborne, the festival translates music into unadulterated enjoyment and fun-filled experiences for its patrons. One of the things that the annual event prides itself in is its suitability for camping; travellers, tourists and festival goers are able to enjoy safe camping in the fringes of the venue. Whether it’s a teepee, through glamping, hubs or in a campervan, the festival can satisfy your desires.

Website: http://www.rhythmandvines.co.nz/

McLaren Falls Music and Arts Festival

McLaren Falls Music and Arts Festival CampingRelatively new but definitely up and coming, the McLaren Falls Music and Arts Festival in New Zealand mixes Glastonbury and Coachella in one giant music event that is sure to capture the hearts of many. The festival may sound like the one from Australia but it pursues to have an identity of its own. In all three days, festival enthusiasts are able to enjoy a mixture of their favourite genres from pop, rock, folk, electronica and many others. The festival is set in McLaren Falls Park near Tauranga and driving here with a campervan is the surest way to blend adventure with relaxation.

Website: http://www.mclarenfallsfestival.co.nz/

Rhythm and Alps

Rhythm and Alps CampingThe festival may be happening during the year’s end but it will surely give the following new year the big bang that it needs. Located in the beautiful Robrusa Estate, Cardrona Valley, Wanaka in the South Island of New Zealand, the festival promises days and nights of eargasmic music from talented artists and bands to partner the magnificent scenery of the venue. Camping on site is available for all its patrons; they are even given security, comfort and satisfaction that is not seen from other festivals.

Website: http://www.rhythmandalps.co.nz/

Queenstown Winterfestival

Queenstown Winterfestival CampingIf it’s a festival you long for during the year’s months of frost then the Queenstown Winterfestival will suffice. Although spanning nine days, the festival never falls short on being one of the most exciting event in New Zealand. Being different from all the music festivals, this one gives way for NZ’s inspiring culture with parties, fireworks, entertainment and family fun! There are a bunch of hotel accommodations to suit your needs but you can always get a motorhome to give life less hassle.

Website: http://www.winterfestival.co.nz/about-festival/

The list may have ended here but it’s only the start of planning your holidays with a dose of fun and celebration.

Many people plan to travel and join in on the festivities only to find their resources completely depleted after only a day out. If you want to party and travel and make sure your budget isn’t completely compromised, make your way to the music with a campervan or motorhome from  Hippie Camper. Find out how you can save more by visiting our website today!

How To Take The Perfect Travel Selfie

How To Take The Perfect Travel Selfie

It’s not surprising that the OED (Oxford English Dictionary) declared the “selfie”, a word no one even knew existed a couple years back, to be 2013’s Word of the Year. After all, how can we challenge the fact when research supports that use of new word has swiftly spurted by a whopping 17,000%. We can, of course, thank social media and the millenials for the popularity.

“Selfie” is simply a shortened term for self-portrait photograph. It was first used by an (surprise, surprise) Aussie in 2002 in a public forum, been used in Flickr since 2004 but a spike can be seen in 2012. Now, we see the word splashed around the world wide web, being tossed around in casual (and even formal) conversations and written all over our social media pages.

Remember that epicly viral selfie with the pope? Or that one Ellen DeGeneres took at 2014 Academy Awards with the biggest stars?  Now you might not be able to take some that will go as viral as those but we know you want to seal picture-perfect memories and moments in wonderful and awe-inspiring travel #selfies so here are some tips we have on taking the best ones to date!


Your face

Photo courtesy of isvolunteers.org
Photo courtesy of isvolunteers.org

First things first, let’s make sure we see your face. After all, it’s not a proper travel selfie if your face isn’t showing! If you have time to touch up a little bit before the photo, that would be cool. If not, that’s fine as well. It only goes to show you’re camera ready all the time! Another tip, hold the camera slightly to your good side to show off your best features. Remember, it’s okay to take take multiple shots if you’re not satisfied with what you have.

Your background

Now, let’s talk about where you’re going. During your campervan hire in Australia or in New Zealand, you’re sure to pass through some major sights that you’ll want your camera to get on, pronto! There are all these beautiful sceneries, natural wonders and even happenings. Your photos will be a hundred times even more interesting with a cool back ground!

When taking a selfie, slide a little to the side to give enough space to showcase the background. In a stopover, there could be a lot (and we mean A LOT) of people lurking unknowingly at the back so you might want to find a spot you can call your own. But still, remember that time when the Queen (no less!)  photobombed a photo by Instagram user @jaydetaylor?

While you’re at it, keep lighting in mind too!

Photo courtesy of ytimg.com
Photo courtesy of ytimg.com

Your tools and filters

Now, it’s time to check your arsenal. It’s only right that before you even leave, you have all your gadgets (and apps too!) in check. In the mobile age, everyone has been increasingly making use of camera-enabled phones instead of the larger, top of the line DSLR cameras. Well, the best possible reason? They’re more user-friendly and sharing images is a lot quicker. Most people also use sports cameras for their selfies for even higher resolutions and optimum usability.

Get the latest photo sharing apps too like SnapChat and Instagram and editing apps like VSCo Cam and Photoshop Express. Tweak your photos and selfies with the brightness, contrasts and filters! Filters are a gift to the world, making any kind of photo way the best they can look. But sometimes, you need to go easy on them too to keep them natural and not overly edited.

Your rules

Photo courtesy of magazin.usgang.ch
Photo courtesy of magazin.usgang.ch

The number rule for travel selfies is “there are no rules”. We can go on and on about how you can take the best selfie in the world but if you’re not happy, everyone (including yourself) will be able to tell. Still, we advise you to just dive in there, take risks and just have fun! Be confident with your selfie and you’re good to go.

Pro tip: you can create a personal and unique hashtag (eg #ApolloMHTravels or #HippieTravels)  so can see all your images from all your travels in one click.

Drive your Hippie Camper today and go on a selfie adventure! Follow us on Facebook for updates on our promos!

Oops. Don’t forget to hashtag #HippieCamper