Road-Trip Giveaway winners – November!

It is our favourite time of month yet again, when we announce our Road-Trip Giveaway competition winners! Here’s a great highlight from Kyle Hogson and his girlfriend, who took a Hippie trip along Australia’s East Coast. We think this vid is mega cute – so cute we gave Kyle and his girlfriend a digital camera!

3,512 kilometres, 14 days, 3 states, 1 Hippie Camper and a lot of fun and memories

This great story is courtesy of our Reservations Consultant Julian, who recently took a Hippie trip around Aus: When one of my mates from Germany told me that he’s coming to Australia for a visit we agreed in the most important point: We have to do a road trip!

Some months later and just a short taxi ride from the airport we finally picked up our Hippie Camper in Sydney, needless to say how excited we were to finally hit the road. Our first destination were the impressive Blue Mountains just a one drive out of the city. If you are heading there, get a map from the info centre and drive to some of the remote spots away from the mayor tourist bus stops. The landscape is beautiful, you can go for different walks or a swim in a creek and there is hardly anyone else around.

After our relaxed start, we drove south to Canberra visiting some of the cities free museums and the Australian parliament. Overall the city was worth stopping over, but it’s not a place you would like to spend all your holidays in. So we continued our journey towards Melbourne, stopping for lunch in the country town of Albury. Our Hippie Camper scored some brownie points with a local shop owner and some entertaining stories about road tripping and a free meal later we departed to Melbourne.

Unfortunately we underestimated the caravan park situation in the city and had to make some phone calls before finding a nice park in Coburg not too far out of the CBD. The following day we left our Coburg base by public transport to discover one of Australia’s most amazing cities, and trust me there is a lot to discover. Within the city centre, it is the most convenient to take a walking tour or hop on the free tram which takes you from the CBD to all the big sports facilities,  the Docklands and lots of other good places. My personal recommendation for the city is the Eureka Skydesk, a skyscraper lookout with memorable views over the whole city.

Two days later we left Victoria’s capital with many new friends, photos and big city impressions to spend a day in Phillip Island. Even though the island is populated, it still seems to be a place with a lot of nature and some great wildlife (wallabies, penguins, koalas, wombats and all kinds of birds), some of it in nice wildlife parks. Having ticked off some island fun off our list, we spend the night in Geelong to start one of the must dos in Down Under on the next day: The Great Ocean Road.

If you have been in Australia and haven’t done it, come back and make sure you do it self driving! We took two days for our experience of a road, I would rate the most attractive I have ever travelled. There are so many places to stop (almost every car park is worth it), go down to the ocean, or hike/drive up a mountain (Apollo Bay is quite awesome for that), the possibilities are numerous. We felt the biggest advantage in having our own camper was to be able to take the roads less travelled (e. g. Cape Otway Lighthouse or Triplet Falls Park).

From the ocean we went inland to the mountain ranges of the Grampians National Park. Just the drive to Halls Gap, where we made camp, would have been worth it as we were driving through the most original Australian towns with just a couple of hundred inhabitants.

All the driving made us want to go for some serious hiking and you bet the Grampians are the right place for that. Impressive rock formations, breathtaking views until the horizon and pure natural pools inviting for a swim, in other words we had a stunning time.

As time is flying by when you are having a good time, we started to make our way back east towards the coast, driving past Melbourne and spending the night in the chilled out coastal town of Lakes Entrance. Two days later which were packed with some nice national parks and sunny hours at beaches we arrived back into Sydney. At the start and end point of our journey we put the icing on the cake by visiting the Sydney icons Bondi Beach, Botanic Gardens, Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. And after precisely 3,512 kilometres it was time to waive our loyal and fun loving companion goodbye: Thank you Hippie Camper we will take you for another journey soon!

Marsha’s tips for music festivals in Australia

At Hippie, we’re lucky enough to have the help of fantastic interns from Germany, the Netherlands and beyond. Our current intern Marsha, from the Netherlands, has really enjoyed her time at Hippie, so when we asked her to put together some of her campervanning tips, she jumped at the chance. Here are Marsha’s tips for music festivals in Australia:

Now let me ask you a few questions. Do you like partying? Do you like to have a good time with your friends? Do you like to take your mind away with your favorite music? Then the festivals in Australia, which are held throughout the whole year, are the one and only thing you can’t miss out.

Most of the festivals start in December/January when the summer starts. DJ’s from all over the world are attending and even people from all over the world are going to these events. The weather will be nice; a lot of people around you, the music is loud, drinking your favorite drink without worrying about who will drive home, camping and much more fun!

If you like Reggae and Dub music then the Reggaefest in Byron Bay is perfect for you. If you don’t know yet where you would like to spend new years then maybe you should consider the Pyramid Rock Festival or the Peats Ridge with your friends. Most of these festivals are going for more then 1 day and the tickets include free camping. How else is a better way to spend your festival days then with a Hippie Camper? You don’t have to build up your own tent, or worry about how to cook your food.

Hippie Camper; perfect for two people to sleep in and nice to chill in with a few friends after you have partied hard at the festival. Time to rest and sleep! In the morning cooking some nice breakfast, and wash the dishes. All is possible with the Hippie Camper.

A very important tip is to bring an esky along as you probably will not be able to plug into mains power. This will limit the time for the fridge to work in the Hippie Camper. That is when the esky comes in handy. Another useful tip is to keep in mind that you book early at Hippie Camper. The earlier you book the better, and if you would like to save some money it would also be cheaper. This will reduce your total costs. Another very important thing is to be safe and check the vehicle before you leave. Make sure everything is stored well, and the van is locked properly.

Furthermore it is all about enjoying and having a good time! No worries as they say in Australia.

Cheers,

Marsha Aulette H.

We love giving things away – October giveaway winners announced!

The competition to win our road-trip giveaway was absolutely fierce this month. We were absolutely inundated with amazing videos, photos and blogs from our happy clients. It was a difficult decision, but ultimately there were a couple of stand out entries who have scored some fantastic prizes.

Lesley Van Loo captured this incredible photo of a Kea flying away from her Hippie, and we gave her a digital camera for her efforts.

Alex Krasinsky put in a mammoth effort with his 74 day “Crossing Oz” blog. Alex scored a video recorder, as well as heartfelt admiration from the Hippie team! Please check out the blog if you have a chance, it is a detailed travel-log which really offers an in-depth insight in to what it means to travel Australia (whether you choose a campervan or not).

Here’s one of the highlights from Alex’s story:

After the short detour we set off in direction of Atherton. This drive turned out to be long, straight and soporific. Not long and the juicy green rainforest turned into red dirt and outback feeling.

In Tolga we actually took a turn and headed on a small and deserted road to Lake Tinaroo. There we got to go for a swim and sunbake a bit. Because it was getting late we decided to have a look at the Tinaroo Falls and look for a place to sleep, instead of continuing the drive to the other falls. Unfortunately the Tinaroo Falls werent ‘available’ because they were working on the dam. Although it kinda was waterfalldisasterday we kept driving and a beautiful part of the lake opened up in front of us.

You may have noticed that we have changed the prize structure to 1st, 2nd and 3rd, rather than allocating a specific prize to a type of entry. That way, no matter what your creative forte, you’ll have the opportunity to win any of the awesome prizes on offer.

Annika Guuther wins Sydney Expo prize!

Congratulations to Annika from Germany, who was the lucky winner of our 7 day campervan giveaway at the Sydney Adventure Travel and Backpacker Expo on the weekend! We asked people who visited our stand why they should win a 7 day camper holiday, and Annika won with the following entry:

I´m a 19 year old girl looking for the best method to get from Cairns to Sydney with a friend. In these expensive days Hippie Camper would be the best way!”

Congratulations again Annika, we hope you have a great trip.

We also received some other great entries in the comp, which really reflect the love out there for road-tripping and for Hippie! Here are just a couple:

“I have always wanted to travel around Australia” – Corey

“there is no better way to see Oz!” – Louise

“While visiting from Canada I would like to see as much of the country as possible! Pick me!” – Christina

“I love to travel! Driving gets you in closer than bus tours + campers are fun!” – Robyn

See you in Sydney for the Adventure Travel & Backpackers Expo!

Are you in or around Sydney from November 6-7? If so, we’d love to see you at the annual Adventure Travel and Backpackers Expo!

The expo will be held at Town Hall, Sydney this year and over 200 travel companies will be exhibiting. It’s a great opportunity to research your next trip around Australia or abroad. There are also countless freebies and some awesome competitions.

The cost to attend is a measly 5 bucks – and you can score a 2 for 1 deal by joining the online Expo Community.

Hippie Camper will be there with flying colours. Representatives Mia and Elysha will be available to tell you everything you need to know about campervan rental in Australia or New Zealand. You can even book your trip at the expo if you’re super keen.

Hippie Camper Sydney Backpacker Expo

Also, since we love giving away free stuff at Hippie, we’ll also be GIVING AWAY a 7 day campervan holiday in Australia or New Zealand!! All you need to do is visit us at stand 28 and fill in a simple form telling us why you should win.

FREE Campervan Holiday with Hippie at the Sydney Expo

When you see this poster, you've found us.

We’re really looking forward to seeing you there very soon. Peace out.

Hippie revealed as Golden Backpacks finalist 2010

The Golden Backpack Awards reward those companies who work hardest to make backpacking around Australia & New Zealand that extra bit special. They are a bit like the backpacker industry Oscars, but are driven by votes from you, real backpackers! Each year, we’ve tried our hardest to promote Hippie as a candidate at these awards – as we feel that our product is pretty special. This year, our hard work and all your support has finally paid off!

Thanks to your votes, Hippie Camper has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Best Car / Camper Rental Australia award. The winner will be revealed in November. Even if we don’t win, the whole team is very proud and grateful for the vote of confidence from our many happy clients!

Hippie Road Trip Giveaway September winners revealed!

It’s time again for us to showcase more winners from our fantastic Road-Trip giveaway competition (you know, the one where we give away iPads, videos and cameras?)!
We’re thrilled to share a short except from the awesome winning blog entry, which really illustrates the awesome adventures you can have if you do a trip down the East Coast of Australia in one of our fantastic campervans:

Going Nowhere Slowly

We chose a Hippie camper as the most cost effective package of essentials needed to ensure a trip of pure sun soaked hedonism: a fridge to chill the beers, air con to help the sea-breeze, a sound system to raise eyebrows and a back seat kitchen and double bed. Yes, it’s possible to be hippie these days without forgoing life’s modern luxuries…

The east coast of Australia is littered with excellent beach-front tourist parks and camp sites. The freedom of a campervan allows you to choose to linger at the most stunning beaches, where you can hit the beach before sunrise (such as the sunrise at Yeppoon, showing the the Keppel islands on the horizon) and linger until the great milky wheel of stars rise wet and shimmering from the waves. Read the rest of the blog post here
We also had some simply awesome photos from our happy Hippie campers, including team favourites such as this retro shot from James:

And this spectacular New Zealand pic from Jane:

Don’t forget, the competition is still running, so there’s still plenty of chances to win. Keep up the good work!

Happy Camper: Thanks a bunch, Wannes!

We recently received a delightful comment from our client Wannes, who toured New Zealand in a Hippie Camper last year. Thanks for your kind words Wannes and we hope to see you again one day!

Dear people of hippie camper I have almost been a year now since we’ve travelled through NZ with that great Hippie camper. And I gotta say: Everything was perfect and as you described on your website. We asked for an -1 year old van, and we got one of 9 months old. We never had any problems with the car once. And everything was delivered with it. All the camping equipment was available. And most important, all the equipment was clean! (even the water boiler and the toaster) From day one I knew that I was gonna have the best vacation ever. After almost 2 months in that superb camper we delivered it back to the depot in Christchurch and started our trip home. Even after almost a year we think back to that fine vacation and that nice camper! Keep up the good work! It was really lovely to drive that van! Greetings Wannes

Hippie Campers in Kiwi Land: Ferry Crossing

Lots of Hippie Camper clients take their campervans on a grand tour of New Zealand, travelling around both islands in one foul swoop. And why not? Both the North and South Islands have so much to offer backpackers. Beautiful scenery, sheep, adventure, sheep, culture, sheep, nightlife and sheep.

But of course, if you’re going to island hop, you’re going to have to take the ferry. We wish there was a big beautiful bridge connecting the islands – but alas, for now you will have to rely on a boat.

The good news is that the boat is pretty schmick one (comfy seats, food, and souvenirs to buy all on board). At Hippie, we work with Interislander – which is the most popular ferry operator. The Interislander runs around 5 ferry crossing services a day between Wellington on the North Island and Picton on the South Island. It is around a 3 hour journey.

You’ll need to book your spot on the ferry in advance. We can book your ferry trip for you, but be aware that if you wish to keep your dates flexible cancellation fees may apply. You pay for each passenger and your Hippie Camper. The cost of the campervan is determined by its length, so the longer the campervan, the more it costs. The Hippie Deluxe is about 4.51m long.

Relax: Taking your campervan on the ferry is easy peasy

You may be worried about driving your camper on board the ferry, but don’t worry – the Interislander staff will provide clear directions. We have had very few reports of difficulties.

And that’s all we have to say about the ferry for now. Stay tuned for more campervan travel tips on the blog in the near future…