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…

Bec Woods on travelling Australia’s East Coast

Today we’re delighted to share a story from Bec Woods, a Pro Surfer who is sponsored by our parent company Apollo. First of all, here’s a quick intro video about Bec:

The last few months have been quite eventful as a Pro Surfer. This was supposed to be my downtime between World Tour events and for majority of it I was on the Gold Coast for training and enjoying the warm winter of Queensland.

However as a surfer you tend to move around a lot searching for the perfect wave. For people traveling on the east coast of Australia I recommend heading to Lennox Head and Byron Bay in the cooler months of winter. These small coastal surfing towns have such epic vibes, great coffee and many waves to choose from. Cruising from one to the next is a great way to spend a weekend and how I generally spend mine whilst around the Gold Coast.

Between training I spent a bit of time shooting for a TV segment and working on a proposed surfing event I am planning to have in my home town of Copacabana (NSW, Central Coast).

Which brings me to my next point. Driving from the Gold Coast to Copacabana is 9 hours if you do it straight. However if you have time and are driving your accommodation (a camper) please, please stop in at:

1. Angourie- It is a beautiful place with much national park and a hidden gem of the east coast. It is about 1 and a half hours south of Lennox Head.

2. Point Plomer/ Crescent Head- Point Plomer is where I learnt to surf. You take a right before hitting Crescent main town. There are 4 beaches to choose from all protected from different winds, the fishing, surfing, trails and wildlife are amazing. It is off the coast of Kempsey which is about 4 hrs south from Lennox head or 5 hours north from Sydney.

3. Boomerang Beach/Pacific Palms- Another of the hidden Gems of east coast Aus. So many white sand beaches, hidden cafe’s and lush national Parks to explore as well as cute cafe’s scattered around, it is worth exploring 3.5 hrs north of Sydney, 6.5 hrs south of Lennox Head.

I am now at Copacabana which is one and a half hours north of Sydney and getting ready for my next stint of events overseas starting with the Rip Curl Pro Search event in Peniche, Portugal early October. I need a solid end to my year currently sitting in 9th on the World Rankings and hoping to finish strongly.

6 luggage ESSENTIALS for your backpacker campervan trip

Packing is boring, we know – but it’s important. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of six essentials you should bring with you on any campervan road trip in Australia or New Zealand.

“Why six?” we hear you ask.  Well, we think it’s a pretty great number – particularly in New Zealand. Just ask any local! Anyway, here’s the list. We hope you find it useful:

  1. Soft bags for your stuff – they will fit more easily in your campervan storage compartments.
  2. Thongs/Flip Flops/Jandles – Whatever you call them, you need them if you’re showering in public bathrooms.
  3. Camera – Don’t miss the action, or the opportunity to win another camera from us if you take an amazing shot of your Hippie!
  4. Sunscreen – Whether you’re trekking Aus or traversing New Zealand, sun protection is important. Even in winter you need to slip slop slap to avoid harmful UV rays.
  5. Your favourite tunes – Self explanatory. Hippie Campers aren’t equipped with iPod docks (one day?) but they do play MP3 cds.
  6. Map (or rent a GPS from us) – Getting lost is half the fun, but you want to be able to find your way back eventually…

5 MORE tips for travelling in the Hippie Deluxe

As promised, today we are continuing our feature on travelling in the ever popular Hippie Deluxe.

You can read our first 5 tips here.

Now, on to our campervan rental insider tips:

Avoid manual meltdown. The good news is, Hippie Deluxe campervans are compact and easy to drive for most. However, if you’re not used to driving with manual transmission you may want to practice by borrowing a mate’s car before you pick up the vehicle.

You may be driving on a different side of the road or in different road conditions than usual, so the more practice the better. Safety first! Check out Brock’s video below – he loved his Hippie trip, but found the manual transmission a little daunting!

Brock\’s thoughts on driving a manual campervan

Remember to recharge. Australia and New Zealand have extensive networks of Campgrounds and Caravan Parks with amenities and facilities to make your stay comfortable and safe. While you have to pay to stay at caravan parks, Hippie customers are entitled to discounts at many. Also, you will have the opportunity to recharge your batteries when you stay at a powered site. Remember, free camping is not permitted everywhere.

Be weatherproof. Whether you’re travelling in Australia (beautiful one day, torrential rain the next) or New Zealand (four seasons in one day), it pays to weatherproof your road trip by making a few simple provisions. We recommend you bring: gumboots (wellingtons), a rain poncho (much easier to transport than umbrellas), entertainment such as books and games, some great music, and some long lasting snacks.

Hydrate. Australia and New Zealand are both relatively safe countries, but both are subject to extreme weather conditions. Always take plenty of water wherever you go, whether you are hiking or even just walking. If you go on a bush walk, also remember to let someone know where you are going.

Use your discounts. If you’re travelling along the East Coast of Australia, The Hippie Camper team will give you a touring map featuring many great discount offerings for your trip. You may have even already planned to visit some of the attractions listed, so why not save your cash and use them? You can see some of the discount offers here.

Hippie Touring Map

Thanks for reading our Hippie Camper Deluxe travel tips! See you next time…

5 tips for travelling in the Hippie Deluxe

So, you’ve booked your Hippie campervan and are ready to tour Australia or New Zealand in style. First of all, you’ve made a great choice.

The Mitsubishi Express 7300 is a great, reliable vehicle offering 100km of road tripping per 14L of fuel – so you’ll be able to do a lot of touring on your holiday. Now, on to our special tips to help make the most of your adventure:

Room to move: Remember, your Hippie Camper is perfect for two. It has a large double bed (2.00 x 1.52m), but if you’re bunking with a mate rather than your girlfriend/boyfriend you may want to consider setting up the rear annex for a little extra space during those intimate evenings. You can also hire table and chairs for somewhere to sit outside the van.

Keep it level: Speaking of sleep, make sure you park on level ground at night. Your back and bunkmate will thank you for it. If you would prefer to roll onto your travelling companion all night (and who knows, you might!) then by all means park on uneven ground.

Baggage blues: There are heaps of nooks and crannies to store your valuables in the Hippie Deluxe – there’s even a lockable safe for your most precious possessions! However, the storage compartments in your camper may not be of the same dimensions as your luggage.

Definitely don’t bring hard suitcases, if possible use soft bags instead. This will make your life much easier. If worst comes to worst and you have to bring along your suitcase, the Hippie Deluxe does feature roof racks for your convenience.

Playing it cool: Hippie campers feature a fridge to help keep your food and drink cold while you travel. Do be aware that you need to regularly recharge your batteries at caravan parks in order to keep the fridge running.

If you’re planning on free camping for a few days, first: a) check that free camping is permitted in the area you are travelling to and b) think of bringing an esky/chilly bin with you. You can easily buy ice on the road to keep things cool.

Save your pennies: Be aware of toll roads, and always follow the road rules (including speed limits) during your travels. The last thing you want is an administrative charge for unpaid tolls or speeding fines eating into your holiday budget.

To be continued…