Jucy Winter Road Trip

22 September 2014 08:26 a.m.

Follow Jenna and Jordan from Stoked for Saturday around New Zealand’s lower South Island as they explore Queenstown and Wanaka in their JUCY Cabana

When we arrived in New Zealand just over a year ago, we spent the first 6 weeks traveling around the country before settling into our jobs in Wellington. During that time we saw countless hip looking purple and green Jucy campervans and always thought how fun it would be to take one on a roadtrip!

Eagar to experience New Zealand’s ski fields and get a true taste of winter, we decided to plan a winter weekend in Wanaka and thought what better way to do it than in a Jucy campervan!

Jucy Winter Road Trip

Arriving in Queenstown, we picked up our Jucy Cabana and headed downtown to check out the adrenaline filled ride Hydro Attack! Where shark meets machine, we climbed into an 18ft shark and spent the next 20 minutes carving our way around Lake Wakatipu, diving under the water and shooting into the air!! Another AWESOME kiwi invention, this was one of the coolest things we’ve done in the adventure city of Queenstown.

Jucy Winter Road Trip

Making our way towards Lake Wanaka, we took our Jucy van up the Crown Range for a beautiful scenic route through the twisty roads at sunset. The view was so incredible we had to keep pulling over to snap one photo after another!

Jucy Winter Road Trip

Jucy Winter Road Trip

We’ve slept in our car and another campervan before but nothing has compared to the comfort our little green and purple machine provided! The Cabana van had tons of room with lots of privacy helping us enjoyed a comfy, cozy sleep under the duvet.

Jucy Winter Road Trip

The next four days we spent in Wanaka taking in some pretty epic winter activities including taking advantage of the Jucy Ski for FREE deal at Treble Cone! A beautiful blue bird day, we cut through the groomed trails and even climbed to the summit to get 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains!

Jucy Winter Road Trip

Heading back down the Crown Range, we spent the next day up at Snow Farm exploring the miles of backcountry ski trails. Climbing up to towards Top Peak and skiing our way back towards the lodge it was definitely harder than I thought, but was a great day for my first go on cross country skis!

Jucy Winter Road Trip

Jucy Winter Road Trip

After two long days on skis it was so nice to come back to our campsite and enjoy a soak in the hot tub spa with a cold refreshment on the side. Not a bad way to spend a cool winter evening!

Jucy Winter Road Trip

Looking to take in some of the great hikes in Wanaka, we headed up along Lake Hawea to the start of the Isthmus Peak track. Up bright and early to get up to the summit for lunch, we parked our Jucy van and made our way up the track.

Jucy Winter Road Trip

A 6 hour round trip, we spend the first few hours making the steady climb up the mountains towards the peak. At the top we had the most incredible 360 degree views of Lake Hawea on one side and Lake Wanaka on the other.

Jucy Winter Road Trip

Back at the campsite we setup our stove and enjoyed a cup of tea as we celebrated a great couple days in Wanaka!

Jucy Winter Road Trip

Finishing up our last day of our trip, we headed back over the Crown Range again towards Queenstown. Looking for an adrenaline rush, we hung out with the guys at Shotover Canyon swing, throwing ourselves off the 200ft cliff backwards, upside down and off a slide on a trike! Seriously the most adrenaline pumping activity in Queenstown!

Jucy Winter Road Trip

It was a great way to cap off an awesome Jucy winter roadtrip. We were so sad to return our mean, green and purple machine but know it won’t be our last!

Damper – the classic Australian bush tucker..

10 September 2014 12:03 p.m.

Damper! The classic Australian bush tucker and an essential at any camp-fire! All you need is flour, water and a pinch of salt to make this delicious bread.

The basic Damper Recipe is:

  • 2 Cups of Self Raising flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 3/4 Cup of Water

Mix flour and salt, and then whisk in the water and kneed by hand for around 2 minutes. If the mixture is sticky, add a little more flour.

To cook Damper as a Loaf, place the Damper in the heavy pot with lid (make sure it is all fire resistant and that nothing can melt!). Cook over a hot fire and embers for 30 minutes.

For Damper on a Stick – just find some sturdy twigs near by, and wrap the dough around one end of the stick. Cook over a camp fire (just like you would a marshmallow!) until golden brown. Pull it off the stick and enjoy!

Damper   the classic Australian bush tucker..

Damper   the classic Australian bush tucker..

Damper   the classic Australian bush tucker..

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are loads of Damper variations – you can add cheese and bacon, herbs and tomatoes for a savoury dough, or sugar and dried fruit for a sweet Damper.

We love it with golden syrup… how do you have yours?

How to have the best holiday ever!

10 September 2014 11:26 a.m.

Must Do’s For an Adventurous Holiday

An adventure holiday is the ultimate adrenaline rush that awakens the inner traveler in us all. Whether it’s hiking a volcano or deep sea diving to discover a barracuda infested shipwreck, adventure holidays are memorable experiences everybody should have at least once in life.

Make the most of your holiday escapades and return home with your soul rejuvenated. If you are just planning on doing the touristy things, try taking that giant leap forward and make your trip an adventure you’ll never forget…

1. Step out of your comfort zone

Don’t let fear get in the way of often missing out on wonderful experiences and trying something new. If you have never jumped out of a plane and skydived, do it! If you think you have no stamina to scale the Adirondacks, try to climb at least part of it. Are you worried about kayaking a lake all by yourself? Sign up for kayaking lessons. Who knows, you’d enjoy it! The key to make any holiday an adventure is to step out of your comfort zone. Miracles happen there!

  1. Be brave (but not foolish)

There’s a reason adventure junkies are a rare crowd – it’s because not many of the others are brave enough. Want to skydive? Bungy Jump? Cage dive with Great White Sharks? But something’s holding you back? “Sometimes, all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage and something good will come out of it”. Do something that you’ve always dreamed about doing, or admired others for doing, and you’re adventurous spirit will take over! Just make sure you are safe and trust your gut. At the end of the day, even if you’re not brave, pretend to be – no one else can tell the difference!

  1. Fight your fears

Why are you scared? What’s your phobia? Holidays are a great time to challenge yourself and do things you wouldn’t do in your normal day, week or month. Find out the one thing that you’re scared of and work your way to overcoming that fear. What better than an adventure trip to fight your fears!

  1. Be a YES person

There are YES people and there are NO people. YES people are happy, optimistic, and eager to try new things, to help and get helped, and enthusiastic about everything in life. NO people are the opposite. No matter how much you are inclined to adventure travel, you’ll enjoy it the most if you become a YES person! Be happy with a positive personality, come out of your shell, you’re on holiday – you’re allowed to do things that are out of character! Give yourself permission to have the time of your life!

How to have the best holiday ever!

Tips You Need To Know When Packing Your Bags…

19 August 2014 02:15 p.m.

Tips You Need To Know When Packing Your Bags...

Love travelling, but hate packing your bags? We’ve got you covered! Here’s some clever packing tips you need to know when your packing your bags…

1.Split valuables

Divide your cash and stow away parts of it in various locations in your bag. Same thing with your credit cards, debit cards, travellers checks, and important identification items. Never store everything in one place. That way, even if you are robbed or discover that one of your bags got lost, you will have some cash and a few of your important documents to get you by.

2. Roll your clothes, do not fold them

Always roll your clothes up and then tucks them into your suitcase. This way they occupy less room and you can pack more of your shirts, tanks, and tees. Also, clothes tend to wrinkle less when you roll them up instead of folding them.

3. Lighter stuff at the bottom. Heavier ones go on the top

Always make sure you pack your lighter items first into your backpack and the heavier ones on top. This way, your backpack sits lightly on you lower back muscles and you can walk and climb hills with ease. Next time you pack your bag, remember this mantra – lighter ones first, heavier ones later.

4. Put a dryer sheet in your bag to keep everything fresh

How do you ensure your clothes smell and look so fresh, despite having washed them over a week ago? A travellers secret: put a dryer sheet in your baggage, especially the one containing your clothes and you’ll have them smelling great – that goes for you too boys!

5. Other packing hacks from our JUCY lovers

- If you’re carrying shoes, put them in your shower cap so the dirty soles will not stain your clothes.

- If you’re tired of losing bobby pins, put them in tic-tac containers so they stay in one place.

- Use old sunglass cases to store your earplugs, cables, and other wires.

- Use pill containers to sort and store your jewellery so you don’t spend time searching for the one pair of earrings you need.

- Here’s how to make your collars stiff – roll your belt and stick them in your collared shirts.

- You can store body lotion and foundation in tiny contact lenses case so you don’t end up taking your whole bottle with you or buying a new bottle.

Thanks to our amazing JUCY lovers for helping us out with these travel tips! Got some tips that we don’t know about? Comment below!

Best things about travelling in a campervan

22 July 2014 10:51 a.m.

We’ve put together the 5 of the best things about travelling in a campervan, motorhome, RV, or anything on wheels!  There’s definitely more than five, but here  is some inspiration to get started. Not that you need convincing, but just in case you do….

Do you feel like getting away from it all? Do you need to inject some adventure in your life? Driving a campervan on a long road trip might just be the thing to revive you and bring  out the free-spirit in you. If you want to know why people rave about this kind of holiday, read below and start wondering why you haven’t thought about it before.

Best things about travelling in a campervan

Freedom

Having a campervan means you can do what you want, go where you want, when you want. You don’t need have to worry about having a schedule. Having total freedom to choose your own activities and destinations is one of the appeals of this kind of holiday.

Flexibility

Being the master of your own time and having your house on wheels means that you can change your plans at the drop of a hat, follow a different route, take the advice of fellow travellers and visit a special place you were unaware of. This is great news for someone who chooses to hit the road to break their everyday routine. Plus you don’t need to rely on buses and trains: some areas are more isolated than others and are reachable only by private transport.

Fun

Travelling by campervan is fun: you get to do things that you don’t normally do and see places you normally see only on tv or in magazines. You might park in a quiet spot near a stream and do some impromptu swimming – or skinny dipping for the brave ones. You can share stories, have drinks or play guitar around the campfire with new friends.  Be intrigued by wild animals, see different lands, find a surfing spot and relax on the beach or take a break from driving and explore a beautiful area by bicycle. There will always be new experiences just around the bend.

Best things about travelling in a campervan

Convenience

The allure of campervans is that you can sleep and cook in your temporary home. Buying groceries and parking on a camping ground is more convenient than booking a hotel and eating at a restaurant. Your accommodation will be used more often and you’ll get your money’s worth. Petrol will be a cheaper option in the long run as well. Do some research and you might be able to find free parking spots depending on the country you are visiting. Also consider the money you will save on package tours.

Adventure

Everybody is looking to add more variety and spice in their life. Something about  hitting the road awakens the adventurous spirit in everyone: it must be the fresh air, the open spaces, the sense that we are closer to nature, that we are experiencing life to the full and that we have the world at our finger tips. We have our few necessary possessions with us and nothing else, we are free and independent, the wheels taking us to a world of possibilities.

Best things about travelling in a campervan

Are you ready to go on an unforgettable trip? Can you hear the motor running and your inner Indiana Jones calling?  Check out some great campervan options at JUCY and head off on your own adventure!

Snowboarders take to NZ’s outdoors in a JUCY Condo

03 July 2014 09:51 a.m.

Andrew Wilde, pro Snowboarder, hits the road to check out what NZ’s got to offer…

We set out from Christchurch in our Jucy Condo camper ready for an 8 day film trip, with the final destination of Auckland’s Snow planet. We were filming for our own webisodes for a Chinese audience showing them a Kiwi road trip, 2 riders, a filmer and a driver.

 Day 1:Leaving Christchurch in the afternoon a bit behind schedule (as getting the shots took longer than expected) we made it to Kaikoura just in time to catch the sunset before getting back on the road to reach the destination of the day Picton.

Snowboarders take to NZs outdoors in a JUCY Condo

 Day 2: We had an early start but not early enough as we almost missed our Interislander ferry to Wellington. We made it on, as the second to last car. We got to see some amazing scenery before reaching Wellington. We went and filmed a few shots of the nations capital and of course went to see the iconic Beehive parliamentary building, before getting back on the road to reach Wanganui before nightfall.

 Day 3: We had a good solid drive ahead of in order to reach Taupo and catch the sunset. So we got some quick shots of the famous Wanganui River or Whanganui as the locals call it nowadays.

 We stayed in the Top 10 holiday park in Taupo which was very well equipped with great clean facilities as well a awesome hot pool and lots of fun activities onsite, I would highly recommend this for anyone visiting Taupo

 Day 4: We were booked in at Taupo Bungee and Cliffhanger at 10 am. After everyone had a shot of confidence we were ready to try both of the awesome activities out, everyone had such an awesome time! It was such a great start to the day. We spent the day checking out the lake and local skate parks getting all the shots we needed.

Snowboarders take to NZs outdoors in a JUCY Condo

 Day 5: Having spent night in Taupo, We had the hard job of getting up super early to film the sunrise which only needed two of us so the rest were luck enough to sleep in. We had a change of plans and decided to go to Gisborne to try get some surfing shots instead of going to Rotorua. we had a very long drive ahead of us but we made it there without to much any hassles.

 Day 6: Without any waves we had to do our backup activity which was a natural rock water slide on the way to our next destination, Mt Maunganui. When we got there we saw how big it was and it took awhile for everyone to get into it but in the end we got some of the best shots of our trip there! We had to get back on the road straight after as we had another long drive ahead of us.

 Day 7:Mt Maunganui is such a beautiful seaside town with awesome scenery and fishing, we were so luck to catch it on a bluebird day. We went to  Papamoa Blokart  recreation park to go try out there famous blow Karting but there wasn’t enough wind but we ended up having an awesome time on there 3 wheeled drift karts. Afterwards we had a nice short drive to our final destination of Auckland.

Day 8: After a long 7 days we finally got to do what we set out to do, snowboard at Snowplanet. This was our first time in an indoor ski resort but we had such an awesome time getting our final shots and finishing out amazing New Zealand road trip!

 After an action packed 8 days everyone was ready to have couple days off . We all had a great time and had the got to try some really fun New Zealand activities. I would like thank everyone who helped us along the way it wouldn’t have been possible without your help. Please check out www.Andrew-snow.com to see our trailers and episodes.

Snowboarders take to NZs outdoors in a JUCY Condo

An Autumn Adventure with @studiohome creative Julia!

04 June 2014 03:31 p.m.

Julia Atkinson from Studio Home took a JUCY Styla for a spin around New Zealand… check out the nooks and crannies she explored between Queenstown and Wellington.

I had two weeks booked for a half work, and half excuse to visit the South Island (home) roadie. I’m pretty fortunate that my “work” requires a lot of travel and in general, meeting, photographing and interviewing creative people across New Zealand and Australia. It’s hardly a drag….

My two weeks were strategically planned to coincide with one of my favourite times of year in the South Island – Autumn. There is nothing more crisp, fresh or beautiful than the misty freezing mornings or the first bitter and wintery weather systems that start to sweep through.  Yes, I’m a total sucker for having to don my woollens and defrost my car every morning!

While I had accommodation sorted with friends and family the whole way, I didn’t have wheels! Getting paired with the new Jucy Styla was pretty perfect as it was INSANELY economical being a diesel, grunty, smooth and really….nothing like what you would expect from a rental car at all ha!

I flew into Queenstown to be instantly swallowed up by the snowy Remarkables just kind of standing there to greet everyone getting off the plane. I was reminded straight away that the immense majesty of the landscape down there is on a much more massive scale then ever remembered!

An Autumn Adventure with @studiohome creative Julia!
I quick chat with the Jucy team at the airport and a chilly shuffle across the car park to pick up my wagon and I was off!
I spent three days in Queenstown, splitting my time between shooting at the delicious and local fave; Vudu Café and Larder, lunches with friends, sneaky explorative cruises up the lake just to take it all in and some intense fireside computer time.
By Wednesday I reluctantly realised it was time to keep the wheels turning and I decided to crack into a large driving day through some of my favourite country. I left Queenstown and her golden colours to wind through the misty Kawarau Gorge to Cromwell. Then I cruised down Lake Dunstan and all its strange, bare hills and through the back roads of historical village; Clyde. I LOVE the landscape through there and on to Roxburgh. It’s weird and alien looking! Dry and bare and scattered with HUGE boulders like they’ve fallen out of a giants pocket!

An Autumn Adventure with @studiohome creative Julia!An Autumn Adventure with @studiohome creative Julia!
It took me about 3 hours or so before I made it to Dunedin where I promptly made for the studio of artist Jon Thom, spent a couple of hours interviewing and taking pics then made and U Turn to head back along the same road I came. Seems a little silly – but it was such a beautiful drive, and heading back but in the opposite direction allowed for a totally different view!
What’s more I was heading for Lake Wanaka….only my most favourite place in NZ!

Wanaka had me for the weekend and I lapped up every second. It’s much more low key than Queenstown and the small town vibe suits me just fine. But the skyline catches my breath just the same and it doesn’t matter how many times I leave that place …I spend a lot of time staring sadly into my rear vision mirror!

An Autumn Adventure with @studiohome creative Julia!
Due to some last minute shuffling of appointments further north, I cut my Wanaka time short and left in good time on Sunday. Again – one of the best days spent driving in the South Island I believe! I hit Tarras then ventured through the high country of the Lindis Pass and on into the Mackenzie Basin. This area is quite something…desolate (except for the relatively recent circles of green from new irrigation) stony, sparse bordered on one side by tussocky hills and the other, the rugged and black Southern Alps. I always half expect to see a woolly mammoth rolling a long in the distance!
It’s been my tradition for at least the last 8 years to always without fail stop at Lake Pukaki and have a wee silent moment taking in Aoraki/Mt Cook. On this day the usual saturated blue of the lake was more of a glacial milky colour which made everything look silver. Sigh. It’s a pretty special place!

An Autumn Adventure with @studiohome creative Julia!

After another 3 hours ish I reached my parents place just north of Christchurch where I bunked down of for a few days to catch up on some work.
On the Wednesday, pre-dawn, I loaded up the Styla and once again pointed her north. In just a couple of hours of low lit driving I slid out of the Hundalee ranges to arrive seas side just south of Kaikoura. The sun was just coming out and I stopped for a second to take it all in as fisherman quietly launched their boats for the day. My timing was kind of bang on as in the rosy gold light I could make out shapes jumping and realised that I was watching an enormous super pod of dolphins frolicking their way south! Awesome!

Tradition struck again with an obligatory piece of fresh battered fish from The Cave restaurant for breakfast and a quick drive to the peninsula look out to enjoy it while taking in Kaikoura, her north and south coast and the snowy peaks to her west. It’s a pretty incredible location!

An Autumn Adventure with @studiohome creative Julia!An Autumn Adventure with @studiohome creative Julia!

I continued north and through to Blenheim where I stayed with and interviewed NZ’s Queen of Colour, interior designer Alex Fulton. While it was only 24 hours I lapped up the best Japanese I’d ever had in NZ and a decadent platter with local wine….they don’t do things by halves in Marlborough!
The following morning it was another early one to zip the half hour on through to my last port of call in the South Island; Picton. As they sun came up I drove the car into the bowels of the Interislander Ferry then armed with all warm things I had, found myself a rail side posse to take in the pure magic of the Marlborough Sounds. We slid through Tory Channel then on over the straight to eventually enter Wellington Harbour and the North Island. Wellington always surprises me …its white little houses clinging to the rolling ridges and tops around the harbour, kind of reminding me of San Francisco!

An Autumn Adventure with @studiohome creative Julia!

Wellington looked after me for another 3 days. I took photos at Khandallah’s best kept secret; Tea Pea, visited the new harbour side HQ of fashion brand; Kowtow and for the first time ever explored all its exposed suburban bays where houses cling and hide behind rock while the Tasman has a good go and ripping them off!  It was kind of unlike any other urban touring I’d ever done!

All in all I had two weeks exploring what I thought was very familiar territory….but for the most part it felt like I was seeing everything again for the first time! That trip is surely one of the most gratifying with its quick and continual changes of scenery. Probably my favourite.

An Autumn Adventure with @studiohome creative Julia!

You can also read about Julia’s road trip here

Travel Fashion Girl’s glamping experience from LA to Utah!

19 May 2014 01:30 p.m.

Travel Fashion Girl went for a spin in our JUCY Champ! Check out her USA adventure, along with some great tips on where to go and what to pack!

As a “travel fashion girl”, I’m more of a glamper than a rugged camper and Jucy Campervans offered the perfect vehicle for my 10-day road trip from Los Angeles to Utah:

Day 1: The big road trip day has finally arrived! Picking up our Jucy Campervan was an experience in itself. From the moment we laid eyes on their bright purple and green offices until the moment we had a tour of the vehicle, it felt like the fun had already started.

Read my full camper rental review for the jucy details!

Day 2: We got on the road one day later than planned due to untimely obligations. The drive also took longer than expected so we ended up spending the night at an RV stop just across the Utah state line – the convenience of having a moving hotel room!

Travel Fashion Girls glamping experience from LA to Utah!

Day 3: Refreshed, we awoke for an early start and quickly found that any inconveniences the previous day were well worth it! By starting our drive through Utah early in the morning we got to see the incredible sights in the daytime on the way to the National Parks – awe-inspiring!

Day 4: After spending the afternoon driving to all the viewpoints at Canyonlands National Park yesterday, we reserved our Saturday for a day filled with hikes. Unfortunately, it rained half the day but we were still able to get in a couple of hours in the afternoon. Spectacular!

Travel Fashion Girls glamping experience from LA to Utah!

Day 5: We spent the morning at the famous Dead Horse Point views and the afternoon getting acquainted with Arches National Park. Famous for its towering arch-like formations, Arches was one marvel of nature after another.

Day 6: Today we spent the whole day exploring Arches National Park. We did two 2-3 hours treks and the rest of the viewpoints we visited off right off the road at vehicle accessible stopping areas or through short walks.

Travel Fashion Girls glamping experience from LA to Utah!

Day 7: We made a last minute decision to add one more national park to our short road trip: the famous Zion. We spent 1.5 days doing the more accessible yet scenic trails, which was a great way to enjoy one more park and also break up our long drive back home.

Day 8 – 9: Who can drive through Vegas and not stop for a night? We can’t! While I’ve been to Vegas numerous times, my boyfriend has only been once so we stopped for a night (later extended to two nights) and enjoyed a little sin city action on the last nights of our trip.

Travel Fashion Girls glamping experience from LA to Utah!

Day 10: Sadly, today was the drive back home. We headed straight for the Jucy headquarters to say goodbye to our campervan. It was an epic adventure definitely enhanced by the stylish little vehicle that made our lives way easier and more fun on our road trip to Utah!

It was a short and quick 10-day trip from LA to Utah and we averaged 2 nights, and 1.5 days at each destination. Thankfully, the conveniences the Jucy campervan offered allowed us to move quickly without spending much time on set up and tear down each day.

Travel Fashion Girls glamping experience from LA to Utah!

Thanks Jucy for joining us on an awesome adventure!

For your car camping check-list - read this

For tips on what to wear when visiting a national park in a Campa – read this

 

Freedom on the Great Ocean Road

15 May 2014 02:48 p.m.

Divergent Travellers took to the Australian roads in a JUCY Campa -here’s their tips for the Great Ocean Road!

There are many ways to experience the Great Ocean Road from guided bus tours to self-drives and everything in between. Some people prefer to leave the planning in the hands of a company and join a coach bus or small van group tour. They usually hit the highlights and offer a relaxing experience.  Others prefer to rent a car and spend their time at guest houses while making their own itinerary. For the true adventurers, you can’t beat renting a campavan and using your freedom to experience all that the road has to offer.

We picked up our Jucy campavan at the end of our stay in bustling Melbourne. Their location in St Kilda is easy to find and accessible from the CBD if you are not staying in the St Kilda area.  We found navigating our way out of the mega city an easy task and before we knew it, we were headed down M1 straight towards Geelong.

 Freedom on the Great Ocean Road

Geelong is a good place to stop and visit a grocery store before you reach Torquay and start your drive on the official Great Ocean Road. There will be better variety and better prices to be found here. Stocking up beforehand offers you the freedom to stop when you want once you reach the road. Torquay is the first city you will pass through and it gives off some serious surfer vibes. A walk through the streets and a visit to one of the beaches is an excellent way to start off your drive. Depending on how many days you have allotted for you travel, you could easily spend a night here if you choose.

If nothing else, be sure to stop off near the beginning of the road at any information center and grab a tourist map for the Great Ocean Road. This will highlight all the towns and great places to stop along your way.

Adventures on the road from this point are plenty and there are a variety of ways to put together your trip. Highlights include Lorne, a beautiful seaside town with a resident population of big, white Cockatoos. Kennett River is another great wildlife stop, where just off the highway you can park and enjoy observing koalas in the trees above.  The Twelve Apostles are a must see and are clearly marked from the main road.

 Freedom on the Great Ocean RoadFreedom on the Great Ocean Road

Of course this only scratches the surface of the stops you can make on this great drive. You’ll quickly find that a lot of the enjoyment from the road comes from just enjoying the twisty roads that wind up, down and through the cliffs next to the ocean. Camping areas are abundant and make nice places to stop for a good night’s rest. Top that all off with great weather, amazing nature, beautiful landscapes and the freedom that comes from your own campavan and you are in for a real treat.

Freedom on the Great Ocean Road

JUCY Easter Roadie

01 May 2014 05:00 p.m.

“Congratulations Carolyne, you have been chosen to be our Easter Roadie trip.”

Feelings of excitement and happiness ensued. I was given the opportunity to have a campervan for five days anywhere I wanted in Australia and at the same time be able to spread some Easter Bunny cheer to the local community. I immediately told my partner, Roméo, who could not believe I had won. Doing the Great Ocean Road and the Mornington Peninsula was on our top list of places to see for some time now and so the decision of where we were headed was an easy one.

Alice from the Melbourne branch of JUCY contacted us shortly after and told us our mission would be to spread some Easter cheer to the local RSPCA in Burwood, East. We would be delivering some beautiful chocolate baskets to the volunteers and staff and handing out some even tastier treats to their dogs.

On Monday March 31st, Roméo and I departed our apartment, hopped on the tram and headed to the Melbourne JUCY branch to pick up on new home for the next five days.

We were greeted by the lovely JUCY staff and proceeded to check in with the awesome long-bearded American Josh. We were delighted to be given the Penthouse Campa. He even threw in a free GPS, making this the ultimate vacation package!

Once we got familiar with the Campa, we had the pleasure to met Alice. A beautiful, all smiles, British young woman. I could feel her excitement as she handed us our Easter costumes, cute bunny ears and matching tails.

JUCY Easter Roadie

Turns out she’s a huge animal lover, just like us, and so to spread the Easter cheer with her was a real treat.

Around 11:30am we were set to depart. Arriving a little after noon, we were greeted by the ever so kind Catherine from the RSCPA. She could not believe the size of our baskets nor could get over how cute we all three looked in our Easter bunny outfits!

We then proceeded to the break room, set up our goodies, and Catherine made the surprise announcement on the intercom!

JUCY Easter Roadie

As the staff and volunteers poured into the break room, they were a little confused but also very delighted to see three little Easter bunny handing waiting for them with huge baskets of chocolates! Basket openings, chocolate devouring immediately commenced! Just an awesome way to start off the week…only if all Monday mornings could be like that!

We proceeded to head downstairs to tour the animal area. We were secretly very excited for this as we would be able to give Easter doggy approved treats to the RSCPA dogs! Tails wagging, dogs patiently waiting their turns for the treats! It was a real delight.

The RSCPA experience was an amazing opportunity to chat with the hard working staff and volunteers of this newly built branch. It is simply inspiring to see first hand the attention that is given to every single living creature in this place. For Roméo and I, it could not have been a better why to kick-start our Great Ocean Road trip.

JUCY Easter Roadie JUCY Easter Roadie JUCY Easter Roadie

We arrived at the Great Apostles lookout area just in time to catch the beautiful sunset.

I can never get tired of the Australian sunsets, just absolutely beautiful. No words to describe the serenity that chills your entire body when you look onto the horizon.

The sunset was definitely the icing on the cake to end such an awesome day. Tonight was going to be our first attempt to making dinner in the Campa. On the menu: chicken spaghetti with sweet basil and tomato sauce and a side of green beans! Yummy! The Campa kitchen got our quick approval!

The next day, we woke up to a beautiful sunrise and a surprising hot morning for an April 1st. It would soon turn out to be the hottest day on record, 26 degree Celsius!

On today’s route, Port Campbell for coastal town viewing, then back up to Johanna’s Beach for lunch by the ocean, relaxing, and walking around. Cape Otway Lighthouse to take in some of the breathtaking landscape.

We finished off the day with a stop over by the Lorne beach for a quiet night dinner and sleeping. On the menu tonight was a delicious rice and green bean Bolognese. We planned to drink our Peter Lehmann 2008 Barossa Shiraz bottle but given the fact that it was 26 degrees Celsius, the bottle was more than warm. Quick on his feet, Roméo, decided to make his own cooler.

Quick tip: if you want your wine or beer to be cool, find a shallow rocky area, make sure it’s low tide, cradle your bottle between the rocks, eat a little snack while you wait, and come back in 20 minutes. By this time your drink should be chilled and ready to drink! Simply open, pour, and enjoy!

JUCY Easter Roadie JUCY Easter Roadie

At 7:00 am we woke up the next morning and it must have been still about 20 degrees Celsius. Thankfully by 8:30 am the temperature started to drop, and it started to rain. On program this morning was the Erskine Falls. We were graced with a huge rainbow on our way to the tallest falls of Victoria.

We felt like we were in the Amazon jungle surrounded with the lush and green plants and trees. For the afternoon, our plan was to head to Queenscliff and hop onto the ferry to Sorrento.  The ferry is a great option, as we were short on time, and wanted to connect quickly to the Mornington Peninsula. 40 minutes later we arrived safely at our destination.

As today had been very wet and remarkably cooler compared to the previous day, one of the major highlights was us heading to the Peninsula Hot Springs in Fingal for an evening of pure relaxing. The moment we stepped into the reception area, we felt calm and soothed. We were delighted to weave our way around the 20 different baths. The other bathing experiences included the sauna and hamam, the reflexology walk, and the hydrojet pool. But the most special, must have been climbing all the way to the top of the bathes and immersing our bodies into the thermal hot spring bath that overlooked the entire city line. Just a spectacular experience.

The next morning, waking up refreshed and relaxed,  we drove to discover the walking trails of the Cape Schank Lighthouse.

The Mornington Peninsula landscape does not disappoint. Our afternoon was reserved for wine tasting; this region of Victoria is very well known for its Pinot Noirs.

We created our list of the four wineries we wanted to visit thanks to our trusty wine touring map. On the list was:

  • Montalto Estate
  • Eldridge Estate
  • Main Ridge Estate (the oldest winemaker in the region)
  • 10 Minutes by Tractor

We had the pleasure of discussing with the cellar door staff about their 2014 vintage season, tasted some interesting pinot noirs, and even had a private tour of the cellar area at one of the wineries.

As this was our last night in the Peninsula, we wanted to do something special for dinner. We purchased at the IGA in Hastings a tandori styled chicken that we grilled on the BBQ. This is one feature of Australia that we absolutely love! Get your meat and grill it on one of the many free barbecues. We toasted our evening with a nice Shiraz. It was simply a perfect night spent overlooking the Shoreman Beach.

On Friday morning, we said goodbye to the Peninsula and started making our way back home. We took the long way and stopped in the city of Mornington.  Then headed towards the Ocean Road and stopped along the Brighton beach houses for some final pictures. We drove our CAMPA back to its destination on Inkerman Street in St. Kilda and handed over the keys to Josh; our new American friend. We said our goodbyes to the Jucy team and headed back home the same way we arrived.

JUCY Easter Roadie

Until next time JUCY campa, you were great to us, and we can’t wait for our next adventure with you!

Cheers,

Carolyne and Roméo

Easter Bunny Roadie winners Australia 2014

 

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