A seasoned backpacker, Kirsty has spent eight months traveling Australia’s mainland, getting around by bus, campervan and even as a passenger in a truck from Adelaide to Perth! Read about her campervan adventure in Tasmania. 

Tasmania has so much to offer, whether campervan enthusiasts are interested in backpacking in the luscious forests, lying on white, sandy beaches, or visiting cultural exhibits and historical sites. While planning for our upcoming Tasmanian adventure, check out my top tips, which assure your journey is nothing less than spectacular: Before visiting Tasmania, you can rent a campervan in Melbourne, Victoria. Subsequently, you may transport the camper on the Spirit of Tasmania, which is a popular ferry that frequently travels from Melbourne to Devonport.

  1. Extensive Maps

As I explored Tasmania’s sizable forests, I  realised that my high-quality smartphone with a GPS wasn’t going to be the best option for finding my way around – it was not always able to obtain signals from nearby towers . In order to solve this issue, bring a printed map – ones that show the locations of the campsites of each park are an added bonus! Furthermore, some comprehensive guides indicate the condition of dirt roads that are rarely used. Always ask a local for recommendations, they also have the best tips for where the best restaurants and lesser-known attractions are! Bonus!

Maps vs. Apps!

  1. The Wildlife

I highly recommend familiarizing yourself with the wildlife in Tasmania before approaching any unknown animal or insect on your journey! Have you heard of the Tasmanian Devil – it got its name for a reason! While it’s unlikely you will encounter one (I never did), the endangered Tasmanian Devil can be quite aggressive. Before I went on an extensive excursion, the friendly locals told me about the creepy crawlies that I should avoid- spiders that have red stripes. The venom of these insects can cause severe pain, and if a person is bitten, don’t place a bandage on the site because the covering could cause the venom to penetrate more deeply into the skin. That’s a sure fire way to end your holiday quickly!

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Photo credits to http://bit.ly/1FMpPsw

  1. The Wheels and the Tires

With a temperate climate, Tasmania has four seasons, and during the spring and the autumn, mud commonly builds up on the roads of the forests. While mud can be fun and add to the aventure, it does make driving a little tricky sometimes! Although you should not have any problems traveling from coast to coast, it is wise to make regular stops at gas stations and check in with road conditions. I drove through large areas of wilderness without any stations!
Tasmanian Road

  1. Managing Electricity

Most campervans are able to power appliances in the camper – such as the cooking elements and the fridge. If the battery has a low level of electricity, it will generally become fully charged if you drive the vehicle around for a few hours. You can also plug your campervan in to many of the campsites! This costs from $2 to $20, or is included in the campsite if you are staying the night!

  1. Strategies for Storing Food

In order to prevent the scent of food from reaching animals, you can place the foods in an airtight cooler. Additionally, you should always remember to close the camper’s windows when you are not near the vehicle. And make sure you comply with quarantine regulations – there is a lengthy list of restricted foods and items, which you can see on the Tasmanian Government’s website.
When planning your trip, keep in mind that there are seven territories, but two are islands that cannot be accessed with a campervan. Each territory has unique attractions, but the entire state offers cultural, historical and natural attractions. Have fun exploring such a unique part of Australia, and the world!

And now – enjoy the trip!

JUCY Social Media Guru Laura Turner writes about her recent blissed out Wanderlust adventure in Taupo, New Zealand.

I have a confession to make. Yes, I’m one of those tree-hugging hippies. I practice yoga. I don’t eat animals. I own a dream catcher and Thai fisherman pants. I believe that every cloud has a silver lining and that everyone should pay it forward. So of course I’m going to love a Yoga Festival. Setting off to New Zealand’s first Wanderlust Festival I was full of excitement and enthusiasm! Four days of stretching, meeting new people, eating kale salads and drinking green smoothies. Heck yes! Little did I know that Wanderlust had a little more waiting for me. Here are some of the lessons I learnt…

Searching for some space at my first Wanderlust yoga class was like searching for a needle in a hay stack. I wandered around, tiptoeing on strangers matt’s to find a strip of the floor I could claim. Unrolling my mat I quickly realised that it was completing a collage of epic proportions – one giant multicolour mat made up of 100’s of others. This weekend ‘my’ yoga mat wasn’t mine, it was part of the communal family of yoga mats that made up every yoga session at Wanderlust. The ‘mi casa su casa’ vibe took over the class, the festival, and a little bit of my life. Sharing is caring after all!

My Matt is Your Matt - Photo by Ali Kaukas

My Matt is Your Matt – Photo by Ali Kaukas

That afternoon, strolling across the grass under the sunshine I saw hoola-hoops being awkwardly flung around rather stiff bodies. Most ‘grown ups’ would think that hoola hooping is better left for kids – and maybe rightly so. But on closer inspection the smiles on the faces of the hoopers was infectious. The class teacher – a full time hoola hoop instructor – was cranking some fresh beats and was having the time of her life. I had to get in there! Grabbing one of the last hoops I got straight to it. 90 minutes later – my abs were sore and I’d been hit in the face countless times by my own hoop, but I’d laughed the entire time and managed to get a couple of tricks down pat! Sometimes (more often than not!) we need to let the inner child in us out to play and remember those good times we used to have in the playground. Let those walls down and have some fun!

Photo by Ali Kaukas

Wanna Hoola Hoop? Photo by Ali Kaukas

Have you ever hugged a stranger? Held hands with someone whose name you don’t know? How about given a massage to someone you’ve never spoken to. I hadn’t. Until Wanderlust. This all sounds a bit weird, right. A little bit too much for most people. But let me ask you this… why? We’ve grown up being told not to talk to strangers and we’re conditioned to thinking this is the way we should live our lives. And that is sometimes true, you don’t have to hug your taxi driver, or hi-five the stranger in the elevator. But, it is time to open up, even just a little. If you’re not quite ready to get physical with strangers, try a smile – it’ll make someone’s day!

The question you may be asking yourself, what am I going to get out of Wanderlust? My answer to you is, whatever you put into it! You don’t have to get up close and personal with people you don’t know, and you don’t have to let them into your bubble either – just be open to doing something different and trying something new. You never know what you’ll be up for after four days of good vibes – it can only do amazing things for the mind, body and soul. I would go as far to say that it was life changing, and it’s definitely something I’ll never forget. So, when’s the next Wanderlust? So, when’s the next Wanderlust? In two weeks in Sydney… better get packing!

JUCY 8 Seata at Wanderlust

JUCY 8 Seata at Wanderlust

Find JUCY on Facebook to find out soon how to WIN tickets to Wanderlust Cockatoo Island, Sydney, Australia and some JUCY Wheels to get you there! Heading off to a festival?

Check out JUCY for a range of ways to get you there – Car, Campa, or take all of your mates in a JUCY 8 Seata.

I’m not going to lie, when I started my role as Head of Marketing at JUCY, I had never been in a campervan before. Sure I knew the tourism industry inside out but I couldn’t have told you what was on the inside of a mobile home for money. With an upcoming USA vacation already locked in, it was an obvious choice to take a few days getting JUCY on the roads of Southern California. As an utter novice, what better to do than share my first-time campfire stories for other noobs like me?


More Than the Kitchen Sink

Booking your JUCY wheels is super easy, particularly online. As part of the booking process, you’ll have a choice for a few additional options to kit you out as best as possible – I highly recommend you take these. I opted for the GPS, wifi unit and personal care kit, which included bedding and towels, and I was grateful every day for all three. Trying to navigate unfamiliar US streets can be a little hair-raising at the best of times but factor in driving on the right (wrong) side of the road and I was so grateful for the computerised instructions of that little unit. How did we manage with just maps before? The wifi was great as it worked when my US SIM didn’t and it was handy to be able to add up to five devices all on the one network. Perfect for a late-night movie in bed too.

Be a Softie

My trip was part of a bigger holiday around the US so I packed my large wheelie for a few state season changes. This proved to be a little incumbersome as the storage is best set up for soft cases – my friends managed to get both of their large backpacks in the handy storage space whilst I had to lug my suitcase up and over squabs each time. With only three of us in the vehicle, this wasn’t too much of an issue in terms of space but had we been a full house, my luggage style would have made the rear a little cramped.

Snuggle Buddy

Scout’s Honour

As a good Girl Guide (or Boy Scout), it always pays to be prepared and this is never more true than when you go camping. Being in a campervan over a tent doesn’t change the dynamic that much – you still are sleeping in closed quarters with limited spare space and so with that I recommend that it is advisable each morning to pack a day bag for the next 24 hours so that when you arrive at night, wiped out from a day exploring the local sights, you can grab your PJs and toiletries and quickly get set up for the night. After a couple of days, you do quickly fall into a routine in getting the beds set up and the more organised you are in the day time, the more grateful you’ll feel at night for remembering your girl guide code.

Travel with Caution

Although Gladys (our name for our navigator) has a stilted voice and regularly mispronounces street name, that GPS lady is mighty handy when it comes to navigating the area. However, it’s worth noting that she’s not to be trusted 100% when it comes to the big trips as she’ll give you the fastest route, and that may not always be the best for a tourist. Gladys took us from Palm Desert to San Diego over the 79, a windy, curvy mountainous route that few locals take unless they are sightseeing. Double check online or ask a local before setting off to save yourself any windy-road grief!

Winding Up the 79

A Winter’s Tale

My SoCal exploration took place in December and whilst Southern California is still gorgeous by day in winter, the nights can drop in temperature pretty quickly. The bedding included in the personal kit includes a comforter, blanket and pillow per person but at 4c (brrrr) one night in Desert Hot Springs, it was a little frosty for the underprepared (that would be me) in both the main van and the penthouse. If you are heading to the US in winter, either pack some thermals to sleep in, or ask JUCY for extra bedding.

Desert Hot Springs

The Belle of the Ball

I had read that the look and feel of the JUCY Champ stood out on the road but I had no idea how much of a conversation topic we would be driving around in it. Akin to newfound celeb hitting the red carpet for the first time, we were ogled at from cars, stopped in the street to tell us how darling the van is and we were made to feel the belle of the ball at the RV campground. It’s not just the green-and-purple décor that stood out, but the also compact-yet-clever design that made nearby RVs look like clumsy ogres against our princess-like good looks. Making new friends became an added bonus on our trip with people from all over the world stopping to say hello.

It’s Right on the Right

It’s worth noting that if you’re flying in New Zealand, Australia or any long haul route, it’s important to book a hotel for the first night so you drive safely and without fatigue. You definitely need to concentrate more if you’re driving on the opposite side of the road, particularly on unfamiliar streets and it’s so much easier to do that when well rested.


Hopefully my US roadie tips and tricks have helped you get prepared for your upcoming JUCY trip. If you have any questions, drop our team a line on res@jucyworld.com or give us a call – you can find our number here!

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.

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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.


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.


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.

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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.


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.

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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!

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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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


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.


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.


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.


“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.


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!

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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.


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!


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.


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


Carolyne and Roméo

Easter Bunny Roadie winners Australia 2014


I must start by saying, I never thought it was possible to miss a vehicle rental as much as we do. Whoever out there is currently driving Jucy’s HEY950, please give her a big hug and tell her we miss her dearly. In the 2 weeks that we had her, our Lucy became part of our family unit.

We began our journey in Christchurch. The Jucy crew was extremely helpful with making sure we had everything we needed for our road trip, including some great recommendations on places to visit. We stopped for groceries at a nearby mall, then immediately hit the road. Our first night in a holiday park, we met Paul and Betty Callahan, our campervan neighbors from Florida, USA, who were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary by touring New Zealand in a Jucy Condo. The best part about being a Jucy customer, are the other Jucy friends you meet on the road. There is a camaraderie among Jucy’s that makes you feel like you have friends wherever you go.


The following day included swimming with over 100 dusky dolphins off the coast of Kaikoura. What an experience! We’re not huge fans of zoos with caged animals, so to be able to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat was something really special for each of us. Following our swim, we hit the road headed north towards Kaiteriteri Beach. The following morning we woke and walked along the beach. We visited Split Apple Rock and had one of the best burgers of our life at Fat Tui. Being from California and familiar with beautiful beaches, we decided to forego exploring Abel Tasman in depth and instead headed south to experience the glaciers and landscapes we don’t regularly get to see living on the coast of California.

On the way to Franz Josef, we stopped to see the beautiful Pancake Rocks and blowholes in Punakaiki then stayed in Hokitika for the night. A must see for anyone interested in the famed New Zealand glow worms, is the Hokitika Dell. Spending the evening surrounded by so many glowing lights in a quiet little dark dell was other-worldly!


We woke the next morning and headed to Franz Josef. On the way, we made a detour to the Hokitika Gorge. If you have the time, definitely add this stop to your itinerary. The drive is beautiful in itself, but the turquoise waters flowing through the gorge have to be seen to be believed. Just don’t forget your Goodbye Sandfly, they are fierce in this area!

Once we reached Franz Josef, we checked in for the night and woke early the next morning for the Ice Explorer tour, a very cool (no pun intended) and informative morning, hiking on and learning about the Franz Josef glacier.

Following Franz Josef, we headed towards Wanaka, a cute little lakeside town. The next day, we attempted to hike Roy’s Peak, but short on time and not equipped with enough water for the strenuous hike, we only made it halfway up before throwing in the towel and hitting the road towards Queenstown. First stop – Fergburger! We had heard so much about this place offering the ‘best burger in the world’ and we have to agree, it was a mighty fine burger!! But a word of advice for those who want to forego the hype and the sometimes hour plus wait, visit Devil Burger nearby, which has equally delicious offerings and no line.

As fun and alive as Queenstown is, we tend to gravitate towards quiet towns away from the buzz, so we headed out to Glenorchy. I just can’t find the words to describe this area; we definitely left a huge piece of our hearts in this sleepy little gem of a town. If you’re a Lord of the Rings fan (which I am), the Ride of the Rings tour by Dart Stables is a must, as well as the Dart River Jet Boat and Funyak tour. Of course, no trip to New Zealand is complete without a little adrenaline excursion. Mine included a bungy jump from the nearby Kawarau Bridge, the birthplace of bungy.


While in the Queenstown area, we decided to take the Scenic Milford Sound tour offered by Heli Tours Ltd. This tour was easily the highlight of our trip. It’s one thing to see all this breathtaking scenery from below, but from above was something you just can’t beat. Our pilot Phillip was so informative and friendly, and with our teenager being a little uneasy in the air, Phillip made sure we felt safe during our entire flight.  He took us over hidden alpine lakes, rivers and valleys not visible from the ground, out to land on a beach only accessible by air or water, and then into Milford Sound for a coffee and pastry. We then flew up to a glacier and landed for a photo then back into Queenstown. I really can’t say enough good things about this company. Katherine, the owner, will be the first person we call to book another amazing tour the next time we visit the south island.

After leaving Queenstown, we drove down to Milford Sound for a day of kayaking through the beautiful fjord (yes, it’s really a fjord, and not a sound). After our day in Milford, we headed north again making our way back to Christchurch. Along the way we drove past the beautiful turquoise waters of Lake Pukaki towards Mount Cook for a little hiking around the Tasman Glacier and Hooker Valley areas.  We then headed to Lake Tekapo for the night, where we had the great fortune of meeting ‘Lord of the Rings’ and ‘The Hobbit’ New Zealand actor, Jed Brophy, while eating dinner. What a nice guy, and a big treat for me being a huge fan of the movies!

Our last night was spent in one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I don’t know how Mount Potts and the Rangitata Valley aren’t at the top of every south island ‘must see’ itinerary. We loved that area the most of all. Our final morning we spent visiting the town center of Christchurch. It was surprising to see so much of the devastation of the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes still visible and in the midst of recovery. Finally back to the airport, parting with our Jucy Lucy was difficult but we are certain that we will be back someday to reunite with her and explore more of beautiful New Zealand.

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Elisa was the 2013 winner of ‘Best Jobs in the World’ in Australia. She took our JUCY Condo between the two biggest and famous cities in Australia: Melbourne and Sydney. In 15 days, here are her 10 top spots on her unforgettable JUCY Road Trip!

Day 1 : Great Ocean Road : Melbourne – Apollo Bay

Melbourne, Monday 10:32am: van checked and packed, Lucy on the rooftop, it’s now time to leave the Jucy branch and escape the city (which is great by the way!).  Sun is shining, the Great Ocean Road and its fluffy koalas won’t wait for us all day! Max’s got the driver’s seat, I’m the lucky one who can soak up the beautiful beach views and breathe the fresh air, umh that feels so good to be on a Jucy road trip!


Day 2:  Great Ocean Road: Apollo Bay – Port Campbell

After a first night in the campa, a brekkie in the nature with an ocean view, we headed direction Port Campbell. Thanks to a small detour to the Otway Lighthouse, we saw heaps of koalas up in the trees that was awesome to spot them in the wild! All the tourists were fascinated, no matter the nationality, koala‘s awesomeness is universal ! Our day became even more sensational once we got to the 12 Apostles. These “Giants” emerge so proudly from the Southern Ocean, it’s breathtaking! Loch Ard Gorge was also spectacular!! What a great day out on the Road with our Jucy Lucy, and yeah I forgot to mention that we made lots of new friends on the road, Jucy brothers!

Day 3: Great Ocean Road: Flying over the GOR – Timboon – Mornington Peninsula

What a better way to take in properly the scenic coast of the Great Ocean Road than by the air? We hopped on a chopper and took thousands of pictures! Nice! Then direction Timboon to taste good local products and we start with L’Artisan Cheese, because as good French people we love cheese!!! But Matthieu, the manager, does French style cheese and especially cheese from my own region in France J He offers us a visit of the cheese factory, all dressed up for the occasion (hygiene reason) we go through the different stages of the production to finish with a delicious tasting. We have the feeling to be back home, yummy! The tasting trail continues with whiskey, chocolate and fine ice creams. The stomachs full, we head to Queenscliff to board the ferry going to the other side Sorrento: Mornington Peninsula!


DAY 4-5-6: Mornington Peninsula, Philipp island and Wilson’s Promontory

Swimming with dolphins and seals! Sorrento is a lovely seaside town where you can swim with dolphins and seals, we don’t  want to miss this opportunity, so  let’s go for a 3 hour cruise with Moonraker Dolphins and lots of adventures! These animals  are so playful! We say goodbye to the dolphins to say hello to another cute animal: the penguins! On the pretty Phillip  Island, we are  excited to observe the Little Penguins coming back home at night. A very cool experience, they don’t care  about us, they  just make their way to their burrows and keep doing their things!! After a few walks on the coast, many  pictures taken on the  wild beaches, we head to Wilsons Promontory, known as The Prom.


This is one of the favourite spots to the locals and we immediately get why!! The beaches are just so beautiful, calm, and the  colors are magnificent. The camera doesn’t stop a minute there!!

Unfortunately time’s arrived to leave Victoria and drive further north to New South Wales, new adventures awaiting!

DAY 8-9-10:  The beautiful south coast of New South Wales

After a bit of driving, we can’t wait to get wet and play on the pristine beaches New South Wales is famous for. Jervis Bay is a great spot to stop. Murray’s Beach, Hyams Beach: both come with white and squeaky sand, aqua blue water…what else you can dream of? Great to enjoy the view and the breeze, but what if you want to make the most of the waves? Nothing better than learning to surf to do so we choose Surf Camp Australia for a couple of hours in the water, yeah ha! Let’s rock the waves on the perfect 7 Mile Beach!…umh umh not that easy actually but Sam our teacher is so much fun that it doesn’t matter if we can compete with Kelly Slater!! There is always a beginning to something, I would say!

DAY 11-12-13: Adventures in the Blue Mountains

After so much sand and paradisiacal postcards pictures, we are looking for a different adventure: time to head to the mountains…the Blue Mountains! Here it’s a well new playground. First, we check Scenic World out and aboard the highest cable car in Australia (270 metres between cliff edges) and the scenic cableway, it makes it very easily to explore the Jamison Valley and say hi to the Three Sisters! Just what we needed for a start. Then, time to get into it and go canyoning and abseiling these wonderful canyons and waterfalls the Blue Mountains are well known for! High N Wild drives us for an day trip we won’t soon forget!  In the morning, we get some confidence with heights and go rappelling 5, 15, 30 metres cliffs. Step by step. I pretty scared of heights but weirdly I’m ok. The most difficult bit is to stay on the edge and start the descent, once you have done that, it’s all good and fun to be in the air and take in the spectacular scenery! The afternoon is wet! Jumping in the canyon, waterslide and last but not least an awesome 30 metre waterfall to abseil!


 DAY 14-15-16: SYDNEY

After great fun outdoors, we are excited to taste a city lifestyle and Sydney lies just at the corner! Hop on our Jucy van and less than 2 hours later we drive the harbour bridge with eyes wide open. The city skyline is pretty nice, we are amazed and we can’t wait to see the opera house from a closer perspective. We move through the city easily, the Jucy van is as much at ease in the mountains as in the busy streets. 3 days is the minimum to experience what Sydney is about. Leave the van and hop on and off a ferry, discover the beaches like the famous Bondi, or Manly. Go surfing, walking along the spectacular coastline or simply sunbathing. The choice is yours. Go back to the city itself and explore the garden and parks, go shopping, check out the Victoria building. Have a break in a coffee shop or simply have a drink in the Opera house bar to get the best view over the Harbour bridge, the bay and the Opera.SYDNEYsmall

Missing your van already? Give it a ride to the alternative neighbourhood of Newton and feel like in Berlin! Drive to Taronga zoo if you fancy getting up close with some typical Australian wildlife!

Go in a club at night and feel the vibe!  Told you, 3 days are not much !

Tina Buell from Trekaroo hits the road for a family fun-filled vacation in California!

I spent my entire childhood and young adult life road tripping up and down the Golden State. My parents, who were fearful of flying, definitely wanted us to explore California so I have racked up thousands of miles traveling along the coasts, mountains, and deserts of this grand state. To help you make the most of a family friendly California road trip, we are partnering up with our friends at Ciao Bambino! to present you with this amazing, hand-picked 10 day itinerary for the vacation of a lifetime. We’ve taken the brain work out of planning this road trip and are offering our inside scoop into what can be your perfect California family vacation. Buckle up, let’s explore California.

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