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.

Mrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY Condo

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!

Mrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY CondoMrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY Condo

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.

Mrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY CondoMrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY Condo

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.

Check out Mrs. Grubby on Instagram and Twitter

Mrs Grubbys South Island Adventures in her JUCY Condo




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!

Elisas JUCY Road Trip from Melbourne to Sydney

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!

Elisas JUCY Road Trip from Melbourne to Sydney

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.

Elisas JUCY Road Trip from Melbourne to Sydney

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!

Elisas JUCY Road Trip from Melbourne to Sydney

 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.Elisas JUCY Road Trip from Melbourne to Sydney

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.

View full post here!

Grand California Road Trip: Hit the Road for the Vacation of a Lifetime

Kareen and Jackie were international travellers craving a taste of New Zealand! Make sure you check out the highlights of their recent Queenstown holiday. Want a free road trip with Coco? Click here now to apply!

What if you needed to go on a beautiful road trip in New Zealand with extra comfort? Look no further than Jucy! I was so delighted when we won a free trip with Coco the Social Cabana to drive around Queenstown. After spending two days in Christchurch and Lake Tekapo, my partner Jackie and I arrived in Queenstown, New Zealand’s adventure capital. There are so many things to fall in love with here: the spectacular and breathtaking natural scenery, the diversity of activities to tick off your personal bucket list, the warmness and quirkiness of the people here and the peaceful and cheery atmosphere.

We picked Coco up from JUCY’s depot at Queenstown Airport. Jaime welcomed us with a big, warm glee and told us we are going to be famous and pointed us to the screen of previous Coco handlers. Chris took us through the functional aspects of Coco. We were impressed at its mobile kitchen, lockers, GPS, wifi, entertainment screen and make-shift bed. Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday

The weather was beautiful. Lovely sunshine coupled with fluffy white skies, snow-capped peak of The Remarkables and the calm still waters of Lake Wakatipu. Here’s a taste of what we did around Queenstown:

QUEENSTOWN GONDOLA RIDE Riding the gondola up and having a bird’s eye view of Queenstown is almost obligatory for every tourist. We stayed through until sunset and watched the sun go down. Also, I have to say the hot chocolate from the café here is the bomb! Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday

SKIING AT CORONET PEAK We dared ourselves to drive up to Coronet Peak after renting ski chains and as soon as we parked Coco, a little bit of snow started to fall upon the ground. We made it up here safe and sound thanks to Gutsy Coco!

We picked up our first ski lesson ever! Tom, a professional ski trainer from Colorado, USA was our trainer and we learned some awesome tricks from him including how to control our balance. Although we paid for a group lesson, it turned out to be only both of us, so it became like a private lesson. I like to call it ‘Lucy’s Luck’!


Me and my partner share passion in exploring food whenever we travel. Of course a trip to Queenstown is never complete without heading to the legendary institution, Fergburger, which we were told served the world’s best burgers! The burgers were so huge, they were nearly the same size as my face! Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday By coincidence, we discovered this little fish and chip stall called Aggy’s Shack, facing the lake’s waterfront, in the same row as Eichardt’s Private Hotel. The portions were great for the price.

We also tried some classic Kiwi fare on the menu, like the abalone paua patty. The ice-creams from Chocolate Patagonia were the perfect dessert. I particularly liked the banana split flavor. For someone who dislikes bananas, I found myself indulging a lo in it, for both dinner and breakfast. Breakfast! Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday


We also tried local pub grub at Pub on Wharf, recommended by a local while we are strolling around Queenstown mall. Beef wellington is apparently one of the hardest dishes to cook in the world, but easily available here.


The 44km drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy is mesmerizing and we were constantly in awe throughout the journey. We made a pit stop at Wilson’s Bay – Because (Y)ou (O)nly (L)ive (O)nce! Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday

Another exciting part of this trip for us was following in the trail of Sir Peter Jackson and seeing the inspiration for his Lord of the Rings movies, such as the Dart River, used as filming location for Isengard in Lord of The Rings.

Glenorchy is such a quaint little town with vintage charm. There was just something about this quiet settlement which made it so alluring for us. We fueled up at Glenorchy Café, which had fantastic food. Besides the popular pork sandwich, the hearty tomato soup and also delicious crumbles were definitely winners on the day. Paired with a cup of cappuccino, we could feel ourselves relaxing.


It was such a waste that the day we were supposed to head to Milford Sound on the JUCY Bus, the roads were closed to traffic due to avalanches. I was extremely disappointed when we were informed early in the morning by the bus driver that the road was still closed and so we would be getting a refund. But still, there’s nothing one can do when Mother Nature rules!

Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday We decided to head to Shotover Jet for a ride on the jetboat instead to get over our disappointment over not making it to Milford Sound.

The adrenaline rush was exhilarating and we screamed our lungs out. We would like to thank the whole Jucy crew for accommodating us with Coco.

We love New Zealand so much that we will be back again in the near future to tick off Milford Sound and skydiving from 15,000 ft, just so we can earn even more bragging rights! The trip here is definitely a lifetime to remember.

Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday Adventures of Coco: Kareen & Jackies Queenstown holiday

We are so excited this week to host the Miss Universe NZ finalists at JUCY Hotel! Parts of the Hotel have been turned into HQ for the 20 young women in the finals. The girls have set up headquarters (Miss Universe NZ HQ) in our board room, and have a hectic schedule of things to do.

Stay tuned for different ways we are involved, including the Jucy Lucy Challenge which is being filmed for TV! Photos will go up on our social media channels later this week. In the meantime, check out a few of the girls here!

Miss Universe NZ girls at JUCY Hotel!

Adventurous travellers who love Twitter can now get campervans for less – by tweeting to help drop the price!

Twitter users are also encouraged to use #campervanadventures to share their best travel stories. At the same time, each tweet will help drop the price of JUCY campervans in NZ, Australia and the US. Tweet to get JUCY campervans for less

JUCY General Manager of Sales & Marketing Katrina Van Dijk says that the campaign is a fun way of getting customers involved through Twitter.

“JUCY customers are very active on social media and we want to capture their interest with something a little different, that no other campervan company has done before. As well as that, we know that our fans love sharing their travel stories and photos with us.”

“They love JUCY, love travelling in our green-and-purple campas, and we want to provide them with a forum to share that and also give a little love back. So tweet away, JUCY fans!”

Every tweet on August 5 & 6 using the hashtag #campervanadventures will drop the price of all JUCY campervans in NZ, Australia and the US by 0.001% per-tweet. Users can also tag in @jucyworld to win additional spot prizes.

The final discounted price after the tweets have been counted will then be made available to all online customers for one day only on Thursday, August 8 with the promo code ‘TW4less’.

“Our customers are very active on Twitter and we want to give them a good discount, but at the same time put it back into their hands how much that discount should be. The ball is now in every JUCY Twitter fan’s court. The more you tweet, the more the price drops!” says Van Dijk.

Fans can get more information through the website www.jucyworld.com/jucy4less which goes live on August 5. In the meantime, check out www.jucyworld.com for information about JUCY campervans and rental locations.

The Twitter discount will be available for travel dates from August 8 through to December 15 and is subject to availability. The price drop will be capped at a maximum 60% discount.

NZ Winter 2013: Event HighlightsSnow is gathering on New Zealand’s high country and mountain resorts are grooming their fields as the country says goodbye to autumn and welcomes visitors for another season of uniquely Kiwi winter events.

Food shows and wine festivals, music, arts, fashion and family fun events, plus some Kiwi-only cultural experiences are all part of New Zealand’s year-round experiences.

Matariki – the traditional Māori celebration of the winter solstice – is marked by the arrival of the Matariki/Pleiades star constellation in the southern skies. This ancient festival plays out across the country with a huge variety of community and family events to celebrate and give thanks for the end of the season’s harvests and anticipate the lengthening days of the approaching summer.

On the international events calendar, New Zealand will host the 2013 100% Pure New Zealand Winter Games – a biennial event that brings many of the world’s elite winter athletes to the Southern Alps for a competition series that is a lead-up to the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Whether it’s more gentle outdoor action and adventure, or cosy fireside relaxation that whets the appetite, there’s a varied menu of New Zealand event highlights this winter.

American Express Queenstown Winter Festival
21 – 30 June, 2013

Winter gets underway with a bang in the South Island alpine resort of Queenstown with a 10-day celebration that is billed as the southern hemisphere’s most legendary winter festival – and gets bigger, better, more fun and slightly wackier each year. Now in its 39th year, the Winter Festival has a well established reputation and the 2013 programme includes some intriguing new events in sports, music, arts, comedy, food and wine – as well as annual favourites on and off the snow.

Matariki – Māori New Year
22 June – 2 July, 2013

New Zealand celebrates Māori New Year or Matariki during winter. The month long event is associated with the first sighting of Matariki – the Pleiades or the Seven Sisters star group.

Matariki is the most important date on the Māori calendar, and each year celebrations become more widespread as families and local communities pay greater attention to the traditional significance of the festival. It is a time to farewell the past year and welcome new life and new beginnings with festivities centred on kai / food sharing, hospitality, art and crafts, cultural workshops, traditional Māori games, concerts and performances.

The Auckland Matariki Festival is a month-long celebration that puts a modern take on this ancient tradition.

Waipu in Tartan – Northland
29 June – 4 July, 2013

The Celtic heritage of this favourite Kiwi holiday destination at Waipu – north of Auckland – comes to the fore during a festival week that features a local Highland band, whisky tasting at the jail museum, wearable art awards, clan dinners, Highland dancing competitions, a mid-winter swim, a men in kilts rugby challenge and ‘Grand Finale Ball’. The local butcher offers a taste of haggis, and shops give tartan-wearing customers free shortbread

Māori Language Week – National
1 – 7 July, 2013

Kiwis across New Zealand get to talk up their Māori language skills as they join in the annual Māori Language Week. Organised by New Zealand’s Māori Language Commission, Māori Language Week is a national event encouraging all Kiwis to have a go at increasing their knowledge and use of te reo Māori in everyday life. The 2013 theme is Ngā Ingoa Māori (Māori names), and activities during the week will highlight Māori place-names meanings and encourage use and good pronunciation.

Cadbury Chocolate Carnival – Dunedin
20 – 26 July, 2013

Dunedin promises a chocolate dipped programme for the 2013 carnival with lots of family-friendly events that entice visitors with sweet rewards. Otago’s legendary nature and wildlife attractions plan special events and there are chocolate related arts and crafts, chocolate factory tours, food classes and competitions, chocolate facials, a Gold Rush train ride and treasure hunt, and the Cadbury fun run to tempt visitors. A highlight is the annual Jaffa Race down Baldwin Street – the world’s steepest street.

The Food Show – Auckland
1 – 4 August, 2013

The Food Show is a culinary mid-winter feast of the latest trends and treats, freshest flavours and new ideas brought together in a food, wine and beer expo. Celebrity chefs give live demonstrations and share hot tips and special recipes to thousands of hungry fans. For 2013 The Food Show Auckland Masterclass Series will feature top chefs Peter Gordon, Sean Connolly, and Simon Gault in a series of intimate, exclusive classes.

12th World Heli Challenge – Wanaka
4 – 22 August, 2013

A posse of 32 world champions, Olympians and leading ski and snowboard athletes compete in the ultimate snow adventure in the awe inspiring Southern Alps. Helicopters allow access to the ultimate snow conditions and terrains, where the athletes demonstrate their skills, speed and aerial technique. The event also attracts top photographers and film makers for a ‘snow show’ that incorporates art, creativity, lifestyle and cultural experiences against the dramatic backdrop of Lake Wanaka.

Visa Wellington on a Plate
9 – 25 August, 2013

New Zealand’s largest and tastiest food festival, Visa Wellington On a Plate returns for the fifth season with a massive menu of great food-themed events inspired by some of the country’s renowned chefs. The festival is based around DINE Wellington, a fortnight where 110 of the region’s finest eateries offer lunchtime set menus and delectable dinner deals, and the Beervana beer fest. Wellington’s best also take part in the battle of the burger with Burger Wellington, bakeoff honours in the Wellington Bake Club or the supreme award for the menu best reflecting the culinary capital’s flavour.

Winter Games NZ – Southern Alps
15 – 25 August, 2013

Winter Games NZ is one of the top five events on the international winter sports circuit featuring seven World Cup events over an 11-day programme of alpine skiing, cross country skiing, freeskiing, snowboarding, and curling. It is the first major event to include adaptive racing alongside their able bodied counterparts in cross-country and alpine skiing as they prepare for the 2014 Paralympics. Competitions play out in New Zealand’s top Southern Alps alpine resorts, and the programme includes the off-snow Downtown Sessions festival of adventure films, live music and entertainment and a series of downtown extravaganzas in Queenstown and Lake Wanaka.

Taranaki International Festival of the Arts
15 August – 1 September, 2013

Winter provides the seasonal platform for Taranaki’s biennial international arts festival of theatre, dance, music, comedy, visual arts, community and literary events. For 2013, the festival’s headline event is the breath-taking avant-garde circus TRACES – featured in Time magazine’s 2011 ‘Top 10 Plays and Musicals’ and acclaimed as a high-flying, astonishing spectacle.

North Face Freeski Open of New Zealand – Southern Lakes
28 August – 7 September, 2013

Halfpipe, slopestyle and big mountain skiers compete in the largest multi-discipline open freeski event in the southern hemisphere. Attracting skiers from across the globe, the event is internationally recognised alongside the world’s biggest freeski events.

DNA Gay Ski Week QT – Queenstown
31 August – 7 September, 2013

The southern hemisphere’s largest winter ‘Pride’ event attracts hundreds of colourful international visitors for a week-long party that sizzles with events on and off-piste including cabaret, Bingay, karaoke, a festival dance party – the ‘Queens on the Lake‘ party held aboard TSS Earnslaw – Queenstown’s iconic Lady of the Lake steamship.

Article reprinted thanks to Tourism New Zealand

Adventures of Rocco: Andrew Woods World Tour of QueenslandMeet Andrew & Sarah (pictured left) who took Rocco, our Social Cabana away for a free adventure in Australia.  Sure sounds like they had an amazing time.  You can check out more photos from their adventures on our facebook page.  Jealous?  Then apply to take Rocco away on an adventure yourself.  He is FREE!  Check out www.jucy4free.com.au to apply! Love Lucy xx

After a month-and-a-half of bragging to our friends about how we managed to score a free camper for a week with Jucy, the time had finally arrived to fly up to Brisbane and get acquainted with our home away from home:  ”Rocco”. I have to say, we weren’t too enthused about the weather forecast for the coming week. We were even less enthused by the cost of our cab from the airport. But when we got to the depot in Fortitude Valley and immediately spotted Rocco looking all shiny and slick, waiting to take us on our little adventure around Queensland, our spirits lifted a little.

The staff at Brisbane were so awesomely friendly and helpful…the manager took the time to give us the grand tour and explain how everything worked. In no time at all we were on the road and headed south for the Gold Coast. We took the opportunity to visit Sarah’s brother and her lovely niece and nephew for the night, then went to the beach at Burleigh Heads the next day with the kids and their Mum. The sun actually came out for us and it was a perfect day spent swimming and frolicking on the beach. The kids loved Rocco and happily posed for some happy snaps in the back. They went home with their Mum later in the afternoon giving Sarah and I the opportunity to do a bit of shopping. We drove down to Miami Beach where we got a few beers and cooked up a bit of dinner on Rocco’s gas stove. That night we found a place to camp and watched a movie in the back over a few beers.Adventures of Rocco: Andrew Woods World Tour of Queensland

The next morning we hit the road nice and early and headed north towards The Sunshine Coast. We stopped to whip up a spot of breakfast at a park on our way into Brisbane, then washed up and continued on to our destination – Australia Zoo. A friend of mine (Kellie) is one of the keepers there and was good enough to hook us up with a guest pass, as well as a bit of VIP treatment. She took us in to meet the camels (Delilah and Esther) and we were lucky enough to hand feed the Binturongs (Jaya and Pip) – a real highlight! We also got photos with Charlie, the 13-year-old Burmese python and with Tonka the Bare-Nosed Wombat. We parked up on Kellie’s lawn that night and she drove us down to the local pub in Landsborough.

The next day was pouring with rain so we abandoned our original plans to go bushwalking in The Glasshouse Mountains, and drove to Eumundi instead to check out the markets. The Wednesday markets there were fantastic…so many stalls and the products were all very high quality. On the way back to Landsborough, we stopped at the Buderim Ginger Factory where we bought some yummy fudge and a jar of Feijoa and Ginger Jam, then had a beer at the famous Ettamogah Pub. We took advantage of the free campsite and stayed the night with Kellie again, but dined at the Beerwah Pub instead.

Adventures of Rocco: Andrew Woods World Tour of QueenslandIt rained on and off again the next day, but we did manage to stop in Noosa Heads for a three-hour bushwalk on our way up to Rainbow beach where we checked in at Rainbow Waters Holiday Park for our final two nights.

The next morning we were up bright and early for a day tour of Fraser Island. We were picked up at the campsite at 7:30am and the 4WD bus took us across on the ferry for our tour.

We were pretty keen to spot one of the island’s resident dingoes and we were barely 5 minutes on the island before an old male strolled across the road to give us a photo opportunity. For the rest of the tour we were fervently on ‘dingo watch’ but alas did not manage to spot any more. The weather was far from perfect but we still managed to enjoy a swim in Lake McKenzie, right in the heart of the island, which was really refreshing due to the low pH of the water and pure silica sand underfoot. After a long and thoroughly enjoyable day our tour guide dropped us back to our campsite.Adventures of Rocco: Andrew Woods World Tour of Queensland

Thus we awoke to our final day with Rocco on Saturday morning. We gave him a bit of a spruce-up before cooking breakfast and hitting the road for our drive back to Brisbane. We managed to get him cleaned and filled with petrol just in the nick of time for our drop-off deadline back at Fortitude Valley.

All in all, we had a truly great holiday and are so thankful to Jucy for allowing us this amazing opportunity.

Cheers Lucy!

Adventures Of Coco Our Social Cabana: Aaron & Jen’s ‘Northland’ Roadie with CocoMeet Aaron & Jen (pictured left) who took Coco, our Social Cabana away for a free adventure in New Zealand.  Sure sounds like they had an amazing time.  You can check out more photos from their adventures on our facebook page.  Jealous?  Then apply to take Coco away on an adventure yourself.  She is FREE!  Check out www.jucy4free.co.nz to apply! Love Lucy xx

Day one: Memory Lane
Today was the beginning of our trip with Coco. Being Hamiltonions we needed to get to Auckland before the Jucy office closed at 5pm. And being from Hamilton we underestimated just how horrible Auckland traffic really is at 5pm at the beginning of a long weekend…

But before we knew it, the friendly Jucy staff had us all set up with Coco and we were on our way! Or not… Auckland had trapped us again and we began our crawl out of Auckland heading north. Destination?… Unknown!

Easter was upon us and we didn’t want to be lost and hungry on Good Friday, so all we knew was that we needed to stop, get food and stock up on Easter Eggs. We made out way of Auckland to see a big bright yellow Pak n Save to our left.

While we were in the neighbourhood, we did a quick drive across the motorway to Forrest Hill – Jen’s old stomping ground. We passed her old guide hall, house, vet and were heading towards play centre when we passed the water tower, also known as the ‘skating concrete’ back in the 90’s. Once we got up there it seemed like a perfect spot for dinner. We enjoyed our first night cooking in the back of Coco and enjoyed our meal with a stunning view overlooking Auckland city.

Following dinner we headed north to Jen’s Aunty Julie at Snells Beach. We found a nice spot on the driveway showed off Coco’s awesome features and had a cuppa and a catch up. Then it was time for our first sleep in Coco.

Park in Aunty’s driveway: $0 per night.
Ambience: 10/10 – nothing beats hospitality of family
Shower: Good pressure and free!

Day two: Roads and Beaches

Adventures Of Coco Our Social Cabana: Aaron & Jen’s ‘Northland’ Roadie with CocoWe awoke and realised it was already 9am, and slid open the  door to the sound of bacon sizzling – it was the ultimate cue to get up! We enjoyed an amazing breakfast of bacon, eggs and croissants overlooking Snells Beach, accompanied by an amazing view. After a Facebook suggestion by a friend we headed towards Tutukaka – we stopped at several beaches along the way, grabbed a nice mocha at a caravan in Mangawhai Heads, went for a few walks on the amazing white beaches and checked out Whangarei Falls.

Using Jucy’s hamap we pinpointed Whananaki as our destination for the night. Our first pick was the DOC campground (cold showers but only $6 bucks each), pulled up outside to a ‘fully booked’ roadside side. Our second option was the local campground (Whananaki North Holiday Park) – which had all the facilities and a HOT shower.  We pulled in, paid our fee, set up Coco, cooked a meal in the back and had a glass of wine to cheers a great day two.

1x Camp Site at Whananaki North Holiday Park: $30 for two per night.
Ambience: 7/10 – Lots of people but all friendly!
Shower: Kiwi as, clean and 50 cents for 6 minutes!

Day three: To the Capital

This time we knew where we were heading – Paihia! Heading back down towards SH1 we needed to take a slight detour via Hikurangi, to visit the old pub Jennifer’s grandparents were supposed use to run “back in the day”. Finding it proved easy as the town wasn’t much bigger than the main road. The pub itself was closed and looking for new owners. We might have hung around a little longer to explore except the local police car had a beaten-up man in the back and Aaron was scared.

After hearing about the famous Friedensreich Hundertwasser toilets we thought we better stop in Kawakawa and check them out.

Adventures Of Coco Our Social Cabana: Aaron & Jen’s ‘Northland’ Roadie with CocoThe toilets themselves were pretty impressive. The mosaics and bottles created a unique environment and it was nice to have a clean public toilet for once. We also checked out living space and wandered around the mosaics made of mirrors, tiles and pictures.

We continued north to Paihia, where we found a little “campervan only” camping ground set amongst olive trees and set up Coco. Next door was an adventure park/playgroundso we decided to give it ago. Turns out we’re more vertically challenged than we realised, combine that with a lack of balance and upper body strength and you find adult-sized adventure playgrounds aren’t that much fun. Time to move on.

Following the beach we made our way over to the main township, hopped aboard a ferry and set sail for Russell. Twenty minutes later we arrived in New Zealand’s original capital. We enjoyed a beverage in our oldest pub, a walk along the waterfront and watching a local skipper bring in a 132kg Marlin.

Back in Paihia we followed a toilet sign to no toilet (… grr…) then headed out to ‘treat’ ourselves to a Thai dinner and give Coco a break from her cooking duties. A visit to Countdown on the walk home to treat ourselves to ice-cream topped off an excellent day.

1x Campervan Park @ Olive Grove Campervan Park, Paihia: $30 for two per night.
Ambience: 9/10 – Nice, Quiet, Great setting among the olives!
Shower: Spacious, modern and clean – but most expensive at $2.00 for 4 minutes!

Day Four: To the Top!

We aimed to be out of the Olive Groves by 9am as today was going to be a big day – but we got a little carried away with another cooked brekky and hot drinks out the back of Coco. Once on the road we still managed to get to the Waitangi before all the tourists. We enjoyed exploring the historical grounds of Waitangi.

After learning more about Treaty history, we jumped in Coco, cranked up some road trip music and set off on the two-and-a-half hour hike to the very tip of NZ. It was like a massive convoy of tourists – all in campervans, rental vans or 4×4’s loaded with supplies. We passed a few of Coco’s siblings – giving the big Jucy wave to the other vans!

Once we got to the very top – we parked on the side of the road, cooked some lunch and sat back over-looking the impressive Tasman sea. Then it was a hike down the big concrete path to the iconic lighthouse and AA sign. We took some token tourist photos – climbed back up the hill – and set off for the next thrill-seeking adventure – SAND DUNING!

We carted Jen’s childhood boogie boards all the way from Hamilton especially for this activity, but  it turns out there are only certainAdventures Of Coco Our Social Cabana: Aaron & Jen’s ‘Northland’ Roadie with Coco boards you could use when sand duning, sadly Jen’s barely moved us anywhere in the sand! So we caved and hired a board from the friendly board hire truck – this definitely got us moving down the giant sand dunes. Once we got our confidence up trialling ‘the babies’ we set charge for the ‘big dunes’. We stood at the bottom, looked up, it looked easy. It was only when we saw tourists fly down the hill smashing themselves up that we realised the sport was really dangerous!

On the way back, we  saw signs for Mangonui. We’d heard about the world famous ‘Fish and Chip’ shop so thought this could be a nice place to stop. We stopped at the shop, which was overlooking the water and packed (a good sign!). We grabbed a feed of fresh kai moana, and sat in the back of Coco overlooking the lovely Mangonui harbour. People weren’t wrong about them being great fish and chips!

Some locals in the fish and chip line suggested the Hihi Beach Holiday Park as a place to park up for the night – this was as far as we would go after the km’s we had done today. We pulled up, found a park and headed down the beach for a nice walk down the bay watching a beautiful sunset. It was definitely a good recommendation.

Hihi Beach Holiday Park: $40 for 2x for one night.
Ambience: 8/10 – Bit dated, but lovely spot – wicked sunsets!
Showers: Again dated – but nice and hot – best bit – FREE!

Adventures Of Coco Our Social Cabana: Aaron & Jen’s ‘Northland’ Roadie with CocoDay Five: Reality. Home time.

We made the most of the free showers by having another shower before hitting the road.

We stopped at New Zealand’s oldest stone building in Kerikeri for a quick coffee and muffin overlooking the Kerikeri river, couple of photos and a sneaky look through the Kiwiana giftshop.  After checking Jen’s phone – she re-read the text Jen’s mum had sent about checking out her family’s pub while we were up North. Jen asked “What was the name of the scary town we went to for the pub?” Haunted by the last visit, Aaron replied: “Hikurangi!”

Well it turns out we went to the wrong town! Fortunately Google maps showed us the correct town (beginning with H and ending with I) was on SH1 on the way home.

We arrive in the correct town – Hukarenui – to find only a pub and a museum. However the pub was shut, so we took a look around the grounds and took some photos. Adventures Of Coco Our Social Cabana: Aaron & Jen’s ‘Northland’ Roadie with Coco

We had an amazing long Easter weekend in Coco. Conquered quite a few kilometers, saw a good chunk of Northland and have definitely been converted on the way to travel. Maybe in Europe we will do some ‘glamping’, but when we are back home in NZ after our OE, we will be keen to take one of Coco’s cousins for another journey some where in NZ.

Thanks Jucy and your amazing team for allowing us use of Coco!

Aaron and Jen

Adventures of Rocco our Social Crib: Fabian & Alinas Aussie AdventureMeet Fabian & Alina who are the latestly lucky people to take Rocco away on a free adventure.  You can read about their time with Rocco below and check out more photos from their trip here on our facebook page.  Jealous?  Then apply to take Rocco away on your own adventure for free.  Apply at www.jucy4free.com.au  I’m waiting for your application!   Love, Lucy xx

Fabian and I were were pretty excited when we picked up Rocco – even though we hady rented a JUCY Crib before and knew what to expect- but Rocco was something special. He has a different look and comes with a camera, tablet & WiFi. What else could anyone ask for?

To get out of Sydney was even worse than our Lonely Planet told us, but after shopping and filling up the fridge we somehow made it up North for a quick break in Terrigal.  After a coffee and a little walk on the beach we kept on driving for a few hours with only one more break at Shelly Beach. The weather was nice and sunny that day but it changed when Rocco was on the highway. It started to rain and we decided it would be best to find a campsite as soon as possible. We got lucky in Taree and spend our first night there.Adventures of Rocco our Social Crib: Fabian & Alinas Aussie Adventure

The next day, after Skyping with our families back in Germany and telling them how to find Rocco on the move, we drove to the North Brother Mountain in the Dooragan National Park, where the view was absolutely breath-taking. From there we kept on driving North to Camden Head and its Pilot Station Beach where we saw a wild dingo for the first time (okay, we both first thought it was a normal dog).

Rocco took us to Port Macquarie when heavy rain started again. We found a campsite which had the rudest staff and was by far the untidiest campsite we’ve ever seen, but Rocco was as usual our nice and comfortable home. In the campsite’s kitchen I saw the biggest cockroach ever, so I decided not to leave Rocco anymore.

Day 3 took us to the cutest Koala Hospital we’ve ever been to. It was located near the central of Port Macquarie and we were seriously thinking about kidnapping one of these cute buddies. Our next stop was Crescent Head with its famous Little Nobby’s Junction beach. Unfortunately the weather was getting worse and dark clouds made it windy and rainy. We then decided to take Rocco to the highest waterfall in Australia, the Ellenborough Falls. On the way we nearly ran out of petrol because one of the Tourist Information must have given us an old map, it showed gas stations that did not exist anymore. Anyway, the waterfall was worth it and we found a gas station right on time.

Finding a campsite was pretty difficult this time because it was already late, so we asked someone in Wingham and he told us to go to Manning River. We didn’t find a campsite there but hundreds or maybe even thousands of flying foxes in the sky – it was truly unbelievable.  We kept on driving and got back to Taree and camped at the campsite where we had spent the first night.

Adventures of Rocco our Social Crib: Fabian & Alinas Aussie AdventureThe next day was sunny again and we made a little plan on where we wanted to go. We decided to move towards the Blue Mountains.  We took a much needed short break in Maitland – a little boring town with McDonald’s and a bookstore. From there we kept on driving for quite a while, we took Rocco down to Hunter Valley and Putty Road towards Windsor.

From Richmond we took the Bells Line of Road and stopped at Bilpin to have a piece of their famous apple pie. After that we went on to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden with one of the nicest views from Mt. Tomah.  In Blackheath we had an astonishing view from the Anvil Rock and we saw the Wind Eroded Cave. At Perry’s Lookdown we luckily found a free campsite and decided to stay for two nights. It was just us, Rocco & nature (and some other campervans of course). Then the weather started to get bad again.

The next morning we went to a wonderful lookout at Govetts Leap, where we took a walk to the Bridal Veil Falls. Our Lonely Planet told us to go to the Coachwood Glen Nature Trail, which turned out to be a little hidden treasure.

From there we went on to the Leura Cascades which was a nice walk right next to the waterfall when it (of course) started to rain again. Our last stop for that day was the Gordon Falls Lookout and even though the weather was getting worse and the dark clouds were everywhere, we were absolutely amazed by its beauty!

We wanted to make it to Canberra that day, so we had to rush a bit to see the rest of the Blue Mountains. Since the weather had been really bad the night before, it was very difficult to walk to the waterfalls and lookouts – but we somehow made it to the Katoomba Cascades. Our last stop in the Blue Mountains was the Echo Point. It was a nice view but it was the Adventures of Rocco our Social Crib: Fabian & Alinas Aussie Adventurefirst time we had to pay for parking (1st hour $3,80, every following $4,80) and for me personally there were way too many tourists.  Fabian walked on to the Three Sisters over the Giant Stairway, while I was getting ready for the drive to Canberra.  We arrived in Canberra at around 7pm. One of our friends took us to Ainslie Mountain by where we had a nice view of the sunset over the Capital.

The next day in Canberra we took a walk through the Parliamentary Zone but unfortunately didn’t have the time to have a look at the National Gallery or National Museum. We drove up to Ainslie Mountain again where we saw a huge rainstorm in the distance – a little foretaste of what we would experience in the following two days.

We drove on to Huskisson, one of the oldest towns on the South Coast and we had a little walk on the beach in the pouring rain. The wind was getting stronger as well so we decided to look for a campsite early this day because driving around was no fun at all.

Adventures of Rocco our Social Crib: Fabian & Alinas Aussie AdventureRocco took us to Wollongong where we found a campsite in Bulli right next to the beach. We just stayed in the car because the rain was too heavy and watched a movie on Rocco’s DVD-player.

Our last day with Rocco had come and the rain had gone again. We cleaned Rocco and got him ready for his drive back to Sydney. Our last stop before dropping Rocco off was a lookout over Bulli beach.

All together it was an awesome trip (even if the weather wasn’t perfect) we saw much and this would’ve never been possible if it wasn’t because of Rocco. It was an amazing opportunity to see more than just the big cities and we can’t thank you enough for this free road trip with the lovely Rocco.

Fabian & Alina