- Your Home Away from Home
is fair to say I like a bit of luxury and even when younger eshewed
backpacker dorms for a more secure room to myself.
made the excuse I was travelling with cameras and so needed somewhere
to keep them safe but, looking back, I just don't like sharing my
space with folks I don't know.
for me it is touring around in a four-wheel drive and then turning
up at a hotel or motel complete with restaurants, hot water and
a comfy bed.
on our journey down the Great Ocean
Road in Victoria, I thought
I'd try something different and hire a campervan.
looked up at the options online and thought a little two-berther
van would be okay and we could stay at caravan parks - powered of
course - to provide us with the amenties that make life on the road
so much better.
that I mean clean loos.
long-term plavs are to eventually transport TikiTouring.co.nz to
Europe and spend a year or two, or three, or four, driving around
taking photographs and writing stories of the places and folk we
meet along the way.
the Great Ocean Road trek would show me if my dreams were workable,
or whether my increasing dislike of enclosed spaces would preclude
me from the campervanning option.
folks at Drivenow.com.au were a great help - their website has everything
you want to know about the vans available - and the rates seemed
very reasonable indeed.
said the two-berther looked the goods and the lack of an inboard
shower and loo really was no issue. Fortunately for us Drivenow's
associates - Tourism Holdings, which runs the brands such as Maui
and Britz campers, thought we'd be better off in a larger unit.
It still had no toilet or shower, but that suited us so the upgrade
was all sorted.
trained out to their Braybrook base in Melbourne's
near west and it was only a short five-minute walk from the Tottenham
paperwork took us about an hour to complete and if you want to be
worry free on the trip take out insurance against the $7500 excess.
It saves so much expense if you do have a crash that for $45 a day
you should just wear the cost.
we went outside to see our medium-sized buggy - only to discover
it was on a course of peptides and had grown into a campervan that
was the size of many flats.
was a Voyager and it was huge.
no titch - standing 185cm and weighing in at over 105 kilos but
next to this thing I looked like a peewee.
Voyager is the perfect unit for cruising with the family or friends.
is a double bed compartment in the bubble over the driving cab and
the seats in the rear of the campervan can be converted into a queen-sized
has an area for a small table behind the driver's seat, a good-sized
kitchen with oven, microwave, sink, fridge, extractor fan and cupboards
for cooking is provided so when you drive away all you need to do
is stop and buy the food and detergent.
from the kitchen is the bathroom area which has a loo, basin and
shower in a neat little cupboard.
didn't use them - as we were staying at camping grounds - but they
were there just in case.
doesn't take too long to transform the living area into a bed at
night, nor vice versa in the morning.
Voyager fits everything away into various cupboards and shelves
so when packed up you are left with a large and comfortable living
into the driving area is straight between the driver's and passenger's
seats and makes it easy to get behind the wheel without having to
Voyager has all the modern conveniences you could want in a mobile
home - TV, DVD player, air-conditioning and a rotating attenae for
also has a roll-out awning and you can hire an outer table and chair
setting for al fresco dining.
I first saw the Voyager I was a tad concerned about driving a beast
that is about three times the size of my Mitsubishi Pajero and stands
3.7 metres high.
it has to be said, I quickly picked it up and for the first hour
or two was constantly checking my wing mirrors to make sure I was
driving within my lane.
those wing mirrors do stick out a bit so be careful when pulling
in to park anywhere near posts, trees or folk standing around on
the side of the road.
that I had the Voyager's feel and we zipped about like a tourist
Voyager is a very comfortable vehicle to get around in with plenty
of grunt and good front and side window views.
can get interesting, but there is a rear-view camera that helps
when you can't interpret your partner's frantic arm-waving signals.
despite its size, the Voyager has a very good turning circle - much
better than my Pajero - although to be safe its always best to park
side on to the pavement and facing the way you want to leave when
at visitor spots.
someone who has never canmpervanned before I found the entire experience
an absolute pleasure and am looking forward to the next time we
shall miss our Voyager, I could almost live in one ...