Herbie the Australian Campervan

[ 0 ] May 15, 2012 |

Although we didn’t love him as much as NZ’s Bonnie, we did have a decent amount of affection for Herbie- our Australia campervan.

Herbie The Aussie Campervan

We rented this guy through the company Apollo. (They also rent campers in the US- so when we get home…) Unfortunately, our Apollo representative wasn’t nearly as friendly to work with as our NZ campervan company. The human interaction was really the only negative of the rental- if they hadn’t tried to convinced us we were going to wreck, die, and be charged a ridiculous amount before we even left the parking lot it would have been a bit more fun and a lot less stressful. I just couldn’t convince the guy that we are much more uptight than we look J Anyway- after leaving the Apollo lot in Brisbane things got better.

We picked the van up in Brisbane and drove it north to Cairns.  And to Apollo’s credit- the Cairns people were great.

This campervan was quite an upgrade from Bonnie. Most importantly, you could stand inside of it! It had a pump sink attached to the water tank that you filled from outside. It also had a microwave! (That we only used to make oatmeal.) The back was wide enough for benches on both sides to sit and had a table that could swing either way. At night we had boards to fill the center gap and the back seat cushions became the center mattress.  If we had a third person, there was even an “attic” sleeping area that we used for storage. It was more comfortable upfront, but it wasn’t as much fun to drive because it was larger. We had to plan where to park more often and we couldn’t drive in low clearance areas. At campgrounds it was fantastic- really easy to hook up and refill.

a sink inside

benches for sitting and storage

Fortunately we didn’t have any major trouble.  We did have one close call. Herbie had a manual transmission- so when you park, you pull the parking brake. Well… we forgot.  We went into the post office and when we came back out- Herbie had moved himself in the parking lot! Yikes!!! The poor van had rolled forward completely out of the parking spot into the middle of the lane towards a construction truck- but it didn’t make it that far. THANK GOODNESS!  Just imagine us realizing this was happening and running toward the van to lunge inside and pull the brake…. No Herbie, no!

Overall camping in Australia didn’t match our time in New Zealand. The campsites are branded “Big 4” in Australia and although some locations have lots of extras like pools, bounce pillows, and movie nights they’re missing kitchens out of the rain and a place to wash your dishes. We much preferred New Zealand’s campsites that had large indoor kitchens and dining rooms where fellow campers could mingle.

If we’d had a Bonnie style campervan in Australia- we would have eaten a lot of PB&J on rainy days. Fortunately we had Herbie and were able to cook and clean inside and stay dry.

room to stand

We only had two weeks to bond- but we’d definitely give this style campervan another go. Herbie was a winner!

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Category: Alison's Blog, Australia, Blog

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