Green Dream Machine
Sydney-sider Paul Nee makes the most of his quick getaway to the northern beaches of NSW. Surfs Up!
By PAUL NEE
Crawling out of a small three door hatch-back at dawn, it’s hard not to notice the relaxed look of the nomads emerging from a neighbouring spaceshuttle.
They get busy preparing a cooked breakfast, sip on freshly brewed coffee and watch the sun rise over a stunning coastline.
Are they in heaven? The question comes to mind as I begin a weary drive home, with new eyes open to the huge array of rental campervans available for the making of a dream holiday – they’re everywhere!
The decision to satisfy that curiosity is made easy with a van booking and the time quickly comes to head off for a coastal jaunt in my own Jucy “Crib”.
Surfboard in the back and travel companion up front, the city soon falls away and the converted Tarago slips easily along the freeway for a long haul along the NSW North Coast.
Our sing-along is occasionally interrupted by the urge to wave back at happy campers sharing the spirit of their own adventures on the Jucy trail.
With a bed and fully-equipped kitchen on board, the opportunity to explore is irresistible. Whim and fancy take the wheel and find all the best pit stops.
Smiths Lake near Forster and almost anywhere on Macleay River around Kempsey make a “drive and survive” break feel like holiday in itself.
Now relaxed, the last leg of my drive is easy, although dreams of complete campervan freedom are interrupted with the unexpected discovery of parking regulations covering many hot spots on the coast.
Getting up early to avoid parking rangers can be exhausting. Paying for a caravan park seems good value for am much needed sleep in! The company of a like-minded travellers and the comfort of a hot shower are a bonus.
The final days of my journey are all about indulging impulses – eat, swim, watch a movie, read, nap and socialise, in no particular order. Naps are worth mentioning again as the van can find the best setting and facilitate Nirvana.
The inevitable trip home is broken by a night’s stay in the place where it all began. Stepping out into the morning, it’s easy to overlook the sedan parked nearby with a foot hanging out of the window. Coffee down the hatch and breakfast dishes cleared, it’s time to hit the right hander at Crescent Head.
Happy campers return to Sydney, waving at vans that pass to share the spirit of adventure with a community that they no longer envy.
PASSPORT TO ADVENTURE
Campervans are a convenient way to explore the country and there are a range of firms offering an ‘experience’ as well as four wheels.
There’s almost certain to be one that meets your needs, no matter what size or price you’re after.
Based in New Zealand, Jucy Rentals were launched in Australia in 2008 and their signature green vans are easily recognised.
Co-founder Dan Alpe says inspiration came together over a number of years of travel adventures of his own.
“When we were growing up we did a lot of travel around the South Island and found ourselves waving at almost every campervan we saw.
“On the holiday road, the Alpe family discovered a global village and recognised the potential for a passport on wheels,” Alpe says.
“Everything is green and purple, and Jucy is at the forefront of it all.
“It’s also an introduction which is really cool. What we hear back from clients is that they’ll tend to congregate in camping grounds and socialise together. Where people might not normally talk to each other, with a Jucy van they have something in common which is a breaking comment to get into conversation.”
It’s an idea that adds a little something extra to a trip and may well advance the Alpe’s intentions to ‘Jucify’ the world!
Jucy’s NZ homeland is among the world’s most vibrant RV holiday markets, also birthplace of brands Britz, Maui and Kea.
Campers are so popular with tourists there are on the spot fines of $1000 for people straying out of designated camp spots.