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I like campervans. They’re like the cruise ships of the motorway, carrying you off to previously unexplored, exciting places so you can wake up in a new destination every day. What’s more, the chances of getting seasick are almost zero.

My wife and I have already done a couple of road trips around New Zealand and Tasmania so when Apollo invited me to have a crack at “the big island”, it really got my motor running.

Given their Sydney depot is in ‘the Shire’, it made sense to keep going and explore the south coast of New South Wales…and what a discovery it was.

Picking up my Apollo Euro Deluxe (the Queen of campervans) was like being reacquainted with an old friend. It also helped that with their app you can pre-check in so all that boring paperwork is already done when you arrive.

While some might be intimidated by the extra size involved, I found the Mercedes diesel engine gave me plenty of grunt when needed and the raised driving position made me feel like the king of the road.

The first advantage of having a home on wheels is that you are pretty much masters of your own itinerary destiny. So on our way down to our first port of call – a three-night stay in Batemans Bay – we were able to detour into Berry and Milton.

The former is one of our favourite haunts, known for its craft and clothing stores, yummy local produce and country hospitality. Milton was a new discovery and offered the chance to frequent my first vegetarian restaurant. People have been making the pilgrimage to Pilgrims since 1980 and I can heartily recommend the Mountain burger.

We rolled into the NRMA Batemans Bay Holiday Resort and parked up alongside our ensuite bathroom. The resort is just metres from Corrigans Beach, one of the myriad gorgeous stretches of sand and ocean we were to discover on this coastline.

A gentle stroll the next morning revealed just how pristine this area really is. We saw a dolphin in the Clyde River and discovered that penguins are thriving on Snapper Island. The animal theme continued with a trip to Mogo Zoo, home to their famous white lions. It was a truly Attenborough-esque day.

A Fan Of The Van 

While the Euro Deluxe can sleep six, it’s obviously far more spacious when there’s only two of you.

A simple rearrangement of the lounge created a double bed and once we were hooked into the power onsite all the necessary electrical appliances were at our disposal. It’s really that simple.

A couple of deckchairs set up outside, a bottle of wine opened and Trivial Pursuit on the table and we were set for the night.

Of course, if you don’t want to cook in the van (you are on holiday after all), there’s plenty of delicious options along the South Coast.

In Bateman’s Bay we enjoyed an eclectic mix, from the bountiful portions at the bustling Catalina Club to the exotic spices of Kohli’s Waterfront Indian Restaurant to the more relaxed ambiance of Corrigans Cove Resort.

Memorials and Memorable Moments

Heading north on ANZAC Day, we called in at Hyams Beach, once voted the most beautiful beach in Australia. I’m not going to get into that argument for fear of starting inter-state war but suffice to say it is yet another fantastic stretch of real estate.

Similarly Seven Mile Beach, where even a group of holidaying horses were enjoying the somewhat choppy surf. My gaze also fell on a well built young man trying to make what looked like a wooden tepee out of driftwood. Clearly the beach brings out the primordial in some people…

Huskisson is a great seaside village and the streets were swarming with well-dressed servicemen and women, mingling with those who had also paid their respects at the dawn service that morning.

The service was especially poignant as Huskisson was the site of the 1964 disaster involving HMAS Voyager, which was lost in a collision with HMAS Melbourne. Some 82 of the 314 people aboard were killed, the largest loss of Australian military personnel in peacetime.

We arrived at the Mountain View park for a two-night stay and to my absolute delight I realised it was within walking distance of not one but TWO wineries! You don’t need to worry about drinking and driving when you can drink and walk.

So the following day we set off for Coolangatta Estate, which was established in 1822 and is the region’s most awarded winery. You can enjoy a picnic in the grounds or, if you don’t even want to walk that far, book a stay in their heritage accommodation.

For me, though, the highlight of the day was Mountain Ridge Wines, a family-run business based on the principles of sustainability and which has made a commitment to become “Climate Positive”.

The property offers sweeping views of the rolling countryside, delicious food and really, really good wines. With the autumn sun beating down, a full stomach and an equally full glass, there was simply no better place to be on a Friday afternoon.

Driving back to Sydney, I couldn’t help but reflect on how much we’d crammed into just five days and whether any other form of travel would have allowed us so much fun, flexibility and freedom.

Australia is a big, beautiful country. Why not go out and see some of it?


Campervan tips

  • Always bring slippers, Ugg boots or thongs to keep your feet warm and dry. It gets cold going to the bathroom in the night and if you’re using the communal facilities, being slightly off the ground means you’re not walking across wet, slippery floors.
  • If your budget will stretch, book a powered site with an ensuite bathroom and shower. Not only does it mean you don’t have to use the communal facilities, but you won’t face the chore of having to empty your campervan toilet!