The new app that could save your life

If you’re looking for safety when camping, you can’t go past the ‘What3Words’ app. This wonderful app is new in Australia and it’s a life saver… literally!

 

What does ‘What3words’ mean?

This app can FIND a location and SHARE that location around the world with just three words. You simply type in three words to describe the location and the app will find the place within three square meters.

 

How to find a location?

When you open the app, it will come up with a map, you then click the search bar at the top.

Start by clicking the search bar at the top.

Next type or use the microphone icon to search for a street address, the name of the place or use three words to describe the location. For example, we searched ‘camper’ and ‘Geelong’ (hoping to find us!).

Describe the location or put in the address/name of the location.

We were lucky enough to appear at the top of the search! When you see the correct location, simply click it. The app will then bring up the map and show you the exact location within 3 square meters. To get directions to the location click navigate at the bottom task bar.

Click navigate at the bottom task bar to get directions to the location.

You can also zoom in and switch to satellite mode for a more realistic view (click the little coloured circle bottom right).

Click the circle button in the bottom right corner.

How to share your location?

Open the app and click on the search bar at the top. Search for three words to find your location (same as finding a location above). When you find your location, simply click the share button at the bottom left hand corner of the task bar.

Click the share button in the bottom left corner.

It will then show you how you can share it. Select the app you want to use (email, messenger, text) and click on the contact you want to share the location with.

Click on the app/contact you wish to share with.

How to save your locations!
This can be handy if you want to remember the location. Simply select a square on the map and tap Save which is found on the task bar at the bottom.

Click on save at the bottom task bar in the middle.

 

 

Wha3words is FREE to download. The only downside is that you need reception to search the world map. This app is very helpful to locate lost people or broken-down vehicles.

Be the smart camper and download it today.

 

To DOWNLOAD THE APP click here:
Android users:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.what3words.android&hl=en_AU

Apple users:
https://apps.apple.com/au/app/what3words/id657878530

For MORE INFORMATION and details about the app click here:
https://what3words.com/how-to-use-the-what3words-app/?#find

vw campervan for sale

Achtung Camper Vanning Adventurers – Part 2 Christine and Graeme

We became the proud owners of a new VW T6 LWB 4 Motion Achtung Campervan with Nature Lover conversion in March 2020. We were lucky to drive it from Geelong back to Adelaide just days before the borders were closed due to the covid-19 pandemic. Travel restrictions then really set in and so our campervan sat in our apartment carpark until mid-May when travel to regional areas within South Australia was again encouraged.

We needed no encouragement! We booked 3 nights at the Mambray Creek campground in Mount Remarkable National Park, 40km north of Port Pirie and 240km north of Adelaide, about a three hour drive from home.  In SA all national park campsites must be pre-booked online, so sites have to be chosen from a map and photo. We wondered what site 46 would turn out to be like in reality, but were certainly not disappointed once we arrived.

All campsites are unpowered, there are two toilet blocks and a small shower block with satisfyingly hot water! The campsites are all on a level surface, set within magnificent, remnant river red gums, some of the oldest trees in SA. Most of the camping sites are spaced out well, giving plenty of privacy to each site, while there are a few sites closer to the shower block better suited to caravans or quick overnight stays.

vw campervan for sale

The campground was formerly part of a large sheep station, so walking to the Baroota ruins is an interesting experience, in addition to all the bushwalking tracks. One of the tracks climbs up onto a hillside with expansive views over Spencer Gulf, with the city of Whyalla in the distance. There are longer tracks that traverse the range and end up at spectacular Alligator Gorge or the picturesque town of Melrose at the foot of Mount Remarkable. We tackled several walks of less than 10km, which were well defined and easy to navigate, but with a couple of steep climbs included.

We used this first trip to test out our campervan’s features, to see how much water we use, how much power our 65 litre fridge draws and how comfortable the bed is. It passed with flying colours! When we first selected the various conversion components we decided not to have an attached awning, as we were very tight on the height of our vehicle for parking in the under-croft carpark of our building. So, on this trip we also tried out a free standing Oztrail day shade, as we like to spend as much time as possible cooking and eating outside. The shade structure worked well in combination with the campervan.

vw campervan for sale

Apart from bushwalking, cooking, eating, and drinking red wine in the evenings, we relaxed and revisited our long neglected interests of sketching and photography. We are looking forward to more great experiences in our Achtung Campervan in future!

campervan for sale

THE MOST PERFECT CAMPING SPOT IN THE WORLD…

… Like a good recipe or the perfect holiday, the perfect camping spot is a combination of many different components of various quality that can contribute to the overall experience plus a sprinkling of good luck (good weather please!). And of course, just like the perfect holiday or perfect recipe, many of these components are largely personal.

We’ve devoted many a blog to the never-ending list of what to avoid when looking for the perfect camping spot but how about for a moment dwelling on the bits that can go right (and often do!).

campervan for sale

The non-negotiables:

For us, this is close and easy access to a beautiful beach – and if I’m going to be fussy I’ll say we have to be able to VIEW the beach from our campervan too!

A quiet, relatively private spot where we won’t be bothered by too many cars, people, being kept awake at night or woken too early in the morning. Some people love socialising. We like privacy and quiet (if you can go swimming naked it’s the right spot for us!).

The nice-to-haves for enjoyment (in order of importance!):

These are all, hopefully, within easy walking distance – if not, a short drive away:

A nice café

A nice pub

A playground

The possibility to do any type of surfing

A nice town to explore.

Walking tracks

Mountain biking tracks

The nice-to-haves for convenience:

Toilets super close

A drink water tap super close

Natural shade at the beach

A good supermarket in easy walking distance/a short drive away

Natural shade/and/or grass where your campervan is parked

Cold/hot shower super close

We are always searching for The Perfect Camping Spot and have found many places that come close (Ulladulla Holiday Haven comes to mind) but would love to hear if you’ve found this perfect place, the holey grail of camping.

Please share your favourite camping spots with us, be it a paid campground or beach carpark, we’d love to know!

vwcampervan

Nerida’s Camping Essentials

Nerida is our camping (plus sales, office and business managing) expert which is why she’s the perfect person to chat with you about your camping/campervan needs! We’ve asked her to tell us her top 5 personal must-have camping products. Here goes!

 

Head Torch

A big must have camping accessory! Perfect for finding your way around the campsite at night, finding your way to the toilet when it’s dark and in providing light to spot nocturnal wildlife.

 

Collapsible bucket & cooking pot/s

SeaToSummit X Pot is a handy camping essential as it’s a great size and saves space in your van. The collapsible pot acts as both a pot and a bowl! You can cook your favourite stir-fry and eat it right out of the pot. Easy and saves washing even more dirty dishes. For more information visit – https://seatosummit.com/product/x-pot/

vwcampervan

Uno cards and chess set

A game when camping is always fun and for some it’s a tradition to whip out the Uno cards for a few hours. Perfect for passing time when the sun’s gone down or the conversation has dried up…(never!)

 

Nuts! 

Who doesn’t love snacking on nuts!?

This is a great go-to food when you’re hungry and on the road wanting a little snack to share (or not) or just to have in the evening with a sundowner.

Nerida’s all-time favourite nut recipe is Annabel Crabb’s spicy nuts!

vwcampervan

To view the recipe click here – https://hazelverden.wordpress.com/2016/01/09/annabels-spicy-nuts/

 

We hope these camping essentials are helpful and give you some ideas of things to pack on your next camping trip!

Upgraded Tyre/Wheel options for your Campervan

Wanting to upgrade the tyres or wheels on your new VW Transporter Campervan?

We’ll organise a trade in of the original VW tyres and upgrade them to any tyre or wheel combination of your choice.

Our suggestion for some great off-road tyres with suitably cool looking wheels are the Bridgestone 693 A/T and the CSA Manta wheels, total trade in price $1650.

Tyre: 235/60r17 Bridgestone 693 A/T:

Wheel: CSA Manta:

Contact us to chat about your wheel or tyre requirements and we’ll work with you to find a suitable option that matches your needs and budget.

Ronny’s Camping Essentials

A man in the bush needs his equipment – and with no further introduction we present to you Ronny’s camping essentials! 

Good knife 

One good quality, sharp large knife can be used in a multitude of ways: chopping vegies, cutting bread, making kindling, making a spear to go hunting…the possibilities are endless J 

Reusable stainless steel double layered water bottle  

For the cup of tea on long road trips the doesn’t get cold, and so you can have a drink of water anywhere, anytime. 

 Over sized (large and heavy) Maglite style torch  

Yes we know, big and heavy is not really campervan friendly BUT we feel secure when we need to go outside in the middle of the night to use the toilet when we have this 2kg aluminium ‘weapon’ with us.  Plus it’s lovely to have a powerful torch when you want to gush over/blind cheeky possums surrounding your van in the dark.  

Gaiters  

Because we love hiking, love camping in summer and love camping in the bush!   

ear plugs

Tania’s Top 5 Camping Essentials

Hand sanitizer 

My number one (any type of) travel essential, especially with baby/child in toe. 

Face wipes 

Because sometimes you are too tired/drunk/short on water/don’t want to make a mess in the kitchen sink to clean your face at the end of the day to wash your face properly.   

Tinted (minimum) SPF 30+ face moisturiser 

So quick and easy to apply first thing in the morning and I don’t have to worry about remembering to apply sunscreen again until lunchtime.  WIN! 

Happy Ears earplugs  

Ideally you don’t want to have to use these on a trip but they are more of a security measure and mean you can be a lot less picky when choosing a spot to camp for the night.  They are outrageously priced and can only be ordered online but in my extensive ear plug testing experience (I really have tried them all) these have come out as the clear winner. 

https://www.happyears.co 

Long sleeved thin button up style shirt 

Who wants to get sunburned?  I don’t even wear Tshirts in the sun anymore.  A cheap thin button up shirt from Cotton On is my GoTo camping top.  Doesn’t look too bad with jeans when you have to re-join civilization to re-stock on essentials either. 

the blue pool

Top 3 places to visit in South Australia

We’ve researched the best and most interesting places for you to check out on your next jaunt through South Australia. From hidden caves, to bush campsites, through to glamour camping if thats your thing – Let us know what you think, and if you’ve been to any before!

 

Innes National Park.

A stunning area of South Australia, Innes National Park combines the beauty of rugged coastlines, perfect sheltered fishing spots, excellent surfing beaches and some historical landmarks – such as the Ethel Shipwreck. You’ll be spoilt for choice when deciding how to fill your time here, with a great variety of camping ground scattered around the park to chose from. 

It is also known for having an average high of 24 degrees in January, so it’s a great spot to enjoy some cool, pleasant adventuring weather!

There are many walking and hiking tracks, for all abilities, from 30 minutes to 4 hours. 

Tip: Don’t forget to check out the famous Blue Pool rockpool!  

the blue pool

The Blue Pool (image courtesy of Emma Smith), via the government SA website. 

image via southaustralia.com.au
@achtungcamper supplied image

2. Wilpema Pound, Flinders Ranges.

The Wilpema Pound is a natural wonder, an amphitheatre created by millions of years of erosion. 

This area has many unpowered, powered and bush sites and also has a selection of luxury safari tents.

Climbing the ridge to see the sunset or sunrise will be an experience like no other, and exploring the Flinders Range in general will be an incredible experience – from following the Aboriginal Dreamtime Track to taking a flight over for an aerial view.

image via southasutralia.com.au 
@achtungcamper supplied picture.

3. Talia Caves, Eyre Peninsula

For those of us who are fully equipped in our campers and ready to go off the beaten track, the Talia Caves need to be seen to be believed.

The sandstones cliffs have been eroded into caves and caverns, and the beaches are wild and empty. There is no powered sites or toilets, but room for 20 bush camps, and it’s a great place to test your fishing talent to catch dinner. 

image via southaustralia.com.au

camping ground via the talia camping ground page on facebook.  

close by, this is farm beach at the eyre peninsula via southaustralia.com,au

What is there to do at night on the road? 

 Having recently spent 3 months travelling Europe in our 30-year-old Motorhome I have had the pleasure of meeting many of Europe and the UK’s Grey Nomads (with my on-the-road-for-6-months-a year in laws being my closest travel companions).  No different to the Australian type, I often ponder their top two pastimes once the sun goes down and wonder how best I SHOULD be spending this valuable down time on the road.   

Of course, I must first make the distinction between holiday making campervanners and long term campervanners (who make this a way of life a good part of the year) because of course drinking every night (!) is acceptable if you’re only doing it for 2 weeks a year.   

3 months living in a van however, is over the allotted ‘holiday’ timeframe and is clearly ‘way of life’, which means living like you are on annual leave is not an option (for your liver or the bathroom scales!).  What percentage of Grey Nomads do drink every night (or most nights) to be social, to enjoy the scenery, just for something to do…?  The European Grey Nomads clearly be put into 2 clear categories:  Those who sit outside their van on their camping chair after dinner every night and ‘have a few’ or those that go inside and watch TV.   

Being vaguely healthy (or so I like to think) and being a bit anti-TV I felt that there must be more ways to spend your nights than drinking or in front of the box (although I do understand that when you live in your campervan watching TV after dinner is like being at home and there’s nothing wrong with that!). 

For us, having a little one that goes to bed at 7:30pm meant we are campervan-bound of a night-time, and although we do love a beer or wine I tried to limit this to 3-4 nights a week (honest!).  So what else is there to do when you cant leave your van?  Depends on the weather and your energy levels of course! 

If the weathers good… 

Do some sort of exercise such as a yoga class (there are books, apps or you tube classes) or body weight exercises if you are super motivated (again a plethora of resources available for on the road classes and instruction). 

Do exactly what you’d do inside (don’t get too carried away with that suggestion though!) but take it outside on a picnic rug, camp chairs and table etc.   

@achtungcamper supplied image 

If the weather’s bad… 

 

Play a card game or board game.  We recently bought a book on card games as we didn’t know any… 

 

Read a novel or reference book. 

 

Learn a language on Duo Linguo (a wonderful app). 

 

Listen to a Podcast. 

 

Join the website/app previously known as ‘Linda’ now under ‘Linked In Learning’ for online business and self-improvement courses of every topic and duration. 

Have a cup of tea and chat (seriously!) 

 

Research where you are travelling to next and what you will see there, where you will stay, where you’ll go out for a coffee… 

 

And when all else fails, we hope you’ve shelled out the extra $ for our Achtung Camper projector and screen for your outdoor or indoor cinema experience.  Just be sure to tell passers by that it’s not TV thank you very much, it’s NETFLIX! 

All images via Pinterest.

HOT TO GET THE BEST CAMPING SPOT IN A PAID CAMPGROUND

  1. Be friendly, clear and descriptive with the reception staff. Tell them exactly how many days you’ll be staying and what you want out of your camping spot – quiet, close to the bathrooms, private, close to the beach etc.
  2. Ask reception staff to mark any spots that are available for your stay on a park map (and ask them which they think would suit your needs/description above).
  3. Have a good look at the (most likely unreadable and badly photocopied) map and work out:- Where the toilets are (it’s nice to be close but not TOO close or you’ll be woken by people all night).
    • Where the tent area is (these are often groups of ‘younger’ people or backpackers who are likely to be noisier, try to keep away).
    • Where the main roads are (try to avoid parking near main roads or roads that visitors use to enter/exit the park).
    • Where the playground is (some kids get up super early, if you want to sleep in stay away!).

vw campervan for sale

4. If you are staying more an a few nights you might take the time to scope out the park/spots on the map on foot or with your van BEFORE you commit to one at reception when checking in. Most staff will let you take a look around and come back once you’ve decided on a spot that you like.

5. Once you’ve decided on your spot check that your neighbours look good (read: quiet!). We avoid: anyone with a baby, P plater cars or younger groups of people.

Got some tips or anything to add?  Please comment below and we’ll update our blog accordingly!