Tour Australia with the Ashes

The Commonwealth Bank Ashes Series is coming to Australia between November 2013 and January 2014. With tests in six different cities, touring with the Ashes offers the traveller a fantastic way to explore the country while enjoying prime sporting action. Here’s your guide to adventure with details of the schedule, the cities and places to stay..

November brings cricket action to Brisbane which is an excellent time to make the most of the city’s main attractions: Southbank Parklands with its incredible man-made beach, numerous walking and biking tracks, and access to the beautiful islands of Moreton Bay.. VIP Backpackers has plenty of central accommodation that isn’t too far from The Gabba, Brisbane’s hallowed cricket grounds. We also have an array of tours on offer including river cruises, abseiling, bike hire and more.
Dates: Thursday 21 – 25 November 2013 Australia V England; The Gabba, Brisbane
Accommodation | Tours



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5 winter hostels in New Zealand

Pic: Cardrona Alpine Resort

Pic: Cardrona Alpine Resort

In our May newsletter we outlined all the fun to be had on a ski holiday in New Zealand. We also listed some of the hostels you could stay at that would give you ready access to the slopes. So you can continue to “save money and do more” here’s some more details about winter accommodation we offer near snowy places. Remember if you sign up to be a VIP Backpackers member you’ll get discounts in all these places.


Tongariro National Park
For access to the slopes of the incredible Mt Ruapehu look no further than Park Traveller’s Lodge and Station Lodge all within an easy drive to the action. The Station Lodge in Ohakune at the southern end of the park provides ready access to the Turoa ski field (20 minutes) but is not far from Whakapapa ski fields either (40 minutes) .  Park Traveller’s Lodge is closer to the Whakapapa ski fields which has 65 trails. If you’re not here in winter you may wish to consider the Tongariro Crossing at other times of the year, considered one of the best day walks in the world, or some of the excellent cycling and mountain bike tracks in the area. These include the Ohakune Old Coach Road, 42 Traverse and Mountain to Sea cycleway. See both hostels for details.

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The Melbourne Cup experience


The Melbourne Cup is another one of those Aussie traditions that you simply have to join in – along with Anzac Day, Australia Day and the annual cricket tests (seriously, give the game a chance!) If you didn’t know it was on today keep reading to find out what all the fuss is about or you’ll be surprised when everyone disappears to watch the telly at 3pm.

Basically the Cup is a horse race for thoroughbreds. But it’s not just any old horse race, this one’s a big deal with over $6.2M in prize money. The race is 3200m and for horses over three years old, plus it’s handicapped, so it starts to get a bit interesting when you consider all that.
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Learning to surf 101

If you’ve come to Australia one of the best things you can do with your time is learn to surf. Not only can you catch some killer waves but you’ll learn some pretty cool lingo too like what it means to do an acid drop, go goofty foot or get in the green room.

VIP Backpackers has some fantastic surf packages all over the country and a few are listed below. These take place on amazing bits of beach such as famous stretches like Bondi in Sydney, the Great Ocean Road where you’ll have fantastic scenery to keep you company, the hype of Byron Bay on the north New South Wales coast, and the renowned Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast in Queensland. Continue reading

Top things to do in London

Big Ben. Pic: Joanne Lane,

If you’re in London and planning to hang around after the Olympic Games there’s no shortage of amazing things to do in and around the city.

There are bus tours of London, day trips to Bath, European tours you can jump on in London and more. VIP Backpackers has an amazing array of fun things you could do during your visit – and remember if you’re a member you get a discount!

Here’s five of the best but click here for a full list.

7. Windsor Castle & Hampton Court Gardens
  • Full Day Late Departure Tour, All Entrances Included
  • See Runnymede
  • Visit Windsor State Apartments
  • Visit Hampton Court Palace GardensAddress: 4 Fountain Square 123-151 Buckingham Palace Road SW1W 9SH