21st Sep 2015 1:46pm | By Editor
Get your motor running, head out on the highwaaaay, and maybe grow an awesome handlebar moustache? Yep it’s time to leave air travel behind, rent a car and hit the road... It’s the only way to REALLY experience New Zealand and Australia!
These days, so much travel is all about the destination and getting in and out as quickly as possible. And you can understand that - if you only have limited time off work, you need to fly in, enjoy yourself and then get home in time for the daily grind to begin all over again. There are some destinations however that lend themselves perfectly to an epic road-trip, where the getting-there is as important as the end result. On that sort of trip it really doesn’t matter how long it takes. That’s what a road trip is all about.
And guess what? There’s nothing like exploring New Zealand and Australia by road and it is home to some absolutely spectacular routes, although the road network is not always the best – many are rough, ready and seemingly unending (where’s your sense of adventure?).
The must-dos include the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Queensland’s Savannah Way and the Nullarbor, driving from Adelaide all the way to Perth (it’s an epic!).And the cousins across the Tasman have their fair share of cracking routes as well – but of course, you won’t be able to get your rental car all the way over there (so it’s good job there are loads of NZ hire car companies isn’t it?). From Queenstown, a popular winter hang-out for those keen to smash the slopes, Milford Sound is a couple of days’ drive away and one of the country’s top attractions. And if you’re on the North Island try Paihia to Auckland. Start your engines...
If you’re heading to NZ to make the most of the snow then odds are you’ll be spending a bit of time in Queenstown, the adrenaline-junkies’ playground. But instead of just hunkering down for the whole season, make the circuitous trek to Milford Sound in the Fiordland National Park, which is a Heritage-listed marine reserve and one of New Zealand’s top tourist destinations. Head south through Kingston and Lumsden – they have rolling pastures and stacks of great fishing spots – and then get round to Mossburn, the deer capital of New Zealand. Then you’re on the road to TeAnau, which is the main jumping-off point for Milford Sound but is a worthwhile destination in its own right. fiordland.org.nz
If you want to, you could complete this circuit of New Zealand’s North Island in under 12 hours but, depending on how many stops you want to make and how far off the beaten track you’re prepared to venture, you could string your trip out over week or even a fortnight. Start off in Paihia, sailing, fishing or kayaking and then head around the coast to the Karikari Peninsula, where you can take a tour of New Zealand’s northern-most vineyard. Follow the road west to Awanui, a launching pad for an excursion into the far north. After that, it’s a straight shot down the west coast to Auckland, stopping off at Ninety Mile Beach in Ahipara and Maori enclaves in Kohukohu and Rawene. Also, the Kai Iwi Lakes are great for water skiing and swimming. auckland.com