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Re: General Discussions

Reply #60
Takes forever to drive anywhere in NZ, but because you go through every town, there are some pretty cool places you can pop into.

Re: General Discussions

Reply #61
Takes forever to drive anywhere in NZ, but because you go through every town, there are some pretty cool places you can pop into.

Loved driving in the South Island but found the traffic in the North Island very frustrating.
Everyone has heard of Karl Marx but not many know of his sister Onya, who invented the starting pistol.

Re: General Discussions

Reply #62
What I found funny was how rental car companies don't allow cars on the ferry between islands, so you need to drop the car off at one side and pick up a new one on the other. 

We had one of the roughest crossings from Wellington to Pickton (?), they were line ball as to whether they would cancel it or not.  We had a coffee before getting to the ferry and the locals suggested a locally made ginger tablet.  My wife took one, we gave one to our then 2yo, but I said I'd be right.  I was only just right!  Cutlery and crockery was going everywhere from the food places and I took shelter a couple of decks lower, sucking on ice cubes, while our son slept through it all, had no idea what went on!

Re: General Discussions

Reply #63
Yeah, got to be very careful of those map projections.

I don't know how many times I've had work associates tell me they are going to NZ, usually to arrive in Wellington, spend the day and then drive from Wellington to Auckland leaving at the end of the next business day. On a world map or globe it looks like Melb to Albury, 3 ~ 4 hrs, but it's more like Melb to Canberra and takes about 7hrs.

7 hours is full on! I did this drive in early 2015 from Wellington to Auckland on my Pat Malone and it took about 8 1/2 hours (I do Melbourne to Canberra in about 6 1/2 hrs) and I can assure you I was not conservative with the accelerator... no 110kmph zones, nothing over 100. Absolutely amazing scenery. Just as well as I was into the scenery and amazing variety of landscapes because it's mostly single lanes which really slows you down!!! However, the Kiwis do something that most of us don't ...if they're slowing up traffic -- towing a caravan etc -- they will actually pull over to allow traffic to pass. Well mannered drivers for sure.

I went up highway (**cough**giggle**) 1 and 32 on the way up and came back 1 all the way and stayed a night in Taupo (next to Lake Taupo which is stunning... not far from Rotorua).

On the South Island Mrs Baggers and I did the drive from Picton to Lake Tekapo. Magnificent... drove through the partial rebuild of Christchurch -- 2015 -- and stayed the night and yep, big shake woke us late that night though it might have been... nuh, won't go there. Such a pretty city, straight out of England!!!. Lake Tekapo is a mesmerising colour - brilliant turquoise.

I would live in Picton in a heartbeat or Wellington if it didn't shake so damn much.
Only our ruthless best, from Board to bootstudders will get us no. 17

Re: General Discussions

Reply #64
Italians think we are mad how far we drive to go to places. Italy is roughly the size of Victoria (sq km wise).

Nice place ... did most of Europe by Eurail.  Very hospitable to a wide eyed 20 year old on his first journey.  $320 for a (literal) round the world ticket

Re: General Discussions

Reply #65
7 hours is full on! I did this drive in early 2015 from Wellington to Auckland on my Pat Malone and it took about 8 1/2 hours (I do Melbourne to Canberra in about 6 1/2 hrs) and I can assure you I was not conservative with the accelerator...
Back in the 80s and 90s, my crazy cousin used to do Melb Syd in 6.5 hrs in his truck, 40t, $1.50-$1.60 all the way. Hair raising stuff and lawless in those days. Thankfully, the interstate trucking industry is alot more under control now.
2017 - 16th
2018 - Wooden Spoon
2019 - 16th
2020 - dare to dream?
2021 - Pi$$ or get off the pot

Re: General Discussions

Reply #66
Nice place ... did most of Europe by Eurail.  Very hospitable to a wide eyed 20 year old on his first journey.  $320 for a (literal) round the world ticket
Me and the Mrs and have done 3 trips now, driven all around Italy, Luxembourg and France, love driving there.
2017 - 16th
2018 - Wooden Spoon
2019 - 16th
2020 - dare to dream?
2021 - Pi$$ or get off the pot

Re: General Discussions

Reply #67
7 hours is full on! I did this drive in early 2015 from Wellington to Auckland on my Pat Malone and it took about 8 1/2 hours (I do Melbourne to Canberra in about 6 1/2 hrs) and I can assure you I was not conservative with the accelerator...
Yes, for work I've done that drive many times, I had to travel to a lot of places all over NZ and in-between like Levin, Palmerston, Hamilton, Rotorua, Nelson, Napier, New Plymouth, etc., etc.. using SH1(The Desert Road), SH3(West Coast) or SH2 and SH5(East Coast). It's all well worth a visit I recommend it to anybody and I find everybody very friendly, if not a little odd in places.

Luckily being for work I didn't have to pay, and I stayed at some fairly flash accommodation around Taupo, Turangi, etc., if I was staying across the ditch for two weeks I  tried to be in that there at the weekend to find a fishing lodge for the weekend. In the end the owners of the company worked out all my NZ trips were two weeks long with one week of meetings! Actually truth be known they didn't care, they are great people to work for and they know travelling for work can be a bastard so they encourage tourism and a bit a free time while travelling, I'm so lucky I've seen more of the planet than some airline pilots!

I've only been through Picton on the way to Nelson, never stayed there, and further south around the coast Nelson is pretty. But I did see large parts of Fjordland down are Milford Sound.

It use to be cost effective to hire a car, drive and stay, time was never an issue. But over the years as accommodation started getting more and more expensive I found it was cheaper to fly in small aircraft all over the South Island, not the ATRs or Bombardiers, but the small 10 or 20 seat planes like the Pilatus PC12, Jetstream 31 or even a Piper Twin that held 5 or 6 of us. I'm afraid compared to home, and out of necessity, they've got super regional airlines in NZ, make Australia's look rubbish in terms of scheduling and price, but it's a bit hilly over there and when the roads a closed due to snow or volcanoes you still have to get around. Seriously you can hop through three or four of those small towns in a day, a lot of them have decentralised industries. It's just super flying just barely over the snow capped refrigerators out the back of Christchurch, you feel like a fighter pilot, refrigerators is what the locals call the Southern Alps.

If you like Picton and ever find yourself back over that way head down and have a look at Akaroa, although I haven't been to that region since the big shake. Crazy beautiful areas, you can be in a log cabin 30 metres off the ocean wave front and have a trout laden fresh water stream flowing right past your front door with trout in it!

Way up North is nice as well, green grass to the ocean's edge around areas like the Bay of Islands,

I was driving the Desert Road once years ago and had to detour because Ruapehu had got a bit cranky and dropped a rock the size of the school bus across SH1 closing it for three days, the News reports showed dozens or hundreds of rocks the size of VW's falling on or around the the road which as you know is a hell of a strong throwing arm for a Kiwi, most of them are use to playing cricket on postage stamps. I was also very lucky down south once, I was in the Riccarton Mall grabbing a bite of lunch before a meeting near the Christchurch airport and not 3 minutes after I left the carpark there was a huge shake and the roof collapsed killing a bunch of people, in the car driving to the meeting I didn't even notice the quake!

I loved travelling around NZ, but since the big shake work won't let me go there anymore, it's OOB!
The Force Awakens!

Re: General Discussions

Reply #68
Yes, for work I've done that drive many times, I had to travel to a lot of places all over NZ and in-between like Levin, Palmerston, Hamilton, Rotorua, Nelson, Napier, New Plymouth, etc., etc.. using SH1(The Desert Road), SH3(West Coast) or SH2 and SH5(East Coast). It's all well worth a visit I recommend it to anybody and I find everybody very friendly, if not a little odd in places.

Luckily being for work I didn't have to pay, and I stayed at some fairly flash accommodation around Taupo, Turangi, etc., if I was staying across the ditch for two weeks I  tried to be in that there at the weekend to find a fishing lodge for the weekend. In the end the owners of the company worked out all my NZ trips were two weeks long with one week of meetings! Actually truth be known they didn't care, they are great people to work for and they know travelling for work can be a bastard so they encourage tourism and a bit a free time while travelling, I'm so lucky I've seen more of the planet than some airline pilots!

I've only been through Picton on the way to Nelson, never stayed there, and further south around the coast Nelson is pretty. But I did see large parts of Fjordland down are Milford Sound.

It use to be cost effective to hire a car, drive and stay, time was never an issue. But over the years as accommodation started getting more and more expensive I found it was cheaper to fly in small aircraft all over the South Island, not the ATRs or Bombardiers, but the small 10 or 20 seat planes like the Pilatus PC12, Jetstream 31 or even a Piper Twin that held 5 or 6 of us. I'm afraid compared to home, and out of necessity, they've got super regional airlines in NZ, make Australia's look rubbish in terms of scheduling and price, but it's a bit hilly over there and when the roads a closed due to snow or volcanoes you still have to get around. Seriously you can hop through three or four of those small towns in a day, a lot of them have decentralised industries. It's just super flying just barely over the snow capped refrigerators out the back of Christchurch, you feel like a fighter pilot, refrigerators is what the locals call the Southern Alps.

If you like Picton and ever find yourself back over that way head down and have a look at Akaroa, although I haven't been to that region since the big shake. Crazy beautiful areas, you can be in a log cabin 30 metres off the ocean wave front and have a trout laden fresh water stream flowing right past your front door with trout in it!

Way up North is nice as well, green grass to the ocean's edge around areas like the Bay of Islands,

I was driving the Desert Road once years ago and had to detour because Ruapehu had got a bit cranky and dropped a rock the size of the school bus across SH1 closing it for three days, the News reports showed dozens or hundreds of rocks the size of VW's falling on or around the the road which as you know is a hell of a strong throwing arm for a Kiwi, most of them are use to playing cricket on postage stamps. I was also very lucky down south once, I was in the Riccarton Mall grabbing a bite of lunch before a meeting near the Christchurch airport and not 3 minutes after I left the carpark there was a huge shake and the roof collapsed killing a bunch of people, in the car driving to the meeting I didn't even notice the quake!

I loved travelling around NZ, but since the big shake work won't let me go there anymore, it's OOB!

Ripper read, Spotted One. Sheesh, I related so much to many of your observations, especially light air travel which, as you say, craps all over our light air travel here in Oz.

Loved the bit about the desert road... I was going to mention that as well. Now folks when they hear us refer to a desert in the middle of the North Island of NZ must think we're nuts (well, there're plenty who no doubt think that anyway  ;D ). But it aint a desert like you'd think... just lots of nothing and low growing shrubbery, but the skyline in parts is snow capped mountains!

I also loved the Interislander ferry from Wellington to Picton (and return of course). Probably did the trip a dozen times when time permitted which takes about 3 1/2 hours one way - if we didn't have the time we flew on one of those single row either side (10 - 12 passengers tops, jet propellor jobs from Wellington to Blenheim over the Cook Strait). We were very lucky in that the seas were mostly well behaved when we sailed and never had it as bad as poor old Dodge experienced. We encountered some moderately rough seas once but the ferry's stabilizers seemed to handle it pretty well.

Oh, and on a footy note, we went and saw the Aints BlueBaggers game at Westpac Statium in Wellington. We won, the hard way and my one vivid memory from the game was Mrs Baggers saying to me at half time, 'Who is that number 4 for us... gee he's useless!' Yep, Gibbs had a first half to forget but then the whole side was asleep, we woke up in the 2nd half. Loads more BlueBagger supporters there than Aints supporters.
Only our ruthless best, from Board to bootstudders will get us no. 17

Re: General Discussions

Reply #69
Your wife was a good judge Baggers ... :))


Re: General Discussions

Reply #71
We could learn a thing or two from our neighbours across the ditch.

Yes, those Kiwis are a progressive lot.

It will be interesting to see the outcomes of the two referendums.  Polls suggested that the euthanasia referendum would get up but the cannabis one would fail.
“Why don’t you knock it off with them negative waves? Why don’t you dig how beautiful it is out here? Why don’t you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?”  Oddball

Re: General Discussions

Reply #72
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/oct/17/jacinda-arderns-labour-party-set-for-victory-in-new-zealand-election

We could learn a thing or two from our neighbours across the ditch.

Yep, some of them even smuggled themselves into Melbourne.  😁
Everyone has heard of Karl Marx but not many know of his sister Onya, who invented the starting pistol.