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Saturday, November 15, 2008

The reason I'm a-travelling on

If you ever go to Waitomo Caves, don't eat there. Head back onto SH 3, then north for about 2 km. There in the middle of nowhere lies a place called the Big Apple, which is both cheap and enchanting.

If you ever drive north from Taupo or south from Hamilton with a bit of time to spare, skip the main routes and go via SH 30 and Te Kuiti. It's a lovely scenic road with very light traffic, which is most relaxing.

If you ever stay in a motel unit with a real kitchen, don't make the mistake of thinking you'll have time to cook.


gliderguider said...

It's a nice road, but I like the one to Te Awamutu ... except I don't use all of it (unless I really want to go to Hamilton).

My favourite route from Auckland(ish) to Turangi:,nz&daddr=matamata,nz+to:piarere,nz+to:pohara+marae,nz+to:turangi,nz

It's dead easy heading South, as long as you don't freak at using SH1 for 1.7 km in the "wrong" direction. It's probably best to do it in this direction first.

Heading north, the turn at Rotongata is easy to miss -- or at least overshoot. The turn on to Plantation road is not an obvious one either, but it's no great loss to carry on to Horahora and turn there instead.

Using this route in my 2.5l Legacy wagon on a Sunday afternoon last February, I did Papakura to Paraparaumu in 5:45 at an average speed of 103 km/h (but never, ever, going over 109), using 9.3 l/100km (30.4 MPG).

Donald said...

Yay summer (try not to look out the window in Karori), waffling, roadtrips.

I tend to go along the west side of Lake Taupo, then past Mangakino and some hydro stations to Kihikihi and then Te Awamutu. Excessively long Google Maps URL:,nz&daddr=No.1+Line+Longburn,nz+to:kairanga+bunnythorpe+rd,nz+to:feilding,nz+to:turangi,nz+to:owairaka+valley,nz+to:kihikihi,nz+to:auckland,nz

Although last time I came back from Auckland I went via SH4 and SH49. Stopping in New World Taumarunui, was able to confirm to a checkout operator that yes, in Wellington storms waves have been known to get onto the coast roads :-) Alas, the Raurimu Spiral wasn't exactly impressive seen from the viewing tower, although it looks like someone was building some sort of visitors' centre there.

fibby said...

The Raurimu Spiral is much more awesome from a train. Try it sometime! Just make sure you get lunch first, cos the canteen is closed for the whole duration of the Spiral.

gliderguider said...

Viewing tower? There's a viewing tower?

I haven't been through the spiral in a train, but I've walked through the tunnels and cutting of the part that actually loops, hoping that a train would not come in the middle of the day.

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