Being out on the open road. No skyscrapers. No city noise. No factory smells. No traffic. No people lining the streets walking. No distractions or worries. If driving it will be you, maybe some travel companions and music in the background and the scenery around and in front of you.
You can get away on trip like this pretty much anywhere, but being on the open road in New Zealand is quite the experience. There you have the feeling of really being away from everything, especially in the South Island. You can go a hundred kilometers or more without seeing a town let alone a gas station or house, like when making the track from Haast up the West Coast. Some other areas have just built up in modern times. You will still see of course tourists, backpackers, camper vans and tour buses aplenty.
I prefer driving though in New Zealand it’s common to hit the road on a tour bus, a train, team up with other fellow travels on a backpacker bus or by renting a camper van. I’ve seen bikers from time-to-time, which is great if you have more time and want a more in-depth look at the scenery. You could also go at it on foot and hitchhike. I mentioned picking up a hitchhiker driving from Mount Cook to Queenstown in a previous post. It made me think about taking that route sometime. The tidbits they gave about places to stop, things you might miss driving at hundred kilometers per hour.
No matter what means of transportation you take you will want to get out of your vehicle every few seconds to take photos and get panoramic shots of the beautiful scenery. It might take longer to get from A to B, but with snow-capped mountains, crystal blue lakes and ocean front, rainforests, craters, beaches, the desert, hot springs, waterfalls, beautiful country side, it’s definitely worth the investment. There is nothing like getting out and stretching and just staring, not thinking about anything other than the beauty that’s right in front of you.
In New Zealand being on the open road doesn’t mean hours and hours and miles and miles of seeing the same thing. You can see everything I mentioned above in the blink of an eye going from country side to rainforest and prairie to snow-capped mountains. If you close your eyes you’ll miss something. Also, you never know when you’ll run into cows and sheep alongside the road!
With the continuous change in landscape and beautiful scenery and numerous options in transportation, if your going to hit the open road, doing so sometime in New Zealand is a must.
Where is your favorite place to hit the open road? What method of transport do you prefer? When you’re in the middle of nowhere would you rather be in the country, the desert, winding around forests and mountains or does it matter?