New Zealand: On The Open Road.

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.

On the open road. South Island in New Zealand

State Highway 8 heading towards Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook Village.

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.

On the open road. South Island in New Zealand

State Highway 13 heading east between Arthur’s Pass and Christchurch.

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.

On the open road. South Island in New Zealand

State Highway 8 heading towards Lake Pukaki and Mount Cook Village.

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.

On the open road. South Island in New Zealand

State Highway 6 at Lake Hawea.

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!

On the open road. South Island in New Zealand

State Highway 80 heading south away from Mount Cook Village.

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.

On the open road. South Island in New Zealand

On the open road. South Island in New Zealand

State Highway 6 on the West Coast & State Highway 73 heading towards Christchurch.

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?

8 responses to “New Zealand: On The Open Road.

  1. There is nothing like driving in New Zealand. Did it last summer and there’s nothing like it. It’s the most beautiful place in the world.

    • Indeed. Could just drive and drive and drive no matter the scenery rain or shine, it’s just beautiful everywhere.

  2. Road trips in New Zealand are the best! I loved the Southern Scenic Route through the Catlins, the Forgotten World Highway in Taranaki, the road to Milford Sound and of course SH6 along the West Coast with the wild deserted beaches. Great, great photos, Aaron!

    • I can’t get enough of being on the road in New Zealand. Thanks on the photos! The SH6 route from Wanaka up to Greymouth is amazing. Loved all the waterfalls and rapid flowing rivers and deserted beaches (especially the one in Okarito) along the route. The heavy rain at times when driving was a nice touch too. Will have to check out the Forgotten World Highway sometime.

  3. I love the roads of the southern island of NZ! Simple and easy to navigate. But I rode a bus πŸ™‚ Next time I will drive though!

    • Definitely and lots of signage to help lead the way. Love the vehicle, but should try the biking sometime to really get up close and personal with all the beauty. πŸ™‚

  4. This sounds incredible! Love your photo ‘State Highway 6 at Lake Hawea’. I’d really like to either drive or hitchhike in New Zealand- you get a bit more freedom to explore that way.

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