Friday 26 February 2016

NZ Roadtrip: Verdict

So. Three weeks on the road, from Auckland south all the way to Milford Sound, and back again, hitting all the main tourist spots in New Zealand. Would I recommend it?

Absolutely. I so much enjoyed being reminded again of what we tend to take for granted: that this is a truly beautiful country, with an incredible range of scenery in such a small area, that the people are so nice, the history is interesting, and the food and wine are mostly world-class. We were lucky with the weather most of the way around, the roads were good, the Airbnb experiment worked pretty well, and the route was great, as far as it went.

Which was, not as far as I would have liked it to go. Ideally, you'd have the time and opportunity to explore properly, to go down those side roads, stop to stay not just visit, have a go at connecting rather than skimming. I realise that's an impossible ideal for most travellers - but surely not for us residents, in bits if not all at once.

What I wouldn't do is sign up again for such a claustrophobic experience with people who were once - 25 years ago - good pub-type friends but not necessarily on the same wave-length. Stuck together for day after day in a confined space, personal habits can become intensely irritating and I'm sorry to say I'm not able to rise above that sort of thing. For me, it didn't work: sad but true. 

But the places we went, the things we saw? Fabulous, just fabulous. Do it!

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