New Zealand Road Trip

New Zealand Road Trip

Glacial blue waters of Lake Tekapo at their best!

Having departed Australia on April 29, 2024 (by plane from Sydney), I landed in Auckland, on the North Island of New Zealand, where I rented a small car. My contact with the RNZPC, Insp. Derek SARNEY, was very accommodating and he suggested that there would be more to see if I came by the police college on following week, so I did a quick run down south to Wellington. There were some amazing views to take in en route such as geothermal spots (Craters of the Moon National Park, Lake Taupo, etc.). I barrel through a flat expanse of semi-desert and I managed to get a souvenir from a road patrol officer for speeding. Fair enough. Though he was informed of my quest, it should not have included speeding (and I am no longer a police officer and worthy of “professional courtesy”), so I appeased the nearly-retired officer (who was very apologetic for issuing me a $400.00 coupon) by acknowledging that I deserved it. I paid it online a few days later. My bad.

I caught the 3-hour ferry from Wellington to Picton (on the South Island) and then scooted down the magnificent west coast. The mountains and ocean reminded how similar my home province of British Columbia was to New Zealand, especially as I passed three towns in a row on a 30km stretch of Highway 6 named Nelson, Richmond, and Hope, all of which have namesakes in BC (but not in that order). After driving through gorgeous vineyards, the coast leading south proved to be a beautiful drive also. This twisting highway (rife with roadkill possums!) skirted me between the shore, farmland and the “Southern Alps”, through the lovely town of Wanaka where I cut across SE to Dunedin (on the east coast). I meet a fantastic couple, Dave and Lesley HOWARD, that fellow Oddsquadder, Chris Graham, set me up with. It was great to talk to people that I now consider to be friends. Life on the road can be quite lonely…

After staying the night with the HOWARDs, I started up the east coast, going inland towards the mountains to take in the two spectacular lakes of Pukaki and Tekapo, with their light-blue glacial waters, then I boot back over to the east coast, around Christchurch, and back up to to Picton to catch the late ferry over to Wellington. I find a some great places to sleep as I visit the police college starting on May 8th.

Great hosts for a wayward and lonely Canadian, Sunday, May 5, 2024.

 

 

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