Summer has been late to bloom in Wellington this year, but now it is truly here. What’s more, it's a great place to base any road trip.
Last week, my friend Megan (from the fabulous blog Mode and Methodology) and I took off in her little red car and drove to Auckland and the Coromandel, via Cambridge, for a late Summer break.
Our lovely road trip reminded me of the reasons that we as New Zealanders as so very lucky to live in Aotearoa. Not only do we live in a beautiful country, but it is so easy to access. We can just jump in the car and go. Here are the five reasons Kiwis are the luckiest when it comes to a wonderful holiday.
1. We are so close to the sea
In New Zealand, no where is more than 150km from the sea at any one time. This means almost all Kiwis have grown up knowing the smell of the ocean, the taste of sandy fish and chips and the thrill of inspecting rock pools as a kid. We have a wonderful coastal country that varies from wild and woolly to soft peaceful bays. Getting to see the beauty of the Coromandel and know that it was so easy to get there - just a 10-hour car trip - made me feel grateful to be from the land of the long white cloud.
2. There are so many crazy small towns
From Taihape to Paeroa and everything in between, New Zealand towns are always a fascinating excursion. Whether it is scoping out Save Mart, Levin to looking for a bite to eat in Whangamata, there is always something to explore. It can be all too easy just to drive through when you are at a little New Zealand town but it is worth having a look around and slowing down the pace. From the annual boot throwing competition (which we got to witness in our little road trip vlog - which you can subscribe to my YouTube through) to the beauty of Lake Taupo, it’s worth a pit stop.
3. The beautiful scenery
I love that New Zealand has such incredible scenery. It is always a delight to get out of the city and hit the highway and crawl through the different parts of the country. You can be looking out the window one moment at a huge mountain in central plateau and the next you can be looking at a running river through a valley. The only frustration you’ll have it having to pull over all the time to take more and more photos.
4. The Bach Scene
Nowhere else in the world calls their little beach getaways ‘The Bach’. We Kiwis know what we are on about, however. After all, no one does beach living in confined quarters and second-hand bedding quite like us. We lounge, read books, go for long walks and put our phones off. We don’t need a TV and know that there is no therapy like dipping into a good book in the back garden while the cicadas sing. Bach’s are part of our culture as much as Pavlova and competitive Sheep Shearing. Like the aforementioned, you need to experience it to believe it.
5. Nothing is very far away
Starting out on a road trip in New Zealand is the sign of a wonderful, even if it is brief, adventure where you have time to properly connect with those you care about. It is so easy to drive around New Zealand because everywhere is so near. Unlike the gaping distance across Australia or, say, America, you know that its the perfect amount of time to chill and catch up while you are in the car, but at most it will take you a day and a bit - not weeks - to get anywhere. New Zealand is always in the palm of your hand. And that is worth raising a craft beer to.