There’s something liberating about escaping, even for a day, with a few friends on a road trip. You don’t have to go far – sometimes a break from the routine is half the fun!
There are road trips and there are road trips of course. Road trips taken as a teenager/20- something have a different vibe to a roadie with the family which differs again to hitting the road with friends!
When planning a trip, it’s important to think of what everyone likes doing. In New Zealand, we’re spoiled for choice as even our largest cities are close to a range of beautiful natural environments. And increasingly rural districts are home to amazing eateries, galleries and quirky businesses.
Taking the road less travelled is a a good way to surprise your passengers, get off the main roads and discover hidden gems. Before you go make sure you:
- check the pressure on your tyres
- fill up with enough petrol to get you through a day
- pack water and snacks
- have a play list or two handy
- study the route and check for road works
Personal favourites include:
- The coast road from Karitane to Dunedin via Port Chalmers – windy but worth it. Stop in the Blueskin Bay Cafe and Nursery or hang on 20 minutes until Port Chalmers which has coffee plus vintage clothing stores.
- Moutere Highway – links Motueka to Nelson via a stunning valley dotted with orchards, vineyards and home to loads of clever artists happy to call the district home.
- Southern Scenic Route from Dunedin south to Waihola. Surfers, seals and sand. And great coffee at Artisan State in the seaside village of Brighton. 🙂
- Catlins Coastal Highway – also part of the Southern Scenic Route. From Balclutha, mosey south to Invercargill stopping at Owaka for coffee and to visit The Black Sheep Boutique, check out the curious contraptions and enjoy more coffee at The Lost Gypsy Gallery in Papatowai, refuel by lunching at the Niagara Falls Cafe in an old school, immerse yourself in local history at the Waikawa Museum and be amazed by the stunning petrified forest at Curio Bay. (I think this may be a worthy of a separate post?!)
So many roads to take! The main thing is to take your time, follow your nose, stop often and savour every moment.