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January 25, 2010

Road Trip: Auckland to Wellington

the van I haven’t done the trip from Auckland to Wellington for a long time. Yep, I was excited about the prospect of a trip South. We picked up the van we had to drive to Wellington the night before. It’s a little van with vinyl seats and not much leg room. Mr. Munro complained the van didn’t like going fast. He had trouble coaxing it past 100km per hour, which is our speed limit. After little sleep (we had a phone call at 2.00am – highly uncivilized if you ask me!!) we hit the road at six-thirty.

It turned out that the van wasn’t too bad for leg space and a towel stopped the problem of sticking to the vinyl seats. The van loved going up hills, which was a bonus, but on the down side it also loved to guzzle gas. We had to stop three times to refill during the eight hour drive.

The weather was beautiful, without a cloud in the sky. The iPod worked well and we drove with the windows down and the music blaring – well as much as Mr. Munro lets the music blare. He’s a fuddy-duddy that way!

We stopped at Lake Taupo, which is the biggest lake in New Zealand, and supposedly the site of the largest volcanic reaction the world has ever seen. You’ve probably heard me mention Taupo before. I like it very much and have some wonderful memories of family holidays spent there as a teenager. I pointed out the street where my mother received a parking ticket and where we went to the movies. The lake was flat calm and the trio of mountains were visible across the water. That’s unusual so we took photos.

Lake Taupo

We drove down the Desert Road and managed to take some great shots of the mountains. The Desert Road is mostly tussock, but parts of it are very sandy. During winter this stretch of road is often closed due to snow and ice. The NZ army do a lot of their training here before troops are sent overseas. The terrain is certainly challenging, and while it’s very pretty, I wouldn’t want to be there in the middle of winter.

Mt Ruapehu

Ngauruhoe from the Desert Road

The rest of the drive was through farm land before we hit the coast and the sea. The pohutukawa trees seem to flower later down here. The trees were ablaze with scarlet flowers. Pohutukawa flowers always remind me of Christmas. We drove into the central city of Wellington and found our serviced apartment without any problem. It’s very central – just a brief walk away from most of the tourist spots. We can even see a sliver of the waterfront from our balcony.

View from our apartment

I’ve done a lot of travelling, and I think a person would have to go a long way to see better scenery. New Zealand really is a pretty country, not that I’m biased or anything.

Do you enjoy road trips? When and where did you take your last road trip?


  1. Mary

    Road trip, me? Nope, I’m a home body. The last time I took a road trip was with my family when I was 10! That was 30 years ago. lol

  2. Jaime

    I love road trips!! We usually only venture to Tennessee, but that’s okay. The trip is just long enough to show us the sights and offer a distraction. Love the pictures! :grin:

  3. Kaye Manro

    What a fun trip, Shelley! It’s been a while since I took a trip for pleaure and fun. But I used to love doing that when I lived in New England. I loved to travel from Boston to Bangor. And then when I lived in LA, I loved to take that trip over Big Sur on PCS right into Monterey! Miss those days.

  4. Eva S

    We use to take longer trips every summer here in Finland, all around the country. Now in winter it’s cold with lots of snow, beautiful but I rather stay home with a great book this time of the year.

  5. GladysMP

    Yes, I LOVE road trips. My most-treasured ones were in Canada. The one I took with my dad was just across the U. S. border from Niagara Falls. The gardens along the Falls on the Canadian side were so perfect and this was my first taste of Canadian gardens. I especially remember the beds of flowers that formed a picture of their Queen and another that formed their Narional Emblem.

    After marriage my husband and I took a trip to the other side of Canada around Banff Springs and Jasper. The scenery there is unbelievably beautiful. And again I fell in love with the gardens. The gardens are free to visit and they have workers in them daily, removing fading blooms, removing weeds, etc., so they are always in perfect condition.

    Alas, Canada is a long way from Texas, so my trips there have been few, but I would return in a heartbeat if given the chance.

    I love tours of Texas, too. Texas is large and various portions present totally different landscapes. My given name starts with a “G” and I tell folks that “G” stands for Gladys and “G” stands for Go. I am always ready to travel.

  6. Shelley Munro

    I forgot to mention that the items you can see inside the van are sanitary bins. They rattled and squeaked in the back of the van for the entire trip south. I said to my husband that I expected to see lots of baby sanitary bins when we arrived in Wellington. Yep, you can tell I write erotic romance!

  7. Shelley Munro

    Mary – there’s nothing wrong with being a homebody. Actually I think I stole your portion of travel. I do more than my fair share. :grin:

  8. Shelley Munro

    Jaime – I’ve never visited Tennesse. Maybe one day.

    Kaye – Hubby and I loved New England and covered lots of miles there during our visit. We also did the Monterey – Big Sur drive. We couldn’t see much except fog. Who knew it was so foggy during summer????

  9. Shelley Munro

    Eva – I think I’d stay at home during a Northern hemisphere winter too. It sounds both safer and warmer. :grin:

    Gladys – hubby and I loved the gardens and farmland around the Niagara Falls area. All the vineyards were pretty too.

    Banff and Jasper are incredibly beautiful. We visited the area briefly and would love to return one day. G for Go sounds good to me. I have really itchy feet. We’re counting the days until our next holiday in April. Only 65 days to go.

  10. Debra Kayn

    I live vicariously through you! :lol: We do lots of road trips, but not 8 hours away! We are blessed to live so close to the Pacific Ocean and have Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier within a couple hours drive. We’ll often jump in the car and just drive around for the day looking at the sights. I find it very relaxing.

    Beautiful pictures!

  11. Fedora

    How cool! I think I like the idea of road trips way more than the actual trip itself :) We recently took a jaunt down to So. California over the holidays, and the actual time in the car wasn’t exactly a thrill. I don’t mind exploring newer territory with some stops and fun stuff, and I love getting to the place we’re going, but the actual driving gets to be a bit of a drag after the first couple hours :) Toying with the idea of driving to Canada this summer… may need to remind myself of exactly how much car time would be involved! :D

  12. Ivy

    Loved seeing & hearing about your trip. I’m an Army brat & have also moved so much in my marriage that unless it’s really special, I just wanna stay home…dull I know.

  13. Linda Henderson

    I haven’t been on a road trip in too many years to count. Your pictures are beautiful. Since I lived in the mountains in Colorado for a few years, I really like your mountain picture.

  14. Mary

    lol Shelley, well if you stole my portion of travel would you like my portion of swimming in the ocean and flying on planes as well? Because I don’t do either of those either..lol