The weather is improving as the day begins with sunshine and blue skies. Today, I am in search of a rental car to explore beyond Auckland City.
I settle for a two day rental from Alternative Rental Cars at NZ$55 per day including insurance.
A few provisions for the road and I return to pick my car, a right-hand drive 5 speed Hyundai. Since they drive upside down and on the wrong side here I believe all the cars are right-hand drive.
Smoothly shifting gears I join not as “groovy looking drivers” headed for M-1 North. The City Of Sails is soon in my rear view mirror as I cross The Auckland Bridge at 90kmh. Just beyond the bridge a couple of unfortunate drivers are pulled over by “New Zealand Smokies” in plain wrappers.
A gentle reminder to not get carried away being Austin Powers.
Interestingly, the toll road has no toll-booths and drivers have the option to electronically pay in advance or up to 5 days after usage.
My drive continues with a hillside climb which gives excellent views of the area. A rich mixture of greens and blues dominate the scenery.
Taking “The Scenic Tourist Route”, I am presented with hair pin turns and switchbacks that challenge my 007 driving skills.
The landscape soon changes to endless pastures scattered with sheep or cattle then small towns appear and are gone in a few minutes.
The Hyundai is performing flawlessly. Thanks Q.
Rounding a curve on one of my explorations, I come almost face to face with a stray female. At about 2000 lbs she makes the right moves and I avoid having fresh ground beef for dinner.
The river once provided a rich food source of eels, trout and other fish for the Maori people before becoming polluted.