Our little country is the perfect stretch of landscape for road trips. With summer now officially here, there’s not a better time to explore it. There’s plenty of well tread paths, but the road less travelled is where you can find the real gems.
Gisborne and East Cape
Gisborne is known as a summer hot spot for its popular New Years festival, Rhythm and Vines, but it boasts a great vacay destination all summer long. Worth the journey if you’re looking for somewhere slow paced but bursting with natural wonder. Despite the small town, you can still get a good cup of joe and some delicious fare. You’ll usually find the best spots just by asking the locals. Get up to watch the sunrise, and relish in the fact it’s the first place in the world to see the sun. The roadtrip around the East Cape from Gisborne to Opotiki (or vice versa) offers some seriously iconic Kiwi scenery and lifestyle.
When the rowdy students are at Mum and Dad’s for the summer, we see an entirely different side to the city. No need for puffer jackets (or a beer blanket), the town offers balmy summer weather and plenty of ways to enjoy it. In the city, take a street art trail or eat at one the country’s last Cobb & Co. restaurants. You can peruse the Botanic Gardens or wander through the town belt of over 200 hectares of exotic and native trees. Or head just 20kms north to the Orokonui Ecosanctuary to meet tuataras and 27 species of native birds. You can even enjoy a “forest bathing experience” in the lush greenery.
With a population of around 400 (but a Kiwi bird population of 20,000) you wouldn’t describe the island as a thriving metropolis. But what it lacks in nightlife and trendy eateries, it make up for in unspoilt beauty. Explore the island however you please – walk, boat, fish, dive, kayak, hunt or relax.
New Plymouth is slightly out of the way, but its mountains and surf breaks has always attracted adventurers year round. But this creative little city really has something for everyone. An inspiring art scene, exceptionally good food, and epic views in every direction. The Govett-Brester Art Gallery is aptly described as “New Zealand’s most courageous contemporary art museum”. The award winning Pukekura Park is seriously lush, and well worth a visit.
Picton is typically known as the base for exploring Marlborough Sounds and setting out on the Queen Charlotte track. But this formerly sleepy town now offers its own charm. Jump on the heritage 1915 steam train through wetlands and vineyards on the way to Blenheim and back. Take the return trip to Blenheim through wetlands, the picturesque Wairau Valley and endless vineyards. Or spend half a day immersed in nature at the Kaipupu Wildlife Sanctuary, spotting native birds, geckos, penguins and fur seals. We might not mention the wetas. For a birds eye view of Picton set foot up the steep, but worth it, Tirohanga Track.
Looking for some new wheels for your summer roady? A car loan from Sprint will get you on the road. With car loans for all credit types and license types, you’ll be enjoying fish and chips all over the country this summer!