Started off in Hanmer Springs on a frosty morning, which made the drive this day particularly interesting…tips for New Zealand roads, when they put out the ‘Ice / Grit’ warning signs in the South Island, they MEAN IT. They also mean it when they put up signs saying ’15km/h’ on corners. Just pray they don’t combine the two…
And amazingly enough, even though this was just autumn and fairly far north in the island, the frost was still beside the road at about 4 in the afternoon, in some corners. I swear there was about a 10°C difference between the sun and the shade – and in a convertible, you can feel the temperature differences quite strongly!
As anyone who has spent time in New Zealand can probably attest, it’s very hard to see a screen in bright sunlight here. No, really. The sun will stab you in the eyes in this country. It’s gorgeous, but the colours really are brighter – because EVERYTHING is brighter here. (Which is why I didn’t see the lens flare in this image at the time, unfortunately.)
There’s a herd of cattle in the centre of the next image; the sound of the farmer shouting at his dogs scared the heck out of me when it started, I hadn’t noticed them at all for the minute or two I’d been standing by the side of the road admiring the view!
The drive really did break my heart, this day – simply because, for every amazing vista I stopped to photograph, there were probably three more where I simply couldn’t stop. The roads really are great to drive, but their speciality isn’t having a hard shoulder to pull over onto…
But the drive was so good, I just kept extending my route a little more; and so I wound up in Nelson, which is hardly on the way!
In the end, I made it to my ferry – having started at about 10:15 in the morning, and arriving at 5:17pm with 8 minutes to spare for my check-in time. And, I forgot to have lunch on the way; I just drove the whole time – and stopped for photos, when I could…and I’d do it all again!