A Travellerspoint blog

This is the road to Hana

To paraphrase Talking Heads (for you 80’s music fans)

semi-overcast 25 °C
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We thought we’d deal with this separately as it was a full day and it’s worth it! Hana is a small town in the south-east of Maui. The road to get there is rated as one of the top drives anywhere and is a must do if you visit Maui. Why? Put simply, it’s 42 miles long, it’s speed limits vary from 5mph to 35mph along it’s 617 curves and the 56 single-lane bridges that make up the road that clings to the coastline, winding up and down the rock faces all the way. The driver gets no rest; your steering wheel is rarely straight and some of the corners are absolutely blind. Heading to Hana you meet trucks coming the other way and you test your skills to work out where the side of your rental car is in relation to the rocks / cliff’s edge when you have to stop and move as far across as possible so you can both pass. However, there are loads of people that do the route and you all just tootle along at 15mph-ish, stopping whenever you need to take in one of the many stunning views, numerous walks or various waterfalls. It’s not about Hana itself, it’s about getting there. For views, the road knocks spots off any road we’ve ever driven and we’ve seen some fairly amazing things this trip. And we’re thankful to have done it in the daylight on a nice sunny day. We now understand the t-shirt we saw that says on the front ‘I survived the road to Hana’!

Posted by neilthelr 13:11 Archived in United Kingdom Tagged mountains beaches oceans sightseeing Comments (0)

North Island Favourites

Top '10' of the North Island

sunny 20 °C
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Since we did it for the south island, we thought we’d also do a ‘favourite things of the north island’.

In no particular order...
Favourite view = Hahei, The Coromandel (360 degree view from Mount Victoria, Wellington in second care of a photo-finish)
Favourite ‘refreshment’ = Fush, Chups and Sav on Hahei Beach at sunset
Favourite accommodation = Cathedral Cove B&B, Hahei (there’s a theme here)
Favourite trip = Rotorua Thermal Tour (mud pools, springs, volcano). Digging our own spa at Hot Water Beach a close second.
Favourite Drive = no entrants in this category for the North Island
Some things we found to be better than expected…Rotorua, Hot Water Beach
Some things we found disappointing…Bay of Islands (having seen The Coromandel), missing out on the main part of the Napier Art Deco week.

And the single best thing about both the South and North Islands of New Zealand........we're on holiday!! And we're only half way.

Posted by neilthelr 13:09 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

North Island Stats

for all those statisticians out there (other geeks in other words)

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1 North Island of New Zealand, 1551 kms (964 miles) travelled, 15 days (64 miles a day on average – including non-travelling days – a lot less than the South Island), 8 Hotels / Motels / Apartments /B&Bs /Friends’ houses in 16 nights, 7 different towns/cities, 8 modes of transport (car, plane, boats (3), mini-bus, kayak, cable-car, feet and a parasail), 2 sets of friends caught up with, lots of good food (some home-cooked), less Sauvignon Blanc than the south island, only a handful of insect bites (yippee!) adds up to ONE GREAT JOURNEY AROUND THE NORTH ISLAND 

Posted by neilthelr 13:07 Archived in New Zealand Comments (0)

We’ll be having 2 Fridays & 2 Saturdays!

This date line thing’s confusing

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Saturday (in NZ) has just been a ‘get up and get to the airport’ day. Despite our best efforts to rebalance the suitcases, one still came in 4kgs heavier than the other. We got away with it being overweight from Auckland but we’ll have to sort that before flying to Maui. And now, confusingly, it’s Friday night on Oahu! In other words, we landed in Hawaii before we took off in New Zealand! We’re off to Pearl Harbour tomorrow (Saturday - again) and then have an evening flight to Maui for a few days of rest. We won’t have access to Wifi for the next 4 days but it’ll give us a chance to put together our ‘Top 10’ North Island and ‘Best of NZ’ lists for the next blog. Oh, and select a few photos to post as we’re a little behind.

Posted by neilthelr 00:37 Archived in USA Comments (0)

Last stop: City of the Sails

And a catch up with old friends (part 3)

sunny 26 °C
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It’s hard to believe that we’re only a couple of days away from leaving New Zealand but our time here has ended well. Our second experience of the roads to Auckland were better than the first (Friday, rush hour) so we landed at Russ and Nicky’s house early evening having stopped at the Whangerei Town Basin (again) for lunch on the way back through. Russ and Nicky are only about 300m from the beach in the North Shore, which, on a sunny Friday night is slightly sickening when you consider what the average Friday night holds for us after work in the UK! We had a catch up over dinner (and a couple of drinks) with them and planned the following day. Nicky drove us in to Devonport (pretty, and it’s where the Navy is based) where we caught the ferry to Auckland City and went up the Sky Tower: it’s quite a view! If you don’t like heights (Helen) it’s advisable if you don’t look down through the glass floor sections of the viewing deck or lifts. It was a fantastic, clear day so we could see a long, long way. Nicky picked us up there and took us to Mission Bay where we stopped for lunch before heading up to Mount Eden to see the crater and a different view over the city. It was dinner and drinks with them at home and a game of ‘Who wants to be a millionaire?’ (we got to £125k) to end the day. The final day was reserved for heading in to the city with Nicky, meeting Russ for lunch, saying our goodbyes and then just the two of us wandering around. Oh, and Neil got a haircut! We had our last supper in Viaduct Harbour, which capped off a good few days, a great North Island experience and a fantastic month in New Zealand. Finally though, we have to say thanks to Nicky and Russ for hosting (and chauffeuring) us. It was fantastic to catch up with you both and we hope to see you again soon.

Posted by neilthelr 00:36 Archived in New Zealand Tagged bridges sightseeing Comments (0)

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