Our GPS estimated that this would take us 5.5 hours as the distance was 521 km. The route Mr. Garmin chose for us was the shortest by distance, but, as I learned later, was probably not the fastest route as it took us on some pretty isolated country roads. Lucky for us!
This might sound like a dumb error as it's pretty easy to distinguish a large highway from a country road. In North America, that is. In New Zealand, the only distinction is the "curviness".
Both have a speed limit of 100 km/hr. Both have one lane in either direction and a dashed line between the two. Oh, and there are more cops on the "highways", so people usually drive faster on the country roads. And yes, we did see sheep by the side of the road - tens of thousands of them. And cows, horses, deer and alpacha.
|Mackenzie thought "They're saying cheese!"|
|Random roadside scenery|
|More random roadside scenery|
|Mount Taranaki or "Mount Fuji" in "The Last Samurai"|
One other feature of our road trip. We stopped for lunch at the Subway restaurant in Otorohanga, population 2673. There were only about 15 people in the tiny restaurant in the tiny town including the 5 of us. Six of the remaining 10 were Kate Gosselin, American reality TV star of "Kate Plus 8", her Kiwi bodyguard and 4 of her 8 children. Trish and the kids eyeballed her the entire time, but I snubbed her for being so mean to Jon. I'm sure she got the message.
At around 5:00pm, we pulled into Palmerston North, the largest city in the Manawatu and our home for the next 6 months. I'll get the whole family to weigh in on what they think for the next post.