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Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

Staffordshire...
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Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

We are staying overnight at the Bayview Chateau in February and plan our next stop to be Napier. What's the best route please in a hire car? On our map we can see a yellow road from S1 linking to S50 or S2 between Hastings and Napier but is this a normal tarmac road or is it gravel, or unsuitable for a hire car?

Any suggestions welcome please.

San Francisco, CA
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11. Re: Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

Works for me. Although I'm not going to get all the way to Taranaki this trip.

One of my favorite places in California is our Lost Coast. Which aside from the elk might as well be New Zealand.

www.google.com/images…

Takapuna, New...
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12. Re: Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

Hey itsWindy, we have Elk in NZ. I think they were introduced back in the 1870's but there is also reference that Teddy Roosevelt may have given us some. We tend to use the American Indian name "Wapiti".

http://www.rarebreeds.co.nz/wapiti.html

The Lost Coast in CA looks like it could still be lost. Where is it? Unlike the Lost Lake in Whistler which, on the day I went there, was found by hundreds of bathers.

Staffordshire...
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13. Re: Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

Whew! What a lot of information. Thanks everyone, sounds like its not the route for us but lots of ideas for alternatives. Back to the drawing board then. Love this site for planning!

Sue.

San Francisco, CA
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14. Re: Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

Wigwam, the lost coast in California is west of Humboldt Redwoods and Garberville, about 4 hours north of San Francisco and south of Mendocino.

It's where highway 1 is forced to jog inward by the coastal mountains and follow the river. Highly recommended if you're in the area. The poet Thomas Merton was reportedly inspired by the natural arches.

Looking forward to our Napier to Tongariro to Wanganui drive. Will report back, and keep our eyes out for coldandtired heading in the other direction.

Victoria, Canada
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15. Re: Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

We recently took the Gentle Annie Road across to Napier partly to avoid travelling the Napier -Taupo Rd both ways. There was only 13.5 km of gravel and most of it in good condition and our 3.5 tonne deisel rv travelled it well. The views were great and I would happily take that route again. Issues to consider are:the driver should be experienced in driving on unsealed and/or narrow winding roads; the RV contract needs to allow for gravel road travel;be prepared to take your time...approach corners as if there may be a logtruck coming the other way.

Hamilton, New...
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16. Re: Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

I agree with the last post. Don't knock those winding gravel roads too much as they are actually a kind of national treasure. Many people including myself get a lot of enjoyment from driving on roads like the 309 at Coromandel, Gentle Annie and the Wanganui River road and in my opinion it will be a sad day indeed if they ever disappear. Its true that you need a modicum of skill to drive on gravel roads and maybe some overseas tourists don't have that skill but they will soon pick it up. Trouble is we are becoming such a pathetically risk-averse nation that we are scared of our own shadows. I would recommend such roads to anyone seeking a new experience and a little adventure.

Edited: 01 December 2010, 08:34
New Zealand
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17. Re: Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

Nobody's knocking them, they are the hidden gems, the off-the-beaten track experiences that lots of people enjoy BUT you only have to spend a few days on here to see what visitors to NZ try and achieve in very short time frames and/or with limited driving experience. We all know how many accidents and fatalities there are that include tourists, we're just pointing out safer options.

Staffordshire...
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18. Re: Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

Thanks for all your advice everyone but our trip is not happening now. My husband cried off at the point of booking our flights -and yes, he is still walking! He cannot face the thought of such a long flight again, even breaking it with a stopover. I'm devastated as this was for my 60th birthday and I had done sooo much planning, I was so excited as I absolutely loved New Zealand when we came on an escorted tour 2 years ago. It looks like I will have to do another escorted tour on my own,all my friends are married and obviously can't do such a big trip without their husbands_time & money come into play here,so a solo trip is the only answer. I won't get to all the places I wanted to go, but at least I will be back in New Zealand.

Thanks again folks.

San Francisco, CA
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19. Re: Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

Sorry to read this. But no fun to be on vacation with someone who doesn't want to go.

My travel companion for this trip canceled a previous NZ trip because her husband didn't want to go.

20. Re: Mt Ruapehu to Napier -best route?

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