07Jun

Surf Highway

Surf Highway Road SignAll I need is one look at the road map of North Island to know that Highway 45 is the road I should be heading for next. It is called the Surf Highway.

My drive from Raglan through Hamilton and back onto the coast road is the first time I have seen the scenery in New Zealand in the daytime when it hasn’t been chucking it down with rain. The country is about the same size as the UK but only has a population equivalent to that of Wales.

Hamilton to New Plymouth 71

All of that means that driving today is an absolute joy even if I am in a van which is over 7 metres long.

You simply don’t see anything else on the road. When I do find that somebody has caught me up because I am in a big van I slow down and wave people past whenever I can. It is a lovely day and I get a real feel for driving The Beast. 

Mount Taranaki 814Once I have reached the Surf Highway the road takes me to New Plymouth and a circular tour around the dormant volcano of Mount Taranki, which attracts your eyes no matter where you are in this area.

The volcano’s cone is capped in snow almost all year road, and amusingly pretended to be Mount Fuji in Japan when Tom Cruise filmed ‘The Last Samurai’ here.

The big industry around here is dairy and it would have been hard for me to get a picture of the mountain outside of the town without any cows in the shot.

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