Just do it! Leave your everyday life behind for a while. Throw some clothes, your togs, your jandals and some good sounds in the car and set off on a roadie. There is so much to discover in our own backyard!
Nicola McCloy and Jane King hope you will take their advice after reading their book Let’s Get Lost, Great New Zealand Road Trips. Bursting with enthusiasm after exploring many lesser-known spots around the country they have mapped out some great little adventures for us. There was just one rule, to stay off SH1 and get off the beaten track away from the tourist crowds.
Let’s Get Lost. Great New Zealand Road Trips is a very practical Travel Guide, packed full of road trips you can do all over New Zealand. Each trip has an introduction that lays out the distance to travel, the time it should take, the type of road you can expect and a list of the trip highlights. But what makes the book really worthwhile is that in addition there are many mentions of local cafes, galleries, historic places and craft shops in each section which were personally tried and tested by Nicola and Jane.
If you haven’t ventured into the backblocks for a while you will be amazed at how our countryside has changed. No need to rough it, there are coffees and accommodation to be had along all along the way. And amazing attractions await your discovery like a village entirely populated by guinea pigs, a secret lake and the sausage capital of New Zealand.
Also included are stories about some of the people Nicola and Jane met along the way such as Megan Sheppard from Wildflower Botanicals near Kaikoura and Debbie Stewart from the Wingspan National Bird of Prey Centre in Rotorua. In country areas where life is not so rushed, other travellers would also be very likely to encounter some interesting locals who have time for a chat.
We found it especially interesting to read their vivid descriptions of features of the landscape as they drove along minor roads. These would be new to many other travellers. And there were recommendations for many side trips such as to Waikawau Beach in Taranaki or Gore Bay off the Kaikoura Rd which we never knew of before.
Along with the text come colour photographs on virtually every page that help to bring the journeys to life and make it the kind of book that could easily sit on a coffee table. Even if you are not a traveller it makes a good read about this beautiful country in which we live.
But because many of these are journeys are so achievable for older travellers as well it would be a shame to just leave it at that! Why not use it to start planning your own roadie this year.
Title: Let’s Get Lost. Great New Zealand Road Trips. Text by Nicola McCloy. Photography by Jane King. Publisher: Penguin Random House New Zealand. RPP $45.00
Reviews by Lyn Potter
Parent and grandparent, Avid traveler, writer & passionate home cook