Road Trip: New Zealand


The Land Transport Amendment Act allows police to ticket and impound any vehicle they believe has committed a “boy racer offense” (their words).  The Warrant of Fitness inspection bans illegal modifications to things like suspension, lights, and exhaust.  Street racing is popular in New Zealand and I saw all the tell tale signs, from congregating at the local gas stations to stop light revving and racing.  I was hoping to come across one of the spots to check it out, but no luck.

Lesson #9: Fill ‘er up!

Most gas stations are pump, then pay.  Gas was around $2.05 a liter which is about $7.75 a gallon by comparison.  Of the stations that do say pay in advance, when your touristy looking ass gets out of the car and you approach the station doors, most of them just wave you back and let you pump first.  Handy when you need to fill up a rental car and aren't sure how much it will take. 

Even the Auckland airport parking lot was a wet dream of “Hot Cars I'd Like Imported” but rice boys (and girls) exist everywhere.  Tucked rear wheels, debadged front grill, and what looks like a wire (hopefully not a brake line!) dangling on the front tire…

Lesson #10: Clean your windshield often

As Martin and Jeff learned in Aussie-Land, many cars have swapped turn signal and windshield wiper stalks.  The first time you pull up to an intersection and go to signal your turn, you may end up spraying your windshield.  Check the car you're driving before you depart, as the Honda Civic provided by a friendly B&B owner was backwards but the Ford Focus rental car was not.  

Driving in Wellington and Auckland is a whole different animal than the rest of the country.  It's like traipsing through South Dakota (rest of NZ) where it merges into LA (big city traffic).  After driving on one lane motorways for a week, three lanes occupied by impatient or anxious drivers was a shock back to the norm- not in Kansas anymore!  It definitely doesn't help that I drove into Auckland during Friday rush hour.

Auckland truckAuckland truck
Maybe one of our MotoIQ readers will know WTF this thing is.  Production or custom?It kinda looks like a hybrid of a Scion xB and a Peugeot Hoggar. 


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