When it is actually ok to use a tourist bus

Regardless of what form of transport you use in New Zealand, there will always be areas where you can’t bike or drive a motorised vehicle. There is simply no other option than to hoof it. And that’s ok.

Take for example the Coromandel; it’s not possible to drive the full circle around the top of this peninsula. To the west from Coromandel Town the road heads North through Colville, along the Hauraki Gulf, and stops just past Port Jackson. To the east it curls its way up the Pacific coast to come to a halt at Stony Bay. In between lays the Garden of Eden: Cape Colville Park, a DOC owned sanctuary -to say the least- with a world renowned walking path that connects Stoney Bay with Port Jackson in a truly spectaculair manner.

Walking is good though, and fun-apparently. So this is not the problem.The problem is getting to these remote sanctuaries in one piece and good health.

Should you for example be renting a car during your holiday, getting up the Far North of the Coromandel is, to say the least, a bit challenging for the international and national out-of-towners. Not only are you usually not allowed to drive on gravel roads with your rental-from Colville on everything is gravel road-, in this particular case you would be in need of some serious four-wheel-drive-activity at times as well. Your rented 1.3L stationwagon is not going to be cute for this.

Not to mention that the roads themselves are quite……tricky. Imagine extremely small winding gravel roads going up and down steep hills with, just on the side of the road, sheer drops of hundreds of meters to ocean pounded rocks far, far below. And now imagine you and your rented sleeping-4-campervan creeping up these narrow roads. Not pretty.

So, what to do if you’re driving a no-go car or campervan? In this case, contact the Coromandel Strongman Coachlines, ask for the feisty sixty-something driver and co-owner Jocelyn with her big smile and even bigger wrap-around sunglasses to book you on one of their coaches going up the Far North. They have a regular service dropping people off at one end and picking them up at the other. And this type of service will be provided by others in many other remote areas throughout New Zealand as well.

Now, you might have to share a ride with the occasional corporate Aucklander out on a bonding weekend, but try to keep the bigger picture in mind while enduring this phenomena. Think of it as a mantra-hear the ‘hummmmmmmmmmmm….’ And here we go….Your doing this because: You can leave your precious rented car/campervan behind, enjoy the ride to and from safely, take as many photo’s on the way as your 64mb memory card can possibly store and, last but definitely not least, you don’t get into trouble with your rental company.

“hummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm….everybody wins!”

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