Driving more than 2500 km around New Zealand is an endeavour filled with hazards. But winding roads and falling rocks and monsoon rains are to be expected. It’s the bridges I’m not prepared for. Constructing highways through challenging landscapes has led to bridge designs that are rather shocking by North American standards.
The road from the Purple Cow Hostel in Wanaka to the glaciers of the west coast takes us past Puzzle Town and it’s massive 3-D maze (open on Christmas day!). We push on through amazing mountain vistas toward Haast and through Mount Aspiring National Park and the Blue Pools. Weird mailboxes. Abandoned and dilapidated shacks.
Two hours from Christchurch, through low, grass-covered hills, we swing around a bend. The road stretches out across a massive plain of grass and flowers and sparse trees, sliced in two by the grey road — a straight shot that stretches out until it disappears at the base of the Southern Alps.