Thursday, June 6, 2013

Highway No 1 - New Zealand . Is this our 'Route 66'?

Hi there

In the old days, way back when, when Noah was a lad, I used to sit enthralled in front of the t.v., watching "Route 66".  The music is still right up there near the top of my Iconic TV Theme list.  Isn't it for everyone?   The theme made the show.   And, of course, it didn't hurt things that Ben Gazarra, the star, was oh-so easy on the eye.

When I was in America some time back, I went on a tour that took in Monument Valley (just about my favourite overseas scenery ever!).  We crossed Route 66 a time or two and even drove down it for a little while.  It's sad that some of the road has been broken apart, diverted, or replaced by new streamlined highways.

What my one American reader may not know is that here, in New Zealand, we have our very own equivalent of America's Route 66.  It is Highway No. 1. 

Highway No.1 stretches from the very top of the North Island to the very bottom of the South Island.  The scenery is spectacular.  And I can't understand why Tourism New Zealand don't make big publicity over this?

Cook Strait, between the two islands, is officially Highway No 1.   So, just think, when you're travelling on the inter-island ferry from Wellington in the North Island to Picton in the South Island, it's not really the sea around you, but New Zealand's main traffic road!   

Believe it or not as you as you drive along Highway No 1 , approaching Wellington Airport, you'll pass notices telling you that yes, you are indeed on a wine trail, even though there isn't a sniff of a grape in the area.  This wine trail can be followed right through, via plane,  to Nelson (South Island).

Here is a photo I took at the very foot of the Wellington Airport runway, which is virtually the end of the North Island leg of the highway, and right next to the suburb of Miramar, where I live.  The photo was taken a day or so before 'The Hobbit' premiere last year, hence the flags.  A Weta building, part of the Peter Jackson/RichardTaylor film empire, is behind the flags.

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