One of the first things you learn about riding in NZ is the simple speed limit rules- 50 in town, 70 on the outskirts, and 100 in the country. There are a few exceptions, but that pretty much covers it. Six lane dived highway? 100. Small twisty road out of town with single lane bridges and blind hairpins? 100. It’s occasionally annoying when you find yourself on one of the few stretches of proper highway, but otherwise it’s wonderful. The seemingly endless strips of beautifully maintained tar drape themselves over the countryside and seem to beg riders to leave footpeg sparks around every corner and 100km/hr rarely feels like a limit in any way.
Leaving Auckland, I spent the first day just enjoying being back on the road and getting used to riding in NZ. It wasn’t hard- every road seems to have been designed for riding. Beautiful rolling countryside with lite traffic and well marked corners kept me in 3rd and 4th gear heaven. You don’t feel the need to push your speed to get the most of the riding- slow around a curve in third, accelerate out, move to fourth, slow and down to third again for another wonderfully swooping curve… Bliss.
My first night gave me a taste for the glorious camping to come. Just outside of Auckland, Shakeapear Park is a popular destination for city folk on the weekends- perfect for a getaway, or to end a short first day back on the road with some lovely views and pleasant walks.
It was also a great place to start discovering all the new and funky plant life that was on offer.
New Zealand was certainly turning out to be the prefect balm for being more than a bit road weary.