How to Prepare for an Autumn Road Trip in NZ & AU
By Peter Minkoff, UK Correspondent
If you love breathtaking landscapes and roads that stretch for miles, then going on a road trip in Australia and New Zealand during autumn should definitely be on your bucket list. With so many different routes to take and things to see, you are guaranteed to enjoy your road trip no matter which route you choose. However, like every other road trip, there are still a few things you should keep in mind in order to be fully prepared for the journey, and here are some of them.
Pay attention while driving
Don’t forget that in Australia and New Zealand, you’re supposed to drive on the left. If you’re not from the Land Down Under, this might terrify you at first, but you’d be surprised at how quickly you’ll get used to it. All the roads are well marked, and there are even arrows reminding you which side you should drive on. That being said, there still are people who forget, mostly on the unmarked dirt roads, so keep an eye out for other tourists.
Also, no matter how beautiful a scene you see and how much you want to take a photo, don’t pull over just about anywhere. True, there isn’t as much traffic in these countries as there is in the USA or China, but that still doesn’t mean you can stop whenever and wherever you want. There are many lookouts and campsites, so have no doubt that there will be places for you to pull over, but the middle of the road will never be one of them.
Get your ride checked
Before setting off, be sure that your ride can handle the trip. If you’re from Australia, there is a professional mobile mechanic in Gold Coast that can come to your home and check your ride for you. You know what they say – it’s better to be safe than sorry, and you don’t want to end up stranded in the middle of nowhere, which is why it’s essential that you make sure your car is in good condition.
Plan, but not in detail
When it comes to planning your road trip, there should be enough spontaneity to make the trip actually fun, but you should still know where you will eat and sleep, for example. With that in mind, there’s a very comfortable and luxurious motel in Hamilton that will surely fit all your needs. As for the food, it’s always a good idea to do your research beforehand, or perhaps ask the locals where you can find the most delicious food in the area. Tasting the local food can be quite an experience, especially if you’re not from Australia or New Zealand, so don’t pass on the opportunity to get a taste of the local culture.
Think about the weather
The weather in New Zealand and Australia can be quite unpredictable, so make sure to check the weather forecast every day, and try to avoid the more challenging routes, especially the mountain ones. There is always the risk of landslides, especially if it gets rainy, which is why you need to think about the weather before choosing which way to go. True, those kinds of roads are often the most scenic ones, but they aren’t worth the risk of getting stranded, or worse. Keep in mind how untamed the land is, and don’t take any unnecessary risks if the weather is not on your side.
Pack the essentials
When it comes to the packing essentials, make sure to pack the first-aid kit. After all, you will be travelling through Australia, “the land of nope”, which means that there is a chance of being stung or bitten by one of the many not so friendly animals. This is why having the right medication and equipment is truly a must. Also, don’t forget to bring your navigation tools (and make sure they are up to date), phone chargers that can be used in the car, and other necessary gadgets.
Going on a road trip can be a truly memorable experience, especially in such scenic countries like Australia and New Zealand. However, you still need to be prepared in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises. So, plan your stops ahead, make sure to bring all the essentials, consider the weather, check your car before setting off, be careful while on the road, and have no doubt that you will have the trip of a lifetime.