Lounge » Driver Blog
Nat has spent 13 years traveling around NZ and the beautiful scenery still amazes her. After 10years driving around the country in a Sales & Marketing role with a company car, staying at 4-5* accommodation & with an American Express Corporate Card, Nat found the biggest adjustment to driving tour buses was not the size of the vehicle, but rather talking to people sitting behind her! She is glad she now has a legitimate excuse for photo stops of NZ's amazing scenes.
The other day while driving from Wellington to Rotorua, I stopped the bus at the lookout above Turangi to check out the view of Lake Taupō. I was busy doing my spiel about Lake Taupō (616sq km's) being not much smaller than Singapore (710sq km's) with a population of nearly 5.2 million compared to NZ's population of 4.4 million...
Summer has arrived in Queenstown and it's a scorcher! Only a few specks of snow remain on the Remarkables and the beach is littered with sunbathing bodies ...
I have had quite a few random questions while driving the Stray bus, but the one last trip really topped the random scales! I was cruising along and one of my guys popped up behind me and asked 'Can I cook on the bus?' ...
You would have to be hiding in Shrek the Sheep's cave if you didn't know that NZ has got a serious case of Rugby Fever! Over the past week, we have seen All Black flags every few minutes, on cars, houses, businesses, trucks, farm fences and more crazy places, like the usually orange giant carrot in Ohakune! NZ is playing good host so far, with towns or businesses adopting a second team. Appropriately Westland Greenstone adopted the Irish team in their green jerseys. There is apparently 22,000kms of Rugby World Cup bunting, which features the flag of each competing country.
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the scenery changes in NZ. Driving down SH6 you see the lush rainforest of the South Island West Coast, where they talk about the annual rainfall in metres. The highest recorded annual rainfall was 8100mm. A few hours later in Central Otago, they only get 25mm more rain a year than Uluru in Australia, which averages 307mm per year. One year, Central Otago only got 167mm! The lush green rainforest with dark tannin stained streams and numerous waterfalls, gives way to barren brown land with dry creek beds.
You never know what people will want to take a photo of next on the Stray circuit. The other morning, while waiting to board the ferry, it was the Perspex boarding passes that had my crew pulling their cameras out. They are a great idea, I would never misplace my movie ticket if it was a big hunk of plastic! Last trip it was the camping toaster at Gunns Camp facing the paparazzi line up!
The forecast was not looking good for the West Coast, or the Wild Wild West as I like to call it. The storm we were waiting for, to kick start winter, was on it's way ...
Heading up the coast from Kaikoura there is a road sign that is unique, a 'Seal Crossing' sign! If the sea is rough, the seals have been known to take refuge on the road. One stock truck driver told me that he had to use his electric cattle prod to get one to move that was blocking traffic on SH1. I am not too sure what the Department of Conservation (DOC) would say about his method!
"Do you think we will be able to skydive tomorrow?"
"Do you think it will stop raining in Franz Josef?"
Onomatopoeia, words that sound like a sound i.e. bang, clap, play a big part in the Maori language. A lot of the names of birds and insects are onomatopoeic. Kihikihi (Cicada), Kea, Kaka, Kiwi, Whio (Blue Duck), Rakiraki (duck), Ruru (Morepork/Owl). Or they have their own accent, such as auau (dog bark), keke (quack).