NZ Southern Scenic Route

Old Jun 21st, 2004, 08:43 PM
  #1  
Jed
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NZ Southern Scenic Route

I am thinking of driving the SSR from Invercargill to Dunedin next April.

Has anyone done that? I understand that about 12 miles around Papatowai is not paved. Is that a problem? Please tell me your driving experience.
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Old Jun 21st, 2004, 10:02 PM
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Jed

You will have no problem with the paved parts of the road as the roads in Southland/Otago are not too bad at all and the traffic is very light.

Ease back on the throttle when you hit the dirt road though. Too often tourist come unstuck in NZ when they try to do the same open road speeds on dirt roads. Even some locals come unstuck as well. As a rule of thumb 50 kph is fast enough for unsealed roads. If it has been dry for a while and the road has not been graded you will hit corrugations on the corners. easy back on the speed and go with the flow.

Over all I am sure you will enjoy your experiences of driving around Otago and Southland.

Steve

PS beware of unmarked traffic cops they are everywhere in Southland, crime rate so low they have nothing else to do except ticket motorists. I am speaking from experience here. Therefore don't speed.

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Old Jun 22nd, 2004, 06:57 AM
  #3  
Jed
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Thanks for the info. Does "unstuck" apply to the driver or car?

Since you mentioned crime, I read that some cars have been broken into when they are parked at tourist stops. Do you know if this is a problem? I may have to park my car with luggage in the trunk overnight at either Manapouri or Te Anau.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2004, 03:24 PM
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Hi again Jed

Unfortunately you are correct in your observation that some of our least desirable fellow citizens of New Zealand do have a prediliction for tourists personal belongings.

In other words the dirty little toerags want to nick your gear.

The same level of car security that you practice at home would probably be sufficient for you here.

Are you staying in a motel or hotel prior to your leaving the car in Manapouri or Te Anau. If you are I am sure there would be some arrangement wherby you could leave your vehicle in a secure location.

As these towns are the starting points for several tramps in the region (Not to mention trips out into Doubtful Sound) they are used to people leaving there cars parked up there. As a result of having so many tourist's cars there, the local police strongly suggest you do not leave your car parked in a public place. they recommend you obtain secure parking.

I have attached a link to a secure parking facility in Te Anau

http://www.saferparking.co.nz/

This motel in Manapouri offers parking though I do not think it is in a locked yard

http://www.manapouri.com

Hope these help.

As far as coming unstuck is concerned. It s a bit of a New Zealand saying. Meaning everything will turn to custard and go pearshaped dshould you round a corner at 80kph when you should have been doing 40kph. The car will leave the road.

Years ago when the road over the Haast Pass was not sealed there used to be a lucrative trade for the tow truck drivers pulling unwary tourists cars out of lakes and ditches. I am happy to say that the roads are much improved now.

Hope this helps

Steve
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Old Jun 22nd, 2004, 07:32 PM
  #5  
Jed
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Steve - Many thanks.
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