NEW ZEALAND II

9/2/2021    

In an awkward situation for a Northern Hemisphereor, Jake Uff was driving due north out of Auckland and was heading towards the equator. The vegetation consisted of many types of unique, native trees interspersed with rolling hills, rugged coastlines, and countless islands in beautiful bays. In this region of N.Z., grows rare monsters known as Kauri trees and the biggest is the Tane Mahuta at 14′ in diameter, 167′ tall, 2,000 years old, and still growing. An impressive behemoth that looks like it was uprooted and spun 180° as the branches start high up the trunk and are in a sparse cluster similar to tree roots. It seems like nearly everything in the Southern Hemisphere is upside down. Jake drove to the farthest north road accessible by car in N.Z., hiked to the remote lighthouse, then spun the rental car to the south. In 2.5 weeks, he would be 1,280 miles south at Bluff and had no idea what he would encounter. The adventure unfolded. Stopping at small towns along the way, Jeff avoided the same highway he used to get there so as to always be in new terrain. Food was reasonable and motels along the way were clean and at a bargain using the currency exchange factor. There were plenty of parks, museums, and hiking trails, so he never spent more than 6 hours behind the wheel on any day. Sheep were numerous, and humans were friendly as long as you didn’t scatter their flocks. Appliance junkyards dotted the countryside and made 1 aware of just how remote this country was from industrialization. If your toaster failed, you could scavenge parts from a similar model and toast your crumpets. After crossing the Auckland Harbor Bridge for the second time, Mr. Uff followed the highway down the center of N.Z. and was amazed at the diversity and terrain changes he was driving through. Wellington was where he was headed to, but anything worth a picture was a decree to stop and study. From geothermal features to Maori history to waterfalls, the days were endless wonders. 

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