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HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

Old Nov 5th 2007, 5:40 am
  #16  
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

Tanya, you're correct, there is a problem with the driving here, especially in the country roads. Basically, the roads are too narrow and winding for the volume of traffic and the capacity of the cars.

Would love to travel around a bit more, but honestly it's not pleasant on those narrow roads with traffic racing round corners on the opposite side.

Even a journey up to Warkworth a few weeks ago was really scary with the volume of cars on the road and the speed they were going.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 6:21 am
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

Originally Posted by whitesand View Post
Tanya, you're correct, there is a problem with the driving here, especially in the country roads. Basically, the roads are too narrow and winding for the volume of traffic and the capacity of the cars.

Would love to travel around a bit more, but honestly it's not pleasant on those narrow roads with traffic racing round corners on the opposite side.

Even a journey up to Warkworth a few weeks ago was really scary with the volume of cars on the road and the speed they were going.
I'm a bit confused by this thread. I've driven from the top to the bottom of both islands and loved every minute of it. Compared to driving in the UK or even Oz it's great. Roads aren't too bad and ok so the driving isn't great, but i must have lived in a strange part of the UK cause i didn't think the driving in the UK is that great either.

Each to their own I suppose, but I know where i'd rather drive.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 6:59 am
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

Originally Posted by whitesand View Post
Tanya, you're correct, there is a problem with the driving here, especially in the country roads. Basically, the roads are too narrow and winding for the volume of traffic and the capacity of the cars.
I am confused by this statement Having lived in Rural England I have found few if any roads that compare to a country lane in Southwest England As for amount of Traffic I am even more confused because there has been occasions I have driven nearly 100km plus without seeing another car in daylight hours. Not even the Uk I could do that

Guess when your talking Auckland and a weekend migration North yep can see that but no worse than a B road in the UK.

Last edited by Pete n Shell; Nov 5th 2007 at 7:08 am.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 8:00 am
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

Well we all come from different places with differing perspectives of volumes of trafiic, types of driving conditions and drivers. I am an ex London driver and I was convinced that I had come to live in Auckland only to suffer some dreadful death at the wheel of my car. Every time I went out, I was certain I wasn't going to get back home in one piece.

Now it's just second nature, there are indeed more than anyones fair share of arses on the road, who'd happily kill you as soon as look at you, but you soon learn to watch out for them and can usually second guess their lunatic driving antics. Most of their cars are all noise and no guts anyway.

The sooner they raise the age and stop children driving the better.

Getting to know the roads and more to the point, where you are going seriously improves your confidence on the roads. Not sure when the turning point was, but now I only have to cuss and swear at a handful of people each day, rather than the whole nation
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 8:13 am
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

I live in Auckland - I think the roads are in a much better condition than the ones that I used to travel along in SE London and Central London. Some of the pot holes I used to just miss in the UK could have easily housed a few families

Yes there are some poor drivers here, but I have seen similar poor driving in the USA and the UK. I always drive defensively (always expecting the worst) hoping that this will save my life. Plus I ensured that I bought a car with all of the safety gizmos.

As for traffic well at times there is none - granted that is not the case in Auckland. But I know as I have travelled in the North and South Island there can be times when you see nobody.

I hope that you give NZ a chance. I think the key thing is that it is different here and if you can take some time for you to feel at home and accept the place for all of its idiosynchrosies (excuse the spelling).
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 8:18 am
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

Only one road I can think of that I hate to drive because its so damn unpridictable as to what bit is still there has got to be SH4 between Wanganui and Raetihi over the paras.
They spend thousands repairing sections only for another bit to fall away. It really makes you drive a car. as long as you dont get stuck behind a timid driver its ok.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 10:06 am
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

I think NZ drivers are no better or worse than UK ones.. but when UK drivers drive at full speed they are on a motorway with a massive barrier between them and oncoming traffic, not the case in NZ. It does take you by surprise when you are not used to it.
I dont think there is any doubt that open road driving in NZ is more dangerous/challenging/rewarding in NZ. Also driving in a city is 100 times easier in NZ cities. UK drivers in cities are crazy aggresive.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 5:07 pm
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

I find this thread somewhat ironic/amusing having just returned from a month in the UK - involving a lot of touring by car - after 2 years living in NZ. Things I noticed about UK roads and driving:
- Lots of people drive significantly over the speed limit. If you're doing 75-80 on a dual carriageway with a 70 limit, you feel slow
- There is an obsession with keeping left on multi-lane roads, to the point of people driving very fast (see above) swerving from lane 1 to 3 to allow some mythical and invisible even faster driver to overtake
- There are far fewer cops on the roads, but thousands of speed cameras. Everywhere. And even more signs warning of them
- The roads are narrow, there are lots of them, and there are lots of cars on them. And often, you have to wait behind a parked car for someone oncoming to get past before you can swerve round and continue your journey
- Motorways get you places fast, but are boring. And if there is a holdup, it'll be a long one
- All the cars are so new!
- People refuse to merge if you use anything but the left lane going into an obstruction / traffic lights etc. They would rather run you off the road and/or crash than give up their place in the sacred queue
- A lot of people drive at a random speed well below the 60mph limit on a perfectly good road. Some of these seem to drive at 43mph regardless of the limit higher or lower)
On the whole I find driving in NZ way more relaxing and enjoyable. I'd say 90-95% of drivers are decent and drive within 10kph of the limit. It's just a shame the other 5% are complete lunatics driving 15yr old Impreza WRXs!

I think I must be turning kiwi!
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

Originally Posted by hazeandsteve View Post
Still, makes me glad me glad we didn't choose to live in the cities.
You have something there. New Zealand doesn't do cities well. Europe, Asia and to some extent Latin America all have fabulous urban environments. Cities are not the reason to move to New Zealand.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 5:49 pm
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

Originally Posted by lapsed kiwi View Post
I find this thread somewhat ironic/amusing having just returned from a month in the UK - involving a lot of touring by car - after 2 years living in NZ. Things I noticed about UK roads and driving:
- Lots of people drive significantly over the speed limit. If you're doing 75-80 on a dual carriageway with a 70 limit, you feel slow
- There is an obsession with keeping left on multi-lane roads, to the point of people driving very fast (see above) swerving from lane 1 to 3 to allow some mythical and invisible even faster driver to overtake
- There are far fewer cops on the roads, but thousands of speed cameras. Everywhere. And even more signs warning of them
- The roads are narrow, there are lots of them, and there are lots of cars on them. And often, you have to wait behind a parked car for someone oncoming to get past before you can swerve round and continue your journey
- Motorways get you places fast, but are boring. And if there is a holdup, it'll be a long one
- All the cars are so new!
- People refuse to merge if you use anything but the left lane going into an obstruction / traffic lights etc. They would rather run you off the road and/or crash than give up their place in the sacred queue
- A lot of people drive at a random speed well below the 60mph limit on a perfectly good road. Some of these seem to drive at 43mph regardless of the limit higher or lower)
On the whole I find driving in NZ way more relaxing and enjoyable. I'd say 90-95% of drivers are decent and drive within 10kph of the limit. It's just a shame the other 5% are complete lunatics driving 15yr old Impreza WRXs!

I think I must be turning kiwi!
When you read a post like that it is so refreshing to remeber what you forgot about and left behind many years previous.

Think we all can agree those that have made it south of the Bombays that driving changes depending on where you live in NZ? Guess you have to live in various places in New Zealand before judgeing that statement.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 6:18 pm
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

I'd never, ever say that driving in NZ is relaxing and enjoyable. It requires constant attention to the roads which, as I said, are narrow and not built for the volume of traffic on them. Look at last weekend's accident figures -about six deaths on the road. The figures here must be some of the highest for road deaths and driving accidents.

This is one of the things which surprised me when I came here. I'd heard how empty the roads were and how great it was to drive around. Sadly, it's just not true. Speed and small, country roads just don't go together.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 7:20 pm
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

Whitesand where do you live to think you can make that comment?

If as I assume you have never been outside of Auckland let alone been to the South Island then your statements of Road conditions is quite inaccurate.

There are just over 4 million people in New Zealand and only 1 million in the South Island the largest concentration of people is Auckland where nerly a third of the total population live. With a total country area the same as the British islaes population 60 million.

Your telling me you have never encountered a quite road in New Zealand? South Island has some lovely straight wide open quite roads and beautiful scenery as well.

I am sorry to say this until you have travelled to al 4 corners of New Zealand you dont know what you are talking about. Yes there is a bad accident record but think about it for a moment what are the odds of you being involved in an accident if there are no other cars around? Less than driving in London for example.

Sorry get out of Auckland and see the Real New Zealand, sorry rephrase that to get out of Auckland and see the rest of the Real New Zealand.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

Originally Posted by Pete n Shell View Post
Your telling me you have never encountered a quite road in New Zealand? South Island has some lovely straight wide open quite roads and beautiful scenery as well.
Several years ago during the height of the tourist season in January we drove from Queenstown to Christchurch. The section between Cromwell and Fairlie (quite a long distance) was notable for the singular lack of cars. I think we saw only three or four cars between Cromwell and Omarama.
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 7:45 pm
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

It seems to be a common complaint about bad drivers in NZ and it worried me too before we came, but to be honest I love driving here compared to uk. Yes agreed, they don't always handle roundabouts well or junctions and I've got use to the turning right thing now but what has amazed me most is that there is no road rage - at least I've not witnessed any where I live or when I've been driving around Christchurch. People make mistakes and wave at each other but by way of apology not out of aggression. I occasionally get tailgated but it doesn't bother me, I stick to the speed limit anyway. I love the wide open roads, the passing lanes for slower traffic and the way everything is set out in blocks. Its so easy to find your way round, and if you do get lost, its easy to get back by just going round the block!
I did however have one mishap when we were first here and picking my OH up from work. I didn't realise the road he works on was one way so following the map with help from my 11 yr old we got to the correct junction and at the green light turned right - and then discovered I was going the wrong way up three oncoming lanes! Fortunately no traffic, so I pulled over quickly, jumped across to the passenger's seat so that passers by wouldn't know it was me that made the mistake!
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Old Nov 5th 2007, 8:11 pm
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Default Re: HELP are New Zealand roads like this all the time ?

Pete n Shell, I stand by everything I've said. The roads are too narrow and windy for the volume of traffic. It's dangerous having small windy roads with numerous bends and people flying round those bends. Haven't you seen the adverts on TV warning about this?

And, yes I have been around NZ - that's why I'm living in Auckland, as I prefer it. Have lived in many places and travelled the roads from Invercargill to Kaitaia. Yes, some roads (especially in the South Island) are quiet due to small population, but generally people drive far too fast on those country roads. The accident figures speak for themselves!

Because folks live in Auckland, it doesn't necessarily follow that they know nothing about the rest of NZ.
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