Being stuck in the hustle and bustle of Auckland, it's easy to forget that New Zealand really is an amazing country.
While the 16 hour hike down the country to D1NZ round 5 is a daunting one, it gives us the rare excuse to travel almost the length of our odd shaped country on road.
We started the drive nice and early Wednesday morning, knowing that we had a D1 practice day starting lunch time the next day at Ruapuna Raceway in Christchurch. We were cutting it tight, so getting on the road nice and early always helps. It was also a necessity, as we had the ferry booked that afternoon to take us between the north and south islands.
We met up with Troy and Ben from Team Jenkins Motorsport, and started the 8 hour drive to the bottom of the North Island to make the ferry.
NZ offered up some odd sights as we traveled through the center of the island, with a team of tanks training along the desert road.
Road tripping with mates really makes the whole experience. Adam decided to pick up an 1989 Land Rover 110 before the trip, and decided a 32 hour tow would be the perfect way to test it's strength.
But not before he had a chance to tinker with it. An larger aftermarket intercooler with piping, full size alloy radiator and oil cooler setup were all custom fabricated to suit to the 2.5L turbo diesel. Thanks to Fenix Radiators for supplying the core units and keeping us covered in the cooling department. We will try not to forget a photo of the engine bay, it's looking rather Silvia-like these days.
Overtaking lanes usually sparked a 4-way tow car sprint (the Land Rover definitely didn't win any).
We made it to the ferry without a hitch. Time to relax, eat cheap roast/fish & chips and enjoy the 3.5 hour journey between our two islands.
Ferry ride done, 2 sea sickness pills down and we were finished. We were about 12 hours into the journey at this point, time to find somewhere to sleep.
With no time to waste and a practice day starting at noon, we were up before sunrise and on the road. The north-east coast of the South Island is worth getting up early for, so no one was complaining.
Anyone that has visited the South Island will tell have Kaikoura as the first spot on their list. State Highway 1 follows the rocky coast for an hour or so, and provides one of the most breath taking drives your likely to experience anytime soon. Seals were rubbing their eyes after a good nights sleep, while whales were jumping in the distance. Again, worth getting up early for.
4 more hours of driving and we had made it, not even one Land Rover died on the way down. It was a good trip to say the least.
More from round 5 to come.