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Thread: Observations about NZ drivers and roads

  1. #1
    moggy's Avatar
    moggy is offline God like figure
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    Default Observations about NZ drivers and roads

    firstly, NZ do not overtake you even when you are toddling along in a slow camper van unels
    1 you give them a written invitation
    2. pull off the road completely (two wheels left on the road is no good)
    3. the road is completely straight
    4. the road is completely empty (another car a mile off is just way too dangerous!)

    New Zealand roads have sign posts on them for everything
    every tiny stream is named and labled
    every bridge is numbered and labled
    driving up to the opara basin you will even see a signpost for "a large tree" the fact that no one in their right mind should stop in that location to admire said tree is beside the point.
    ever corner has a very conservative speed limit put on it, apart that is from those corners that you really cant take at more than 10mph and there is a 200 foot cliff to the side - those they neglect to put anything apart from an odd descrete marker indicating that the ground is actually sliding away at the side, so don't try and pull onto the verge

    The New Zeland idea of a crash barrier on an extremely dangerous bend is a small wooden kickboard painted white. I assume this due to their love of extreme sports - if you need a crash barrier, you are going to fast lol

    The term "motorway" at least in the south island is used in the most liberal sense of the word, a road being called a motorway does not guarantee you a dual carriage way for the full stretch. Nor even when dual carriage way, does it guarantee you a central reservation.

  2. #2
    jongerman is offline Junior Member
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    Default Roads, yes more on roads

    Hey, I'm planning on buying a motorcycle for transportation in NZ. Is this adequate for year-round travel? Are there many gravel roads? All paved? Very many crashes?

    Thanks,

    Jon

  3. #3
    moggy's Avatar
    moggy is offline God like figure
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    Default Observations about NZ drivers and roads

    from my experience on holiday (South island only) all the main roads are sealed and much smoother than the UK, even a lot of the unsealed roads were smoother than some of the UK sealed ones. We were pleasantly surprised.
    I suggest that you ask the guys on http://www.kiwibiker.co.nz/ about riding all year round.. But as the climate is a lot milder - apart from the very south of SI then I would say you probably can unless you want to cross the alps often in winter. Here in Yorkshire I ride all year apart from about one month when there is snow and ice.

    I am planning on taking my SV650SK3 out wityh me as a comuter bike and possibly depending on where we end up buying eventually an on/off road bike as I would love to explore some of the less travelled roads.

  4. #4
    Coxy is offline Member
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    Default Observations about NZ drivers and roads

    1 you give them a written invitation
    2. pull off the road completely (two wheels left on the road is no good)
    3. the road is completely straight
    4. the road is completely empty (another car a mile off is just way too dangerous!)
    That's weird, cos' from my experience they were nutters at overtaking, and in fact seemed to wait until blind corners or hills before bombing past. At passing lanes if you don't pull out quickly (i.e. slam your foot to the floor 5 seconds before the apssing lane) to overtake what's in front, then everyone behind you will barge past.

    And as for roundabouts.......
    Going left...no indication
    going straight on.....indicate right
    going right....no indication
    Actually that's rubbish, they'll indicate in any direction,
    and they'll do that from any lane.


    Other things:
    undertaking is allowed. Bit of a shock when you hit the "motorways" (4 lanes) in Auck or Welly, if you've been used to the single lane roads.

    The "give way to the right rule". Mentally scarring. Been back in the UK 6 years now and still have to think about it sometimes.

    I think NZ has one of the highest number of accidents per capita in the world.
    Coxy

    I stand corrected:
    http://www.ipenz.org.nz/ipenz/public...l/6toomath.PDF
    Estimating global road fatalities - Regional Analyses - Highly Motorised Countries

    although they do have twice as many deaths per vehicle than in the UK...

  5. #5
    selchie's Avatar
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    Default Observations about NZ drivers and roads

    My experience on the North Island was that people tended to drive like maniacs on windy narrow roads. It seemed that they tried to go the legal speed limit of 100 kph, even if it was only safe for 65. Coming out of Whanganui, I was nearly pulverized by a fuel tanker that came around a blind corner halfway in my lane. I probably would have been, if I drove like most everyone else. Driving was quite stressful there.

    On the South Island, however, drivers seemed to be much more relaxed. This may be due to the smaller population. And for some reason the roads seemed to be wider than in the North. But the narrow windies could still be stressful because of a speed demon or two.

    Personally, I wouldn't want to ride a motorcyle out in the country. But if you do, please sign up to be an organ donor!
    If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.
    - Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, mid-1800s

  6. #6
    netchicken is offline Senior Member
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    Default Observations about NZ drivers and roads

    Do it!!!

    Motorcycle riding here is awesome all year round!!

    I used to ride when I was younger, a kawasaki 650, used to go from hamilton to Auckland and by the time I hit the city was buzzing so much I wanted to turn around and do it again.

    Havn't rode in the south Island but I know it would be awesome, loooong straight roads, awesome scenery, empty roads, nice winding curves, it would be fantastic. (OK I am starting toget the bug again, just need to convince the wife)

    Motorcycling used to be really popular, but then jap import cars hit the country and it just died.

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