Today we rented a car. It was our first time driving on the left side of the road, so we decided it would be a good idea to drive out of the Auckland city centre. Ha ha! It’d be great fun!
Well, not really, but it’s not as bad as you might imagine. It was weird at first to be on the “wrong” side of the road, but I think we only made one mistake each, and nothing serious (I pulled out of a parking lot from the right side instead of the left.) And it’s fantastic having a car here: the scenery is unparalleled. Both Japan and the US have wide, gray freeways that really look the same no matter where you are. Luckily, NZ hasn’t discovered that kind of road yet. Their highways are primarily two-lane affairs, winding and hilly, with beautiful vistas on each side of the road. The scenery from Auckland to Rotorua is typical of the North Island, I think; it’s like a thick, lush, green carpet covering the whole country.
While the roads are not exactly easy to drive on (due to the oft-sharp curves) they are far more interesting than any interstate I’ve ever been on. Let’s hope they never discover interstate highways.