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Auckland 2

Meticulous planning was required after my difficulties getting into Auckland almost a week ago.

The four hours required to get from Cambridge to Ponsonby for my meet-up made me nervous.

It was a Friday, so a mid-afternoon departure wouldn’t have been good. I really had to get moving.

The particular Cambridge motel from my northwards journey was unavailable, so that suggested Whakatane seemed a good stopping point for the night.

Intent on finally visiting Newmarket, a 9 30 am arrival would get around the commuter traffic, so a two-hour 30-minute travel time suggested a 7 am departure. With no coffee-making facilities in my accommodation, that was achievable. No coffee shops or petrol stations were spotted, so that encouraged movement.

Unsurprisingly, there was also a major 60 km diversion.

Eventually, I spotted a decent-looking coffee shop in Mangawhai Heads, so that aspect of my day was resolved.

The traffic moved seamlessly into Auckland, and I peeled off at Newmarket to do what turned out to be window shopping.


My directions back to the car were: turn left at the Ferrari dealership, go past BMW on the other side of the road from Mercedes, and then duck up a sidestreet past Rolls-Royce.

No exorbitant parking fee this time around.

A cheapish petrol fill-up, some sushi takeaway, then back on the motorway south.

This time there were no diversions, and minimal delay with merging issues.

A clean exit.


Still drizzling.

The real slowdown came with getting through Tauranga albeit without car engine overheating issues, so that was a plus.

Ten hours after leaving Whangarei, I was parked outside my accommodation in Whakatane.

So, lots of driving.

So what.

Well, it just makes me realise how fortunate I am to live in Nelson, where I can go for ten days before hopping in my car.

Walking is good.

author | GJ Coop | posted | 01 April 2024
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