Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Exit New Zealand Cities - Part I

Cities present inherent problems for the hitchhiker and Succat avoids them whenever possible.

Inevitably though, we find ourselves caught up on occasion, whether by accident or design, and then wanting to leave.

In this, the first of a series, the writer offers some of his well-practiced methods on exiting each of the four major metropolitan centres in New Zealand.

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AUCKLAND:

This is the most difficult city in New Zealand to pass through or exit.

Having one of the largest land areas of any southern hemisphere city, and a public transport system that is unreliable, fragmented and confusing to use (in some way explaining their congested roads and motorways) – the best advice for any hitchhiker might well be to avoid her.

However, that would not be in the spirit of this piece, and, in any event, it’s not possible to bypass Auckland — situated on a narrow isthmus of the upper North Island, all roads, north and south, pass through it.

BYPASS CITY:

(a) Heading NORTH: stop at Huntly and wait for a vehicle travelling right through – at least to Orewa on State Highway 1.

(b) Heading SOUTH: stop at Orewa and wait for a vehicle travelling right through – at least to Pokeno on State Highway 1 or, alternatively, the turnoff onto State Highway 2, and head east towards the Coromandel / Bay of Plenty

EXITING CITY:

(a) NORTH: catch Stagecoach bus service from central city to Orewa. From Orewa, continue walking north, parallel to shoreline until last set of traffic lights and before open road of State Highway 1 commences. Note that broken-yellow-lines painted on road edge prohibit vehicles from stopping.

Here is an interactive online journey planner. Try using (From:) “Auckland Central Library” (To:) “Orewa Square” for schedules, travel time and fares:

(b) SOUTH: either...

(i) from central city to Pokeno, take Stagecoach bus service and use same interactive journey planner (above) for schedules, travel time & fares, -

OR -

(ii) from the Britomart Transport Centre in lower Queen St, take southern train line to Te Mahia – then access State Highway 1 from the Great South Rd on-ramp, -

OR -

(iii) use the Intercity Coach Line . . . more expensive but the least hassle by far: » North to Orewa» or, South to Pokeno


FROM AIRPORT: Check out the Airbus


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WELLINGTON:

Situated with her back to the sea on the North Island’s southern coast, there is only one direction to travel by land, northwards.

One does have a choice — either western side of the Tararuas (State Highway 1) or eastern side of the Tararauas (State Highway 2) a mountain range dividing this end of the island.

Hitchhiking out of Wellington is ... (um) ... possible ... (I’ve done it) ... but not recommended as there are few places for vehicles to stop at on ramps. Suggest taking public transport out of town.

NORTH-WEST: from central railway station, take suburban train line to Paraparaumu. Exit station and walk north along State Highway 1 (broken yellow road lines prohibit vehicles from stopping for approximately 1 km) and cross rail bridge, continue around curve until opposite a service station and marine dealers yard. Good hitching spot before open road commences.

» Link - Train Route

NORTH-EAST: Either . . .

(a) from the central railway station, take Hutt Valley suburban train line to Upper Hutt. Exit station and catch a suburban bus – either a 110, 111 or 112 – and ask driver to drop you off on State Highway 2 before their bus turn off. Buses depart from Hutt station

» Link - Train Route» Link - Bus Route (requires Flash Player)

Or . . .

(b) from the central railway station, take the Wairarapa Connection to Featherston and hitch from there on State Highway 2

» Link - Train Route. Note, this is the more expensive but easier option at time of writing – highway construction with large earth works and diversions north of Upper Hutt make it a messy route in hitchhiking terms. Suggest you check with the local authority for an update before setting out.


SOUTH: Yes, one may travel south – by boat to Picton. There is a choice of carriers

(a) Interislander - provides a free shuttle service to ferry terminal from platform 9, central railway station

(b) Bluebridge - ferry terminal opposite central railway station


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CHRISTCHURCH:

Situated on the South Island’s east coast, there are four main exits points – north or south on State Highway 1, west on State Highway 73 and east towards Banks Peninsular on State Highway 75.

NORTH: Take No 16 bus from central city Bus Exchange to Belfast – ask driver to let you off at final stop on State Highway 1. Continue walking north, good hitchhiking all the way until motorway starts, about 2 kms

» Link - Timetable & Map


SOUTH: Take No.5 bus from central city Bus Exchange to Hornby Mall. Walk to front of mall (adjacent a McDonald's Restaurant) and turn right onto State Highway 1. Continue walking south, good hitchhiking all the way until open road commences, about 2 kms

» Link - Timetable & Map


WEST: Take No.84 bus from central city Bus Exchange to Russley – ask driver to let you off in Russley Rd at the intersection with Yaldhurst Rd, State Highway 73 to West Coast. Good hitchhiking spot about 50 meters from intersection

» Link - Timetable & Map


EAST: Take No.7/77 bus from central city Bus Exchange to Halswell – ask driver to let you off at intersection with Halswell & Glovers Rd, State Highway 75 to Banks Peninsular. Good hitchhiking spot immediately after intersection and before open road begins.

» Link - Timetable & Map

» Link - METROINFO


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DUNEDIN:


Situated on the South Island east coast, there are two main exits points – north or south on State Highway 1.

NORTH: from the Octogon in central city, take bus to Pinehill from stand No.8 – ask driver to let you off at intersection of State Highway 1 and Pine Hill Road. Just a short walk to beginning of motorway; a well tagged light pole indicates the local hitchhiking spot which is quite small but works well

» Link - Timetable (requires Acrobat Reader)» Link - Map


SOUTH: from central city, walk south along Princess St; turn left at Boer War Memorial into Andersons Bay Road; walk alongside “The Oval” sports ground for approximately 1.5 kms and turn right onto the Caversham Bypass Motorway entrance, State Highway 1, and hitch from there. Drivers have about 150 meters to pick you up before their stopping restrictions commence.

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Published by Succat on Thursday, 4 May, 2006
"Exiting New Zealand Cities - Part II": main provincial cities and towns (under construction)