Intrepid TOC members have expressed a pleasing level of interest in the recently proposed tour of New Zealand. Now it’s time to set out some detail; to coax more of you into joining us for a unique opportunity to explore a distant and beautiful, but not so foreign land, and to exercise your Talbot under conditions and in a manner befitting its heritage.
So, here’s the plan!
This is a tour that will cover the country from the ‘Winterless North’ to the mountains and tussock country of the south, more or less as depicted on the map herewith. We say ‘more or less’ in that we may tweak this a bit as ideas develop. Also, we will be offering various route options and excursions between some destinations, enabling you, the participant, to tailor your journey depending on how relaxed or challenging you want it to be.
The majority of our motoring will be on the way less travelled; quieter secondary roads, avoiding the main highways as much as possible, winding our way through areas of interest chosen more by dint of local experience than tourist office hype.
There is a lot of country to be seen. Driving top to bottom, New Zealand is over 2,200 km (1,360 miles) long, roughly the distance from London to Seville. Thus, the tour will cover about 2,200 miles. Some days will be longer than others but our destinations are arranged such that we’ll:
¨ average about 140 miles per day, leaving ample time for scenic stops and excursions en route,
¨ stay two nights at many of our destinations to ease the ‘living out of a suitcase’ syndrome, and
¨ have several ‘motoring free’ days during the course of our travels, on which you can do what you like, with no driving other than that you may choose to do yourself.
It may vary by a day or two either way as plans crystallise, but, as things stand the tour will commence in Auckland on Friday, 8 February 2019 and end in Christchurch on Saturday, 2nd March 2019.
This is an opportunity to motor your Talbot as its designer intended. With an area over 10% greater than the U.K., 238,000 km of roads and only 4.7 million people, New Zealand offers uncluttered motoring. You rapidly clear city bustle for the freedom of the country by-ways and mile upon mile of these by-ways are quintessential Talbot touring territory - winding and hilly, long undulating sections, sometimes challenging, they offer the freedom and conditions to campaign your Talbot as spiritedly or as sedately as you choose.
Scenery. Few countries offer the variation in scenery that New Zealand does. On the same journey, within the hour, you may be reminded of France, then of the rolling dales of England, then you may plunge into primordial forest. The sparkling azure of the ocean, the blue haze of the mountains, the golden hues of Central Otago, the plains of Canterbury, the North Island’s volcanic centre, gorges and mountain passes, ancient kauri bush in the north, the beech forests of the West Coast – we’ll cover them all.
Road rules. We drive on the ‘right’ side of the road. Which is to say the left-hand side. Easy!
Fine wine. World class whites and reds. The occasional stop at wayside wineries is quite likely.
Great coffee. From city centre to country hamlet, you are never far from a decent flat white, latte, long or short black, cappuccino.
We could go on… and will do so in future announcements.
Most importantly, though, we will be here on the ground to assist, to advise and direct as needs be and we will be posting more details on service providers, possible vehicle collection, storage/garage facilities, etc. over the coming months. Should the untoward happen en route, we are planning on having a back-up vehicle accompanying us, carrying tools and repair equipment. New Zealand is well endowed, both north and south, with old car repair and restoration specialists should something more than roadside assistance be required.
Accommodation en route will be in either hotels or motels (depending on location) of good standard and our objective is to arrange this such that we are all housed in the same premises (bearing in mind the tour will be taking place over the height of N.Z.’s summer tourist season).
So, come and join us. Why not? Never let an opportunity go by – particularly not this one.
If you have not already responded to the message sent out earlier by David Booth, then please register your interest by replying to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll take it from there and you can expect to hear more from us over the coming months.