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Top Stop Spots Create Great Road Trip Traditions

19 December 2009

Top Stop Spots Create Great Road Trip Traditions

Most families have their Christmas and holiday traditions, and often those traditions are part of the annual road trip – it could be buying an ice-cream at the same dairy every year, or always stopping at a particular picnic spot.

With driver fatigue thought to contribute to 13% of all fatal road crashes, and the numbers highest during the holiday season, ACC is encouraging drivers to beat fatigue this summer by stopping off along the way – and in doing so they could create a new family tradition.

``Avoiding fatigue while driving comes down to being well-rested before getting behind the wheel and leaving yourself plenty of time to stop along the way – at least every two hours,’’ said ACC’s manager of injury prevention programmes, Ray Campbell.

``When you’re travelling with children you’re usually compelled to do this anyway, so it’s good to keep in mind all the fantastic places that are great for both parents and children. Many families already have their favourite places to stop where they can have a picnic or play in a great playground. However, even if you’re travelling with a group that doesn’t include kids, before you set off sort out some top stop spots where you can enjoy a relaxing break.’’

As well as all the great cafes around the country, there are lots of free stop spots around the South Island. For example:

Pelorus Bridge – About half way between the Picton Ferry and Nelson, cool off in the fantastic water hole beneath the bridge. There’s also a beautiful picnic area for your lunch and plenty of short bush walks to do.
Punakaiki – The pancake rocks are an intriguing place to stop on the West Coast.
Kaikoura – And on the east coast, take a stroll on Kaikoura’s black sands – you might even see a whale!
Arthur’s Pass – Experience some altitude and the antics of the local kea – but beware of their thieving talents and don’t be tempted to feed them!
St Bathans – Take the scenic route through Central Otago and stop at St Bathan’s stunning Blue Lake, then take a stroll down its historic main street.
Kingston – Experience the grandeur of Lake Wakatipu without the hordes and brave the chill of the lake water.
The hydro lakes – The Mackenzie Country’s hydro lakes have convenient look out points from which to appreciate the spectacular view. Also, spend a moment of reflection in the Church of the Good Shepherd at Tekapo.

``Of course, the other usual driving tips apply too. Stay within the speed limit, or drive even slower if the road, traffic or weather conditions are bad, always wear your seatbelt, and never drink and drive. Always driving safely is the best road trip tradition of all,’’ Mr Campbell said.


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