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Published: July 29th 2015
The west coast of New Zealand is deceivingly long. The coastal views rival any in the world, but the land is barren and the towns are few and far between.
It's perfect for campervan traveling but I've heard that hitchhiking there is difficult because there are so few cars. So instead, we opted to take a 12-hour long Intercity bus from Nelson, stop for two nights at Franz Josef, and continue on another bus 7 hours to Wanaka the next day.
This is far longer than it needs to take. 40-minute stops at cafes, "comfort stops" every hour, and incessant, inane descriptions from the driver make it harder than it needs to be. The buses are comfortable and in the winter only half full. I had plenty of podcasts to listen to, but they were often interrupted by the droning on loudspeakers by various Grandpa Simpson drivers.
If I could do it over, I would rent a car for this leg of the trip. Driving on the left wouldn't be bad when there are hardly any intersections, towns, or other cars.
A few stops were welcome, since there are some pretty impressive views along the coast, as
shown in the photos.
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