Spectacular Coastal Highway
Hicks Bay Travel Blog› entry 19 of 31 › view all entries
March 1st, 2002 – by: goezi
I've taken it a few times over the past few years, originally on my motor cycle as a trip with my girlfriend, but more recently this area is part of my area of responsibility so now I get to travel the State Highway 35 portion in the company car.
For work I follow SH35 East out of Opotiki and up the Hicks Bay.
It's not so great on four wheels as it is on two because two wheels on a winding road just can't be beat! But the road is well off the beaten track and as much as I like to say it's a lovely drive there are hazards along the road at every turn.
Wandering stock is the most frightening as horses, goats, cows and sheep seem to have easy run of the highway and at night they can do some serious damage to vehicles and occupants.
The other difficulty is the road surface. Not much traffic travels this far from the center of the country (as you can guess by SH35 rather than some lower number) and the million odd taxpayers in NZ struggle to pay for the whole roading network and the repairs it needs. Potholes are often no longer a problem simply because the rest of the road has slipped down the cliff.
The coastal road winds tightly around the edge of the country and any misdirection could see your feet get wet.
When you've traveled as East as you can you'll find yourself at Hicks Bay and here the road starts around to the right as it heads South.
Hicks Bay is a lonely spot but there are a few houses still warmed by families who haven't given up on the remoteness of the place. It's the largest of the settlements in the area and the best place I've found to set out and explore the area for the day, before you return to the Hicks Bay Motor Lodge for the night.
The area has a number of Maori sites of interest, bush walks to enjoy and beaches to soak up the sun.
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