Driving Roads

New Zealand Is A Gearhead’s Dream Country

A road trip here should be on every car guy's (and gal's) bucket list.

If you’ve ever dreamed of taking a Middle Earth road trip, driving from The Shire to Isengard in a Porsche 918 Spyder (who hasn’t?), there’s only one place on the planet you can do it. Lord of the Rings (and King Kong) were both shot in New Zealand, whose sharp mountain peaks and unspoiled landscape make for the perfect backdrop when slicing through some of the greatest driving roads in the world. Despite being one of the last countries to be settled by humans, today New Zealand boasts one of the best standards of living on Earth.

It also boasts the highest supercar ownership by population in the world. Make no mistake about it, New Zealand is a gearhead’s nirvana. Manuals remain in high demand across the board. Japanese and European brands dominate the market, with the few American imports limited to top-end models like the Ford F-150 Raptor, Corvette Stingray and Dodge Hellcats. The majority of the country’s 4.5 million population are of European descent, and when it comes to high-end supercars this is where their loyalties lie. At least three guys that we know of have the Holy Trinity of hypercars, and McLarens in general are a firm favorite with supercar owners; Bruce McLaren was a kiwi after all.

To get a better idea of what to expect of New Zealand tarmac, the Crown Range is a legendary stretch of former state highway, with 47 corners and 1076 meters of elevation. The 10.4-km long road is one of the most demanding and technical in the country, and here you can watch Mad Mike Whiddett conquer the Crown in a 750-hp Mazda RX7.

There are car clubs, supercar rental firms and plenty of enthusiast car meets to occupy car lovers when visiting the country. Also, the sheer, untouched beauty of New Zealand makes it a must-see destination for anyone with a sense of adventure and a love of the great outdoors.

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