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Togs Day Afternoon

There are many reasons to go to New Zealand. But the most compelling one I can think of today is that it’s winter here and it’s summer there. That’s right, while you’re chipping ice from your sidewalk some lucky bloke is leaving his bach and preparing for a beach-side picnic on the bonnet.

What I mean to suggest is that a midsummer day down there is a perfect opportunity to leave the house, go for a drive and find a nice place to have lunch by the coast. New Zealand has a lot of magnificent coastline, but some of my favourite scenery rings the delicious island of Waiheke, just an hour by ferry from Auckland. Once you reach the island, you’re going to want some wheels to go exploring.

And this is where the story turns temporarily sad. This morning we received an email notifying us that ‘TOGS’ (an open-sided 4-wheeled muckabout with more character than horsepower), usually available for hire for guests at the Boatshed, had had a wee accident. Seems some enthusiastic explorer forget to pull the hand brake and ol’ TOGS rolled down a hill and into a tree. Whoops. Thankfully, no people nor sheep were hurt, but TOGS is now in the shop and out of commission for the rest of the summer.

Here is where the story gets happy again. Quick-thinking Jonathan, the owner of the Boatshed, has snapped up a sweet l’il Suzuki 4×4 for guests wanting to ramble around the island. Disaster averted. Summer saved. So, put that chipper down, get on a plane, take a ferry, grab a map and hit the rolling open roads of Waiheke. Go for a walk in the epic outdoor sculpture park at Connells Bay, sip Syrah at Man O’ War Vineyards (man, that stuff is good), learn local history at Stony Batter—and don’t forget to pull that damn handbrake.

Charlie Scott is so car crazy, he gets daily email updates on all his favourite travel vehicles around the world. We hope TOGS gets fixed up soon; crying in the office is so awkward to listen to.

Disaster averted. Summer saved.

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