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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 14, Issue 3 (June 1, 1939)

A Scenic Windscreen

A Scenic Windscreen.

Touring with the other fellow at the steering wheel was a great success. The scenery on the Coast is not only to left and right, but thousands of feet up to the main range of the snowfields of the Southern Alps, so the Department's coaches are provided with a scenic windscreen immediately above the normal one, enabling all passengers to enjoy beauties above the forest line from all the seats in the vehicle.

(Photo., Neville R. Lewers). The Punakaiki paneake rocks and blowholes. An interesting sight on the West Coast.

(Photo., Neville R. Lewers).
The Punakaiki paneake rocks and blowholes. An interesting sight on the West Coast.

According to the road guide it is sixteen miles from the Franz Josef Glacier to Weheka, the centre for viewing the Fox Glacier, but sixteen in figures fails miserably to convey what has to be covered in that distance. There are two divides, with the inevitable hundreds of bends, all perfect fern grottoes. Even the bare cuttings have a rich red colouring which is apparently due to lichen. And the trip by service car, driven by someone knowing every inch of it, takes fifty minutes. This is the kind of thing which caused one to lean back luxuriously and reflect upon the advantages of letting the other fellow do the driving. The point was further driven home when, in a fireside chat with fellow tourists who had their own car, one of them remarked that he had once taken the tour as I had done, and was now doing the driving for his family. “And the roads,” he added, “seem three times more dangerous.”

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