Great Barrier Island
Great Barrier Island is awonderful little place a couple of hours off the New Zealand coast. It has a population of 800 or so people and that swells to about 12,000 in the summer months. It's absolutely drop-dead georgeous. There is no power on the island so everyone has solar panels and generators. The main industry is tourist services. There are around five restuarants and a few stores service the restaurant.
We rented a car for the first time as we figured we would be able to drive on the "wrong" side of the road here because of the lack of traffic. It wasn't bad at all. The Island is lush and mountainous with hair-pin curves but at 30kph driving is not difficult. Here the roads are sealed and unsealed - paved or unpaved. We drove the length of the island at a slow place and enjoyed stopping for birds - not many - panaromic view stops and surf beaches. Medland's Beach is apparently one of the ten best surfing beaches in NZ.