En Route to New Plymouth
Contrary to expectations you might have of simply driving east to west from Napier to New Plymouth, by far the quickest way is to drive south from Napier. Pass through Waipukurau and Dannevirke on State Highway 2, connecting with State Highway 3 at Woodville and traveling on to Palmerston North. Continue on State Highway 3 to Wanganui, and then up to New Plymouth. This 412km (255-mile) trip should take about 5 hours without stops. The roads are excellent, and you'll be driving through prime farmland for most of the journey.