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Tips for driving in New Zealand

While planning a trip to New Zealand, it is important to pre decide the places to see and things to do. New Zealand is a country with varied landscapes from beaches to mountains and the best way to explore the natural beauty of New Zealand is by driving around instead of relying on local public transport.


Renting a car may not be the cheapest option for traveling on your trip to New Zealand but it surely is one of the most convenient modes.


Why Driving Is The Best Way To Move About In New Zealand


  1. New Zealand is a country blessed with natural scenic beauty and a long coast line, so driving on roads and highways offers a chance for you to enjoy and explore scenic views which you might not be able to otherwise explore on other modes of transports
  2. Buses are the main form of public transport in New Zealand. Trains and trams only operate in a few cities, so driving is the quickest and easiest way to get around places in New Zealand.
  3. Car rental is easily available and you can customize packages depending on the distance you want to travel and the number of people you are traveling with.


Here are some tips and guidelines you should keep in mind before hiring a car in New Zealand


International Driving License


To be able to drive or even rent a car in New Zealand, you need to have an international driving license. You can easily get one issued from your local RTO before your trip. Also make sure you have other related papers in place like your New Zealand visa and Travel Insurance.


Keep Left


Similar to India, New Zealand also follows left hand drive with vehicles having right hand steering. So ensure you drive on the left side of the road. Highways in New Zealand are one-lane, they are only wide enough for one car to fit at a time, so it is essential you stick to the left side and don’t obstruct traffic coming from the other side.






Understand the terrains


New Zealand has a diverse terrain, some roads are narrow, hilly, with deep sharp corners or gravelled paths so it is important you understand the terrain before driving so you can easily manoeuvre the car for a smooth drive.



Keep Seat Belts Fastened 


New Zealand road transport rules say all passengers in the vehicle must wear seat belts at all times. This is unlike India where only the driver is expected to wear a seat belt. So do ensure everybody abides by this rule and buckles up before you start driving or you will be heavily fined.



Keep Speed limits in mind


The basic speed limit in New Zealand is 30km/h near roadworks and dangerous zones, 50km/h in cities and towns, and 100km/h on highways. Always keep this in mind while driving in New Zealand and ensure you do not over speed.



Rent a GPS


This is the most important tip- Rent a GPS or a navigation system before driving. A lot of roads in New Zealand (especially rural roads) are not marked so you need a GPS system to help you with directions or locations. Without one, you will find it extremely difficult to find roads or destinations.



Use these tips and drive safely in New Zealand. Ensure you opt for a New Zealand travel insurance before your trip to protect you and your family in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Also don’t forget to drive down and unwind at some beautiful beaches in New Zealand.