Driving in New Zealand
New Zealand is a great place for driving, offering well signposted and largely uncrowded roads surrounded by breath-taking scenery. As such, touring New Zealand by car or campervan is a wonderful experience. Remember though that if you’re visiting New Zealand from overseas you’re likely to find our roads and conditions are somewhat different from what you have experienced in your own country.
New Zealand’s main roads are typically wide, open and very well maintained. When traveling to some of the more secluded parts of New Zealand you might encounter some gravel or unpaved roads. It’s wise to reduce your speed significantly on these roads, plus you should drive in established tracks if possible, while always remembering to KEEP LEFT. In rural areas you should also be prepared that you may come across livestock (such as cattle or sheep) on or near the road. In the unlikely event that you do, simply slow down and pull over to the side of the road and wait until they have passed.
Winter driving in New Zealand
During the winter months some roads in the South and central North Island may be temporarily closed due to snow and ice. Although alternative routes are usually available, it pays to check before you travel using AA Traffic Roadwatch.
You certainly shouldn’t be put off driving in New Zealand during the winter months – simply use common sense and adjust your driving to the conditions by reducing your speed and increasing your following distance when weather conditions are poor.
Driving licence requirements
A current driving licence and/or international licence are acceptable for New Zealand. Please note that the minimum age for hiring a motor vehicle is generally 21 years of age.
General information about driving in NZ
The points above are intended to provide a general overview only. We strongly recommend you refer to the official New Zealand Road Code so you can familiarise yourself with traffic laws for New Zealand.
The New Zealand Transport Agency website also contains some very useful information to help you adjust to driving in New Zealand.
Tips for driving motorhomes and campervans
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