Planning a journey around New Zealand? Here are a few things you’ll need to know before your New Zealand driving holiday begins.
Keep LEFT! We drive on the left-hand side of the road.
Always wear your seat belt. Everyone in your vehicle must wear a seatbelt, and children must be secured in an approved child seat. Your rental vehicle company can rent child seats to you if you didn’t bring your own.
Keep to the speed limit and always stop at STOP signs.
Always slow down to observe recommended speeds around bends.
Overtake other vehicles only when it’s safe to do so. Use passing lanes whenever possible, and never cross a solid yellow line on your side of the centre line.
Stay well-rested. Plan to only drive 1 - 2 hours at a time, and take regular breaks during your journey to stretch your legs.
Drive to the conditions. You’ll need to reduce your speed if it’s raining, icy or snowing, windy, or if you’re in a roadworks area. Ask your accommodation provider if in doubt.
Use this Driving Time and Distance Calculator or GPS to estimate driving times while planning your journey. Driving in New Zealand can often take longer than expected due to our winding roads.
Do not drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New Zealand and strictly enforced by police, with severe penalties for offenders.
It’s illegal to use a mobile phone while driving in New Zealand. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over at a rest area or in a safe place.