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Driving in New Zealand

Driving in New Zealand is easy with tourist routes and roads well sign posted. New Zealand’s major roads are sealed dual carriageways with motorway/expressway or highway style roads in the major cities, Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin with unsealed roads to remote areas of NZ.

New Zealand road signposting follows standard international symbols and all distances are in kilometres (km). The Speed limits are 100kmph on the open road with 50kmph in built up areas. All other changes of area speed limits are well sign posted.

Seatbelts must be worn at all times in both the front and back seats.

New Zealand requires all drivers to give way (or yield) to all traffic crossing or approaching from the right.

Moving home New Zealand style


There are many great small towns to see if you are driving around New Zealand by rental car or rental motorhome.

Motorhomes are seen as one of the best ways to see New Zealand with many campgrounds and places to stop to stay the night. The self-drive holiday around New Zealand can be very relaxing with great driving conditions and easily followed signs.

International Driving Licences and Permits

You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have either a current driver's licence from your home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP).

Recent law changes mean all drivers, including visitors from other countries, must carry their licence or permit at all times when driving. You will only be able to drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country.

Make sure your driver's licence is current. If your licence is not in English, you should bring an English translation with you, or obtain an IDP. Contact your local automobile club for further details about obtaining a translation or an IDP.

Reviews / Comments for Driving

Rating Averages


Watch out for the speed cameras everywhere. Your credit card takes a hit if you get nailed.

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Beware of the dangers of black ice, which is mainly an issue in winter but it's still important to know about driving in icy conditions if you don't already come from an icy place. This is ice the blends into the road usually in shady places where the sun has not thawed out the ice.
New Zealand roundabouts, you must give way to the right, and to who ever is already on the roundabout. this means that similarly to when you're a pedestrian crossing the road, you must look to your right before driving through a round about. if there are no cars on your right or if the car on your right is indicating a left turn, you can enter the roundabout. otherwise, give way. the driver to your left will give way to you in the same way.

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NZ roads are fairly windy so won't be doing 100kph on the open road all the way, In a camper you may be even down to 30kph around the hilly bits. Take this into account when planning your trip.

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