Drive Safe New Zealand
Planning a journey around New Zealand? Here are a few things you’ll need to know before your New Zealand driving holiday begins.
Welcome to New Zealand! We hope you’re looking forward to beginning your journey. Before you set off, be sure to stay a night in your arrival city to ensure you are well rested after your flight.
- 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.
- There are so many great places to visit on your New Zealand driving holiday! Give yourself plenty of time to see everything on your wish list. Check out our suggested New Zealand driving routes anditineraries for journey inspiration.
- Nervous about driving in a new country, in a different vehicle? Plan to stay a night or two in your arrival city to give yourself time to adjust to our road conditions and rules, and to get used to driving your new vehicle.
Here are some options for places you can stay near to your arrival city:
Think you’re ready to drive in New Zealand?
- Take a short New Zealand driving quiz now!
- Find more information on driving in New Zealand and on our road rules in the New Zealand Road Code.