Ideal for thrill seekers and nature lovers, New Zealand offers a wonderfully diverse natural landscape that has to be seen to be believed. The mountains, lakes and glaciers that dominate the country act as both brilliant destinations and stunning backdrops to some of the major towns and cities. Hot springs and volcanoes are dotted throughout, with a range of dormant and active hotspots for visitors to explore. For those who want to do a little more than look at the environment, a huge range of extreme sports are on offering, including bungee jumping, canyoning, kite-surfing and ice-climbing, with much more spread out around the country.
Driving in New Zealand
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
It is against the law to stop or park on the right hand side of the road, with the exception of an emergency situation.
At an X intersection, traffic turning left has right of way; whereas at a T intersection, traffic turning right from the top of the T has right of way.
Stopping on the side of the motorway for any reason other than an emergency is illegal and is likely to result in a fine.
Driving culture in New Zealand
What are the roads like in New Zealand?
Roads are generally in good condition, though only those on the motorway meet International Driving Standards. Most roads are narrow and feature no road markings, which can lead to some confusion for those visiting internationally.
What are the drivers in New Zealand like?
Drivers native to New Zealand are generally considerate and patient, though may become impatient should a tourist be driving slower than the speed of the road. As there is usually no space to overtake, move to the side of the road when convenient and safe to do so, and allow drivers to pass to drive at the speed of the road.
What are the best times to drive?
While the major cities like Auckland experience rush hour traffic, even this is lighter than visitors will be used to in their native country. Roads are generally free moving throughout all times of the day.
What are the driving laws?
The driver and all passengers must wear a seatbelt at all times, while those aged over 16 are responsible for the wearing of their own seatbelt. When driving either behind or across the road from a school bus, all drivers must lower their speed to 12mph. The alcohol limit for drivers under the age of 20 reduces to 0.0%.