Going on a campervan trip is super exciting, but first, you have to be familiar with driving on New Zealand roads.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when driving in NZ:
NZ has plenty of roads
We have around 100,000 kilometers of roads in fact. Here you’ll find state highway networks or motorways, local roads, toll roads and of course, the quintessential off-the-beaten-path dirt road.
Asphalt motorways are common in our larger cities. Outside our urban areas though, you’ll find that the roads are smaller and are mostly made from chipseal or even unsealed gravel.
New Zealand’s terrain is pretty diverse and hilly, so expect a lot of narrow roads with steep ascents and switchbacks. Exercise caution when driving in these types of roads, especially if it’s your first time visiting our beautiful country. For a worry-free campervan getaway, don’t forget to take a look at our comprehensive auto insurance plans, too.
Image Credit: https://www.newzealandnz.co.nz/
Play by the rules
Familiarise yourself with New Zealand’s traffic regulations and road signs. Some of them may be different from your country, so read up on the New Zealand Road Code before your trip.
To make sure that you’ll have a fun and safe time, we will also provide you with a list of useful tips about driving in NZ and will want you to take an online NZ driving test before your arrival. Don’t worry, we also include a handbook on our country’s driving rules in every campervan rental, so you can always have a guide while on your trip.
Image Credit: https://www.nzta.govt.nz
Are you confident with your campervan driving skills?
Driving competency is a must if you want to go on a campervan trip around New Zealand. If you’re not that confident about your driving skills, this Driver Assessment Form should help you check your driving competency and preparedness level.
Drive on the left side of the road
This is perhaps one of the biggest adjustments foreign tourists have to make when driving in NZ. Driving on the left side is pretty challenging to some, especially when pulling over or switching lanes. Make sure you’re familiar with road signs and know how to give way at intersections and roundabouts. It takes a bit of getting used to, but it’s not impossible, either.
Image Credit: https://top10.co.nz
Know the road conditions before heading out
Adventure is mostly found off the beaten path. Unfortunately, these paths can get pretty tricky in bad weather. Check the road conditions before heading out, especially during winter.
Image Credit: Gisborne District Council
How long are you travelling for?
Driving for hours can take its toll on you, so calculate your driving time and distance by planning your itinerary carefully. Make sure to plot out rest stops in between long drives, too. If you need to take a break from sitting behind the wheel, don’t worry, we don’t charge for extra drivers, so you can always switch with your companions if you’re feeling tired.
Driving on New Zealand’s roads is a fun, albeit sometimes challenging, experience. Follow these tips to have a good time on your campervan holiday!