If you’re visiting New Zealand a rental car is one of the best ways to get around. New Zealand is a small country but has the astounding geographic diversity of a major continent squeezed into its small size. For example, within 3- 4 hours drive of Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, are sub-tropical beaches, volcanic mountains with ski fields, boiling mud pools, ancient forests, unspoiled trout fishing rivers and world class golf courses.
Having a rental car gives you the freedom and flexibility to go where you want and when you want.
For most overseas visitors driving in New Zealand is a breeze because, compared to what they are used to, there is surprisingly little traffic on the roads – especially in the South Island. Whilst New Zealand is about the size of UK its population is only 4 million – UK by comparison has over 60 million.
Another difference is the limited number of motorways and freeways. Roads are generally only 2-laned and frequently windy due to the ever changing landscape. In New Zealand we drive on the left, as in the UK. If you’re from America or another country that drives on the right then you might feel apprehensive about having to drive on the “wrong side of the road”. Don’t be – it’s straight-forward and tens of thousands of foreign visitors happily do it every year.
New Zealanders typically show a little less consideration to other drivers than is seen in UK, Australian, and the US where more cars on the road force people to be more considerate. Having said that, don’t be put off – driving in New Zealand is nothing like the harrowing experience of driving in Italy or parts of Asia!