Driving In New Zealand
Some helpful resources to ensure you stay safe while driving in New Zealand
While driving around New Zealand is a great way to get around, there are a few things that are different to the rest of the world when it comes to driving.
Check out the following video before you head off on your adventure, so you are fully aware of the New Zealand road rules and what is different. The video is available in English, French, German, and Chinese (end of page).
Driving In New Zealand
1) Keep left
2) Give way at intersections
In general, if you’re turning, give ways to all vehicles going straight
3) No left turn at a red light
4) The driver must not use a hand-held mobile phone or operate the GPS while driving
5) Travel times
NZ has some hilly, tight, and winding roads, therefore distances can be deceptive. Plan your journey, take your time, and do not rush.
Do not drive when tired. Take breaks and enjoy the journey.
6) Sharing the road with cyclists
Cyclists have the same rights as drivers. Slow down and pass safely and carefully.
7) Alcohol and drugs
Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
8) Driving speeds
The open road speed limit is 100 km/hr. Generally, the road speed limit in urban areas is 50 km/hr. Sometimes poor conditions or winding roads will require you to go slower.
9) All passengers must wear seatbelts at all times
10) Driver licensing requirements
A current and valid driver licence and an English translation, if applicable, must be held at all times when
you are driving
Do not overtake or cross a solid yellow line on your side
12) One-lane bridges
Follow the arrows on the signs. They indicate who has right of way
13) Winter driving poses wet or icy conditions. Slow down and avoid breaking suddenly. Chains may be required in icy or snowy conditions.
14) Be cautious of farm animals on rural roads. Slow down, do not sound your horn and let the animals pass.
15) On unsealed (gravel) roads slow down and corner carefully. Be cautious of dust limiting visibility
16) Rail Crossings
Slow down when approaching, follow the signs/lights, and cross only when indicated/safe to do so.
Check out the following video before you head off on your adventure, so you are fully aware of the New Zealand road rules and what is different. The video is available in English, French, German, and Chinese.