Ah winter! New Zealand has some beautiful spots for a winter trip. Driving through the scenic roads is just as beautiful as getting to the ski slopes. However, stunning as it is, winter can pose some dangers to road warriors:
Here are some tips for navigating the icy roads of New Zealand:
- Know before you go – Keep yourself updated on the latest weather and road conditions of your destination. Metservice is a reliable source for monitoring conditions prior to your arrival. Map your route, with safety as your top priority. Upon getting there, it is best to visit the iSite in the area for information on snowfall, rainfall or hail that might affect your drive.
- Keep your speed and distance in check – Drive slower than you normally would, and with that you need to allow extra time for your travel. When roads are slippery it takes more time to stop, so be mindful of your distance and double the two second rule.
- Stay sharp on the road – Keep an eye out for ice and snow. Frost is the biggest problem at daybreak. Watch out for ice that hasn’t thawed yet near high banks and in the shadow of tall trees. Plan to drive in the day versus at night, the dark multiplies visibility hazards.
- Rest up – Driving while tired makes for a slower response time behind the wheel. Plan to have breaks if you are driving long distances. If you can share the driving with your travel group, do so.
- Dress for the cold – Stay warm during your drive by wearing clothes suitable for winter. Keep extra jackets, scarves and gloves in the car so you’re ready for whatever comes.
- The right road manners can keep you safe– Drive with your headlights on; keep lights dipped in the fog, rain or snow; avoid sudden braking and direction change and; let your intentions be known at all times.
- Comply with road closures – For undrivable roads, there would be signs and barriers; make sure you always obey these. Choosing to ignore road closure voids your insurance.
- Keep an emergency kit on-hand – Make sure you have everything you need in case of an emergency. A working torch, spare batteries and a charged mobile phone. Keep the number of your roadside assistance provider handy. In case of an emergency, call 111.
- Bring snow chains – You might need these if you are going to a snowy destination. Make sure you know how to fit them.
One of the most important things you need to have for your winter drive in New Zealand is a roadworthy car. Snap Rentals offers affordable rental cars that are top quality.