Driving in New Zealand

Before heading over to drive a campervan or motorhome in New Zealand, you should be aware of the road rules and etiquette when driving in New Zealand.

This is so that you end up driving safely and don’t risk getting any infringements or fines that might spoil your campervan holiday in New Zealand.

People drive on the left-hand side.

If you are used to driving on the right-hand side, you will need to practice before going onto the major roads. Make sure to do the correct signals and take extra caution when driving on the road.

Don’t underestimate travelling times.

Looking at a map of New Zealand, it is easy to think that you can get from one place to another in a short space of time. But you need to account for traffic, varying speed limits, road gradients, and more.

Give yourself ample time to get from one place to another. Otherwise, you will find that you will either have to cut-short some of your experiences or you will be in a rush to get to the next location, which could see you speeding in your vehicle.

Beware of steep roads.

This means you will need to learn how to control your speed whilst driving both whilst ascending and descending steep climbs. Learn how to control the different gears and the weight of the vehicle so that you are in control at all times.

The roads in New Zealand can be narrower.

This depends on where you come from, but it is best that you are prepared to drive on narrow roads, which means you may need to navigate the streets differently so that you don’t risk damaging the vehicle that you are driving.

Beware of the environmental conditions.

The terrain on the roads can be different, as well as being exposed to winds, fog, wet, and snow, icy surfaces that can cause you to lose control of the vehicle that you are driving.

Additionally, you can expect to encounter hilly roads and roads that have sharp turns or corners.

Wearing a seatbelt is compulsory.

Everyone that is in a moving vehicle is required to wear a seatbelt by law.

Be aware of railway crossings.

Not all railway crossings have flashing alarms. This means you need to pay attention to any oncoming trains before crossing with your vehicle.

It’s illegal to use your phone while you are driving.

Be aware of driving and camping rules when driving a campervan or motorhome.

Learn where you can legally park and dump water and trash legally to avoid getting any instant fines whilst travelling in New Zealand.

Check the fuel prices.

Fuel tends to be slightly more expensive in New Zealand than in other places in the world. Plan your fuel consumption and budget in advance for your trip.

Driving in New Zealand Resources

New Zealand Transport Agency