You can obtain an International Drivers License from your home country if your current license is not already in English. You must carry your license with you whenever you are driving and while you’re at it, you must always wear your seat belt! In both countries, you must drive on the left hand side of the road and give way to left-turning traffic. A red light means stop and stop you must! To our American friends, no turning on the red, please. Wait until you see green. Drink driving is a huge no-no here and if you are caught over the limit, you will lose your license.
New Zealand and Australia have extensive road systems that cover the whole countries. The State Highways are very well maintained, numbered and signposted. Outside of the major cities, all our highways have one single going in each direction. On the main routes you will be provided with many passing lanes and it is advisable to wait for these when passing other vehicles. The maximum speed limit in cities and towns is generally 50 kilometres per hour and on highways it increases to 100 kilometres per hour. If you are caught speeding, the fines are considerable! Chances are you’re going to so caught up looking at the beautiful scenery that you’ll find a queue of vehicles behind you. Please always pull over to let them pass. They’ll give you a toot to show their appreciation.
If travelling around the South Island of New Zealand or the Tongariro region of the North Island in winter, it is advisable to carry chains in case it snows. Please always check that the roads are open before setting out, particularly if you are crossing the Southern Alps.
- Essential Info
Written by: David Kettle