DRIVE HOLIDAYS - NELSON NEW ZEALAND
Zealand Distance Calculator
a trip around New Zealand? The Distance Calculator
is a map of New Zealand on which you can 'click
and drag' from one town or city to another. You
can easily find driving distances within New Zealand.
Here For Distance Calculator
holidays are one of the most relaxing ways to enjoy New
Travelling between towns and cities allows you to thoroughly
explore NZ's scenic rural areas, and gives you the flexibility
to stop at small country cafes, wineries and other points
of interest, or simply pause to admire a view.New
Zealand's tourist routes are high standard and the main
roads are sealed. All roads, including those in rural lcations,
are signposted. Remember to drive on the left!
You can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months
if you have either a current driver's licence from your
home country or an International Driving Permit (IDP). After
12 months you are required to convert to a New Zealand licence.
This applies to each visit to New Zealand. In
New Zealand all drivers, including visitors from other countries,
must carry their licence or permit at all times when driving.
You will only be able to drive the same types of vehicles
you are licensed to drive in your home country.
Road Rules and Safety
Driving in New Zealand is not difficult, we have some tips
here to make it even easier so there are no surprises for
you. You can also visit the Land Transport NZ for more details
* Driving is always on the left-hand side of the road.
* Remember the 'give way to the right' rule. This includes
giving way to right-turning traffic if you are turning left
at an intersection.
* The maximum speed on any open road is 100km/h. The maximum
speed in urban areas is 50km/h. Adjust your speed as conditions
* Don't underestimate driving times. Although distances
may seem short, New Zealand roads often include hilly, narrow
or winding terrain, which slow down your journey. If you're
used to driving in the city, take care when driving on the
open country roads, and watch out for single-lane bridges.
* You must always wear a safety belt, both in the front
and back seats - it's the law.
* Do not drink and drive in New Zealand - drinking and driving
laws are strictly enforced.
* Most open roads are single lane each way, except for motorways
coming into larger cities (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch).
* In winter some roads may be treacherous due to ice or
snow, particularly around mountain passes. Look out for
signs indicating slippery surfaces in winter and drive slowly
- do not brake suddenly on ice. In some cases chains may
be required. Make sure you're familiar with how to fit them.
Fuel in NZ
The majority of New Zealand cars run on petrol, while most
four-wheel drive vehicles and campervans use diesel. Petrol
(gas) cost about two-thirds of the price in Europe. It's
dispensed by litre and available in regular unleaded and
premium unleaded. Diesel is cheaper than petrol and is easily
to be obtained. You can get fuel from service stations where
you can also find small shops with basic grocery and magazines
Driving to the Conditions
Many New Zealand roads are narrow, winding or hilly which
reduces your ability to see what is coming up ahead. Some
are unsealed and dusty, particularly in rural areas, where
you may see farm animals being moved along rural roads.The
weather in winter can make the roads slippery and icy and
can also make it difficult to see oncoming traffic. In New
Zealand it is not uncommon for the weather to be unpredictable,
even in summer. Adjust your driving to the conditions you
are experiencing, including reducing your speed - it is
much better to slow down than take risks with speed.
Follow other vehicles at a safe distance. A useful guide
is the 'three-second rule':
* Watch the vehicle in front of you pass something like
a sign, a tree or a power pole
* See if you can count 'one thousand and one, one thousand
and two before you pass the same object. If you cannot,
Be careful at roundabouts - in New Zealand they may be different
from roundabouts in your home country. At a New Zealand
roundabout, you must: * before you reach the roundabout,
look for signs and road markings (such as arrows) that guide
you to the correct lane
* before entering a roundabout, signal:
left - if you intend to leave the roundabout by the first
right - if you intend to leave the roundabout more than
half way round
* let all vehicles that are crossing your path from your
right go first; only join the roundabout when the way is
clear for you
* if you're going straight ahead, don't signal on entry
- signal as you pass the exit before the one you intend
* at multi-lane roundabouts, you need to approach and enter
the roundabout in the correct lane for where you intend
Signs Along Roads
Most of the signs you will see on New Zealand roads are
international symbolic signs. New Zealand's signs are generally
made of reflective material, making them easier to read
at night.Regulatory signs - those that must be obeyed by
law - These signs have a Red border or background. Red on
a road sign indicates there is a road rule that will be
broken (and fine) if the sign is disobeyed.
* STOP signs require a vehicle be stopped at an intersection
and not proceed until the way is clear. Stopping is mandatory,
no matter what time of day or the traffic conditions
. * GIVE WAY signs require a vehicle to give way or yield
right of way to other vehicles (except those controlled
by a Stop sign.) Stopping is not mandatory, but wise, as
these signs are often erected at busy intersections where
vision is obstructed.
At intersections that do not have GIVE WAY or STOP signs
or traffic lights, if you're turning, give way to all vehicles
that are not turning and in all other situations, give way
to vehicles crossing or coming from your right.
Warning signs - which should be obeyed for safety reasons
- These signs have Black borders and symbols with a yellow
(permanent) or orange (temporary) background.
Information signs - which give information - These normally
have White borders and symbols or text with either a blue,
green or brown background. This includes many parking signs,
and fines may be imposed by the local council - rather than
Police - if parking limits are exceeded.
Rectangular blue signs with a white border that read Pxx
(where xx is a number) indicate the maximum amount of time
that a vehicle may remain parked in that area
Parking is available in downtown areas, in metered parks,
parking buildings and shopping mall car park. Councils administer
parking, and wardens issue fines to vehicles that parked
illegally or that have expired meters.Most cities have clearway
zones and during certain times vehicles parked in these
areas my be towed away. If this occurs, call the local traffic
authority or police to find out where your car has been
impounded. Retrieving the car involves paying an on-the-spot
Online touring guide to New Zealand. The AA provides
extensive information on their web site for New
Zealand travel information.