New Zealand Road Information
Before travelling to New Zealand, review the following road safety information.
International Driving Licences and Permits
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)
Recent law changes mean all drivers, including overseas visitors, must carry their licence or permit when driving. You will only be able to drive the same types of vehicles you are licensed to drive in your home country. The common legal age to rent a car in New Zealand is 25 years.
Make sure your overseas driver's licence is current. If your licence is not in English, you should bring an English translation with you or obtain an International Driving Permit. Contact your local automobile club for further details about obtaining a translation or an IDP.
If you prefer to drive yourself, please note the following important points:
- In New Zealand, all motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road.
- All traffic turning right must give way to a vehicle coming from the opposite direction and turning left. This applies at cross roads, T-intersections and driveways where both vehicles are facing each other with no signs or signals, or the same signs or signals.
- When the traffic light is red, you must stop
- There is no left turn rule as in North America
- The speed limit on the open road is 100 kilometres per hour (approximately 60 miles per hour)
- In built up areas the speed limit is 50 kilometres per hour
- Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts at all times
Check out the New Zealand Land Transport Safety Authority Web site for details on the New Zealand Road Code, as well as cycle safety and other general motoring information.
Use the New Zealand Distance Calculator to view driving distances. The following chart gives you an approximate indication of distances between main centres:
|NORTH ISLAND||SOUTH ISLAND|
|Auckland to:||Christchurch to:|
|Napier to:||Nelson to:|
|Rotorua to:||Mount Cook to:|
|Waitomo to:||Picton to:|
|Wellington to:||Queenstown to:|