To drive in New Zealand you have to hold a current valid driver licence or driver permit which needs to be in English, or come with an approved translation. In New Zealand we drive on the left hand side of the road and seat belts must be worn at all times by everyone in the vehicle.
Our roads are well maintained and signposted, but the journey will often take longer than you would expect from looking at a map.
New Zealand roads can be hilly, narrow or winding, especially in the more scenic locations and we have very few sections of multi-lane highways. This means you should allow plenty of time for driving and photo stops and most of all enjoy the journey as much as the destination.
During winter more care is required as roads can become slippery due to rain and ice. As a general rule increase your following distance and drive slower than you would in dry conditions.
For more information on the road rules that may differ to your home country, please visit the following websites:
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) offers a free booklet that you can download in your preferred language, providing you with a resource that you can take with you and become familiar with before arriving in New Zealand. This could be perfect reading for your flight over... www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/driving-in-nz/
The Tourism Industry Association New Zealand have developed a site to help visitors to New Zealand safely enjoy their self-drive holiday. This site provides basic information about New Zealand road rules and etiquette, along with links to more details about everything that those unfamiliar with our roads need to know... http://www.drivesafe.org.nz
Put your knowledge to the test; visit our driving tests website. There you can take a free tourist Rode Code quiz in your preferred language, which will teach you the most important road signs, markings and rules... http://www.drivingtests.co.nz/roadcode/tourist/