1. Drive on the left side of the road!
The #1 rule for driving in New Zealand.
2. Know the speed limits
Speed limit signs are on the side of the road, usually with a red ring around a number. Speed is measured in km/h in New Zealand. The national speed limit for open roads is 100km/h. Obviously, cater your driving to the conditions: don’t be a moron.
3. Be careful when overtaking
There are a lot of twists and turns in New Zealand’s roads, so only overtake when you can see clearly what’s on the road ahead.
4. Don’t talk on your cellphone while driving
Your attention should be on the road. Don’t be that guy.
5. Learn how NZ intersections work
Use roundabouts by driving clockwise. Keep an eye on traffic lights, using the correct lanes, and all that good stuff. If you end up missing a turn-off or being stuck in the wrong lane, make your way back there legally don’t do any dramatic u-turns.
6. Beware of gravel and unsealed roads
Getting off the beaten track can actually bring you to some horrifically beaten tracks. Some less maintained roads can be uneven so go steady.
7. Wear your seat belt
A bit of a no-brainer, but just in case. Even if you drive like a boss, someone could still crash into you.
8. Be aware of alcohol regulations.
It is illegal to drive with alcohol in your system if you are under 20 years old. Over 20 years old and it is 250 micrograms per litre of breath. It’s difficult to say how many drinks that is the equivalent to, as there are other contributing factors. All in all, don’t drink and drive!
9. Look out for animals on the road…
… toslow down for, not hit.
10. Know how to read a one-way sign on a bridge
Most of New Zealand’s bridges are single lane. The bigger arrow means that that side of the road gets priority.
11. Take extra care when driving in winter conditions
Snow and ice are slippery. Duh! If you have to drive to ski fields or over mountain passes during winter, hire or buy some snow chains.
12. Take your time
The New Zealand roads are windy so give yourself a longer travel time to get to your destination. For more tips on travel time and navigation, take a look at Travel By Car in New Zealand: The Ultimate Guide.