Driving in New Zealand

Please read through the following rules before you drive on New Zealand roads.

Safety Tips

  • In case of emergency, contact Police, Fire Brigade or Ambulance by calling 111.

  • Remember: it is easy to underestimate New Zealand driving times. Take plenty of breaks and give yourself additional travel time to rest and stretch your leg. Check out your route with distance calculator.

  • Check out the weather conditions before each of your journeys so you can drive to the conditions. Always allow for extra time while driving through New Zealand.

  • Find more information in the new 'Driving in New Zealand' guide from the NZ Transport Agency.

Traffic rules

  • Keep left: In New Zealand, vehicles drive on the left-hand side of the road.

  • Always wear a seatbelt: Everyone in your vehicle must wear a seatbelt, and children must be secured in an approved child seat. Eurocampers offers to rent out child seats without any extra charges.

  • Stop at the STOP signs: Keep to the speed limit and always stop at STOP signs.

  • Speed Limits: Keep to the speed limits. The maximum speed limit (unless otherwise stated) on New Zealand motorways is 100 km/h. Larger vehicles like our 5 and 6 berth motorhomes are restricted to 90 km/h. Keep to the speed limit, but don’t hold up other traffic. Pull to the left when it is safe and let other traffic pass. In urban areas, the maximum speed limit (unless otherwise stated) is 50 km/h. Please obey any speed restrictions. 5-10km/h too fast can easily cost you 150-200 NZD.

  • Use passing lanes to overtake: Overtake other vehicles only when it’s safe to do so. Use passing lanes whenever possible, and never cross a solid yellow line on your side of the centre line.

  • Stay well rested: Plan to drive for only 1 - 2 hours at a time, and take regular breaks during your journey to stretch your legs and to enjoy the views.

  • Drive to the conditions: You will need to reduce your speed when it is raining, icy, snowing, windy or if you are in a roadworks area. Ask your accommodation provider if in doubt.

  • Estimate your driving times: Check your route with a distance calculator but don’t underestimate your journey time. Your journey may take longer than you expected as the roads in New Zealand (away from main towns) can be windy, narrow and hilly.

  • Do not drink and drive: Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New Zealand and strictly enforced by police, with severe penalties for offenders.

  • Don't text and call while driving: It’s illegal to use a mobile phone while driving in New Zealand. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over at a rest area or in a safe place.

  • For more information check out the New Zealand Road Code.