New Zealand is a vast country, and there are many ways to get around. By far the best option for discovering New Zealand is to rent a car and go on a road trip. This way, you will have a lot of freedom and flexibility. You will be able to go anywhere you want, and you can pick accommodation outside of the cities to suit your budget, without having to worry about transport. You can also take your time and stop for a quick gamble at a local casino, where you might win some holiday funds. However, there are undoubtedly some essential things to consider when thinking about renting a car in New Zealand.
Driving on the Left
If you are from the UK, you will feel right at home driving in New Zealand, as you will be driving on the left. For travellers from other countries, this might be a bit tricky for the first few days until you get used to it. The best way of making sure you are staying on the left side of the road, is always to keep the middle lane to your right. You will also have to be conscious to navigate roundabouts in a clockwise direction. If you are not used to driving on the left, it is a good idea to be well rested and relaxed before your first drive in New Zealand.
The roads in New Zealand are mostly great and a pleasure to drive on, especially given the beautiful surroundings. In the South Island, the roads are usually narrower, but still spacious compared to English country lanes. Some of the more narrow and hilly roads are gravel-based, so you need to take special care when driving on these, as there is an increased risk of skidding. Keep a good distance from the car in front of you, as small stones can be thrown up and land on your car. Some people take out gravel insurance when driving in New Zealand.
The Cost of Petrol
Because petrol has to travel a long way to be delivered to New Zealand, it is really quite expensive, at more than two New Zealand dollars per litre.
Animals on the Road
New Zealand has a large population of possums, and you will see many of them dead on the road. They are predators and threaten the natural habitat of New Zealand. As a consequence, many inhabitants of New Zealand don’t mind running them over. This can be upsetting to see if you are visiting New Zealand for the first time. There are also other animals, which can unexpectedly jump out onto the road, such as rabbits, sheep and cows, plus birds. Please drive carefully and watch out for animals at all times.