Monday, 20 June 2011

What Is Different About The Driving Conditions And Rules In New Zealand? by: Richard Wolskel

A very important article, a must read!

What Is Different About The Driving Conditions And Rules In New Zealand?
 by: Richard Wolskel 
The main roads are generally well maintained and sealed, offering no great difficulty to overseas motorists. The roads follow the ever changing landscape as they wind around the countryside, with the scenery changing at almost every bend and turn. The majority of roads outside the main towns and cities have just one lane in each direction, with an occasional overtaking lane to allow safe passing. So you should allow plenty of time; as you will often find your driving times are greater than first expected.

Generally on the main highways you can average 80 to 100 kms an hour in a car on a days drive, though these changes depending on the terrain, or when driving on minor roads. Driving times are generally higher if using Campervan Hire or Motorhome Rental.

Overseas visitors can legally drive for up to 12 months in New Zealand with your current overseas drivers licence. To hire a rental vehicle, you must generally be at least 21 years of age. The drivers licence must be valid, and must be in English. If your drivers licence is in a language other than English, then you will need to obtain an English translation with an International Driving Permit obtainable from overseas motoring organizations in your country. Overseas visitors must have their drivers licence with them at all times when driving. You will only be allowed to drive vehicles similar to your overseas licence. After 12 months driving in New Zealand, you must obtain a local New Zealand Drivers Licence. This applies to each visit to New Zealand.


All rental cars generally run on petrol in New Zealand. However Campervans and Motorhomes may run on either petrol or diesel. The smaller 2 berth vehicles often use petrol, whereas the 4 berth and 6 berth vehicles run off diesel. Some of the modern 2 berth vehicles now also have been designed to use diesel.

Diesel in New Zealand is generally 30-40% cheaper than petrol, so as a result some of the larger motorhomes are often substantially more economical to run than the smaller petrol driven campervans. So you may find that paying a little more to rent a larger diesel motorhome, may not be that much more expensive overall than the smaller 2 berth petrol campervans. However with the larger vehicles, you will have a lot more room and comfort. Driving the larger motorhomes is also surprisingly easy, with most vehicles being extremely maneuverable.

Diesel vehicles in New Zealand are subject to a Diesel Fuel Tax Surcharge, which is charged by the New Zealand Government. This charge varies depending on the number of kms travelled, and the size of the vehicle. Some Campervan and Motorhome Companies (but not all) pass this charge on as a rental surcharge at the end of the rental. However in comparison to the fuel price savings from the lower diesel prices, the extra cost of the Diesel Fuel Tax Surcharge is relatively small.

Road Rules

Drivers in New Zealand drive on the left hand side of the road. The speed limit on open roads is 100 km/hr, and 50 km/hr in built up areas.

Seat belts must be worn by the driver and passengers in both front and back seats. Children under 5 years of age need to wear child restraints in both cars and campervans or motorhomes. If travelling with small children in campervans or motorhomes, check that they have restraint fittings for the children traveling with you, as not all model of campervans have the required fittings, or may only have fittings for a limited number of children.

Drink driving laws are heavily enforced, so do not drink alcohol before driving in New Zealand.

A road rule in New Zealand that is different, is that at all traffic junctions, drivers give way or yield to traffic from the right. One consequence of this is that when driving down a road, and you want to turn left; any traffic coming from the opposite direction, that wants to turn right, has right of way. The driver turning left has to give way. Rental companies will provide you with details of possible different rules, when you pick your car rental or campervan hire up.

About The Author
Richard Wolskel is Managing Director of Go New Zealand, and has 20 years of experience in travel to New Zealand, specialising in self drive holidays, tours and activities. Over that time he has been a frequent visitor to this beautiful country.
The author invites you to visit:

Cody Wellard - top ten picks best places to visit in New Zealand

Cody Wellard's number one pick is;  snowboarding in Queenstown.
Cody Wellard's number two pick is; wine tasting on Waiheke Island, just a forty minute scenic ferry ride from downtown Auckland lands you on beautiful Waiheke Island.
Cody Wellard's number three pick is;Milford Sound’s remarkable natural environment features dramatic fiords, spectacular waterfalls and snow-capped peaks.
Cody Wellard's number four pick is; Soaking up Maori culture and hospitality in Rotorua, the cultural heart of New Zealand.Wow! 
Cody Wellard's number five pick is; visiting with family all over NZ.
Cody Wellard's number six pick is; the fruit orchards on south island.
Cody Wellard's number seven pick is; wale watching just off the coastal town of Kaikoura it is two hours north of Christchurch.
Cody Wellard's number eight pick is; after snowboarding,  from downtown Queenstown, hop on a 30 minute vintage steamboat across Lake Wakatipu.
Cody Wellard's number nine pick is; white water rafting on the south island.
Cody Wellard's number ten pick is; working on a dairy farm, south island again.....

Cody Wellard camping in New Zealand

Camping is a favourite kiwi pastime. Back in 2006 camping was voted the countries 9th Must-Do for Kiwis in the AA’s 101 Must-Do’s for Kiwis campaign.
I have seen more holiday parks around the country, making a home away from home feeling for all ages to enjoy as the years go by. Your basic 2 person tent, caravan with awning or cabin unit,  with ocean views means you’re spoilt for choice in type of camping experience you might like to have. Whatever the type of camping experience you want there is no question it’s a great way to spend time with the family and friends.  You can chill out over the summer or take in the many wonders of our beautiful sea side, mountains and forests.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Vancouver set itself up for Riots? Really what do you think - Cody Wellard

We all would have thought that the news Thursday morning should have centred on the Boston Bruins’ well-deserved victory in the Stanley Cup final, played in Vancouver, BC.
Instead, as we all saw the emphasis on outlets raging from the CBC and CTV to the major U.S. networks and even the BBC was on the crazy rioting, burning of cars, and violence in the streets of Vancouver following the Canucks' 4-0 loss.Who would have thought!