The Benefits of Car Travel in New Zealand


The open road is an epic thing to enjoy, especially when you’re exploring a new destination. If you’re heading off to New Zealand, whether you’re choosing the North Island alone, the South Island, or perhaps an adventure across both, then hiring a car or camper van and taking to the open road is one of the best ways to check out everything this scenic and wild land has to offer.

Like anything where travel is concerned, you have to weigh up the pros and cons, and much of it comes down to cost. Hiring a car in New Zealand is no more expensive than another major country and if you’re comparing it to the cost of air and bus travel, it will probably come up cheaper. Of course, you need to throw petrol into the mix but this is entirely dependent on how far you’re travelling. Check out the most popular travel destinations in New Zealand here.

The benefits are quite obvious really – freedom. You can go at your own pace, you’re not beholden to a schedule or itinerary, and you can take your pick from countless different suggested road trips which will show you major highlights, without having to plan a trip of your own.

New Zealand is a country full of open spaces, and the distances between major towns and cities can be massive, so driving across them will certainly show you different landscapes, and perhaps is the best way to truly appreciate the country in its entirety. If you fly, let’s face it, you’re not seeing much other than the inside of an airport, and there’s nothing particularly scenic about an airport, right? Driving across towns, cities, countryside, coastal areas, mountains, and alpine scenery will show you just how diverse New Zealand is, especially if you drive through the South Island, where scenery is truly epic.

Self-drive holidays are very popular in New Zealand, so you will no doubt amble across other visitors doing exactly the same thing as you, especially if you choose to go via the camper van route and stop off at the various camp sites around the country. This is a great way to meet likeminded travellers, and that is a major benefit to this kind of travel.

It’s important to point out that when driving in New Zealand, you need to be on the left hand side, with the driver on the right hand side seat. This can be a strange thing for those who aren’t used to driving on this side, so do practice a little before you head out onto the open road. On top of this, make sure you check out licence requirements for your particular country of origin, by heading online to your embassy website.

New Zealand is huge, so it’s important to recognise that you might be seeing a small distance on a map, but in reality you’re crossing difficult terrain, which will not only take longer, but is probably much further than it first seems; despite that fact, you can be promised landscapes of epic proportions.

So, should you take to the road as you travel around New Zealand? The answer is yes; if you want an epic road trip, this is the country for you.

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