New Zealand is a beautiful country full of spectacular landscapes. Traveling through the country offers many opportunities to see the unexpected, but if you’re simply trusting in tourist activities and sites within New Zealand’s main cities, you’re doing yourself a disservice. New Zealand is best viewed through the great road trip, as driving through New Zealand will give you a better view of the countryside and the opportunity to stop wherever you choose to. Here are our best tips for road tripping in New Zealand.
Prepare the Car
The first thing you should do when road tripping through New Zealand is check the vehicle for emergency necessities. When traveling via New Zealand guided tours, your tour leader will handle emergency equipment, but when going it alone on a road trip, you should have a spare tire, jack, lug wrench, and know how to change a tire should one bust while driving. This is essential as road conditions in New Zealand can change very quickly. One minute you will be driving on perfectly managed pavement, and the next you might find the road beneath you has turned to gravel and is full of potholes.
Animals Throughout New Zealand
Some road trips are simply about the gorgeous scenery, and that’s something you will enjoy about New Zealand. Do not be so dismayed, however, by the epic scenery and forget to look for what is right in front of you. Many of New Zealand’s roads are situated on lush farmland, and farmers regularly allow their animals to roam freely, so expect to see a few sheep and cows standing in your path from time to time. You may also catch sights of animals that are indigenous to New Zealand, such as the kea or the famous kiwi bird.
Pull to the Side
At every turn, you might be tempted to take a picture of this breathtaking landscape. However, make sure to be courteous to other drivers on the road. Roads throughout New Zealand are maintained to have a variety of pull off spots and even slower traffic lanes. Utilizing both of these road attributes will help you get all the pictures you want without inconveniencing any of the other drivers.
New Zealand is a very polite nation — and that translates to their road signs as well. Bridges are very common in the country and they aren’t all two lane crossings. For this reason, bridge etiquette should be adhered to. New Zealand has made this very easy for tourists to understand. At the beginning of each bridge you will notice a sign that indicates which lane of traffic maintains the right of way. Please pay attention to this sign as it will greatly alleviate any questions in regard to who should go first.
Top Off the Tank
New Zealand is full of vast wilderness in which filling stations can be few and far between. When you do find a filling station, take the opportunity to top off the tank. You will appreciate this little piece of advice as you will not have to contend with calling for a tow or trying to reach someone to bring you fuel. It’s also recommended to note gas stations on travel maps before you start your day of road tripping. This can be done with most driving directions websites and apps today.