5 Tips to Prepare You For Your New Zealand Road Trip

5 Tips to Prepare You For Your New Zealand Road Trip


Planning a road trip around New Zealand? Then you are in for the time of your life! Aotearoa is a wonderful place full of spectacular landscapes, world class attractions, sensational food experiences and plenty of adventure-fuelled activities that will tantalise all your senses. 

However, before you jump in your vehicle and set off on the open road, there are some things you should know, particularly if it is your first adventure as a family.

Here are five tips to prepare yourself for your New Zealand road trip. If you want to make your adventure a lot more seamless and memorable for the right reasons, we recommend you take them on board.

1. Hire a car/get the car serviced

If you are planning a New Zealand road trip in your own vehicle, it is a good idea to get it serviced prior to setting off on your adventure. That way, you will have the peace of mind to know that your car is in good working condition before you leave.

Alternatively, if you are planning to hire a car, you should book one well in advance of your intended departure date. The last thing you want is to have to delay your road trip or drive in another vehicle, because the one you wanted is not available.


2. Draw up an itinerary 

Although it is a nice, romantic notion to drive around New Zealand where the mood takes you, it is worth devoting the time to draw up a rough itinerary of where you would like to go.

New Zealand, of course, comprises the North and South Island. So, if you plan to visit both, doing this will help you plan your adventure in a way that eliminates backtracking and maximises the amount of time you can spend at each place you visit. Additionally, it can enable you to see more of the beautiful country than you otherwise would do.

When drawing up your itinerary, you should factor in things like the driving times between each place you want to see, how long you can spend at each and what food and accommodation options are available.


3. Familiarise yourself with the road rules

If you are from the land of the long white cloud, you should already know the road rules. However, if you are visiting from overseas, you should take the time to brush up on the driving rules for New Zealand tourists.

You may well find they are very different from what you are used to back home. For example, the national speed limit in the UK on motorways is 112 km/h (70 mph), while in the USA it is 105 km/h (65 mph). However, on most of the major rural highways in New Zealand it is 100 km/h.

Remembering this could be the difference between being stopped by the police for speeding or not.


4. Download travel-related apps on your phone

Thanks to technology, road-tripping today is a lot easier than it used to be as there are now plenty of resources you can use to help you on your journey.

There are several apps you should consider downloading onto your phone, which might come in useful whilst on the road. One recommended app is Met Service NZ Weather, which can advise you of real-time forecasts for the threat of snow, hail or storm or other weather events in New Zealand.

You should also consider downloading the Toilet Finder app to determine the closest public conveniences to your current location, as well as Gaspy, which is an app that highlights where the nearest petrol station is.

If you are driving an electric vehicle, ChargeNet will tell you the location of all EV charging points nearby.


5. Properly pack for all eventualities

The weather in New Zealand is notoriously interchangeable. It can be bright blue skies and sunny one minute, then chilly and downright cold the next. For this reason, you should make sure you pack for various conditions to ensure you don’t get caught out.

Subsequently, it is a good idea to pack a selection of clothes that can be worn in layers. You should also wear comfortable hiking boots or trainers if you plan to go hiking and even consider taking gloves and a scarf with you.

At the same time, remember to bring lots of food and water with you, as well as a first aid kit. It is also worth packing a torch, camera, your phone and other electronic devices, and a blanket, as you never know when it might come in handy.


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Hi, I’m Anna, a travel loving wife to Tristan and Mother to 6 year old twins Poppy and Tabitha, their 3 year old sister Matilda, and together we are Twins and Travels.

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