Self Drive in New Zealand


The island nation of New Zealand is a paradise for those who love their time by the wheel discovers Nausheen Tareen.
New Zealand

Driving in New Zealand is nothing short of meditation. Maddening traffic does not stress you out, no one honks or mindlessly changes lanes and despite vast stretches of empty road ahead, people adhere to speed limits and don’t unnecessarily push the accelerator.
The comfort of the familiar right-hand drive is the icing on the cake. All you need to do is hire a car, put it in cruise mode and zoom off. Exploring New Zealand in rental cars — be it small wagons, campervans or motorhomes — is actually the most popular vacation option these days. You can sign up for a weekly or a fortnightly trip, covering either one or both of the islands.
Explore the Region
New Zealand
North Island is what a postcard holiday looks like. Rolling hills, endless green farms with sheep and cattle scattered around, grazing all day and villages in between.

The roads from Auckland to Hamilton in the North Island or from Christchurch to Queenstown in South Island are what those who love driving dream about. A drive in the North Island is what a postcard holiday looks like. Rolling hills, endless green farms with sheep and cattle scattered around, grazing all day and villages in between.
The landscape in South Island is different, and arguably, even more spectacular. The hills give way to mountains dotted with emerald lakes, the roads are narrower and steeper, and there is a nip in the air. While we had planned to stick to the North Island for this trip, the lure of seeing the more striking South got the better of us.
We booked air tickets from Auckland to Christchurch and rented a car at the airport. Off we went driving down to Queenstown and surely, this was the best decision ever. We finished the approx. eight-hour drive in 11, as we stopped at innumerable lakes and small villages to admire the view. En route, we had some of the freshest and most amazing meals and tasted local wines. One can either drive back from Queenstown to Christchurch or take a flight back. We did not have much time, but if one does, it is definitely worth driving up the South Island – towards the wine region of Marlborough.
Enjoy the Drive
New Zealand
The roads from Auckland to Hamilton in the North Island or from Christchurch to Queenstown in South Island are what those who love driving dream about.

If you are in a group, opting for a self-drive is the most economical mode of travel. It’s cheaper than even buses or trains. However, if you are driving within the cities, it is important to know the dedicated parking spaces and pay the charges beforehand to avoid ending up with a fine. Inside the city, it is best advised to walk, get a cab or opt for public transport as most places are close by. For us though, we couldn’t have enough of driving and were at the wheel to head to even the nearby grocery stores in Auckland.
We cancelled most of our pick-ups and actually drove down everywhere from Bay of Islands up north in North Island, the gorgeous Ninety Mile beach on the far north western coast or to Rotorua towards south of Auckland. It was actually handy having a car as one could stop anywhere, try new things or simply soak in the abundant marvels of nature.

New Zealand


Tips for stress free self-drive
1.If you are in a group, opting for a self-drive is the most economical mode of travel. It’s cheaper than even buses or trains. Book online in advance. On the spot booking can be expensive and you may not get a car of your choice.
2. Check websites for rental cars for deals of the day as some cars are available for as low as NZ$32 or Rs 1,500 onwards per day. Longer duration bookings for 7 days and above are are always cheaper than booking for a day or two.
3. Carry an Indian driving license along and do specify at the time of booking who all among your group will be driving.
4. Vast empty roads ahead may seem tempting to push the accelerator, but stick to speed limits.
5. Drive in the right lane only if you wish to overtake, else stick to the left lane.
6. Do not even think of drinking and driving.
7. Do not honk. Please. As no one does.
8. For camper vans, there are designated parking spots. Stick to those for an overnight stay.
9. At a roundabout, let the cars on the right pass first.
10. Do take insurance. Better to spend extra than be sorry.

This article was published in The Times of India's Sunday supplement Times Life.
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2 comments:

  1. Nice blog thanks for shareing instersting information about selfdriving .

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  2. Nice blog thanks for shareing instersting information about selfdriving .

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