New Zealand Transportation Tips by AKtravelers
New Zealand Transportation: 284 reviews and 272 photos
Our rental car pulled over at Nelson Lakes NP
We hired a car in Auckland and drove it around both North and South island without any body-scarring incidents (neither our bodies nor the car's). That is despite the fat that driving in New Zealand is on the left, which means that most North American Auto Insurance companies and credit cards won't cover you here. And we can't say we don't understand why -- Kevin still has a more than 50% car damage rate when driving on the left.
Kevin's primary goal of the trip was to return the rental car unscathed. His secondary goal was to go an entire day without hitting the windshield wipers instead of the turn signal whenever he wanted to make a right or left. While Kevin achieved goal one, he NEVER succeeded in attaining goal two and even had a winshield wiper fetish for a while in Maryland.
That being said, driving in New Zealand was a pleasure. Traffic was light and the roads were generally good and plenty wide (unlike Ireland). Unfortunately, distances are deceiving when you look at a sign or map -- New Zealand's rugged terrain means that you rarely make 100 km in an hour, so don't expect to cover the entire country in two weeks by car unless all you want to do is stay in the car.
Type: Car/Motor Home
Catching Sunrise from the ferry
If the Cook Strait Ferry weren't the only surface transport link between New Zealand's North and South Islands, it would still exist as a tour boat ride. The crossing was that beautiful. If you have great weather and you're doing the three-hour crossing on one of the two ferry lines, you'll probably be spending most of your time on deck admiring the scenery, just like we did. In fact, it's from the ferry deck that we saw our only penguin on the trip (we think -- it happened fast). We also got to see the leader of the Volvo Around the World Sailing Race (formerly the Whitbread) pull into Wellington Harbor (we think -- how do you tell if they were racers or just out for a morning sail?). And, finally, we saw stupendous views of inlets and mountains rising from the turquoise seas (we're certain of that). Our North to South crossing was perfect.
Our South to North Crossing took place at 6 a.m., so Kevin slept through much of it while Andrea did manage go outside as the sun rose. Once again. our weather was perfect, and the views materialized as the sun rose.
On the other hand, we heard some people trying to make the crossing a week later got stuck in high seas and horrible weather and the trip took eight hours, with several vehicles (and a few appetites I bet) damaged by the violent ship movements.
Which brings up an interesting point. Our rental car company was surprised that we wanted to take our car on the crossing, expecting that -- as most people do -- we would have arranged to drop off one car in Wellington and hire another in Picton. We never even thought to do that, but once we got the fare (after we had committed to the car rental) we knew why. Our trip cost around $500 because we had the vehicle. Apparently, passenger without vehicles pay only about $40 a piece. Well, at least we didn't have to pack up our stuff that was all over the car!
More Reviews (44)
- See All New Zealand -- Not Always an Ecotourism...
- See All Go to the top of Skytower
- See All Okains Bay: Small & Overlooked on Banks...
- Sleeping in Lamb Skins
- See All Don't Drive over 110 km/hr
- See All South Island's Beaches Are Gar and Empty
- New Zealanders love to boat
- See All Our Vaorite Accommodation: Friends
- See All Kaikoura = Eat Seafood!
- Bizarre but Tasty Chocolate in...
- Auckland's Harbour -- Full of Nighttime...
Been to New Zealand?Share your travels with the world!
AKtravelers' Related Pages
New Zealand Travel Guide
Member Travel Pages
- "Kia Ora - Aotearoa"
- "A Proud Local Shows You Around New Zealand!!!"
- "Antipodean Paradise"
- "Living and Travelling in New Zealand"
- "The most beautiful country in the world"
- "North & South Islands."
- "God's Country!"
- See All...
- Things to Do in New Zealand
- Hotels in New Zealand
- Transportation in New Zealand
- Nightlife in New Zealand
- Restaurants in New Zealand
- Shopping in New Zealand
- Warnings and Dangers in New Zealand
- See All...
Explore the World
- Pismo Beach Hotels
- Santa Fe Hotels
- Nicosia Hotels
- San Francisco
- Saint Julian's
- Greensboro Hotels
- The Bahamas
Badges & Stats in New Zealand
- 46 Reviews
- 110 Photos
- 3 Forum posts
- 0 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (12)
Have you been to New Zealand?Share Your Travels
Latest Activity in New Zealand
- Posted in Travel Hawaii (State of) Forum "Re: Suggested Itinerary for 10..."
- Wrote a Review New Zealand -- Not Always an Ecotourism Paradise in New Zealand Tourist Traps
- Uploaded a Photo to "New Zealand -- Not Always an Ecotourism Paradise"
- updated a New Zealand Travelogue "Our New Zealand Trip: From Start to Finish"
- Commented on one of kiwi's New Zealand travel pages
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Oahu Intro, 94 reviews, 187 photos, 4 travelogues
- Tokyo Intro, 49 reviews, 172 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Hawaii (Big Island) Intro, 45 reviews, 119 photos, 3 travelogues
- New Zealand Intro, 46 reviews, 110 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Seoul Intro, 65 reviews, 88 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Cusco Intro, 41 reviews, 61 photos, 2 travelogues
- Hanoi Intro, 29 reviews, 60 photos, 1 travelogue
- Baltimore Intro, 34 reviews, 55 photos, 1 travelogue
- Top 5 Page for this destination Machu Picchu Intro, 33 reviews, 52 photos, 2 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Maine Intro, 34 reviews, 46 photos, 2 travelogues
FriendsSee All Friends (14)
Top New Zealand hotels
- Auckland Hotels
- 1035 Reviews - 2290 Photos
- Wellington Hotels
- 590 Reviews - 1255 Photos
- Queenstown Hotels
- 630 Reviews - 1671 Photos
- Rotorua Hotels
- 481 Reviews - 1224 Photos
- Christchurch Hotels
- 1239 Reviews - 2600 Photos
- Mangere Hotels
- 2 Reviews
- Palmerston North Hotels
- 32 Reviews - 92 Photos
- New Plymouth Hotels
- 18 Reviews - 42 Photos
- Tauranga Hotels
- 18 Reviews - 47 Photos
- Napier Hotels
- 198 Reviews - 522 Photos
- Waiheke Island Hotels
- 59 Reviews - 150 Photos
- Dunedin Hotels
- 338 Reviews - 786 Photos
- Hamilton Hotels
- 56 Reviews - 237 Photos
- Hanmer Springs Hotels
- 44 Reviews - 104 Photos
- Taupo (town) Hotels
- 21 Reviews - 47 Photos
- Auckland- 51 Reviews, 94 Photos
- Northland- 32 Reviews, 53 Photos
- Bay of Islands- 22 Reviews, 43 Photos
- Wellington- 17 Reviews, 20 Photos
- Queenstown- 30 Reviews, 52 Photos
- West Coast, South Island.- 21 Reviews, 38 Photos
- Taupo- 17 Reviews, 21 Photos
- Adventure Activities- 37 Reviews, 62 Photos
- Fiordland National Park- 23 Reviews, 38 Photos
- Christchurch- 17 Reviews, 36 Photos
See All New Zealand Things to Do