Driving in New Zealand

There are a few things that you may not be used to when driving in New Zealand. For example:

  • we drive on the left side of the road
  • it’s easy to underestimate travelling times here
  • our roads are narrower, more winding and sometimes steeper than you might expect
  • our roads are mostly two-way, with one lane in each direction - we have few motorways.

Make sure you have a safe and enjoyable journey. You can download a Driving in New Zealand leaflet for information on the key road rules – available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai and Arabic. Or visit newzealand.com for more information on planning a safe trip.

Upper South Island Travel Guide

SH1 was closed in two areas (north and south of Kaikoura) following the November 2016 earthquake. The 7.8 magnitude event caused an unprecedented amount of damage in the region.

SH1 between Picton and Christchurch re-opens on 15 December 2017 with two sections closed every night for safety. Open daily 7am-8.30pm. Please read the Upper South Island Travel Guide for further information.