New Zealand has some of the most incredibly scenic drives and open roads in the world. Whether you've been driving in New Zealand for a year or fifty, it's always a good idea to brush up on road safety.
Help keep New Zealanders safe on the road with these simple actions while driving around our beautiful country.
It is critical to stay alert while you are driving. Take advantage of rest area signs where you can stop. Don't drive when you are tired and take regular breaks. It doesn't matter where in New Zealand you're going; it is extremely dangerous to drive when you are tired.
In summer, hot days and long-distance driving can make you especially tired, as well as early starts and late nights, or because you had a long day driving the day before. So make sure to stop for regular breaks when required.
It’s easy to underestimate drive times when looking at a map.
Maps don’t show how narrow and windy roads can be. What might look like a short trip can take a long time. For example, Hokitika to the town of Haast, a popular drive for visitors stopping to see New Zealand’s glaciers, is 278 kilometres on the map and may look like a short three-hour drive. However, drivers should allow for up to four hours of driving time because of the windy road. This is common all over New Zealand.
Take your time, allow for more time than you think you’ll need, and make the journey a part of your holiday.
Check out our time and distance calculator to estimate your driving time.
Holiday driving can be frustrating, with busy roads, stifling heat, and everyone out enjoying Doing Something New – so make sure you are being courteous and patient to others.
Trucks and towing vehicles have lower speed limits, so make sure you are passing safely in a passing lane or when you can see enough clear road ahead to overtake carefully.
Watch out for cyclists, and horses on backcountry roads.
Drink driving is dangerous and there are strict penalties for driving when under the influence. In New Zealand, the legal drink-drive limits for drivers 20 years and over are a breath alcohol limit of 250 micrograms (mcg) of alcohol per litre of breath and a blood alcohol limit of 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. If you’re under 20 there is a zero alcohol limit.
The Tiaki Promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand, for now, and for future generations. By following the Tiaki Promise, you are making a commitment to act as a guardian, protecting and preserving our home.