New Zealand is bursting with beauty and waiting for you to see it all. We share how to road trip in New Zealand, so you can travel and explore this beautiful country.
Why road trip New Zealand?
Traveling is an excellent way to unwind after dealing with too many problems day after day. After all, many people find nothing more relaxing than taking a break from their usual routine. Fortunately, countless locations are worth visiting.
Located southeast of Australia, New Zealand is well-known for its scenic beauty. From verdant valleys to gorgeous snowcapped peaks, this country is excellent proof of how beautiful nature can be, which is perfect for those who love to experience nature at its fullest. Fortunately, there are different ways to travel all the way there.
Since not everyone prefers traveling by plane, you might consider hitting the road. Because even though flying is much faster, there’s something more fulfilling about watching your surroundings change the closer you get to New Zealand. But before you set out on your road trip, ensure you’ve handled everything for smooth travels.
How To Road Trip In New Zealand: An Updated Guide
Prepare Necessary Paperwork
Although you’re not checking in at airport security, never forget to lay out your documents. After all, there’s no telling what might happen while you’re on the road. Medical information and emergency contacts must be prepared in your glove box or anywhere easily accessible in case of accidents. Secure insurance before heading out to have a financial safety net if something happens to you.
Documents for the vehicle, such as a license and registration, are needed to alleviate any roadside issues that might come up, especially for those planning to hire a campervan or rent other vehicles. Moreover, having them within reach would hopefully make any interactions regarding these problems as brief as possible. After all, getting delayed from reaching your destination would be a bad start for a road trip.
Pack The Essentials
With your documents secured, it’s time to know what you’re supposed to bring on the trip. Generally, you must have the basics already in hand. Water and food are indispensable. Because even though you plan to try out the local cuisine in New Zealand, traveling there on a road trip would take a long time. And considering there are no attendants to ask you if you’d like some nourishment, what you eat and drink will fall into your hands. So, pack preserved goods to avoid spoilage while traveling.
Granted, limiting your diet to dried preservatives might not be good for your stomach. For those with a time block dedicated to stopping beside the road, consider having a portable gas stove to cook your food. Ensure you have enough cartridges to last the entire trip back and forth. However, those renting campervans or motorhomes might not consider this a priority since their vehicles already have built-in cooking stations.
Naturally, even though you’re traveling to pull away from the usual bustle, it’s almost impossible to completely remove electronic gadgets from your life. After all, anything can happen while you’re traveling. Out of all your travel essentials, you have a better chance of getting help with your devices. Ensure your power banks are fully charged before you leave. Purchase a local SIM card to avoid a dramatic spike in your phone bill.
These things may not seem like much, especially for those who only use phones for contacts. However, countless travelers have made the mistake of jamming too many clothes into their luggage, causing it to be too heavy to bring everywhere. New Zealand is one of the places where all four seasons can occur on any given day, even outside their expected dates. That’s why travelers often head out with clothes for all seasons.
While it’s better to overprepare than suffer, lacking what you need puts your comfort and convenience at risk. Pack clothes that are suitable for any season. Shirts and pairs of jeans or leggings would work for the cold and warm months. A light rain jacket is better for rainy seasons, but pairing it with a sweater can help you withstand the harsh winter. Even though they’re functional, don’t be afraid to include style for the best of both worlds.
Plan An Itinerary
Stroll through the city of Auckland, take a walk along Cathedral Cove Beach, and go hiking on Stewart Island. With New Zealand consisting of the North and South Islands, a long list of activities is waiting for you. But as exciting as they all are, it’s easy to get sidetracked until another day passes.
Those who intend to stay there for a few months probably have all the time to enjoy everything New Zealand offers. But travelers who can only set aside a few weeks before returning to their lives don’t have that luxury; if anything, doing so might be a grave mistake. That’s what makes an itinerary so crucial.
Instead of going in blindly, plan everything you want to do in New Zealand. Do your research to know what you might expect, from long waiting lines to how many toll gates you’ll encounter. Even so, crowding your itinerary with back-to-back tasks without any room to breathe can easily suck out the joy from your trip. Consider your needs and be flexible when scheduling to account for unforeseen circumstances.
Book In Advance
Since you’ve made your itinerary, look up everything about your destinations to see if you need reservations for accommodations or restaurants. After all, every second of your trip must be solely for relaxation. Getting stuck in line because you haven’t made a reservation would ruin your goal.
Know Basic Car Maintenance
Depending on how long you’re traveling, your vehicle will be put through the wringer since it needs to get you to New Zealand and back. While some campervan rentals offer roadside maintenance, it’s better to learn how to handle car problems, especially if they’re as basic as replacing a worn tire. That way, your travels can go off without a hitch.
Be Familiar With The Road
Different countries have rules that might take a while to get used to, especially the ones on the road. Because unlike in the USA or Canada, the driver’s seat for vehicles in New Zealand is placed on the right side. In contrast, driving on the left lane is the norm there. On top of that, the speed limit is usually a reasonable 100 kilometers per hour.
However, one unspoken rule they have is that local drivers honk twice to say thanks for letting them overtake, so don’t be offended if that happens.
Learn To Conserve
Since you’re taking a road trip, the only one you can count on is yourself (and your passengers). Without any attendants, how you manage your resources falls into your hands. And considering how long road trips are, you must learn to ration your resources the entire time you’re traveling. Learn to budget your fees and avoid splurging on too many luxuries. Avoid cooking too frequently, even if you have plenty of gas tanks. Conserve your water for hygiene and nourishment.
Traveling is one of life’s biggest opportunities to appreciate what’s outside your circle. And New Zealand must be included in your bucket list for those who appreciate getting in touch with nature.
While it’s faster to get there by plane, a road trip is a great way to experience everything up close. With the right preparations and planning, your road trip to New Zealand could easily become one of your best memories.