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Sat Nav

Exeter, United...
Level Contributor
352 posts
69 reviews
Sat Nav

I am spending a couple of weeks driving round NZ and was wondering about Sat Nav - I was considering buying one if its cheap enough as My parents will be spending a month in NZ in february so they can make use of it too.

Can someone give me an idea of a reasonable (but cheap) sat Nav system that is moveable from car to car and if anyone knows of a place in Queenstown where i can buy one (as i am arriving there first)


Greymouth, New...
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
3,922 posts
141 reviews
1. Re: Sat Nav


I was waiting to se if anyone else would answer.

in real term, GPS is hardly ever used to get around NZ.

By comparison, I am looking forward to visiting the Uk, and can certainly see why you would need a GPS.

In NZ, part of the fun is trying to get lost, then found again, simply because you cant get lost unless it is a GPS lost, where it has taken you on the shortest route, and only acessable by 4X4 in summer.

Even the 'big' cities are small enough, that a map is simple to use.

remember that for some strange reason, women like to hold maps upside down, but once you get used to that, im sure you wonder why you even thought of a GPS. Just do as your wife tells you, even if you disagree, just do it.


have great holiday

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
30,251 posts
93 reviews
2. Re: Sat Nav

"women like to hold maps upside down"

tsk tsk Coaster, you will have to stop these misogynistic tendencies or you will give all West Coasters a bad name lol

Exeter, United...
Level Contributor
352 posts
69 reviews
3. Re: Sat Nav

Thanks for that - i thought you had to hold the map upside down in NZ...... but then I am a woman! hehe

I had only thought that Sat Nav may help with my driving times. I have quite a lot of miles to cover in a very short space of time and just thought it would help me see how far i still had to go each day to get to my desination. However, i think i will take your advice and try it with my upside down map.

I have known friends from NZ and OZ who have come to UK and they have said they will never drive without Sat Nav again. So if you are heading this way it might be worth your while.

Keighley, United...
Level Contributor
401 posts
44 reviews
4. Re: Sat Nav

I would be very wary of using sat-nav in somewhere like NZ. You only have to look at a map - any map, any way up, to see how a sat-nav could have you down a blind alley. Which is mainly the trouble with blinkered sat-nav users anywhere. They wont take note of terrain or signs....if the gizmo says its 'this way'....it must be right!

Scunthorpe, United...
Level Contributor
1,734 posts
77 reviews
5. Re: Sat Nav

Don't bother with SatNav in NZ. Get a good road atlas (which you will only have to hold upside down in NZ if you bought it in UK).

Christchurch, New...
Level Contributor
33 posts
6. Re: Sat Nav

Hi T C,

Did you considered hiring? We did. It's very helpful, especially if you don't find getting lost that exciting. :-)

We hire from www.phonehirenz.com, but there are other companies.


Auckland Central...
Level Contributor
1,531 posts
47 reviews
7. Re: Sat Nav

A portable Sat Nav will cost you between NZ$300.00 and NZ$450.00. The readily available makes include Navman, Garmin, Uniden and I think TomTom is also sold here.

They can be found in shops such as Dick Smith Electronics, Bond and Bond, Harvey Norman, and Noel Leeming - They can be easily Googled and I am sure that they will have outlets in Queenstown.

It is up to you of course whether you decide you need a Sat Nav in New Zealand. It is very easy for those of use who live here to question whether one is necessary or not.

My wife and I were recently in the UK and bought a small Garmin hand held and it was absolutely fantastic. We had no problems with it and no bad experiences such as those the detractors of Sat Navs seem to come up with. It saved us a lots of time and we had no arguements over our respective map reading and driving skills - or lack of.

I think if for no other reason a sat nav would be useful here to find specific destinations - attactions, accommodation etc. YOu can always sell it when you leave or when you get home to someone who is coming to NZ. We sold our Garmin to someone here who was going to the UK.

If you are going to be driving here then I suggest you have a look at:


For buying and selling.


may be useful.

Queenstown, New...
Level Contributor
1,340 posts
7 reviews
8. Re: Sat Nav

As Coaster has already said, the thing about GPS is that it can take you on a 4x4 road only if you choose the shortest way. It happened to my father in law, but thankfully he knew the area and didn't go down that road.

So if you do use one, be careful which road it takes you down!

A road atlas is a lot cheaper and they tell you which roads are sealed and not, without having to find out on the way.

Wanaka, New Zealand
Level Contributor
793 posts
2 reviews
9. Re: Sat Nav

Sat Nav in NZ would sound a it like this.....

In 200m turn right.

Stay on this road for 200km

In 200m turn left

You have reached your destination.

Seriously though, buy a copy of the Lonely Planet guide which has maps of the major towns and cities and check out the driving times on this website www.aatravel.co.nz/main/td-calculator.php before you get here to see if your itinerary is reasonable.

New Zealand
Level Contributor
9,495 posts
12 reviews
10. Re: Sat Nav

And anyway you have just got to stick to the road, keep the coast to your left and at some stage you'll get back to where you started from!

Joking aside I would get a SatNav, they are fabulous and great for built up areas to get you to your accommodation quicker and out of town in the morning when you're leaving on the shortest route. We have a SatNav that we use frequently on our overseas trips, wouldn't be without one now, and we use it here in NZ from time to time. Excellent, saves arguments with the map reader, lets the passengers enjoy the trip alot more too.