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Self Driving Tours in New Zealand

Mumbai (Bombay...
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18 posts
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Self Driving Tours in New Zealand

My Son, who will drive in New Zealand is used to driving in USA (right hand driving). Wanted to know three things,

1) while driving in highland, are there dangerous curves having deep valleys at the side

2) Do the roads have both ways traffic, and if so are there dividers for opposite side traffic

3) if we do not hire a car, is the public transport well connected.

Would appreciate getting answers to these.

Ballarat, Australia
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1. Re: Self Driving Tours in New Zealand

1) In some places, yes. More heavily-used roads will usually have guardrail barriers where there's a drop-off.

2) Usually two way with only a painted line to separate the traffic. Gravel roads are kind of one-and-a-half lanes, go slow and edge around each other when you need to pass. But you can get to most places without having to drive on gravel.

3) Public transport isn't that great. You can get around without driving but it takes effort and organisation. There are buses between all major towns, but then getting to many tourist spots might require joining a tour or taking a shuttle. A car gives you a lot more flexibility, and depending on where you want to get to may be cheaper.

On the plus side, drivers in NZ are generally courteous and follow the rules most of the time - the roads aren't chaotic like they are in some places.

Christchurch, New...
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for Zhuhai, Christchurch, South Island
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2. Re: Self Driving Tours in New Zealand

I feel that if your son is not a confident & experienced driver he should take coaches. If he is travelling alone rental cars work out expensive and the driver doesn't get to enjoy the view. There are buses between all the major tourist sites but often only ONE per day! However it is quite possible to enjoy a holiday using these buses. If he is staying longer there are "Hop-on-hop-off" buses such as Stray which sell passes for a fixed route. They stop at scenic lookouts; tourist attractions etc.

Nelson-Tasman...
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3. Re: Self Driving Tours in New Zealand

Generally, outside of the main cities, and in most main cities even, there are no dividers between the traffic lanes. the roads in NZ, outside main centres, are generally one lane, winding and can have drop offs such as lewis, arthurs pass and most hilly passes and roads.

I lived for two years in USA. Driving in NZ is very different to USA roads. On country roads you can travel some distance in NZ without encountering other vehicles. We go around round abouts the opposite way.

But others do it. However, if it is a concern I feel it will ruin your holiday and make it less enjoyable. If in doubt book a tour which will take you where you want hassle free.

Mumbai (Bombay...
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4. Re: Self Driving Tours in New Zealand

Thank you very much for your help. Our trip somehow seems to ge getting postponed. Nevertheless information you have given is going to be of help, when we schedule our trip.

5. Re: Self Driving Tours in New Zealand

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