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Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

Christchurch
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Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

Since the end of November we have traveled over 3000km in both the North and South Islands. During that time we had a number of frightening experiences with tourists' driving. The most serious of these included vehicles not sticking to the left side of the road, especially around corners and my partner being almost wiped out by a car reversing out of a parking spot without looking. Luckily he was able to jump out of the way - a small child or less nimble person could have been seriously injured.

Additionally a family member collided with a campervan which drove straight through a give way sign without slowing down. Both his van and the campervan were written off, ending the tourist's holiday. Fortunately no one was seriously injured.

Also, whilst I get that tourists are keen to take in the views whilst driving, PLEASE, if you wish to travel at 60 or 70km/h on 80-100km/h roads then pull over and let the 10 or 30 cars following pass you. Kiwis will give you a quick toot as a thank you.

I would just like to ask that caution and common sense is not thrown out of the window as soon as you leave your own country. We want you to have a great and SAFE holiday here. Happy travels!

Cardiff
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51. Re: Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

Well said WLnz.

I have travelled extensively throughout the continents and have always been struck by the friendliness and warmth of the ordinary citizens across the world.

NZ is our last corner of the world that we want to enjoy and some of the comments in this thread were beginning to make me feel that tourists are more tolerated than welcome.

Anyway, I'm coming - and Ill be driving a Motor Home!

I've been driving, incident free, for about 40 years so no doubt I'll have opinions on "those crazy NZ drivers"

Jakarta, Indonesia
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52. Re: Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

One thing i'm particularly amazed is how the Kiwis transform into an aggressive mode whenever they behind the wheel.

I drove around South Island last August, and always felt welcome whenever talked to the locals. They always make sure that we are ok, and gave a big smile. But things turns differently whenever I saw them behind the driving wheel. They always looked mad at me whenever I slow down and try to figure out who goes first in a round about.

Nonetheless, it was a good vacation. Planning to explore the North Island.

Oz
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53. Re: Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

Hi,

>>They always looked mad at me whenever I slow down and try to figure out who goes first in a round about.<<

Hardly surprising! Taking the time to learn the road rules before driving in any foreign country is something that should be done by all regardless of race. Sadly few do!

…govt.nz/resources/roadcode/about-driving/gi…

FoxyMX what have you started here? Like I said in my earlier post NZ drivers are generally courteous and competent.

Where have I found the worst drivers? IME it's a toss up between Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand although the Pacific Hwy north of Sydney in summer comes close. No I havent been to China.

Cheers,

Edited: 03 January 2014, 22:23
Cardiff
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54. Re: Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

We stood agog in Hanoi looking at a sea of scooters and mopeds as we wondered how to cross a main road.

Our Tour Guide said "This is how you do it." and walked calmly into the thick of it like someone wading into the ocean.

Apparently, the "secret" is to walk confidently and all will drive around you.

Hesitate like a rabbit and you'll cause total chaos.

It works.

Wellington, New...
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for Wellington, Bay of Islands
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55. Re: Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

Before foreign visitors who come to NZ for a holiday or otherwise start to criticise our lifestyle ( and our driving habits are part of our lifestyle) check out your own backyard first and ensure it is in order before complaining. I note an Indonesian correspondent complaining about our driving. Give me strength. I have seen in Indonesia with two adults , two children and a chicken all aboard a small motorcycle and just for good measure no one wearing a helmet. The chicken at least was cradled in the woman's arms for protection.

Cardiff
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56. Re: Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

I haven't seen any "foreign" visitors on this thread criticise your lifestyle.

The thread started as a simple and sensible cautionary request for care on the roads but some posters have become belligerent toward "foreigners" and tourists.

Several posters have thankfully regretted the "tourist bashing" element.

It's a short life and a small world - enjoy it.

Edited: 03 January 2014, 23:43
Feilding, New...
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for Rotorua
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57. Re: Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

I really believe, rather than 'tourist bashing', most posters were trying to point out how UNDERSTANDING and OBEYING the NZ road rules help prevent accidents. Nobody wants to read of another road fatality caused by lack of road code knowledge. Often T/A's advise travellers visiting NZ when they have limited time in our scenic country, not to spend too much time behind the wheel and to stop trying to fit too much into an itinerary. Many choose to ignore this advice. Some only get to fulfil part of their plan but see a different kind of scenery- from a hospital bed. Responsible drivers are welcome in NZ - irresponsible drivers, please use public transport. Idiots sit behind driving wheels all over the world.

Ballina, Australia
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58. Re: Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

>>idiots sit behind driving wheels all over the world<< and apparently dawdle on the footpaths whilst wearing shorts and looking happy!!

New Zealand
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59. Re: Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

Good advice, BTCardiff!

Given that it is currently the height of the holiday season, there are many people from other parts of New Zealand and from overseas driving around town. Sometimes they are slow, or hesitant, because they are in an unfamiliar place and not 100% sure where they should be going. Extending a bit of tolerance towards our guests, be they from Waikikamukau, Wyoming or Wakayama, would be a nice welcoming thing to do. I have have been in similar situations overseas and completely understand what it's like.

Cardiff
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60. Re: Driving in New Zealand - please be cautious and courteous

Hi Valgee,

I understand and agree with your concern.

But there are more placatory and welcoming ways to make a point without opening a post with phrases such as "foreigners criticising our lifestyle" when none appear to have done so.

Thank you Selsey.

I'd hate to be in front of some posters with a supermarket trolley as I browsed the more interesting produce.

Trolley wars as I got tailgated :)