We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Self Drive New Zealand

Colchester, United...
Level Contributor
92 posts
388 reviews
Save Topic
Self Drive New Zealand

We are planning a self drive trip to New Zealand is 21 days enough to cover the North and South islands or do I need a few days more

New Zealand
Destination Expert
for South Island
Level Contributor
28,304 posts
83 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Self Drive New Zealand

I think you will find a few extra days always welcome. Three weeks is the minimum time to explore both islands with one week for the North Island and two weeks for the longer distances and more rugged terrain of the South Island.

Happy planning :)

KL
Level Contributor
1,593 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Self Drive New Zealand

If you can add another week, it should be better. So much to do / see in so little time.

Whangarei, New...
Level Contributor
12 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Self Drive New Zealand

How exciting. Really another week would make your trip more relaxing and enjoyable. Some of the roads up here in the north of the North Island make for relatively slow driving. It really depends on how far north and south you are wanting to travel. Please remember to take care of your personal items, ie passport, camera, computer, money, do not leave them behind in a locked vehicle. If you would like any more information, I am happy to respond. Take care and enjoy our beautiful country

Edited: 25 September 2012, 01:34
Whangarei, New...
Level Contributor
12 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Self Drive New Zealand

How exciting. Really another week would make your trip more relaxing and enjoyable. Some of the roads up here in the north of the North Island make for relatively slow driving. It really depends on how far north and south you are wanting to travel. Please remember to take care of your personal items, ie passport, camera, computer, money, do not leave them behind in a locked vehicle. If you would like any more information, I am happy to respond. Take care and enjoy our beautiful country

Edited: 25 September 2012, 01:34
Johor Bahru...
Level Contributor
1,467 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Self Drive New Zealand

WhangareiSioux,

thanks for the advice regarding do not leave valuable item in a locked vehicle. Eventhough it's really troublesome carrying a heavy backpack walking around at sightseeing places, but to stay safe, look like we don't have many choices, do we?

Canberra
Level Contributor
16 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Self Drive New Zealand

The other members, more knowledgable members than me, have already given you good advice, however, I thought I'd throw in my "two bobs worth". My wife and I in Feb/March took 30 nights to visit both the North and South Islands. We saw a lot but we missed a lot more, that is for certain. Yes we like to do things in a relaxed way but we were very happy with our holiday which took us as far north as Cape Reinga and south as far as Gore. This was made up of Auckland 3 nts, Paihia 5 nts, Cambridge 2 nts, Mt Ruapehu (Tongariro) 2 nts, Wellington 3 nts, Kaikoura 1 nt, Hanmer Springs 1 nt, Lake Tekapo 1 nt, Queenstown 5 nts, Te Anau 2 nts, Dunedin 3 nts, Akaroa 2 nts. Yes if we were not so relaxed we could reduce the length of some of our stays BUT the "savings" would be so easily taken up with visits to other very desirable locations on both the North and South Islands. I don't need to mention those locations, they are very well known and we will be returing to visit them. The essence of my point, "one month visiting NZ is VERY EASILY USED" and in that you are from England and because of the very long trip, this might be your one and only visit to NZ, why not extend your stay to at least one month, it is in our view a wonderful place and try to spend at least 2 nts in as many places as possible, giving you one complete day to explore and enjoy.

Whangarei, New...
Level Contributor
12 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Self Drive New Zealand

Hello again, money, passport, air tickets, cameras are all pretty light really, it would be the computer that is heaviest, if you are staying at motels etc perhaps leave it there in a safe, but always have your documents on your person when out and about. There have been several incidences of recent times where tourists have gone back to their vehicles only to find their vehicle has been broken into and valuable documents, cameras etc stolen. I tell you this because I always feel devastated when I read that another lot of tourists have been violated. Mostly, it is a pretty safe country, but all countries have an element of undesirables and NZ is no exception. What time of the year are you looking at visiting?

Johor Bahru...
Level Contributor
1,467 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Self Drive New Zealand

Hello again, agreed with you that computer that is heaviest is a main concern. Other than that, shouldn't be a problem to carry in backpack around daily. Based to what I read online, look like NZ is a pretty safe place and recently I came across this link that I think worth to share with others.

stuff.co.nz/business/money/7713665/NZ-ranked…

Thanks for your tip regarding keeping valuable item in safe but do all the motels offering this facilities? Btw, planning to visit either this Nov or next year May.

Whangarei, New...
Level Contributor
12 posts
57 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Self Drive New Zealand

No, not all motel rooms will have a safe, however, enquire with management who will no doubt be accommodating. We are a very beautiful country with so much to see and experience. Safe travels.

Johor Bahru...
Level Contributor
1,467 posts
38 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Self Drive New Zealand

thanks again for the advice. appreciated it.