Article Five driving tips to keep safe on New Zealand roads this summer
Pack your bags, load up the camper and get ready for your summer holiday – there is nothing quite like that moment of pulling away from the kerb, ready for adventures in the sunshine to really help with kicking into relaxation mode.
Before you put your foot on the pedal, take a moment to read through these handy hints to consider when driving your camper around New Zealand’s roads this holiday season.
Keep left All New Zealand roads require drivers to drive on the left side of the road at all times. While some countries stick to the right, New Zealand drivers are always on the left – even when you head into a passing lane, stay on the left unless you intend to pass, and then return to the left lane as soon as possible. It’s a simple yet very important rule!
More traffic than normal The warmth and sun of the summer holidays brings with it an increase in traffic and tourists on the roads. Common sense is best used here, so simply give yourself more time to reach your destination. Some more iconic routes are bound to be a little busier given the time of year, so stay relaxed, put on some great tunes and travel along at whatever the pace may be.
Frequent rest stops For those of you travelling for more than an hour or two, don’t forget to fit in a few rest stops. Stops give the drivers a chance to freshen up, refuel their caffeine or chocolate fix and generally stretch the legs. See if you can plan your stops around destinations along the way. New Zealand has a number of great touring routes which contain great spots on the way to the destination – why not explore as you go? If you can share the driving for longer distance trips, that makes it more fun for everyone!
Windy roads Some of New Zealand’s favourite tourism hot spots are often at the end of scenic yet winding or hilly roads. Taking it slow is the best way to combat this, and never swing around corners too fast in a camper, as aside from potentially inducing travel sickness, keeping it slow and steady is a lot safer. Where possible, pull over to the left to let other vehicles go by, allowing you to take your time and continue to your destination with ease.
Help is always here As with any country, there is a tiny percentage of drivers that will try and push the boundaries – if you see someone crossing the centre line or driving with a little more speed than you think is safe, you can always pull over and dial *555 from any mobile phone to report the driver. Just take a moment to memorise or write down their number plate.
Use your common sense, always stick to the left, and be considerate of other smaller vehicles behind you on windy and hilly roads – and don’t forget the rest stops. This combination of good ideas will help to ensure your journey is a safe and enjoyable one. For additional information on driving on New Zealand roads, click here.