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  Apollo Car Rentals - New Zealand Travel Information  

Driving in New Zealand
Touring routes
Helpful links

You have a question about travelling in New Zealand? Then click here to contact us with your enquiry!
  Driving in New ZealandReturn to top of page  
Driving Distances

New Zealand's tourist routes are of a generally high standard and the main roads are sealed. All roads, including those in rural locations, are signposted. Remember to drive on the left! The speed limit is 100km/h on the open road and 50km/h in urban areas. You will find multi-lane motorways and expressways on the approaches to the larger cities, with most roads being dual carriageways. Signposting follows standard international symbols and all distances are in kilometres (km).

North Island CAR HIRE Driving Matrix (kilometres / miles)


127 km
79 mi
325 km
202 mi
452 km
281 mi
357 km
222 mi
231 km
144 mi
412 km
256 mi
241 km
150 mi
368 km
229 mi
661 km
411 mi
597 km
371 mi
537 km
334 mi
411 km
255 mi
178 km
111 mi
234 km
145 mi
777 km
483 mi
280 km
174 mi
153 km
95 mi
143 km
89 mi
296 km
184 mi
518 km
322 mi
80 km
50 mi
206 km
128 mi
107 km
66 mi
299 km
186 mi
308 km
191 mi
445 km
277 mi
86 km
53 mi
156 km
97 mi
457 km
284 mi
331 km
206 mi
252 km
156 mi
160 km
99 mi
697 km
433 mi
309 km
192 mi
229 km
142 mi
273 km
170 mi
658 km
409 mi
532 km
331 mi
323 km
201 mi
355 km
221 mi
898 km
558 mi
460 km
286 mi
380 km
236 mi
473 km
294 mi
195 km
121 mi

SOUTH Island CAR HIRE Driving Matrix (kilometres / miles)


361 km
224 mi
408 km
254 mi
570 km
354 mi
Franz Josef              
554 km
344 mi
424 km
263 mi
146 km
91 mi
771 km
479 mi
410 km
254 mi
660 km
410 mi
514 km
319 mi
417 km
259 mi
799 km
496 mi
485 km
301 mi
631 km
392 mi
1145 km
711 mi
350 km
217 mi
711 km
442 mi
549 km
341 mi
695 km
431 mi
1121 km
697 mi
113 km
70 mi
487 km
303 mi
281 km
175 mi
365 km
227 mi
219 km
136 mi
307 km
191 mi
850 km
528 mi
837 km
520 mi
428 km
266 mi
276 km
172 mi
294 km
183 mi
148 km
92 mi
366 km
227 mi
779 km
484 mi
778 km
483 mi
71 km
44 mi
336 km
209 mi
670 km
416 mi
294 km
183 mi
440 km
273 mi
954 km
593 mi
230 km
143 mi
294 km
183 mi
659 km
409 mi
588 km
365 mi

Safe Driving

Self-driving holidays are one if the most relaxing ways of enjoying New Zealand's landscape. Many of our roads are scenic and traffic is low when compared to international standards.

Although New Zealand is a relatively small country it can take many hours to drive between cities and other destinations of interest. Even when distances are short, hilly or winding terrain or narrow secondary roads can slow your journey.

If you're used to driving in the city, you should take care when driving on the open country roads. New Zealand has a good motorway system but weather extremes, the terrain and narrow secondary roads and bridges require drivers to be very vigilant.

Never drive if you are feeling tired, particularly after you have just completed a long-haul flight.

The following, general information is provided for your road safety:

  • Always drive on the left-hand-side of the road and give way to your right.
  • All road distances are measured in kilometres.
  • When turning left, give way (yield) to traffic crossing or approaching from your right.
  • Please note: As of 25th March 2012, there are changes to the give way rules. For more information, please see this PDF
  • When the traffic light is red, you must stop. There is no left turn rule as in North America.
  • The amber traffic light means stop unless you are so close to the intersection you can't stop safely.
  • The speed limit on the open road is usually 100km/h (approx 60m/h). In urban areas the speed limit is 50km/h. Speed limits are strictly enforced by the police.
  • Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts or child restraints at all times, in both front and rear seats.
  • During long journeys take regular rest and refreshment breaks.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New Zealand and strictly enforced by police, with severe penalties for offenders.

Road Maps & Extra Info

All Apollo customers are supplied with a Complimentary Travel Wallet when picking up their vehicle. This wallet includes our New Zealand touring map, discount vouchers, campground guides, safety tips, local/regional information and other helpful information. Our vehicles also include a New Zealand road atlas to help you travel through New Zealand with ease. If you would like any more information our friendly staff will be more than happy to help you and offer you personal advice on where to go, what to see and the best routes to travel.

Breakdown & Accident Assistance

All Apollo vehicles are serviced and maintained to the highest industry standard but should you run into any mechanical trouble on your holiday Apollo offers 24hour roadside assistance. If you require any assistance due to a mechanical breakdown or repair please call GE Fleet Services 0800 113 131 and they will have someone out to help you quickly to get you back on the road sooner.



  Return to top of pageTouring routes  
car hire Touring ROUTES NEW ZEALAND - Less than 1 week
New Zealand Car Hire Route1

Wellington - Nelson - Wellington (3 Days)
Start: Wellington
End: Wellington
Distance: 559 kilometres

This short excursion to the South Island gives you a taste of wine, art and alpine adventure.
Includes: Wellington, Picton, Nelson, Murchison and Blenheim.

New Zealand Car Hire Route2

Napier - Wellington - Blenheim (3 Days)
Start: Napier
End: Blenheim
Distance: 486 kilometres

If you like fine wine, you'll love this driving route. Travel from Hawke's Bay through Tararua, the Wairarapa and Wellington to Marlborough. This route is also known as the 'Classic New Zealand Wine Trail'.
Includes: Napier, Hastings, Masterton, Martinborough, Wellington, Picton and Blenheim.

New Zealand Car Hire Route3

Wellington - Mt Cook - Queenstown (4 Days)
Start: Wellington
End: Queenstown
Distance: 1,155 kilometres

Start Wellington / Finish Queenstown This four day journey includes some of the South Island's most impressive landscapes and wildlife experiences.
Includes: Wellington, Picton, Blenheim, Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs, Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru, Lake Tekapo, Mt Cook Village, Twizel, Omarama and Queenstown

New Zealand Car Hire Route4 Wellington - Greymouth - Queenstown (5 Days)
Start: Wellington
End: Queenstown
Distance: 1,131 kilometres

Take the west coast route from Wellington to Queenstown – you'll discover glaciers, gold towns, rainforest and wild beaches.
Includes: Wellington, Picton, Nelson, Westport, Punakaiki, Greymouth, Hokitika, Franz Josef, Fox Glacier, Haast, Wanaka and Queenstown.
New Zealand Car Hire Route5 Queenstown - Wellington - Auckland (11 Days)
Start: Queenstown
End: Auckland
Distance: 2,652 kilometres

This Queenstown to Auckland route takes you from alpine scenery to subtropical sailing grounds in eleven days.
Includes: Wellington, Picton, Nelson, Murchison and Blenheim.
New Zealand Car Hire Route6 Christchurch - Auckland (12 Days)
Start: Christchurch
End: Auckland
Distance: 2,651 kilometres

Target the regions that hosted the Lions Tour test matches. You'll still have the chance to see a lot of New Zealand.
Includes: Napier, Hastings, Masterton, Martinborough, Wellington, Picton and Blenheim.
New Zealand Car Hire Route7

Billy Connolly Drives New Zealand (25 Days)
Start: Auckland
End: Christchurch
Distance: 4,055 kilometres

Start Auckland / Finish Christchurch Billy Connolly traversed 8,500km of New Zealand during his recent tour of the country. Take your own 'world tour' of New Zealand. This extensive driving route provides a total view of the country, and takes in all the most significant attractions.
Includes: Christchurch, Lake Tekapo, Twizel, Omarama, Queenstown, Wanaka, Haast, Fox Glacier, Franz Josef, Hokitika, Greymouth, Westport, Nelson, Blenheim, Picton, Wellington, Martinborough, Masterton, Hastings, Napier, Taupo, Rotorua, Tauranga, Whangamata, Whitianga, Coromandel and Auckland.



  Helpful links Return to top of page  

Belt Road Seaside Holiday Park
With accommodation from power sites to cabins, standard, ensuite or Park Motel, you will be assured of a quiet relaxing stay, a perfect base to experience Taranaki

Whats On NZ
New Zealand search engine for real estate, jobs, entertainment, shopping, media, education, business, classifieds and more.

Black Water Rafting Company
In 1987 The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company introduced the first commercial cave experience in New Zealand. Now with a generation of some of the regions most experienced cave professionals, this extremely successful venture has attained international fame.
A travel destination like no other. From extreme adventure to utmost luxury; live, breathe and experience the authentic New Zealand with as your travel guide.

New Zealand Small Business Directory and Travel Guide
"Taking New Zealand to the world"

New Zealand Transport Guide
The New Zealand Tourism Guide is a comprehensive online directory of tourism and travel companies with over 12,000 listings for New Zealand accommodation, attractions, tours and transport, plus extensive holiday and vacation information for visitors.

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