Driving in New Zealand

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Tourism Radio

New Zealand self drive enthusiasts can enjoy free Tourism Radio when they hire an Apollo Motorhome Holidays rental vehicle. The GPS driven information station guides Apollo clients on their New Zealand self-drive journeys, broadcasting area information, great local music and quality radio shows.

Apollo NZ Travel Guide

Apollo NZ Travel Guide gives you the best way to explore New Zealand. The app is packed full of information on things to see and do across the country as you drive around on holiday.

Discover hundreds of points of interest around New Zealand’s North and South Islands, each featuring high-quality images, up-to-date contact and pricing information, and detailed audio travel tips.

Apollo NZ Travel Guide includes these features:

  • Hundreds of detailed points of interest across New Zealand
  • The app knows where you are and accurately shows points of interest nearby
  • Locally-sourced information on pricing, with up-to-date contact details
  • Offline maps of the whole of New Zealand
  • Easy-to-use category filter and search functionality
  • A “take me there” feature that helps you find the best route around the country
  • Social media sharing of point of interest information and postcards
  • Guide content update automatically, so you won’t have to visit the app store to stay up to date

The Apollo NZ Travel Guide app is the perfect tool to use when visiting New Zealand, even if you’re a seasoned traveller. Download the app to your mobile and let us take you there!

New Zealand's tourist routes are generally of a 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 two-way. Signposting follows standard international symbols and all distances are in kilometres (km).

North Island 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 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 In New Zealand

A self drive holiday is the most relaxing way to enjoy New Zealand's landscape. Enjoy our low traffic levels and scenic roads in absolute comfort.

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:

  • All road distances are measured in kilometres.
  • Please note: The give way rules have changed as of 25th March 2012. For more information on the changes, 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.

You can find more information about Driving in New Zealand on www.newzealand.com

Travel Restrictions

To ensure your safety, Apollo has some travel restrictions for certain vehicles. Two Wheel Drive vehicles can only be driven on sealed/bitumen roads or well maintained access roads less than 500 metres long to recognised campgrounds. Restricted locations included parts of: Ninety Mile Beach, Mt Cook Region, Queenstown Region, Coromandel Peninsula and Waipapa Point to Corio Bay

Restriction Maps: New Zealand

Road Maps & Extra Information

All Apollo customers are supplied with a complimentary magazine when picking up their vehicle. This magazine includes 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. In the event you run into mechanical difficulties on your holiday, Apollo offers 24hour roadside assistance for your peace of mind. If you require assistance, please call Apollo on 0800 234 567 and we will help to get you back on the road as soon as possible.

New Zealand toll roads

 If you are touring New Zealand's beautiful North Island, you may pass through the Northern Gateway Toll Road. In 2009, New Zealand's first new toll road opened to the public - offering motorists a faster, safer and more direct route between Orewa and Puhoi, north of Auckland. When driving a rental vehicle in New Zealand, you are responsible for paying toll fees, so it is important to be aware of payment options before you travel. Visit the Northern Gateway Toll Road website for more information.

Featured New Zealand Touring Routes

View all travel routes

Have an adventure with an Apollo Campervan or Motorhome today! With our great variety of Featured New Zealand Touring Routes. You are sure to find the perfect route for your next self-drive Holiday.

New Zealand Campervan 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 Campervan 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 Campervan 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 Campervan 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 Campervan 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 Campervan 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 Campervan 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.

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