• Arthurs Pass, Canterbury
    photo credit: Tourism NZ
  • Road to Paradise, near Glenorchy
    photo credit: Tourism NZ

new zealand wide

Self Drive Tours

south Island

Self Drive Tours

North Island

Self Drive Tours

Drive options


You’ll Have Total Flexibility

Holidaying by car allows you total flexibility to visit the places that most interest you – popular tourist resorts, cities, national parks, country towns, world heritage areas, secluded wilderness and hideaway places.

Meet New Zealand Vacations self drive rental car tours offer you the opportunity to explore this beautiful country, meet New Zealanders and experience real-life New Zealand.

You may travel at your own pace and stop wherever you wish for as long as you wish, always knowing that your accommodation is assured.


Maps, Distances & Traveling Times

Meet New Zealand Vacations provide maps, distances and travelling times between destinations, and other helpful information, to ensure your New Zealand independent vacation is a relaxed and enjoyable experience.


Your Rental Vehicle Choices

Your New Zealand self drive tour will be in a late model automatic vehicle from Europcar, now the most popular choice for rental vehicles in Europe.

As your itinerary is totally flexible your rental car hire includes unlimited kilometres.

For your travelling comfort you may select whichever automatic vehicle you prefer (subject to availability):



Compact Car (Small)
  • Automatic transmission
  • 4 doors
  • Air bags
  • CD player, power steering, air conditioning, central locking
Intermediate Car (Medium)
  • Automatic transmission
  • 4 doors
  • Air conditioning, central locking, dual air bags, power steering, power windows
Full Size Car (Large)
  • Automatic transmission
  • 4 doors
  • Air bags, air conditioning, CD player, power steering, central locking Nissan Maxima
Intermediate Four Wheel Drive (4WD)
  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 doors
  • Air conditioning, CD player, central locking, dual air bags, power steering
People Mover/Minivan (8 seater)
  • Automatic transmission
  • 5 doors
  • Air conditioning, central locking, power steering
  • Ideal for four persons travelling together

What You Need to Know


Driver’s Qualifications

You must be 21 years old or over to drive a rental vehicle in New Zealand and have a valid and current overseas drivers license or international driving permit in English.

Interisland Travel

Regular ferries operate throughout each day across Cook Strait between the North and the South Islands. You leave your rental car at the Europcar depots in Wellington and Picton and a fresh vehicle is provided when you disembark the ferry on the other side.

Driving Tips

For your safety and comfort we have put together some driving tips which we hope you will find useful for your New Zealand driving holiday.


Drive on the LEFT

The most important thing to remember is that in New Zealand, driving is on the LEFT HAND SIDE of the road. This is the same as in the United Kingdom.

Travelling Times

The maximum speed limit for the open road in new Zealand is 100 kilometres/hour (62 miles/hour). Drivers generally travel slightly under the speed limit.Please note that average speeds are lower and it takes longer to travel distances in new Zealand than might be expected. This is due to the hilly and mountainous nature of our countryside.

Please refer to the Driving Distances and Time Charts for typical driving times between locations.

Rural Driving

Many roads have gravel verges. Be mindful to keep clear of the verge, especially on corners. Some isolated roads are unsealed and use gravel as the surface. In these cases, drive slowly. Note that there are some roads which are not suitable for rental cars. We will advise you of these at the time of pick up. During winter and early spring, some roads in the South Island and central North Island may be closed because of snow and ice. There will usually be an alternative route for you to take.

Seat Belts

It is compulsory in New Zealand that the driver and all passengers wear their seatbelts. This is an important safety requirement.

More Information

For more detailed information, you can visit the New Zealand Government Transport Agency website. Here you will find information specifically for visitors who intend to drive in New Zealand.

Driving Distances and Time Charts

Click here to find driving distances and times between the major cities.

New Zealand Map

Click here to view a New Zealand map.

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