What you should know before you rent a car
Where can you rent a car in New Zealand?
New Zealand is located in the Tasman Sea, not far from Australia, and is formed of two islands. As the country's capital city, Wellington is home to the New Zealand government and parliament. The country's largest city is Auckland, which is also a great place to rent a car with a number of agencies offering car hire in the city. Cars can also be rented from destinations including Queenstown, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin. There are also rail services and buses which operate across the country; however, traveling by car allows visitors the freedom to explore New Zealand's infamous natural landscapes at their own pace. The primary international airports in New Zealand include Christchurch International Airport, Auckland Airport and Wellington International Airport. It is also possible to rent a car from many of New Zealand's airports, allowing travelers to being exploring from the moment they land! Travelers are able to choose from a number of car rental companies in New Zealand, such as Hertz, Avis and Go Rentals.
What are the driving rules in New Zealand?
In New Zealand, drivers drive on the left hand side of the road; the country's roads are also known for being narrow, hilly and winding – so it's advisable to plan more time than needed to get from A to B. As with a number of countries around the world, it is illegal to use your cell phone while driving in New Zealand. When it comes to drivers license requirements in New Zealand, visitors planning to rent a car will need to have a valid overseas driver license or an international driving permit in order to legally drive in the country. For drivers under the age of 20 years old, it is illegal to drink and drive – with a blood alcohol limit of 0. Over the age of 20, drivers may not exceed a blood alcohol limit of 0.5mg - or around 1 unit of alcohol.
Road trips in New Zealand
New Zealand is known for its stunning landscapes: towering mountains, beautiful lakes and charming countryside are all some of its most popular sights. These are all best experienced by rental car, which allows the freedom to stop and admire all the attractions along the way.
Road trips around Wellington
Located on the southern tip of New Zealand's northern island, Wellington is the country's capital city and home to one of the country's major airports. As a result, there are a number of places from which to rent a car, with agencies such as Hertz and Avis to choose from. Within Wellington itself, major attractions include the Wellington Cable Car, the Wellington Botanic Gardens and Mount Victoria Lookout. From Wellington, there are a large number of roads to take for a truly memorable Kiwi road trip. Due to the country's size, it's advisable to plan a few days to really make the most of your rental car! Take a combination of inland and coastal roads to reach Mt Cook, New Zealand's tallest mountain; drive to the city of Nelson and explore the vineyards of Blenheim; or take a trip to the stunning Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand.
Road Trips around Christchurch
Found on New Zealand's South Island, the city of Christchurch is famous for its English heritage, and there are a number of interesting things to see and do in the metropolis. The Botanic Gardens, Canterbury Museum and Hagley Park are some of the most well known. Christchurch is also well located for a number of road trips: rent a car from companies including Hertz and Budget, and head off to explore the southern island! Driving from Christchurch to Queenstown is a popular route, taking travelers along breathtaking coastal roads. The Fox & Franz Josef Glaciers are a must see along the way.
A Lord of the Rings Road Trip
New Zealand is famous, among other things, as the site for the filming of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. As such, the country has become popular for fans hoping to see the sights in real life. This is easily done by rental car, with a number of popular filming locations found on the North Island. Rent a car in either Wellington or Auckland, before visiting sites such as the Hobbiton Movie Set, the real life Mount Doom (Mount Ngauruhoe), and the Putangirua Pinnacles – or Dimholt Road, as it's called in the movie.