Car Hire in New Zealand
New Zealand is a vast country spread over two major islands, the North and the South. So if you want to understand the history, politics, environment, economy, demography or culture then just put 'New Zealand' into your favourite web search and start reading. However if you want a personal view on what to do, where to go, what to eat and of course what to see then read on. Hiring a car in New Zealand is highly recommended and we offer great rates on New Zealand Car hire on this site.
Outside of the two major islands only the most hardy tourist will venture out to Stewart Island to the south where there a very few roads or to Chatham Island to the east where they are even fewer roads. Most tourists who self drive will land in New Zealand's major city Auckland, collect their hire car, and venture off into the beautiful countryside. Once out of Auckland, there are no Motorways. The roads vary in width, profile and surface and are probably vastly different to what most people are accustomed too, so be cautious with your speed. Drive too fast and you will miss the glorious scenery. Also many back country roads have a gravel surface but that is the real 'Heartland' of New Zealand.
There is a large climate range over the Islands from sub-tropical in the north of Auckland to Alpine on the South Island. These mountains are just as stunning as any in Europe. The important thing to remember with a visit here is you should not rush. The trip here for most people will be a one off and a major journey so plan your time once you arrive. Three weeks will just be enough time to see one Island. New Zealander's or 'Kiwis' are casual and forgiving, especially in the back country which is where you find all the hidden secrets. We offer car hire from both of the islands.
Although tourism is a major industry do not expect to find lots of tour buses at the major attractions. Two or three buses are more normal even at peak hours. The only place you will find major queues are from the sheep at the High Country stations during shearing time or the cows walking to the milking sheds which can be found down nearly every road.
All major attractions, historic places and 'tourist' areas such as beaches are well sign posted. Also take time to visit the local Tourist Information bureaus, especially in the small towns, as that is how you will find those special hidden treasure's that you will remember well after departing for home. Make good use of your hire car and visit as many of the main attractions as you can.
So a quick summary of New Zealand from North to South:-
- Northland - stunning beaches, sub-tropical fruits, The Bay of Islands.
- Auckland - NZ's largest city and full of attractions. One could spend a week just here. It has the largest pleasure craft fleet in the southern hemisphere, hence its nickname ‘City of sails'. Take a ferry ride out to one of the islands or across to old world Devonport.
- Waikato - Intensive dairy farming, green fields, and the Waitomo Glow worm caves.
- Bay Of Plenty - Kiwi fruit and more stunning beaches.
- Central North Island - Rotorua Thermal wonderland, Lake Taupo, the alpine desert road crossing and the Mt Ruapehu ski fields.
- Manawatu - Big open hill country, large sheep and beef farms, stunning autumn scenery.
- Wellington - 'Windy Wellington', the historic cable car, The Cook Strait ferry, beautiful on a calm day so check the weather forecast.
- Marlborough - Queen Charlotte Sound ferry crossing and vineyards
- Kaikoura - Whale watching
- Canterbury - wide open plains, Christchurch city and it Avon River - the 'Cambridge' of New Zealand
- Otago - Old Gold fields, alpine sheep stations, huge hydroelectric schemes and skiing.
- Queenstown and Lake Wakatipu with the 1912 TSS Earnslaw steam ship.
- Southland - agriculture, fishing and forestry.
- Lake Wanaka and Fiordland National Park (12,500sq km)
- Westland - Glaciers, rain forests, wild rock coast line.
Just remember that you need to double whatever time you thought you might need for a visit. Check out our New Zealand car hire prices using the instant quoter on this page.