Road trip in New Zealand

Who has never dreamed of exploring the country where the Lord of the Rings was filmed ? New Zealand is full of breathtaking landscapes and you will be amazed by the diversity of the places between glacier, geyser, white sand beach, fjords and volcano ! So are you up for a road trip to New Zealand?

road trip to new zealand
  • Keywords : Maori culture, WHV, wild camping, eco tourism, beautiful landscapes
  • Must-see places : Wai O Tapu, Tongariro National Park, Milford Sound, Hobbiton, Rotorua, Wellington, Auckland…
  • Food : Veggie, Whitebait, Fish & Chips, Hangi, Meat Pie, Pavlova,
  • Currency : New Zealand Dollar (1$ = 1.50 $ NZL)
  • Best time : Southern Winter (June to September) – Southern Summer (November to May)
  • Time difference : +10h (summer) & +12h in winter
  • Official languages : English, Maori (New Zealand language)
  • Annual Tourism Report : 3.8 million tourists in 2018
  • Vaccines : None required but recommendations to be up to date with the standards.

Where to sleep during a road trip in New Zealand ?

New Zealand is a country that travels very easily and independently. However, many travellers choose to travel with a local travel agency to make it easier for them to rent cars, accommodation and see the most popular sites.

During our two trips to New Zealand (two months in total), we met several local agencies and we can now recommend a local agency to help you get a tailor-made trip!

Summary
  • Keywords : Maori culture, WHV, wild camping, eco tourism, beautiful landscapes
  • Must-see places : Wai O Tapu, Tongariro National Park, Milford Sound, Hobbiton, Rotorua, Wellington, Auckland…
  • Food : Veggie, Whitebait, Fish & Chips, Hangi, Meat Pie, Pavlova,
  • Currency : New Zealand Dollar (1$ = 1.50 $ NZL)
  • Best time : Southern Winter (June to September) – Southern Summer (November to May)
  • Time difference : +10h (summer) & +12h in winter
  • Official languages : English, Maori (New Zealand language)
  • Annual Tourism Report : 3.8 million tourists in 2018
  • Vaccines : None required but recommendations to be up to date with the standards.
Travel
Accomodations

Where to sleep during a road trip in New Zealand ?

Travel guides
Travel agency

New Zealand is a country that travels very easily and independently. However, many travellers choose to travel with a local travel agency to make it easier for them to rent cars, accommodation and see the most popular sites.

During our two trips to New Zealand (two months in total), we met several local agencies and we can now recommend a local agency to help you get a tailor-made trip!

A more personal opinion

I wanted to add a few more personal words about a road trip in New Zealand. Living in the middle of the Southern Hemisphere, on Polynesian territory, New Zealand is only a five-hour flight from home. It was a pleasure for me to discover the country for a month during a road trip on the North Island of the country.

During our more recent travels, we tend to organize things less and less and I must admit that New Zealand is a good place to do so. When preparing our trip around the territory, we immediately excluded the interest of renting a motorhome, this option being too expensive for us. So, we opted for car rental and camping for the whole month on the North Island. We were certainly not yet in the tourist season (December to February) in general so we had no difficulty in finding campsites to spend the night, even if we were doing so at 5pm…

Personally, I was longing for the breathtaking landscapes and wilderness that the country renowned for. It should be said that this distant destination is really famous for this but also for extreme sports (for whatever reason). I am not especially a fan of the latter but thrill seekers can have a great time with bungee jumping, rafting, climbing, helicopters and more…

Regarding my month spent on the North Island, I must say that I was rather satisfied. I would say “rather” because in the end, the country is, in my opinion, too easy to travel. It is really disconcertingly simple to get around, eat, live, etc. Culture is only very little present from what I have seen and the main interest is limited (so to speak) to discovering the beautiful sites of the country. A friend who joined me in the country for a few days told me, New Zealand is like an open-air Disneyland for adults. Indeed, it’s not far from it. Everything is tagged, supervised, guided so let’s say you’re not at risk! Even if I was not there in the peak tourist season, we still encounter a lot of people, especially in touristy places like Rotorua, Tangariro, etc..

road trip new zealand
The landscapes are perfect for a road trip in New Zealand

Don’t get me wrong; I still really enjoyed my trip. Let’s just say, I’m still a little thirsty. I had the opportunity to travel there with my family and my little boy who was 1 and a half years old at the time. I have to say that the country is perfect for a family trip. Everything is neat, clean, well equipped and there are children’s playgrounds all over the country. It’s excellent from that perspective.

As I write these few lines (early 2019), a trip of several weeks is planned to the South Island, probably in 2020. I’m longing to go on this trip because everyone tells me that there are more beautiful landscapes on the South Island. Of course the landscapes in the North are very nice in some places too, so what will the South Island be like?!

I will get back to you as soon as my trip to the South Island is over to give you my opinion. In the meantime, I will continue to contribute to this section of the blog on New Zealand. You will already find some articles on the different corners we have discovered so far, but more articles are on their way!

I wish you a nice trip and a great preparation!

Sylvain

New Zealand Map
new zealand map road trip north island
Map of north island of New Zealand
new zealand south island map
Map of South Island of New Zealand
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