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Kia Ora :) If you love nature and peace and adventure and driving , then NZ is the place for you! The long drives, stunning views, green and blue color in abundance, peace everywhere, honest people, traffic rules, roads...everything is just lovely :) NZ has it all!
When to Visit:
All year round. It lies in Southern Hemisphere so their summers are from December to February with longer days and that is also the peak season. If you want to go for ski then visit in winters (June to August) with shorter days. The weather in New Zealand changes multiple times a day throughout the year, so be prepared for all of it :) When we went, it was raining in North Island all the time but we got so lucky to see sun in south Island all the time :) And thank Sun we could do our adventurous activities! :D
English and Maori
What to carry:
Carry both summer clothes as well as winter clothes as weather keeps on changing and Always Dress in layers.
Sports shoes(for Lots of nature walks and other Activities)
Torch for night walks
Medical Prescriptions along with Medicines
Driving License (Domestic ot International) if you plan to drive
Extra photo Id card along with passport and their first copy
Usually people hire a vehicle and self drive here. But if you don't want to drive, then the option of Hop on Hop off buses and small group tours is also available. Bus passes are available for any number of days you want. You can hop on and off at anyplace you like in that time frame. Small group tours are guided ones and are available online and on the
Self Drive: Driving in NZ is on left hand side of the road just like in India. Indian License is allowed in New Zealand. You can also carry International License if you have. Either one is fine. We took the International one. Any document must be in English language though! Many cars and campervans/motorhomes are available to drive. NZ has many holiday parks to park the campervans and cars at night at minimal fees and use the facilities there. You have to fill petrol/diesel yourself and dump the toilet bin in campervans yourself at dump stations! No escape :P
NZ had lot many companies providing rental cars. Jucy, Thrifty, Hertz, Apex and many more. We booked from Jucy. Luckily I stumbled upon planitnz blog. They really got me a good deal in car booking. Their website is www.planitnz.com . Matt and Daisy answered all my questions and helped with my itinerary and activity bookings. They are really patient coz I asked soooo many questions!! Incase you decide to book with them then do take reference of goaroundtours. I am sure they will get you a good deal or else contact us! ;) We got a Nissan Tiida in Travella category. It is advisable to book in advance. We did not book for last day of our trip and ended up paying 4 times more while booking from airport and that too for a smaller car :X
Road Rules: The roads in NZ are very good. Mostly they are two lane or one lane. And since NZ is very sparsely populated, so you will find very few cars on highways but cities have lots of cars with parking almost full! Just remember to follow the rules of speed limits and no overtaking if there are yellow line dividers! Stop at stop signs and give way signs to let other traffic pass. We could hardly spot any traffic police or any other police on our journey because the best part is that NO ONE breaks rules! :) Highly needed in India ;) We have lots to learn in terms of cleanliness and rules! Do read the Driving rules on official New Zealand website before going. Pretty simple rules. And they have tree sign for places where we can stop on roads for rest/views. So just don't stop anywhere!
GPS is a must. Rental companies provide that at extra cost, else use your own mobile.