New Zealand Driving Itineraries
Our Top 5 New Zealand Road Trips
Best time to travel by road in New Zealand is November (Spring) to April (Autumn) as during the holidays in December reservations may be difficult.
New Zealand is bigger than people realize and many of the areas have only one driving lane in each direction and some very hilly roads. Travel by road can be slow. New Zealanders also drive on the opposite side of the road from the United States. It may be best to fly to certain regions and other areas where there is less traffic and the drives are lovely. We have compiled some handy tips for New Zealand road safety and regulations.
Top 5 New Zealand areas in order of our preference.
- Queenstown and Milford ‐ If time permits Wanaka, Mount Cook, and West Coast. South Island
- Auckland. North Island
- Rotorua/Taupo ‐ for Maori culture, green hills, and lakes. Stay at Huka Lodge if the budget allows. North Island
- Bay of Islands. North Island
- Picton, Nelson, and the Marlborough Sounds. The beauty of the sounds and wine country. South Island
We suggest these prime and acceptable drives which are not too long and offer nice scenery.
- Auckland to the Bay of Islands, 3.5 hours
- Auckland to Rotorua, 3.5 hours
- Rotorua to Taupo, 1.5 hours
- Queenstown to Te Anau and Milford, 2.5 hours to Te Anau and 2.5 hours to Milford for a total 5 hours (This is a long drive but well worth it - you may consider spending a night in Te Anau)
- Queenstown to Wanaka, 1.5 hours
- Queenstown to Mount Cook, 3.5 hours
- Greymouth to Queenstown via Fox and Franz Josef Glaciers and Haast Pass, 8 hours (You can overnight in the Franz Josef or Fox Village area)