What you should know before you rent a car
Car hires in New Zealand: practical information
Where to rent a car in New Zealand
New Zealand, the land of the long white cloud is known for its stunningly beautiful natural landscapes. From steep fjords to pristine lakes, beaches and active volcanos… New Zealand is an oasis for a wilderness holiday. The country can be divided into two, the South Island and the North Island, both are gorgeous and are perfect places to start your trip. First step is a car hire New Zealand airport. There are six international airports in New Zealand, all of which have New Zealand car hire companies waiting to serve you.
You will find everything from major international car rental companies to small local firms if you're looking for a car hire New Zealand city. Big name rental companies will have better choice in vehicles and are ideal for one way car hires. Generally though, you'll find the local rental firms to be a lot cheaper.
Driving in New Zealand: parking and other tips
New Zealand drivers are known for being courteous. Traffic is also quite low on the islands in general, making a New Zealand rent car a perfect option for your trip. Like the UK, New Zealand vehicles drive on the left hand side of the road. On many New Zealand highways there are only two lands, one for you and one for oncoming traffic which means that you need to be very careful when passing. Add to that the fact that the highways are particularly curvy and windy.
The great thing about a self-drive holiday in New Zealand is having the flexibility to plan your trip the way you want it and stop whenever you like to enjoy a view. When planning your days, remember it is easy to underestimate the time it takes to get places as average driving speeds range from 50 km/h to 70 km/h in the cities while highways and motorways allow 100 km/h.
Road trips in New Zealand: what to do, what to see
Milford Sound is likely the most famous natural attraction in New Zealand. It is a fjord carved out by a glacier. It takes 2-3 hours to get here by car from Te Anau but the trip is gorgeous. Besides the scenery and waterfalls, which alone are worth the trip, Milford Sound also has some very cute wildlife: dolphins, penguins and seals. If you're visiting after dark, keep your eyes open for the New Zealand glow worm. Milford Sound is also a popular spot for kayaking, if the weather is good.
If you're a volcano hunter, start your trip in Rotorua. As soon as you arrive you'll notice the smell of sulphur in the air. The surrounding countryside is dotted with hot springs, geysers and of course an active volcano, Mount Tarawera. If you head south of Rotorua with your New Zealand rent car you'll find Lake Taupo, formed by a volcanic eruption. There are three active volcanos in nearby Tongariro National Park, one of which played the part of Mt. Doom in Lord of the Rings.
Auckland is called the City of Sails for a reason! The waterfront is a yachter's paradise. Mission Bay and Viaduct Harbour are great spots for admiring the boats. Some of the city's top sights include the Auckland War Museum which hosts an incredible collection of Maori and Polynesian arts and crafts. Next is the Sky Tower, is the tallest tower in the Southern Hemisphere. Don't miss the chance to climb to the top of Harbour Bridge or go kayaking around the city harbours.