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      Driving in New Zealand

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      Tourism Radio

      New Zealand self drive enthusiasts can enjoy free Tourism Radio when they hire an Apollo Motorhome Holidays rental vehicle. The GPS driven information station guides Apollo clients on their New Zealand self-drive journeys, broadcasting area information, great local music and quality radio shows.

      Apollo NZ Travel Guide

      Apollo NZ Travel Guide gives you the best way to explore New Zealand. The app is packed full of information on things to see and do across the country as you drive around on holiday.

      Discover hundreds of points of interest around New Zealand’s North and South Islands, each featuring high-quality images, up-to-date contact and pricing information, and detailed audio travel tips.

      Apollo NZ Travel Guide includes these features:

      • Hundreds of detailed points of interest across New Zealand
      • The app knows where you are and accurately shows points of interest nearby
      • Locally-sourced information on pricing, with up-to-date contact details
      • Offline maps of the whole of New Zealand
      • Easy-to-use category filter and search functionality
      • A “take me there” feature that helps you find the best route around the country
      • Social media sharing of point of interest information and postcards
      • Guide content update automatically, so you won’t have to visit the app store to stay up to date

      The Apollo NZ Travel Guide app is the perfect tool to use when visiting New Zealand, even if you’re a seasoned traveller. Download the app to your mobile and let us take you there!

      New Zealand's tourist routes are generally of a high standard and the main roads are sealed. All roads, including those in rural locations, are signposted. Remember to drive on the left! The speed limit is 100km/h on the open road and 50km/h in urban areas.

      You will find multi-lane motorways and expressways on the approaches to the larger cities, with most roads being two-way. Signposting follows standard international symbols and all distances are in kilometres (km).

      North Island Driving Matrix (kilometres / miles)


      127 km
      79 mi
      325 km
      202 mi
      452 km
      281 mi
      357 km
      222 mi
      231 km
      144 mi
      412 km
      256 mi
      241 km
      150 mi
      368 km
      229 mi
      661 km
      411 mi
      597 km
      371 mi
      537 km
      334 mi
      411 km
      255 mi
      178 km
      111 mi
      234 km
      145 mi
      777 km
      483 mi
      280 km
      174 mi
      153 km
      95 mi
      143 km
      89 mi
      296 km
      184 mi
      518 km
      322 mi
      80 km
      50 mi
      206 km
      128 mi
      107 km
      66 mi
      299 km
      186 mi
      308 km
      191 mi
      445 km
      277 mi
      86 km
      53 mi
      156 km
      97 mi
      457 km
      284 mi
      331 km
      206 mi
      252 km
      156 mi
      160 km
      99 mi
      697 km
      433 mi
      309 km
      192 mi
      229 km
      142 mi
      273 km
      170 mi
      658 km
      409 mi
      532 km
      331 mi
      323 km
      201 mi
      355 km
      221 mi
      898 km
      558 mi
      460 km
      286 mi
      380 km
      236 mi
      473 km
      294 mi
      195 km
      121 mi

      SOUTH Island Driving Matrix (kilometres / miles)


      361 km
      224 mi
      408 km
      254 mi
      570 km
      354 mi
      Franz Josef              
      554 km
      344 mi
      424 km
      263 mi
      146 km
      91 mi
      771 km
      479 mi
      410 km
      254 mi
      660 km
      410 mi
      514 km
      319 mi
      417 km
      259 mi
      799 km
      496 mi
      485 km
      301 mi
      631 km
      392 mi
      1145 km
      711 mi
      350 km
      217 mi
      711 km
      442 mi
      549 km
      341 mi
      695 km
      431 mi
      1121 km
      697 mi
      113 km
      70 mi
      487 km
      303 mi
      281 km
      175 mi
      365 km
      227 mi
      219 km
      136 mi
      307 km
      191 mi
      850 km
      528 mi
      837 km
      520 mi
      428 km
      266 mi
      276 km
      172 mi
      294 km
      183 mi
      148 km
      92 mi
      366 km
      227 mi
      779 km
      484 mi
      778 km
      483 mi
      71 km
      44 mi
      336 km
      209 mi
      670 km
      416 mi
      294 km
      183 mi
      440 km
      273 mi
      954 km
      593 mi
      230 km
      143 mi
      294 km
      183 mi
      659 km
      409 mi
      588 km
      365 mi

      Safe Driving In New Zealand

      A self drive holiday is the most relaxing way to enjoy New Zealand's landscape. Enjoy our low traffic levels and scenic roads in absolute comfort.

      Although New Zealand is a relatively small country, it can take many hours to drive between cities and other destinations of interest. Even when distances are short, hilly or winding terrain or narrow secondary roads can slow your journey.

      If you're used to driving in the city, you should take care when driving on the open country roads. New Zealand has a good motorway system but weather extremes, the terrain and narrow secondary roads and bridges require drivers to be very vigilant.

      Never drive if you are feeling tired, particularly after you have just completed a long-haul flight.
      The following general information is provided for your road safety:

      • All road distances are measured in kilometres.
      • Please note: The give way rules have changed as of 25th March 2012. For more information on the changes, please see this PDF
      • When the traffic light is red, you must stop. There is no left turn rule as in North America.
      • The amber traffic light means stop unless you are so close to the intersection you can't stop safely.
      • The speed limit on the open road is usually 100km/h (approx 60m/h). In urban areas the speed limit is 50km/h. Speed limits are strictly enforced by the police.
      • Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts or child restraints at all times, in both front and rear seats.
      • During long journeys take regular rest and refreshment breaks.

      Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New Zealand and strictly enforced by police, with severe penalties for offenders.

      You can find more information about Driving in New Zealand on

      Travel Restrictions

      To ensure your safety, Apollo has some travel restrictions for certain vehicles. Two Wheel Drive vehicles can only be driven on sealed/bitumen roads or well maintained access roads less than 500 metres long to recognised campgrounds. Restricted locations included parts of: Ninety Mile Beach, Mt Cook Region, Queenstown Region, Coromandel Peninsula and Waipapa Point to Corio Bay

      Restriction Maps: New Zealand

      Road Maps & Extra Information

      All Apollo customers are supplied with a complimentary magazine when picking up their vehicle. This magazine includes discount vouchers, campground guides, safety tips, local/regional information and other helpful information. Our vehicles also include a New Zealand road atlas to help you travel through New Zealand with ease. If you would like any more information our friendly staff will be more than happy to help you and offer you personal advice on where to go, what to see and the best routes to travel.

      Breakdown & Accident Assistance

      All Apollo vehicles are serviced and maintained to the highest industry standard. In the event you run into mechanical difficulties on your holiday, Apollo offers 24hour roadside assistance for your peace of mind. If you require assistance, please call Apollo on 0800 234 567 and we will help to get you back on the road as soon as possible.

      New Zealand toll roads

       If you are touring New Zealand's beautiful North Island, you may pass through the Northern Gateway Toll Road. In 2009, New Zealand's first new toll road opened to the public - offering motorists a faster, safer and more direct route between Orewa and Puhoi, north of Auckland. When driving a rental vehicle in New Zealand, you are responsible for paying toll fees, so it is important to be aware of payment options before you travel. Visit the Northern Gateway Toll Road website for more information.

      Featured New Zealand Touring Routes

      View all travel routes

      Have an adventure with an Apollo Campervan or Motorhome today! With our great variety of Featured New Zealand Touring Routes. You are sure to find the perfect route for your next self-drive Holiday.

      New Zealand Campervan Hire Route1

      Wellington - Nelson - Wellington (3 Days)
      Start: Wellington
      End: Wellington
      Distance: 559 kilometres

      This short excursion to the South Island gives you a taste of wine, art and alpine adventure.
      Includes: Wellington, Picton, Nelson, Murchison and Blenheim.

      New Zealand Campervan Hire Route2

      Napier - Wellington - Blenheim (3 Days)
      Start: Napier
      End: Blenheim
      Distance: 486 kilometres

      If you like fine wine, you'll love this driving route. Travel from Hawke's Bay through Tararua, the Wairarapa and Wellington to Marlborough. This route is also known as the 'Classic New Zealand Wine Trail'.
      Includes: Napier, Hastings, Masterton, Martinborough, Wellington, Picton and Blenheim.

      New Zealand Campervan Hire Route3

      Wellington - Mt Cook - Queenstown (4 Days)
      Start: Wellington
      End: Queenstown
      Distance: 1,155 kilometres

      Start Wellington / Finish Queenstown This four day journey includes some of the South Island's most impressive landscapes and wildlife experiences.
      Includes: Wellington, Picton, Blenheim, Kaikoura, Hanmer Springs, Christchurch, Ashburton, Timaru, Lake Tekapo, Mt Cook Village, Twizel, Omarama and Queenstown

      New Zealand Campervan Hire Route4

      Wellington - Greymouth - Queenstown (5 Days)
      Start: Wellington
      End: Queenstown
      Distance: 1,131 kilometres

      Take the west coast route from Wellington to Queenstown – you'll discover glaciers, gold towns, rainforest and wild beaches.
      Includes: Wellington, Picton, Nelson, Westport, Punakaiki, Greymouth, Hokitika, Franz Josef, Fox Glacier, Haast, Wanaka and Queenstown.

      New Zealand Campervan Hire Route5

      Queenstown - Wellington - Auckland (11 Days)
      Start: Queenstown
      End: Auckland
      Distance: 2,652 kilometres

      This Queenstown to Auckland route takes you from alpine scenery to subtropical sailing grounds in eleven days.
      Includes: Wellington, Picton, Nelson, Murchison and Blenheim.

      New Zealand Campervan Hire Route6

      Christchurch - Auckland (12 Days)
      Start: Christchurch
      End: Auckland
      Distance: 2,651 kilometres

      Target the regions that hosted the Lions Tour test matches. You'll still have the chance to see a lot of New Zealand.
      Includes: Napier, Hastings, Masterton, Martinborough, Wellington, Picton and Blenheim.

      New Zealand Campervan Hire Route7

      Billy Connolly Drives New Zealand (25 Days)
      Start: Auckland
      End: Christchurch
      Distance: 4,055 kilometres

      Start Auckland / Finish Christchurch Billy Connolly traversed 8,500km of New Zealand during his recent tour of the country. Take your own 'world tour' of New Zealand. This extensive driving route provides a total view of the country, and takes in all the most significant attractions.
      Includes: Christchurch, Lake Tekapo, Twizel, Omarama, Queenstown, Wanaka, Haast, Fox Glacier, Franz Josef, Hokitika, Greymouth, Westport, Nelson, Blenheim, Picton, Wellington, Martinborough, Masterton, Hastings, Napier, Taupo, Rotorua, Tauranga, Whangamata, Whitianga, Coromandel and Auckland.