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Rail Services
Experience New Zealand by traveling on the unique train journeys
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Ferry Services
convenient daily passenger and car service across Cook Strait separating the North and South Islands.
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  Driving Tips -
  New Zealand because of its size is an easy country to travel around by car. A few hours drive will take you city to city on either island and there are many small towns and points of scenic or historic interest in between.

Good quality accommodation is readily available and it's a good idea to get off the beaten track and meet the locals and check out New Zealand's unique beauty.

Tips for Driving in New Zealand Driving

There is no national network of multi lane motorways so travel is on standard 2 lane highways where the speed limit is 100 kph and is rigidly enforced by the authorities. With the exception of the high density population areas around Auckland and Wellington, traffic is generally light.

If you're accustomed to driving in Europe or the USA where traffic drives on the right hand side of the road, you need to be particularly careful to stay on the left when driving in New Zealand.

Visitors are often surprised to find that they can travel from the east coast to the west coast in a matter of only a few hours. Of course how much you see of the country will depend on how much time you have available and what your interests are.

If you're just wanting to drive around and enjoy the scenery and have a relaxing holiday through either or both the North and South Islands - these are just some general tips.

When driving in New Zealand, allow approximately 5 hours a day of driving. This allows you to have driving breaks on the way and allows time for sightseeing.
 
The map on the left gives you approximate driving times between destinations.

You can use one way rentals and travel the full length of the country or if you prefer, you can drive down one coast and back up the other and leave from the same airport you arrived at.

Travelling by Ferry - North and South Islands

There are regular ferry crossings from Wellington to Picton and vice versa. Travelling by ferry across Cook Straight gives you the opportunity to see the beautiful Marlborough Sounds and Picton.

Interislander and Bluebridge ferries take about three hours to cross Cook Strait between Wellington in the North Island and Picton to South Island.

If travelling by rental car, you can leave your car at the ferry terminal and collect another car at the other side. When you check in, your bags are taken care of and you're free to relax on the ferry and enjoy the views.

If you are picking a rental car in Picton, you will need to have a reservation on an Interislander or Bluebridge ferry in advance, as most rental car operates in Picton will have vehicles available for prebooked hires only due to the isolated nature of Picton..

If you are dropping off in Wellington and picking in Picton or dropping off in Picton and picking up in Wellington, it is strongly recommended that you have a confirm reservation on an Interislander or Bluebridge ferry, so you can advise your rental car operator of your reservation when you first pick up your rental car.

It is strongly recommended that you prebooked your Interislander or Bluebridge ferry sailing in advance, especially during public holidays and between December to March

Travelling on The TranzAlpine train

If you want to travel on the TranzAlpine train from Christchurch to Greymouth, you will need to drop off your rental car the night before your travel date on The TranzAlpine train and pick up your new rental car in Greymouth. If you pick up your new rental car within 24 hours of the drop off, there will be part of the rental rate that your have booked for. If you pick up your rental car in excess of 24 hours, this will deemed to be a new hire and you might have to pay different rate compared to the original rate as originally booked.

If you are picking a rental car in Greymouth, you will need to have a reservation in advance, as most rental car operates in Greymouth will have vehicles available for prebooked hires only due to the isolated nature of the West Coast of the South Island.

Please make sure that you a rental car more than 7 days if picking up in Greymouth or you will pay a Pick Up Fee of NZ$75 to NZ$150.00 (depending on rental car operator used) if hire is less than 7 days. This also applies if dropping off in Greymouth and if the hire is less than 7 days.

If you are dropping off in Christchurchand picking in Greymouth or dropping off in Greymouth and picking up in Christchurch, it is strongly recommended that you have a confirmed reservation on The TranzAlpine train, so you can advise your rental car operator of your reservation when you first pick up your rental car.

The TranzAlpine train operates once a day from Christchurch to Greymouth and back to Christchurch.