Driving in New Zealand – tips

Driving in another country is often fraught with issues: driving in New Zealand is no different.

Think about it, you are in another country, in a rental car, possibly driving on the ‘wrong side’ of the road, there are few motorways, the dual carriageway roads are often narrow and winding, you round a corner – and this is what you see!

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Now what!?

Slow down, and if there is a vehicle ahead of you, right in front of the sheep like in this photo, you are lucky, get close in behind it and tailgate slowly through the mob of sheep.

If there is no vehicle for you to follow keep to the left and drive very, very, slowly: the farmer will no doubt get his dogs to move the sheep to the right and out of your way.

However, if the sheep are moving towards you, in other words travelling in the opposite direction to you, once again keep left, and drive very slowly – although I would suggest you just stop on the left, wind down the windows, grab your camera, and enjoy the quiet and smells of the country while being engulfed by a flock of sheep.

Chances are you will never have this happen again so why not just have fun.

For up-to-date and legal information about driving in New Zealand, and to make sure of your safety, please read this  and most of all remember to keep left – especially when turning at intersections.  Many of the trolleys at airports have notices to tell visitors ‘your journey will take longer than you think’ – take heed of this message!

This was the first flock of sheep I had met for years and years so I made the most of it by driving through, then stopping and have the sheep pass me as I stood at the back of my car, with my camera. Enjoy the shots I took.

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Off to Ireland? here’s the best of the best road road trip tips


Ok … now I want to return to Ireland with this book under my arm.

It’s been many years since I visited the emerald isle and this book will make my next one even better. With three clear sections (Plan your Trip; On the Road; Road Trip Essentials) these 34 road trips will help you (me) pick the right route and get around easily with the clear maps and, even better, it shows detours, local walking tracks and ways to link the routes.

So whether searching for ancestors, history or have some Craic this Lonely Planet  book is for you.

Craic means having fun, having a good time, while saying ‘what’s the craic’ is like saying ‘what’s up?

The trip suggestions range from a 2-day escape through to a week-long adventure: of course you could do them all and spend ages on this wonderful island!

The book also has the Irish road rules, many which are similar to New Zealand – drive on the left – but children under 12 are not allowed in the front seats and while some motorways allow 120k the speed limits change often over the island so be on the lookout for speed road signs.

So whether you choose a ‘classic trip’ to take in the well-known and much-loved sights or want to concentrate on a small region and really get to know the area, this book has it all – including accommodation, ancient monuments, traditional music, and good food ideas.

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