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Driving in New Zealand

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Nationally Recognized

Re: Driving in New Zealand

Omg! LOL. I'm laughing at myself for that one. Smh. Didn't know that's what they're called. 

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Internationally Known

Re: Driving in New Zealand

Don't  worry you'll be fine.  Here are the the things to be aware of while driving on the left;

1) Here is the US, when you make a left turn you have cross oncoming traffic, in NZ it is a right turn.  I have a little mantra when I drive on the left, I keep saying in my head "a right turn is a bad turn, a right turn is a bad turn....."

2) traffic circles.  Not only are you not used to them in the US, you enter and exit them from the opposite side in NZ.  Mentally run it through your head as you approach one, ie "which way am I going to turn, when I get there".

3) Suprisingly, highways can get a little confusing.  The right lane is the fast lane and the left lane is the entrance and exit lane.  However NZ has no highways, except in Auckland, so that won't be a big deal.

4) The biggest problem you will have isn't a big deal, and will even be fun.  Every time you walk to your car you are going to walk to the wrong side and won't realize it until you open the door!

 

Botom line NZ is a great place to drive on the left for the first time.  It is uncrowded and the roads are good.  Have fun!

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Internationally Known

Re: Driving in New Zealand

Yep, in un-dense countries with good roads and orderly traffic, driving is the way to go. In NZ, driving frees you up a lot vs. the super limited train network. With an automatic, you'll be fine - just consciously think about every turn you make. Have the shotgun passenger remind you for a bit.

 

I've also drive on the left in Ireland (much narrower roads) and Fiji (there's more or less only one road). NZ roads are nice. The lanes are pretty wide. Sometimes, the speed limit seems a little bit too high, so just drive at a comfortable speed. Your wiper & turn signal might be flipped, but you'll get used to that soon. For the first few days after getting back to America, I was again hitting my wipers a lot when I intended to signal for lane changes/turns.