You’ll find your maui motorhome easy to drive with power steering and automatic transmission but even if you are an experienced driver, you have to take into account that driving a motorhome is different to driving a car or family sized 4WD.
Driving in New Zealand - top 7 tips for your self-drive holiday
maui motorhome is one of the best ways to travel around New Zealand. This video has essential information on driving in New Zealand to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable trip. It'll give you an overview of our road rules, tips for driving on New Zealand roads and road hazards to watch out for. You'll also find some great advice on where to go, where to buy food and places to stay.
Find out more about
what's different about driving in New Zealand.
All our campervan customers will be required to complete
this check list prior to leaving the branch on day of pick up and driving the campervan.
Make sure you have a valid licence to drive in New Zealand.
If you have a foreign licence in a language other than English, please ensure
- It is current
- appropriate for a full size motor vehicle (not restricted or learner)
- and you must also present an accredited English translation.
The translation must be provided by a NZ Transport Agency authorised translation service or a diplomatic representative at a high commission, embassy or consulate, or the authority that issued your overseas licence (an International Driving Permit may be acceptable as a translation if in English).
We can arrange a translation for you at the branch but it will cost you NZ$58 and will create delays with your pick up process.
To find an authorised translation service
Be prepared, take the Quiz - Essential Tourist driving theory
Hiring a car or campervan for your New Zealand holiday? Familiarise yourself with our Road Code rules by taking the Quiz. The questions are designed to help tourists stay safe while travelling in New Zealand.
Take the Quiz Now
- Reading traffic signals, stop signs and give way signs at various intersections.
- Learn who has the right of way. Where should your car be on the road when driving - intersections and unlaned roads, and more.
- Basic road code driving knowledge - following and passing rules, give way rules and more.
- Keep LEFT! We drive on the left-hand side of the road.
- Always wear your seat belt. Everyone in your vehicle must wear a seatbelt, and children must be secured in an approved child seat. Your rental vehicle company can rent child seats to you if you didn’t bring your own
- Keep to the speed limit and always stop at STOP signs.
- Always slow down to observe recommended speeds around bends.
- Overtake other vehicles only when it’s safe to do so. Use passing lanes whenever possible, and never cross a solid yellow line on your side of the centre line.
- Stay well-rested. Plan to only drive 1 - 2 hours at a time, and take regular breaks during your journey to stretch your legs.
- Drive to the conditions. You’ll need to reduce your speed if it’s raining, icy or snowing, windy, or if you’re in a roadworks area. Ask your accommodation provider if in doubt.
- Use this Driving Time and Distance Calculator or GPS to estimate driving times while planning your journey. Driving in New Zealand can often take longer than expected due to our winding roads.
- Do not drink and drive. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New Zealand and strictly enforced by police, with severe penalties for offenders.
- It’s illegal to use a mobile phone while driving in New Zealand. If you need to make a call or send a text, pull over at a rest area or in a safe place.
Here’s a few camper driving tips:
Be conscious of it’s size - it needs more care when you turn or park it because of its extra length. Look out for dedicated campervan parking particularly that gives you extra room to manoeuvre.
Make sure things such as awnings, exterior BBQs and the 240V power cable are stowed away safely. Always check that you have turned off the gas before you start your journey.
Try to keep your driving to daylight hours so you are not travelling in unfamiliar territory in the dark! It will also be easier to get settled at the campground and allow you to enjoy some of the facilities.
Secure all loose objects so they don’t move and become a driving hazard when you’re on the move. There are plenty of cupboards and drawers in your
maui campervan to store everything away.
And of course if you feel you are getting tired, pull over and take a rest in your comfy beds!
Sometimes in the South Island, and the centre of the North Island, roads may be closed due to snow and ice. This can happen right through winter and into early spring. The New Zealand AA can provide you with up-to-date information on conditions in these areas. Driving rules For a comprehensive overiew of New Zealand road rules, please refer to the official
New Zealand Road Code so you can familiarise yourself with traffic laws.
You may be used to driving on the right so this can take some getting used to so remember:
Urban speed limit is 50km per hour. Please be aware there are specific speed limits in place around school zones during peak hours, please consult the New Zealand Road Code. The rural speed limit is 100km per hour but it is important to note that if you are travelling in a beach motorhome or river motorhome, this speed limit is reduced to 90km per hour.
Seatbelt & Child Restraints - please refer to the vehicle pages on this website for detailed baby & child seat requirements for the motorhome you will be travelling in.
Drinking and driving – we urge you to drive responsibly and safely whilst on your holiday. If you drink, don’t drive.
New Zealand’s toll roads use an electronic tolling system. You don’t need to slow down, stop or hunt for loose change. There are three toll roads in New Zealand, all located in the North Island:
Auckland Northern Gateway between Orewa and Puhoi (7.5kms area)
Tauranga Eastern Link between Papamoa and Paengaroa (15kms area)
Tauranga Takitimu Drive between State Highway 29 (SH29) to State Highway 2 (SH2) in the direction of the Port of Tauranga and Mt Maunganui (5kms area)
You will be responsible for paying any toll fees that you incur when driving these routes. There are no toll booths so we recommend using the easy online payment option, go to
Toll Roads Brochure