Self-Drive the best of New Zealand
For open empty roads through stunning scenery, New Zealand is hard to beat. All of us at New Zealand Sky have driven nearly every part of the country. Collectively we know the roads of New Zealand and we certainly know the best self driving trips for you. Be adventurous and inquisitive, it makes for a great holiday. Turn left instead of right and have a look.
Luckily for our UK and Irish readers New Zealand drives on the same side of the road as us, making life a little easier and keeping smooth gear movements as the norm. As you will be driving some distances we strongly recommend a larger car for comfort, a 4x4 in New Zealand is generally not needed for the vast majority of roads.
Sat Navs are useful and we can arrange the hire of one throughout your journey. Our top tip is to bring your own, having downloaded NZ maps on to it, a fraction of hire costs. That allows you a bit more to spend on the many experiences we will tempt you whilst away.
We love self driving in New Zealand and the way to really enjoy your holiday is to take your time. See less to see more is our motto for self drives. Allow yourself at least 2-3 nights for each stop, freeing time up to explore, meet and see plus get out of the car. We know the best places to see and the timespan to see them within your holiday time, safe in the knowledge that at the end of each exciting day we have booked your accommodation.
What is the perfect length of time for a self drive of New Zealand? This is a great question. We can assist with a brilliant 12 day self drive programme as much as we can a 36 day programme. Both would be equally compelling, you will just see fewer places for the shorter trip. Ideally 3-4 weeks will allow us to help you cover a good amount of ground and see a lot of interesting places. If you are short on time, we would recommend sticking with the South Island, it feels more compact and value of sights per mile is second to none.
If you want to self drive but drive with your home, we offer a variety of sizes of Motorhome. With free camping allowed in many parts of New Zealand, this is the truest form of outdoor living and travelling and is great fun. New Zealand is also head of the pack for unique and stunning camp sites, remember to book in advance if you are travelling during peak season.
There are some classic roads. Here are some roads we would love you to experience.
The Milford Road is one of the most scenic on the world and heads deep into the remote Fiordland National park. A windy and dramatic trip through impressive landscapes.
The Great Coast Road with the Tasman Sea on one side and forest on the other is a spectacular route up the West Coast of the South Island.
Lindis Pass. Chris, our programme director loves this high pass the enroute from Queenstown to Wanaka. The views are so expansive.
Mount Cook Road The imposing Mount Cook is eternally in your frame when driving the aptly named road, with the aqua blue lake Pukaki to one side on this astoundingly pretty drive.
Arthurs Pass is the highest and most popular drive in the South Island, with deep gorges, wide rivers and an impressive Viaduct.
Glenorchy Road There are another million great roads but we will finish with a short and easy day trip out from Queenstown to the quaint village of Glenorchy. It seems that the best view is bettered around the next corner, almost an overload on the senses.
Let us plan your trip of a lifetime:
We hope that we have inspired you to call us and discuss your self drive holiday to New Zealand, remember, we tailor make every trip so that you get exactly the experiences you are looking for.
Discover our touring options:
Watch for more information on our self-driving holidays and other holiday options.
Self Drive Tours Travel Guides
- A beginner’s guide to self-drive holidays in New Zealand
- Self-Drive the best of New Zealand
- Road tripping New Zealand's North Island
- Road tripping New Zealand's South Island
- Five of the best things to do in New Zealand
- Discover the best of the North Island
- Discover the best of the South Island
- Head out on one of these day trips from Auckland
- Head out on one of these day trips from Christchurch
- New Zealands Great Outdoors, experiences & Adventures
- Our Introduction to New Zealand
- Our recommended iconic must-see's of New Zealand
- Top 10 things to do in Christchurch
- Planning for an incredible New Zealand adventure
- Top 10 national parks in New Zealand
- Head out on one of these day trips from Queenstown
- Head out on one of these day trips from Wellington
- Tailor-make the ultimate New Zealand holiday experience
- New Zealand holiday options: From self-drive, motorhome camping to escorted tours
- Exploring New Zealand's North Island regions
- Exploring New Zealand's South Island regions
- When is the best time to travel to New Zealand?
- Exploring New Zealand's Maori culture
- From north to south - an unexpected journey in New Zealand