From Hobbiton to Black Water Rafting to Wine Tasting, New Zealand does seem to have it all which is why its a good idea to spend some time planning your trip ahead of arrival.
Driving in New Zealand
There are a few things that you may not be used to when driving in New Zealand so please make sure you arrive here well informed.
www.drivesafe.org.nz is a fantastic place to start learning about driving in New Zealand and is available in German, English, Chinese and French. Make sure you watch the videos, they may seem long at 7 minutes but that is drop in the ocean if it saves your and your families lives.
When you collect the car you will receive a Yellow Folder and it will contain brochures on driving in New Zealand, it’s a good idea to read these before heading out on the open road.
Planning Your Trip
It’s exciting thinking about a forthcoming holiday but as Tolkien once wrote in The Hobbit “It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him” so doing some homework before you leave home will make for a more pleasant holiday.
http://www.aatravel.co.nz/main/time-distance-calculator.php is an excellent tool for working out driving times and superior to Google maps as it allows for rest stops but not photo opportunities and there are thousands of those.
A couple of days before you get here it’s worth checking out whether there are any roading problems on your travel route and this is the place to go for up to date information – http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/current-conditions/highway-info/index.html
In New Zealand we are subject to the varying forces of nature paticularly from the oceans which means that no one place will have the same weather as another so knowing what the temperatures will be like around the country is useful for packing! http://www.metservice.com/national/home
Where Do I Go?
There are hundreds if not thousands of websites dedicated to telling you where to go in New Zealand but we find the New Zealand Tourism site one of the best, its well laid out and offers some great planning tips.
Neatplaces (also has a great app) is where to go to learn about the important stuff – best coffee shops, cool bars to hang out, and where to buy those killer heels – only available for the main cities.
Travelling with children and stuck on what to do to keep them from getting bored, try this site for excellent boredom beating ideas and if nothing else get them to try our delicious hokey pokey ice cream.
The New Zealand Tourism Guide is also an excellent website to visit, just click on the map below in the region you want to visit to be taken through to their site.