Should You Rent a Car in New Zealand?
So you've finally booked that flight to New Zealand! This little country at the bottom of the world is one that many people, from all around the world, have on their travel bucket list. Now that you've made the decision to come here, what next? How can you make sure you get to see as much of it as possible, while still having a relaxing holiday?
It's easy to think that being such a small country, catching buses or going on a tour would cover the main highlights. However! New Zealand is not just compact, it is also sparsely populated, so buses will only take you to very main-stream attractions. The beauty of New Zealand is often found in out of the way spots. Part of its uniqueness is not just finding a stunning beach, but that you may well have at least a part of that beach, ALL TO YOURSELF! The same goes for geo-thermal attractions such as hot springs. There's plenty you can get to easily, but with a car, you can get to secluded hot pools which will be free and uncrowded. You can drive a little out of Rotorua and find spots around Lake Tarawera, or head to Spa Park in Taupo.
Even in the main centres, a car allows you to spend time doing whatever matches your interests. A tour may take you to the Shotover Jet in Queenstown, but may not allow you to cycle the Arrowtown Trails, or have a wine-tasting at Gibbston Valley. With a car, on your way to Huka Falls in Taupo, you can stop at the Aratiatia Dam to see the waters being released, or tour the sculpture garden at Lava Glass on the way.
There are many so many amazing spots you just won't get to on a tour or a bus. If you are heading to the Coromandel Peninsula for beaches, there are many secret coves only accessible by walking around the coast at low tide. A hire car means you can drive to the nearest access point, such as to Whangapoua Beach, then walk for thirty minutes to iconic New Chums Beach. Or try Lonely Bay, which is just how it sounds, from the resort town of Cooks Beach, close to Whitianga.
A hire car is definitely the way to go. At VroomVroomVroom we can match you with a vehicle from a trusted supplier that will exactly meet your needs at the best possible price. We also provide you with lots of inside-info here on our website, to get you away from the crowds and to the best secret attractions.
Are there any down-sides to car rental in New Zealand? How about local driving conditions? Sure, there are some specific local or seasonal conditions it is best to be aware of, but mostly New Zealand's roads are uncrowded and well maintained. Do some preparation by reading our article of tips for driving in New Zealand. The number one precaution is not to rush; New Zealand's roads can be twisty, take your time and stop often to enjoy the views! There are some issues with traffic congestion at peak hours in Auckland and Wellington, but hey, you're on holiday! Sleep in in the mornings, and be relaxing by 5pm each day, and you shouldn't have to encounter those kinds of hassles!
Cost is another factor to consider. Yes, petrol is reasonably expensive in New Zealand. Arguably, using buses may work out cheaper for a solo traveller. However, all you need is one extra person in your car to split the bills with to find that a car will begin to offer value. For a family, or group travelling, the maths soon starts to favour car rental. If you get your rental car at the best price, and you will if you book through VroomVroomVroom, car hire can be cost-effective.We'd love to hear what you think on this subject. To drive or be driven? Let us know!