Just a short hop across the ditch from Sydney
lies beautiful New Zealand
. A land of picture-perfect vistas, friendly beach towns and unique wildlife, it is an incredible setting for a road trip holiday and Auckland is the place to start.
Why choose Auckland for a road trip?
As the gateway to New Zealand and its biggest city, Auckland has a major international airport, numerous car hire
suppliers and a host of highways leading north and south into the countryside. It is the ideal spot to commence the road trip of your dreams, and that’s not all - the city itself is a drawcard and a wonderful place to spend a few days or more. It spreads over an isthmus with sparkling harbours on two sides, offering a multitude of places to stay, eat, drink, shop and be entertained, both in the city centre and beyond.
Why a car rental?
Although known as the City of Sails, Auckland is also the City of Wheels. It spreads along the shorelines of two harbours and a gulf, across peninsulas and over volcanoes to cover nearly 5000 square kilometres if you include the entire region, or 1000 if you consider only the city and suburbs. There is huge variety in the various areas, and a rental car is the only way to see them all with any efficiency. Public transport in Auckland is still a work in progress, with certain key suburbs not even having a train station! It also means you can leave the city and explore beautiful New Zealand at your own pace and with your own itinerary.
Car Rental for Aussies in Auckland
Your short flight over the Tasman will finish at Auckland International Airport, where there are a multitude of car hire companies both on- and off-site. Hire counters are located next to the arrivals area and include big names such as Avis, Europcar and Hertz. Off-airport depots will generally offer shuttles to collect you, and these can be found at the pick-up areas directly in front of the terminal.
Get the right car
All you really need to take into consideration when choosing your car rental for a Kiwi road trip is what will suit you and your group. A couple who packs light? Get the most economical hatchback you can find. A family of four with lots of luggage? Go for an SUV or full-size sedan. The roads are well-developed so there is no need for specialised wheels, even when crossing mountain ranges. If you are driving in winter, you may encounter snow - when heading into the high altitude areas during June, July, August and September consider a 4-wheel drive vehicle and adding tyre chains to your rental package.
can help you track down the perfect hire car for your trip to Auckland. The simple search engine delivers options from the full range of suppliers, both big brands and the smaller, more local outfits. From there, you can narrow down the choices with some handy filters and pick out the best vehicle. All of the information you need is right there, from pictures and reviews to vehicle features and transmission types. Airport Rentals make it simple to compare prices without scouring the internet for hours.
Tips for driving across the ditch
Driving in New Zealand is not dissimilar to driving in Australia. Here’s a wee guide to ensure a smooth journey:
There are not many multi-lane motorways outside the biggest cities, and the main highways don't bypass small towns but go right through them. Keep a lookout for speed limits, as you will be required to slow down.
If you need a bit of direction, find an iSite in the nearest town - and failing that, a dairy. You can buy an ice-cream and find out all you need to know from a friendly Kiwi.
Take extra care in mountainous and high altitude areas. These include the Central Plateau in the North Island and Southern Alps passes (Haast, Arthur’s, Lewis) in the South Island.
Alcohol tolerance is very low for drivers in New Zealand. We recommend you abstain completely from drinking if you will be driving in the next few hours.