What are winter driving conditions like?

Driving in winter in New Zealand is for the most part no different to any other time. Indeed, winter can be a great time to travel with less traffic and clear days. Extra care does need to be taken in the some places where roads can be affected by snow and ice at times.

Take a little more care where there is potential for ice and avoid night time or early morning driving if possible. Icy road conditions are generally signposted, with regularly ice-affected corners permanently signposted and temporary conditions marked.

Some southern regions' roads can be affected by snow. But road conditions will be clearly signposted and, when necessary, roads will be closed. Main highways usually re-open within a few hours of a heavy snowfall after road crews clear them.

In winter you will need to carry snow chains to travel on some roads when they are likely to be affected by snow. These include some popular and recommended routes like the Crown Range road, between Queenstown and Wanaka, and the road to Milford Sound. Snow chains are available to hire when you collect your rental car.

Driving in winter can be very enjoyable. Quiet roads and clear days make for some of the best scenery. Simply adjust your driving to suit the conditions.

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Planning your New Zealand Road Trip

Planning your New Zealand Road trip or Holiday is easy. We have over 100 ideas on our website to inspire you and to give you some great starting ideas. You can even get an indicative cost immediately. However our speciality is creating tailor-made itineraries because we know that everyone is different. And it doesn't cost any more to have the perfect Road trip designed just for you.
To get started just get in touch with one of the team based in Wanaka, right in the heart of the South Island. They will chat with you about what you like to do, the kind of places you like to stay in and the experience you want to have. They can then design a package for you to review. Working with you to fine tune you then book with us when you are 100% satisfied. A custom made APP accompanies you as you travel and we also have 24 hour support should you need it. So what are you waiting for? Get Road tripping!

About NZ Road Trip

Since 2004 we have been creating great New Zealand experiences for visitors from all over the world. Based in Wanaka, right in the heart of the South Island, our team have lots of great first hand experience. and when the experience matters - experience matters!
Through a consultation with you we get to understand what you want to experience in a visit to New Zealand and we work hard to make that happen. We pride ourselves on providing dedicated and uncompromising service. Meet the team here and start planning your NZ Road Trip & Holiday.

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North Island

New Zealand's North Island is incredibly diverse. Cities buzzing with life, deserted beaches, rainforests, volcanic plateaus and tons of great activities to enjoy. From the cafe quarters of Auckland city to the rugged coast line of the Wairarapa region, the North Island is a great place to explore.
See all North Island NZ Road trips here.

South Island

Home to much of New Zealand's iconic scenery from the golden sands of Abel Tasman National Park to the rugged West Coast and its glaciers to the majestic Southern Alps and the world heritage area of Fiordland National Park
See all South Island NZ Road trips here.