• New Zealand Regions
      • Hawke's Bay
      • Bay of Plenty
      • Waikato
      • Whanganui
      • Manawatu
      • Northland
      • Auckland
      • Gisborne
      • Taranaki
      • Wellington
      • West Coast
      • Nelson
      • Canterbury
      • Otago
      • Marlborough
      • Southland
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      Hawke's Bay

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      Beaches, wineries and Art Deco. The Hawke's Bay has a diverse economy, including business services that support its sectors to be the second largest contributor to regional GDP in the country. A popular tourist destination, the region has some of the countries best restaurants as well as stunning scenery, markets and festivals.

      Districts

      HastingsNapier

      Bay of Plenty

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      The Bay of Plenty is officially New Zealand's sunniest destination, enjoying short-lived winters and long summer days. The Region offers some of the country's most spectacular views and many ways to enjoy the pristine scenery and natural wonders. Visitors also enjoy exploring the Bay's Māori heritage and pre-European roots.

      Districts

      OpotikiOpotiki iSiteKawerauWhakatane

      Waikato

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      The Waikato is known for its rolling plains, fertile land and the mighty Waikato River. The region is the fourth largest regional economy in New Zealand, with a strong focus on primary production and associated manufacturing.

      Districts

      South WaikatoWaikato District

      Whanganui

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      Welcome to Whanganui. This is our place; where history is full of stories, legends and rich legacy. Where a thriving arts scene, creativity and evolving culture inspire our modern lives. Where breath-taking natural landscapes capture imaginations at every turn.

      Manawatu

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      Located in the lower North Island, Manawatu is heartland New Zealand, offering an authentic Kiwi experience.

      The main in the region are Palmerston North, most notable for Massey University. Palmerston has a vibrant, arts and culture scene.

      The region's economy is based on food production and processing, research and education. The region is also home for the New Zealand defence force.

      Northland

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      Northland was originally home to some of our country's first human inhabitants. Today, it is one of the fastest growing regions in New Zealand and home to nearly 189,000 people. Rich in culture and history, the region boasts a stunning natural environment.

      Auckland

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      Auckland Region stretches from the the beaches of the Pacific Ocean in the east to the expansive beaches of the rugged west coast of the Tasman Sea. Auckland City, the largest urban area in New Zealand is considered the main economic center of New Zealand and a popular destination for international students and travellers.

      Gisborne

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      Gisborne is a Region on the east coast of New Zealand's North Island. It's known for wineries and surf beaches such as Makorori. The region has maintained a strong Maori heritage. The region's economy is made up mainly of agriculture, horticulture and forestry.

      Taranaki

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      Taranaki is a coastal and mountainous region on the western side of New Zealand's North Island. Its landscape is dominated by Mount Taranaki, its namesake volcano, which lies within the rainforested Egmont National Park.

      The port city of New Plymouth is the area's cultural and commercial hub. Taranaki's economy is diverse and includes dairy, oil and gas. The region is the highest contributor or national GDP per capita. 

      Wellington

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      The Wellington Region covers Wellington city in the south, Upper and Lower Hutt valleys to the north-east, and Porirua to the north-west. The region takes its name from Wellington, New Zealand's capital city.

      Wellington is famous for its arts and culture scene and is also the centre of New Zealand's film industry.

      West Coast

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      The West Coast, or as some locals call it, the "Wild West", is a long thin region that runs down the South Island's west coast.

      The region has the lowest population in all of New Zealand. It is famous for its rugged natural scenery such as the Pancake Rocks, the Blue Pools of Haast, and the glaciers.

      The main industries in the region are dairy farming and mining. Tourism also plays an important role.

      Nelson – Tasman

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      Nelson Tasman is an extraordinary, vibrant region where art and businesses thrive together among a stunning natural landscape. With one in five people internationally born, Nelson Tasman has 48 different cultures living in its environs.

      The region prides its self on being New Zealand’s leading Research and Development areas, with the highest proportion of people working in the research, science and tech sectors out of anywhere in New Zealand.

      Canterbury

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      Canterbury is a region on New Zealand’s South Island marked by grassy plains, clear lakes and snow-capped mountains. Its largest city, Christchurch, is famed for its art scene and green spaces.

      Otago

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      There are few places in the world which will leave you with a lasting sense of difference. Central Otago is undoubtedly one of them from its landscapes, its seasons, its people, its products and experiences.

      Marlborough

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      Marlborough Region is on the north-eastern corner of the South Island. The region is well known for its winemaking industry, and the Marlborough Sounds, an extensive network of coastal waterways, peninsulas and islands.

      Apart from the wine industry, aquaculture, agriculture and tourism play an important role in the local economy.

      Southland

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      Southland is New Zealand’s most southerly region and includes the World Heritage ranked Fiordland National Park.

      The region's only city Invercargill offers a relaxed pace of life with wide streets, little traffic, spacious parks and gardens, striking Victorian and Edwardian architecture and impressive sporting facilities including New Zealand’s first indoor velodrome. Southland's location is such that views of Aurora Australis or the Southern Lights are common.

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Holiday driving

You will need to take extra care when travelling in holiday periods because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments. Being courteous, remembering to share the road with others and scheduling frequent breaks can help you keep your cool when driving during these times.

 

Why you need to be alert

  • There are more vehicles on the road – more vehicles means a higher risk of crashes.
  • Many people are driving on unfamiliar roads.
  • People are driving long hours and getting fatigued – often early morning or late evening.
  • Increased stress from factors such as heat, traffic jams, noisy children and general tiredness.
  • People on holiday may be less vigilant about road safety, eg speeding, driving when tired, not buckling up.
  • There’s more drink-driving during holiday periods.

 

What you can do to increase your safety
You can make a number of choices to increase your safety on your holiday journey. You need to give road use the attention and respect it deserves.

 

Plan ahead

  • Take a little time to make sure that you and your vehicle are safe before starting your journey.
  • Plan your travel to avoid the worst peak traffic periods when many highways become congested.
  • Allow plenty of time – make the journey part of the holiday.
  • Schedule regular rest stops.

 

Be alert to changes
Often during holiday periods, passing lanes are closed to help reduce congestion and prevent further delays where the traffic merges at the end of lanes. Sometimes alternative routes are suggested.

 

Drive to the conditions
‘Conditions’ doesn’t just mean the weather. It also includes:

  • the road you’re on
  • the traffic conditions
  • the speed (the speed limit and a ‘safe speed’ may differ)
  • you, for example are you tired or on medication that affects your driving
  • your vehicle and load.

 

Watch out for fatigue
Long trips are tiring and fatigue can be deadly when you’re driving. Driver fatigue was a factor in 54 road deaths and nearly 1000 injuries last year. Plan to get enough rest beforehand so that you drive fresh.You should plan in advance where you’ll take breaks on your trip.

 

Identify the safest routes
Some routes are safer than others. You need to know that roadside hazards such as trees, ditches, poles and narrow shoulders can increase risk. Intersections can be dangerous and so can busy roads without a median barrier. Armed with that knowledge you can adjust your driving to the conditions and take extra care on higher risk rural roads.
You can learn which routes are safer and which you may need to take more care on from the KiwiRAP(external link) website. This site rates the safety risks of different rural state highways by region.

 

Before you travel

  • Have your vehicle checked. Most garages offer safety checks for tyre tread and pressure, lights, brakes, cooling systems and other components. (A well-tuned vehicle is also more fuel efficient, so you’ll also save money on fuel costs.)
  • Check that your warrant of fitness and vehicle licence are up to date.
  • Check that you have a current driver licence. If it’s expired or close to expiry, you’ll need to renew it before starting your journey.

When buying or hiring a vehicle, always choose the safest vehicle you can afford. You can check the comparative safety of vehicles at Rightcar.(external link)
When packing your vehicle, make sure everything is securely stowed. Even small objects can become dangerous missiles in the event of a sudden stop or crash.

 

Check your trailers and caravans
Check all towing attachments and make sure the couplings are compatible. Also remember to check the safety chain, trailer lights, tyres and brakes.
Remember, if you’re towing a trailer, your maximum speed limit on the open road is 90km/h. Keep left and pull over when it is safe to let other vehicles pass.
Load heavy objects evenly over all of the axles.

 

Keep your cool
Holiday driving can be frustrating with busy roads, often slower sightseeing travellers, stifling heat in summer and icy surfaces in winter. Here are some simple and easy ways to stay calm and stay in control:

  • Be courteous – let others merge into traffic and indicate before turning or changing lanes.
  • Keep left unless passing.
  • If you’re a slower driver, pull over when you can to let others pass.
  • Be patient and don’t be provoked by other drivers’ aggressive behaviour.
  • Remember that trucks and towing vehicles have lower speed limits. Wait for a passing lane or until you can see clear road ahead of you and enough space to overtake safely.
  • Keep an eye out for cyclists and other road users. Give them plenty of space.
  • Watch out for horses on back country roads.

 

Buckle up
Don’t let your family holiday be marred by tragedy simply because someone didn’t buckle up. If you’re the driver, you are legally responsible for making sure all passengers under the age of 15 are securely restrained with either a safety belt or child restraint. Children under seven must be properly restrained by an approved child restraint suitable to their size and weight.

 

Remember you’re sharing the road
Traffic volumes increase significantly during the holidays and you’ll be sharing the road with other cars, as well as pedestrians, cyclists, heavy trucks, buses, campervans and vehicles towing boats or caravans.
Always keep a safe following distance between yourself and the vehicle in front. This gives you a safe stopping distance should the vehicle in front of you stop suddenly.
Be particularly alert around pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. These road users have considerably less protection than you. Keep an eye out especially for cyclists if you’re travelling tourist routes during summer.
If you’re cycling or motorcycling, make sure you’re visible and wearing proper protective gear.

 

Keep an eye out for children
Watch out for children on the road. Young cyclists and pedestrians can be unpredictable, as they are poor judges of vehicle speed. Children may also be learning to ride new bikes over the holidays.

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