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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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Check out our blogs

Take a look through our blogs for some great ideas on touring around New Zealand.

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Why choose New Zealand self drive tours?

At NZSD we have built a business based on one simple belief - that every customer deserves excellent service and honest, accurate advice. Since 2004 we have been creating New Zealand holidays for visitors from all over the world. In fact that's all we do. We are the absolute experts at creating great touring experiences across the North & South Islands.
So how does it work? Well our site contains over 200 great self drive itinerary ideas. You can see exactly where you are going, where you will stay and how much it will cost. But we also know that even with 200 great ideas such as these most visitors want something slightly different or something to suit them specifically. Our team of travel specialists are absolute experts at designing great New Zealand touring holidays. All you need to do is get in touch with us and one of the team will make contact and chat with you about the kind of experience you are looking for. We tailor make a proposed itinerary for you which you can tweak and adjust as much as you wish. When you are happy with the plans you go ahead and book using our secure systems. A deposit payment is needed to book with the balance payment due before you travel. We ensure everything is booked accurately, we ensure that all your timings work, and your itinerary is uploaded to our custom APP so you get lots of great information and features as you travel. While you are here we also provide in country support and help if you need it.
So why work with us? Because we are dedicated to ensuring your New Zealand holiday experience is the best holiday experience you will ever have.