One of the biggest disadvantages of travelling with a tour guide is being packed along with lots of other travellers to tourist attractions. This means that you’ll be having a limited amount of time to appreciate the view or atmosphere as well as spending a significant amount of time along with other tourists in the restricted spaces of tour buses or coaches.

While private guided tours are a solution to that problem, some tourists want the freedom of travelling New Zealand without a fixed schedule or itinerary. For these tourists, self-drive tours are the best option.

In this guide today, we will give you information on why self-drive tours are one of the best options to travel in New Zealand.

Why Self-Drive Tours?

Although there are many transport options on offer for travellers, a self-drive holiday with your own rental car, lease or motorhome gives you the freedom and independence that you can’t get from any other form of travel.

By choosing to go on a self-drive holiday, you will have the freedom to spend as long or as little as you like in each place or attraction, have the power to decide where to go next, and not to mention having the choice of who you travel with, rather than end up on a packed bus full of strangers.

Tourists will also have a high degree of independence as a self-drive traveller in New Zealand. You can plan your itinerary to allow for visits at the less-than-usual attractions such as Christchurch or points of interests that you want to spend more time at.

You will also minimise the time spent in areas that you are not that interested in which is not an option for guided tours. For instance, if you want to spend more than 2 days in Christchurch, you are free to do so in self-drive tours as opposed to what you are supposed to follow by the itinerary guided tours.

Advantages of Self-Drive Tours

Flexibility of Travel

New Zealand is a great place to visit; wherever you go is guaranteed to be beautiful and memorable. Having a car to drive around means that you have the ability to make a change in your itinerary anytime if you want to visit a specific location.

Along the way in your drive, there will be plenty of wonderful sceneries just on the way from one spot to another. There is absolutely no chance for you to suddenly stop off and enjoy the view if you are on a guided tour.

Simply put, tourists have total control and freedom in their travel schedule. This option is great for travellers who don’t like the idea of a fixed itinerary as it can be stressful and rushed – particularly if you don’t have much time.

Flexibility in Scheduling

During some seasons, the weather in New Zealand may fluctuate wildly. If you are travelling with a guided tour, most of the time your schedule for the day will be delayed or cancelled if the weather for the day is not good.

Fortunately, with self-drive tours, you are able to your schedule in case something happens (bad weather, unexpected closures, etc.) With a self-drive tour, you are not bound to the fixed itineraries of guided tours where your wants are not necessarily the same with other tourists.

Excellent Photography Opportunities

new zealand travel photography

Self-drive tours are no-brainers if are a photography geek. With your own car, you’ll be able to drive to destinations which are not covered by guided tours.

You’ll also have more freedom and flexibility in choosing the spots to take photos; guided tours, on the other hand, are restricted by time and location so you’ll not be able to take the best photos even if you want to – which is not the case with self-drive tours.

Reasonable Costs

A common concern among tourists is that they think self-drive tours are expensive; they’re not!

Self-drive tours are actually one of the more economical travel options for tourists as they can decide where and when they want to move around. With a good travel schedule as well as renting a car from a trusted company, self-drive tours can actually be cheaper than guided tours.

Unparalleled Privacy

One of the biggest advantages of self-drive tours is that you will have privacy throughout the whole trip. Hospitality and engaging with other tourists are part of the experience but at the end of the day, you’ll want to travel the island with your loved ones rather than other tourists.
Self-drive tours allow you to do just that by offering you an option that only allows you and your friends or family to visit the island.

Driving is not that Difficult!

Driving in New Zealand is just the same as driving in your hometown. The highways are logically designed and traffic is not as bad as major cities. Most of the drivers in New Zealand also drive courteously and safely.

An important thing to know, however, is that cars drive on the right in New Zealand which means that if you are from left-side lane country, everything will be flipped over (turn lights, steering wheel, etc.).

Of course, you have to be careful while driving in New Zealand. Follow the usual driving safety tips and never, ever drive if you are sleepy or if you have alcohol in your body.

Self-drive tours can be an extremely fun and exciting experience.

self drive road fun

With self-drive tours, there is really a sense of mystery and excitement with every decision that you make. Since (most) tourists are not very familiar with New Zealand, this sense of mystery and the unknown can lead to thrilling moments in the journey.

Self-drive tours are great for bonding and relationship building.

If you are on a self-drive tour, getting stuck in situations where you are faced with challenges or issues are surprisingly common.

Getting out of these sticky situations would need some teamwork and co-operation among you and your fellow travellers which can lead to moments that will really tighten the bond between you and your family or friends.

Where can I learn more about self-drive tours?

Head over to our main page to learn more about self-drive tours.

About The Road Trip NZ

We have a reputation for preparation and detail that goes above and beyond – making restaurant recommendations along your chosen route as well as the best stops to enjoy the scenery and take photos for a permanent record of your road trip.

We offer a wide choice of accommodation and you can select your preferred rental car from our list – plus we’ll be there on the phone if you need us at any time during your trip – ready to provide assistance or answer any questions along the way.

Choose self-drive packages that include some of the country’s best accommodation – taking the guesswork out of choosing a place to stop for the night. Pick from our selection or tour packages – or create a completely custom self-drive tour that ticks all the boxes on your ‘to-do’ list!

We’ll be happy to discuss your interests and the length of your stay, before putting together a road trip that allows you to take in everything you want to see and do at a pace that’s defined by you.

What’s next?

Over here at The Road Trip, we have several tour packages on offer for visitors.

We are one of the leading tour provider in New Zealand with a host of awards under our name. You can check out our client testimonials.

To get in touch with us, send us an e-mail by heading over to this page or call us at 0800 4 ROADTRIP if you are in New Zealand or +64 2191 0433 if you are outside of New Zealand.