With a beautiful landscape that stretches throughout the country, a road trip is a fantastic way to experience New Zealand’s North Island. It’s a much more convenient and comfortable way to visit the smaller towns and other fantastic regions.

Some of the popular ways to get around the road include by car, campervan or motorhome.

If you are looking to explore New Zealand at your own pace, then a self-drive holiday is the way to go. In North Island especially, where many exciting regions offer unique experiences, getting behind the wheel will give you the ease of mobility.

A self-drive itinerary in the North Island brings travellers through active volcanoes, bubbling mud pools, idyllic islands and cool cities. Auckland, being a major transportation hub, is the perfect gateway city.

Stay a night, dine at award-winning restaurants, enjoy some gourmet ice cream at Giapo or a delicious brunch at any of the Vulcan Lane cafes, and soak in the nice international vibe before venturing on the road.

Try some fantastic ice cream creations at the charming Giapo in Auckland. — Giapo


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Malaysians will find it easy to drive in the country. Just like in Malaysia, the Kiwis drive on the left side of the road and the driver’s seat is on the right of the vehicle.

New Zealand’s diverse terrains, especially away from the cities, are often narrow, hilly and windy, with plenty of sharp corners. Some rational judgment and common sense is necessary to navigate around.

When it comes to requirements, Malaysians can legally drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months if you have a current driver’s licence (with English text, which the document does have). Just bear in mind that the common legal age to rent a car in the country is 21.

As for planning your journey, be sure to always allow for more time than you think you’ll need. This is because maps and navigation systems usually don’t show how narrow or windy the roads can be.

Above all, just relax and enjoy the drive. It can be intimidating when you’re driving in a foreign country, especially if you’re alone. But most of the local drivers you come across are usually tolerant and safe. Just be sure to look out for sheep on the road!