Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
Some people choose to drive their own vehicles to and from work. However, Wellington's public transport system is very good with regular bus and train service operating from most towns. Many people prefer to commute to work by train due to the heavy traffic in the mornings.
How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
If you have a current and valid overseas driver's license, you can drive with it for a maximum of 12 months from the date you arrive in New Zealand. If your overseas license or permit is not in English, you must carry an acceptable translation. If you are staying for more than 12 months you must obtain a New Zealand driver's license. Depending on the country you have come from, you may have to pass a theory and or practical test.
Please visit your local Automobile Association office to obtain an application for a New Zealand driver's license.
What side of the road do people drive on?
Motorists drive on the left-hand side of the road.
Describe typical public transportation an expat might use to get around the city.
In Wellington, taxis are typically the quickest way to get from one place to another. Wellington also has a very good public transport system, with extensive bus and train service operating from most areas in the city.
Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
Getting around Wellington is easy because it is so compact. There is a good public transport system, with regular buses and trains to suit all budgets and destinations. In addition:
Wellington International Airport is only a ten-minute drive from the city center. It o is a busy airport with regular trans-Tasman flights.
- Wellington’s Railway Station is only a two-minute walk from downtown Wellington. It is the departure point for coaches, shuttles and taxis.
- Stagecoach is the largest bus operator in NZ, with daily timetables commuting people around the city. Intercity Coachline Service runs throughout NZ.
- The Interislander Ferry and the Lynx both cross between the North and the South Island. They travel across the Cook Strait and through the spectacular Marlborough Sounds up to five times daily.
- The Tranz Metro Train Service will take you to Wellington’s outlying regions. You can explore the Wairarapa wine country, the beautiful Kapiti Coast, Porirua and the Hutt Valley.
- Wellington’s Cab of Choice taxis are another convenient way to get around the city.
- The Cable Car leaves from downtown Wellington to the top of Wellington’s hills.
- The Dominion Post Ferry will take you across Wellington harbor to the seaside village of Eastbourne.
In regards to transportation, are there any safety issues I should be aware of?
There are no additional safety issues, apart from remembering that New Zealanders drive on the left side of the road. Pedestrians who are not used to this system should be cautious when crossing the road. Seatbelts are required for all passengers. Motorcyclists are required to wear crash helmets. Maximum legal speed on highways and motorways is usually 100 kph (61 mph). In cities and towns, the limit is 50 kph (30 mph). Speed limits are posted on signs. Exceeding the speed limits is considered a serious offense and carries heavy penalties.
For a more detailed explanation of New Zealand's driving rules, copies of the "New Zealand Road Code" can be purchased from most bookshops and stationery outlets.
New Zealand laws require that all children under the age of five are property restrained in an approved child restraint appropriate for their age and weight. Approved child restraints include:
- infant restraints for young babies (often called baby capsules)
- restraints for older babies and toddlers (often called car seats)
- harnesses and booster seats for pre-school and school-aged children
Child restraints are sold by retailers such as department stores, larger toy shops and shops that sell baby supplies. You can rent child restraints from the Plunket, other community groups and some companies. Plunket Car Seat Rental Schemes have booster seats, infant and child restraints available for short- and long-term hire suitable for newborns and children up to seven years. They are available for a minimal cost to ensure all families can afford to keep their children safe while traveling. You can visit Plunket's website for further details: www.plunket.org.nz
Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
If traveling by train, you can buy your ticket from the train station or from the ticket conductor on the train. The bus driver issues all bus tickets. Tickets can also be obtained from the Wellington Information Centre or any local dairy(corner store).
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.