Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
The majority of people in Auckland drive their own vehicles. The public transport system is constantly being improved and commuters are encouraged to use the public facilities, buses, trains and ferries.
There are large shopping malls throughout the city with regular buses from the Central Business District.
How can I legally drive a vehicle in this city?
If you have a current and valid overseas driver 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.
The majority of Aucklanders use private motor vehicles as their primary form of transportation. Public transport is becoming more and more popular due to improved bus and train services. A variety of bus companies operates across Auckland, taking you to and from most urban centers. Britomart, located in the CBD, is Auckland's central train station hub. Western, Eastern and Southern Line Transport carry passengers to wider areas of Central Auckland. Park and Ride is a bus service transporting commuters between Northern regions and Auckland's CBD. There are five Northern bus stations, each providing free car parking, bike racks, lockers and toilets.
Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
The most convenient option is private motor vehicle, but there is a good network of buses and trains that depart throughout the day to all other destination cities. .
Auckland Airport is located in the south of Auckland, 20 kilometers from Auckland CBD (approximately 20 minutes’ drive from Auckland CBD in non-congested traffic). Air transport is the quickest and preferred method of transport for people who are commuting between major cities in New Zealand.
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 must be worn by all passengers. Motorcyclists are required to wear crash helmets. Maximum legal speed on highways and motorways is normally 100 kph (61 mph). In cities and towns, the limit is 50 kph (30 mph). Speed limits are posted on signs. Exceeding the speed limit is considered a serious offense and carries heavy penalties. At a "Give Way" sign, be ready to stop and give way to all traffic. At a "Stop" sign, stop completely and then give way to all traffic.
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 be properly 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 preschool 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 organization and 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. Visit Plunket's website for further details: http://www.plunket.org.nz
Where do I buy tickets/tokens/etc. for the major public transportation?
The most central place to purchase tickets is the Britomart downtown bus and train terminal. The Visitor Information Center there has timetables and tickets for buses, trains and Fuller Gulf ferry services. Other Visitor Information Centers around the city also sell tickets, as do some local dairies. It is common to purchase bus tickets upon boarding.
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.