Travel and Motoring Tips for Your Trip to RWC2011

NZ$246 million – that’s the amount sold in terms of tickets for the New Zealand Rugby World Cup to date, which is ten times bigger than any previous event held in the history of New Zealand. This week, New Zealand’s Rugby World Cup organising head, Martin Snedden, said that they were still NZ$22 million (R131m) short of their ticket sales target, but were adamant the benchmark would be met during the tournament.

If you are one of those people planning to make up that quota and head down to New Zealand to see the next round of games or the final, then there are a few things you should know before embarking on your trip.

“Before you begin your journey on New Zealand roads, learn more about what's different when driving there and what else you should know about their roads,” says Geoff Elske, General Manager of Travel for the Automobile Association of South Africa. “For example, in New Zealand they drive on the left hand side of the road, not all railway crossings have active warnings, seatbelts are compulsory and it's illegal to use a cellphone while driving.”

Elske gives some tips on travelling in New Zealand:

  1. To drive in New Zealand, you must have a current and valid overseas driver's licence or International Driving Permit (which you can obtain locally in SA from an AA Accredited Sales Agent).
  2. Always drive on the left-hand-side of the road and give way to your right.
  3. When turning left, give way (yield) to traffic crossing or approaching from your right.
  4. The speed limit on the open road is usually 100km/h. In urban areas the speed limit is 50km/h. Speed limits are strictly enforced by the police.
  5. Drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts or child restraints at all times, in both front and rear seats.
  6. Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a crime in New Zealand and strictly enforced by police, with severe penalties for offenders.
  7. A number of roads in New Zealand have one-lane bridges where vehicles travelling in one direction must give way to vehicles going in the other direction.
  8. In New Zealand, you can be fined or towed away for parallel parking on the wrong side of the road. You may only park in the direction of traffic flow on your side of the road (i.e. on the left side) unless it is a one-way street.
  9. The legal age to rent a car in New Zealand is 21 years.
  10. Maps are available from AANZ Centres (retail outlets) situated in 38 locations on both the south and north islands. Alternatively, you can use their online route mapping engine, which includes an option of how to get to a stadium. 
  11. South African AA Members can also travel with further confidence and surety, as they enjoy great reciprocity benefits afforded to them by AA New Zealand.
  12. Ensure that you have the necessary travel insurance cover for this special trip.
     CLICK HERE to purchase travel insurance or to obtain a quote.

“Remember this isn’t South Africa where our rules aren’t always enforced, they are strict and take their rules very seriously. So make sure you do your bit to make their roads safe and enjoy your World Cup experience,” concludes Elske.

 CLICK HERE for more information on travelling to New Zealand.

Automobile Association of South Africa (AA)
011 799 1180

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