New Zealand

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Flag of New Zealand New Zealand
Language: English and Maori
Capital: Wellington
Population: 4,403,000
Currency: New Zealand Dollar
Hitchability: <rating country='nz' />
Meet fellow hitchhikers on Trustroots or BeWelcome
<map lat="-41.045886836287" lng="174.13183593748" zoom="5" view="0" float="right" />

Elsa and Amylin hitching the Kiwi experience

New Zealand is a reasonably okay country for hitchhiking. There are a lot of friendly people, and hitching is legal and comparatively safe. By hitching you'll be involved a lot in the local life. You'll have invitations to parties, homes. Cars drive on the left side, so be careful if you're not experienced with that.

At least in high and shoulder season, hitchhiking is very popular among backpackers travelling around New Zealand, especially in the South Island. Leave early before hostel checkout times (usually 10pm) and you have better chances to avoid competition situations among hitchhikers.

There are only motorways around the big cities, Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Dunedin, the rest are highways, secondary/tertiary roads or dirt roads.

In General[edit]

Another awesome place to travel, WWOOF and hitch. Not as many long distance rides as in the Australian Outback, because towns are quite close from each other, but on the other hand not as "dangerous" to hitchhike ;) Because towns are pretty small seen the amount of people in New Zealand some roads are really not busy. You might wait a nice little while.

North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui[edit]

A bit smaller than the South Island, although much more populated: 3,5 million out of New Zealand's 4,5 million inhabitants. This island is a bit less touristic, but cities are bigger.

South Island or Te Waipounamu[edit]

The South Island is bigger but less populated, only 1 million, and is the most touristic so you will often be picked up by travelers, especially along the West Coast, where there isn't a lot of traffic.

  • West Coast: West Coast is basically one unpopulated and a favored travelers way because of the nature and glaciers. If you are hitching between Greymouth and Wanaka you might have the fortune to score a ride with one of the DHL drivers aka the local posties. They are a couple of awesome guys who meet up in Fox Glacier to swap packages (and hitchhikers too if you are lucky!).
  • East Coast: More inhabitants and thus a bit more local traffic, not like the West Coast which is mainly used by tourist cars.

From one island to the other[edit]

The 3-4 hour ferry costs around NZ$50 - Interislander and Bluebridge have almost identical pricing. Since car bookings also incur a fee per person about the same as per foot passenger, cars won't be able to take you on, and grouping together wouldn't help either. You may get lucky and find a special discount on their Facebook page (or subscribe to their newsletters for a promo code), and there's always the usual 10% BBH/YHA/Student/...

If someone hitchhiked it, please add details! Plane will be more expensive unless you're going further and plan on taking a bus.

Hitchhiking a boat would not be a simple task, the passage is not an easy one.



Summers start in October/November but being a maritime climate the weather can be changeable. The weather in January - March is a little more settled.

Winter can be harsh and snowy, keep this in mind when planning your travel. The general snow season is about early June until early October in the South Island, and snow does happens in the North Island but less frequently. Gloves, scarf and hat are definitely a good idea if your thumb brings you up in the mountains.

Other travelling infos[edit]

Look at the Nomadwiki article for more, but remember that free camping on coucil land is usually not allowed and can expose you to a NZ$200 fine, so try to hide ;) This does not apply to the backcountry / public conservation land. Camping even in National Parks, away from the roads, is still perfectly legal.

North Island[edit]

South Island[edit]

trash:New Zealand nomad:New Zealandnomad:New Zealand