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Driving in Dunedin

Driving in a new country can be daunting. These tips offer insight into what to expect when driving in Dunedin.
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1. Understanding the Driving Rules

Driving in Dunedin, is on the left-hand side of the road. This might be a significant change for those coming from countries where driving is on the right. It’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the local driving rules and regulations, including speed limits, road signs, and parking rules. The New Zealand Transport Agency provides comprehensive information on their website.

2. Car Recommendation

Most roads in Dunedin are well-maintained, so any type of car would be suitable. However, considering the hilly terrain of the city, a car with good horsepower might be more comfortable. Also, if you plan to explore the countryside or go on road trips, an SUV or a 4WD could be a better choice.

3. Parking in Dunedin

Finding parking in Dunedin is generally not difficult, especially compared to larger cities. However, in the city center during peak hours, it might be a bit challenging. Parking fees vary depending on the location and duration, but they are generally affordable. There are also several free parking spaces available, particularly in residential areas.

4. Driving with an International License

Foreigners can drive in New Zealand with an international driving permit or a license from their home country, provided it’s in English or accompanied by an approved translation. This is valid for up to 12 months from the date you arrive in New Zealand. After this period, you will need to obtain a New Zealand driver’s license.

5. Obtaining a New Zealand Driver’s License

If you have been in New Zealand for more than a year, you will need to convert your foreign license to a New Zealand license. The process involves passing a theory test and, in some cases, a practical driving test. You can find more information and book your tests on the New Zealand Transport Agency’s website.

6. Be Prepared for Hilly Roads

Dunedin is known for its hilly terrain, including Baldwin Street, which was once recognized as the steepest street in the world. If you’re not used to driving on steep roads, take some time to practice and get comfortable. Always remember to engage the right gear when driving uphill or downhill.

7. Watch Out for Weather Conditions

The weather in Dunedin can change quickly, and conditions like fog, rain, or ice can make driving challenging. Always check the weather forecast before you set out and adjust your driving to the conditions.

Joshua WoodJoshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

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