Original article on www.vagabondjourney.com
This is a concise guide about how to hitchhike in New Zealand. It covers everything from where to pick up a ride to how to get someone to stop.
If you have hitchhiked through New Zealand before and have more tips to contribute, please do so through the comment form below.
How to Hitchhike in NZ
Hitchhiking in New Zealand is legal, except on the countries motorways. (Only 2% of the countries roads are motorways, which carry about 10% of NZs’ traffic.) Hitchhiking on the countries highways is legal and quite safe.
The easiest and most convenient route for traveling long distances is State Highway 1. State Hwy 1 is the longest road in NZ, running from the northernmost point of the North Island to the tip of the southern island, passing through Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin. Traffic is one lane and there is generally a shoulder to stand on while waiting for a ride.
New Zealanders are generally quite friendly and happy to offer hitchhikers a lift (and occasionally, a meal or a backyard in which to pitch a tent). Payment is not expected. The countryside is easier to navigate, while the cities can be difficult to hitch out of. Taking public transportation to the outskirts of a city before trying to hitchhike will greatly improve your chances of getting a ride. Trying to hitchhike on the crowded onramps within a city is dangerous – the ramps are often narrow and there isn’t room for a driver to pull over. Furthermore, within city limits and also within a cities surroundings, State Hwy 1 tends to be a four lane motorway, which is illegal to hitchhike on.
*Image of Mt.cook, Lupines fields, South island New Zealand via Shutterstock