Driving on the Left Side of the Road in New Zealand, Mistakes Made

In June, I arrived on Waiheke Island, New Zealand, and hopped into the driver’s seat of my rented Toyota Rav4. There was just one problem: I would have to drive on the left side of the road.

The rental car parked on the side of the road in Waiheke Island, New Zealand.

Monica Humphries/Insider

At 15, I learned to drive in a Publix grocery store parking lot. Since then, I’ve felt comfortable behind the wheel navigating on the right side of the road. 

Fast forward a dozen years to arriving in New Zealand, a country where people drive on the left side of the road, and drivers sit on the right side of the car. I was willing to do it, but I was uncomfortable. 

For six days, I drove in two locations: Waiheke Island, off the coast of Auckland, and Queenstown, which is the adventure capital of the world, located on New Zealand’s south island. Both locations had tight, curving lanes, and I navigated through a mixture of city traffic and countryside exploration. 

Between two locations and two rental cars, I made plenty of mistakes (luckily none too serious). Take a look at my mishaps driving on the left side of the road for the first time.



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