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When it comes to driving on the "wrong" side of the road, North Americans fall into a binary dis-tribution pattern: either "no problem" or "no way." If you're in the "no problem" camp, you'll find that highways are adequate and well-marked. Although New Zealand boasts a few motor-ways, most of the roads you encounter are two-lane, with occasional "slow vehicle lanes" strate-gically located where needed. Some motorways are toll, with cars identified electronically; you can pay fees online up to five days after use. And if you're on the "no way" side of the driving issue, plenty of tour companies will drive you around on buses. 

Specific recommendation: A South Island circle route is a popular rental-car drive. But if you start in Christchurch, head directly to Greymouth (that's the route the train takes), then head south to the glaciers, you miss out on one of the world's most spectacular coastal drives: The "Great Coast Route" is at its best North of Greymouth. You can either extend your circle trip to include Westport or do an out-and-back from Greymouth at least as far as Punakaiki.

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<small>(Photo: <a href="" target="_blank">Cinematic Road to Mount Cook</a> via Shutterstock)</a>

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