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Driving and Road Safety > Regional Road Information - Otago and Dunedin

Regional Road Information - Otago and Dunedin

Click for Land Transport Safety Authority website This information has been kindly supplied by the Land Transport New Zealand. For more information, please visit the Land Transport New Zealand website.

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Regional Road Information
Welcome to the Otago and Dunedin Regions:

South Otago
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One Lane Bridges! The Catlins Road between Balclutha and Invercargill is a popular tourist route where you can enjoy sweeping coastline vistas, native flora and fauna and abundant wildlife. Lookout for one lane bridges on this route.

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The Catlins: Some sections of the Catlins Road are unsealed and drivers who travel too quickly on these surfaces can easily lose control of their vehicle.

Motorists also need to be wary of log trucks, which use this road on a regular basis.

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Gravel Beware! Some sections of the Catlins Road are unsealed and drivers who travel too quickly on these surfaces can easily lose control of their vehicle. Motorists also need to be wary of log trucks, which use this road on a regular basis.

Central Otago
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Alexandra Seal: Main roads in Central Otago like the one pictured above are sealed. However they frequently traverse undulating terrain and some corners can be deceptively tight, so keep your speeds down. Between April and September Ice and snow can make roads surfaces throughout Central Otago very slippery.

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Donít be deceived! Care is essential on straight sections of gravel road like this near Alexandra. These roads are common throughout Central Otago. Concentration is required when driving on them, as a vehicle can be difficult to control if its wheel strikes the loose gravel that builds up along the road edges

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Poolburn Dam: Reaching those out of theway places in Central Otago like the Poolburn Dam, pictured here, is well worth the effort, but be prepared to drive over narrow, winding and often bumpy gravel roads. Keep your speed down and watch for other traffic. Trips to Poolburn Dam, a fishing mecca some 900m above sea level, are best left to the warmer spring and summers months of November to March when the risk of ice and snow on the road is much lower.



Dunedin City
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Portobello Road: A must see on your visit to Dunedin is the internationally acclaimed Royal Albatross Colony situated at the entrance to Otago Harbour, about 28km from the heart of Dunedin City. Portobello Road pictured above is the most popular way of getting to the colony. This narrow and rather bumpy sealed road threads itís way along the edge of Otago Harbour for much of its length, so extreme care is essential. There are several very tight bends that can catch out the unsuspecting driver. Keep an eye out for the many buses and camper vans that use this route

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Princes Street, one of Dunedin's main streets is wide and open at its southern extremity pictured here, don't let this tempt you too speed, as a 50kph speed limit applies.

Watch for merging traffic from side streets. Keep an eye out for traffic lights.

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Dunedin City traffic: Pictured above is a traffic light controlled intersection in the central Dunedin business district.

When driving through these intersections be wary of motorists who try and run redlights. This is a common practice among a certain section of Dunedin drivers.


Winter Driving
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Winter driving conditions may be encountered in Otago and Southland any time between April and September, although the risk is higher between the months of June, July and August, creating road conditions that demand extra care and attention by drivers.

Here are a few simple rules that will make your journey safer:

  • Your Trip: Check the road conditions ahead - choose safety over convenience to select your route. Keep your SPEED DOWN at all times

  • Your Car: Check the brakes, wiperblades (make sure the windscreen is clean), battery tyre pressure and tread. Keep your SPEED DOWN at all times

  • Yourself: Dress warm - carry warm clothing in case you get stuck or breakdown. And remember ... Keep your SPEED DOWN at all times



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