So far, I know three ways of parking in NZ.
- Pay and Display
- Free (for a limited period)
- Free (illegally)
For obvious reasons, number 3 is self explanatory. Note that broken yellow lines are like the double yellow lines in Singapore – no parking.
Now on to number 1 and 2. The key tip here is to look out for the small blue signs with white text, as well as the usual marked parking lots.
So, when you see a sign above, it’s good news. It means you can park for ‘x’ minutes for free. In the above case, you can park for 240 minutes. I’ve seen signs that allow parking for as little as 5 minutes too. Just check before you park. There is no ERP gantries to charge you by the minute. 🙂
Anyhow, there are parking lots that are controlled by old-school meters.
At these lots, there are signs informing you that you have to pay for parking AND you can only park for a maximum of ‘y’ minutes.
In this case, you can only park for a max of 2 hours.
The parking meters are digital. So here’s a little trick we learnt. In this case, if you want to park for about 20 minutes, there is no need for you to pay $3.10. You just need to insert a $1 coin. The machine is smart enough to calculate the duration based on what you’ve inserted. A neat trick if you don’t need to park for a full-hour or two. Note: you would need to display the printed receipt on your dashboard prominently.
We left NZ without getting a parking ticket. Phew.
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