A Frenchman who went "beserk" after spending days unsuccessfully trying to hitchhike out of a small New Zealand town pleaded guilty to criminal damage.

Cedric Claude Rene Rault-Verpre admitted destroying road signs after being unable to get a ride out of the South Island tourism destination of Punakaiki, AFP reported.

After waiting for four days to hitch a ride from the town of only 70 residents, the 27-year-old allegedly attacked the Welcome to Punakaiki sign, abused motorists and threw another sign into a local river.

Local Neil Mouat described the man as a "spoilt millennial" who went "beserk".

"Oh he threw an absolute hissy fit; he was lying prone on the road screaming that New Zealanders were assholes and he couldn't wait to get back to Europe," he told the Guardian.

Rault-Verpre pleaded guilty to wilful damage, which can carry a three month prison sentence, though prosecutors said they would simply seek a $NZ3,000 (£1,698, $2,204) fine to cover the cost of repairs.

Outside court, a still furious Rault-Verpre protested his treatment.

"I've been to 80 countries," he added, reported AFP. "I've been to the worst parts of the US. The worst American is not an asshole like a New Zealander."