Don’t be a grinch, summer travel’s a cinch


Joy to our beautiful corner of the world, which will see congestion on peak travel days this summer as always, however if everyone leaves plenty of time, drives to the conditions and plans ahead before leaving home, frustrations can be eased.

Tis the season for giving and The NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) shares in the Coromandel’s joy that State Highway 25A is open before Christmas.

Elsewhere around the Peninsula, tis the season for giving way, with stop/go traffic management helping holidays flow over Pepe Bridge in Tairua this Christmas/New Year break. But road users would be wise to expect periods of delay here.

“Give our traffic team a smile and wave and spread the season of good will. They’re there to help you,” says Roger Brady, Acting Manager of Maintenance and Operations for the Waikato and Bay of Plenty.

Around the Coromandel there are still a number of sites on State Highway 25 under repair following the last ‘summer’s’ storms.

“NZTA seeks to strike the balance between keeping highways up to standard and impacting on people’s precious holiday time,” Mr Brady says.

“Road works across the Coromandel, and around the region will cease from noon Friday 22 December to Sunday night 7 January to help ease the worst of the peak holiday traffic.”

Other areas of the Waikato will also be busy over this period, especially State Highway 1 between Tīrau and Karāpiro and State Highway 2 (SH2) between Pokeno and Maramarua.

Around the Bay of Plenty there are plenty of desirable holiday spots, which means more traffic on the roads here too.

Eastbound traffic on SH2 between Paeroa and Waihi will likely be at its heaviest on Saturday mornings 23 December and 29 December. Westbound, the heaviest traffic here is expected to be in the New Year on 2 and 3 January.

Road users should expect SH2 between Tauranga and Katikati will also be busy at times over the holidays.

And as always, traffic will be heavy on State Highway 29 (SH29) over the Kaimai Range, especially on December 23 for most of the day.

Check our handy Holiday edition of the Journey Planner for all the details when planning your travel:

Summer holidays 2023 | NZTA Journey Planner(external link)

“Be patient when driving this summer so everyone can enjoy the holidays together. Keep a safe following distance so you can stop safely if you need to. Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the roads,” Mr Brady says.

“It might be too much to hope for Peace on Earth... but peace on our roads is something we can all buy into these holidays.”