Drivers urged to plan ahead at Easter to avoid peak travel times


The NZ Transport Agency is urging motorists heading away for Easter to plan ahead to stay safe and avoid delays on the roads.

The Transport Agency’s travel team has put together maps to show the expected peak holiday traffic times to help drivers decide the best time to travel to avoid the queues. These maps show the busiest times based on previous years’ travel patterns. They are predictions and are subject to change based on the weather, local events and other factors.

Easter Weekend Holiday Hotspots 2018 maps can be found at:

Print version [PDF, 457 KB]

“Queues and delays can be expected at the most popular times across the state highway network as large numbers of people head off to their usual holiday destinations,” says Neil Walker, the Transport Agency’s Senior Journey Manager.

The spots below are the busiest based on previous years’ travel patterns. You can check out the holiday hotpots information to find the times to avoid:

Bay of Plenty: State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Range to Waikato; State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihi and State Highway 2 between Tauranga and Katikati.  Heavy traffic through Katikati is expected as drivers head to holiday spots further north.

Coromandel: State Highway 25 at Tairua and Kopu Bridge.

Waikato: State Highway 1 Taupiri (north of Hamilton) and State Highway 1 Karapiro (south of Cambridge).

“People should try to avoid travelling at the busiest periods. Plan your travel in advance to reduce stress and to help to reduce congestion and delays so the journey is safer and more enjoyable.”

“When you’re actually on the road things can change because of incidents, weather and even driver behaviour so keep up to date by checking our website, calling the 0800 4 HIGHWAYS number or following us on social media,” says Mr Walker.

During Easter a temporary halt is placed on road works on all state highways unless special permission is granted.

People can stay up to date by calling 0800 4 HIGHWAYS or they can check for state highway closures on the website: link)

We are also on Twitter and Facebook: link) link)

The Transport Agency also puts some traffic measures in place to reduce travel delays. Details of some of this work is below:

SH2 passing lane closed at Maramarua on Easter Monday

The NZ Transport Agency is closing the SH2 passing lane at Maramarua Golf Club on Monday 2 April from 9am to 8pm. In addition, Golf Road off ramp will be closed while Koheroa Road on ramp will be working a stop/go system to manage the flow of traffic onto SH2 during this busy weekend.

 While slightly longer queues can be expected, the impact to the overall journey time is expected to be minimal as a steadier flow of traffic will help manage congestion and reduce the potential for accidents at the merge of the passing lanes. Timings for the reopening of the passing lane will depend on traffic flow. If traffic remains heavy the lane will remain closed until it is safe to reopen.

SH1 passing lanes closed south of Huntly on Easter Monday

The NZ Transport Agency is closing both directions of the passing lanes on SH1 to the south of Huntly on Monday 2 April from 10am. Slightly longer queues can be expected however the overall impact should be minimal as traffic flows should remain steadier.  Re-opening of the passing lanes will depend on traffic flow and when it is considered to be safe to re-open.