Hop off to holiday destinations, but don’t get cross if it takes time


Heading away in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato these Easter and school holidays? Here’s what you need to know to make your journey all the sweeter…

The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency holiday journey planner shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes all over the country during holiday periods, based on previous years’ travel patterns.

Holiday journey planner(external link)

It’s a helpful tool, with school holidays from Easter to 24 April and Anzac Day 25 April. Key routes will be busy in over the next two to three weeks.

Kane Patena, Waka Kotahi Director of Land Transport urges everyone heading away to plan ahead for a safe journey, especially in areas affected by recent severe weather.

“Our teams have put in a huge effort over the past six weeks to repair flood and slip damage and re-open most highways in Northland, Coromandel, Tairawhiti and Hawkes Bay.  We’re thrilled that these roads ready for people to travel to and from holiday destinations, and to visit friends and family.

“There are still many damaged sites with restrictions in place on several routes, and we’re urging people to allow plenty of time for their journeys, share the driving to avoid fatigue and be patient when traffic is heavy and there are delays,” Mr Patena says.


In the Coromandel, State Highway 25 (SH25) around Tairua, is expected to be busy northbound all afternoon until 8pm on Thursday 6 April and again on Friday from 9am until around 5.30pm.

The heaviest traffic southbound will be on Monday 10 April from 9am until 2pm.

SH25 is also under stop/go traffic management between Opoutere and Hikuai due to an underslip. Slip repair works begin after Easter, which will see the potential for road closures for up to 30 minutes between 9.30am and 2.30pm daily. Consider travelling outside of these times to avoid delays.

Elsewhere in the Waikato, expect things to be busy on State Highway 1 (SH1) from the end of the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway and between Tīrau and Karāpiro. The busiest times will be southbound late Thursday afternoon and most of the day Friday 7 April until mid-afternoon. Northbound, Sunday afternoon will see a busy patch from 3pm until 5.30pm and Easter Monday from 11am throughout the afternoon.

Due to safety improvements, expect delays on SH1 near Ngāruawāhia or skip the work site altogether by using SH1B or the old route via Ngāruawāhia.

More information on Ngāruawāhia remedial and safety works [PDF, 1.4 MB]

State Highway 2 (SH2) Pokeno to Maramarua will be busy eastbound from 11am Thursday 6 April right through till 9.30pm, and again on Good Friday from 7am until 3.30pm. Westbound Sunday afternoon and Monday from 10am until 6.30pm will likely be busy.

Bay of Plenty

Bay of Plenty hotspots will include SH2 between Paeroa and Waihi eastbound Thursday afternoon and expect heavy Friday 7 April from 11.30am until 4pm. Westbound – Sunday afternoon and Monday morning sees the heaviest traffic.

SH2 between Tauranga and Katikati has busy patches Thursday, Saturday and Monday mornings, while southbound on Thursday afternoon is likely to be busy.

State Highway 29 over the Kaimai range west of Tauranga may be heavy Friday from late morning until 3.30pm eastbound. Monday 10 April may be busy from mid-morning until mid-afternoon westbound.

Waka Kotahi urges everyone to drive carefully these holidays.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility – we can all play a part to ensure that no one is harmed on our roads,” says Mr Patena.

There are simple things we can all do to help keep everyone on the roads safe:

  • Check your vehicle is safe to drive. Check your tyres, wipers, lights and indicators, and ensure you have a valid Warrant of Fitness before you leave.
  • 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.
  • Make sure everyone does up their seat belt after a break outside the car.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely, and share the driving if possible.
  • People towing caravans and boats need to ensure their roadworthiness before attaching them to the tow bar. Stack heavy items toward the front to balance the load and remember the speed limit is 90k/h for towing vehicles. Pull over frequently and let queues pass when safe to do so.