NZTA says plan for safe Easter holiday travel


State Highways to and from Auckland will be busy during the Easter holiday break, and the NZ Transport Agency advises people to plan the time of their travel to avoid congestion and delays.

On State Highway 1 north of Auckland, traffic volumes typically increase 50 per cent during the holiday over a normal working weekday, says the NZTA’s Regional Director for Auckland and Northland, Stephen Town. 

“The busiest section of the highway will be between Puhoi and Warkworth. Last year on the Northern Gateway Toll Road, over 100,000 trips were recorded over Easter weekend with Thursday and Good Friday being the busiest days.  We also processed 11, 000 transactions at the toll road kiosks over the long weekend,” Mr Town says. 

Mr Town says drivers can take simple steps to avoid congestion:-

  • Pre-pay tolls for the Northern Gateway Toll Road at freephone 0800 402020 (call centre hours are 8.30am to 5pm every day), or link) , or pay anytime within five days of using the toll road. 
  • By-pass Puhoi/Warkworth congestion by using the SH16 alternative, which can be accessed from the Northwestern Motorway through Helensville or from the Silverdale interchange on SH1 north of Auckland.  

“Although it’s a rural highway, State Highway 16 traffic volumes are a lot lighter and the trip can be a lot easier and smoother than one on the more crowded SH1,” Mr Town says.

Holiday destinations like Waipu in Northland, Mangawhai Heads and the Warkworth/Matakana area will be venues for a number of Easter events including concerts, markets and fairs.

“They’re all popular destinations for Aucklanders and care and patience will be needed particularly as the weather is often unsettled at this time of year,” adds Mr Town.

Traffic will also be busy heading south, and there will be detours in place so that people driving to the Coromandel Peninsula can avoid delays at the single-lane Kopu Bridge on SH25 in north Waikato.   

Drivers also need to be aware of construction sites and speed restrictions on state highways throughout Auckland and Northland.   They include


  • SH1, Kaiwaka Tunnel Hill – crawler lane closed, 70kph restriction
  • SH1, Mountain Road – shoulder closed, 50kph restriction
  • SH1, Old North Road passing lane – 50kph restriction
  • SH1, Towai Hill slip – contra flow operating for traffic, 50kph restriction
  • SH10, Bulls Gorge – 30kph restriction
  • SH11, Lily Pond widening – shoulder closed, 50 & 70kph restrictions depending on conditions


  • SH1, Victoria Park Tunnel – Cook Street off ramp closed
  • SH1 – Newmarket Connection: Viaduct Replacement Project – 70kph restriction
  • SH20, Stoddard Road, Mt Roskill – 30kph restriction
  • SH16, Lincoln Road interchange -  80kph restriction

Traffic volumes may be heavy on some sections of the Auckland motorway network   particularly around the Greenlane interchange, the Southern Motorway exit for the Royal Easter Show.  

Roadside electronic messaging will be used in to inform people of traffic conditions ahead, and the NZTA will work with Police to help people avoid hold ups.  

Mr Town reminds people that ANZAC Day will be commemorated on Easter Monday, 25 April.

‘There could be more traffic on the roads, than usual, particularly in the early hours, as people attend dawn services or civic commemorations later in the morning.”

People planning holidays trips can get highway information from the NZ Transport Agency at