Plan ahead for a safe journey in and out of Wellington this Easter


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport is predicting that roads in and out of Wellington will be very busy over the upcoming Easter break and is advising people to plan ahead for a safe and enjoyable journey.

Update at 5.04pm today

The planned tree-felling works on SH1 at Johnsonville, mentioned in the media release below, have been cancelled this weekend due to forecast high winds.

“We want everyone to arrive at their destination safely this long weekend, so we’re encouraging everyone to plan ahead and drive to the conditions,” Regional Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen says.

Journey Planner tool for Easter weekend(external link)

Waka Kotahi has updated its holiday journeys traffic prediction tool, which shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes over the Easter period, based on travel patterns from previous years.

The tool predicts that State Highway 1 travelling out of Wellington will be busy most of Thursday, with traffic heaviest between 11.30am through to 6pm. Friday will be busy from 6.30am through to 3.30pm, particularly between 9.30am and 2pm, while Saturday, Sunday and Monday are expected to busy from around 9am until 3.30pm each day.

For those heading into Wellington on State Highway 1, traffic is expected to be busy in the afternoons on Thursday and Friday, during mid-morning on Saturday, and from around 10am to 6pm on Sunday and Monday, particularly after midday, as people return home.

Waka Kotahi is undertaking tree-felling works on State Highway 1 at Johnsonville on Friday and Saturday morning, which will require the closure of the southbound lanes between the Johnsonville southbound off-ramp and Newlands southbound on-ramp, from 7am to 12pm. Southbound traffic will detour through the Johnsonville CBD.

“We’re taking this action to reduce the risk to people’s safety. With an easy detour available we expect the impact won’t be significant, however traffic will be monitored throughout the works and traffic management be altered as necessary to avoid the build-up of lengthy queues,” Mr Owen says.

For people heading north out of Wellington on State Highway 2 over the Remutaka Hill, traffic is expected to be busy on Thursday from 1.30pm to 7.30pm, particularly between 2.30pm and 6.30pm. Traffic will also be heavy on Friday between 9.30am and 1.30pm, and busy on Saturday between 9.30am and 12.30pm.

For southbound traffic on State Highway 2, the busiest times are expected to be Saturday between 4pm and 6pm and Sunday between 10.30am and 4.30pm. Monday is predicted to be busy between 11.30am and 5pm, with traffic heaviest between 2.30pm and 5pm.

“It’s inevitable that there will be congestion and delays during peak times. We know it can be frustrating getting stuck in traffic, but the most important thing is that everyone gets to their destination safely. Please plan ahead, be patient and drive to the conditions,” Mr Owen says.

“Because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather or even driver behaviour, people should also check our journey planner before they head off, which provides traffic information and real-time updates on delays, road works and road closures.

“It’s important to remember that we all play a part in making our roads safer for everyone. We want everyone to arrive safely at their destination these Easter holidays, so we all need to take responsibility for the safety of ourselves and other road users.

“Trying to ‘make up lost time’ by speeding and unsafe overtaking puts everyone on the road at risk. Even when speed doesn’t cause the crash, it is most likely to determine whether someone is killed, injured, or walks away unharmed. For everyone’s safety, please slow down.”

Drive to the conditions, allow plenty of time and take regular breaks to stay alert.

  • 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.
  • Please be patient when driving this Easter so everyone can relax and enjoy their holiday.
  • 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.
  • Take regular breaks to stay alert.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely.
  • Allow plenty of time. You’re on holiday, no need to rush.

Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable journey. Keep up to date with: