Plan ahead if you’re heading north this Waitangi Day weekend


Record numbers are expected to hit the road this long weekend as people head north for Waitangi Day.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi (NZTA) has updated its popular Holiday Journeys traffic prediction tool to help everyone plan ahead and minimise delays this weekend.

Holiday Journeys traffic prediction tool(external link)

The tool shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the long weekend, based on previous year’s travel patterns.

As well as busier traffic volumes than usual, a local road closure will be in place on Tuesday 6 February (Waitangi Day) at the SH11 roundabout exit to Te Karuwha Parade in Paihia, restricting traffic to Waitangi.

A detour to via SH10 to Haruru Falls will be communicated on the morning of Waitangi Day. From there, parking is available at Bledisloe ground and there is a shuttle bus to Waitangi. Road users are encouraged to use the provided buses to and from the event.

“Roads to and from Paihia and Waitangi are likely to be very busy this weekend, so people should plan ahead and expect delays” says NZTA Journey Manager Kingston Brands.

“We know that congestion and delays can be frustrating, but the most important thing is that everyone gets to their destination safely. Please plan ahead, be patient, drive to the conditions and comply with any temporary speed limits in place.

“Delays are inevitable in peak times, and starting your trip at non-peak times can make the journey safer and more enjoyable. 

“We’ve also observed the numbers from traffic volumes for previous long weekends and holiday periods, and used that data to make our best predictions for when and where traffic will be heaviest this weekend.

“While we’re encouraging people to use our holiday journeys tool to help plan their trips, predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather or even driver behaviour, so we’re also encouraging people to check real time updates before they head off, which provides traffic information and updates on delays, road works and road closures in real time” says Mr Brands.

Real time updates(external link)

Tips for safe driving this long weekend

  • Check your car is in good “health” before you head off. Check your tyre pressure and tread, windscreen wipers, indicators and lights.
  • Take extra care when travelling in holiday periods because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments.
  • Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or amount of traffic.
  • Avoid fatigue. Take regular breaks to stay alert.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely.
  • Be patient – overtaking is unlikely to make a significant difference to your journey time due to the amount of traffic expected over the weekend.
  • Allow plenty of time. Remember you are on holiday, so there’s no need to rush.