Plan ahead to stay safe on busy roads this Labour Weekend


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is anticipating high volumes of traffic on Auckland and Northland state highways over Labour Weekend and urges drivers to plan ahead and drive safely.

Travel may also be more spread out across the country this year with holiday makers taking the opportunity to have a longer break either side of Labour Day weekend and exploring different regions to normal, says Auckland Operations Manager, Rua Pani.

“Congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, but if everyone leaves plenty of time for their journey, drives to the conditions and plans ahead before leaving home, holidaymakers can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination."

“We’re predicting traffic to be heavy as people head north from Auckland on Friday afternoon between 3:00pm and 7:00pm and on Monday’s return journey between Midday and 5:00pm. For drivers heading south, the Southern Motorway’s expected to be busiest between 11:30am and 7:30pm on Friday and 10:00am and 1:30pm on Saturday. The return journey will be busy from Midday to 7:00pm, with traffic heaviest between 4:00pm and 5:00pm.”

Use the holiday journeys map to plan ahead for a safe enjoyable journey. The map shows predicted traffic flow on popular journeys over the Labour Day weekend based on previous years travel patterns. 

Holiday journeys map(external link)

“The Journey Planner is a great tool to help plan your trip with real time travel information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures. Visit Journey Planner before leaving home as predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and even driver behaviour.”

Journey Planner(external link)

For motorists heading to Waikato and Coromandel, the Journey Planner has hotspot travel information for Maramarua, Kopu Bridge and Tairua.

Motorists heading north are reminded there’s a changed road layout and temporary speed limit on the Puhoi side of the Johnstones Hill tunnels. There are multiple construction sites with temporary speed limits on SH1 through the Dome Valley, between Warkworth and Wellsford.  Loop Road intersection, south of Whangarei also has a temporary speed limit. The roundabout under construction there opened to one lane of traffic this week, which has improved traffic flows in both directions.

Further north, there are also roundabouts under construction at Kawakawa (SH1/SH11), Puketona Junction (SH10/SH11) and Waipapa (SH10).

The will be stop/go traffic managers at the Kawakawa intersection during busy periods to ease congestion. Work is on hold at all other sites over the weekend to minimise distraction and disruption.

The Mangamuka Gorge on SH1 is closed by a slip. The official detour route is SH10 for heavy vehicles, but the Twin Coast Discovery Route is a scenic option for light vehicles such as cars or campervans. 

“Waka Kotahi urges motorists to drive to the conditions and keep to the temporary speed limits for the safety of all road users. Be patient and take regular breaks. Allow plenty of time. You’re on holiday. There’s no need to rush,” says Rua Pani.

As preparation for going on holiday, check your vehicle has an up to date Warrant of Fitness. Also check our car safety basics guide.

Check your car – safety basics

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