Summer journeys: expect the unexpected, but do your planning


Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is reminding people travelling by road in the South Island/Te Wai Pounamu this summer to expect the unexpected.

“We have had some major storms, slips and flooding in this lead-in to Christmas which is not what many people think of as summer weather,” says Tresca Forrester, Journey Manager for the Transport Agency.

“But if people at least check our website’s Traffic and Travel journey planner pages ahead of time, as well as the MetService forecast, they will have some idea of what the journey could be like and they can be well prepared.”

Interactive map shows you congested times and places

The interactive map(external link) is another useful tool to check times and places when highways are likely to be congested for your departures and returns.

Where are the single lane areas in the South Island?

  • Takaka Hill, SH60, has several traffic signal controlled, single lane sections post Cyclone Gita in 2018. This work continues in the New Year on the last five complex repair sites on the Riwaka/Nelson side.
  • After the recent storms and slips, South Westland’s SH6 south of Hokitika through to the Haast Pass will also have single lanes in several places with traffic management into the New Year.
  • SH1 north and south of Kaikōura will be two-way throughout the route  from 20 December to 6 January, however will revert to active work sites and single lane traffic/ traffic management outside those dates. Speed restrictions will be in place in some areas.

“Please build in extra time for all your trips anyway to reduce stress and allow plenty of breaks,” says Ms Forrester.

She encourages all people to drive to the conditions, leave space between their vehicle and the one in front, avoid pointless or risky overtaking and if you do strike road works or a crash, drop your speed.

Helpful links:

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