Travel advice for Waitangi weekend


The NZ Transport Agency advises motorists to allow extra time for their journeys on SH1 this Waitangi Weekend north of Auckland.

The NZ Transport Agency advises motorists to allow extra time for their journeys on SH1 this Waitangi Weekend north of Auckland. 

“It’s a long weekend, and like any other extended break, we expect heavy traffic volumes. We’re urging motorists to plan their travel and use alternative routes between Auckland and Northland to avoid delays,” says NZTA regional director Wayne McDonald.

The NZTA will actively manage its state highway network throughout the weekend to reduce delays and keep traffic moving.  Traffic updates will be broadcast on radio, and on-road electronic signs will advise motorists of the most suitable route between Auckland and Northland. 

The Transport Agency says queues will start building from Thursday afternoon [5 February] as people take advantage of the last long weekend of the summer.  It reminds motorists that SH16 from west Auckland and Silverdale to Wellsford, provides a less crowded alternative to SH1.

For those who will use SH1, the agency advises that payment kiosks at both approaches to the electronic toll road will be busy.  The NZTA says motorists should not stop and use the machines, and there are several options available to minimise the delays and maximise the holiday:

  • Electronic toll road travel: Pre-pay at link) or by freephone 0800 40 20 20
    • You can buy one or multiple trips by credit card, internet banking or freephone
    • You don’t have to set up an account
    • You can buy a return trip before you drive this weekend
    • Tickets are valid for 180 days
    • The minimum set up balance for accounts is reduced to $20.00
  • Free, alternative routes:
    • Travelling to/from Wellsford and further north, use SH16
    • Travelling to/from Warkworth, use SH17 via Waiwera, Orewa and Silverdale

“Lining up to pay at a kiosk cancels out the time saved using the electronic toll road. It  was designed as an electronic tolling system, which means people do not have to interrupt their journey and stop. Instead, they can realise the benefits of the faster route and increased capacity on SH1,”says Mr McDonald.

There are two, free alternative routes on SH16 and SH17, if people do not want to use the electronic toll road.

For more information please contact:

Ewart Barnsley
Stakeholder and Communications Manager – Auckland
NZ Transport Agency
T    +64 9 368 2000