A royally good long weekend on the cards for road users who plan ahead


With winter now having set in and heavy rain forecast for Sunday road users are being urged to take extra care this Queen’s birthday weekend.

“Whether you’re heading south to the ski slopes or north for the warmer weather, make sure you drive to the conditions. It’s the last public holiday for some time so we are expecting higher traffic volumes, which when combined with wintry weather can make this holiday weekend potentially risky on the roads,” says Waka Kotahi Te Tai Tokerau Journey Manager Wayne Sharplin.

“The room for mistakes is much smaller when conditions are reduced. Stopping distances can nearly double on wet roads. Keep at least a four second following distance between you and the vehicle in front.”

Motorists travelling in Northland and Auckland are advised to plan ahead and follow the basics of road safety, so everyone arrives at their destination safely.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency has updated its popular online holiday journeys traffic prediction took to help people plan ahead and avoid delays. The tool predicts traffic flow based on previous years travel patterns.

Holiday journeys traffic prediction tool(external link)

In order to minimise delays over the holiday weekend all roadworks on State Highways in Northland, apart from weather-related and emergency works, will be on hold over Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

For safety reasons, temporary speed limits will remain in place around several work sites on SH1 between Auckland and Whangārei, including through the Puhoi area, Dome Valley, on Matakana Link Road and at Loop Road.

State Highway 1 through the Mangamuka Gorge will once again be temporarily open for light vehicles over Queen’s Birthday weekend, to help travellers get around the region. The road will we be opened from Saturday through to Monday, between 8am and 6pm as a single lane passage. Convoys will leave regularly from each end of the work site, but road users are warned to expect some delays.

“We know this is an important connection for communities in the far north, our crews are making great progress on repairing the remaining slip damage and at this stage we are on track to fully restore the gorge back to two lanes by the end of June,” says Wayne Sharplin.

Remember to visit Journey Planner just before you head off for real-time travel information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures.

Journey Planner(external link)

“We want everyone to get to and from their destinations safely. Unfortunately, last Queen’s Birthday weekend there were three fatal crashes across the country. Make sure you check your vehicle before starting your journey, and drive to the conditions.”

Road to Zero, New Zealand’s road safety strategy, has a vision of an Aotearoa where no one is killed or seriously injured on our roads. Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is one of many partners involved in making New Zealand's transport system safer so that Vision Zero can be realised.

Road to Zero(external link)

Waka Kotahi top winter driving tips:

  • Slow down. It only takes a split second to lose control on a wet road. Keeping your speed at 10kmh below the legal limit will greatly reduce your risk of a crash
  • Stopping distances can nearly double on wet roads. Keep at least a 4 second following distance between you and the vehicle in front.
  • Sunstrike is most likely to hit you at sunrise or sunset. Keep your windscreen clean – inside and out – and be ready to use your sunglasses or sun visors. If you can’t see, pull over and wait till you can.
  • Turn on your lights whenever there’s heavy cloud cover, fog or rain. You’ll be much more visible to other road users and you’ll probably be able to see better too.
  • Take extra care to watch for motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians – especially at intersections and pedestrian crossings. Check carefully, then check again. Have your foot ready over the brake, and watch for pedestrians about to cross.

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