Auckland/Northland Easter travel – check the latest conditions


Drivers heading away for the long weekend in Auckland and Northland are being urged to check the latest conditions and travel times, with road layout changes affecting northbound travel on SH1.

The Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency holiday journey planner shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes all over the country during holiday periods, based on previous years’ travel patterns.

Holiday journey planner(external link)

In particular, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is reminding drivers heading north from Auckland of changes to the road layout on State Highway 1 at Pūhoi, which will remain in place through the Easter holiday period.

The Johnstones Hill Tunnels can be a bottleneck for traffic, especially at weekends or on public holidays, and motorists are advised to expect some delays and to allow additional time for their journeys or consider an alternate route such as SH16 for travel north of Wellsford. Waka Kotahi contractors will working to coordinate traffic management across the site to minimise delays as much as possible.

Northbound travellers now exit at the Pūhoi northbound off-ramp before being directed along a short section of Pūhoi Road and back onto the existing SH1. A temporary speed limit of 30km/h and traffic management is in place through the work site.

There are also night works associated with new layout change in the south. Please plan ahead for full closures of SH1 northbound and southbound at the Johnstone Hill Tunnels between 9pm and 5am from Tuesday 11 April to Thursday 13 April. There will be signposted detours via Hibiscus Coast Highway or SH16.

The changes are the final in a staged sequence of work to connect SH1 to the new Ara Tūhono - Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway north of the Johnstones Hill tunnels and will remain in place until the motorway opens in the coming months.

Waka Kotahi asks motorists to take extra care when travelling through the site, and asks them to please adhere to the temporary speed restrictions for their own safety, and that of our road workers and other road users.

There are simple things we can all do to help keep everyone on the roads safe:

  • Check your vehicle is safe to drive. Check your tyres, wipers, lights and indicators, and ensure you have a valid Warrant of Fitness before you leave.
  • Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the roads.
  • Make sure everyone does up their seat belt after a break outside the car.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely, and share the driving if possible.
  • People towing caravans and boats need to ensure their roadworthiness before attaching them to the tow bar. Stack heavy items toward the front to balance the load and remember the speed limit is 90k/h for towing vehicles. Pull over frequently and let queues pass when safe to do so.