Avoid long queues this long weekend


We all love a long weekend in the (rather wet) summertime, but no-one loves the inevitable traffic delays.

To avoid spending precious holiday time stuck in the car, get ahead with our Holiday Journey Planner, which shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys.

 Holiday Journey Planner - Auckland Anniversary weekend 2023(external link)

“The roads around the Bay of Plenty and Waikato are likely to be busy over this Anniversary weekend and on Waitangi weekend, especially on State Highway 2 (SH2) in the Bay of Plenty and around the Coromandel,” says Liam Ryan, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Journey Manager.

“Heavy rain warnings are in place around the region and congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, however if everyone leaves plenty of time for their journey, drives to the conditions and plans before leaving home, frustrations can be eased. We want everyone to arrive safely at their destination," says Mr Ryan.

In the Coromandel, travellers shouldn’t leave it too late in the day to get to the beach or bach via State Highway 25A, which is closed overnight. Road users should also expect delays during the day with only one lane at the summit open under stop/go traffic management and a temporary speed limit of 30km/h between 7am and 7pm, due to cracking in the road structure.

Elsewhere in the Waikato this weekend, southbound on State Highway 1 (SH1) Karāpiro to Tīrau is likely to be busy from 2pm on Friday afternoon 27 January and again from mid-morning on Saturday. Queuing is expected in the southbound direction at the end of the Cambridge section of the Waikato Expressway.  The return journey on Monday 30 January will be busy in both directions especially around the intersection of SH1 and State Highway 29 (SH29) at Piarere, from late morning until around 5pm. Alternative routes are likely to be less congested during this time.

SH2 between Pōkeno and Maramarua is expected to be busy eastbound on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning and westbound on Monday 30 January from late morning until around 6.30pm.

In the Bay of Plenty, traffic is likely to be at its heaviest on SH2 eastbound between Paeroa and Waihi throughout Friday afternoon and on Saturday from 10.30am until around 2pm and again around midday on Sunday 29 January. Westbound, expect Saturday to have a busy patch between 3pm and 4.30pm and be heavy on Monday from 10am until 5pm.

SH2 will be at its heaviest southbound between Katikati and Tauranga on Friday afternoon, particularly from 3.30pm until 5pm, based on last year’s travel patterns. A section of SH2 north of the new roundabout location at Morton Road will be unsealed, with temporary traffic management and crews on site to monitor the area. Temporary speed limits will also be in place between Ōmokoroa and Waihi.

On SH29 over the Kaimai Range west of Tauranga, there may be some short busy periods eastbound Friday afternoon and around noon on Saturday, and drivers should expect busy traffic westbound on Monday from 11am until 4.30pm. Those using the SH1/SH29 intersection at Piarere may wish to consider alternative routes such as SH27.

A reminder that the One Love Festival is expected to attract around 20 thousand people to the Tauranga Domain over the weekend. While there are no state highway closures, drivers should expect more traffic in the city as festival goers travel to and from the venue.

“Be patient when driving this weekend so everyone can enjoy extra time with friends and family. Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely. 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.

“Keep an eye on the forecast and have a safe and enjoyable long weekend,” and says Mr Ryan.