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Easter traffic hotspots and advice for a safe journey this weekend


With Easter Weekend at the end of this week, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency reminds travellers to build in time this long weekend and get there and back again safely and enjoyably.

“As the country was in Lockdown last year, we expect people will be making the most of the mostly mild autumn weather and heading away,” says Tresca Forrester, Waka Kotahi Journey Manager. “It could be busier on our highways than usual.”

“If you can travel outside the most congested times, it helps spread the load and reduce stress for everyone,” she says.

“Drivers should not encounter road crews or active work sites over the South Island/ Te Wai Pounamu on our state highways from Thursday, 1 April, midday until Tuesday morning, 6 April. Where work is ongoing, there will be temporary reduced speed limits so please keep an eye open for warning signs,” she says.

Long term storm repair sites like Tākaka Hill, SH60, will remain as single lane, managed with traffic signals.

SH1 south of Kaikōura

There will be no night lane closures at the canopy rockfall protection project, south of Kaikōura over most of Easter Weekend - Thursday 1 April through to Monday evening, 5 April.

From 7 pm Monday 5 April, to 11.30pm, there will be closures of 30 minutes maximum, with traffic being cleared in both directions after each closure. The usual night road closure timetable will resume from 11.30pm.

SH1 south of Kaikōura night closures timetable

More to see on SH1 around Kaikōura

People travelling between Picton and Christchurch will notice the new safe stopping areas and cultural artworks along the coastline north and south of Kaikōura – a legacy of the earthquake rebuild of the highway and rail line.

“We encourage all travellers to stop, have a snack and refresh wherever possible when they are travelling for several hours at a time,” says Ms Forrester.

More information

Driving tips

  • Drive to the conditions, allow plenty of time, take regular breaks
  • 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.
  • Be patient, so everyone can relax and enjoy their holiday.
  • 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.
  • Take regular breaks to stay alert.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely.
  • Allow plenty of time. You’re on holiday, no need to rush.

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