Hack your Taranaki summer road trip


As people pack their bags for long-awaited summer holidays in Taranaki, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is encouraging them to hack their trips by planning ahead with some helpful tools and advice.

Waka Kotahi Director of Regional Relationships Linda Stewart says people should drive to the conditions, allow plenty of time and take regular breaks to stay alert.

“More cars on the road, tired drivers and people driving on unfamiliar roads can make holiday driving stressful and risky.

“We can all take simple actions to stay safe. That means checking your car is safe before your journey, keeping your speed down, driving sober, watching for the signs of fatigue and sharing the driving.”

To minimise disruption to people’s journeys, Waka Kotahi pauses most state highway works before busy holiday travel periods like Christmas and New Year.

Where possible, motorists are asked to plan ahead and travel outside peak periods. The Waka Kotahi interactive Holiday Journeys map – shows when and where traffic is expected to be heavy based on travel patterns from previous years.

Holiday Journey Planner(external link)

“The roads around Taranaki are likely to be busy as we approach Christmas and New Year’s, especially on State Highway 3 at Mt Messenger. We’re predicting traffic to be especially heavy for northbound traffic in the afternoons between 26 December and 5 January 2022, particularly on 2, 3 and 4 January. Southbound, there are expected to be some delays around midday on 27, 29 and 30 December and 2 and 3 January.”

However, because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and even driver behaviour, we suggest you visit our Journey Planner website – www.journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link) – before you leave for accurate information about current road and traffic conditions.

“Congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, but if everyone plans ahead before leaving home, leaves plenty of time for their journey, and drives to the conditions the worst of the frustrations can be eased and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination."

  • Remember, you’re on holiday, there’s no need to rush.

Tips for safe driving on your summer holiday

Drive to the conditions, allow plenty of time and take regular breaks to stay alert.

  • Be patient when driving this summer so everyone can relax and enjoy the holidays together.
  • 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.
  • Take regular breaks to stay alert.
  • Allow plenty of time. You're on holiday, no need to rush.

Vehicle safety

  • Your vehicle must be safe to drive before you set off on your summer holiday.
  • Check that the Warrant of Fitness or Certificate of Fitness is up-to-date on any vehicle you plan to drive, including rentals.
  • There are basic checks you can do yourself, including:

Tyres – minimum tread is 1.5mm but the more tread, the better the grip.
Lights – check lights work so your vehicle is visible in poor light.
Indicators – ensure all indicators work so people know which direction you are moving.
Windscreen and wipers – check for wear and tear so you can see the road safely.

For more information on self-checks, visit our website at
Check your car – safety basics

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