Level up your CNI Anzac weekend travel plans


People are being encouraged to plan ahead and ‘level up’ their travel plans with the Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency holiday journey planner this Anzac Day holiday weekend, to avoid delays on some of the Central North Island’s busiest routes for holiday traffic.

The tool shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes in the Central North Island and further afield over the long weekend, based on travel patterns from previous years.

Director Regional Relationships Linda Stewart says the combination of two long weekends in a row, during the April school holidays, means Waka Kotahi is expecting roads to be very busy over Anzac weekend as people take the opportunity to make the most of the last public holiday ahead of winter.

“Please be patient when driving so everyone can relax and enjoy their holiday.

“In the Central North Island, delays are predicted on State Highway 3 over Mt Messenger, particularly heading north toward the Waikato region on Friday between 2pm and 4pm and for much of the day on Saturday. Sunday is expected to be relatively free flowing, with delays again between 1pm and 6pm on Monday.

“For southbound traffic, delays are expected between 10.30am and 12.30pm on Friday.

“In Manawatū-Whanganui, State Highway 2 Norsewood between Hastings and Woodville is expected to be busy for southbound traffic between 1pm and 6pm on Friday afternoon, 10.30am and 12.30pm on Saturday, and then again between 11.30am and 3.30pm on Monday. Northbound travellers should expect delays between 11am and 12.30pm on Monday.”

In Hawke’s Bay, road resurfacing improvement works continue on State Highway 2 at Bayview, north of Napier. People can expect an uneven road surface and temporary speed restrictions over the long weekend.

This work was expected to be completed in late March but has been delayed due to the impacts of the current Omicron outbreak and the significant recent weather events in the Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti regions. Work is now expected to be complete by the end of this month.

Further north, while the entire length of State Highway 35 is now open* to traffic 24 hours a day for the first time since last month’s significant weather event, the road remains single lane only in some places, with sections of unsealed road, signs, cones and temporary speed limits, so people need to be extra careful.

*State Highway 35 to reopen around the clock from tomorrow (media release, 21 April 2022)

“Allow additional time for your journeys, adhere to the relevant speed limits and follow all directions of traffic management staff and signs, to help keep everyone safe.”

Elsewhere in the Central North Island, State Highway 57 is closed to northbound traffic between the intersection with State Highway 1 and the intersection with Tararua Road, in Levin, with a detour in place. This section remains open to southbound traffic with a temporary speed limit in place. Those traveling northbound to Shannon are still able to do so by making use of alternate routes outside the closure area to re-join SH57.

Because predicted travel times can change based on traffic incidents, weather, driver behaviour or changes in COVID-19 alert levels, motorists are encouraged to visit the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website – journeys.nzta.govt.nz(external link) - for real-time travel information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures before they travel.

“Congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, but if everyone leaves plenty of time for their journey, drives to the conditions and plans ahead before leaving home, there will be less frustration and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination," Ms Stewart says.

“Allow plenty of time. You’re on holiday, there’s no need to rush.”

Ms Stewart says there are simple things we can all do to help keep everyone on the road 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.

“Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely, and take regular breaks to stay alert.”

“We’re asking everyone to do their part to help ensure a safe and enjoyable Anzac holiday weekend.”