Plan ahead for travel on Labour Weekend


The NZ Transport Agency is encouraging drivers heading north from Auckland this Labour weekend to plan ahead and avoid delays.

The NZ Transport Agency is encouraging drivers heading north from Auckland this Labour weekend to plan ahead and avoid delays.

Traffic is expected to start building up on SH1 on Friday afternoon [23 October] and will be especially heavy around Warkworth as people head for the northern beaches.

“This is the first long break since winter and we ask people to drive patiently and give themselves extra time to reach their destinations safely,” said the NZTA’s Regional Director for Auckland and Northland, Wayne McDonald. 

Mr McDonald recommended people travelling north consider using SH16 to avoid congestion elsewhere on the network, including the Northern Gateway Toll Road. SH16 links western and northern Auckland with Wellsford, and can also be reached from the Silverdale interchange on SH1. 

“We know from experience that long delays can be expected on SH1 at Warkworth in particular as people head out of the city. We want people to avoid the queues if they can. SH16 is a less busy alternative route and, importantly, it by-passes traditionally congested areas on SH1,” Mr McDonald said.

The NZTA says drivers should be aware of ongoing road works on SH1 just south of Puhoi and through Warkworth. There will be no work during the long weekend, but speed restrictions will remain in place to ensure safety on these stretches of highway.

The Northern Gateway Toll Road on SH1 and the self service kiosks at either end of the road are also expected to be busy.

The NZTA reminds motorists that they now have five days to pay their tolls after using the road, and they can avoid unnecessary stopping and queuing at the kiosks.  Those who use the road on Friday will be able to pay online or by freephone the following Tuesday without incurring any additional fees. 

Tolls can be paid before or after using the road at link) or by freephone 0800 40 20 20, and the contact centre is open every day over the long weekend from 8am to 6pm.

Mr McDonald urged all drivers to plan ahead to make their journeys in and out of the city this weekend less stressful.

“Whether it’s deciding to take the alternative SH16 route, driving during at an off-peak time, or paying tolls electronically, these small measures can help you beat the queues and have a better journey,” he said.

The NZTA will work with Police to actively manage the SH1, SH16 and toll road routes throughout the weekend to help people avoid delays wherever possible. A camera has been specially installed at Warkworth to monitor traffic flows and adjust traffic light phases. On-road electronic signs will also advise motorists of the best route.

For more information please contact:

Ewart Barnsley
Auckland Media Manager
NZ Transport Agency
T 64 9 368 2142
M 027 213 7616