Stay safe, plan ahead for a great ANZAC weekend on Waikato and Bay of Plenty roads


As people come together across the country for the holiday weekend, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is asking motorists in the Waikato and Bay of Plenty to do their part to help keep everyone on the roads safe.

The Waka Kotahi holiday journey planner allows motorists to plan ahead and avoid delays, helping make their ANZAC weekend journeys safer and more enjoyable.

Holiday Journey Planner(external link)

The tool shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes in the Waikato, Bay of Plenty and further afield, over ANZAC weekend, based on travel patterns from previous years.

Waikato and Bay of Plenty Director Regional Relationships David Speirs says with last year’s ANZAC weekend cancelled due to the nationwide COVID-19 lock down, and school holidays in full swing, Waka Kotahi is predicting that roads will be busy this weekend as holiday makers enjoy a chance to travel around New Zealand.  

“In the Waikato, delays are predicted on State Highway 2 between Pokeno and Maramarua, particularly heading east (toward the Coromandel Peninsula) on Friday afternoon. Westbound (toward Pokeno), some delays are expected between 11am and 3pm on Friday and 10.30am and 9.30pm on Monday.”

Further delays are predicted on State Highway 1, both north and south between Tirau and Karapiro throughout the weekend, particularly southbound on Friday evening, Saturday morning and Sunday around midday.

State Highway 25 is expected to be busy at Tairua, with the heaviest traffic expected heading north on Friday afternoon and through the middle of the day on Saturday. Southbound, delays are predicted to be heaviest on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning.

“In the Bay of Plenty, motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic on State Highway 29 over the Kaimai Ranges, particularly heading east (toward Tauranga) between 3.30pm and 6.30pm Friday. Westbound (toward the Waikato), traffic is expected to be heaviest across most of the day on Monday.

“SH2 between Paeroa and Waihi is expected to be busy heading east (toward Waihi) on Friday afternoon, and through the middle of the day on Saturday. Westbound (toward Paeroa) traffic should expect the worst delays between 10.30am and 4pm on Monday.

“Motorists should also expect delays on SH2 between Katikati and Tauranga for much of the weekend, in both directions, with traffic heaviest southbound (toward Tauranga) between 1.30pm and 7pm on Friday and northbound for a short period of time from 3pm on Friday.”

There will also be several state highway closures for ANZAC Parades on Sunday.

These include SH2 through Ngatea (11am – 12 noon) and Paeroa (8am to 10am) in the Waikato. 

In Ngatea, road reconstruction works on SH2 between Pipiroa Rd and Paul Dr sees a one-way detour for all eastbound traffic between 6 April and 30 April (24 hrs/day), adding 15 mins to eastbound journeys. Westbound traffic remains on SH2 and should expect delays. All Ngatea shops remain open for business throughout works.

In the Bay of Plenty, SH2 will be closed between Beach Road and Fairview Road from 5am to 7am for the Katikati ANZAC Parade. A signposted detour will be in place for northbound and southbound traffic. The detour is not suitable for High Productivity Motor Vehicles (HPMVs).

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 before they travel for real-time travel information, traffic cameras, and updates on delays, roadworks and road closures.

Journey Planner(external link)

“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," Mr Speirs says.

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

Top tips for safe holiday journeys

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.

Please be patient when driving this long weekend 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.

Slow down. Even when speed doesn’t cause a crash, it is always a factor in the severity and can be the difference between a person being killed, seriously injured, or walking away from a crash.

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 this summer. Keep up to date with: