Top tips for safe travel in and out of Wellington over Easter


The NZ Transport Agency says heavy traffic in and out of Wellington is a certainty over the Easter holidays and is advising road users to plan ahead and follow the basics of road safety.

“This year is likely to be extra busy with Easter Monday, Anzac Day and school holidays all falling in the same week,” Wellington Transport Operations Manager Roxanne Hilliard says.

“At any time on our roads, following a few simple rules can be the difference between a safe trip or a tragic outcome:

  • drive at a safe speed within the speed limit 
  • always wear a seatbelt
  • don’t drive when tired and avoid alcohol
  • drive distraction free: put your phone away and keep your eyes on the road.

“Roads in and out of Wellington are always busy around the holidays, especially on State Highway 1. Congestion and delays are inevitable, so we also want to remind everyone to leave plenty of time for their journey, drive to the conditions and plan ahead before leaving home,” Ms Hilliard says.

The Transport Agency predicts traffic will be particularly heavy heading north on State Highway 1 on Thursday 18 April and Good Friday 19 April, and then on the return journey south on Sunday 28 April.

To help manage traffic, there will be various passing lane closures in both directions on State Highway 1 between Te Horo and Ōtaki over this period.

To improve safety on Paekākāriki Hill Road and reduce journey times on State Highway 1, Paekākāriki Hill Road will be closed to through traffic on Thursday 18 April between 3pm and 7pm.

As with previous closures, Paekākāriki Hill Road residents and people working or visiting properties on the road will be able to enter from the State Highway 1 at Paekākāriki and Pauatahanui. However, anyone wanting to exit during the closure will need to use an alternate route such as Greys Road.

“It’s important to remember that we all play a part in making our roads safer for everyone using them. We want everyone to arrive safely at their destination these Easter holidays, so we all need to take responsibility for the safety of ourselves and other road users,” Ms Hilliard says.

Plan ahead for a safer journey

  • Plan ahead for a safe, enjoyable Easter holiday with the help of NZ Transport Agency’s interactive holiday journeys map: The map shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys over the Easter and Anzac holidays based on previous years’ travel patterns. 
  • Look for an alternative route, or consider leaving when traffic is lighter, either early in the morning or late at night.
  • Because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and even driver behaviour, check real time traffic information on the NZ Transport Agency's Journey Planner website before you set off: link)

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