♪ We wish you a merry Christmas ♪ on Waikato and Bay of Plenty state highways


Christmas is coming and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is advising people to plan ahead and be prepared for the increase in traffic that comes with it.

Director Regional Relationships David Speirs says ordinarily at this time of year, Waka Kotahi would be directing people planning to travel in to, out of, and around the Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions to our Holiday Journey Planner tool, which shows predicted traffic conditions for popular routes over Christmas and New Year’s based on travel patterns from previous years.

Holiday Journey Planner(external link)

“However, due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting travel for different regions in the Upper North Island over the past few months, we’re expecting travel patterns to change significantly this year. Using previous year’s data to predict peak times and days for travel over this holiday period would not be effective for places like Auckland, Northland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty.”

Waka Kotahi will instead be providing real time data, which road users can find on our regional Facebook and Twitter pages or by using the online traffic and travel tool on the Waka Kotahi Journey Planner website (see social media links below).

For those travelling outside the upper North Island, the Holiday Journey Planner tool is a great resource to help you plan ahead and avoid delays.

To help ease holiday congestion, Waka Kotahi stops most work before busy holiday travel periods like Christmas and New Year’s, to minimise disruption to people’s journeys.

“Ultimately, people travelling should expect the roads to be much busier than normal this year. Delays are inevitable so it’s important you 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.”

Where possible, it can be a good idea to set off early in the morning or late at night to avoid peak travel periods.

  1. Be patient when driving this summer so everyone can relax and enjoy the holidays together.
  2. Remember, you’re on holiday, there’s no need to rush.

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