Wellington motorists urged to plan ahead this long weekend


With people heading away for Wellington Anniversary this weekend, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is reminding motorists to plan ahead, be patient and drive to the conditions.

“Traffic will be heavy most of today as people head out of Wellington on State Highway 1, with more heavy traffic on Saturday and Sunday,” Regional Transport Systems Manager Mark Owen says.

“Southbound traffic can expect heavy periods from Otaki on Sunday and Monday from about noon through to 6pm.

“We know that congestion and delays can be frustrating for motorists, but the most important thing is that everyone arrives at their destination safely so we’re reminding motorists to be patient, drive to the conditions and keep a safe following distance.”

The Transport Agency has produced an interactive holiday journeys map(external link) for the long weekend, which shows predicted traffic flow based on previous years’ travel patterns.

“This tool is great because it can help people decide whether to take an alternative route or hit the road when traffic flows are lighter, either early in the morning or late at night,” Mr Owen says.

“Because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather or even driver behaviour, motorists should also check our journey planner(external link) just before they head off, which provides traffic information and updates on delays, road works and road closures in real time.”

Tips for safe driving this long weekend: 

  • Check your car is in good “health” before you head off. Check your tyre pressure and tread, windscreen wipers, indicators and lights.
  • Take extra care when travelling in holiday periods because of increased traffic volumes, congestion, tiredness and people driving in unfamiliar environments.
  • Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the road you’re on, the time of day or amount of traffic.
  • Avoid fatigue. Take regular breaks to stay alert.
  • Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely.
  • Be patient – overtaking is unlikely to make a significant difference to your journey time due to the amount of traffic expected over the weekend.
  • Allow plenty of time. Remember you are on holiday, so there’s no need to rush. 

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