Heavy traffic as holidaymakers head home

Heavy traffic as holidaymakers head home

Roads were clogged this afternoon after stormy weather ruined camping plans and frustrated holidaymakers heading back to town.

And, the MetService says the downpour will persist well into tomorrow.

Heavy rain meant the Coromandel lost its attraction in a real hurry and that slowed traffic to a standstill on the roads.

A 3 News camera crew out on the road moved just 800 metres in an hour through Tairua. The queue stretched up to 10 kilometres.

Everywhere, beachgoers are deserting holiday hotspots and jamming the roads.

Making matters worse, an accident at Puhoi has turned the journey home to Auckland from Northland into a marathon.

Even before then, cars were nose to tail at pinch-points further north like the Brynderwyns.

MetService meteorologist Angus Hines says up to 60 millimetres will fall north of the Harbour Bridge, the Hunua and on Great Barrier Island this weekend.

"There will definitely be the chance for some more heavy falls."

The Fire Service in Auckland has responded to 30 calls for leaking roofs, downed trees and power lines.

 Civil Defence says there's still a risk of flooding, but has stood down its wider team.

It's a story of what could have been in the Pacific, with Cyclone Ula skewing away from Tonga at the last minute.

But it's only the start of the cyclone season and because of an El Niño, cyclones could form in less likely places in the islands.

But it'll take much more than El Niño and traffic jams to break a holidaying kiwi's spirit.

3 News