Auckland Anniversary weekend: Traffic, fuel and weather

It will be business as usual this Auckland Anniversary weekend, with warm weather and gridlock traffic expected - here's Newshub guide to making your trip away a little more bearable.

Avoiding the traffic:

Knowing when to hit the road can be the difference between getting to your destination quickly or having to sit in gridlock for a few hours.

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is urging motorists to plan ahead to avoid the worst of the traffic, and have crunched the numbers to figure out when it is best for you to set off on your journey.

For those heading south from Auckland, the Takanini section of State Highway One (SH1) will be at its heaviest between 11am and 7pm on Friday and 9am and 1pm on Saturday.

Auckland Anniversary weekend: Traffic, fuel and weather

If you're heading into Auckland city from the south, Friday morning between 6am and 9am should be avoided as commuters go to work.

Auckland Anniversary weekend: Traffic, fuel and weather

Travellers going up north past Auckland can expect the worst traffic on SH1 between Puhoi and Wellsford between 2pm and 8pm on Friday and 10am and 3pm on Saturday.

One tip is to take State Highway 16 (SH16) through Kumeu, Helensville and up to Wellsford. Electronic signs on SH1 heading north will display estimated travel times for both routes.

Auckland Anniversary weekend: Traffic, fuel and weather

Coming home from your trip won't be much better, with the traffic expected to be at its most maddening between 11:30am and 6pm at Takanini and between 11am and 3:30pm between Puhoi and Wellsford.

"If you can plan your travel outside of these times you'll be giving yourself a much less stressful weekend and help ease congestion levels for everyone else," said NZTA's Auckland operations manager, Rua Pani.

If you are travelling outside of Auckland, NZTA's interactive holiday planner shows other key hotspots include at the Kopu-Hikuai Rd and Tairua Rd intersection south of Tairua, SH1 south of Cambridge near Karapiro,and across the Kaimai ranges on the way to Tauranga.

NZTA recommends checking to make sure your car is in "good health" before going on any long trips. That means checking the vehicle's tyre pressure and tread, windscreen wipers, indicators and lights.

"Stay sober and alert, watch your speed, make sure everyone is buckled up and drive to the conditions to do your bit towards making our roads safer for everyone."

The amount of traffic on the roads means it is also important to remain patient. Overtaking one car in a queue of 20 is unlikely to get you to the beach much quicker and may be dangerous as more vehicles are on the road.

"Allow plenty of time. Remember you are on holiday, so there's no need to rush" is the NZTA's advice.

Where to fill up on fuel:

Auckland Anniversary weekend: Traffic, fuel and weather
Photo credit: Getty

If you are going to get anywhere, unless you have an electric vehicle or are taking a bus, you might need to stock up on fuel.

Gaspy, an application which lists current fuel prices, state over the last four months their data shows Waitomo petrol stations were typically the cheapest option in the Auckland region with Gull not too far behind.

Gull can be cheaper, however, when they run their discount days, which typically aren't advertised beforehand and don't apply to all stations.

Luckily for those making a dash away early on Friday morning, some Gull stores across the country will be offering a 10 cent discount until 12pm, making their average regular 91 price $1.937.

http://www1.istockphoto.com/generic_image_view/26784/26784
Photo credit: Getty

If you're more interested in getting your fuel quickly than the price, Z "Fastlanes" are located at 38 stations across the Auckland region, which have technology to automatically recognise your car's number plate and bill your credit card if you have your details loaded into their app.

Gaspy say other fuel brands located near Waitomo and Gull stations compete by offering regular discount schemes and loyalty programmes.

Mobil, for example, has its Mobil Smile card, while an AA Smartfuel card will help you get discounts at BP and Caltex. Z customers should also have their FlyBuys card handy.

While all of those discount schemes are available outside of the Auckland region, drivers can also expect cheaper fuel past the regional fuel tax boundaries outside of Wellsford in the north and Pukekohe in the south.

Here are a few of the petrol stations Newshub and Gaspy reckon normally provide cheap fuel in the Auckland region.

Auckland Anniversary weekend: Traffic, fuel and weather

Newshub contacted BP, Caltex, Z, Gull, Mobil and Waitomo to find out where their cheapest stores were, but the companies couldn't provide exact prices as they update daily to be the most competitive.

Weather:

If you're still packing your suitcase for the weekend away, make sure you include both sunglasses and an umbrella as Mother Nature is preparing a mix of weather for across the country.

MetService is forecasting the weekend will begin with showers between Bay of Plenty and Northland on Saturday, before warm air blown across from Australia raise temperatures on Sunday and Monday.

Auckland will hit a high of 27degC over the period, while Whitianga will be the hottest in the surrounding regions at 29degC.

Tauranga will be bathing in the sun with 30degC on Monday as Hamilton and Whangarei reach 28degC.

Auckland Anniversary weekend: Traffic, fuel and weather
Photo credit: Getty

If you're planning to head away from the top half of the North Island, Hawkes Bay might be a good choice as it is expected to pass the 30degC mark.

But Nelson and Marlborough are set to be the warmest centres in the country with temperatures ranging up to 34degC on Monday.

Rain, which may reach "warning amounts", is predicted for the bottom of the South Island, while strong winds are also set to batter the region.

Newshub.

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