'Be prepared': NZTA's ominous warning ahead of holiday traffic chaos

"Be prepared."

This is the ominous warning from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) before holiday traffic descends upon a helpless Auckland.

As the region's Anniversary holiday comes to an end, motorways are expected to grind to a halt as hordes of Aucklanders crawl back to the city.

At least 10 hours of heavy traffic is expected on Monday - a nightmare for families who face a long journey sitting in gridlock.

"We are expecting traffic to be heavy southbound between Puhoi and Wellsford from 11am on Monday 28 of January as holidaymakers return to Auckland following the long weekend," the NZTA posted to Facebook.

"Further south in Auckland, traffic is expected to be heavy at Takanini (northbound) from 10:30am to 8:30pm."

The NZTA has provided an interactive map that shows where traffic is expected to be heaviest.

"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.

The 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 home 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.


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