Auckland Anniversary weekend: NZTA urges motorists to plan ahead

Knowing when to hit the road this Auckland Anniversary weekend could help people avoid sitting in gridlock for a few hours.

The NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) is urging motorists to plan to avoid the worst of the traffic, and its journey planner shows when people should set off on their journey.

For those heading north from Auckland, State Highway 1 between Puhoi and Wellsford will be at its heaviest between 2pm and 7pm on Friday and 11am and 2pm on Saturday.

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

People heading back to Auckland on Monday can expect the busiest traffic between 10:30am and 4pm.

"Because predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather or even driver behaviour, motorists should also check our journey planner just before they head off, which provides traffic information and updates on delays, road works and road closures in real times," said NZTA Auckland operations manager Rua Pani.

The NZTA recommends making sure their cars are in "good health" before heading away on their journey. That includes checking tyre pressure and tread, windscreen wipers, indicators and lights.

"Take regular breaks to stay alert," the NZTA says.

Increase traffic volume on the roads means it's important to take extra care, the agency says. Motorists are urged to keep safe following distances.

"Be patient - overtaking is unlikely to make a significant difference to your journey time due to the amount of traffic expected over the weekend."