NZTA issues traffic warnings as massive queues of cars paralyse Auckland highway

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) has issued a warning for motorists heading out of Auckland as traffic begins to mount up.

According to the NZTA's journey planner, State Highway 1 between Puhoi and Wellsford is expected to have its worst traffic on Thursday between 10am and 4:30pm.

At 12pm, cars were queuing up at the Johnstone Hill Tunnel. The traffic camera at the location north of Auckland shows long lines of vehicles coming from the tunnel as well as the Hibiscus Coast Highway.

The NZTA is calling for motorists to "allow extra time" and has issued a "road hazard" on its website.

"Please be patient if travelling on SH1 through this area today with traffic expected to be busy with holiday journeys most of the day," NZTA tweeted.

The agency advised motorists to consider using the alternative State Highway 16 route.

Southbound through the tunnel is also expected to have heavy traffic, with the NZTA saying the heaviest would be between 9:30am and 7:30pm. But traffic cameras show cars are currently flowing.

Auckland's south may also be an issue for motorists, with the NZTA issuing a "road hazard" on its website which said: "Traffic is expected to be busy through this area between 11:30am and 7pm for northbound traffic and between 10am and 2pm for southbound traffic today.

"Road users are advised to expect delays and allow extra time for their journeys when travelling through this area."

The Takanini camera, however, shows free-flowing traffic.

NZTA is also reminding motorists heading over the Auckland Harbour Bridge that maintenance is currently taking place. Two southbound lanes are closed for resurfacing until Saturday.