Traffic delays hit as Aucklanders, Wellingtonians head away for the New Year's Eve

Motorists are being asked to plan ahead of their journeys.
Motorists are being asked to plan ahead of their journeys. Photo credit: Getty

Motorists are being warned of traffic delays around New Zealand as Kiwis head away on holiday before New Year's Eve.

The New Zealand Automobile Association (AA) said the worst delays on Monday were on the roads heading out of Auckland and Wellington.

The worst delay hotspot on Monday was on SH1 north of Wellington, as holidaymakers headed to the Kapiti Coast.

In normal free-flowing traffic, the drive between Paraparaumu to Otaki takes 16 minutes - but at midday on Monday it took 54 minutes.

Motorists were also stuck in traffic north of Auckland with the drive from Puhoi to Warkworth - which takes 12 minutes in free-flowing traffic - taking 25 minutes. 

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency asked Kiwis heading north of Auckland to consider taking SH16 after traffic on SH1 became heavy around midday from the Johnstone Hill tunnel to Warkworth.

AA also reported the drive from the south Auckland suburb of Manukau to Drury, which normally takes eight minutes, took 18.

"The best advice we can give motorists is to plan ahead and, if possible, avoid driving through these hotspots between around 10am and 4pm for the next week or so," an AA spokesperson said.

"Not everyone has that sort of flexibility, but if you can adjust your travel, you can save you and your family a lot of pain." 

However, the traffic delays were slightly better than on Sunday where the drive from Puhoi to Warkworth took 30 minutes at lunch time, and the road from Manukau to Drury took 40 minutes to drive.