Best times to leave Auckland for holidaymakers heading out of town for Anniversary weekend

High volumes of traffic are expected on Auckland motorways as holiday-makers attempt to head away for Auckland Anniversary weekend.

Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is warning motorists to expect delays on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning heading out of the city.

"Consider leaving at non-peak times to avoid delays and remember to allow plenty of time if you are planning on heading away."

For those travelling north of Auckland on Friday, heavy traffic is expected between Puhoi and Wellsford between 1:15 - 7:15pm. 

Motorists wanting to avoid the worst traffic should aim to leave Auckland before 1pm or after 7pm.

Aucklanders wanting a clear ride north on Saturday should leave the city before 8am as heavy traffic is expected after 8:30am and it will likely last until after 2pm.

Traffic is already building on SH2 heading south from Manukau to Bombay. It's expected to continue until past 7pm, Waka Kotahi said.

The best time to leave the city on SH2 will be either after 7pm on Friday or around 6am - 7am on Saturday.

Returning to Auckland

Delays are also expected as holiday makers attempt to return to the city on Sunday and Monday.

Heavy traffic is predicted nearly all day on both days for motorists heading back to the city from Northland.

Traffic will be heavy between 11am - 6pm on Sunday and 9:30 - 8:30pm on Monday.

Heading north on SH1 from Hamilton will be busy between 10am to nearly 10pm on Monday but will be particularly heavy between 2pm - 6pm.