Waitangi Day: Traffic delays as country heads off for long weekend

The NZTA has issued a guide to when to expect heavy traffic this weekend.
The NZTA has issued a guide to when to expect heavy traffic this weekend. Photo credit: Image: Getty Images, NZTA

Long weekends and lengthy delays on New Zealand's roads go hand-in-hand as people head out of town. 

Waitangi weekend won't be any different, the NZTA says, with thousands of cars hitting the roads for the summer's final public holiday.

Heavy congestion is expected on roads out of the major cities on Friday and Saturday, and then heading back in on Monday. 

NZTA has released a traffic tool to help drivers plan and - hopefully - avoid delays. 


For drivers heading north, the stretch of SH1 between Puhioi and Wellsford will be congested between midday and 8pm on Friday and 8:30am and 2:30pm on Saturday. 

Heading south, SH1 between Manukau and Bombay is forecast to be busy between 9:30am and 7pm on Friday and 7:30 and 1pm on Saturday. 


The worst traffic is predicted to be heading north on the Kapiti Coast between 11:00am and 6pm on Friday and 9:00am and midday on Saturday.  

Remutaka Hill between Wellington and Featherston is also expected to be slow between 11am and 8:30 pm on Friday and 9:00am and 2:30pm on Saturday. 


People heading out of the Garden City can expect delays on SH1 through Waipara. Northbound, the busiest time will be between 6.45am-8.15pm on Friday, and southbound, the busiest time will be 9.15am-7pm on Monday.

Southbound between Ashburton and Christchurch, traffic could be heavy  between 7:15am and 7pm on Friday. 


Traffic is expected to be bad all day on Friday as Waitangi Day celebrations gear up for the weekend. 

There will be delays northbound and southbound in and out of Whangārei between 6:45am and 7:30pm on Friday. 


Most routes in and out of the Bay of Plenty's biggest city will be congested over the long weekend. 

Drivers can expect congestion between Paeroa and Waihi, Tauranga and Katikati and on the Kaimai ranges later on Friday, between 2pm and 7pm.


The popular holiday spot will see delays as people head to the Coromandel beaches. State Highway 25 heading through Tairua will see heavy traffic between 1pm and 10pm on Friday and 10am to 3pm on Saturday.