After last year's COVID-19 lockdown scuppered Kiwis' Easter plans in 2020, the New Zealand Transport Agency - Waka Kotahi (NZTA) is warning roads over the four-day weekend are likely to be "very busy".
The Government agency is urging those heading out of town for the public holiday to be patient as they make their way to their chosen holiday destinations.
"Allow plenty of time. You're on holiday - there's no need to rush," said NZTA's Auckland Operations Manager Rua Pani.
"Congestion and delays are inevitable in peak times, but if everyone leaves plenty of time for their journey, drives to the conditions, and plans ahead before leaving home, the worst of the frustrations can be eased and everyone can concentrate on arriving safely at their destination."
For those eager to avoid the gridlock, however, the agency has a journey planner tool that allows users to see ahead of time which routes are likely to be busy - and when you should leave if you want a drive with few less stops and starts.
The tool, powered by data on the travel patterns of Kiwis in previous years, shows Aucklanders heading out of the city are set to encounter some of the country's worst traffic.
It shows the roads between Auckland and Northland are likely to be particularly busy - especially on State Highway 1 through Puhoi between 2:30pm and 5:15pm on Holy Thursday, and on Good Friday between 9:15am and 3:15pm.
Returning on Easter Monday, the roads heading back to Auckland are likely to be blocked up between 10am and 4:30pm.
For those heading south out of Auckland on SH1, the busiest times are between 2pm and 6pm on Thursday, and between 10am and 2pm on Friday. On Monday, NZTA anticipates the motorway will be busiest between 1pm to 5pm.
If you're travelling to the Bay of Plenty or Coromandel Peninsula from Auckland for the long weekend, traffic will be at its heaviest between 10am and 8:30pm on Thursday, and again between 6:30am and 2:45pm on Friday.
The return leg on Monday will likely see heavy traffic between 9:45am and 6:15pm on Monday.
Traffic will be bad but not quite as dire on SH1 along the Kapiti Coast, between Peka Peka and Otaki. Heavy traffic is expected between 11:30am and 6pm on Thursday, and again between 9:30am and 2:15pm on Friday.
The road is likely to be congested heading south at the end of the weekend too. The worst times will be between 1pm and 5pm on Sunday and between 12pm and 6:15pm on Monday.
In the Far North, SH1 in Whangarei and Kawakawa are anticipated to have traffic jams at the start and end of the weekend too.
Down in the South Island, holiday-makers should keep an eye out for heavy traffic on SH1 near Kaikoura, SH60 in Motueka, westbound along SH7 in Lewis Pass and SH6 in Murchison.
SH73 in Arthur's Pass, SH1 north and south of Christchurch, SH6 by the Franz Josef Glacier and Queenstown and SH8 east of Wanaka are also all likely to be congested at times over the period.
While the NZTA offers the tool as a way to avoid traffic, it says it can't control traffic incidents, weather, driver behaviour or COVID-19 alert level changes. The agency suggests checking the journey planner before leaving for real-time travel information.
And if you do get stuck in traffic? Pani reminds Kiwis there's no need to rush.
"Please be patient when driving this Easter so everyone can relax and enjoy their holiday."
"We encourage everyone to do their part to help ensure a safe Easter weekend, both on and off the road."