Long weekend traffic troubles in Auckland as locals head away for Anzac weekend

The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is urging drivers to "be patient" as rush-hour traffic builds in Auckland ahead of the long weekend.

The agency's Journey Planner shows congestion on 32 roads across the country is heavier than normal due to the combined effects of Anzac Day and school holidays.

Footage from cameras around Auckland show traffic was already building before 3pm. Google Maps data confirms it's particularly bad heading south, with a traffic jam stretching all the way from the CBD to Papakura.

Heading north appears to be a much smoother journey, with congestion just south of the Harbour Bridge clearing near Albany.

The NZTA says the congestion south of Auckland is expected to be at its worst from 9:30am to 7pm on Friday, with bad traffic also expected between 9am and 1:30pm on Saturday. Returning on Monday, the motorway will be heaving from 11am to 8pm.

For those heading north, congestion is likely to be heavy between Puhoi and Wellsford from 12pm to 8pm on Friday and 8:30am to 3pm on Saturday.

"Starting your trip at non-peak times can make the journey safer, easier and more enjoyable," Waka Kotahi Auckland Operations Manager Rua Pani said on Thursday.

"Also remember that predicted peak times for travel may change based on traffic incidents, weather, driver behaviour, or changes in COVID-19 alert levels, so it's also a good idea to check the very latest conditions before you head away."'

Pani urges motorists to plan ahead and follow the basics of road safety "so everyone arrives at their destination safely".

"Some congestion and delays are inevitable during holiday periods, but with school holidays in full swing this year, including people visiting Aotearoa from across the ditch, we want to remind everyone to leave plenty of time for their journey."

The NZTA says to minimise delays, roadworks on State Highways in Northland will be put on hold over the Anzac weekend. SH1 through the Mangamuka Gorge will also be opened.

For safety reasons, temporary speed limits will remain in place around some work sites. These include on SH1 between Auckland and Whangārei, including through the Dome Valley, on Matakana Link Rd, and at Loop Rd.