Holidaymakers driving home have been urged by police to "take it easy'' on the roads and plan the return journey to ensure they get home in one piece.
National road policing manager Superintendent Carey Griffiths called for drivers to be patient, and for delays to be factored in.
"Patience will be required by drivers as they return to the major urban centres, in particular through the upper Waikato approaches to Auckland and Northland,'' he said.
"With congestion being experienced recently on State Highway 1 from Otaki south to Wellington, motorists should also be prepared for some disruption across this route.
"Leaving early to avoid delays at key congestion locations will ease the journey for all.''
He says stopping regularly and sharing the driving avoids fatigue and makes for a much safer trip.
"If you're travelling with children, pack some activities they can do to avoid raising the driver's stress levels,'' Mr Griffiths said.
"Police will continue to be out in force with the intention of moderating speed and careless driving, through high visibility and enforcement if needed.''