Hawke's Bay holiday-makers should expect delays when on the road early in the New Year period.

NZTA has advised people to expect delays on state highways throughout the country today and tomorrow, including State Highway 5 Te Pohue (north of Napier) and State Highway 2 - Norsewood between Hastings and Woodville State Highway 3.

SH 5 is due to be busiest east between 2.30pm and 4.30pm today and busy again 12.30pm-5.30pm tomorrow with the heaviest flow between 2pm and 4.30pm.

Anyone heading west would be potentially be caught in heavy traffic today and tomorrow with the busiest times today being 9.30am-1.30pm (heaviest 10.30am-12.30pm). Tomorrow it will be busy 10.30am to noon and Tuesday between 8.30am and 2pm (heaviest at 10.30am-12.30pm).

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SH2 will be busy northward today between 12.30pm and 3pm and southward between 10.30am and 12.30pm and tomorrow between 10am and 4.30pm in both directions.

NZTA director of safety and environment Harry Wilson said the message from NZTA and police for holiday-makers over this busy period is simple - drive safely.

"Plan ahead. Get your vehicle checked before you head out, plan to avoid peak traffic where you can and give yourself enough time to take plenty of rest or sightseeing breaks along the way," he said.

"It's your holiday after all, so why not make the journey an enjoyable part of it?"

People also needed to drive to all conditions (not just weather) including road, traffic, vehicles, speed and following distance.

Fatigue is also another issue for motorists as long trips are tiring, he said.

"Fatigue can be deadly behind the wheel. Get a good night's sleep beforehand, plan in advance where you'll take breaks along the way, and be aware of any medication you're taking that might affect your driving."

Another challenge for drivers can be keeping their cool with busy roads, stifling heat and restless kids being frustrating.

"Please be courteous and patient while on the roads," Mr Wilson said.

"Don't get provoked by other drivers' aggressive behaviour and wait to overtake until you get to a passing lane or can see enough clear road ahead of you to do it safely.

"Be sure to take enough games, books, DVDs or electronics to keep the kids occupied along the way."

Other things to keep in mind are using seatbelts and not drinking and driving.

Busy times in Hawke's Bay

SH5 Te Pohue (north of Napier):

East - Today 2.30pm–4.30pm

East - Tuesday 12.30pm–5.30pm (heaviest 2pm–4.30pm)

East - Wednesday 11.30am–5pm (heaviest 1.30pm–3.30pm)

East - Thursday 1.30pm–4pm

West - Today 9.30am–1.30pm (heaviest 10.30am–12.30pm)

West - Tomorrow 10.30am–12pm

West - Tuesday 8.30am–2pm (heaviest 10.30am–12.30pm)

West - Wednesday 8.30am–12.30pm (heaviest 10.30am–11.30am)

SH2 – Norsewood between Hastings and Woodville SH3:

North - Today 12.30pm–3pm

South - Today 10.30am–12.30pm

South - Tuesday 10am–4.30pm

South - Wednesday 10.30am–4pm