Predictions of patchy weather in holiday hot spots did not stop tens of thousands of families heading out of town yesterday.
Easter traffic was reduced to a crawl for several kilometres of Auckland's Northern Gateway toll road and past Puhoi from about 10am and minor accidents on the Southern Motorway caused delays in that direction as well.
The fine weather was a bonus for those determined to make the most of the holiday weekend after a disappointing summer.
A survey of summer travel trends commissioned by AA Tourism shows up to 67 per cent willing to press on despite weather upsets.
Torrential rain this week hit eastern parts of the North Island, flooding a number of areas including Gisborne.But much of the North Island enjoyed clear skies and warm weather yesterday.
At the Coromandel Top 10 Holiday Park, owner Caron Steffert said there had been a few cancellations during the week, but the better weather forecast brought last-minute bookings.
Oakura Beach Holiday Park, in Taranaki, is fully booked. Manager Jendi Coxhead said that with the fine weather expected over Easter, she had to open up a site usually reserved for summer to cater for high bookings.
Holidaymakers heading north from Auckland found themselves in bumper-to-bumper traffic after waking to far better weather than expected. Traffic heading north from Wellington also reached a standstill near Pukerua Bay.
By 1pm yesterday police had attended 144 non-fatal crashes since 4pm on Thursday, compared with 151 at the same time last Easter.