Three people are dead after a trio of accidents on a 30km stretch of State Highway 1 near Waipu.

Two female tourists died after a head-on collision about 1.30pm yesterday.

Police say the women were travelling north through the Brynderwyn hills when their Nissan Sunny spun out of control on a right-hand turn.

They crashed into a southbound Holden carrying a man and a woman.

Whangarei Senior Constable Jim Hawthorne said the toursits died instantly. The people in the southbound vehicle were taken to hospital with minor injuries.

Inspector Chris Tate said the dead women would be named after next of kin had been notified.

Meanwhile Robert Watene, 22, of Whangarei died after his car swerved in front of a bitumen-loaded truck about 30km further north late on Friday afternoon.

Senior Constable John van Pomeren said the car struck with such force the truck was tipped onto its side.

The third accident was a two-car collision at Kaiwaka about 10.30am yesterday. Four people were taken to hospital, one with serious injuries.

Meanwhile, failure to adjust to New Zealand road rules had serious consequences for an American visitor on the West Coast yesterday.

Bobby Wood, 61, was on the wrong side of the road when he collided with a vehicle containing a family of three on SH6 near Rapahoe about 7.30am.

All four were taken to hospital with fractures. One also had spinal injuries.