A large boulder still blocks one lane of the Karangahake Gorge after a large slip on Saturday night.

A slip closed the Karangahake Gorge, on State Highway 2 from Paeroa to Waihi on Saturday night, halting traffic in both directions.

Today, the NZ Transport Agency said one lane remained closed with stop/go signs in place to manage the traffic following a large slip and rockfalls over the weekend.

The agency advised people to allow extra time for their trip and drive with care.

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A severe thunderstorm watch for large areas of the North Island, including Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, and Taupō, has been issued by the MetService today.

Some of these may be severe with localised downpours of 25mm to 40mm per hour with significant hail, it warned.

Rainfall of this intensity can cause surface and/or flash flooding, especially about low-lying areas such as streams, rivers or narrow valleys, and may also lead to more slips.