A 72-year-old woman accused of killing a motorcyclist while driving the wrong way down a Wellington motorway has appeared in court.

The woman, who has interim name suppression, was charged with careless driving causing death after a fatal crash in the early hours of December 29 that killed a 25-year-old motorcyclist.

She was brought into the Wellington District Court this morning in a wheelchair, where she was quickly remanded without plea to later this month.

She is due to enter a plea to the charge at the next appearance.

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Police said the woman's driving was reported to them just moments before the tragic incident, which happened on State Highway 1.

Detective Senior Sergeant Kevan Verry said a motorist not involved in the crash had noticed a woman driving south on the northbound lanes of the motorway near Johnsonville.

He said the warning call was made "about simultaneously" with the crash itself, and did not give police time to intercept.

Police said fatigue was a factor in the crash.

"In this incident, the driver originated from an area a large number of hours away from Wellington," Verry said in a statement after the crash.