The Good Friday sun might be shining but traffic congestion on the roads is looking bleak.

Kiwis heading north from Auckland for the Easter break are especially suffering.

Photos posted to Facebook's Warkworth and Districts Traffic Updates page show traffic on State Highway 1 northern motorway ground to a standstill at the Johnstones Hill tunnels.

Easter traffic snakes its way north. Photo / Facebook
Easter traffic snakes its way north. Photo / Facebook

One post earlier this morning showed cars bumper-to-bumper, stretching back to about 5km before the tunnel.


According to posters on the page, the congestion is heavy from the Orewa off-ramp all the way through to Warkworth.

Facebook user Megan-Rose Sims posted video of the banked up traffic while heading south in the opposite direction, writing "tunnels backed up just before Orewa off-ramp - avoid like the plague".

Shannelle Rose wrote under a separate post that she hoped "everyone went to the bathroom" before getting stuck in the jam, while Ashleigh May Innes posed a "serious question".

"Is there like a secret back road for locals to get to and from Warkworth from Wellsford?" she said.

The NZ Transport Agency's Easter Journey Planner website is expecting northbound traffic on SH1, between Puhoi and Wellsford, to remain at its heaviest up until 6pm tonight.

Northbound traffic is also expected to remain heavy around Whangārei until 6pm and near Kawakawa, just south of the Bay of Islands, until 5pm.

Southbound traffic on SH1 at Papakura is tipped to remain heavy through to 4pm with those journeying on to the Coromandel also expected to run into heavy traffic up until 4-5pm also.

Those heading north on SH1 out of Wellington along the Kapiti Coast are tipped to run into heavy traffic at Otaki up until 5pm with traffic also busy coming back south into Wellington.


NZTA Wellington said the congestion was currently banked up between Peka Peka and Otaki.

Heavy traffic is also expected heading north of Upper Hutt towards Featherston around 3-7pm.

Heavy traffic is also tipped to bank up at logjams around the South Island, including near Christchurch and SH1 north of Kaikoura.