Holidaymakers heading out of the main cities for New Year's are being warned to expect long delays.

Motorists heading north on State Highway 1 out of Auckland should expect heavy traffic between Puhoi and Wellsford between 8.30am and 4.30pm today.

That same stretch will be busy from 8.30am to 3.30pm tomorrow, according to the New Zealand Travel Agency's holiday journey tracker.

While those heading south can expect an easier run, with traffic only building up between 9.30am and midday today and 10.30am through to 11.30am tomorrow.

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For the holiday season, NTZA produced a handy travel planner informing motorists when to avoid the motorways for maximum travel ease and safety.

The data is based on previous years' holiday traffic.

Tauranga traffic

The worst of the traffic eastbound on SH2 between Tauranga and Katikati isn't expected to hit until New Year's Eve itself between 1pm and 7pm.

And then as revellers head back out of the Bay, westbound traffic on SH2 is looking to be pretty slow-moving on January 1, 2 and 3.

Wellington traffic

Anyone heading north out of Wellington along SH1 on the Kapiti Coast should prepare for delays almost every day throughout the holiday period, with the heaviest traffic expected mornings to mid-afternoons.

And those heading south aren't going to be moving any quicker, with delays southbound over the same period.

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Canterbury traffic

It's also going to be slow going for anyone heading north on SH1 out of Christchurch through Waimakariri, especially on the last weekend before New Year's.

Heavy traffic is expected today between 9.30am and 5pm, and between 9.30am and 12pm tomorrow.