Holidaymakers heading north of Auckland today on SH1 will be in for a long drive.

For some people just getting out of central Auckland proved difficult with a multi-vehicle crash on the Auckland Harbour Bridge slowing northbound traffic. Police were called to the incident at 12.20pm and say it was resolved before 1pm.

Traffic is busy on many parts of the popular SH1 route north, with congestion particularly heavy between Silverdale and Warkworth.

Vehicles have been moving slowly on the Windy Ridge, north of Puhoi, where there is a merging lane.

The NZTA Traffic hotspot dashboard that shows heavy traffic between Silverdale and Warkworth. Image / NZTA
The NZTA Traffic hotspot dashboard that shows heavy traffic between Silverdale and Warkworth. Image / NZTA


According to the NZTA journey planner at midday, travelling from CBD Auckland to Whangārei would take two hours and 45 minutes instead of two hours and seven minutes.

However, using a combination of SH16 and SH1 the same journey would take two hours and 25 minutes, which is only fractionally slower than normal.

Simon Townsend, a paramedic for ProMed, was travelling south from Maungaturoto to drop his sister off at Auckland Airport today and captured the bumper to bumper traffic heading north on video.

"It was absolutely crazy," he said.

And the traffic got worse the closer they neared Auckland, he said.

"From Windy Ridge all the way to the other side of the tunnel it was stationary.

"It wasn't moving at all."

On his return trip, Townsend will be among the many who faces the long journey north and will be considering using SH16 as an alternative.


NZTA is urging motorists to be patient.

Traffic is expected to be busy between Puhoi to Wellsford from 10am to 4.30pm for northbound traffic and from 9.30am to 7.30pm for southbound traffic today, the agency advises.

"Road users are advised to expect delays and allow extra time for their journeys when travelling through this area."

Meanwhile, traffic heading north towards Auckland is also expected to be moving slowly.

NZTA advises traffic is expected to be busy in the Takanini area between 11.30am and 7pm for northbound traffic and between 10am and 2pm for southbound traffic today.

Traffic is also expected to be busy for northbound traffic on SH1 through Taupiri between 1.30pm and 6.30pm and 10am and 2pm for southbound traffic.

And Auckland bound traffic on SH2 from Maramarua to the SH1 interchange was also very heavy.

Stay safe, arrive alive - tips for holiday driving


Drive within speed limits, drive at 30km/h or lower in communities, and slow down on rural roads too. Avoid overtaking unless you're sure it's safe.

Sober: If driving, don't drink any alcohol, or take any illegal drugs or medication that could affect driving.

Sharp: Drive alert – not tired, ill or stressed. Plan your journey so you have plenty of time, and take breaks every two hours on long journeys. Have an eye test at least every two years and wear glasses or contact lenses if needed.

Silent: Phone off or on message service. Minimise other distractions such as sat nav/GPS and tuning the radio as much as possible.

Secure: Always belt up and insist that everyone else in the vehicle does the same and adjusts head restraints. If travelling with children, ensure you have correctly fitted, appropriate child restraints.

Sustainable: Only drive when you have to.

Source: Brake, the road safety charity