The NZ Transport Agency is encouraging people who are heading away for the long weekend to plan their travel for a safe and enjoyable trip.

Transport system manager Karen Boyt said this was the last long weekend for a few months.

"Many people take the opportunity to head away for a break, or to visit friends and family."

Based on previous years' travel patterns, The NZ Transport Agency has maps and graphs showing the busiest times on state highway routes.


It is predicting the heaviest time for Bay of Plenty traffic will be eastbound on State Highway 29 Kaimai Range between 3pm and 5.30pm on Friday and 11am and 12.30pm Saturday.

Westbound is expected to be busiest between 10.30am and 3.30pm on Monday.

State Highway 2 between Tauranga and Katikati is expected to have the heaviest traffic northbound between 4pm and 7pm on Friday. Southbound is expected to be busiest between 1.30pm and 6pm on Friday and 1pm and 4pm on Monday.

State Highway 2 between Paeroa and Waihi is expected to have the heaviest traffic eastbound between 3.30pm and 6pm on Friday and Saturday between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

Westbound is expected to be busiest between 11am and 3pm on Monday.

Predicted peak times can change based on incidents, weather and changes in driver travel patterns.

"Going online to plan your journey before getting on the road reduces the chance of experiencing delays during high traffic flows on the highway," Boyt said.

"Our online real-time highway information service will tell you whether there are any travel warnings or closures ahead. You can also check out the cameras to see how traffic is moving in and out of the city."

"Motorists can also find out what the expected peak travel times are on the agency's Queen's Birthday Weekend hotspots map to plan their travel and avoid peak holiday traffic."

Top tips for a safe and enjoyable Queen's Birthday trip
- Plan ahead. Get your vehicle checked before you head out, plan to avoid peak traffic.
- Drive to the conditions. This isn't just about weather conditions — it's about the road you're on, the traffic, your vehicle and load, your speed, your following distance, and adjusting your driving for wet and windy conditions.
- Watch out for fatigue. Long trips are tiring and fatigue can be deadly behind the wheel.
- Keep your cool. Holiday driving can be frustrating with busy roads, and restless kids in the car. Be courteous and patient while on the roads.
- Buckle up. Don't let your family holiday be marred by tragedy simply because someone didn't buckle up.
- Don't drink and drive. The alcohol limit for adult drivers is now lower, and your judgement and reaction times begin to deteriorate after even one drink.