Traffic is expected to be nose-to-tail along the stretches of State Highway 1 today, as tourists return home. Photo / Martin Sykes
Traffic is at a leisurely pace going to Auckland, with traffic accumulating nearly 12 km along a stretch of the main state highway this afternoon.
A driver says traffic north of Putaruru, South Waikato, is bumper to bumper for Tirau. She said it took an hour to reach Pairere and the traffic is still creeping to Cambridge.
Further south, a serious accident temporarily closed the main highway through Levin.
It is a bumper to bumper in several sections of SH1 between Topuni and Wellsford, across the Warkworth neck and the Northern Highway in Auckland.
The longest line affects a stretch of road between Topuni and Wellsford, with drivers facing a slow, congested race for at least 12 km.
Tourists who have returned from the extended holiday are being warned to wait in line for the rest of the afternoon while traveling home.
Previously, the New Zealand Transport Agency reminded drivers to take extra time on the road by returning to main centers today on either end of the North Island.
A serious accident on SH1 near Avenue North Rd closed the highway just before 2pm. Drivers passing through the area were asked to follow the instructions of the emergency services and warned that there would be delays.
Traffic must be exceptionally intense during the day on State Highway 1 in Kakakawa in the Bay of Islands towards the south and through Kāpiti traveling between Peka Peka and Ōtaki.
The most intense traffic in the north is expected between 10 am and 1 pm, and busy between 1 pm and 6 pm today.
At the other end of the island, traffic should be congested between 11 am and 7 pm.
The holiday road toll is currently six, five more than last year and the worst since 2017.