Planning getaways to avoid traffic

Cars nightWith two consecutive long weekends approaching, Waikato-Bay of Plenty travellers are being urged to plan their journeys and try to avoid congestion hotspots.

Monday 30 January is Anniversary Day while the following Monday 6 February, is Waitangi Day.

The NZ Transport Agency says a number of special events are being held and recommends people take note of this when planning their trips.

“Roads across Bay of Plenty/Waikato will be busy with people visiting family and friends on these long weekends and these big events are likely to add to the numbers,” says Agency Waikato journey manager Liam Ryan.

“So we urge travellers to allow plenty of time for their journeys, drive to the conditions and plan ahead before leaving home.”

Interactive maps showing the busiest routes and times, are available here.

“Our hotspots information is based on previous years’ travel patterns on Anniversary Weekend and we expect that will be mirrored for the weekend to follow with Waitangi Day falling on the Monday,” he says.

“They are predictions and are subject to change based on weather or other factors, and we encourage people to check the travel section of our website or our social media pages so they can know the current road conditions before they start their journey.”

Events coming up in the region:

Auckland Anniversary Day weekend (28-30 January)

· The Winery Tour at Tauranga’s Wharepai Domain on Friday 27 January.

· Festival One over four days (Friday to Monday) held at Mystery Creek south of Hamilton. 5000 people expected.

· The Taupo Historic Grand Prix at the race track, starting at 9am Saturday 28 January running through to 5pm Sunday 29 January. 5000-plus tickets sold.

· The Summer Concert in the Taupo amphitheatre, on Saturday 28 January, 11am-6.30pm. 15,000 tickets sold.

· The Thunder on the Lake, also at Taupo, on Sunday 29 January, 10am-5pm. Free to view.

· The Four and Rotary Nationals at Meremere Dragway on Sunday 29 January, 8.30am-5pm.

Waitangi Day weekend (4-6 February):

· The Winery Tour at Vilagrad Winery near Hamilton on Friday 3 February, from 5pm.

· Leadfoot Festival on 4-5 February. Off SH25 near Hahei.

· One Love music festival in Tauranga Domain, 4-5 February.

· Black Caps one day international against Australia in Hamilton’s Seddon Park, Saturday 5 February.

Motorists can get real time information from:

· 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49)

· this website

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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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