Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is warning motorists to prepare for heavy traffic in the South Island over the next few days, with the long weekend followed by the Burt Munro Challenge next week.
The motorcycle challenge in Invercargill starts on Wednesday and is expected to draw thousands of people to the deep south.
Waka Kotahi says motorists should expect heavy traffic over the Waitangi Weekend around Christchurch and Timaru, Kaikōura, Blenheim, Nelson and Motueka, and Queenstown and Wānaka.
“Build in plenty of coffee and break stops, enjoy the journey and take care around motorcyclists and all other road users,” the transport agency’s acting national journey manager, Peter Brown said.
“Passing when there is so much traffic on the highways will probably not get you there any faster and may just increase everyone’s stress.”
Waka Kotahi expected the majority of people travelling to Invercargill for the Burt Munro Challenge to do so on Monday and Tuesday.
Motorcyclists might also take the inland highways south past the hydro lakes and smaller towns like Tekapo, Geraldine and Fairlie.
“Please need to keep an eye out for motorcyclists during the week,” Brown said.
“Some will be travelling in groups so everyone’s care is appreciated.”
Competitors and spectators travel from all over the country with around 2000 motorcyclists registering last year and thousands more travelling as spectators.
People can be better prepared for the Waitangi Weekend peak periods by checking the updated holiday planning tool before leaving home.