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Drivers urged to take care over long weekends

Waitaki App

Ashley Smyth

22 March 2024, 1:06 AM

Drivers urged to take care over long weekendsDrivers are urged to take care on the roads if they're heading through the Lindis Pass to Wānaka for the long weekends. Photo: Supplied

As we head into back to back long weekends, NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi is encouraging people to allow extra time on the roads.

Otago Anniversary Day kicks off the shortened working week on Monday, with Good Friday at the tail end, leading into Easter.

A number of Waitakians will be taking advantage of the chance to link two long weekends together to maximise holiday time, with Warbirds over Wānaka a likely drawcard, being held again for the first time in six years.


The international airshow attracted 54,000 people in 2018 for its 30th anniversary, and the same number or more are expected this year after the Covid-induced hiatus.


What this means for drivers is people will be travelling to the Queenstown Lakes District town from all over the South Island/Te Wai Pounamu.

NZ Transport Agency Waka Kotahi Otago/Southland journey manager Nicole Felts encourages everyone to check their routes in advance. Some key times are likely to be much busier than others, based on previous years’ traffic counts.

Travellers should add extra time to their travel plans, so they can remove angst and enjoy the drive, she said.


“Coffee, snacks and toilet breaks will help you refresh and arrive relaxed. Share the driving if you can.”


She also urges people to check their vehicles are warranted and registered and to plan for things like a flat tyre or bad weather, by checking the spare tyre and jack, the windscreen-wipers and carrying spare blankets and torches.


“Follow the speed limits and drive to the conditions. If the weather is stormy, slow down and watch your following distances. 

“If you are towing a trailer or caravan, check behind you and be prepared to pull over at a safe spot to let others pass from time to time.”

Keep up to date with traffic updates through Facebook, Twitter (X), Journey planner or by phoning 0800 4 HIGHWAYS (0800 44 44 49).