Many holidaymakers heading home are facing a long slow drive, with traffic especially heavy around Auckland and Coromandel.
The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said today was expected to be one of the busiest traffic days of the year, with many people heading home after Christmas holidays.
Its spokesperson, Andy Knackstedt, said traffic was heavy around many of the main centres and particularly on State Highway 1 north of Auckland, heading north and south.
He said there was also about a seven-kilometre tail of traffic on State Highway 25, on the Coromandel side of Kopu Bridge.
Mr Knackstedt said those highways were expected to stay busy up to about 6pm.
Another NZTA spokesperson, Luigi Cappel, said if people must travel this afternoon, they should expect significant delays and remain patient.
He said anyone heading home should leave themselves plenty of time to travel and be considerate of other drivers.
He said people should also remember to take breaks and keep safe following distances.