Toll roads are a common bugbear for locals, but they can be even more problematic for travellers. Finding out you’ve unintentionally made your way onto a toll road without knowing how much it costs or how to pay can add unnecessary stress to your holiday.
Fortunately, New Zealand contains just three toll roads, all of which are relatively easy to avoid. Read on for our complete guide to New Zealand toll roads including location, cost, alternative routes, how to pay and more.
For more information, check out our guides to New Zealand roads and road rules for tourists. Once you’ve done your research, you’ll be all set to jump in a GO Rentals vehicle and start planning your journey around this beautiful country.
Does New Zealand have toll roads?
New Zealand has three toll roads: the Auckland Northern Gateway Toll Road, the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road and the Tauranga Takitimu Drive Toll Road.
Where are toll roads in New Zealand?
All of New Zealand’s toll roads are on the country’s North Island.
- The Auckland Northern Gateway Toll Road is a part of State Highway 1, between the areas of Silverdale and Johnstone Hills north of Auckland.
- The Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road is part of State Highway 2 which starts near the Domain Road interchange, near Pāpāmoa and finishes near the Paengaroa roundabout.
- The Tauranga Takitimu Drive Toll Road is part of State Highway 29. It bypasses the Tauranga city centre and takes traffic towards Port of Tauranga and Mt Maunganui.
New toll road in New Zealand
A fourth toll road is set to open in New Zealand in 2026. It will connect State Highway 1 to the Whangaparāoa Peninsula north of Auckland and is projected to cost $830 million. Light vehicles will pay tolls of $3 during peak hours and $2 off-peak, with heavy vehicles paying twice these fees.
Auckland Northern Gateway Toll Road
The Auckland Northern Gateway Toll Road is a 7.5km stretch of State Highway 1. You may find yourself on this road if you are travelling towards central Auckland from the Northland or vice versa. It has a maximum speed limit of 100km/h and saves about 10 minutes of driving time compared to the alternative.
Auckland Northern Gateway Toll Road alternative route
The alternative to taking the Auckland Northern Gateway Toll Road involves taking a scenic drive via Urban Route 39 (formerly known as State Highway 17) through Orewa. Heading north, take exit 394 on Grand Drive, and follow the Hibiscus Coast Highway through Owera and Waiwera. You can rejoin State Highway 1 at Waiwera.
How much does the Auckland Northern Gateway Toll Road cost?
As of the 1 July 2023 toll road price increases across New Zealand, the price of the Auckland Northern Gateway Toll Road is:
- $2.60 for light vehicles including motorcycles
- $5.20 for heavy vehicles (3,500kg and over)
Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road
The Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road is a 15km stretch of State Highway 2. Its location means you are likely to find yourself on it if your journey involves going past Tauranga. For example, the route between Gisborne to Auckland involves taking this toll road.
It has a maximum speed limit of 110km/h and saves around 12 minutes of driving time.
Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road alternative route
The alternative route for the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road is the Te Puke Highway. To avoid the toll road heading north, take the second exit at the roundabout near Te Puke Golf Club onto Pacific Coast Highway/Te Puke Highway, and remain on the highway until you rejoin State Highway 2 near Papamoa.
How much does Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road cost?
As of 1 July 2023, the price of the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road:
- $2.30 for light vehicles including motorcycles
- $5.60 for heavy vehicles (3,500kg and over)
Tauranga Takitimu Drive Toll Road
Very near the Tauranga Eastern Link Toll Road is the Tauranga Takitimu Drive Toll Road. It is a 5km stretch of road that takes traffic from State Highway 2 to State Highway 29. If you are heading towards Tauranga in an easterly direction (such as from Hamilton) you are likely to find yourself on this road.
It has a maximum speed limit of 80km/h and saves around 5 minutes of driving time.
Tauranga Takituma Drive Toll Road alternative routes
There are several alternative routes to avoid the Tauranga Takituma Drive Toll Road. If you are heading towards Tauranga city centre or the Port of Tauranga, generally the fastest option is to take the exit onto Cambridge Road at Tauriko and rejoin State Highway 2 at the next opportunity near Te Atatu Place. You can also take the nearby exit to Cameron Road.
How much does Tauranga Takituma Drive Toll Road cost
As of 1 July 2023, the Tauranga Takitimu Drive Toll Road costs:
- $2.10 for light vehicles including motorcycles
- $5.40 for heavy vehicles (3,500kg and over)
How to pay for toll roads New Zealand
You can pay for tolls up to 180 days before you pass through them or up to 5 days after you pass through them. All tolls in New Zealand use electronic number plate monitoring to detect how much money is owed. This means you need your licence plate information to pay for your toll.
Unlike in some other countries, there are no tolling booths or e-tags involved in the payment process.
Residents who frequently use toll roads can set up online accounts at the New Zealand Transport Authority website. You can allow for automatic account top-ups and never have to worry about insufficient funds. Alternatively, you can enable top-up reminders.
How to pay for toll roads as a visitor
If you’re a traveller who will only pass through a toll road once or twice during your stay in New Zealand, you can instead pay as you go. This can be done in 3 ways:
- Via the NZTA website
- Via cash payment at a participating service station nearby a toll road ($1.50 transaction fee applies)
- Over the phone via the NZTA tolling contact centre (0800 40 20 20) ($3.70 service fee applies)
New Zealand toll road administrative fees
The following fees may apply as you go through the process of paying for a toll:
- $1.50 transaction fee for paying a toll at a service station.
- $3.70 service fee for paying over the phone.
- $20.60 dishonour fee for account holders if their nominated payment method has insufficient funds.
- $4.90 administration fee in the event that you do not pay your toll within 5 days and a Toll Payment Notice is issued.
- $40 infringement fee if an Infringement Notice is issued for failing to pay a Toll Payment Notice.
Paying for a toll road with GO Rentals
When you hire a GO Rentals vehicle, you are responsible for paying your toll via the methods outlined above. Remember that you will need your licence plate information when doing so.
If you fail to pay your toll within 5 days, GO Rentals will pay for the toll and the administrative costs imposed by the NZTA. We will also charge our own $30 administration fee.
These costs will be charged to the card you have provided to us for security.
Frequently asked questions
Are there any toll roads on New Zealand’s South Island?
No, New Zealand’s South Island does not contain any toll roads.
What happens if you don’t pay for New Zealand toll roads?
After using a toll road, you have 5 days to pay the toll. If you fail to pay within 5 days, you (or your car rental company) will be sent a Toll Payment Notice and will be charged a $4.90 administration fee. If you fail to pay your Toll Payment Notice, an Infringement Notice will be sent, which carries a $40 fee.
How to know if I owe a toll in New Zealand
You can find out if you owe a toll in New Zealand by entering your licence plate details here.
Explore New Zealand with GO Rentals
As you can see, toll roads are a relatively inexpensive and easily avoidable factor when driving on North Island roads. Don’t let them discourage you from jumping into a rental vehicle and checking out everything there is to see up north.
We have branches in Auckland City, Auckland Airport, Wellington and even Waiheke, which means we’re able to serve you no matter your itinerary. You can browse our range of travel guides or tips for driving safely to ensure nothing gets in the way of your trip.
With no hidden fees, basic rental insurance coverage and 24-hour roadside assistance, start planning your fuss-free New Zealand holiday by booking in your GO Rentals vehicle.
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