The Northern Gateway Toll Road is a 7.5km motorway extension just north of Auckland. Heading north the toll road begins just before Orewa and ends after the Johnstone Hills near Puhoi. The toll road gives motorists a choice between a more direct route or the scenic State Highway 17 via Orewa.
Updated: 12/11/2009 10:00 a.m.
You don’t have to take the toll road. There are two free alternatives - along State Highway 17 (Hibiscus Coast Highway) or State Highway 16 (via Helensville).
The Hibiscus Coast Highway is a more scenic drive, following the attractive coastline between the popular holiday spots of Orewa and Waiwera. If you are in no hurry and want to explore the region, the Hibiscus Coast Highway may be the way to go.
If you’re heading north towards Whangarei on State Highway 1, you can access the free route by taking exit 398 through Silverdale. If you miss this exit you can take exit 394 via Orewa - the last exit before the toll road begins.
If you’re heading south towards Auckland on State Highway 1, take exit 388 via Waiwera to get on the free route.
The table below shows approximate distances and travel times for driving between the Auckland CBD and Wellsford in non-peak driving conditions.
|Route||Distance Auckland – Wellsford||Average non-peak driving time||Average peak driving time|
|SH1 with toll road||About 80km||1 hour 10 mins||1 hour 40 mins|
|SH 17 and SH1 – Hibiscus Coast route||About 95km||1 hour 26 mins||1 hour 56 mins|
|SH 16||About 100km||1 hour 30 mins||2 hours|