Saphron Greenfield was travelling north to say goodbye to her partner's relatives when the car she was in was hit by a truck.
Miss Greenfield, 26, who grew up in Rotorua, died on Monday when a logging truck rolled and crushed the car she and her partner were travelling in south of Whangarei.
Miss Greenfield's nana Annette Greenfield said the worst part of the crash was that her and partner Nicholas Brown, who survived the crash, were preparing to leave for Perth.
"The sad part was they were just on their way to say goodbye to Nick's grandfather when it happened," Mrs Greenfield said.
"Her sister is over there and they decided it was time to take a break from New Zealand."
Mrs Greenfield said her granddaughter was a wonderful girl and the family was struggling to come to grips with the loss.
"She was a wonderful granddaughter. She didn't have a bad bone in her, she nearly always had a smile on her face and would regularly pop in and say hello to her nana and grandad," Mrs Greenfield said.
"She has achieved great things. She was an optometrist and hasn't long come out of her training at Auckland University - we were very very proud."
She said Miss Greenfield's parents, Richard and Maryanne Greenfield, both from Rotorua, were bringing their daughter home yesterday afternoon from Whangarei.
Mrs Greenfield said members of the Sulpher City Motor Cycle Club had travelled up to Auckland yesterday to escort her home, where Miss Greenfield's father was a member.
Northland police said the fatal crash happened when a logging truck rolled while trying to avoid another vehicle.
The truck driver managed to free himself from the cab and ran to a house less than 50 metres away to raise the alarm.
The driver of the crushed car, believed to be Mr Brown, was trapped but cut free by firefighters before being taken to hospital as a precaution.
However, Miss Greenfield died at the scene.
Miss Greenfield was born in Rotorua and she spent a large part of her early life growing up in Hamurana.
She finished schooling at Rotorua Girls' High School in 2004 before studying at Auckland University from 2007 to 2010, where she trained as an optometrist, graduating with honours.
Miss Greenfield was a well liked student among her peers and tutors, Auckland University Department of Optometry and Vision Science clinical director Geraint Phillips said.
"She was certainly well liked and had a very pleasant nature," he said.
Miss Greenfield has more recently been flatting with her partner in Hamilton, where she worked at OPSM for about 18 months.
Rotorua Reading Cinemas complex manager Adam Morrison said Miss Greenfield had worked at the cinemas for about two years near the end of her high school years.
He said she was a very good employee, who worked hard and was a pleasure to have around.
The funeral will be held at the Otuwhare Marae, Omaio at 11am on Saturday.