New Year's holiday travellers were held up for more than an hour after a two-car road crash on State Highway 1 north of Hikurangi left two people seriously injured and another with moderate injuries.
The trail of stopped vehicles stretched for several kilometres in either direction after the smash at the intersection of Whananaki North Rd just after 9.30am on Monday, which closed the state highway for more than an hour.
All three injured people were taken to Whangarei Hospital by St John ambulance.
The travel delay in the heat led many people waiting in the queue to abandon their cars and go for short walks, while some drivers were seen taking the delay in their stride and doing the crossword.
Traffic was let through from Whananaki North Rd from about 10.20am, while vehicles on the state highway started moving about 10.45am.
Soon after the Whananaki North Rd smash, travellers heading north were further delayed when a caravan rolled on State Highway 10 at Pakaraka at 11.50am. A large caravan ended up on one side of a roadside barrier and the vehicle towing it, on the other. The driver was uninjured, but the caravan was less fortunate. As workers tried to lift it on to a trailer, it fell to pieces.
Motorists were directed through diversions for a couple of hours before it was removed.