The Northern Gateway Toll Road
Shortcuts come at a price!
Having to pay NZ$2.30 to save measly 9 minutes: “Ain’t nobody got time for that”.
The Northern Gateway Toll Road is on State Highway 1, north of Auckland Central. As it is an electronic toll road using number plate recognition to charge vehicles, it’s not completely obvious that you have to pay to use this road. Although there is no toll gate to stop and pay, drivers must pay either before using the road or after. Use this guide to know when to pay, how to pay, and how to avoid the road.
On the subject of toll roads, check out the other two Toll Roads in New Zealand.
How much does it cost?
The Northern Gateway Toll Road does not cost much, but it does not save heaps of time either.
- Cars, motorcycles and other vehicles under 3.5 tonnes pay NZ$2.30.
- Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes pay NZ$4.70.
- Caravans and other trailers have no additional charge.
- There is a payment fee for using phone (NZ$3.70) and by cash (NZ$0.40).
When to pay
You are charged for using the road for going both north and south. To make sure you don’t forget, it’s best to pay in advance or on the day you used the road.
For all you super organised people, you can pay up to 180 days in advance. For the rest who have better things to do, you have up to 5 days after passing the toll to pay.
There will be an extra charge of NZ$4.90 for late payments. NZ$40 will be charged if you persist on not paying. To make matters worse, any car rental company will have a fee for processing your late payment, meaning you could be charged up to NZ$80! In conclusion, don’t pay late.
How to pay
You have three options to pay for your toll:
By Cash – Over the counter payments can be made at 33 upper North Island BP and Caltex service stations. Be aware that this payment method incurs a NZ$1.20 transaction fee.
Online: You can also use www.tollroad.govt.nz to pay online, you will simply need you car plate number and credit car information.
By phone: Call 0800 40 20 20 to pay your toll by phone. Try to avoid this payment method as paying by phone will incur a NZ$3.70 fee!
How to avoid the toll road
As backpackers who are likely staying in New Zealand for a few months, you have time to take a much more scenic road; the Hibiscus Coast Highway (State highway 17).
To take this alternative route, head west by exiting at Silverdale. Head to Orewa, then Waiwera, then join back on Highway 1.
Click on the map to enlarge the image. Use the orange dotted route to avoid the toll road.
So, why go up north anyway?
Check out our backpacker guides on things to see and do in Northland.
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