First stage of Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Project


If you’re travelling on SH1 between the Johnstone Hill Tunnels and Pūhoi, take care as there is a new road layout. Northbound and southbound traffic is now using a small section of the new motorway near Johnstones Hill Tunnels. 

Please keep to the 60km/h temporary speed limit, the speed limit is in place to keep everyone safe as they navigate the new road layout.

Heading southbound and want to use the SH1 toll road? Follow the directional signage and look out for the exit to your right. Missed the exit to SH1 and found yourself on Hibiscus Coast Highway? Don't worry, you’ll still get there –drive on and follow the scenic route back to SH1 via Orewa.

It'll take time to adjust to the changes, so please be patient and courteous as everyone gets used the new layout!

We have been working with map providers, such as Google, to update navigation systems to show the new road layout. Please bear with us as this can take some time to update.

Here's a video showing the Southern Connection switch for more detail on which lanes to use:


The Pūhoi to Warkworth project will extend the four-lane Northern Motorway (SH1) 18.5km from the Johnstones Hill Tunnels to just north of Warkworth. It is the first stage of the Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford project, and will now open in 2023.

Ara Tūhono means a connecting pathway (Ara meaning pathway/passage and Ara Tūhono means connecting or linking one part to another).

The highway will be built to the west of the existing SH1 and bypass Warkworth on the western side. It will be a four-lane dual carriageway, separated by a central median with a safety barrier.

Key benefits of the new route include improved safety and connectivity, more reliable journey times and a better freight connection for the Northland region.

P2Wk Route Map

The Pūhoi to Warkworth project is a PPP (Private Public Partnership) between the Government and a private consortium, the Northern Express Group (NX2).

While the NX2 private-sector consortium will be responsible for financing, designing, building, maintaining and operating the motorway for up to 25 years, the motorway will remain a public asset.