The average price of unleaded fuel in Maitland has jumped by more than 27 cents per litre overnight, as motorists across the region get ready to hit the road for the Easter long-weekend.
The latest figures show the average price in Maitland soared from 129.2c/l on Wednesday to 156.9c/l on Thursday morning.
It put the average cost at the bowser in the Lower Hunter city above that of Sydney, which is reaching the top of its price cycle at 154.7c/l.
The change has prompted NRMA to warn motorists against buying fuel at Maitland while prices are high.
Down the highway at Newcastle, the average price is 144.1c/l - a rise of 7.4c/l from Wednesday.
NRMA spokesman Peter Khoury said the average price at Maitland had jumped "alarmingly".
Mr Khoury said it was "hard to say" why the cost for motorists had increased so dramatically in Maitland but not in Newcastle.
"It looks like service station operators in Maitland have just yanked up their prices," he said.
"But it had been lower than normal for an extended period of time.
"The message is just don't fill up in Maitland if you don't have to while prices are high."
Mr Khoury said prices could increase by one or two cents per litre over the long-weekend, but there "shouldn't be much movement at all".
"We're hoping not to see any more sudden moves," he said.
Statewide, the average unleaded price was 149c/l on Thursday, with a 60c range.
The cheapest fuel in NSW - 129.9c/l - could be found in Kulnura on the Central Coast and Kandos in the Central West.
The state's most expensive was in the far west at White Cliffs - 189.9c/l - and at Stroud - 170c/l.
"Sustained cuts to supply by OPEC, mayhem in Venezuela, US sanctions in Iran and Libya on the brink of civil war are all contributing to rising petrol prices here at home," Mr Khoury said.
"Unfortunately Sydney's price cycle has spiked just before the Easter break so it is important for families to do a bit of research before filling up."
In the news: