Christmas traffic: The best and worst times to travel on the M1

Holiday-makers planning on hitting the road from today are being urged to plan their trips, with fears the return of border restrictions could create a traffic nightmare over the festive period.

In a bid to help motorists avoid the dreaded holiday traffic, the State’s peak motoring body has revealed the best and worst times to travel.

According to RACQ, the Pacific Motorway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast is expected to be busiest on Christmas Eve between 10am and 2pm.


“Christmas traffic is already predicted to be heavy given how many people are taking drive holidays but with border restrictions as well, we should expect very long delays,” RACQ spokesperson Ms Ritchie said.

“There could be pockets of congestion from as early as 8am on the M1 on Christmas eve and motorists should also remember there are road works happening between Varsity Lakes and Burleigh which could add to their traffic woes.”

Anyone heading to the Sunshine Coast from Brisbane tomorrow, is being warned to brace for similar delays and a spike in travel times between 11am and midday.

“The Gateway Motorway northern section is usually a pain point and there are also road works happening on the Bruce Highway between the Caloundra turnoff and Sunshine Motorway.

“If you’re leaving today, don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll escape the traffic, there will still be congestion but hopefully it’s not as heavy.”

Ms Ritchie said traditionally Christmas Day was also busy between Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, with delays expected between 10am and 1pm.

“The best advice is to leave early in the morning, or after lunch to beat the traffic no matter what day you’re travelling,” she said.