Holiday and journey planning

Significant delays are expected on NSW roads this summer. Motorists are urged to plan ahead to improve their journeys and stay safe.

Bathurst races traiffic

Plan your journey

Following the lifting of COVID restrictions, NSW residents will be able to travel freely around the state this summer. The summer holiday period is traditionally very busy on our roads, and the 2021/22 season is shaping up to be the same.

This page has a number of planning tools to help you plan your journey ahead of the Christmas and January school holidays. These include:

  • A journey planning tool, using historical data to show traditional delay times at known traffic pinch points
  • A guide to setting up notifications in Live Traffic to receive real time updates about road conditions
  • Useful links to make your trip more enjoyable.

Journey planning tool

The journey planning tool contains information based on delay times observed at known pinch points around the state during the same period in previous years.

It should be noted it is very difficult to precisely predict traffic delays. As such, the journey planning tool should be used as a guide only to help you plan your journey.

Journey planning tool

Make the most of Live Traffic app

Live Traffic NSW is the go-to app for commuters, holiday travellers and freight operators seeking information about potential delays they might face on their trip.

The app and website provide real-time information about incidents and disruptions on the network.

In 2021 Live Traffic NSW introduced notifications to the app, giving customers the ability to set up to receive notifications to their phone alerting them about incidents and disruptions on their chosen route and time period.

Before leaving on your holiday journey, we strongly recommend setting up your trip before leaving to receive real time updates on road conditions and possible delays.

Customers can also choose to ‘follow’ individual incidents to receive notifications when the incident is updated or has ended.

By receiving notifications, road users can “set and forget” and won’t have the hassle of constantly checking the app or site and means they can make the best decisions for their trip at the earliest opportunity.

We have prepared this handy guide and a video to help you set up notifications before hitting the road this summer. You can also learn more about the many features of Live Traffic by checking out the website.

What to expect these holidays

We anticipate large traffic volumes and delays at known pinch points in Sydney and regional areas, including key routes in and out of Sydney (the M1 Pacific Motorway, Great Western Highway, Hume Motorway and Princess Highway) and the Hume, Princes, Kings, Great Western and Pacific highways in the regions. Significant delays are also expected at the Queensland border (see more details below).

While difficult to predict, it is possible delays of more than one hour may occur at some of these locations, which increases the risk of incidents relating to driver frustration, fatigue and hazards caused by traffic queuing in high speed zones. Transport for NSW will have traffic management initiatives in place at the major known pinch points, but travellers should still be prepared to experience delays.

There may also be other corridors in regional NSW that could experience higher than normal traffic volumes during the summer holidays.

Expected traffic pinch points after the easing of COVID restrictions

Detailed pinch point maps of our regions are also available:

Be prepared

If you are planning to travel into regional NSW during the 2021/22 summer holidays, there is a number of simple steps you can take to make your journey as enjoyable as possible. These include:

  • Driving safely
  • Taking regular breaks
  • Being patient
  • Being prepared for delays
  • Allowing extra travel time.

People planning to travel must also continue to be vigilant in terms of stopping the spread of COVID-19 by following all health orders. Please visit the NSW Health website for the current health orders and restrictions.

Queensland border traffic congestion

Motorists planning to drive to Queensland during the summer holiday period need to be aware that while the Queensland border has reopened for fully vaccinated travellers, some restrictions will remain and it is important people check whether they are allowed to travel into the state.

Border compliance checks, in-line with Queensland public health policy, are still in place.

With the border compliance checks, coupled with a significant surge in holiday traffic, we expect significant delays for motorists trying to cross the border into Queensland.

Transport for NSW traffic modelling shows customers may experience delays of several hours at the border during the busiest times.

Where feasible, customers from NSW travelling to Queensland should consider alternative routes, such as the New England Highway or the Newell Highway.

If you’re planning to drive to Queensland, please ensure you have the correct paperwork and border pass, plan your trip, allow extra time to cross the border and visit Live Traffic for the latest traffic information.

To check on the latest advice and see what border pass you require, visit the Queensland Government website.

Impacts of recent flooding

During November and December parts of the state experienced significant flooding, particularly in the Central West and North West regions. This flooding has damaged sections of the road network.

While our crews have already started work to repair the damage, it is possible the work will not be completed before the start of the holiday period. There will likely be the need for ongoing repairs to flood damaged roads. There is also a possibility some floodwaters may not have receded.

Consequently, if you are planning to travel through or to an area impacted by flooding, or if you are not sure which areas of the state are flood-affected, please take the time before leaving to plan your trip.

If you see our people out working, please drive safely, obey reduced speed limits, signs and traffic controllers.

The latest information on roads impacted by flooding can be found on

Great Western Highway

The Great Western Highway through the Blue Mountains can experience significant congestion during long weekends, school holidays and other special events. We expect there will be congestion at this location at times during the 2021/22 summer holidays. As during previous busy travel periods, Transport for NSW will work to help manage this congestion to minimise your travel delays and keep everyone safe on their journey through the mountains.

Learn more about how we manage congestion through the Blue Mountains.

Princes Highway

Visit the Princes Highway holiday congestion page to learn more about key Princes Highway pinch points and how to plan your journey to the beautiful NSW South Coast.

For more information on the Princes Highway upgrade program and how we are delivering a safer and more reliable journey along the South Coast, visit the project webpage.

Tips for a safe journey

View or download


Share this page: