Holiday Guide To The Hunter's Roads

Beat the rush.

Dan Flegg

21 December 2018

Dan Flegg

Article heading image for Holiday Guide To The Hunter's Roads

The RMS is reminding Hunter drivers to play it safe while diving over the holiday break.

Roads and Maritime Director of Hunter Region Anna Zycki says whether you’re going to and from Hunter Valley, Central Coast and Newcastle, we are encouraging motorists to start planning their journey ahead of time to avoid the peak bumper to bumper traffic.

 “We have a series of charts that will highlight holiday traffic hotspots in Hexham, showing days and times to avoid if possible,” Ms Zycki says.

 While some of the peak days are fairly predictable, motorists may be surprised to learn that leaving early in the morning isn’t always the best option.

 Based on delay data from previous years, the peak times to travel in the Hunter where motorists can expect travel times to increase by up to 60 minutes are:

  • Between 10am and 3pm from 21 to 23 December
  • Between 10am and 3pm from 27 to 30 December

Although these are expected to be the peak days to travel, it’s important to remember delays will occur at the start of school holidays from 20 December through to the New Year.

 Traffic Management in the Hunter

 Roads and Maritime will be using its traffic management systems to assist with the heavier traffic that is anticipated around Hexham, the M1 and the Hunter Valley area.

 Traffic delays around Hexham northbound:

  • 21 to 23 December – up to 30 minutes between 10am and 3pm
  • 27 to 30 December – up to 60 minutes between 10am and 3pm
  • 2 to 3 January – up to 30 minutes between 12pm and 3pm

Traffic delays around Hexham southbound:

  • 28 to 30 December – up to 20 minutes between 10am and 3pm
  • 2 to 3 January – up to 20 minutes between 10am and 3pm

During the Christmas break a reduced speed limit and traffic changes will remain in place for the M1 upgrades between Kariong and Somersby, Tuggerah and Doyalson, as well as Weakleys Drive intersection.

 For the latest traffic updates download the Live Traffic NSW App, visit or call 132 701.

 Five tips for a safe holiday journey

  1. Plan your road trip like a flight

When you take a flight, you know when your flight leaves, when you check in and when you arrive. That planning can help make your road journey run more smoothly. Plan your stops and know your rest stops.

  1. Know the busiest spots on your way

Do you know the most likely places – and times – where you might get stuck? There may be alternative roads that will help you get to where you’re going faster or with less disruption.

  1. Check if there are planned works where you’re travelling

There may be some unavoidable works on roads over the holidays. Don’t be caught off guard. Live Traffic is the best source of up to the minute traffic updates around NSW. If there has been an incident, it’s the best way to find out. Check out or call 132 701. There is also an app for most smartphones.

  1. Know when holidaymakers pass through

If you use the big motorways and highways for everyday travel, know the peak times that holidaymakers will be passing through to help you avoid the queues by visiting

  1. Prepare and don’t trust your tired self

Bring some water bottles, snacks, games for the kids and be patient on the road. Many incidents during the holiday break are caused by driver frustration and fatigue.

Planning your journey and factoring in rest breaks can make a huge difference to your travels, contributing to reduced road incidents as well as providing a safer and better holiday for all involved.


Info provided by Roads and Maritime Service NSW

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