How long it takes to travel over the border
IF you're planning to cross the Tweed-Coolangatta border this weekend - be prepared to sit in gruelingly slow traffic.
On Tuesday I timed how long it would take to cross all three Tweed-Coolangatta border crossings so I anticipated the gridlock on Friday to be far worse. But I didn't expect it would be that bad.
It took the Bulletin one hour and 40 minutes to travel 5.3km and pass the border on the M1 during peak traffic between 4pm and 5.40pm on Friday.
There was really no better route to take with the Griffith Street and Gold Coast Highway also mayhem .
Pictures of the traffic from an above helicopter really do no justice of just how bad the gridlock is as it's only such a short distance of travel.
But unfortunately traffic is tipped to thicken more this weekend when holiday-makers flock to the tourism capital of Australia for a much-awaited holiday.
I had already anticipated an extremely long time sitting in a car on the M1, so I bought with me my partner for good company and put on some tunes.
And for him to survive, he bought with him a four-pack of Balter beers.
It seems like other people had the same idea.
Motorists were spotted having a beer and blasting tunes to help them get through the heavy delay.
One man - with his windows down playing country music - said "man, you really need to pack an esky to get through this traffic."
"F**k I wish I packed a beer," he said.
"I'm from Ballina and I've come up to see my horses in the Gold Coast Hinterland.
"Didn't think traffic would be this bad."
Another man with NSW plates was blasting Red Hot Chili Peppers and singing along with a said he was moving up from Port Macquarie.
But there were others who weren't having so much fun being stuck in gridlock.
Some motorists were questioning Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's decision to open up Queensland borders from 12pm.
"I don't know why they reopened the border at midday instead of midnight. This is ridiculous," a man told the Bulletin.
You can't say we weren't warned about the delays, with Tweed Byron Police Commander Superintendent Dave Roptell suggesting drivers "have some snacks and water in the car".
But don't get too hydrated.
Two separate vehicles had pulled over midway through the traffic to take a wizz on the side of the road.
With an expected 20km gridlock queues for this weekend, there are some things you can do to speed up the wait.
From midday Friday there was a new Queensland Border Declaration Pass which needs to be printed and on the dash.
Just like the other three border forms, you'll need to fill out if you have been overseas, been to a COVID hotspot or been in contact with someone with COVID or had COVID or symptoms.
It will then prompt you to fill out your name, address and contact details and within minutes you will have the new "G" form.
There needs to be one A-4 pass for each person and put on display on your dash and police are stopping every vehicle to do headcounts.
But of course, if you can, I wouldn't recommend travelling over the border unless you absolutely have to.
Originally published as How long it takes to travel on M1 over Qld border