Road Photos & Information: New South Wales
  Pacific Motorway, Pacific Highway, New England Highway, John Renshaw Drive, Gore Hill Freeway, Warringah Freeway, Sydney Harbour Tunnel, Cahill Expressway, Eastern Distributor, Southern Cross Drive, General Holmes Drive, The Grand Parade, President Avenue, Princes Highway & Princes Motorway (M1 / A1) - Wahroonga to Sydney


Route Numbering:

General Information:

M1 / A1 is the principal coastal route through New South Wales, and forms part of the circumferential route around Australia.

The route varies greatly along its length and includes sections of rural highway, urban arterial road, divided rural highway and also motorway. The route also features several tunnels, located in the inner east, inner south and lower northern suburbs of Sydney and at Yelgun and Tweed Heads, at the northern end of the route in NSW. The route passes through forest, rural, residential, commercial and industrial areas.

The Gore Hill Freeway was constructed along a narrow corridor on Sydney's lower north shore. It's 3.1 kilometres in length and links the Warringah Freeway at Naremburn with the Lane Cove Tunnel at Lane Cove. Originally the freeway linked with Epping Road. During construction 70 000 trees were used in the landscaping, more than was removed to build the freeway. 2

The Pacific Highway section of A1 runs between Brunswick Heads and Hexham, and also between Wahroonga and the Gore Hill Freeway at Artarmon. The northern section between Brunswick Heads and Hexham is a mix of dual carriageway, rural highway and urban arterial roadway. The southern section between Wahroonga and Artarmon is urban arterial standard and passes through one of Sydney's more affluent areas.

The highway traces its origins back to an early settler, George Peat, who owned the land between the Hawkesbury River and Mooney Mooney Creek. To provide access to his property, Peat began a ferry service across the Hawkesbury River in 1844 and surveyed, then constructed a road between Hornsby and Kariong in 1854. After his death in 1870, the ferry service was abandoned and the road fell into disrepair, finally closing to all traffic in 1899, following the completion of the Sydney-Newcastle railway.

Demand for a route between Sydney and Newcastle dates back to the early 20th century. When the only access was via the sea or via a long route through the town of Wiseman's Ferry. In the 1920s, the then Main Roads Board undertook a series of surveys to form an easier and more reliable route north from Sydney. In 1928 construction began on upgrading the old road and converting it to a modern standard, plus creating a new route north, utilising some of the abandoned Peat's Ferry Rd, while improving the horizontal and vertical alignments. In May 1930 the ferry service across the Hawkesbury River was re-established to service the new road until such times that a bridge became necessary. June 1930 marked the completion of the concrete surfacing.

During the time of the Hornsby to Gosford contruction, improvements were made to roads between Gosford to Newcastle as part of the link. On May 17 in 1929, the route was named as the Great Northern Highway. The work from Hornsby to Gosford cost almost £1 million, however it was money well spent, reducing the trip from Sydney to Newcastle from 9 hours to 4 ½ hours.

Built during the 1960s, the Warringah Freeway consists of a series of close interchanges and a large number of lanes, very reminiscent of some US freeways, and connects the Gore Hill Freeway with the Sydney Harbour Tunnel (and also the Sydney Harbour Bridge).

Formerly known as the Warringah Expressway, this section of M1 is one of Sydney's grander road engineering feats. It was originally designed to head through Sydney's north shore to the northern beaches.

The original plan for the Warringah Freeway was to have head north at Willoughby Road, through the SCEGGS playing fields, through Castlecrag and cross Middle Harbour at Sugarloaf Point / Pickering Point. From there it would continue north along the Wakehurst Pkwy. There was an EIS comissioned in 1963 for an interchange at Warringah Road & Wakehurst Parkway. There was also to be two spurs from Pickering Point into Balgowlah and another along Burnt Bridge Creek to join Condamine Street near Kenneth Road.

The Warringah Freeway also features adjustable lanes depending on traffic requirements. The western middle carriageway, which is usually northbound, becomes southbound during the morning peak (from 05:30 - 09:30). The time the change back occurs, depends on different traffic conditions. The eastern middle carriageway used to become northbound in the afternoon peak prior to 1987. This changed when construction of the Sydney Harbour Tunnel began. Because of the tunnel approach, this carriageway is now permanently southbound only.

Multiplexes along the route include:


Sydney to Wahroonga   Wahroonga To Sydney
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Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign one Pacific Hwy (A1) at Chatswood, approaching Fullers Rd (A38), January 2017. The A38 duplex starts at this junction.

Image © Spenser Tan

  Railway Street:
ID sign at the corner of Pacific Hwy (A1) and Railway St, Chatswood, January 2017.

Image © Spenser Tan

Reassurance Directional Sign:
Distance sign at Chatswood, after Fullers Rd (A38), January 2017.

Image © Spenser Tan

  Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign one Pacific Hwy (A1) at Chatswood, approaching Fullers Rd (A38), January 2017. The A38 duplex ends at this junction.

Image © Spenser Tan

      Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign on Mowbray Road approaching Pacific Highway (A1) at Chatswood, January 2017.

Image © Spenser Tan

Click here for the continuation of the route as Pacific Motorway (M1) between Somersby and Wahroonga
Click here for Princes Motorway & Mount Ousley Road (M1) between Waterfall and Gwynneville

1 Roads & Maritime Services.
2 City of Sydney.
3 Roads & Maritime Services.
4 NSW Parliament.
5 North Sydney Council.
6 Home Traders Real Estate.

Last updated: 20-Feb-2017 12:51

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