Road Photos & Information: New South Wales
Route Number
Pacific Highway, New England Highway, John Renshaw Drive, Southern Freeway, Mount Ousley Road & Princes Highway (National Route 1) (Decommissioned) - Former Alignment: Maclean to South Grafton


Route Numbering:

General Information:

National Route 1 forms part of the main coastal route between Victoria and Queensland. The route features a mix of rural highway, arterial and freeway design standards. The route forms part of what is collectively known as Highway 1. It is Australia's coastal highway joining all mainland's state capitals and coastal towns circumnavigating the entire Australian continent. It is also the longest numbered highway in the world, covering more than 14 500 km.

In New South Wales, National Route 1 was truncated by National Highway 1 between Beresfield and Wahroonga, by Metroad 1 between Wahroonga and Waterfall and by M1 at Tweed Heads West.

Northern Section:

The northern section of National Route 1 took in a small section of New England Highway and the rest was made up by the Pacific Highway. The route varies from dual carriageway arterial and highway standard, to motorway standard and the rest is generally undivided rural highway conditions. The Pacific Highway is very well trafficked, and as a result notorious for a large amount of road trauma within the state. These crashes have resulted in more than 50% of the route being divided since the late 1980s.

The Pacific Highway section of NR1 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.


Pacific Highway:

This page covers the former alignments between Maclean and South Grafton

Preview: Description:
Shark Creek Bridge:
The Shark Creek Bridge at South Arm. Built in 1935, the bow-string arch bridge was the first in Australia (now bypassed by the main road but still retained). 5 The total length of the bridge is 151 feet, comprising two short approach spans and a bow-string girder span of 113 feet. November 2010. 6

Image © Rob Tilley

1 Roads and Traffic Authority, Schedule of Classified Roads and State & Regional Roads, 31 January 2011
2 Main Roads Board, Annual Report, 1929-30
3 Main Roads Board, Annual Report, 1930-31
4 Department of Main Roads, Annual Report, 1933-34
5 RTA Thematic History, 2nd Edition, 2006
6 Department of Main Roads, Annual Report, 1934-35
7 Department of Main Roads, Annual Report, 1951-52
8 Department of Main Roads, Annual Report, 1955-56
9 Department of Main Roads, Annual Report, 1967-68
10 Department of Main Roads, Annual Report, 1968-69
11 Department of Main Roads, Annual Report, 1973-74
12 Department of Main Roads, Annual Report, 1977-78
13 Roads and Maritime Services, Projects, Pacific Highway Upgrade, Coffs Harbour to Ballina, Completed Projects, Tyndale Realignment

Last updated: 19-Jul-2017 6:48

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