Photos & Information: New South Wales
||Oxley Highway (National Route 34) (Decommissioned)
- Length: 654 km
Terminus: Hindman Street and Gordon Street at Port Macquarie
Terminus: Mitchell Highway (NR32) and Nevertire-Bogan Road at Nevertire
- Suburbs, Towns
& Localities Along The Route: Port Macquarie, Wauchope, Yarrowitch, Walcha, Walcha Road, Bendemeer, Moonbi, Kootingal, Nemingha, Tamworth, West Tamworth, Westdale, Somerton, Gunnedah, Mullaley, Coonabarabran, Gilgandra, Collie, Warren and Nevertire
- Road Authority
Internal Classification: HW11, except between Bendemeer and Tamworth (HW9) and between Coonabarabran and Gilgandra (HW17) 1
- Decommissioned: 2013
National Route 34 is a rural highway that connects the coast with western New South Wales. It features several important towns along the route, and also crosses the Great Dividing Range.
The route is mostly single carriageway and undivided, except around Port Macquarie, Moonbi and Tamworth. At its eastern end, the route is quite windy because of the difficult terrain created by the Great Dividing Range, beyond Moonbi, the route generally passes through fairly flat terrain, except in the Coonabarabran area.
The Oxley Highway is named after explorer John Oxley, who was the first European to explore much of inland New South Wales in 1818. He crossed the southern end of the northern tableland and camped on the Apsley River in 1818 near the present Walcha.
Multiplexes along the route include:
- National Highway 15 (New England Highway) for 40 km, from Bendemeer to Tamworth
- National Highway 39 (Newell Highway) for 100 km, from Coonabarabran to Gilgandra
- National Route 37 (Kamilaroi Highway) for 2 km, at Gunnedah
- Tourist Drive 8 for 21 km, from Sancrox to Harty's Plains
- Tourist Drive 21 for 50 km, from Walcha to Bendemeer
- Tourist Drive 25 for 4 km, from Tamworth to West Tamworth
- 18 November 1840: Approval and proclamation of a route between Port Macquarie and the Yarrowitch area. 2
- 1841: Work commences on a road between Walcha and Port Macquarie constructed by convicts. 2
- 1842: First cargo carried along the newly built route. 2
- 9 September 1842: Official opening of the route advertised by the Government Gazette. 2
- 1857: A route from Walcha to the Great North Road (now New England Highway) at Bendemeer appears on maps. 2
- 1867: The Walcha to Bendemeer route surveyed. 2
- 1868: A road between Tamworth and Gunnedah via Carroll surveyed and proclaimed a parish road. 2
- 1869: The Walcha to Bendemeer route is proclaimed as a parish road. 2
- 1879: A survey line completed from Gunnedah to Coonabarabran by surveyor Thomas Goodwin. 2
- 1882: The Thomas Goodwin survey line proclaimed a parish road. 2
- 1890s: Coach route extended from Gilgandra to Collie and Warren, through to the railway line at Nevertire. 2
- 1928: Tobins Creek Deviation between Yarras and Black Hill totalling 21 miles commenced. The Oxley Highway was proclaimed. The highway generally followed the line of existing roads but many sections of the route were soon improved as a result of the proclamation of the highway. 3
- 1929: Work begins on a 5 mile section of road at Yarrowitch. 2
- 1931: The Yarrowitch deviation is completed. 2
- 1932: Work on a 13 mile section of road to complete the link between Yarras and Yarrowitch begins. 2
- 1934: Completion of the Yarras to Yarrowitch roadway. Also work commenced on the Woolbrook to Bendemeer section of the highway. 2
- December 1935: Completion of works between Woolbrook and Bendemeer. 2
- 1951: Western terminus changed from Mitchell Hwy at Trangie to pass through Warren and terminate at Nevertire to provide more direct access to the state's west. 2
- 1969: Bitumous sealing of the route between Walcha and Wauchope. 3
- 1985: Bendemeer bypassed.
- 2001: Realignment of the highway at Bendemeer.
- 2005: Commencement of deviation at Gowang near Wallumburrawang Creek.
- February 2008: Work begins on 6 kilometre dual lane divided road upgrade of the Oxley Highway between Wrights Road and the Pacific Highway at Port Macquarie. 4
1 Roads and Traffic Authority, Schedule of Classified Roads and State & Regional Roads, 31 January 2011
2 Department of Main Roads, Historical Roads of New South Wales, Oxley Highway, Extract from March 1953 issue of "Main Roads" journal.
3 Department of Main Roads, The Roadmakers, A History of Main Roads in New South Wales, ISBN 0 7240 0439 4
4 Roads and Traffic Authority, Oxley Highway upgrade, Community Update, June 2009
Last updated: 10-Sep-2020 17:14
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