Road Photos & Information: New South Wales
Bruxner Way - Tenterfield to Boggabilla

Statistics:

Route Numbering:

General Information:

The Bruxner Highway is named after Michael Bruxner, member for Northern Tablelands and Tenterfield from 1920 to 1962, leader of the New South Wales Country Party for almost all that period and Deputy Premier and Minister for Transport from 1932 to 1941. Mr Bruxner grew up in the Tenterfield area.

The Bruxner Highway is the State's most northerly highway from the coast to the interior plains.

The western section from Tenterfield to Boggabilla was never officially signposted as NR44 as planned, as the route was never fully sealed at the western end, however this section is now fully sealed.

History:

The Bruxner Highway west of Tenterfield developed as virtually a separate road from the Ballina-Tenterfield road to the east. However, like the latter, it did not evolve as a single, complete entity, but by a slow process of joining up lengths of different roads into the route of the highway as it is today. 2

Unlike the districts nearer the coast which required good roads for the transportation of the wool clip and attracted many settlers, the western areas remained backward by comparison. The great distances involved in taking wool or farming produce to market set somewhat of a limitation on the distance at which this was profitable. Although some sheep runs were established in the Ashford district and on the lower Macintyre, it became more economical to run cattle which were then driven overland to markets in Brisbane, Maitland and Sydney. The distances were not prohibitive as long as adequate feed and water could be obtained along the way. 2

The first road to the west of Tenterfield appears to be the one included on a map prepared by the Surveyor General's Office for the Post Office Department in 1858. It follows a gradual curving arc from Tenterfield to Ashford and thence to the south. It is likely that from a very early period this road was used to transport the wool clip from the Ashford district which, during the 1850s and 1860s, was the focal point for all the neighbouring stations from as far away as Texas. 2

Bonshaw, and quite likely Texas, had established tracks to Ashford by 1851, as indicated by a map of the Ashford district by Surveyor Galloway. Maidenhead and Mingoola Stations, which in the early days had established headquarters on the Queensland side of the Dumaresq, were quite likely to have been linked by a track which joined the Bonshaw-Ashford track. 2

It is not known exactly when the track from Tenterfield to Mingoola was formed or who formed it, although it is quite likely that since Tenterfield, Clifton and Mingoola Stations were all taken up by S.A. Donaldson and R.R. Mackenzie, they would have played a part in its early development. In 1878 the Government provided 750 pounds for expenditure on the road from "Tenterfield towards Bonshaw" giving the road a rather high Class 3 status (The leading thoroughfares for country districts. Initially the earth or gravel pavement without foundations was favoured. However, by 1878 the roads in this classification had been upgraded to the level of the macadam pavement.) and recording the length of the road as 50 miles. The considerable expense of the road can be attributed to the labour intensive process of breaking up granite blocks to the required size and the cartage of water that was necessary for the cementing action that takes place with the macadam pavement. Granite, while durable and resistant to weathering, was not widely used for this purpose as it is brittle and when crushed does not form shapes that are ideal for mechanical interlock. 2

The Tenterfield-Bonshaw Road carried a small amount of traffic and received little government assistance after completion. Funding for roads came from the government in Sydney up until 1906, with local contributions where possible, which was then distributed by the regional municipal body. It appears likely that the road was constructed to reinvigorate the area, with a view to the arrival of the railway at Tenterfield in 1886, by providing a durable transport route to shift produce to the railhead. However, it was many years before the road came to be used on a regular basis. A plan from 1897 gives a detailed recording of the road reserve and the immediate surrounds. The section of road still existing runs from just south of the bridge marked on the plan to the western boundary shown. 2

Texas and Bonshaw were on the main road to Ashford, the road consisting only of a track. This was one of the main stock routes from the Darling Downs but it is probable that a large amount of traffic went from New South Wales via Texas to Warwick and Brisbane. 2

The present route of the Bruxner Highway closely follows the formation as it existed in the 1880s although it has been reconstructed and realigned in many places to satisfy modern traffic requirements. 2

Tenterfield to Boggabilla Boggabilla to Tenterfield
Preview: Description: Preview: Description:
tn_200704_01_tenterfield_michaelgill.jpg Intersection Directional Sign:
ID sign at the corner of New England Hwy (NH15) and Bruxner Way at Homestead, near Tenterfield, April 2007.

Image © Michael Gill

Distance Sign:
RD sign at Boggabilla, after the Newell Hwy (NH39) junction, July 2009.

Image © Richard Wardle

tn_200704_02_tenterfield_michaelgill.jpg Reassurance Directional Sign:
RD sign after the New England Hwy (NH15) junction at Homestead, near Tenterfield, April 2007.

Image © Michael Gill

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign approaching Tucka Tucka Rd at Boggabilla, July 2009.

Image © Richard Wardle

tn_200501_03_campck_campck-keetahrd.jpg Black Intersection Directional Signs:
Black ID sign assembly at Camp Creek at the junction with Camp Creek-Keetah Rd, January 2005.

Image © Paul Rands

tn_200608_01_boggabilla_michaelgill.jpg Distance Sign:
Reassurance directional sign before the junction with Tucka Tucka Rd (Old Bruxner Hwy) east of Boggabilla, July 2009.

Image © Richard Wardle

tn_200501_04_campck.jpg Yellow Road Markings:
Old pre-1990s yellow road lines at Camp Creek, January 2005.

Image © Paul Rands

tn_200608_02_boggabilla_michaelgill.jpg Black Distance Sign:
Black reassurance directional sign after the junction with Tucka Tucka Rd (Old Bruxner Hwy) east of Boggabilla, August 2006.

Image © Michael Gill

tn_200501_05_yetman.jpg Entering Yetman:
Bruxner Way as it enters the town of Yetman, January 2005.

Image © Paul Rands

tn_200608_03_boggabilla_boggabillard_michaelgill.jpg

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign on Bruxner Way approaching North Star Rd near Boggabilla, August 2006.

Image © Michael Gill

tn_200501_06_yetman_warialdard_sr95.jpg Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign on Bruxner Way in Yetman approaching Warialda Rd (SR95) (Thunderbolts Way), January 2005. Note the incorrect NR shield on the sign.

Image © Paul Rands

tn_200608_04_boggabilla_boggabillard_michaelgill.jpg Intersection Directional Sign:
ID sign on Bruxner Way at the junction with North Star Rd near Boggabilla, August 2006.

Image © Michael Gill

tn_200501_07_yetman_warialdard_sr95.jpg Intersection Directional Sign:
ID sign assembly at the corner of Bruxner Way and Warialda Rd (SR95) (Thunderbolts Way) in Yetman, January 2005. Note the incorrect NR shield on the sign.

Image © Paul Rands

End Sealed Road:
End of sealed road at Boonal, October 2004. The road seal has since been completed.

Image © Jamie Scuglia

tn_200501_20_yetman_warialdard_sr95.jpg Leaving Yetman:
Bruxner Way west of Warialda Rd (SR95) (Thunderbolts Way) as it leaves Yetman, January 2005.

Image © Paul Rands

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign on Bruxner Way in Yetman approaching Warialda Rd (SR95) (Thunderbolts Way), July 2009.

Image © Richard Wardle

    tn_200501_05_yetman_warialdard_sr95.jpg Intersection Directional Sign:
ID sign on Bruxner Way at the junction with Warialda Rd (SR95) (Thunderbolts Way) at Yetman, January 2005.

Image © Paul Rands

Reassurance Directional Sign:
RD sign on Bruxner Way after the junction with Warialda Rd (SR95) (Thunderbolts Way) at Yetman, October 2004.

Image © Jamie Scuglia

tn_200501_07_yetman.jpg Entering Yetman:
Bruxner Way as it enters the town of Yetman, January 2005.

Image © Paul Rands

tn_200501_08_texas_texasbridgerd.jpg Services Sign:
Services sign on Bruxner Way in the NSW part of Texas, approaching Texas Bridge Rd, January 2005.

Image © Paul Rands

tn_200501_09_texas_texasbridgerd.jpg Intersection Directional Sign:
ID sign on Bruxner Way in the NSW part of Texas, facing Texas Bridge Rd, January 2005.

Image © Paul Rands

tn_200802_10_bonshaw_michaelgill.jpg Distance Sign:
RD sign as the Bruxner Way leaves Bonshaw, February 2008.

Image © Michael Gill

tn_200802_11_bonshaw_inverell-bonshawrd_michaelgill.jpg Intersection Directional Sign:
ID sign at Bonshaw facing Inverell-Bonshaw Rd, February 2008.

Image © Michael Gill

tn_200802_12_bonshaw_rockyckrd_michaelgill.jpg Intersection Directional Sign:
ID sign at Bonshaw facing Rocky Creek Rd, February 2008.

Image © Michael Gill

tn_200704_13_homestead_newenglandhwy_nh15_oldballandeanrd_michaelgill.jpg Intersection Directional Sign:
ID sign at Homestead at the junction of Bruxner Way and New England Hwy (NH15), April 2007.

Image © Michael Gill

Click here for the continuation of Bruxner Highway as National Route 44 between Casino and Tenterfield

Casino to Tenterfield Uralba to Casino

1 Schedule of Classified Roads (and unclassified Regional Roads), 25 February 2008
2 The Roadmakers, A History of Main Roads in New South Wales
3 Roads & Traffic Authority, Heritage and Conservation Register, Macadamized Road Bruxner Highway
4 Lismore City Council, History of Lismore, 1950s and 1960s
5 Roads & Traffic Authority, Construction and Maintenance, Regional projects, North Coast, Alstonville Bypass

Last updated: 13-Jul-2019 9:30

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