Road Photos & Information: Queensland
Mulgrave Road, Florence Street, Captain Cook Highway, Kennedy Highway & Gulf Developmental Road (National Route 1)

Statistics:

Route Numbering:

General Information:

National Route 1 is a route connecting Cairns CBD with the Atherton Tablelands and also several small towns in the gulf country.

The route is divided arterial road standard in the Cairns area, before becoming a single carriageway highway, and eventually becoming a single lane wide paved road and then unsealed road further west.

The route passes through commercial, residential, rural and bushland areas, and also passes Cairns Airport.

Captain Cook Highway is named after James Cook (1728–1779). He was an explorer, navigator and cartographer, and was the first Englishman to reach the unexplored eastern coast of Australia, which he chartered and claimed for Great Britain. He did this on board the ship The Endeavour. As part of this trip, which also took in New Zealand, Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, and the coast of South America, Captain Cook surveyed about 3200 km of Australian coast. 3
Captain Cook Highway is used by many tourists to travel to Port Douglas north of Cairns. It's a vital link between two tourist locations. 4
The highway can be divided into three sections; each reflecting a separate era in the development of the area north of Cairns. Cairns to Buchans Point is a major arterial serving the rapidly expanding Marlin Coast and intersects the Kennedy Highway at Smithfield. The countryside is relatively flat and, until recently, was predominantly cane fields. 4
The standard of the road has vastly improved from the earlv davs when it was only a rough track connecting Cairns to the isolated communities of Port Douglas and Mossman. 4
The Kennedy Highway is named after Edmund Kennedy (1818-1848). He was an educated Englishman and a qualified surveyor when he migrated to NSW in 1840. He joined the Surveyor General's Department and became second in charge to Thomas Mitchell the Surveyor General. During the next few years he made several exploratory trips into northwestern Queensland. 5
In 1848 during Mitchell's absence in England he was commissioned by the NSW Government to explore the Cape York Peninsula. Starting from Cardwell, the most northern settlement at the time, his instructions were to explore the eastern coast as far as Albany Bay to re-provision from a ship that was to be sent and then to explore the west coast as far as Gulf of Cape Carpentaria and then travel overland back to Sydney. 5
The name of Kennedy can be found in many places in North Queensland, for example, Kennedy Bay, Kennedy National Park, Kennedy township, Kennedy Creek, Kennedy Hill, Kennedy Highway, and Kennedy Electorate. 5

Multiplexes along the route include:

History:

Cairns to Normanton Normanton To Cairns
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Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign on Florence St approaching Florence St (NR1) and Captain Cook Hwy (NR1) at Cairns, July 2012. Note the missing NR1 shield for straight ahead, and the incorrect Mulgrave Rd name patch.

Image © Terry Siva

Reassurance Directional Sign:
Westernmost NR1 sign, Normanton near Burke Developmental Rd (NR1 / NR83) junction, August 2015.

Image © Richard Wardle

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign on Captain Cook Hwy (NR1) at Cairns North, approaching Airport Av, May 2005.

Image © Rob Tilley

Intersection Directional Sign:
Council ID sign detailing distances to farm properties and localities, corner of Kennedy Hwy (NR1) and Gunnawarra Rd at Mt Garnet, September 2018.

Image © Richard Wardle

Reassurance Directional Sign:
Distance sign at Cairns North, near Lily Creek, May 2005.

Image © Rob Tilley

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign on Captain Cook Hwy (NR1) at Aeroglen approaching Whitfield St and Stratford Connection Rd, May 2005.

Image © Rob Tilley

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign on Captain Cook Hwy (NR1) approaching the roundabout with Machans Beach Rd at Machans Beach, May 2005.

Image © Rob Tilley

Distance Sign:
Reassurance directional sign at Holloways Beach, May 2005.

Image © Rob Tilley

Distance Sign:
RD sign at Smithfield showing both Kennedy Hwy (NR1) and Captain Cook Hwy (SR44) distances, May 2005. NR1 changes from name to Kennedy Hwy beyond the SR44 junction.

Image © Rob Tilley

Distance Sign:
RD sign on Kennedy Hwy (NR1) at Smithfield, after the Captain Cook Hwy (SR44) split, May 2005.

Image © Rob Tilley

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign on Kennedy Hwy (NR1) approaching Byrnes St in Mareeba, May 2005.

Image © Rob Tilley

Distance Sign:
RD sign as Kennedy Hwy (NR1) leaves Mareeba, May 2005.

Image © Rob Tilley

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign near Priors Creek in Atherton, approaching Cook St and Railway Av, May 2005.

Image © Rob Tilley

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign in Atherton approaching Silo Rd and Atherton-Herberton Rd (SR52), May 2005. Note the mixed case text for Silo Rd, it should be in all capitals. The SR52 duplex begins at this junction.

Image © Rob Tilley

Advance Directional Sign:
AD sign on Kennedy Hwy (NR1 / SR52) at Atherton, approaching Gillies Hwy (SR52), May 2005. The SR52 duplex ends at this junction.

Image © Rob Tilley

Distance Sign:
Reassurance directional sign at Innothot Springs, September 2018

Image © Richard Wardle

Intersection Directional Sign:
ID sign assembly facing Gunnawarra Rd at Mt Garnet, September 2018

Image © Richard Wardle

Click here for Bruce Highway (A1)
Click here for the continuation of NR1 as Carpentaria Highway in Northern Territory

1 Sam Laybutt (Ozroads)
2 Department of Transport & Main Roads, Queensland state-controlled roads and region maps, Far North Region: front
3 Michael Humphry, Captain James Cook, November 2001.
4 The Captain Cook Highway 1788-1988, A. Churchward
5 Eacham Historical Society, A Brief Overview of the Kennedy Expedition, 4 June 2005.
6 Queensland Government, Ministerial Media Statements, Kennedy Highway upgrade improves travelling conditions, 14 January 2010
7 Queensland Government, Ministerial Media Statements, Kennedy Highway two laning under way, 5 September 2011
8 Department of Transport and Main Roads, Corporate Profile, Far North Region
9 Department of Transport and Main Roads, Major Works Between Machans Beach Roundabout and Barron River Bridge, 24 February 2012

Last updated: 12:22:30 11/3/2019

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