Road Photos & Information: New South Wales
  New England Highway (National Highway 15) (Decommissioned)


Route Numbering:

General Information:

National Highway 15 is one the major routes in New South Wales and Queensland. It links the farming regions of NSW to the ports at Newcastle and also to other major roads to Sydney and it's also a link to Brisbane's metropolitan area.

The route consists of single carriageway 2-lane rural highway, through to multi-lane divided sections, and includes two multiplexes: National Route 34, the Oxley Highway, between Tamworth and Bendemeer, and also National Route 38, the Gwydir Highway at Glen Innes.


The New England Highway originally formed part of the Great Northern Road from Sydney via Wiseman's Ferry to the Queensland border (near Mt Lindesay), taking shape as settlement spread northward from the lower Hunter Valley. By 1851 the Great Northern Road had reached the Gap, two miles beyond Murrurundi. In 1858 it was classified as one of three Main Roads in the colony (Great Western and Great Southern) and extended from Morpeth via Maitland, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Scone, Murrurundi and Tamworth, to Armidale, a distance of about 236 miles. Captain Martindale, Chief Railway Commissioner, who was also responsible for roads, stressed the need for bridges as in many cases long circuits had to be made to find a crossing over a stream. In 1860 arrangements were in progress for building 90 culverts and minor bridges and for forming new sections of road, including a new ascent to Murrurundi Gap, which was previously steep with sharp dangerous turns. In 1865 the section of road between Muswellbrook and Murrurundi was metalled and a deviation suggested between Blandford and Murrurundi to skirt the Page River, obviating two bridges, however, such a deviation was never constructed. With the construction of the Northern Railway line from Newcastle, commenced in the 1850s and reaching Murrurundi in 1872, attention was diverted away from roads and sections of the Great Northern Road were in poor condition. Despite the impact of the railway, roads developed steadily and considerable progress was made in the bridging of rivers and creeks. 2

Beresfield to Bendemeer Bendemeer to QLD Border

1 National Library of Australia
2 Roads and Traffic Authority
3 Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government

Last updated: 17-Dec-2019 0:55

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