Road Photos & Information: New South Wales
  Silver City Highway (National Route 79) (Decommissioned)


Route Numbering:

General Information:

The Silver City Highway is the western most highway in NSW running north/south for 660 km. Over half of the highway is sealed in areas that get the most use. 2 The Silver City Highway then continues from Broken Hill, unnumbered, to the Queensland border at Warri Gate.

The country passed through by the Silver City Highway is of a generally arid nature. 3

The name "Silver City Highway" was given to the road for the reason that its primary purpose is to connect the city of Broken Hill with points north and south and to serve the great silver-lead industry of the area. The road has a wider significance from an Australian point of view, as it connects directly with the road systems of Victoria and Western Queensland. At Broken Hill it intersects the Barrier Highway which, some 30 miles to the west, connects with the South Australian road system. In effect therefore, the Silver City Highway serves to connect the road systems of four of the States of the Commonwealth, and because of this, consideration was given, at one stage, to naming it the "Four States Highway". 4

At its southern end, National Route 79 was signposted in 2 different directions. At Curlwaa, signs reported NR79 travelling south via Calder Highway to the Abbotsford Bridge over the Murray River into Victoria to connect with Calder Hwy (A79), but the signs also reported NR79 travelling from Curlwaa to Buronga to meet the Sturt Hwy (NH20), as such both alignments are shown on this page as there are no clear maps or descriptions available to confirm which alignment is the correct one, including GIS data. Given that NR79 joins A79 at the Victoria border at Curlwaa, and there was no duplex of NR79 along NH20, it can be assumed that the signage between Curlwaa and Buronga is incorrect.

Multiplexes along the route include:


1 Roads & Traffic Authority, Schedule of Classified Roads (and unclassified Regional Roads), Version 2009/2, 20 February 2009
2 Broken Hill City Council, About The City, Accessibility
3 The Roadmakers, A History of Main Roads in New South Wales, ISBN 0724004394, page 236,1976
4 Department of Main Roads, Historical Roads of New South Wales, Silver City Highway, an extract from Main Roads, September 1962
5 Western Herald, Silver City Highway Construction, Page 5, 22 November 1968
6 Government Gazette, Issue 145, 12 November 1976

Last updated: 12-Sep-2020 10:29

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