World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Pacific Highway (Australia)

Pacific Highway
Queensland – New South Wales
General information
Type Highway
Length 960 km (597 mi)
Route number(s)
route number
Only former and current NSW sections included[1]
Major junctions
Brisbane to Mayfield West
North end North Quay Brisbane
South end Industrial Drive
Newcastle West to Tuggerah then Ourimbah to Wyoming
NE end Stewart Avenue/Hunter Street
SW end Mann Street
Kariong to North Sydney
North end Pacific Motorway
Central Coast Highway
South end Warringah Freeway, North Sydney, Sydney
Major settlements
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Highways in Queensland
Highways in New South Wales

The Pacific Highway is a major transport route along the central east coast of Australia, with the majority of it being part of Australia's national route 1.

It is 960 kilometres (600 mi) long and links Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, to Brisbane, the capital of Queensland, approximately paralleling the Pacific Ocean coast, via Gosford, Newcastle, Taree, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Ballina, and the Gold Coast. One of the busiest highways in Australia, it is in the process of being upgraded to a dual carriageway (minimum 4 lane) divided road. As at November 2014, 71.8% of the route is motorway or dual carriageway, 10.7% is in the process of being constructed to motorway/dual carriageway and 17.5% is single carriageway.[7] The Australian and NSW governments have announced the intention to upgrade the remaining 17.5% (168 km (104 mi)) of the highway to dual carriageway by 2019.


  • History 1
    • Former highway sections 1.1
  • Current status 2
    • 1996 upgrade masterplan 2.1
    • Projects 2.2
    • Funding Issues 2.3
  • Safety 3
  • Route description 4
  • Speed limits (south to north) 5
  • Cities, towns and major river crossings 6
    • Gosford 6.1
    • Newcastle 6.2
    • Bulahdelah 6.3
    • Taree 6.4
    • Port Macquarie 6.5
    • Kempsey 6.6
    • Coffs Harbour 6.7
    • Grafton 6.8
    • Ballina 6.9
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Initially, the primary mode of transport of the coastal areas between Sydney and Brisbane was by boat. From the roads radiating out from the port towns, the intervening hills were eventually crossed to create a continuous route along the coast, but this did not occur until the first decade of the 20th century. By contrast a continuous inland route from Newcastle to Brisbane via the tablelands had been in existence since the 1840s. A direct coastal route between Sydney and Newcastle was not completed until 1930, and completion of the sealing of the Pacific Highway did not occur until 1958 (at Koorainghat, south of Taree). The last of the many ferries across the coastal rivers was not superseded by a bridge until 1966 (the Harwood Bridge across the south channel of the Clarence River – the north channel had been bridged in 1931).

Shark Creek bridge near Maclean, formerly part of the Pacific Hwy

In 1928 the road from Sydney to Newcastle (still under construction) was proclaimed as part of the Great Northern Highway, and the road from Hexham to Tweed Heads as the North Coast Highway. In 1931 the full length from Sydney to Brisbane was proclaimed as the Pacific Highway.

Until the 1990s most road freight between Sydney and Brisbane passed along the New England Highway instead, due to the easier topography of the Northern Tablelands it traverses. Between 1950 and 1967, traffic on the Pacific Highway quadrupled due to the attraction of coastal towns between Sydney and Brisbane for retirement living and tourism.

Two major coach accidents on the Pacific Highway in 1989 near Grafton (in which 20 people died) and at Clybucca near Kempsey (in which 35 people died) resulted in a public outcry over the poor quality of the road and its high fatality rate.[8] The Pacific Highway was never part of the Federally funded system of National Highways. This appears to be because when the Commonwealth funding of the 'national highway' system began in 1974, the longer New England Highway was chosen rather than the Pacific Highway as the Sydney–Brisbane link due to its easier topography and consequent lower upgrade costs.

Yet the highway was undeniably heavily used by interstate traffic and its upgrade was beyond the resources of the New South Wales Government alone. The NSW Government and the Commonwealth Government argued for years about how the responsibility for funding the highway's upgrade should be divided between themselves, only coming up with a mutually acceptable upgrade package just after the 1996/97 financial year.

Former highway sections

Pacific Highway used to be an undivided road from Sydney to Brisbane when it was first proclaimed. Now it is made up of 4 divided sections.[9]

Before the Central Coast Highway was proclaimed, one of the sections from Ourimbah to Sydney were undivided. When a part of the highway (Kariong to Gosford section) was converted to Central Coast Highway, this section is split into 2: Kariong to Sydney, and Ourimbah to Wyoming. The short section from Gosford to Wyoming was renamed as Mann Street.

Even though these sections are not gazetted as the highway anymore, maps continue to show both the current road name and "Pacific Highway" together.

Current status

The overview of the Pacific Highway between Sydney and Brisbane:

  • Brisbane to Tweed Heads - Completely replaced by the Pacific Motorway
  • Tweed Heads to Ballina - Progressively being converted to freeway standards (with Ewingsdale to Tweed Heads now part of the Pacific Motorway), as part of the 1996 Upgrade Masterplan.
  • Ballina to Hexham - Progressively being converted to dual carriageway or freeway standards, as part of the 1996 Upgrade Masterplan.
  • Hexham to Wahroonga - replaced by the Pacific Motorway (also known as the Sydney–Newcastle Freeway and the F3 Freeway) as the national route between Wahroonga and Beresfield in sections between 1965 and 1993.
  • Wahroonga to Sydney CBD - divided metropolitan road, with Metroad route substituting the national route, the route via Hills Motorway and Pennant Hills Road as an alternative.

1996 upgrade masterplan

Single carriageway sections from Tweed Heads to Hexham are progressively being converted to freeway or dual carriageway standards. These are currently being upgraded as part of a joint New South Wales and Commonwealth funding arrangement and upgrade masterplan commencing in 1996. At the time, the plan targeted to have the Pacific Highway upgraded to dual carriageway by 2016. With the target unlikely to be reached, the current strategy has assigned 3 levels of priority to the remaining road:[10]

  • Priority 1: Tweed Heads to Ballina, Port Macquarie to Hexham, Woolgoolga to Raleigh
  • Priority 2: Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie
  • Priority 3: Ballina to Woolgoolga

In the meantime, numerous sections of existing single carriageway road have been upgraded by re-alignments and safety improvement work including the addition of overtaking lanes, pavement widening and median barriers. Most large towns have bypasses of a freeway standard, with Coffs Harbour and Grafton being important remainders. Overall the highway has become safer and travelling times have been substantially reduced, particularly during holiday periods. About 40% of the Pacific Highway from Tweed Heads to Hexham remains one lane in each direction with some form of overtaking opportunity occasionally (or three lanes undivided on occasions), 60% (397 km) is dual carriageway and a further 23% (149 km) of dual carriageway is under construction.[10] Continuous dual carriageway, much of it freeway standard, now extends from Mayfield West to the Oxley Highway interchange at Port Macquarie.

As of 1 February 2014 the status of four lane dual carriageway on the highway was:[11]

Four lane dual carriageway status
Section Total length (km) 4-lane divided highway (km)
Current Completion Current Under
Tweed Heads to Ballina (Bruxner Hwy)
including part of Pacific Motorway
90.5 88.5 70.5 17 0
Ballina to Coffs Harbour 206.5 198.5 29.5 22 155
Coffs Harbour to Port Macquarie (Oxley Hwy) 151 146 36 48.5 57.4
Port Macquarie to Mayfield West 221 223 220 0 18
Totals 666 653 375 87.5 247.4


List of projects on the Pacific Highway
Project Length (km) Construction dates Value Status Description Distance from
Sydney (km)
Start End
Tugun Bypass 7 June 2006[12] 3 June 2008[12] $543 million[12] Complete Part of the Pacific Motorway, partly in Queensland 823
Banora Point 2.5[13] December 2009[13] 22 September 2012[13] $359 million[13] Complete Part of the Pacific Motorway 817
Chinderah Bypass 5.8[14] 1993[15] 29 November 1996[14] $67 million[14] Complete Part of the Pacific Motorway 812
Yelgun to Chinderah 28.6[16] May 2000[16] 6 August 2002[16] $348 million[16] Complete Part of the Pacific Motorway, includes 3 interchanges 784
Brunswick Heads Bypass (stage 1) 3.4[17] 12 September 1996[17] 5 June 1998[17] $17 million[17] Complete Part of the Pacific Motorway, first 2 lanes 774
Brunswick Heads to Yelgun 8.6[18] July 2005[15] 11 July 2007[18] $219 million[19] Complete Part of the Pacific Motorway, duplication 777
Tandy's Lane realignment 5.5[20] October 1999[21] 19 December 2001[22] $44 million[21] Complete Part of the Pacific Motorway 773
Ewingsdale to Tyagarah realignment 4.3[23] Late 1996[22] 16 October 1998[23] $22 million[23] Complete Part of the Pacific Motorway 765
Ewingsdale interchange 1.9[24] February 1999[24] 20 December 2000[24] $22.5 million[24] Complete Part of the Pacific Motorway 764
Tintenbar to Ewingsdale 17[25] May 2012[25] Late 2015 (est.)[25] $862 million[25] Under Construction Four lane motorway (limited access), new alignment, 110 km/h speed limit, twin-tube road tunnel under St Helena Hill. 749
Ballina Bypass 12[26] May 2008[26] 28 April 2012[26] $640 million[26] Complete New alignment 737
Pimlico to Teven 2.3[27] November 2013[27] Mid 2016 (est.)[27] $92 million[27] Under construction Duplication, rebuilding of old carriageway, to be completed as part of Woolgoolga to Ballina project 733
Devils Pulpit 7.3[28] December 2011[28] 20 March 2014[28] $77 million[28] Complete Four lanes, partly new alignment 678
Glenugie upgrade 2.5[29] 2010 9 February 2012[29] $60 million[29] Complete Four lanes, partly new alignment 590
Halfway Creek 3.4[30] Late 2002[31] June 2004 TBA Complete Partly new alignment 583
Woolgoolga to Ballina 155[32] Early 2015 (est.)[33] 2020 $565 milion[34] Early Works Duplication of existing highway with a major realignment of the existing Pacific Highway between Kangaroo Trail Road and Range Road. 561
Sapphire to Woolgoolga 25[35] August 2010[35] 30 July 2014[36] $850 million[35] Complete (10 km Woolgoolga bypass opened to traffic on 16 December 2013) Four lane divided highway, new alignment 535
Korora Hill Reconstruction 1.5[37] January 1997[37] 15 December 1997[37] $6 million[37] Complete Duplication and reconstruction 533
Coffs Harbour Bypass 12[38] TBA TBA TBA In planning four lane freeway with 3 interchanges, new alignment 524
Lyons Rd to Englands Rd 5.3[39] October 1997[40] 25 May 2001[40] $73m[41] Complete Duplication and reconstruction 520
Bonville upgrade 9.6[42] November 2006[43] 16 September 2008[43] $245m[42] Complete Duplication and reconstruction, covered tunnel for koalas 514
Raleigh Deviation 8[44] January 1995[44] 24 September 1998[44] $72m[44] Complete Duplication and reconstruction 506
Nambucca Heads to Urunga 22[45] November 2013[46] End 2016 (est.)[46] $780 million[45] Under construction Four lane limited access freeway, 110 km/h, 3 interchanges 484
Warrell Creek to Nambucca Heads 20[10] December 2014[10] 2017 (est.)[46] $830 million[10] Under construction Four lane limited access freeway, 110 km/h, 2 interchanges, including bypasses of Warrell Creek, Macksville and Bellwood 464
Eungai Duplication 4.2[47] January 1998[44] March 1999[44] $15m[47] Complete Duplication of first carriageway, which was opened on 23 February 1994[48] 455
Frederickton to Eungai 26.5[49] August 2013[49] 2016 (est.)[49] $675 million Under construction Four lane divided highway 427
Kempsey Bypass 14.5[50] June 2010[50] 27 March 2013[50] $618 million[50] Complete Dual carriageway freeway with 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) bridge over Macleay River, New alignment 413
Kundabung to Kempsey 14[10] November 2014[10] 2017(est.)[10] $230 million[10] Under Construction Upgrade of current road to four lanes, partially limited-access 398
Oxley Highway to Kundabung[10] 23[10] October 2014[10] 2017(est.)[10] $820 million[10] Under Construction Four lane divided road (freeway south of Telegraph Point interchange), bridges over the Hastings and Wilson rivers, 2 interchanges. 373
Herons Creek Deviation Duplication 14[51] November 1997[52] 3 July 1998[51] $19m[51] Complete Duplication of the first carriageway, which was opened in 2 stages: the northern stage from Ryans Road to the Oxley Highway in December 1990 and the southern stage in November 1993.[51] 359
Herons Creek to Stills Road Upgrade 3.5[53] March 2011[53] 25 October 2013[54] $60m[53] Complete Replacement of substandard carriageway (part of the old highway) to raise the road to freeway standard. 356
Coopernook to Herons Creek 33[55] November 2007[55] 23 July 2010[55] $555m[56] Complete Upgrade of highway to four lanes including a western bypass of Moorland, Johns River and an eastern bypass of Kew. 325
Coopernook Bypass 4.2[57] February 2004[58] 22 March 2006[57] $44m[58] Complete Four lane bypass. 321
Taree to Coopernook 7.5[59] November 2001[58] 4 August 2005[59] $59m[59] Complete Upgrade to four lanes, two new bridges over Ghinni Ghinni Creek and two cattle underpasses. Some upgrading, including fout-lane sections had commenced in September 1996 and was completed in 1998. 312
Taree Bypass 14.5[60] July 1993 (first carriageway)[61] 14 December 1997 (first carriageway); 12 April 2000 (second carriageway)[61] $126m[62] Complete Four lane highway, new alignment 303
Possum Brush to Taree 17[63] 1990[63] 19 August 1991 (Possum Brush Deviation); May 1993 (Rainbow Flat Deviation)[63] TBA Complete Four lane highway, old road used for northbound carriageway between Failford Road and Bonvale Close, planned to be replaced as part of Failford Road to Tritton Road upgrade 294
Failford Road to Tritton Road upgrade 3[64] TBA TBA TBA In planning New carriageway and interchange with Failford Road 293
Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush 9.7[65] September 2004[66] 4 November 2006[67] $115m[67] Complete Four lanes generally along old alignment, including upgrade of existing Nabiac bypass, new interchange and bridges. 277
Wang Wauk to Bundacree Creek 4.8[68] August 1997[68] 10 December 1998[68] $21m[68] Complete Four lanes generally along old alignment. 272
Coolongolook to Wang Wauk 11.7[69] December 1999[70] 29 July 2001[69] $49m[71] Complete Four lanes generally along old alignment, 80 km/h zone through Coolongolook. 263
Bulahdelah to Coolongolook 23[72] April 1997[70] 27 October 1999[70] $130m[71] Complete Four lanes freeway on new alignment. Replaces the original winding highway which is now called Wootton way. 236
Bulahdelah upgrade 8.6[73] August 2010[73] 27 June 2013[73] $315 million[73] Complete Four lane highway, new alignment 232
Karuah to Bulahdelah 11 (section 1),[74] 23 (section 2 and 3)[75] June 2005 (section 1)[76] February 2007 (sections 2 and 3) 15 December 2006 (section 1),[76] 2 October 2009 (sections 2 and 3)[76] $114m (section 1),[74] - (sections 2 and 3) Complete Four lane highway (section 1 from Karuah to 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) north of Myall Way and sections 2 and 3 further north) 193
Karuah bypass 9.8[77] June 2002[78] 22 September 2004[79] $117m[78] Complete Four lane freeway, bridge over Karuah River and interchanges at either end. 187
Raymond Terrace to Karuah 18[80] August 1998[80] 1 December 2000[80] $86m[80] Complete Four lane highway, consisting of new 2-lane northbound carriageway and upgrade of old road as southbound carriageway 165
Raymond Terrace Bypass 7.6[81] November 1993[81] 17 December 1998[81] $78m[81] Complete Four lane freeway, including 1 interchange and pairs of bridges at three other places 162

North of the Oxley Highway there are dual carriageway sections from Kempsey South to Frederickton (Kempsey Bypass),[50] Eungai-Warrell Creek, North Urunga to Coffs Harbour, the Coffs Harbour urban area (not freeway standard – but still 4 lanes), the Ballina bypass and short sections at Halfway Creek and Glenugie.

Environmental impact assessments have been completed for the following future projects: Warrell Creek to Urunga upgrade,[82] Oxley Highway to Kempsey.[83]

Preferred routes have been selected for the following future projects: Woodburn to Ballina Upgrade, Wells Crossing to Iluka Road,[84]

Funding Issues

Project sign for the now completed Ballina Bypass

In 2007 mounting pressure was place on the Federal Government to provide additional funding for the highway. On 10 October 2007 the Federal Minister for Transport and Regional Services pledged $2.4 billion in funding for the highway, subject to dollar for dollar funding by the NSW state government. However, the NSW state government refused to match funding. In the lead up to the 2007 Federal election, then opposition leader Kevin Rudd pledged $1.5 billion in funding.[85] As part of Auslink 2 (Nation Building Program), the Federal Govt announced in its 2009 Federal budget that $3.1 billion would be spent on the highway up until 2014[86] at which time just 63% of the highway would be duplicated.[87] The NSW Government will spend just $500 million over that same period, with $300 million cut as a result of the 2008 mini budget.[88][89]

The upgrading of the Pacific Highway is occasionally a subject of political contention. Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has claimed that "much of our transport funding has gone into the Pacific Highway in response to a very powerful lobby that comes from the trucking industry".[90] On the other hand, journalist Miranda Devine has charged that "Pacific Highway construction has been bogged down and delayed by absurd bureaucratic processes, mostly to do with trivial environmental and heritage concerns".[91]

From time to time, there are proposals in the media for the private sector to build a fully controlled-access high-speed tollway between Newcastle and the Queensland border, possibly using the BOT system of infrastructure provision. Nothing has eventuated from these proposals.[92]


Hunter River bridge, Pacific Highway, Hexham, New South Wales is the largest of few surviving lift span bridges in NSW, still in working order.

The Pacific Highway is one of the most dangerous and deadly stretches of road in Australia. Between 1995 and 2009, over 400 people died on the highway. In 1989, two separate bus crashes, the Grafton bus crash (in which 20 people died) and the Kempsey bus crash (in which 35 died), led to the deaths of 55 people on the highway, two of the worst road accidents in Australia's history.[93] In 2010, 38 people died on the Pacific Highway, and in 2011, 25 people.[94] Over the past 15 years, the New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority reports that about 1,200 people have been injured each year.[94]

Much of the danger of the Pacific Highway lies in the fact that it contains long stretches of undivided road along which all types of vehicles, including private automobiles, buses, vans and trucks, simultaneously travel at speeds approaching and in excess of 100 km/h. The undivided sections carry a high risk of head-on collisions. After the 1989 crashes, the investigating coroner, Kevin Waller, recommended that the highway be fully divided along its entire length, but only 51% had been divided by 2012.[95] Motorists surveyed by the National Roads and Motorists' Association voted the Pacific Highway the worst road in New South Wales in 2012.[96]

Route description

Map of Pacific Highway route from Sydney to Brisbane.

  Pacific Hwy
  Other major highways
  Other freeways/motorways/expressways
From the hill, showing the Chinderah-Yelgun section of the highway as it sweeps through the Tweed Valley.

From Sydney the Pacific Highway starts as the continuation of the Bradfield Highway at the northern end of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, immediately north of the Sydney Central Business District and is the main route as far as the suburb of Wahroonga. From the Harbour Bridge to the Gore Hill Freeway at Artarmon it has no route number and from the Gore Hill Freeway to Wahroonga it is designated as A1.

From Wahroonga, the Pacific Highway is mostly parallel to the freeway until Kariong (at which point it diverts into the Central Coast through Gosford and Wyong). The section of the highway from Cowan to Kariong follows a scenic winding route with varying speed limits, typically 60 or 70 km/h (37 or 43 mph). This section was damaged quite severely during severe weather in June 2007. Five people died when a bridge over Piles Creek collapsed and the entire section was closed due to subsidence 2 km (1.2 mi) further south. The road was reopened in 2009 when the Holt-Bragg Bridge was opened, named after the family that had perished.

Between 1925 and 1930 the then-Main Roads Board reconstructed a route between Kariong above Gosford, was also required. This new Sydney–Newcastle route via Calga and Gosford was some 80 kilometres (50 mi) shorter than the previous route via Parramatta, McGraths Hill, Maroota, Wisemans Ferry, Wollombi and Cessnock. At first Peats Ferry was reinstituted to cross the Hawkesbury River, with construction of the bridge not beginning until 1938, due to the Great Depression. Due to the onset of World War II, the Peats Ferry Bridge was not completed until May 1945.

The section of what was formerly the Pacific Highway from the Wiseman's Ferry Road junction at Somersby, through to the Pacific Hwy exit at Gosford (adjacent to Brian McGowan Bridge), has been rebadged as the Central Coast Highway with the route number A49. Then the highway continues north without a route number through the Central Coast suburbs of Ourimbah and Wyong as a regional route before meeting with a spur of the Pacific Motorway near Doyalson numbered as "A43". At this point the Pacific Highway becomes "A43" for most of its length, and is a four-lane regional highway passing Lake Macquarie and on through the suburbs of the cities of Lake Macquarie and Newcastle before rejoining national route 1 at Hexham.

From Bennetts Green to Sandgate it is supplemented by the Newcastle Inner City Bypass, through New Lambton and Jesmond. Two lengths of this route (Bennetts Green-Kotara Heights and Jesmond-Sandgate) have been replaced by freeway.

From Hexham, the Pacific Highway (A1) passes up the NSW north coast to Ewingsdale, where it becomes the Pacific Motorway (M1).

Speed limits (south to north)

Road distances (in kilometres) of towns and cities along the Pacific Highway from Sydney. Town names in brackets are bypassed.
Northern Portal of St Helena Tunnel (Under construction as at 23 Feb 2014), part of the Tintenbar to Ewingsdale Project.
Completed upgrade at Bulahdelah

Hexham to Port Macquarie

  • Hexham bridges – 80 km/h northbound / 60 km/h southbound
  • Hexham bridges to Motto Farm – 80 km/h
  • Motto Farm to Masonite Road roundabout – 70 km/h
  • Masonite Road roundabout to just south of Italia Road intersection – 110 km/h
  • Just south of Italia Road intersection to Medowie Road – 100 km/h northbound / 110 km/h southbound
  • Medowie Road to 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) east of the Bucketts Way at-grade intersection – 100 km/h
  • 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) east of the Bucketts Way at-grade intersection to Wootton Way (North) – 110 km/h
  • Wootton Way (North) to Coolongnook – 100 km/h
  • Coolongolook town area – 80 km/h
  • Coolongolook to Possum Brush – 100 km/h (in-between Failford Road and Tritton Road, northbound only – 90 km/h)
  • Possum Brush to just north of Cundletown Interchange – 110 km/h
  • Just north of Cundletown Interchange to just north of Herons Creek – 100 km/h
  • Just north of Herons Creek to Oxley Hwy Interchange (Port Macquarie exit) – 110 km/h

Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour

  • Oxley Hwy Interchange to Hastings River Bridge – 100 km/h
  • Hastings River Drive intersection & Hastings River Bridge – 80 km/h
  • Hastings River Bridge to South Kempsey – 100 km/h (fixed speed camera near Kundabung)
  • South Kempsey to Frederickton – 100 km/h (Kempsey Bypass)
  • Frederickton to Macksville – 100 km/h (40 km/h school zone at Bellimbopinni, many bends at Warrell Creek)
  • Macksville town area – 50 km/h (Sharp bend, narrow bridge and traffic light. Fixed speed camera just north of the bridge)
  • Macksville to Nambucca Heads – 100 km/h (fixed speed camera 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) south of Nambucca Heads)
  • Nambucca Heads town area – 60 km/h
  • Nambucca Heads to Valla Beach – 100 km/h
  • Valla Beach to Urunga – 70 km/h (fixed speed camera near Hungry Head turnoff)
  • Urunga town area – 50 km/h (fixed speed camera)
  • Urunga to Boambee – 110 km/h
  • Boambee to Coffs Harbour – 100 km/h

Coffs Harbour to Ballina

  • Coffs Harbour town area – 60 km/h (approx 12 traffic lights, heavy traffic area)
  • Coffs Harbour to Sapphire Beach – 80 km/h (fixed speed camera at Korora)
  • Sapphire Beach to Arrawarra – 110 km/h
  • Arrawarra to Grafton – 100 km/h (Kangaroos 5 to 20 kilometres (12 mi) south of Grafton, Horses near Corindi, 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) divided road at Halfway creek)
  • Grafton town area – 60 km/h (Centenary Drive or High Level Bypass – 80 km/h)
  • Grafton to Ulmarra – 100 km/h
  • Ulmarra town area – 50 km/h (School Zone 40 km/h, sharp curves)
  • Ulmarra to Tyndale - 100 km/h
  • Tyndale town area - 80 km/h
  • Tyndale to Clarence River Bridge (Maclean) – 100 km/h
  • Clarence River Bridge – 80 km/h (fixed speed camera, opening bridge)
  • Clarence River Bridge (Harwood Island) to Woodburn – 100 km/h (25 km of kangaroo zone)
  • Woodburn town area – 50 km/h (fixed speed camera at northern end of town)
  • Woodburn to Broadwater – 100 km/h
  • Broadwater town area – 50 km/h
  • Broadwater to Wardell – 100 km/h
  • Wardell town area (including Richmond River Bridge) – 80 km/h (fixed speed camera at northern edge of Wardell)
  • Wardell to Pimlico Road – 100 km/h
  • Pimlico Road to Bruxner Highway Interchange (Ballina exit) – 80 km/h

Ballina to Ewingsdale

  • Bruxner Highway Interchange to Tintenbar – 100 km/h
  • Tintenbar to Knockrow – 80 km/h
  • Knockrow to Newrybar – 80 km/h
  • Newrybar to Bangalow Bypass – 80 km/h
  • Bangalow Bypass to Coolamon Scenic Drive – 90 km/h
  • Coolamon Scenic Drive to Macleods Shoot – 80 km/h
  • Macleods Shoot to Ewingsdale interchange (Byron Bay exit) – 60 km/h (fixed speed camera, 140 m climb/descent)

Continues as Pacific Motorway

Cities, towns and major river crossings

The Pacific Highway passes through some of Australia's fastest growing regions, the NSW's Central Coast and North Coast and also the Brisbane-Gold Coast corridor, with tourism and leisure being the primary economic activity. Hence the traffic is heavy, particularly during holiday seasons, resulting in major congestion. For direct Sydney–Brisbane travel, the New England Highway is preferred as it passes through fewer major towns and carries less local traffic. Another alternate route is via the scenic Bucketts Way and Thunderbolts Way to the Northern Tablelands at Walcha before rejoining the New England Highway at Uralla. This route reduces the distance of the Sydney to Brisbane trip by about 70 kilometres (43 mi).

Major cities and towns along the Pacific Highway include: Gosford, Wyong, Newcastle, Taree, Port Macquarie, Kempsey, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Ballina and Byron Bay, all in New South Wales; and Gold Coast in Queensland.

Major river crossings include the Hawkesbury, Hunter, Myall, Manning, Hastings, Macleay, Nambucca, Bellinger, Clarence, Richmond, Brunswick, and Tweed rivers.


Gosford is the commercial centre of the Central Coast, Australia's ninth largest urban area at the 2001 census. Gosford is located on Brisbane Water which is an inlet off Broken Bay. The Central Coast has a moderate climate, good beaches and pretty bushland areas. It includes popular holiday resorts such as Terrigal, The Entrance and Ettalong Beach. A 50 kilometres (31 mi) section of road between the Pacific Motorway at Kariong, and the Pacific Highway at Doyalson was renamed the Central Coast Highway from 9 August 2006.[97]


Newcastle is the second largest city in New South Wales and is the commercial, administrative and industrial hub of the Hunter Valley, a region with a population of approximately 590,000. Once a major industrial city, it is now an elegant destination full of historic buildings, beaches, interesting sights and cultural activities.


Karuah to Bulahdelah upgrade at Nerong (Completed 2009)

Bulahdelah is about 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Newcastle with a population just over 1,000. Bulahdelah was the last town that is to be bypassed (between Hexham and Port Macquarie). A joint Commonwealth-New South Wales A$315 million initiative was approved in July 2007, and enabled the construction of about 8.6 kilometres (5.3 mi) of four lane divided road with an eastern bypass of the Bulahdelah township.[98] The bypass opened in late 2013. The highway crosses the Myall River just to the east of Bulahdelah.


Taree is a major Mid North Coast town. It is a major service centre and stopover point rather than a tourist destination. Among the attractions apart from forests and waterways is the 'Big Oyster'. The Highway now passes to the east of the town, following the opening of a bypass in December 1997. The highway crosses the Manning River south of Coopernook.

Port Macquarie

Port Macquarie is the major resort on the Mid North Coast. It is located slightly off the Pacific Highway via the Oxley Highway. It was first settled in 1821 and has historic buildings, a museum, nature reserves, surfing beaches, fishing locations and a variety of accommodation. West of Port Macquarie, the Pacific Highway crosses the Hastings River.


Kempsey is a large town located on the Macleay River, approximately halfway between Sydney and the Gold Coast, making it a popular stopping point for people making the journey along the Pacific Highway. Akubra Hats are made in Kempsey and it was the home town of Slim Dusty. The Highway now passes to the east of the town, following the opening of the bypass in March 2013. The highway crosses the Macleay River just to the east of Frederickton.

Coffs Harbour

Pacific Highway in Woolgoolga

Coffs Harbour is the commercial and administrative centre of the Mid North Coast and is the major resort of the NSW North Coast. With a subtropical climate, Coffs Harbour is popular with retirees and tourists. This is evident from its suburban development, more akin to big cities than North Coast towns. It is also famous for its banana plantations, celebrated by 'The Big Banana' tourist destination. Apart from banana growing fishing is important here. The Jetty area of the city includes a marina, a large harbour with an accessible jetty, shops, restaurants and cafes, as well as the Muttonbird Island reserve, famous for its muttonbird population. South is Sawtell, which is a fast-developing coastal resort with attractive beaches and its famous main street with cafes, clubs and shops. To the north of Coffs Harbour is Woolgoolga, which has similar attractions, and a large immigrant Sikh population.

South of Coffs Harbour, near Raleigh, the highway crosses the Bellinger River; while near Macksville, the highway crosses the Nambucca River.


Grafton is a regional city with wide streets, ornamental parks and Victorian buildings, located on the banks of the Clarence River. The city holds a Jacaranda Festival in November when the jacarandas which line almost every street are in full bloom. The highway passes through South Grafton and then continues north along the south bank of the Clarence River for 50 km before crossing it over the Harwood Bridge near Maclean.


Ballina is a major centre on the Far North Coast, attracting large numbers of retirees. It is located among sugarcane plantations at the mouth of the Richmond River. It is also holiday destination. A famous piece of kitsch, "The Big Prawn" advertises Ballina as a desirable fishing spot. Ballina is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia.

The 12.4 kilometres (7.7 mi) long Ballina Bypass was completed and open to traffic from 28 April 2012 at a cost of A$640 million. The northern section of the bypass (Cumbalum Interchange to Ross Lane Interchange) opened in March 2011 while the central section (Teven Road Interchange to Cumbalum Interchange) partially opened in December 2011; with northbound lanes from Teven to Bruxner opened in February 2012.[99]

North of Ballina and south of Ocean Shores, the highway crosses the Brunswick River; and at Ballina the highway crosses the Richmond River.

See also


  1. ^ Highway One – NSW Section, Ozroads Website. Retrieved on 15 May 2013
  2. ^ NSW State Route 111, Ozroads, Retrieved on 1 June 2013.
  3. ^ NSW State Route 83, Ozroads, Retrieved on 1 June 2013.
  4. ^ Metroad 1, Ozroads, Retrieved on 1 June 2013.
  5. ^ NSW State Route 14, Ozroads, Retrieved on 3 June 2013.
  6. ^ Metroad 10, Ozroads, Retrieved on 1 June 2013.
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Pacific Highway Upgrade".  
  9. ^ "Schedule of Classified Roads and Unclassified Regional Roads" (PDF). Roads and Maritime Services. August 2013. p. 4. Retrieved 16 September 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Pacific Highway upgrade: Achievement report June/July 2015" (PDF). Roads and Maritime Services. 2015. p. 2. Retrieved 15 October 2015. 
  11. ^ Roads and Maritime Services (22 January 2014). "Pacific Highway Upgrade". Road Projects. NSW Roads and Maritime Services. Archived from the original on 17 February 2014. Retrieved 3 February 2014. 
  12. ^ a b c "Tugun Bypass project". Queensland Government. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  13. ^ a b c d "Banora Point project".  
  14. ^ a b c "Project Fact Sheet: Chinderah Bypass" (PDF).  
  15. ^ a b "Pacific Highway: Section: Chinderah to Tweed Heads". ozroads. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  16. ^ a b c d "Yelgun to Chinderah (official opening brochure)" (PDF).  
  17. ^ a b c d "Project Fact Sheet: Brunswick Heads Bypass (stage 1)" (PDF).  
  18. ^ a b "Brunswick Heads to Yelgun".  
  19. ^ "Brunswick Heads to Yelgun - Pacific Highway". AbiGroup. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Tandy's Lane".  
  21. ^ a b "Tandy's Lane". Baulderstone. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  22. ^ a b "Pacific Highway: Section: Ewingsdale to Brunswick Heads". ozroads. Retrieved 6 February 2014. 
  23. ^ a b c "Project Fact Sheet: Ewingsdale to Tyagarah" (PDF).  
  24. ^ a b c d "Project Fact Sheet: Ewingsdale interchange" (PDF).  
  25. ^ a b c d "Tintenbar to Ewingsdale".  
  26. ^ a b c d "Ballina bypass".  
  27. ^ a b c d "Pimlico to Teven upgrade".  
  28. ^ a b c d "Devils Pulpit upgrade".  
  29. ^ a b c "Glenugie upgrade".  
  30. ^ "Halfway Creek".  
  31. ^ "Pacific Highway: Section: Halfway Creek". ozroads. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  32. ^ Woolgoolga to Ballina. Roads and Maritime Services
  33. ^ Pacific Highway upgrade continues. The Land
  34. ^ Green Light for The Woolgoolga to Ballina Upgrade. NBN News
  35. ^ a b c "Sapphire to Woolgoolga".  
  36. ^ "Honk, honk". ABC News Coffs Coast. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  37. ^ a b c d "Project Fact Sheet: Korora Hill Reconstruction" (PDF).  
  38. ^ "Coffs Harbour Bypass".  
  39. ^ "Lyons Rd to Englands Rd".  
  40. ^ a b "Pacific Highway: Section: Lyons Rd to Englands Rd". ozroads. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  41. ^ "Lyons Rd to Englands Rd" (PDF).  
  42. ^ a b "Bonville upgrade" (PDF).  
  43. ^ a b "Pacific Highway: Section: Bonville (9-19km south of Coffs Harbour)". ozroads. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  44. ^ a b c d e f "Project Fact Sheet: Raleigh Deviation" (PDF).  
  45. ^ a b "Nambucca Heads to Urunga upgrade".  
  46. ^ a b c Pacific Highway Upgrade. Roads and Maritime Services
  47. ^ a b "Project Fact Sheet: Eungai Duplication" (PDF).  
  48. ^ "Pacific Highway: Section: Eungai Creek/Allgomera Creek". ozroads. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  49. ^ a b c "Frederickton to Eungai".  
  50. ^ a b c d e "Kempsey Bypass".  
  51. ^ a b c d "Project Fact Sheet: Herons Creek Duplication" (PDF).  
  52. ^ "Pacific Highway: Herons Creek to Oxley Highway". ozroads. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  53. ^ a b c "Herons Creek to Stills Road Upgrade".  
  54. ^ [2] Pacific Highway Achievement Report October 2013
  55. ^ a b c "Coopernook to Herons Creek".  
  56. ^ "Kew Bypass opens on Pacific Highway" (Press release). Peter Besseling. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  57. ^ a b "Coopernook Bypass".  
  58. ^ a b c "Pacific Highway: Section: Coopernook". ozroads. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  59. ^ a b c "Taree to Coopernook" (PDF).  
  60. ^ "Taree Bypass".  
  61. ^ a b "Pacific Highway: Section: Taree". ozroads. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  62. ^ "Taree Bypass" (PDF).  
  63. ^ a b c "Pacific Highway: Section: Possum Brush to Taree". ozroads. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  64. ^ "Failford Road to Tritton Road upgrade".  
  65. ^ "Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush".  
  66. ^ "Pacific Highway: Section: Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush". ozroads. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  67. ^ a b "Bundacree Creek to Possum Brush" (PDF).  
  68. ^ a b c d "Wang Wauk to Bundacree Creek" (PDF).  
  69. ^ a b "Coolongolook to Wang Wauk".  
  70. ^ a b c "Pacific Highway: Section: Coolongolook to Wang Wauk River". ozroads. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  71. ^ a b "Coolongolook to Wang Wauk" (PDF).  
  72. ^ "Bulahdelah to Coolongolook" (PDF).  
  73. ^ a b c d "Bulahdelah upgrade".  
  74. ^ a b "Karuah to Bulahdelah section 1" (PDF).  
  75. ^ "Karuah to Bulahdelah sections 2 and 3".  
  76. ^ a b c "Pacific Highway: Section: Karuah to Bulahdelah". ozroads. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  77. ^ "Karuah bypass".  
  78. ^ a b "Pacific Highway: Section: Karuah". ozroads. Retrieved 8 February 2014. 
  79. ^ Peter Phibbs, Alexa Heidrich, Cole Cooney (eds.). "The Karuah Highway: Bypass Economic and Social Impacts: 5 year report".  
  80. ^ a b c d "Raymond Terrace to Karuah Upgrade" (PDF).  
  81. ^ a b c d "Raymond Terrace Bypass" (PDF).  
  82. ^ Warrell Creek to Urunga
  83. ^ Pacific Highway Upgrade – Oxley Highway to Kempsey
  84. ^ Wells Crossing to Iluka Road
  85. ^ "Rudd pledges $1.5b for Pacific Hwy upgrade".  
  86. ^ (12 May 2009). Federal Road Investment Program Steps Up A Gear. Media Release. Minister for Infrastructure and Transport.
  87. ^ "Nation Building program Projects Pacific Highway". Australian Government. Archived from the original on 29 September 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2009. 
  88. ^ "Pacific Highway upgrade". NSW  
  89. ^ Gordon, Josh (8 March 2009). "Pacific Highway to hell". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 29 September 2009. Retrieved 29 September 2009. 
  90. ^ Greens say highway funds a gift to truckies – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). (10 November 2011). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  91. ^ Miranda Devine. Retrieved on 16 July 2013.
  92. ^ Lewis, Steve (28 June 2007). "Drivers hit with more toll roads". 
  93. ^ Belinda Scott (22 December 2009). "Australia's worst crash". The Coffs Coast Advocate (North Coast News). Retrieved 28 July 2012. 
  94. ^ a b Crash statistics < Downloads < NSW Centre for Road Safety < (11 June 2013). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  95. ^
  96. ^ Motorists vote Pacific Highway worst | 2012 Press Releases | NRMA Motoring & Services. Retrieved on 16 July 2013.
  97. ^ Kariong to Doyalson. New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority.
  98. ^ "Bulahdelah upgrade". Pacific Highway Upgrade.  
  99. ^ "Ballina Bypass". Road projects: Pacific Highway upgrade.  

External links

  • Media related to at Wikimedia Commons
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.