Federal Highway (Australia)

Last updated

Federal Highway

Australian Capital Territory
Federal Highway, Wollogorang.jpg
Southbound carriageway, at Wollogorang. The median strip at this location is about 200 metres (656 ft) [1] wide and contains pasture.
General information
Type Motorway
Length72.7 km (45.2 mi) [2]
Opened25 February 1931 [3]
Maintained by
Route number(s)
route number
  • Australian national highway 23.svg National Highway 23
  • (1974 — 2013 [within NSW]) [4]
  • Australian national highway ACT 23.svg National Highway 23
  • (1974 — 2013 [within ACT]) [4]
Major junctions
NE end
SW end
Region Southern Tablelands
LGA(s) Goulburn Mulwaree Council, Upper Lachlan Shire, Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, Yass Valley Shire, Australian Capital Territory
Major suburbs / towns Collector, Sutton, Watson , Downer , Lyneham
Highway system

The Federal Highway is a highway in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. It is a part of a motorway standard link between Sydney and Canberra, and is also the main thoroughfare between those cities.

Highway A public road or other public way on land

A highway is any public or private road or other public way on land. It is used for major roads, but also includes other public roads and public tracks: It is not an equivalent term to controlled-access highway, or a translation for autobahn, autoroute, etc.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Australian Capital Territory Federal territory of Australia, containing the capital city, Canberra

The Australian Capital Territory is a federal territory of Australia, located in the south-east of the country and enclaved within the state of New South Wales. It contains Canberra, the capital city of Australia.


The north-eastern end of the Federal Highway is located at its junction with the Hume Highway near the city of Goulburn. It runs 72.7 km (45.2 mi) south west to Canberra, the national capital of Australia, where its south western end is located at the intersection of Northbourne Avenue and the Barton Highway. The Federal Highway passes the villages of Collector and Sutton, as well as skirting the western side of the endorheic basin containing Lake George.

Hume Highway highway in New South Wales and Victoria

The Hume Highway, inclusive of the sections now known as the Hume Freeway and Hume Motorway, is one of Australia's major inter-city national highways, running for 840 kilometres (520 mi) between Melbourne in the southwest and Sydney in the northeast. Upgrading of the route from Sydney's outskirts to Melbourne's outskirts to dual carriageway was completed on 7 August 2013.

Goulburn, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Goulburn is a regional city in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia approximately 195 kilometres (121 mi) south-west of Sydney, Australia, and 90 kilometres (56 mi) north-east of Canberra. It was proclaimed as Australia's first inland city through letters patent by Queen Victoria in 1863. Goulburn had a population of 22,890 at the 2016 census. Goulburn is the seat of Goulburn Mulwaree Council.

Canberra capital city of Australia

Canberra is the capital city of Australia. With a population of 410,301, it is Australia's largest inland city and the eighth-largest city overall. The city is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory, 280 km (170 mi) south-west of Sydney, and 660 km (410 mi) north-east of Melbourne. A resident of Canberra is known as a Canberran. Although Canberra is the capital and seat of government, many federal government ministries have secondary seats in state capital cities, as do the Governor-General and the Prime Minister.

Route description

The Federal Highway is a good motorway standard roadway linking from the Hume Highway at Yarra, southeast of Goulburn, New South Wales; to Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory. It is designated as the M23 between its northern terminus and Sutton, and then as the A23 from there to its southern terminus. The roadway has a continuous 110 km/h (68 mph) speed limit within New South Wales. Within the Australian Capital Territory the posted speed limit is 100 km/h (62 mph) in rural areas and 80 km/h (50 mph) once it enters the urban area of Canberra. The entire length of the roadway is dual carriageway with 2 lanes in each direction. [2] [5]

Yarra, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Yarra is a locality in the Goulburn Mulwaree Council, New South Wales, Australia. It is located about 18 km southwest of Goulburn, 84 km northeast of Canberra and 213 km southwest of Sydney. It lies at the intersection of the Federal Highway and the Hume Highway. At the 2016 census, it had a population of 173. Yarra railway station was a station on the Main Southern railway line from 1875 to the 1970s. A small settlement grew up around the railway station and the Hume Highway, parts of which were demolished during road widening in the 1970s. It had a public school from 1869 to 1970, operating as a "half-time" school until 1873.

Carriageway width of road on which a vehicle is not restricted by any physical barriers

A carriageway or roadway consists of a width of road on which a vehicle is not restricted by any physical barriers or separation to move laterally. A carriageway generally consists of a number of traffic lanes together with any associated shoulder, but may be a sole lane in width.

Junction list

StateLGA / DistrictLocationkm [1] [2] [6] miDestinationsNotes
New South Wales Goulburn Mulwaree Yarra 0.00.0New South Wales alphanumeric route M31.svg Hume Highway [M31] – Sydney, Goulburn, Yass, Gundagai Partial Y-interchange, traffic from the west that is turning south must perform a U-turn north of the interchange.
Highway terminus: continues as Hume Highway both northeast and southwest.
2.61.6Crowthers Lane – No Through Road LILO access to/from southbound carriageway only.
2.91.8Thornford Road – Currawang Modified uncontrolled T-intersection (due to wide median strip at this location)
Wollogorang 8.85.5Wollogorang RoadModified uncontrolled T-intersection (due to wide median strip at this location)
10.46.5Stillwater Road – No Through RoadModified uncontrolled T-intersection (due to wide median strip at this location)
13.38.3Granger Road – No Through Road LILO access to/from southbound carriageway only.
Upper Lachlan Currawang / Collector 19.111.9Baxters Lane – No Through RoadUncontrolled T-intersection
Collector 20.012.4Mays Lane – No Through RoadUncontrolled T-intersection
21.613.4Church Street – Collector Uncontrolled T-intersection
22.113.7Collector Road – Tarago, Athenabacchus WineryUncontrolled T-intersection
23.714.7Collector Road – Collector, Gunning Uncontrolled T-intersection
Queanbeyan-Palerang / Yass Valley Lake George 32.920.4The Vineyards Road – No Through Road – Lake George WineriesUncontrolled T-intersection
44.327.5Hadlow Drive – Weereewaa Lookout, Rest Area access Uncontrolled crossroads, No Through Road to the southeast only.
48.530.1Doust RoadUncontrolled T-intersection
Bywong 50.231.2Shingle Hill Way – Gundaroo Uncontrolled T-intersection
50.731.5Bungendore Road – Bungendore, Lark Hill WineryUncontrolled T-intersection
52.432.6Schofield Road – No Through RoadUncontrolled T-intersection
53.733.4Donnelly Road (east) / Old Federal Highway (west)Uncontrolled crossroads, Donnelly Road is a No Through Road
Sutton 58.036.0Old Federal HighwayUncontrolled T-intersection
58.336.2Macs Reef Road – Bungendore, Batemans Bay, WineriesUncontrolled T-intersection
59.236.8Sutton Road – Sutton, Gundaroo, Queanbeyan, Gunning, and
also Cooma (alternate route)
Parclo A2 interchange
62.638.9Federal Highway Service Road LILO access to/from southbound carriageway only.
64.640.1McKeahnie Lane (North) / Federal Highway Service Road (South) Diamond interchange
Australian Capital Territory Gungahlin, Majura 67.241.8 Horse Park Drive (west) / New South Wales alphanumeric route M23.svg Majura Parkway (east) – Gungahlin, Fyshwick , Cooma Diamond interchange with single cloverleaf onramp providing non-stop access to/from Majura Parkway southbound; one set of traffic lights northbound.
Watson 69.643.2Antill Street – Watson , Hackett 3-way roundabout
Gungahlin, Majura, Canberra Central 70.043.5Zelling Street – Watson Uncontrolled T-intersection
Gungahlin, Canberra Central70.743.9Old Well Station Road – Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) [Parking]Uncontrolled T-intersection
71.044.1Stirling Avenue – Watson , Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) Signal controlled crossroads
Canberra Central Watson / Lyneham 71.644.5Flemington Road – Lyneham , Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC), RacecourseSignal controlled T-intersection
Watson / Lyneham / Downer 71.944.7Phillip Avenue – Downer , Hackett Signal controlled crossroads
Lyneham / Downer 72.745.2New South Wales alphanumeric route A25.svg Barton Highway [A25] (north) / New South Wales alphanumeric route A23.svg Northbourne Avenue [A23] (south) – City , Queanbeyan, Gungahlin, Yass Signal controlled T-intersection, Bus-lane has signal priority southbound.
Highway terminus: continues south for about 0.7 km to the Mouat Street/Antill Street intersection, where it becomes Northbourne Avenue.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

Highways in Australia describes the highways of Australia

Highways in Australia are generally high capacity roads managed by state and territory government agencies, though Australia's federal government contributes funding for important links between capital cities and major regional centres. Prior to European settlement, the earliest needs for trade and travel were met by narrow bush tracks, used by tribes of Indigenous Australians. The formal construction of roads began in 1788, after the founding of the colony of New South Wales, and a network of three major roads across the colony emerged by the 1820s. Similar road networks were established in the other colonies of Australia. Road construction programs in the early 19th century were generally underfunded, as they were dependent on government budgets, loans, and tolls; while there was a huge increase in road usage, due to the Australian gold rushes. Local government authorities, often known as Road Boards, were therefore established to be primarily responsible for funding and undertaking road construction and maintenance. The early 1900s saw both the increasingly widespread use of motorised transportation, and the creation of state road authorities in each state, between 1913 and 1926. These authorities managed each state's road network, with the main arterial roads controlled and maintained by the state, and other roads remaining the responsibility of local governments. The federal government became involved in road funding in the 1920s, distributing funding to the states. The depression of the 1930s slowed the funding and development of the major road network until the onset on World War II. Supply roads leading to the north of the country were considered vital, resulting in the construction of Barkly, Stuart, and Eyre Highways.

Related Research Articles

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Pacific Highway (Australia) highway in New South Wales and Queensland

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Monaro Highway highway linking Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory

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Snowy Mountains Highway highway in New South Wales

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Breadalbane, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

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Tuggeranong Parkway parkway in Canberra, Australia

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Marulan Town in New South Wales, Australia

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Parish of Goulburn Cadastral in New South Wales, Australia

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Yass Valley Way is the main road which links Yass, New South Wales and Hume Highway and Barton Highway. The road is about 18 km long and runs parallel to the Yass River. It was created when the Hume Highway bypass of Yass was built in the early 1990s. This cleared the massive traffic bottleneck that plagued Yass due to the passing interstate traffic. After the completion of the bypass, local traffic predominates.

This is a list of freeways in Australia, sorted by states and territories and their corresponding routes. This list includes tollways / toll roads such as the CityLink freeway system in Melbourne. This list has over 70 entries. The only jurisdiction in Australia without freeways is the Northern Territory. Victoria has the largest and densest freeway network in Australia.

The Camden Valley Way is a 24-kilometre (15 mi) arterial road between Sydney and the historic town of Camden. Since 2018, all of the route is dual carriageway.

Majura Road is a major arterial road in the eastern rural area of Canberra, the capital city of Australia. The road runs north to south, beginning at a grade separated junction with the Federal Highway 1 km (0.62 mi) inside the border of the Australian Capital Territory. The route followed by the road passes to the east of Mount Majura and mostly rural and industrial properties including the Majura Military Training Area, Mount Majura Winery and a training facility for the Australian Federal Police towards the Majura Park development at Canberra Airport where it ends at Fairbairn Avenue. The road provides a convenient bypass of the city's Inner North from the Gungahlin district to Queanbeyan. Canberra Airport and the Monaro Highway. The route is signposted as an alternative to National Highway 23, the main route between Sydney and the Snowy Mountains and carries considerable volumes of heavy vehicle and tourist traffic.

Sir Roden Cutler VC Memorial Interchange interchange in New South Wales, Australia

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Wollogorang, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Wollogorang is a locality in the Upper Lachlan Shire and Goulburn Mulwaree Council, New South Wales, Australia. A small part of the locality is in Queanbeyan–Palerang Regional Council. It is located about 35 km southwest of Goulburn and 61 km northeast of Canberra. It lies on both sides of the Federal Highway and on the southern side of the Hume Highway. They intersect nearby to the northeast in the locality of Yarra. At the 2016 census, it had a population of 67.


  1. 1 2 "SIX maps". NSW Government . Retrieved 2013-06-08.
  2. 1 2 3 "Google Maps". Google . Retrieved 2013-06-07.
  3. "OPEN TO-DAY". Goulburn Evening Penny Post (DAILY and EVENING ed.). NSW. 25 February 1931. p. 3. Retrieved 8 June 2013 via National Library of Australia.
  4. 1 2 "Ozroads: Federal Highway (ACT)" . Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  5. "Alpha-numeric route numbers". Roads and Maritime Services . Retrieved 2013-06-09.
  6. "ACTMAPi". ACT Government. Archived from the original on 2 July 2013. Retrieved 9 June 2013.

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