Hume Highway

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Hume Highway

Hume Freeway / Hume Motorway

Location Hume Hwy.svg
General information
Type Motorway
Length840 km (522 mi) [1] [2] [3] [4]
Route number(s)
route number
see Former route allocations
Major junctions
NE end
SW end
Major suburbs / towns Goulburn, Yass, Tarcutta, Albury, Wodonga, Wangaratta, Benalla, Seymour, Craigieburn
Highway system

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. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] Upgrading of the route from Sydney's outskirts to Melbourne's outskirts to dual carriageway was completed on 7 August 2013. [6]

National Highway (Australia) highway system in Australia

The National Highway is a system of roads connecting all mainland states and territories of Australia, and is the major network of highways and motorways connecting Australia's capital cities and major regional centres.

Melbourne City in Victoria, Australia

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Its name refers to an urban agglomeration of 2,080 km2 (800 sq mi), comprising a metropolitan area with 31 municipalities, and is also the common name for its city centre. The city occupies much of the coastline of Port Phillip bay and spreads into the hinterlands towards the Dandenong and Macedon ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. It has a population of 5 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

Sydney Metropolis in Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.


From north to south, the road is called the Hume Highway in metropolitan Sydney, the Hume Motorway between Prestons and Berrima, the Hume Highway elsewhere in New South Wales and the Hume Freeway in Victoria. It is part of the Auslink National Network and is a vital link for road freight to transport goods to and from the two cities as well as serving Albury-Wodonga and Canberra.

Prestons, New South Wales Suburb of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Prestons is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia 37 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Liverpool.

Berrima, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Berrima is a historic village in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, in Wingecarribee Shire. The village, once a major town, is located on the Old Hume Highway between Canberra and Sydney. It was previously known officially as the Town of Berrima. It is close to the three major towns of the Southern Highlands; Mittagong, Bowral and Moss Vale.

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 December 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.

The main alternative route between Sydney and Melbourne is the Princes Highway/Princes Freeway/Princes Motorway route (A1/M1) which follows the coast for most of its length. Other inland alternate routes include the Olympic Highway route (A41) between Albury and Sydney via Wagga Wagga, Cowra and Bathurst, and also the Federal Highway / Monaro Highway route (M23/A23/B23) via Canberra which links with the Hume Highway near Goulburn and the Princes Highway in East Gippsland.

Princes Highway highway in Australia

The Princes Highway is a major road in Australia, extending from Sydney to Adelaide via the coast through the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. It has a length of 1,941 kilometres (1,206 mi) or 1,898 kilometres (1,179 mi) via the former alignments of the highway, although these routes are slower and connections to the bypassed sections of the original route are poor in many cases.

Princes Freeway freeway in Victoria, Australia

The Princes Freeway is a 159-kilometre (99 mi) Australian freeway, divided into two sections both located in Victoria, Australia. The freeway links Melbourne to Geelong on the west and Traralgon on the east. It continues beyond these extremities as the Princes Highway towards Adelaide to the west and Sydney to the northeast. The freeway bears the designation M1.

Olympic Highway highway in New South Wales

The Olympic Highway is a rural road in the central western and south-eastern Riverina regions of New South Wales, Australia. The 318-kilometre (198 mi) highway services rural communities and links the Hume Highway with the Mid-Western Highway and provides part of an alternate road link between Sydney and Albury via Bathurst and Cowra as well as servicing Wagga Wagga, linking with the Sturt Highway.

In New South Wales during 2013, the National Highway shield, National Highway 31, was replaced with a standard alphanumeric route number, the M31 south of Prestons (along with the A22 east of Liverpool into the Sydney CBD and the A28 for a short length through Liverpool). This re-numbering for the first time in over 20 years created one continuously signed route along the Hume Highway, having already been signed the M31 in Victoria during the 1990s. During 2013, the route between Berrima and Prestons was also renamed the Hume Motorway. [7]


The coast of New South Wales from the Queensland border to the Victorian border is separated from the inland by an escarpment, forming the eastern edge of the Great Dividing Range. There are few easy routes up this escarpment. To climb from the coast to the tablelands the Hume Highway uses the Bargo Ramp, a geological feature which provides one of the few easy crossings of the escarpment.

Queensland North-east state of Australia

Queensland is the second-largest and third-most populous state in the Commonwealth of Australia. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, with Papua New Guinea located less than 200 km across it from the mainland. The state is the world's sixth-largest sub-national entity, with an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi).

Escarpment Steep slope or cliff separating two relatively level regions

An escarpment, or scarp, is a steep slope or long cliff that forms as a result of faulting or erosion and separates two relatively level areas having different elevations. Usually scarp and scarp face are used interchangeably with escarpment.

Great Dividing Range mountain range in the Australian states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria

The Great Dividing Range, or the Eastern Highlands, is Australia's most substantial mountain range and the third longest land-based range in the world. It stretches more than 3,500 kilometres (2,175 mi) from Dauan Island off the northeastern tip of Queensland, running the entire length of the eastern coastline through New South Wales, then into Victoria and turning west, before finally fading into the central plain at the Grampians in western Victoria. The width of the range varies from about 160 km (100 mi) to over 300 km (190 mi). The Greater Blue Mountains Area, Gondwana Rainforests, and Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Areas are located in the range.

In the first twenty years of European settlement at Sydney (established 1788), exploration southwest of Sydney was slow. This area was heavily wooded at the time, especially the "Bargo brush", which was regarded as almost impenetrable. In 1798 explorers (Wilson, Price, Hacking, and Collins) reached the Moss Vale and Marulan districts, but this was not followed up. Any settlement would have to await the construction of an adequate access track, which would have been beyond the colony's resources at the time, and would have served little purpose as a source of supplies for Sydney, due to the time taken to reach Sydney. In 1804, Charles Throsby penetrated through the Bargo brush to the country on the tablelands near Moss Vale and Sutton Forest. On another expedition in 1818, he reached Lake Bathurst and the "Goulburn Plains". [8] Many of the early explorers would most likely have used aboriginal guides, but they do not appear to have given them credit.[ citation needed ]

Bargo, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Bargo is a small town of the Macarthur Region, New South Wales, Australia in the Wollondilly Shire. It is approximately 100 km south west of Sydney.

Moss Vale, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Moss Vale is a town in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, in the Wingecarribee Shire. At the 2016 census, it has a population of 8,579 and is sited on the Illawarra Highway, which connects to Wollongong and the Illawarra coast via Macquarie Pass.

Charles Throsby was an Australian explorer, pioneer and parliamentarian. He opened up much new land beyond the Blue Mountains for colonial settlement. He was a grazier, and became a prominent member of New South Wales society.

After Charles Throsby's 1818 journey towards present day Goulburn, followed by Hamilton Hume and William Hovell's overland journey from Appin (near Campbelltown) to Port Phillip and return in 1824, development of the Southern Tablelands for agriculture was rapid. The present route of the Hume Highway is much the same as that used by the pioneers.

Tahmoor Gorge in its Pristine Best. Tahmoor Gorge.jpg
Tahmoor Gorge in its Pristine Best.

The route taken by the Hume Highway to climb from the coast to the Southern Tablelands and across the Great Divide is situated between the parallel river gorge systems of the Wollondilly and Shoalhaven rivers. This country consists generally of a gently sloping plateau which is deeply dissected by the Nepean River and its tributaries. The route of the Highway, by using four high-level bridges to cross these gorges, avoids the Razorback Range, and has minimal earthworks. The climb from the western side of the Nepean River at Menangle up to Mittagong is fairly sustained, a fact that is hard to appreciate at high speed on the modern freeway. The highway climbs non-stop over a distance of 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from the Pheasants Nest bridge over the Nepean River to Yerrinbool, before dropping slightly before the final climb to reach the tablelands at Aylmerton, a climb of over 430 metres (1,410 ft) in 25 kilometres (16 mi). [9]

Early road construction

Governor Lachlan Macquarie ordered the construction of a road, which became known as the Great South Road (the basis of the northern end of the Hume Highway) in 1819 from Picton to the Goulburn Plains and he travelled to Goulburn in 1820, but it is unlikely that even a primitive road was finished at that time.

A passable section of "Sydney Road" in the shire of Benalla, 1914. Sydney Road near Benalla 1914.jpg
A passable section of "Sydney Road" in the shire of Benalla, 1914.

The Great South Road was rebuilt and completely re-routed between Yanderra and Goulburn by Surveyor-General Thomas Mitchell in 1833. The Main Roads Management Act of June 1858 declared the Great Southern Road, from near Sydney through Goulburn and Gundagai to Albury, as one of the three main roads in the colony. However, its southern reaches were described as only a 'scarcely formed bullock track' as late as 1858. The road was improved in the mid-1860s with some sections near Gundagai "metalled" and all creeks bridged between Adelong Creek (approximately 10 kilometres south of Gundagai and now known as the village of Tumblong) and Albury. [10]

Mitchell's route in New South Wales, except for the bypasses at Mittagong, Berrima and Marulan (dual carriageways were completed in 1986) is still largely followed by the current highway. [11] Mitchell intended to straighten the route north of Yanderra, but was not granted funding, although his proposed route through Pheasants Nest has similarities to the freeway route opened in 1980. [12] Mitchell's work on the Great South Road is best preserved at Towrang Creek (10 kilometres north of Goulburn), where his stone arch culvert still stands, although it was superseded in 1965 by a concrete box culvert which in turn was superseded by the current route of the highway when it was duplicated in 1972.

In contrast in Victoria there was an early and major change to Mitchell's route. Mitchell’s original route between Albury and Melbourne went through Mitchellstown on the Goulburn River and took a long detour to the West of Mount Macedon. [13]

In March 1837 Charles Bonney blazed a new trail from Mitchellstown through Kilmore to Melbourne, a route that took a day and a half off the previous journey. The bulk of Bonney’s track formed the Sydney Road for the next 139 years. [14]

Bonney's new route of the Sydney Road was especially surveyed in 1840. [15]

In 1914 the NSW section of the highway was declared a main road. Until it was named the Hume Highway in 1928 it was known as the "Great South Road" in NSW and "Sydney Road" in Victoria. It was named after Hamilton Hume, who with William Hovell were the first Europeans to traverse an overland route between Sydney and Port Phillip, in what later became Victoria.

Timeline of duplication and bypass works

Duplication works on the highway began in the 1960s and concluded in 2013. [6] The entire route between Sydney and Melbourne is now a dual carriageway, limited access highway.

The Hume Highway as it passed through Holbrook, the final town on the highway to be bypassed Looking south down the Hume Highway in Holbrook (1).jpg
The Hume Highway as it passed through Holbrook, the final town on the highway to be bypassed


Distances to destinations through the Hume Highway heading southbound with the current M31 route number
Distances to destinations along the highway from Sydney using the former National Highway 31 route marker which was replaced by the M31 Route Number (Updated Route Marker) Hume Highway (NSW) Destination Distances.png
Distances to destinations through the Hume Highway heading southbound with the current M31 route number
Distances to destinations along the highway from Sydney using the former National Highway 31 route marker which was replaced by the M31 Route Number Hume Hwy (NSW) Distances Updated.gif
Distances to destinations along the highway from Sydney using the former National Highway 31 route marker which was replaced by the M31 Route Number

Approximate road distances (in kilometres) along the Hume Freeway southwards from the Victorian border Hume Fwy (VIC) Distances.gif
Approximate road distances (in kilometres) along the Hume Freeway southwards from the Victorian border

At its Sydney end, the Hume Highway begins at Parramatta Road, in Summer Hill. This route is numbered as A22. The first 31 kilometres (19 mi) [1] of the highway was known as Liverpool Road until August 1928, when it was renamed as part of the Hume or Great Southern Highway, as part of the creation of the NSW highway system. Sections of the highway through Sydney's suburbs continue to be also known by its former names of Liverpool Road, Sydney Road and Copeland Street (through Liverpool).

The main Hume Highway effectively commences at the junction of the M5 South Western Motorway and the Westlink M7 at Prestons. Heading eastbound, the M5 provides access to Sydney Airport and the CBD; while the M7 provides access to Newcastle and Brisbane bypassing the Sydney CBD. Both of these routes are tolled.

Other than sections within the urban areas of Sydney and Melbourne, the Hume Highway is dual carriageway or expressway standard for its full length in Victoria and New South Wales.

Although the full length of the Hume Highway is dual carriageway (with at-grade intersections and restricted entry from adjoining land), there are considerable lengths of the highway which are of full freeway standard. Most of these sections are bypasses of the larger towns on the route, where the need to deviate the route to construct the bypass made it practical to deny access from adjoining land and thus provide full freeway conditions. In addition to these bypasses the sections between Casula (in southwestern Sydney) and Berrima (built 1973–92), and Broadford to Wallan (1976), which both were constructed as major deviations, are also of full freeway standard. The entire section in Victoria is categorised as a freeway by government roads authority VicRoads, although there a few intersections along the route that are not yet grade-separated. The speed limit on the full length of the highway is 110 km/h (68.4 mph).

As the Hume Freeway approaches Melbourne at the suburb of Craigieburn, 27 kilometres (17 mi) north of the Melbourne central business district, the Craigieburn Bypass now diverts the Hume Freeway (and the M31 designation) to the east of the former route, to terminate at the Western Ring Road/Metropolitan Ring Road (M80). This bypass was opened in two stages, in December 2004 and December 2005.

At its Melbourne end, the original alignment of the Melbourne–Sydney route followed Royal Parade northward from where it begins at its intersection with Elizabeth Street and Flemington Road. Royal Parade becomes Sydney Road at Brunswick Road and then became the Hume Highway itself at Campbellfield. This ceased to be the designated route of the Hume Highway in 1992, with the completion of Stage 1 of the Western Ring Road, at which point the designation of the southbound highway was truncated. The former highway south from the Western Ring Road to Elizabeth Street is route is now numbered as State Route 55 and is now officially called Sydney Road.

Recent New South Wales upgrading

A "Golden Guidepost" on the Holbrook Bypass section of the Hume Freeway. The guidepost symbolises the connection of Melbourne and Sydney by dual carriageway. Holbrook Bypass Golden Guidepost 001.JPG
A "Golden Guidepost" on the Holbrook Bypass section of the Hume Freeway. The guidepost symbolises the connection of Melbourne and Sydney by dual carriageway.

Between February 2009 and March 2012, both carriageways were widened between Brooks Road and Narellan Road. This work was undertaken in 3 stages. The first stage, widening to 4 lanes each way between Brooks Road and St Andrews Road St Andrews was completed in 2010. The second stage, widening to 4 lanes each way between St Andrews Road and Raby Road commenced in 2009 and was completed in mid-2011. The final stage, widening to 3 lanes each way between Raby Road and Narellan Road, commenced in September 2010 and was completed in March 2012. [44] Construction of a pedestrian bridge over the highway to link Claymore and Woodbine was also completed. This section of the highway, opened as part of the two stages opened in October 1973 and December 1974, was originally designed for widening of the carriageways to three lanes.

Work commenced in 2010 on a 9.5 km (5.9 mi) bypass of Holbrook. The bypass was opened to traffic on 7 August 2013 after being postponed due to wet weather. [45] [46] [47] The opening of the bypass resulted in dual carriageway (much to freeway standard) over the full length of the Hume Highway for the first time.

Current Victorian upgrade projects

VicRoads has undertaken a planning study for the upgrading of the Hume Freeway by removal of direct access from adjoining properties and grade-separation of the intersections between Kalkallo and Beveridge. These intersections have the highest accident rate of the Hume Freeway in Victoria. [48] The study, completed in March 2009, intended to amend council planning schemes so as to reserve space for the upgrade, but no timetable has been set for the project. [49]

In addition a 4-level interchange between the Hume Freeway and the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road is proposed for construction after 2020. [50] [51]


Heading north from Melbourne, the road passes through the hills of the Great Dividing Range, some of which is covered with box eucalypt forest but of which much is cleared for farmland, before levelling out near Seymour to cross flat, mostly cleared farming country to Wodonga and the Victoria-New South Wales border. Victoria's landscape differs from that of the typical 'true Australian Outback', but a dry summer can leave the ground parched. Mount Buffalo can be seen in the distance to the east as the highway comes down off the Warby Range near Glenrowan, and a museum commemorating Ned Kelly is located nearby. At Wangaratta the highway passes close to the Rutherglen and Milawa wine-producing areas.

Continuing north, the Murray River, the south bank of which is the Victoria-New South Wales border, is crossed on the bypass of Albury-Wodonga. From Albury, the highway skirts Lake Hume and continues across undulating country generally north-east towards Holbrook and then Tarcutta. Just north of Tarcutta the highway encounters the first of several ranges which form outliers of the Great Dividing Range, and which are crossed as the highway climbs the slopes to the tablelands west of Yass. From here the highway runs eastward, to Goulburn where it again turns northeast. Most of the New South Wales countryside from Albury to Marulan has been developed for wool production, with Yass and Goulburn in particular noted for their fine wool.

Fixed speed camera locations

In April 2007, 'point-to-point' fixed speed-camera sites were installed, in the median strip along the Craigieburn Bypass section and northward to Broadford, in Victoria, at roughly 15–20 km intervals. These measure both instantaneous (flash photography) speed and its speciality in the point-to-point versions (between two or more sites and then the average speed is measured to the fixed speed limit, comparing how long it takes a vehicle to reach one point from another). There are five sites, with two cameras (radar version) at each, totalling ten altogether. [52]
In Sydney: next to Ashfield Primary School, near Culdees Road Burwood, Willee St Enfield, Stacey St Bankstown, Brennan St Yagoona, and Knight St Lansvale.

Point-to-point speed camera on the Hume Highway in Victoria Point to Point Speed Cameras.jpg
Point-to-point speed camera on the Hume Highway in Victoria

Former route allocations

The Hume Highway has many former route allocations including former National Route 31. [53] Where and when the former route numbers were implemented are stated below.

Exits and major interchanges

The Hume Highway exits and major intersections are spread across 840 kilometres (520 mi) [1] [2] [3] [4] in the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. The Hume Highway national route is divided into four sections comprising, from north to south, urban stretches of the highway in Sydney, a motorway from the outskirts of Sydney to the Southern Highlands, a grade-separated highway in regional New South Wales and across the state border, and a freeway throughout regional Victoria and into the outer suburbs of northern Melbourne.

In Sydney, the Hume Highway stretches 31 kilometres (19 mi) southwest from Haberfield in the inner west to Prestons via Enfield , Greenacre , Villawood , Liverpool and Casula. [1] From Sydney's southwestern outskirts, the Hume Motorway stretches 88 kilometres (55 mi) south by southwest, from Prestons to outside Berrima bypassing Campbelltown , Camden , Mittagong , Bowral and Moss Vale. [2] From outside Berrima, the Hume Highway stretches 426 kilometres (265 mi) southwest by west, bypassing Sutton Forest , Marulan , Goulburn , Yass, Bowning , Bookham , Jugiong , Gundagai, Holbrook , Thurgoona , Lavington and Albury before crossing the Murray River and entering Victoria. [3] From this point the Hume Freeway continues 295 kilometres (183 mi) southwest by south, bypassing Wodonga , Chiltern , Wangaratta , Benalla, Seymour , Broadford , Beveridge , Craigieburn and terminating at Thomastown. [4]

From northeast to southwest, termini, major exits and interchanges occur with the Great Western Highway / Parramatta Road (A22), A3 (A3), A6 (A6), Henry Lawson Drive, Cumberland Highway (A28), M5 Motorway (M5), Westlink M7 (M7), Camden Valley Way (A28), A9 (A9), Remembrance Drive, Old Hume Highway (B73), Illawarra Highway (A48), Federal Highway (M23), Yass Valley Way, Barton Highway (A25), Lachlan Valley Way (B81), Burley Griffin Way (B94), Snowy Mountains Highway (B72), Sturt Highway (A20), Olympic Highway (A41), Riverina Highway (B58), Murray Valley Highway (B400), Great Alpine Road (B500), Midland Highway (A300/B300), Goulburn Valley Freeway (M39), Goulburn Valley Highway (B340), Northern Highway (B75), Sydney Road (SR55), and Metropolitan Ring Road (M80). [1] [2] [3] [4]

Major river crossings, from northeast to southwest, are the Nepean (three times), Wingecarribee, Paddys, Murrumbidgee, Murray, Ovens, King and Goulburn rivers. The Hume also crosses the Prospect, Jugiong, and Tarcutta creeks. [1] [2] [3] [4]


In New South Wales, all towns on the Hume Highway have been bypassed. From Sydney, southwards to the Victorian border, the bypassed towns include Campbelltown, Camden, Picton, Mittagong, Berrima, Marulan, Goulburn, Gunning, Yass, Bowning, Bookham, Jugiong, Coolac, Gundagai, Tarcutta, Holbrook, Woomargama and Albury.

In Victoria, all towns have been bypassed. They are, in order from the NSW border, Wodonga, Chiltern, Wangaratta, Benalla, Euroa, Violet Town, Seymour, Broadford and Craigieburn.


Hume Highway at Douglas Park near Picton Douglas Park Bridge F5 Freeway.jpg
Hume Highway at Douglas Park near Picton

Camden dates from 1840 and lies 60 kilometres (37 mi) south west of Sydney on the Nepean River. It retains a rural character and has many historic buildings. There is an aviation museum at nearby Narellan. Urban sprawl has made Camden part of the Sydney metropolitan area.

Before the mid-1980s, the Hume Highway ran west from the Cross Roads at Prestons, 4 km south of Liverpool to Carnes Hill, where it followed the route of what is now Cowpasture Road. It then ran southwest to Camden. This section is now the Camden Valley Way.

The Hume Highway has twice bypassed Camden. The first bypass was opened in 1973, via the Macarthur Bridge, and ran from Narellan to Benkennie (South Camden). This was in turn bypassed in December 1980 when a section of what was then called the South Western Freeway (route F5) from Campbelltown to Yerrinbool opened. From the north, the freeway then ran from the Cross Roads to Campbelltown Rd at St Andrews (opened August 1973) and St Andrews-Camden Road (opened December 1974) joining the southern section from Yerrinbool to Aylmerton (opened May 1977). This became the route of the Hume Highway and national route 31 in the mid 1980s.

The former highway from Camden south to Aylmerton is now called Remembrance Drive. It climbs southwards from Camden, goes through the Razorback Ridge to Picton, and then climbs to Tahmoor and Bargo. It reaches the Southern Tablelands and rejoins the present Hume Highway at Aylmerton, 6 km north of Mittagong. The whole route from Cross Roads to Aylmerton is now state route 89.

Hume Highway through Southern Highlands Hume Highway in NSW.jpg
Hume Highway through Southern Highlands

An alternative route to the highway runs from Aylmerton through Mittagong and Bowral to join the Illawarra Highway at Moss Vale and then follows the Illawarra Highway through Sutton Forest to rejoin the Hume Highway at Hoddles Crossroads (named after Surveyor Robert Hoddle who also laid out the Melbourne CBD).


Mittagong lies 110 kilometres (68 mi) south-west of Sydney, just off the Hume Highway at the edge of the Southern Tablelands. Mittagong is also a part of the Southern Highlands region. It is notable for being the location of Australia's first ironworks. Mittagong's streets are lined with various species of deciduous trees and it has a busy town centre.

Until August 1992 when the Mittagong bypass was opened, the town was dominated by trucks and in winter it was also busy with skiers' traffic on the way to the Australian Alps. Today the Hume Highway bypasses Mittagong and all the towns of the Southern Tablelands. In the late 1990s, engineers detected subsidence under part of the bypass where it runs along a steep slope near the Nattai River. This was caused by features of the local geology, and mining activity at the adjacent Mount Alexandra coalmine from the 1950s to the 1970s. [56] The problem was remedied by closing one carriageway at a time and building a pair of 'land bridges' across the unstable section of the slope.

Moss Vale

Moss Vale has several beautiful old and attractive buildings and Leighton Gardens, in the centre of the main street, is a pleasant park. It is best during spring when its flowers are in blossom or in autumn when the leaves of its exotic deciduous trees are changing colour. Sutton Forest is surrounded by farms, vineyards and is home to elegant country homes and estates. It has a church, an inn, a couple of restaurants and one or two specialty shops.


Twin bridges carrying the Hume Highway over Greenhills Road north of Berrima 34deg28'S 150deg21'E / 34.467degS 150.350degE / -34.467; 150.350 Hume Hwy bridges over Greenhills Rd.JPG
Twin bridges carrying the Hume Highway over Greenhills Road north of Berrima 34°28′S150°21′E / 34.467°S 150.350°E / -34.467; 150.350

Berrima has flourished since it was bypassed in March 1989, with tourists finding it an easy day trip from either Sydney or Canberra to enjoy the town square and the Georgian architecture of this historic town. Berrima is the last Southern Highlands town that the Hume Highway passes.


The Marulan bypass was opened in 1986. The southern part of Governor Lachlan Macquarie's road of 1819 ran from Sutton Forest roughly along existing minor roads through what is now Penrose State Forest to Canyonleigh, Brayton, Carrick and Towrang, where it joined the current route to Goulburn. Branching from this route (now part of the Illawarra Highway) just west of Sutton Forest, a road, now known as Old Argyle Road, developed in the 1820s. It ran to Bungonia, via Wingello, Tallong, and the southern outskirts of Marulan. Marulan lies on the 150th meridian east.

When Thomas Mitchell rerouted the Great South Road in the 1830s, he decided to bring these two roads together to meet at old Marulan, with roads proceeding west to Goulburn and south to Bungonia. When the railway reached Marulan in 1868, the town migrated 3 km north to the railway station. Nevertheless, the old cemetery remains at the Bungonia Road intersection. A quarry is about to be developed near the intersection, so an interchange has been built. It is at this point that the highway climbs the Marulan Ramp, which is part of the divide between the Shoalhaven and Wollondilly River systems.

Towrang Stockade

Towrang bridge of 1839 Towrang bridge.JPG
Towrang bridge of 1839

Towrang Creek was the site of a major stockade for chain-bound convicts and others involved in the construction of the Great South Road. The stockade was located on the western side of the Highway and was used from around 1836 to 1842. The stockade became the principal penal establishment in the southern district and was noted for its harsh discipline. There were usually at least 250 convicts stationed there. They slept on bare boards with a blanket apiece, 10 men to a box or cell. One of the two official floggers was later found murdered. [57] The stockade used to be accessible by a stile, but this has been taken down to discourage use of the once daunting intersection of the Highway with Towrang Road. There are the remains of the powder magazine next to the Wollondilly River, three graves on the north bank of Towrang Creek, and the remains of a weir on Towrang Creek built for the stockade. Aboriginal stone tools have also been found on the banks of Towrang Creek, indicating that this was a route well-travelled long before Hamilton Hume came this way in 1824.

There is also a rest area on the eastern side of the highway, where a well-preserved bridge dating from 1839 (possibly designed by David Lennox) and a 1960s concrete box culvert can be viewed.


After the cities of Liverpool and Campbelltown, Goulburn is the first major rural city along the Hume Highway from Sydney. It is the centre of a rich agricultural area specialising in fine wool production. From this area comes some of the world's finest wool. Therefore the town has a monument called The Big Merino [58] near the service station. Goulburn was bypassed on 5 December 1992 and the main street (Auburn Street) is quieter, but still busy during Saturday morning shopping. Picturesque Belmore Park is located midway along Auburn Street. A number of architecturally and historically significant buildings are located near Belmore Park, including the courthouse, the post office and the railway station. Also in central Goulburn are two cathedrals, both of architectural note. A number of old houses and hotels are located near the railway station on Sloane Street.


Gunning's 19th century main street was built very wide, for the time of horse and bullock-drawn wagons. This served the town well when the main highway between Sydney and Melbourne carried cars and trucks through the town. This ceased when the bypass was completed on 5 April 1993. The town is now much quieter, and it has been able to resume a more rural pace of life. It has developed something of an industry in providing bed and breakfast accommodation. The recently built Gunning Wind Farm is located beside the highway, with its wind turbines providing a distinctive landmark.


Yass has an historic main street, with well-preserved 19th century verandah-post pubs (mostly converted to other uses). It is popular with tourists, some from Canberra and others taking a break from the Hume Highway. Hamilton Hume's farm Cooma Cottage is located east of Yass, close to the intersection of the former routes of the Hume and Barton Highways. He lived there until his death in 1873. The Yass Bypass opened on 25 July 1994.


Bookham is situated 29 kilometres (18 mi) west of Yass. The Hume Highway once passed through the village, but now bypasses it. This bypass was completed in two stages, the south stage opened on 18 February 1998 and the north stage opened on 11 July 2001.


Hume Highway near Coolac 2 km from the Coolac - Cootamundra exit on the Hume Highway.jpg
Hume Highway near Coolac

The 11-kilometre (6.8 mi) section at Coolac was the last two lane section of highway between Sydney and Gundagai until it was bypassed with a dual carriageway on 14 August 2009, [59] after a delay due to indigenous heritage issues, the construction contract was awarded to Abigroup Contractors Pty Ltd in February 2007. [60] [61]


Hume Highway near Gundagai Hume Highway.JPG
Hume Highway near Gundagai

At Snake Gully, adjacent to the highway north of Gundagai is the Dog on the Tuckerbox . A statue (with a souvenir shop next door) was erected five miles (eight kilometres) from Gundagai. Snake Gully serves as a way station for many highway travellers.

Gundagai was bypassed on 25 March 1977 with the completion of the first Sheahan Bridge over the Murrumbidgee River. This bridge was the second longest road bridge in New South Wales (the Sydney Harbour Bridge being the longest), until the completion of the duplicate Sheahan Bridge on 17 May 2009, [62] This is now the 4th longest road bridge in New South Wales - 1 metre (3 ft 3 in) longer than the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The original Sheahan Bridge was only one lane in each direction.

The Prince Alfred Bridge, on the old route of the highway across the Murrumbidgee floodplain, is of major engineering interest, as it is one of Australia's longest timber trestle bridges, as is the adjacent 1903 railway bridge. Gundagai was originally located on the river flats directly beside the Murrumbidgee River, but a disastrous flood in 1852 destroyed the town and drowned 89 people. The town was then relocated to its present position. A grade-separated interchange was completed at the intersection of the Highway and West Street in December 2006. [63]


Near the Sturt Highway turnoff Hume Highway near the Sturt Highway turnoff.jpg
Near the Sturt Highway turnoff

The route of the highway between Tumblong and Tarcutta is the third route of the highway in this location. The original route led west from Tumblong along the Murrumbidgee River, before turning south over difficult country, crossing what is now the Sturt Highway and rejoining the current route of the highway as Lower Tarcutta Road. This was replaced in December 1938 by the first Tumblong deviation, to the east of the current route. The main features of this section of the highway were a deep, narrow cutting and the reinforced concrete bowstring arch bridge over Hillas Creek. This bridge has been preserved as it is one of only two bridges in New South Wales built to this design, and is visible on the western side of the highway close to the interchange with the Snowy Mountains Highway. The second and current deviation opened to traffic on 21 November 1983.

Approximately 38 kilometres (24 mi) southwest of Gundagai is the interchange with the Sturt Highway, which leads to Wagga Wagga, Mildura and Adelaide.


National Truck Driver Memorial at Tarcutta Tarcutta truckie memorial.jpg
National Truck Driver Memorial at Tarcutta

Tarcutta is located almost exactly halfway between Sydney and Melbourne and has been a popular stopover and change-over point for truck drivers making their way between the two cities. There is a memorial to truck drivers who have died on the local stretch of the Hume Highway. It was near Tarcutta that the final section of the Hume Highway was sealed in 1940. Construction began on a 7-kilometre (4.3 mi) bypass of Tarcutta in 2010. The bypass, which passes west of the town, was opened to traffic on 15 November 2011. [64] As improvements to the Hume Highway have reduced travelling time between Sydney and Melbourne to about nine hours driving time in good conditions, the town's importance to the average motorist has diminished.


Holbrook was called Germanton until anti-German sentiment during World War 1 led to the town and the shire being renamed in honour of the wartime submarine captain, Lt Holbrook who was awarded the Victoria Cross. From 1995, a feature of the town has been a partial reconstruction of HMAS Otway, an Oberon class submarine. This landmark was in recognition of the town's namesake's connections with submarines. Holbrook had the only set of traffic signals (for pedestrians) that remained on the Hume Highway between the Sydney Orbital and Melbourne's Western Ring Road. A bypass, that was officially opened by Prime Minister, Julia Gillard and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese on 23 June 2013, did not open for traffic until August 2013. [65] [66]


Woomargama, is a village between Holbrook and Albury which acts as a local service centre for a rich woolgrowing area. The 9-kilometre (5.6 mi) bypass of Woomargama was opened on 7 November 2011. [67]

Table Top

Table Top is a small town located approximately 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north of Albury. The road was diverted a much longer route to the northwest to allow the construction of the Hume Dam.


The Hume Highway by-passing the Albury CBD. Hume Freeway Albury 2008.jpg
The Hume Highway by-passing the Albury CBD.
Hume Highway ramp at Albury Hume Highway bypass in Albury 01.jpg
Hume Highway ramp at Albury
Hume Highway from an overpass at Albury Hume Freeway at Albury 1.JPG
Hume Highway from an overpass at Albury

Albury's history is linked with the two famous Australian explorers, Hamilton Hume and William Hovell, as the city's location sprung from their crossing of the Murray River. Albury, commonly associated with its Victorian twin, Wodonga, is one of the few rural Australian cities to experience a boom, mainly from industrialisation in recent times.

The Albury bypass, was first proposed in 1964 but only opened on 6 March 2007. Following a series of announcements and changes of plans through the 1990s, when Albury residents failed to agree on whether an 'internal' or 'external' bypass route was more appropriate, the 'internal bypass' option was chosen. Approval was granted in 2004 and construction, by Abigroup, [68] began in January 2005. The route is parallel to and on the eastern side of the Sydney–Melbourne railway, beginning at the railway overpass 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of Albury. After crossing the Murray River, the bypass crosses the railway to rejoin the previous highway at the southern end of the Lincoln Causeway, connecting to the Wodonga bypass. The Albury bypass includes a freeway standard connection to the Murray Valley Highway at Bandiana, east of Wodonga.


Wangaratta is, after Wodonga, the largest centre in northeast Victoria, with a population of approximately 17,000 at the 2011 census.[ citation needed ] Wangaratta is at the junction of the Great Alpine Road. Hume and Hovell passed through this area on their 1824 expedition and the town was founded in 1837 when the surrounding area was opened for farming. The town was bypassed in 1994.

Attractions include Merriwa Park, a sunken garden adjacent to the King River, Airworld at Wangaratta Airport, and old goldfield areas of nearby Beechworth and Chiltern.


Benalla is a large town located just off the Hume Freeway between Melbourne and Wangaratta. Founded in 1848, growth was slow until a goldrush in the 1850s. It had many associations with the Kelly gang and the courthouse was the venue for a number of their trials. It also has a memorial to the Australian war hero Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop, an Australian doctor who acted as a leader to allied troops on the Thailand-Burma Railway in World War II.


Euroa is famous for a Ned Kelly bank robbery. The town is located on the Seven Creeks and has pretty gardens and a number of attractive 19th century buildings.


The Hume Highway bypass of Seymour opened in December 1982. Seymour remains on the Goulburn Valley Highway. The town is in the rich Goulburn Valley which supports the local vineyards. The large Puckapunyal military base is located west of Seymour. Once the centre of the bushranging area of Victoria, it has a museum which displays many period relics of that era. It was until the 1970s a major railway maintenance centre, and part of the railway workshops now houses a railway museum. The museum's collection of rolling stock, including State carriages used by governors and monarchs, is extensive.


Construction of the Donnybrook Road interchange, immediately to the north of the Craigieburn Bypass, replaced the dangerous [69] at-grade intersection with (C723) at Kalkallo an overpass and entry/exit ramps in both directions, at a cost of $32 million. Works commenced in December 2007 and completion occurred in March 2009, three months ahead of schedule. [70]


Craigieburn Bypass Hume Freeway Craigieburn Bypass.jpg
Craigieburn Bypass

Prior to the opening of the Craigieburn Bypass in 2005, the Hume Highway skirted Craigieburn (the town centre was bypassed in the 1950s). The section of the Highway from Craigieburn to Campbellfield (on Melbourne's outskirts) was a significant bottleneck, with 12 sets of traffic signals in 17-kilometre (11 mi) section of road. The Craigieburn Bypass now links directly to the Western Ring Road/Metropolitan Ring Road. By 2013, the Old Hume Highway (Sydney Road) section from Fawkner to Campbellfield was again becoming a bottleneck due to poor traffic signal coordination. There was some opposition for the bypass by several local governments in the northern suburbs of Melbourne, including the City of Darebin and the City of Moreland, as well as local environmental groups. Their alternative proposal was rejected by the state government. [71] A pedestrian and cyclist cement path – the Galada Tamboore Pathway – runs the length of the bypass and connects with the Metropolitan Ring Road path, from where it is possible to connect to the Merri Creek Trail, Western Ring Road Trail, the City of Whittlesea Public Gardens and Edgars Road. The Craigieburn Bypass is shown in the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan as part of the F2 Freeway corridor, which extended south along Merri Creek, Hoddle St, Barkly St in St Kilda, south through Elwood and Brighton, then east along South Road, connecting to the Dingley Freeway corridor.

See also

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