Newell Highway

Last updated

Newell Highway
New South Wales
Location Newell Hwy.svg
General information
Type Highway
Length1,058 km (657 mi) [1]
Route number(s)
route number
  • Australian national highway 39.svg National Highway 39 (1992-2013) NSW section
  • Australian national route 39.svg National Route 39 (1965-1992)
Major junctions
North end
South end
Major settlements Moree, Narrabri, Coonabarabran, Gilgandra, Dubbo, West Wyalong, Narrandera, Finley
Highway system

The Newell Highway is a national highway in New South Wales, Australia. The route is currently signed as the A39, however before 2013 was signed as National Highway 39. The Newell Highway is an important road link for freight between Queensland and Victoria and regional centres in western NSW. At 1,058 kilometres (657 mi) in length, the Newell is the longest highway in New South Wales, [2] [3] and passes through fifteen local government areas. [1]

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.

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.

Australia Country in Oceania

Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.


Traffic volumes along the Newell Highway vary significantly from around 1,200 to 4,000 vehicles per day in rural areas. In the urban centres such as Dubbo, average daily traffic volumes are in the order of 20,000 vehicles a day. A large number of heavy vehicles use the Newell Highway – on average, between 26 per cent and 52 per cent of all traffic on the route. [1] At one point in the south west of the state, the highway carries approximately 1,900 vehicle movements daily, of which about 32 per cent are heavy vehicles; [4] while at another point in the north west of the state, believed to be the highest traffic density on that highway, a truck passes every 60 seconds, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. [5]

Dubbo City in New South Wales, Australia

Dubbo is a city in the Orana Region of New South Wales, Australia. It is the largest population centre in the Orana region, with a population of 38,943 as recorded by the 2016 census.

The Newell Highway carries the National Highway 39 shield for its entire length. The highway is generally flat, with long, straight sections joined by the occasional curved section. However, passing through the Warrumbungle Ranges, there are steeper grades and tighter curves than on the rest of the highway. [1] Open road sections of the Newell Highway are mostly 110 km/h (68 mph) zones. [6] The Newell Highway serves as a major road link between Melbourne and Brisbane; and is named in honour of H. H. Newell, the Commissioner of Main Roads in New South Wales from 1932 until 1941. [7]

Warrumbungles mountain range

The Warrumbungles is a mountain range in the Orana region of New South Wales, Australia. The nearest town is Coonabarabran. The area is easiest accessed from the Newell Highway which is the major road link directly between Melbourne, Victoria and Brisbane, Queensland and cuts across inland New South Wales from the north to the south.

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 9,992.5 km2 (3,858.1 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 approximately 5 million, and its inhabitants are referred to as "Melburnians".

Brisbane capital city of Queensland, Australia

Brisbane is the capital of and the most populated city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of approximately 2.5 million, and the South East Queensland metropolitan region, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3.6 million. The Brisbane central business district stands on the historic European settlement and is situated inside a peninsula of the Brisbane River, about 15 kilometres from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River Valley between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range, sprawling across several of Australia's most populous local government areas (LGAs)—most centrally the City of Brisbane, which is by far the most populous LGA in the nation. The demonym of Brisbane is "Brisbanite" or "Brisbanian".


The highway runs generally north-south, parallel to the eastern coast of New South Wales, about 400 kilometres (250 mi) inland, and is the main inland direct road link from Victoria to Queensland, bypassing the more urbanised and congested coastal areas of the state.

From its northern terminus at Goondiwindi in Queensland where it meets the Leichhardt Highway, the Newell runs to the south across the New South Wales and Queensland state border through Boggabilla, Moree, Narrabri, Coonabarabran, Gilgandra, Dubbo, Parkes, Forbes, West Wyalong, Narrandera, Jerilderie, and Finley. The Newell meets its southern terminus at Tocumwal where the highway crosses the Murray River (part of the border between New South Wales and Victoria) and adjoins the Goulburn Valley Highway in Victoria. [6]

Goondiwindi Town in Queensland, Australia

Goondiwindi is a town and a locality in the Goondiwindi Region, Queensland, Australia. At the 2016 census, the town had an urban population of approximately 5,500.

Leichhardt Highway highway in Queensland

The Leichhardt Highway is a major transport route in Queensland, Australia. It is a continuation northward from Goondiwindi of the Newell Highway.

Boggabilla Town in New South Wales, Australia

Boggabilla is a small town in the far north of inland New South Wales, Australia in Moree Plains Shire. At the 2016 census, the town had a population of 551, of which 63% identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent.

The highway crosses eight major inland rivers, from north to south, the Macintyre between Goondiwindi and Boggabilla, the Mehi at Moree, the Namoi near Narrabri, the Castlereagh at Coonabarabran and at Gilgandra, the Macquarie at Dubbo, the Lachlan and Lake Forbes at Forbes, the Murrumbidgee at Narrandera, and the Murray River at Tocumwal. The Newell Highway is subject to periodic flooding [3] north of Moree, [8] at Dubbo, [9] and south of Narrandera. [10] [11]

Macintyre River river

The Macintyre River, a perennial river that forms part of the Border Rivers group, is part of the Barwon catchment of the Murray-Darling basin, located in the Northern Tablelands and North West Slopes regions of New South Wales, and the Southern Downs region of Queensland, Australia.

Mehi River river in New South Wales, Australia

Mehi River, a watercourse that is part of the Barwon catchment within the Murray–Darling basin, is located in the Orana district of New South Wales, Australia.

Namoi River river in Australia

The Namoi River, a major perennial river that is part of the Barwon catchment of the Murray–Darling basin, is located in the Northern Tablelands and North West Slopes districts of New South Wales, Australia.

At various points on its route, the Newell shares part of its route with other highways including, from north to south, the Gwydir at Moree, the Kamilaroi near Narrabri, the Oxley and Castlereagh between Coonabarabran and Gilgandra, the Mitchell at Dubbo, the Mid-Western between Marsden and West Wyalong, and the Riverina near Finley.

Gwydir Highway highway in New South Wales

The Gwydir Highway is a 566-kilometre (352 mi) state highway in northern New South Wales, Australia.

Kamilaroi Highway highway in New South Wales

The Kamilaroi Highway is a 605-kilometre (376 mi) state highway located in the north-western region of New South Wales, Australia. The highway's northwestern terminus is at a junction with the Mitchell Highway at Bourke. Its southeastern terminus is a junction with the New England Highway north of Willow Tree.

Oxley Highway highway in New South Wales

The Oxley Highway is a rural highway in New South Wales, Australia. It starts at Nevertire where it joins the Mitchell Highway. It links Nevertire, Warren, Gilgandra, Coonabarabran, Gunnedah, Carroll, Tamworth, Bendemeer, Walcha, Yarrowitch, Ellenborough, Long Flat, and Wauchope and ends at Port Macquarie on the coast of the Tasman Sea.


The Newell was declared a State Highway in 1938, numbered No. 17, and named in honour of H. H. Newell following his death in 1941. [6] [7] At the time of its gazettal, the Newell Highway followed existing roads as far as possible, the exceptions being between Narrandera and West Wyalong and from Coonabarabran to Narrabri completed during 1941-42 and 1946-49 respectively as wartime and post-war defence projects. [2] Between 1965 and November 1992 the Newell Highway carried the National Route 39 black and white shield and despite its misnomer as a national route, the highway was a patchwork of other national and state highways, and funding of the highway was in the main the responsibility of the NSW Government. Following the passage of the Australian Land Transport Development Act 1988 on 15 January 1993 the Australian Government gazetted the Newell as a national highway and assumed funding and administrative responsibility. [2] A large number of non-reflective signs along the highway have reflective NH39 coverplates, a clear indication that they once showed NR39. [6]

Major exits and intersections

Queensland Goondiwindi Goondiwindi Australian state route 85.svg Marshall Street west to Barwon Highway (State Route 83) – Goondiwindi town centre, St George

Australian national highway A39.svgAustralian national route 42.svg Cunningham Highway (National Highway A39) north to Leichhardt Highway (National Highway A39) and Cunningham Highway (National Route 42)  Brisbane, Rockhampton, Warwick

Australian Tourist Drive 3.svg Kildonan Road (Tourist Drive 3) east – Border Rivers Tourist Drive
Northern highway terminus at roundabout
00.0New South Wales alphanumeric route A39.svg Newell HighwayAustralian national highway A39.svgNew South Wales alphanumeric route A39.svg Route transition: South end of National Highway A39, north end of A39
Queensland – New South Wales state border10.62Queensland – New South Wales state border
New South Wales Macintyre River 21.2Bridge over river
Moree Plains Boggabilla 85.0New South Wales alphanumeric route B60.svg Bruxner Highway (B60) Northern Rivers coast
Gwydir River 12276Bridge over river
Moree Plains Moree 13181Boggabilla Road
Mehi River 13383Bridge over river
Moree PlainsMoree13383New South Wales alphanumeric route B76.svg Gwydir Highway (B76) east  Warialda B76 eastern concurrency terminus
13483New South Wales alphanumeric route B76.svg Gwydir Highway (B76) north / Alice Street west  Collarenebri B76 western concurrency terminus at roundabout
Narrabri Narrabri 232144New South Wales alphanumeric route B51.svg Kamilaroi Highway west  Wee Waa
Namoi River 235146Bridge over river
NarrabriNarrabriNew South Wales alphanumeric route B51.svg Kamilaroi Highway (B51) east  Boggabri, Gunnedah Roundabout
Warrumbungle Coonabarabran 348216New South Wales alphanumeric route B56.svg Oxley Highway (B56) north-east  Gunnedah B56 northern concurrency terminus
Gilgandra Tooraweenah 407253Tooraweenah–Mendooran Road   Tooraweenah
Gilgandra 441274New South Wales alphanumeric route B55.svg Castlereagh Highway (B55) east   Mendooran, Dunedoo B55 eastern concurrency terminus
Castlereagh River 442275Jack Renshaw Bridge
GilgandraGilgandra442275New South Wales alphanumeric route B55.svgNew South Wales alphanumeric route B56.svg Castlereagh Highway (B55) / Oxley Highway (B56)  Coonamble, Warren B55 and B56 concurrency termini
Talbragar River 501311Bridge over river
Dubbo Dubbo 506314New South Wales alphanumeric route B84.svg Erskine Street (B84)  Dunedoo
Macquarie River 507315Emile Serisier Bridge
DubboDubbo508316New South Wales alphanumeric route A32.svg Mitchell Highway (A32)   Wellington, Narromine
Narromine Tomingley 559347Tomingley Narromine Road   Narromine
Parkes Parkes 626389Condobolin Road west   Condobolin
Clarinda Street / Orange Road east   Orange
Forbes Forbes 659409 Lachlan Valley Way east   Cowra
Henry Lawson Way   Grenfell
Lachlan Valley Way northern concurrency terminus
Lake Forbes660410Oxley Bridge
Lachlan River 661411Bridge over river
ForbesBundaburrah665413 Lachlan Valley Way west   Condobolin Lachlan Valley Way southern concurrency terminus
Bland Marsden726451New South Wales alphanumeric route B64.svg Mid-Western Highway (B64) east   Grenfell Mid-Western Highway eastern concurrency terminus
Wyalong 758471New South Wales alphanumeric route B85.svg Barmedman Road (B85)   Temora
West Wyalong 763474New South Wales alphanumeric route B64.svg Mid-Western Highway (B64) west   Hay Mid-Western Highway western concurrency terminus
Coolamon Mirrool Junction813505New South Wales alphanumeric route B94.svg Burley Griffin Way (B94) east   Temora Burley Griffin Way eastern concurrency terminus
Ardlethan 831516New South Wales alphanumeric route B94.svg Burley Griffin Way (B94) west   Griffith Burley Griffin Way western concurrency terminus
Narrandera Grong Grong 876544Ganmain Road   Coolamon
Narrandera 898558 Irrigation Way   Griffith
Irrigation Canal898558Bridge over the canal
Murrumbidgee River 899559Narrandera Bridge
NarranderaNarrandera900560New South Wales alphanumeric route A20.svg Sturt Highway (A20) south-east   Wagga Wagga Sturt Highway south-eastern concurrency terminus
901560New South Wales alphanumeric route A20.svg Sturt Highway (A20) north-west   Darlington Point Sturt Highway north-western concurrency terminus
Jerilderie Jerilderie Junction991616New South Wales alphanumeric route B87.svg Kidman Way   Griffith
Billabong Creek 1,005624Bridge over creek
JerilderieJerilderie1,007626Conargo Road   Conargo
Berrigan Finley 1,042647New South Wales alphanumeric route B58.svg Riverina Highway   Deniliquin, Berrigan B58 concurrency terminus
Murray River 1,057657Edward Hillson Bridge
New South Wales – Victoria state border1,058657New South Wales – Victoria state border
Victoria Moira Koonoomoo Australian national highway A39.svg Goulburn Valley Highway (A39)   Melbourne Southern highway termninus: continues as Goulburn Valley Highway
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

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  2. 1 2 3 "Newell Highway: History and Development". OzRoads. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  3. 1 2 "Roads Minister says duplicating Newell Highway is on state government's agenda". ABC News . Australia. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  4. "Improvements to the Newell Highway at Grong Grong". Projects: South West NSW. Roads & Maritime Services, Government of New South Wales. 2015. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  5. Brown, Emma (8 May 2014). "Draft Newell Highway Strategy released". ABC News . Australia. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  6. 1 2 3 4 "Newell Highway: State Highway No. 17". OzRoads. Retrieved 22 March 2015.
  7. 1 2 "The Newell Highway – Named after a pioneer road man". Main Roads. OzRoads. 43 (2). December 1977.
  8. "Heavy rain closes roads in NSW north-west". The Sydney Morning Herald . AAP. 28 November 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  9. Howe, Marc (12 May 2014). "NSW's Newell Highway Slated for Upgrade". Sourceable. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  10. "Travelling? Check road closures here". The Land . 19 March 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  11. "Highway flood plan (video)". Prime 7 . 31 May 2011. Retrieved 23 March 2015.