New Zealand State Highway 2: Wikis


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State Highway 2
State Highway 2 NZ.svg
NZ-SH2 map.png
Length 968 km
602 mi
Primary direction North-South
Start Pokeno
Primary destinations Paeroa
Te Puke
Upper Hutt
Lower Hutt
End Ngauranga Interchange, 5 km north of Wellington
Route quality 97% single carriageway
3% dual carriageway
0[1]% motorway
Tourist routes Pacific Coast Highway
Waihi to Tauranga
Tauranga to Matata
Kerurutahi to Opotiki
Gisborne to Napier
Classic New Zealand Wine Trail
Napier to Greytown
Featherston to Ngauranga

State Highway 2 is one of New Zealand's eight national highways. With the exception of State Highway 1, which runs the length of both of the country's main islands, SH 2 is the longest national highway in the North Island. The highway runs north-south via the country's east coast, connecting Auckland and Wellington via the Hawkes Bay cities of Napier and Hastings, Gisborne and the Bay of Plenty including Tauranga.

For most of its length SH 2 is a two-lane single carriageway, with at-grade intersections and property accesses, both in rural and urban areas.



Looking north on State Highway 2 (High Street South) in Carterton, just 80 km (50 mi) from SH 2's terminus near Wellington.

This is the route that SH 2 takes in 2008.

The highway deviates from SH 1 just north of Pokeno, some 49 km south of central Auckland. It initially heads east, crossing the Hauraki Plains before running the length of the Karangahake Gorge, a break in the hills between the Coromandel Peninsula and Kaimai Ranges. From the mining town of Waihi it runs southeast, skirting the edge of Tauranga Harbour, which it crosses after travelling through the city of Tauranga. The highway continues to follow the coast for a further 60km, until it reaches the village of Matata.

From Matata the highway heads slightly inland, crossing through the Rangitaiki plain to the south of Whakatane, loops south to Taneatua, through the Waimana gorge then back north to briefly return to the coast near Opotiki. After Opotiki the highway turns inland, ascending southeast along the valley of the Waioeka River, and from there winding up to the 725-metre Traffords Hill Summit. From here it descends into the watershed of the Waipaoa River following that river's valley from Te Karaka to Makaraka, just outside Gisborne, to which it is connected by a short stretch of SH 35.

From this point the highway turns south , passing the Wharerata Forest and the isthmus of the Mahia Peninsula, before turning west to follow the coast of Hawke Bay. Close to the mouth of the Waihua River the highway heads briefly inland, passing the Mohaka Forest and Lake Tutira before rejoining the coast not far from the junction with SH 5 at Bay View. The highway continues south to the twin bay cities, crossing Napier and turning inland to enter Hastings. From central Hastings, the highway briefly loses its national highway status for seven kilometres, regaining that status at Pakipaki.

The highway continues to head inland from Pakipaki, initially southwest to Waipukurau, then briefly west to follow tributaries of the Tukituki River upstream. Close to Norsewood the highway again turns southwest, a direction it maintains for much of the remainder of its journey, crossing undulating country that forms the upper catchment of the Manawatu River. In Woodville, the highway meets SH 3, which links SH 2 with the city of Palmerston North via the Manawatu Gorge. SH2 continues south into the Wairarapa, travelling through the town of Eketahuna and into the town of Masterton.

The last 100 kilometres of highway takes it through several small Wairarapa towns (Carterton, Greytown, and Featherston), and then via a winding and steep section over the Rimutaka Range (summit 555 metres) into the Hutt Valley. The highway travels along the edge of Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt and Petone before skirting the upper part of Wellington Harbour before terminating at the junction with SH 1 at the Ngauranga Interchange, five kilometres of central Wellington.

Although the Ngauranga Interchange is the official end of State Highway 2, it is signed northbound as far back as the Mount Victoria Tunnel, 8 km before it begins.

Spur sections

State Highway 2 has two short spurs: State Highway 2A and State Highway 2B. State Highway 2A runs for 4.6 km from SH2 at Tauranga to the Tauranga Harbour Bridge. State Highway 2B runs for 4.1 km from SH 2 at Napier Airport to SH 50 at Taradale. This forms the northern part of the Hawke's Bay Expressway.


State Highway 2 used to extend into Whakatane, but recently this section was moved inland to pass through Edgecumbe and Awakeri, with State Highway 30 extended to Whakatane to cover the former route occupied by State Highway 2.

State Highway 2 used to run between Hastings and Pakipaki, but recently has been revoked.

State Highway 2 once followed Fergusson Drive through the centre of Upper Hutt. This section was bypassed by River Road in the 1980s.

State Highway 2's southern terminus has also changed. It used to form the southern part of the Wellington Urban Motorway when State Highway 1 finished at the Aotea Quay off-ramp. In 1996, State Highway 1 replaced this section.

At Mangatawhiri the section of State Highway 2 had a poor crash record. A seven-kilometre Mangatawhiri Deviation was built to improve safety by bypassing a section. East and west bound passing lanes provide safe passing opportunities. Grade separated intersections improved safety for traffic wanting to cross or join the highway in December 2008.


Currently there are several projects to improve stafety of State Highway 2.

They include:

• Kopuku Realignment - this section of highway is under investigation to improve to 4 lane highway between the Mangatawhiri and Maramarua Deviations. The project is primarily a realignment project aimed at improving road safety and providing passing opportunities.

• Maramarua Deviation - a bypass of Maramarua township on SH2, east of the SH1/2 Pokeno turnoff, to improve road safety, provide passing opportunities and reduce holiday peak congestion in Maramarua township. Expected completion of the project detail design will be completed by end 2008/ start of 2009.

• Katikati Bypass - an investigation is currently being unertaken into the long-standing designation for the bypass to ensure that it will meet the future needs of Katikati, and is consistent with Transit's overall strategy for long-term management of SH2.

Tauranga Eastern Motorway - a proposed Motorway in the Bay of Plenty region. It will replace a section of State Highway 2. It will cover almost 23 km from Te Maunga junction to Paengaroa, and will improve access from the east (Te Puke, Whakatane, Opotiki, Gisborne) and south from Rotorua and Taupo - is the main route for trucks heading to the Port of Tauranga from Rotorua and the eastern Bay of Plenty, and connects the economically important central plateau forestry industry with the port for export.

• Dowse to Petone Upgrade Project - A grade-separated interchange with raised roundabout over SH2 at Dowse Drive with a connection to Hutt Road and Dowse Drive; an overbridge to replace the traffic lights at Korokoro connecting Petone and Korokoro; upgrading the section of SH2 between Korokoro and the Petone overbridges in the short term by providing a raised central curbed median to separate north and southbound lanes. The expected compelation date is 2010.


The busiest section of State Highway 2 exists just north of the Ngauranga Interchange in Wellington, which was measured at km 977.6 to have an AADT of 67,000 vehicles.[2] The quietest section of road is nead Otoko in the Gisborne District, which was measured at km 389.5 to have an AADT of just 1000 vehicles.

Major intersections

Territorial authority Location km Destinations Notes
Franklin District Pokeno 0 State Highway 1 NZ.svg SH 1 north
(Waikato Expressway)
SH 2 begins
State Highway 1 NZ.svg SH 1 south
(Waikato Expressway)
Waikato District District contains no major junctions
Hauraki District Mangatarata 34 State Highway 25 NZ.svg SH 25
Thames, Coromandel Peninsula
37 State Highway 27 NZ.svg SH 27
Matamata, Tirau
Paeroa Waihou River
72 State Highway 26 NZ.svg SH 26 north
(Arney Street)
Coromandel Peninsula, Thames
SH 2/SH 26 concurrency begins
73 State Highway 26 NZ.svg SH 26 south
(Te Aroha Road)
SH 2/SH 26 concurrency ends
Waihi 93 State Highway 25 NZ.svg SH 25/Pacific Coast Highway
Whangamata, Tairua
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency begins
Western Bay of Plenty District District west of Tauranga contains no major junctions
Tauranga City Cambridge Heights 149 Pacific Coast Highway
Waihi Road
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency ends
Tauranga South 151 State Highway 2a NZ.svg SH 2A
(Takitumu Drive)
City Centre, Mount Maunganui, Tauranga Airport (via Harbour Bridge)
152 Pacific Coast Highway
Cameron Road
City Centre
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency begins
Maungatapu 156 State Highway 29 NZ.svg SH 29
Welcome Bay, Hamilton
SH 2/SH 29 concurrency begins
Te Maunga 164 State Highway 29 NZ.svg SH 29
Mount Maunganui, Tauranga Airport
SH 2/SH 29 concurrency ends
Western Bay of Plenty District Paengaroa 189 State Highway 33 NZ.svg SH 33
Whakatane District Matata 223 Pacific Coast Highway
(Arawa Street)
Hawkens Junction 232 State Highway 34 NZ.svg SH 34
(Awaiti South Road)
Kawerau, Rotorua
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency ends
Edgecumbe Rangitaiki River
Awakeri 242 State Highway 30 NZ.svg SH 30 west
SH 2/SH 30 concurrency begins
243 State Highway 30 NZ.svg SH 30 east
SH 2/SH 30 concurrency ends
Opotiki District Kerurutahi 285 Pacific Coast Highway
(Wainui Road)
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency begins
Opotiki 304 State Highway 35 NZ.svg SH 35/Pacific Coast Highway
(St John Street)
Te Kaha, Te Araroa
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency ends
Gisborne District Makaraka 443 Pacific Coast Highway
(Main Road)
Gisborne, Te Araroa
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency begins
Matawhero 444 State Highway 35 NZ.svg SH 35
(Awapuni Road)
Wairoa District North Clyde 533 State Highway 38 NZ.svg SH 38
(Mahia Avenue)
Frasertown, Lake Waikaremoana
Hastings District District north of Napier contains no major junctions
Napier City Bay View 638 State Highway 5 NZ.svg SH 5/Thermal Explorer Highway
(Eskdale Drive)
Westshore 647 State Highway 2b NZ.svg SH 2B
(Hawkes Bay Expressway)
Napier Central 649 State Highway 50 NZ.svg SH 50 north
(Hyderabad Road)
SH 2/SH 50 concurrency begins
650 State Highway 50 NZ.svg SH 50 south
(Taradale Road)
Taradale, Hastings, Wellington
SH 2/SH 50 concurrency ends
Pacific Coast Highway and SH2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency ends
Classic-nz-wine-trail.png Classic New Zealand Wine Trail and SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency begins
Hastings District Karamu 669 SH 2 temporarily ends
Pakipaki 678 SH 2 resumes
State Highway 50a NZ.svg SH 50A
(Hawkes Bay Expressway)
Central Hawke's Bay District Takapau 743 State Highway 50 NZ.svg SH 50
Tikokino, Ongaonga
Tararua District Manawatu River
Woodville 802 State Highway 3 NZ.svg SH 3
(Vogel Street)
Palmerston North
Ngawapurua 808 Manawatu River
Masterton District District contains no major junctions
Carterton District
South Wairarapa District Greytown 909 Classic-nz-wine-trail.png Classic NZ Wine Trail
(Moroa Plains Road)
SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency ends
Featherston 921 State Highway 53 NZ.svgClassic-nz-wine-trail.png SH 53/Classic NZ Wine Trail
(Revans Street)
SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency begins
Upper Hutt City District contains no major junctions
Hutt City Manor Park 962 State Highway 58 NZ.svg SH 58
(Haywards Hill Road)
Pauatahanui, Porirua
Wellington City Ngauranga 979 State Highway 1 NZ.svgClassic-nz-wine-trail.png SH 1 north/Classic NZ Wine Trail south
(Hutt Road)
Ngauranga, Porirua, Picton Ferry
SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency ends
Traffic for The Interislander ferry to Picton and the South Island exits here.
State Highway 1 NZ.svg SH 1 south
(Wellington Urban Motorway)
City Centre, Airport
SH 2 ends


  1. ^ This is the small section of motorway between the Ngauranga/Picton Ferry off-ramp and the merger with State Highway 1, about 200m.
  2. ^ [1]

See also



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