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Princes Highway
Australian Alphanumeric State Route A1.svg Australian Route 1.svg
see other route designations below
Length 1898 km (1,179 mi)
General direction East-West
From Australian State Route 31.svg Great Western Highway,
Chippendale, Sydney
via Wollongong, Batemans Bay, Orbost, Sale, Melbourne, Geelong, Warrnambool, Mount Gambier, Tailem Bend
To Australian Alphanumeric State Route A1.svg Glen Osmond Road /
Australian National Route A17.svg Portrush Road,
Glen Osmond, Adelaide
Established 1920
Allocation Wollongong-NSW/Vic Border:
Australian Route 1.svg

NSW/Vic Border-Traralgon, Geelong-Mt. Gambier:
Australian Alphanumeric State Route A1.svg
Formerly Australian Route 1.svg
Mt. Gambier-Tailem Bend:
Australian Alphanumeric State Route B1.svg
Formerly Australian Route 1.svg
Tailem Bend-Adelaide:
Australian National Route A1.svg
Formerly Australian National Route 1.svg
Major junctions Australian Route 48.svg Illawarra Highway
Australian Route 52.svg Kings Highway
Australian Route 18.svg Snowy Mountains Highway
Australian Alphanumeric State Route B23.svg Monaro Highway
Australian Alphanumeric State Route B500.svg Great Alpine Road
Australian Alphanumeric State Route A440.svg South Gippsland Highway
Australian Alphanumeric State Route C482.svg Hyland Highway
Australian Alphanumeric State Route M1.svg Princes Freeway
Australian Alphanumeric State Route M1.svg Geelong Ring Road
Australian Alphanumeric State Route B100.svg Great Ocean Road
Australian Alphanumeric State Route B120.svg Hopkins Highway
Australian Alphanumeric State Route A200.svg Henty Highway
Australian Alphanumeric State Route B160.svg Glenelg Highway (Casterton Road)
Australian Alphanumeric State Route A66.svg Riddoch Highway
Australian Alphanumeric State Route B101.svg Southern Ports Highway
Australian National Route A8.svg Dukes Highway
For bypassed sections of the Princes Highway, see the following: Princes Highway, Sydney, Princes Highway, Wollongong, Old Princes Highway, Victoria, Princes Highway, Melbourne, Princes Highway, Geelong and Old Princes Highway, South Australia.

The Princes Highway is a segment of Australia's Highway 1 that extends from Sydney to Adelaide via Melbourne (or effectively through the states of New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia), a distance of 1941km (along Highway 1) or 1898km via the former alignments of the highway (however the route is slower and there are many poor connections to the bypassed sections of the original alignment). The highway follows the coastline for most of its length although and thus takes quite an indirect and lengthy route. By contrast, the Hume Highway (National Highway 31) from Sydney to Melbourne at 870 km (as oppose to 1040km on Highway 1), and the Western and Dukes Highways (National Highway 8) from Melbourne to Adelaide at 730km (915km along Highway 1) are far more direct. However because of the rural nature and lower traffic volumes over much of its length, the Princes Highway is a more scenic and leisurely route than the main highways between these major cities.

The Princes Highway as a named route came into being when pre-existing roads (most unnamed) were renamed ‘Princes Highway’ after the visit to Australia in 1920 of the Prince of Wales (later to become King Edward VIII and, after abdicating, the Duke of Windsor). The highway was officially named on August 10 1920 at Warragul.




New South Wales

Princes Highway at Moruya, New South Wales.
Princes Highway at Eden, NSW.

The Princes Highway starts at the junction of Broadway (Great Western Highway) and City Road (Princes Highway) in the Sydney suburb of Chippendale, and runs through Sydney's southern suburbs, to the village of Waterfall via Kogarah, Sutherland and Engadine.

After Waterfall the highway is paralleled by the Southern Freeway (national route 1) to the top of Bulli Pass outside the city of Wollongong. The highway then enters Wollongong and the Illawarra region, whilst Mount Ousley Road, which is designated as part of national route 1, bypasses Wollongong's northern suburbs. Where Mount Ousley Road enters Wollongong, the Southern Freeway resumes, and parallels the highway through the suburbs of Wollongong to Yallah.

From the southern end of the Southern Freeway at Yallah, the highway is dual carriageway to Kiama Heights (with the exception of the 3 km section from the Illawarra Highway to Tongarra Road, which is four lane undivided. Beyond Kiama Heights, 120 km south of Sydney, the highway is single two lane carriageway to Bomaderry, from where it is four lane divided through Bomaderry and Nowra. A 6 km length at South Nowra is to be duplicated to four lanes by 2012, and beyond this is another 4 km of four lane single carriageway. From this point the highway is mostly single two lane carriageway along the South Coast of New South Wales, passing through Ulladulla, Batemans Bay, Moruya, Narooma and Bega, then bypassing Merimbula and passing through Eden, before crossing the border into Victoria, 550 km from Sydney and 515 km from Melbourne.

The Princes Highway is considered a dangerous road by the New South Wales NRMA,[1] with 10 fatalities and 729 people injured on the highway between Sydney and the state border in 2006.[2]


The Princes Highway is beautified in some towns, such as Bairnsdale, Victoria, where the median strip has been made a garden.

In Victoria the highway passes through Orbost, Bairnsdale and Sale in the Gippsland region. After the Latrobe Valley, much of the highway has been superseded by freeway, with the final sections of freeway scheduled for completion in 2010. From here the highway continues west to Dandenong and into the south-eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

As the road passes through Melbourne, it first becomes Lonsdale Street (through Dandenong), then Dandenong Road to St Kilda, then Queens Road through Albert Park (this section of highway is shown in the 1969 Melbourne Transportation Plan as part of the F14 freeway corridor). Closer to Melbourne city centre, the road's name becomes Kings Way, and then King Street in central Melbourne. The name changes to Curzon Street after leaving the central business district to enter North Melbourne, and then follows Flemington Road west from where it meets Curzon Street, then Racecourse Road, Smithfield Road and Ballarat Road, in that order, before it starts again as Geelong Road where Geelong Road branches off Ballarat Road and Ballarat Road becomes the Western Freeway. This reason for this confusing naming of the highway is that it follows streets and roads which were already named when the highway was named in 1920 and which were not renamed.

Through Melbourne and its suburbs the route of National Route 1 is not the Princes Highway, but rather the Monash Freeway, which intersects the Princes Highway on the eastern outskirts of Melbourne, and then the West Gate Freeway which bypasses central Melbourne. These two freeways have been linked by the southern link of the CityLink tollway. This avoids the confusing and congested arrangement of roads that is the Princes Highway in central Melbourne.

Heading towards Geelong in a south-west direction, the West Gate Freeway and Geelong Road join together in a junction to become the Princes Freeway, which, unusually for an Australian intercity freeway, carries enough traffic to merit three lanes in either direction. On the northern outskirts of Geelong, the highway reverts from freeway to three lane dual carriageway through Geelong and its suburbs, with traffic light-controlled at-grade intersections. Through Geelong the highway is often heavily congested. With the recent completion of the Geelong Ring Road, the M1 now travels on freeway-standard road from Geelong to Traralgon without encountering any traffic lights (with the exception of Yarragon and Trafalgar, which are yet to be bypassed). The ring road rejoins the highway at Waurn Ponds on the western edge of Geelong.

After Geelong the highway heads in a generally western direction and is mostly a single two lane carriageway. In May 2008 the Victorian and Federal Governments each committed $110 million to duplicate the Princes Highway from the Geelong Ring Road to Winchelsea.[3]

After Winchelsea the highway passes through Colac, before reaching Warrnambool. The section from Geelong to Warrnambool runs inland, and so avoids the slower, but scenic Great Ocean Road. From Warrnambool, the Princes Highway passes through Portland before crossing the border into South Australia. At this point the highway is 1065 km from Sydney, 465 km from Melbourne and 510 km from Adelaide.

South Australia

At Mount Gambier the highway takes a more northward tack as the coast curves to the northwest, passing the Coorong National Park. Shortly before Tailem Bend it is joined by the Dukes Highway, part of the main route between Melbourne and Adelaide. The highway then bypasses Murray Bridge and crosses the Murray River. From this point to Glen Osmond on Adelaide's southeastern outskirts the highway is paralleled by the South Eastern Freeway, which is designated as national route 1.

At its termination point in Glen Osmond the Princes Highway is 6km from Adelaide and 2055km from Sydney.

See also


  1. ^ "Princes Highway ignored by NSW govt: NRMA". ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). 22 June 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-05. "NRMA managing director Alan Evans says the highway is one of the most dangerous in the state and he is disappointed that it has been ignored."  
  2. ^ "Road traffic crashes in New South Wales: Statistical Statement for the year ended 31 December 2006" (pdf). Crash statistics. New South Wales Road Traffic Authority. 2007. Retrieved 2008-02-05.   (see Table 25: pages 58-59)
  3. ^ Jeff Whalley (May 9, 2008). "Ring road will be connected to duplicated Princes Highway". Geelong Advertiser. Retrieved 2008-07-18.  

External links


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