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The Hume Highway / Hume Freeway is one of Australia's most important and notable interstate highways which runs for 880 km inland between Sydneymarker and Melbournemarker. 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 Alburymarker, Wodongamarker and Canberramarker.

The main alternative route is the Princes Highway which goes via the coast rather than inland.

History

The coast of New South Wales from the Queenslandmarker border to the Victoriamarker border is separated from the inland by an escarpment, forming the eastern edge of the Great Dividing Rangemarker. 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.

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 brushmarker", which was regarded as almost impenetrable. In 1798 explorers (Wilson, Price, Hacking, and Collins) reached the Moss Valemarker and Marulanmarker 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"marker. Many of the early explorers would most likely have used aboriginal guides, but they do not appear to have given them credit.

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.

The route taken by the Hume Highway to climb from the coast to the Southern Tablelands and thence across the Great Divide is situated between the parallel river gorge systems of the Wollondillymarker and Shoalhaven Riversmarker. 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 Menanglemarker up to Mittagongmarker 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 km from the Pheasant's Nest bridge over the Nepean River to Yerrinbool, before dropping slightly before the final climb to reach the tablelands at Aylmerton.

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.

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 Albury.

Mitchell's route, except for the bypasses at Mittagongmarker, Berrimamarker and Marulanmarker (dual carriageways were completed in 1986) is still largely followed by the current highway. Mitchell intended to straighten the route north of Yanderra, but was not granted funding, although his proposed route through Pheasants Nestmarker has similarities to the freeway route opened in 1980. Mitchell's work on the Great South Road is best preserved at Towrangmarker 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 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.

Route

At its Sydney end, the Hume Highway begins at Parramatta Roadmarker, in Summer Hillmarker. This route is numbered as . The first 35 km 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 Casulamarker. Heading northbound, the M5 provides access to Sydney Airportmarker and the CBD; while the M7 provides access to Newcastlemarker and Brisbanemarker bypassing the Sydney CBD. Both of these routes are tolled.

Of the 880 km length of the Hume Highway, the majority of the corridor is dual carriageway or freeway standard in NSW, with mostly two lanes in either direction. The remaining upgrades required are:

  • Duplicating 67 km of the "single carriageway sections" between the Olympic Highway Junction at Table Top and the Sturt Highway Junction, 6 km north of Tarcutta ($800m) - Due to be opened by December 2009.
  • Bypasses of Tarcutta, Holbrook and Woomargama, totalling 20 kilometres ($700m) - planning underway with completion by 2012.


The route in Victoriamarker is categorised as freeway by VicRoads. However, some of the route is of similar design to the duplicated sections in New South Wales; having dual carriageways with 2 lanes in each direction with no traffic lights but with sporadic at-grade intersections.

At its Melbourne end, the original alignment of the Melbourne-Sydney route began at the intersection of Elizabeth St, Flemington Road and Royal Parade. The first section of the former route was Royal Parade, which becomes Sydney Road at Brunswick Road and then becomes the Hume Highway itself at Campbellfield. This route is numbered as , and is now officially called Sydney Road (Hume Highway). This ceased to be the official highway route in 1992, with the completion of Stage 1 of the Western Ring Road. As the Hume Freeway approaches Melbourne at the suburb of Craigieburnmarker, 27 km north of the city centre, the Craigieburn Bypass now diverts the Hume Freeway (and the M31 designation) to the east of the original highway, to terminate at the Western Ring Road/Metropolitan Ring Road .

Duplication

In NSW the Hume Highway is dual carriageway from the Sydney Orbital Motorway to the Sturt Highway junction (about halfway between Sydney and Melbourne), with the final link, the Sheahan Bridge across the Murrumbidgee Rivermarker at Gundagaimarker, duplicated and opened in May 2009. Duplication of the Hume Highway between the Sturt Highway interchange and the Olympic Highway has just recently opened the new dual carriageway sections to traffic. The Australian Government, which funds maintenance and construction of the Hume Highway, aims to duplicate the whole Hume Highway by the end of 2012, with the three bypasses of Tarcuttamarker, Holbrookmarker, and Woomargamamarker.

In Victoria the entire length of the Hume is duplicated with a 110 km/h speed limit. The duplication of the Victorian section was completed in 1994 with the opening of the Wangaratta bypass.

F5 widening

The freeway portion of the Hume Highway between the Sir Roden Cutler interchange (where the freeway joins to the M5 Motorway and M7 Motorways) and the southern end of the Berrima bypass is officially designated the F5 freeway.

A section of the F5 freeway approximately 4 km long between the Roden Cutler interchange and the Brooks Road interchange was widened to four lanes in the southbound direction to accommodate the merging of traffic from the M5, M7 and Hume Highway. The northbound side of the highway was subsequently widened to four lanes, being completed in August 2008. F5 Freeway widening - RTA

The section between Brooks Road and Narellan Road has suffered from extreme congestion in peak times since 2001. By 2007, the situation had worsened such that it is usually congested from early morning to late evening every day. In part, this was attributed to the massive Canberra sized housing subdivision in the Camden/Narellan area. Because this section is only two lanes in each direction, it was not uncommon for the traffic to do only 10 km/h even though the speed limit was 110 km/h. A video called "Gridlock on the F5" was produced and there was a successful joint campaign between the local paper, the Macarthur Chronicle and Campbelltown City Council's Mayor, Aaron Rule for the F5, south of Brooks Road to Campbelltown Road to be 8 lanes, and 6 lanes from Campbelltown Road to Narellan Road.

The widening work commenced in January 2009 and is expected to be completed in late 2011, being undertaken in 3 stages. The first stage, widening to 4 lanes each way between Brooks Road and St Andrews Road St Andrewsmarker is expected to be completed in 2010, The second stage, widening to 4 lanes each way between St Andrews Road and Raby Road is scheduled to commence in mid 2009 and be completed in mid 2011. The final stage, widening to 3 lanes each way between Raby Road and Narellan Road, is scheduled to commence in late 2010 (following completion of the first stage) and be completed in late 2011.

Construction of a pedestrian bridge between Claymore and Woodbinemarker is also underway. Those suburbs have been developed since the freeway was built, and there have been issues with pedestrians crossing the freeway. During roadworks for the widening of the road, a reduced speed limit of 80 km/h is applied to the designated roadwork areas, in conjunction with reduced lane widths.

Distances to destinations along the highway from Sydney.




Victorian hume freeway upgrade projects

VicRoads is undertaking planning studies for the upgrading of the Hume Freeway to freeway standard between Kalkallomarker and Beveridgemarker by removing direct access from adjoining properties and eliminating local road intersections. The planning study is intended to amend council planning schemes to reserve space for the upgrade but there is no funding or timetable for the upgrade This section has the highest accident rate of the Hume Freeway in Victoria.

In addition to those planned safety improvements, the Victorian government have proposed to construct 4-level stacked interchange between the Hume Freeway and the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road, which is planned for construction after 2020.

Views

Heading north from Melbourne, the road passes through the hills of the lower Great Dividing Rangemarker, some of which is covered with box eucalypt forest but of which much is cleared for farmland, before levelling out through flat, mostly cleared farming country through to Wodonga and the Victoria-New South Wales border. Victoria's landscape differs to that of the typical 'true Australian Outback', a dry summer can leave the ground parched and give travellers from greener foreign lands some idea of the actual outback that lies to the north and west. All of the rural section of the highway in Victoria (280 km) is dual carriageway, and all towns have been bypassed. There are many opportunities along the route to exit the freeway and sample the local produce in the towns and cities along the way, or head east, up into the Australian Alps. Mount Buffalomarker 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.

Travelling north, after crossing the Murray Rivermarker, the south bank of which is the Victoria-New South Wales border, the highway continues to pass through the Albury-Wodonga bypass. North of Albury, a major deviation of the highway was constructed in the 1930s due to the inundation of the original route caused by the raising of the wall of the Hume Dam on the Murray River. The deviation commences at Guinea St (the first part of the Riverina Highway east from Albury as far as what is now Old Sydney Road was until then the Hume Highway), and terminates at Bowna. At either end of the original route is the strange sight of the road disappearing into the waters of Lake Hume.

From Albury, the road continues generally north-east towards Holbrook, further north through hills near Gundagai; Then flat areas of land near Yass, before heading due east past Gunning and Goulburn to near Marulan, 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.

Speed limits

Like most roads in Australia, the Hume Highway is speed-limited, although it was as recent as 1977 that speed limits were introduced on the section between the Federal Highway interchange and Albury. Nearly the whole Hume Highway from Sydney to Melbourne is 110 km/h, except with the speed reduced to 50 km/h through the remaining three unbypassed towns.

Fixed speed cameras locations

Point to Point speed camera on the Hume Highway in Victoria
In Sydney: next to Ashfield Primary School, near Culdees Road Burwood, Willee St Enfield, Brennan St Yagoona, and Knight St Lansvale.In January 2008, fixed speed-cameras were installed in the median strip along the Craigieburn Bypass and northward to Seymourmarker, in Victoria, at roughly 15–20 km intervals.

Freeway section exits and major intersections

The Hume Freeway running through the centre of Albury


Hume Freeway
South Western Freeway
Northbound exits / intersections Distance to
Sydney (km)
Distance to
Melbourne (km)
Southbound exits / intersections
End 'South Western Freeway
continues as 'South Western Motorway

to Bankstownmarker / Sydneymarker
42 838 Start 'South Western Freeway
from 'South Western Motorway
Newcastlemarker, Brisbanemarker
WestLink

Camdenmarker, Liverpoolmarker
Camden Valley Way

no exit 47 833 Ingleburnmarker
Brooks Road
St Andrewsmarker, Casulamarker
Campbelltown Road

48 832 no exit
no exit 52 828 St Andrewsmarker, Campbelltownmarker
Campbelltown Road

End 'Hume Highway
continues as 'South Western Freeway
58 822 Campbelltownmarker, Penrithmarker
Appin Road
Narellan Road

Penrithmarker, Campbelltownmarker
Narellan Road
Appin Road

Start 'Hume Highway
from 'South Western Freeway
Wilton, Pictonmarker, Wollongongmarker
Picton Roadmarker

80 800 Wilton, Pictonmarker, Wollongongmarker
Picton Roadmarker

Yanderra, Pictonmarker
Remembrance Drive / Old Hume Highway
92 788 Yanderra
Avon Dam Road
Colo Valemarker, Yerrinboolmarker
Church Avenue / Old Hume Highway

105 775 Yerrinboolmarker, Colo Valemarker
Old Hume Highway / Church Avenue

no exit 107 773 Aylmertonmarker, Mittagongmarker, Bowralmarker
Old Hume Highway

Richlands, Mittagongmarker, Bowralmarker
Wombeyan Caves Road
115 765 no exit
Start Freeway 128 752 Berrimamarker, Medway
Medway Road
Berrimamarker
Mereworth Road / Old Hume Highway
End Freeway
Moss Valemarker, Wollongongmarker
Illawarra Highway

139 741 Moss Valemarker, Canyonleighmarker
Illawarra Highway

Exetermarker, Sutton Forest, Service Centre
Sallys Corner Road
142 738 Exetermarker, Sutton Forest, Service Centre
Sallys Corner Road
Heavy vehicle checking station 166 714 Marulanmarker, Heavy vehicle checking station
Brayton Road
Marulanmarker, Service Centre
George Street
167 713 Service Centre
Goulburnmarker
Sydney Road
190 690 Goulburnmarker
Sydney Road
Goulburnmarker
Hume Street
200 680 Goulburnmarker
Hume Street
Canberramarker, Queanbeyanmarker, Coomamarker
via U-turn

208 672 Barkers Lane
no exit 209 671 Canberramarker, Queanbeyanmarker, Coomamarker
Federal Highway

Breadalbanemarker
Cullerin Road

219 661 Breadalbanemarker
Cullerin Road

Gunningmarker, Gunadroomarker
Gundaroo Road
242 638 Gunningmarker, Collectormarker
Gunning-Collector Road
Yassmarker, Canberramarker, Queanbeyanmarker
Barton Highway

272 608 Yassmarker, Canberramarker
Barton Highway

Yassmarker, Service Centre
Yass Valley Way
281 599 Yassmarker, Service Centre
Yass Valley Way
Boorowamarker, Cowramarker
Lachlan Valley Way

284 596 Boorowamarker, Cowramarker
Lachlan Valley Way

Hardenmarker, Temoramarker
Burley Griffin Way

293 587 Hardenmarker, Temoramarker
Burley Griffin Way

no exit 334 546 Jugiongmarker, Hardenmarker
Riverside Drive
Murrumburrahmarker, Jugiongmarker
Jugiong Road
337 543 no exit
no exit 339 541 Jugiongmarker
Riverside Drive
Coolacmarker, Cootamundramarker
Cootamundra Road
357 523 Coolacmarker, Cootamundramarker
Cootamundra Road
Pettit
Coleman Street
361 519 Pettit
Gobarralong Road
Dog on the Tuckerboxmarker, Service Centre 369 511 Dog on the Tuckerboxmarker, Service Centre
no exit 373 507 Gundagaimarker
West Street
Gundagaimarker
Sheridan Street
376 504 Gundagaimarker
Sheridan Street
South Gundagaimarker
Cross Street
378 502 South Gundagaimarker
Middle Street
South Gundagaimarker
Mount Street
Tumblongmarker
Grahamstown Road

389 491 Tumblongmarker
Grahamstown Road

Adelongmarker, Tumutmarker, Coomamarker
Snowy Mountains Highway

403 477 Adelongmarker, Tumutmarker
Snowy Mountains Highway

Wagga Waggamarker, Narranderamarker
Sturt Highway

413 467 Wagga Waggamarker, Narranderamarker, Milduramarker, Adelaidemarker
Sturt Highway

END SINGLE CARRIAGEWAY SECTION 414 466 START SINGLE CARRIAGEWAY SECTION
Planned upgrade completion 2012
Tarcuttamarker 421 459 Tarcuttamarker
Holbrookmarker 491 389 Holbrookmarker
Woomargamamarker 501 389 Woomargamamarker
START SINGLE CARRIAGEWAY SECTION
Planned upgrade completion 2012
540 340 END SINGLE CARRIAGEWAY SECTION
no exit 544 336 Ettamogahmarker, Jinderamarker
Wagga Road
Springdale Heightsmarker, Thurgoonamarker
Thurgoona Drive
549 331 Thurgoonamarker
Thurgoona Drive
North Alburymarker, Wirlinga
Dallinger Road
551 329 no exit
Alburymarker, Lake Humemarker, Corowamarker
Riverina Highway

555 325 Lake Humemarker, Alburymarker
Riverina Highway

South Alburymarker
Bridge Street
556 324 Alburymarker
Bridge Street
MURRAY RIVERmarker 558 322 MURRAY RIVERmarker
NEW SOUTH WALESmarker
STATE BORDER
VICTORIAmarker

End
Start
558 322 End
Start
no exit 559 321 Tallangattamarker
Bandiana Link

continues as 560 320 Wodongamarker, Alburymarker
High Street

Wagga Road

Alburymarker, Wodongamarker
Wagga Road
High Street

continues as '
no exit 562 318 Wodongamarker
Melrose Drive / Moloney Drive
Wodongamarker
Melbourne Road
564 316 no exit
continues as 576 304 Yarrawongamarker, Echucamarker
Murray Valley Highway

Yarrawongamarker, Echucamarker
Murray Valley Highway

continues as
Barnawarthamarker, Upper Indigo
Indigo Creek Road
582 298 Barnawarthamarker, Upper Indigo
Indigo Creek Road
Chilternmarker, Beechworthmarker
Chiltern-Howlong Road /
Beechworth-Chiltern Road

591 289 Chilternmarker, Beechworthmarker
Chiltern-Howlong Road /
Beechworth-Chiltern Road

Springhurst, Rutherglenmarker
Rutherglen-Springhurst Road

603 277 Springhurst, Rutherglenmarker
Rutherglen-Springhurst Road

Bowser, Wangarattamarker
Wangaratta Road

620 260 Bowser, Wangarattamarker
Wangaratta Road

Wangarattamarker, Beechworthmarker, Brightmarker, Mount Hothammarker
Great Alpine Road

627 253 Wangarattamarker, Brightmarker, Mount Hothammarker
Great Alpine Road

Wangarattamarker, Gretamarker
Greta Road

635 245 Wangarattamarker, Gretamarker
Greta Road

Wangarattamarker
Wangaratta Road

638 242 no exit
Milawamarker
Snow Road

640 240 no exit
Service Centre 642 238 Service Centre
no exit 645 235 Glenrowanmarker, Moyhumarker
Glenrowan-Moyhu Road
Glenrowanmarker, Winton
Winton-Glenrowan Road

647 233 no exit
Winton, Benallamarker
Benalla-Winton Road

662 218 Winton, Benallamarker
Benalla-Winton Road

Benallamarker, Sheppartonmarker, Mansfieldmarker
Midland Highway

674 206 Mansfieldmarker, Sheppartonmarker
Midland Highway

Violet Townmarker, Harrys Creek
Murchison-Violet Town Road
/
Harrys Creek Road

697 183 Violet Townmarker, Harrys Creek
Harrys Creek Road /
Murchison-Violet Town Road


Euroamarker
Euroa Main Road

714 166 Euroamarker
Euroa Main Road

Euroamarker
Euroa Main Road

721 159 Euroamarker
Euroa Main Road

Avenelmarker, Tarcombe
Avenel-Nagambie Road
/
Tarcombe Road

753 127 Tarcombe, Avenelmarker
Tarcombe Road /
Avenel-Nagambie Road

Seymourmarker, Nagambiemarker, Sheppartonmarker, Brisbanemarker
Goulburn Valley Freeway
/
Goulburn Valley Highway

766 114 Seymourmarker, Sheppartonmarker
Goulburn Valley Highway
/
Goulburn Valley Freeway

Seymourmarker, Puckapunyalmarker, Tooboracmarker
Seymour-Tooborac Road

774 106 Seymourmarker, Puckapunyalmarker, Tooboracmarker
Seymour-Tooborac Road

Service Centre 777 103 Service Centre
no exit 780 100 Tallarookmarker
Upper Goulburn Road

Tallarookmarker
Upper Goulburn Road

783 97 no exit
no exit 793 87 Broadfordmarker, Kilmoremarker
Broadford-Kilmore Road

Broadfordmarker, Flowerdalemarker
Strath Creek Road

794 86 no exit
Waterford Park, Clonbinanemarker
Broadford-Wallan Road
803 77 Waterford Park, Clonbinanemarker
Broadford-Wallan Road
Kilmoremarker, Wandongmarker
Epping-Kilmore Road

811 69 Wandongmarker, Kilmoremarker
Epping-Kilmore Road

Service Centre 815 65 Service Centre
no exit 820 60 Whittleseamarker, Wallanmarker
Wallan-Whittlesea Road

Wallanmarker, Echucamarker
Northern Highway

824 56 no exit
Beveridgemarker
Lithgow Street
827 53 Beveridgemarker
Old Hume Highway
Micklehammarker, Donnybrook
Donnybrook Road

835 45 Micklehammarker, Donnybrook
Donnybrook Road

Craigieburnmarker
Sydney Road
via
Amaroo Road'

839 41 Craigieburnmarker
Sydney Road

Craigieburnmarker, Wollertmarker
Craigieburn Road East

842 38 no exit
Roxburgh Parkmarker, Eppingmarker
Cooper Street

849 31 Eppingmarker, Roxburgh Parkmarker
Cooper Street

Start 'Hume Freeway
from 'Western Ring Road
854 26 Greensboroughmarker
Metropolitan Ring Road

End 'Hume Freeway
continues as 'Western Ring Road

to Melbournemarker


Towns

Almost all towns on the Hume Highway are bypassed. In New South Wales, from Sydney, southwards to Victorian border, the bypassed towns include Ingleburnmarker, Campbelltownmarker, Camdenmarker, Pictonmarker, Mittagongmarker, Berrimamarker, Marulanmarker, Goulburnmarker, Gunningmarker, Yassmarker, Bowningmarker, Bookhammarker, Jugiongmarker, Coolacmarker, Gundagaimarker and Alburymarker. The three remaining towns on the Hume Highway yet to be bypassed are Tarcuttamarker, Woomargamamarker and Holbrookmarker, which are intended to be bypassed by 2012.

In Victoria; all towns have been bypassed. They are, in order from the NSW border, Wodongamarker, Chilternmarker, Wangarattamarker, Benallamarker, Euroamarker, Violet Townmarker, Seymourmarker, Broadfordmarker and Craigieburnmarker.

Camden

Camdenmarker lies 60 km south west of Sydney on the Nepean River, and the town dates back to 1840. It retains a lot of character with many historic buildings of interest remaining. There is an aviation museum at nearby Narellanmarker. Urban sprawl has made Camden part of the Sydney metropolitan area.

The old route of the Hume Highway runs straight west from the Cross Roads at Prestonsmarker, 4 km south of Liverpool to Carnes Hill, where it joins the route of the Cowpasture Road. It then runs southwest to Camden (the section of the former highway from the Cross Roads to Camden is now called Camden Valley Way).

Camden has been bypassed by the Hume Highway twice. The first bypass was opened in 1973, via the Macarthur Bridge, and runs from Narellan to Benkennie (South Camden). This bypass was in turn bypassed in December 1980 when the section of what was then called the South Western Freeway (route F5) from Campbelltown to Yerrinbool was opened. This linked the freeway sections from the Cross Roads to Campbelltown Rd at St Andrews (opened August 1973) and St Andrews-Camden Road (opened December 1974) to its north with the section from Yerrinbool to Aylmerton (opened May 1977) to its south.

From Camden south to Aylmerton the former highway is now named Remembrance Drive. It climbs southwards from Camden through the Razorback Ridge to Picton, then begins to climb through Tahmoor and Bargo to reach the Southern Tablelands and rejoin the present route of the Hume Highway at Aylmerton, 6 km north of Mittagong. The designation Hume Highway and national route 31 were transferred from what are now Camden Valley Way and Remembrance Drive to the freeway route in the mid 1980s and the former highway route from the Cross Roads to Aylmerton is now state route 89.

Southern Highlands

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 where it joins the Hume Highway at Hoddles Crossroads (named after Surveyor Robert Hoddle who also laid out the Melbourne CBD).

Mittagongmarker lies 110 km south-west of Sydney, just off the Hume Highway at the edge of the Southern Tablelands. 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 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. 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.

Bowralmarker is home to the famous Bradman Museum which not only celebrates the achievements of Bowral's favourite son, Sir Donald Bradman, but also contains a wealth of world sporting information and memorabilia. Bowral is also the setting for "Tulip Time", a Spring celebration where over 100,000 tulips and 25,000 flowers are planted in the town centre.

The population swells during winter when, thousands of visitors book into local hotels and B&Bs to enjoy romantic fires and secluded winter getaways. Spring is also very popular with gardening enthusiasts, who come to view some of the world's most beautiful formal gardens designed by eminent landscape architects such as Paul Sorensen, who designed the gardens of Invergowrie.

Key attractions are the glorious gardens, fine restaurants, many successful vineyards and fresh, local produce of a wide variety. Antique and book stores abound, as do quality fashion retailers and specialty stores.

Moss Valemarker 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.

Twin bridges carrying the Hume Highway over Greenhills Road north of Berrima


Sutton Forest is surrounded by farms, vineyards and is home to elegant country homes and estates. It comprises a church, and inn, a couple of restaurants and one or two specialty shops.

Berrimamarker was not originally on the highway, but the bypass of Bowral, Moss Vale and Sutton Forest created a route that branched off the original highway in Mittagong and passed through Berrima.

Berrima has flourished since it was bypassed in 1989, with tourists finding it an easy day trip from either Sydney or Canberramarker to enjoy the town square and the Georgian architecture of this historic town.

Southern Tablelands

The Marulanmarker 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 Bungoniamarker, via Wingellomarker, Tallongmarker, and the southern outskirts of Marulan.

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 is to be 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.

Towrangmarker 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 murderedThe 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 Towrangmarker Road. There are the remains of the powder magazine next to the Wollondilly Rivermarker, 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.

Seagull intersections were constructed at the intersections of the Highway with Towrang and Carrick Roads and the median widened between those intersections to improve traffic safety. The work was completed in September 2007.

Goulburnmarker is the first city along the Hume Highway from Sydney. It is a farming and administration centre, and from this area comes some of the world's finest wool. Goulburn was bypassed in 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'smarker 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, which ceased when the bypass was completed in 1994. It is now much quieter, and the town has been able to resume a more rural pace of life and to develop something of an industry in providing bed and breakfast accommodation.

Yassmarker 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 Canberramarker 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.

Coolac

The 11 kilometre section at Coolacmarker was the last two lane section of highway between Sydney and Gundagai until it was bypassed with a high-quality 4-lane dual carriageway. The bypass is now open to traffic since August 2009, after a delay due to indigenous heritage issues, the construction contract was awarded to Abigroup Contractors Pty Ltd in February 2007.

Gundagai

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

The highway bypassed Gundagaimarker in 1977 with the completion of the Sheahan Bridge over the Murrumbidgee Rivermarker. 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. The Sheahan Bridge is the second longest bridge in NSW. 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 new grade-separated interchange opened up at West Street in 2006. The original Sheahan Bridge was only 1 lane in each direction. The bridge was duplicated, with work commencing in January 2008, and being opened to traffic in May 2009.

Tumblong

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 has been preserved, and is visible on the western side of the highway close to the interchange with the Snowy Mountains Highway.

Thirty eight km southwest of Gundagai is the interchange with the Sturt Highway, which leads to Wagga Waggamarker, Milduramarker and Adelaidemarker.

Tarcutta

National Truck Driver Memorial at Tarcutta


Tarcuttamarker is not expected to be bypassed until 2012. 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.

With the improvements to the Hume Highway, which cuts travelling time from Sydney to Melbourne to less than a day, the town's importance to the average motorist has diminished. It was near Tarcutta that the final section of the Hume Highway was sealed in 1940.

Holbrook

Holbrookmarker lies on the Hume Highway between Gundagai and Albury and is not expected to be bypassed until 2012. 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 has the only set of traffic signals (for pedestrians) remaining on the whole of the Hume Highway from Melbournemarker's Western Ring Road to the Sydney Orbital Network.

Woomargama

Woomargamamarker, is a village between Table Top and Holbrook and is not expected to be bypassed until 2012.

Table Top

Table Topmarker is a community in the south east part of the Riverina. It is situated on the Hume Highway, about 16 kilometres north of Albury. It has a population of approximately 4510 people. The widening of the bridge over Tabletop Creek from two to three lanes was completed in October 2006.

Albury-Wodonga

Hume Highway bypass in Albury
Albury'smarker 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 Rivermarker. Albury, commonly associated with its Victorian twin, Wodongamarker, is one of the few rural Australian cities to experience a boom, mainly from industrialisation in recent times. Albury is by far the largest centre that has been bypassed by the Hume Highway. The population of the Albury-Wodonga region has exceeded 100,000 .

The Albury bypass was opened in January 2007, having been first proposed in 1964. 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, with approval being granted in 2004 and construction commencing in January 2005. The route is parallel to and on the eastern side of the Sydney-Melbourne railway, beginning at the previous highway overpass of the railway 10 kilometres north of Albury. After crossing the Murray River, the bypass route crosses the railway to rejoin the previous highway at the southern end of the Lincoln Causeway. The Albury bypass includes a freeway standard connection to the Murray Valley Highway at Bandiana, east of Wodonga.

Wangaratta

Hume Highway near Wangaratta
Wangarattamarker is, after Wodonga, the largest centre in northeast Victoria (population 17,000). It is at the junction of the Hume and Ovens Highways (the 'Great Alpine Road'). The area around it was visited by Hume and Hovell in 1824 and the town was founded in 1837 when the surrounding area was open for farming.

The attractions around town include Merriwa Park, a sunken garden adjacent to the King River, Airworld at Wangaratta Airport, and old goldfield areas of nearby Beechworthmarker and Chilternmarker.

Benalla



Benallamarker 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 Railwaymarker in World War II.

Euroa

Euroamarker 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.

Seymour

The Hume Highway bypass of Seymourmarker 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 Puckapunyalmarker 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.

Donnybrook

Construction of the Donnybrookmarker Road interchange, immediately to the north of the Craigieburn Bypass, removed the notoriously dangerous at-grade intersection with Donnybrook Road (C723) at Kalkallomarker and replaced it with 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, 3 months ahead of schedule.

Craigieburn

Craigieburn Bypass
Prior to the opening of the Craigieburnmarker Bypass in 2005, the Hume Highway passed through Craigieburn. This was a significant bottleneck, with 12 sets of traffic signals on the 17 kilometre section of road which separated the rural highway section of the Hume Highway from the Melbourne freeway system. The Craigieburn Bypass now links directly to the Western Ring Road/Metropolitan Ring Road.

There was some opposition for the bypass by several local governments in the northern suburbs of Melbournemarker, 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.

A shared pathway runs along the length of the bypass. It is split into two lanes for pedestrian and cyclist usage. The path connects with the existing 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



References

  1. http://www.rta.nsw.gov.au/constructionmaintenance/majorconstructionprojectsregional/southwest/sheahan/index.html
  2. M5-M7 Interchange - 15/11/2006 - QWN - NSW Parliament
  3. F5 Funding - 29/05/2007 - NSW Parliament HANSARD
  4. Gridlock on the F5 (video) - Campbelltown City Council
  5. Community Update February 2009 - RTA
  6. Sydney South-West / South
  7. Google Maps street level view showing "end freeway" sign
  8. PREFERRED ROUTES ANNOUNCED FOR TARCUTTA, HOLBROOK AND WOOMARGAMA BYPASSES
  9. Hume Highway upgrade at Towrang and Carrick Roads Officially Opened
  10. Hume Highway West Street Interchange Gundagai - NSW RTA, accessed 2009-06-13
  11. Sheahan Bridge duplication - NSW RTA, accessed 2009-06-13
  12. Ministerial press release October 2006, no longer on-line
  13. "Fix for deadly" - Star News Group - article, 22 May 2007
  14. BATCHELOR SLAMS COUNCILS OVER FLAWED RUSSELL REPORT - Media release, accessed 2009-06-13


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