Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
New Zealand State Highway network
The New Zealand State Highway network is a collection of roads covering the North and South Island. Currently about eighty-five roads have a "State Highway" designation: Transit New Zealand administers them. The speed limit for most of the highways stands at 100 km/h, with reductions when a Highway passes through a built-up area.
The highways were originally designated on a two-tier system, National and Provincial, with national highways having a higher standard and funding priorities. The national network consists of Highway 1 running the length of both main islands, Highways 2 to 5 in the North Island, and Highways 6 to 8 in the South Island. State Highways 10 to 58 are in the North Island, SH 60 to SH 99 are in the South Island. State Highways are marked on the side of the road by red shield-shaped signs with white numbering. Road maps also usually use this convention.
From 2001 information, the busiest stretch of State Highway 1 was the Auckland Harbour Bridge, with over 150,000 cars crossing (either way) each day. The least busy parts of the network (excluding off-ramps and on-ramps) are parts of SH 43 north of Whangamomona which get fewer than 200 cars (counting both directions) in a day. Some of the lesser trafficked highways still contain some unsealed sections.
History of the State Highways
Since the 1980s, State Highways have been the responsibility of Transit New Zealand , a state-owned corporation. Since Transit NZ only funds State Highways, city or district councils have sometimes negotiated reallocation of highway routes within their boundaries in order to let Transit part-fund major upgrades to the regional roading network. For example, SH 1 historically ran through the centre of Christchurch, but is now the Christchurch bypass route, while highways 73 and 74 have been extended further into the city to cover major arterial routes.
New Zealand State Highways are marked with posts at irregular intervals, giving the distance in kilometres from the start of the highway. All bridges on the network have, at either end, small plaques showing the distance from the start of the highway, usually in the form of a number in kilometres, an oblique stroke, and a further number in hundreds of metres. A plaque marked 237/141, for example, would indicate that the bridge is 14.1 kilometres past a set distance post, that post being 237 kilometres from the start of the highway.
As of 2004, these plaques are gradually being replaced by a new system which gives each bridge a single number showing the distance from the start of the highway in hundreds of metres. Under the new system the bridge used as an example above would show a plaque with its name and the number 2511, as it is 251.1 kilometres from the start of the highway.
In this way, travellers can accurately assess their location, and road authorities can uniquely identify each bridge.
State Highway 1
State Highway 1 (SH1) starts at Stirling point, 1 km south of Bluff, and then goes north to Invercargill, and north-east to Gore. It runs due east to Balclutha, then up through Milton to Dunedin. The highway continues along the East Coast past Palmerston, Oamaru and Timaru, moving inland a bit and then north-east through Ashburton toward Christchurch, which it now bypasses. After traversing the northern end of the Canterbury Plains it winds through some ranges culminating in the Hundalees before returning to the spectacular, mountain-hugging coastline around Kaikoura. The highway then continues up the coastline for 80 km before diverting inland to Blenheim and up to Picton at the north of the South Island, terminating at the Inter-island ferry terminal.
A ferry can be taken to cross Cook Strait, which ends up at the capital city of New Zealand, Wellington. There have been calls for the ferries themselves to be classified as a component of the highway network, in the belief that this would increase the Government's powers to intervene and keep the ferries running at times of industrial action.
The northern half of the highway commences at Wellington Airport and runs up the motorway through the Ngauranga gorge to the western coast. Difficult terrain and a large number of satellite towns make this an area of considerable congestion and a high accident rate. The Highway passes through Levin and shares the route of SH3 for a 6 km dog-leg between the small towns of Sanson and Bulls as it crosses the Rangitikei River. Turning Northeast, it follows the river to Taihape, then climbs to the central plateau at Waiouru. The stretch between Waiouru and Turangi is known as the Desert Road, and is frequently closed by snow in winter. There are spectacular views of the three volcanoes Mount Ruapehu, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Tongariro.
Turangi is near the southern tip of Lake Taupo and the highway skirts the eastern shore. North of Taupo, the highway turns northwestwards and descends through extensive tracts of plantation forest to Tokoroa and Tirau. Here it joins the Hamilton - Rotorua route and follows the course of the Waikato River through Cambridge to Hamilton. A $NZ 500 million project to convert the entire 160 km between Cambridge and Auckland to a four-lane divided carriageway is about one third complete as of late 2003.
From Auckland the highway tends to follow the eastern side of the Northland peninsula, passing through Warkworth, Wellsford, Whangarei and Kaitaia. The highway ends at Waitiki Landing, from where SH 1F - designated in 2004 - runs to Cape Reinga.
List of New Zealand State Highways
National State Highways
- SH 1 Waitiki Landing to Bluff, 2022 km
- SH 1A Northern Motorway extension from Silverdale to Orewa.
- SH 1B Taupiri to Cambridge via Gordonton (Eastern Bypass of Hamilton)
- SH 1F Waitiki Landing to Cape Reinga, 21 km, designated in 2004. The first 700 m is being sealed in 2004 and the rest will be sealed between 2005 and 2008.
- SH 2 Pokeno Junction (45 km south of Auckland on SH1) to Ngauranga Interchange (5 km from Wellington) via the east coast (Tauranga, Gisborne, Napier, Hastings, Woodville, Masterton and the Hutt Valley). 964 km
- SH 3 Hamilton - Woodville via the west coast (New Plymouth, Wanganui, Palmerston North), 492 km
- SH 3A From SH3 near Waitara to Inglewood (New Plymouth bypass), 16 km
- SH 4 From 11 km south of Te Kuiti to Wanganui, via Taumarunui and Raetihi, 242 km
- SH 5 From Tirau to Napier via Rotorua and Taupo, 276 km
- SH 6 From Blenheim to Invercargill via the west coast (Nelson, Westport, Greymouth, Hokitika, Wanaka, Queenstown), 1099 km
- SH 6A From Frankton to Queenstown, 7 km
- SH 7 From Waipara (SH 1, 60 km north of Christchurch) to Greymouth via the Lewis Pass, 276 km
- SH 7A From SH 7 at Waiau Bridge to Hanmer Springs, 9 km.
- SH 8 From Timaru to Milton via the Mackenzie Basin and Central Otago (Twizel, Cromwell, Alexandra), 537 km
- SH 8A From Tarras to Luggate (north of Lake Dunstan), 21 km
- SH 8B From SH8 at Deadman's Point to SH6 at Cromwell (Crosses Lake Dunstan), 3 km
- There is no SH 9
North Island Provincial State Highways
- SH 10 From Awanui to SH 1 at Pakaraka, 106 km
- SH 11 From Paihia to SH 1 at Kawakawa, 16 km
- SH 12 From SH 1 79 km South of Kaitaia, to SH 1 28 km north of Wellsford, via Kaikohe and Dargaville, 223 km
- SH 14 From Whangarei to Dargaville, 58 km
- SH 15 From Whangarei to port of Whangarei, 4 km
- SH 16 From Port of Auckland to Wellsford via Helensville (including the Northwestern Motorway system in Auckland)
- SH 17 From Albany to Kaukapakapa (old SH1 route superseded by motorway), 25 km
- SH 18 From SH 1 at Upper Harbour Highway interchange to SH 16 at Massey (Upper Harbour Drive and Hobsonville Road - redesignated from Riverhead Road further north), 15 km. (Motorway section from Albany Highway to Massey, running parallel to the existing state highway, under construction.)
- SH 20 From Hillsborough to SH1 Manukau interchange (Southwestern Motorway), approx 20 km. Will eventually bypass Manukau city centre and link to Northwestern Motorway (projected completion 2012)
- SH 20A From SH 20 south of Walmsley Road interchange to Auckland International Airport, 8 km
- SH 20B From SH 20 at Puhinui Road interchange to Auckland International Airport, 3 km
- SH 21 From SH 1, 5 km south of Hamilton to SH 3, 5 km South of Hamilton, via Airport and Mystery Creek. 4 km
- SH 22 From SH 1 at Drury to Pukekohe (the continuation south to SH23 near Raglan has had its State highway designation removed.)
- SH 23 From Hamilton to Raglan, 48 km
- SH 24 From Matamata to SH 29 near Te Poi, 12 km
- SH 25 From SH 2 3 km north of Mangatarata to Waihi, via Thames, Coromandel, Whitianga and Whangamata, 240 km
- SH 25A From junction 6 km south of Thames to SH 25 near Pauanui (shortcut across Coromandel Peninsula), 22 km
- SH 26 From junction 6 km south of Thames to Hamilton via Paeroa, Te Aroha and Morrinsville, 102 km
- SH 27 From SH 2 to Tirau via Matamata, 98 km.
- SH 28 From SH1 at Putaruru to SH 29 near Te Poi, 21 km
- SH 29 From SH 1, 12 km north of Tirau to Mount Maunganui via Tauranga, 69 km
- SH 30 From Te Kuiti to Whakatane via Mangakino and Rotorua, 231 km.
- SH 30A Linking SH30 to SH5 in urban Rotorua, 2 km.
- SH 31 From SH 3 at Otorohanga to Kawhia, 55 km
- SH 32 From Tokoroa to SH 41 at Kuratau Junction (Western side of Lake Taupo), 95 km
- SH 33 From SH 2, 9 km SE of Te Puke to SH 30 at Te Ngae, 28 km
- SH 34 From SH 2 near Edgecumbe to SH 30, via Kawerau, 22 km
- SH 35 From Opotiki to Gisborne, via East Cape, 321 km
- SH 36 From Rotorua to Tauranga, via Tauranga Direct Road (new designation, December 2004)
- SH 37 From SH 3 at Hangatiki to Waitomo Caves, 8 km
- SH 38 From SH 5 near Waiotapu to Wairoa via Te Urewera National Park and Lake Waikaremoana, 180 km (extensively unsealed)
- SH 39 From SH 1 at Ngaruawahia to SH 3 at Otorohanga, the western bypass of Hamilton, approx 80 km.
- SH 40 From SH 3 at Ahititi to SH 4 at Maungatupoto via Ohura, 90 km.
- SH 41 From SH 4 at Manunui to Turangi, 59 km
- SH 43 From SH 3 at Stratford to Taumarunui(The Forgotten World Highway), 161 km, approx 40 km unsealed.
- SH 44 From SH 3 in New Plymouth to Port Taranaki (new designation, 2004), 4 km
- SH 45 From New Plymouth to Hawera via Opunake (The Surf Highway), 105 km
- SH 46 From SH 47 near Papakai to SH 1 at Rangipo , 19 km
- SH 47 From SH4 at National Park to SH 41 3 km North of Turangi, 48 km
- SH 48 From SH 47, 9 km from National Park, to Whakapapa skifield, 7 km
- SH 49 From SH 4 at Tohunga Junction to Waiouru via Ohakune
- SH 49A From SH 49 at Ohakune to SH4 south of Horopito, 9 km.
- SH 50 From Napier to SH 2 near Takapau (Inland route), 73 km
- SH 52 From Waipukurau to Masterton via Pongaroa, 215 km
- SH 53 From Featherston to Martinborough, 18 km. (This breaks markedly with the general north-south pattern of the numbering, being some 200 km south of SH 54 and having the southernmost endpoints of all North Island Highways other than SH 1 and SH 2.)
- SH 54 From SH 1 at Vinegar Hill to SH 3 near Palmerston North, via Feilding, 54 km
- SH 56 From Palmerston North to SH 57 at Makerua, 26 km
- SH 57 From SH 3 at mouth of Manawatu Gorge to SH 1 2 km south of Levin, via Shannon, 67 km
- SH 57A Former designation of part of SH 57 from mouth of Manawatu Gorge to Palmerston North, 17 km.
- SH 58 From SH 1 at Porirua to SH 2 at Haywards. 15 km
South Island Provincial State Highways
- SH 60 From Collingwood to SH 6 near Richmond, via Motueka and Takaka, 117 km
- SH 61 From Motueka to SH 6 at Kohatu Junction, 58 km.
- SH 63 From Renwick to Kawatiri Junction via Wairau Valley, 117 km.
- SH 65 From SH6 11 km west of Murchison to SH 7 at Springs Junction, 72 km.
- SH 67 From Westport to 4 km past Summerlea, 54 km. This road continues for a further 52 km to Karamea without Highway designation.
- SH 67A From Westport to Cape Foulwind, 10 km
- SH 69 From Inangahua Junction to Reefton, 34 km.
- SH 70 From SH1 4 km south of Kaikoura to SH7 at Red Post Junction (2 km North of Culverden ) via Waiau. 97 km, approx 30 km unsealed.
- SH 71 From Kaiapoi to Rangiora via Lineside Rd, 9 km.
- SH 72 This was previously the designation of the entire inland Canterbury route from Rangiora to Temuka via the Waimakariri and Rakaia Gorges. However, the designation appears to have been removed. (SH 77 covers part of this route).
- SH 73 From SH6 at Kumara Junction to Christchurch (meets SH 74 at Tunnel Rd / Port Hills Rd Interchange), via Arthur's Pass and Porters Pass. 235 km.
- SH 73A In Christchurch from corner of Carmen and Main South Rds to Cnr of Blenheim and Curtletts Rds. (Originally part of SH1 then SH 73 until January 2004). 6 km
- SH 74 From SH 1 at Belfast to Lyttelton, via Lyttelton Road Tunnel. As of January 2004 the route now follows the eastern part of the Christchurch Ring Road.
- SH 74A in Christchurch, from SH73 at Brougham/Gardiners to SH 74 at Palinurus/Dyers, via Gardiners and Palinurus Rds. Part of the Christchurch Ring Route. 3 km.
- SH 75 From Christchurch (intersection with SH 73 near Hillmorton) to Akaroa, 90 km
- SH 77 From Darfield to Ashburton via Glentunnel and Methven, 95 km
- SH 79 From SH 1 at Rangitata to SH 8 at Fairlie, via Geraldine, 60 km
- SH 80 From SH 8 at Pukaki Dam to Mount Cook Village, 55 km
- SH 82 From SH 1 near Hook to Kurow via Waimate (North bank of Waitaki River), 71 km
- SH 83 From Omarama to SH1 at Pukeuri Junction via Kurow, 110 km.
- SH 84 From SH 6 to Wanaka Township, 3 km.
- SH 85 From Alexandra to Palmerston via Ranfurly, (The Pigroot), 157 km
- SH 87 From SH 85 at Kyeburn to Mosgiel via Middlemarch and Taieri valley, 114 km.
- SH 88 From Dunedin to Port Chalmers, 13 km.
- SH 89 Designation no longer used. Formerly from SH 6 near Arrowtown to Wanaka via the Crown Range, 53 km
- SH 90 From Raes Junction to SH 1 3 km east of Gore via Tapanui. 67 km.
- SH 91 Designation no longer used. Formerly from Balclutha to Kaitangata, a route which later became part of SH 92. 13 km.
- SH 92 This was previously the designation of the route from Kaitangata to Invercargill via Balclutha and the Catlins. It is no longer used as a designation. See note on SH 91 above.
- SH 94 From Gore to Milford Sound via Lumsden and Te Anau, 272 km.
- SH 95 From Te Anau to Manapouri, 21 km.
- SH 96 From Junction with SH 99 near Clifden to SH 1 at Mataura, via Winton. 136 km.
- SH 98 From SH 6 at Lorneville to SH1 near Dacre. 24 km.
- SH 99 From SH 6 at Lorneville to Junction with SH6 and road to Te Anau near Clifden, via Riverton and Tuatapere. 90 km.
- List of towns in New Zealand
- Great South Road, New Zealand
- List of roads and highways, for notable or famous roads worldwide
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