National Highway 15

Fingerboard sign at the intersection of Weakleys Dr near Beresfield, April 2004.

Length: 590km

Northern Terminus: NSW/QLD Border, Wallangarra

Southern Terminus: Pacific Hwy, Hexham (NH15 terminates 4km west of here where NR1 joins the highway)

Route Markers: National Highway 15 (Beresfield to QLD) and National Route 1 (southern 4km)

Interstate Continuation:

The New England Hwy continues north to Warwick as NH15, then becomes NR42 to Toowoomba, then SR85 and SR61 to Yarraman. National Highway 15 heads north-east from Warwick to Brisbane along the Cunningham Highway.

Focal Points: Newcastle, Maitland, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Tamworth, Armidale, Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Warwick (QLD)

RTA Internal Classification: State Highway No. 9

Proclaimed a State Highway: 8th August 1928

Named: March 1933

Route Overview:

The New England Highway forms part of the Sydney-Brisbane link of the now defunct National Highway system. However, it will still receive some federal funding as a National Link under the five-year Auslink programme. The New England Highway carries the National Highway 15 shield for the vast majority of its length, however the south-eastern most 4km of the Highway, between John Renshaw Drive and Pacific Highway , carries the National Route 1 shield.

Compared to its other Sydney-Brisbane competitor, the Pacific Highway , the New England Highway is a somewhat under-utilised route. While, in terms of distance, truck traffic and dual carriageway sections, the New England Highway is the lesser son it is still an excellent standard highway and performs a vital role servicing the Hunter Valley coal mines, power stations, vineyards and the ever expanding Newcastle-Maitland urban area. Continuing reconstruction and realignment over the years has greatly improved troublesome sections, particularly at the Liverpool Range , the Moonbis, Ben Lomond Range (including the notorious Devils Pinch) and Bolivia Hill.

The New England Highway is gazetted State Highway No. 9 and runs from Hexham to Wallangarra, via Maitland Bypass, Singleton, Muswellbrook, Tamworth, Armidale Bypass, Glen Innes and Tenterfield. It also has a branch along Weakley’s Drive, between the New England Hwy and John Renshaw Drive , which was gazetted on 22 November 1996 as a connection to the F3 Freeway.

Notable events in the history of the New England Highway:

1881 - Original bridge over the Peel River, Tamworth
1893 - Bridge over Hunter River at Aberdeen (now used for southbound traffic)
1896 - Victoria Bridge over Wallis Creek at East Maitland
1904 - Old bridge over McDonald River, Bendemeer
7 Aug 1928 - State Highway No. 9 declared from North Sydney to Mt Lindesay
1929 - Highway constructed from Woodenbong to Mt Lindesay
May 1929 - State Highway No. 9 named Great Northern Highway
1930 - Bridge over Kooreelah Creek, between Oakey Creek and Woodenbong
1930 - Bridge over Maryland River, between Oakey Creek and Woodenbong
May 1931 - State Highway No. 9 truncated at Hexham
Feb 1933 - Armidale Deviation
24 Mar 1933 - State Highway No. 9 named New England Highway
1934 - Reconstruction completed between Oakey Creek and Woodenbong
3 Feb 1937 - Deviation at First Moonbi Hill
1950 - Road constructed between Tenterfield and Wallangarra, proclaimed State Highway No. 24 (27 January 1950)
Mar 1951 - Bolivia Range Deviation
Dec 1953 - Bridge over Pages River, Blandford
9 Sep 1954 - New England Hwy redeclared from Tenterfield to Wallangarra. Old highway redeclared State Highway No. 24 and named Mt Lindesay Hwy
1955 - National Route 15 signage erected
1964 - Tarro railway overpass
Apr 1965 - Old bridge over Peel River, Tamworth
May 1966 - Rail overpass on northern outskirts of Muswellbrook
Jan 1967 - Liddell Deviation
Dec 1968 - Chilcotts Creek Deviation
15 Oct 1970 - Beresfield/Tarro bypass
Dec 1970 - Deviation between Guyra and Llangothlin
Mar 1972 - Kankool Heavy Vehicle Checking Station
Nov 1974 - Proclaimed a National Highway
Feb 1980 - Barleyfields Deviation
June 1980 - First Moonbi Hill improvements Stage 1
Aug 1982 - Duplication completed from Hexham to East Maitland & Veterans Flat to Rutherford
Aug 1982 - First Moonbi Hill improvements completed
Dec 1982 - Devil's Pinch realignment Stage 1
May 1983 - Devil's Pinch realignment Stage 2
1985 - Scone widening
1985 - Liddell Deviation rehabilitation
Dec 1985 - Bendmeer Bypass
Feb 1986 - Maitland Bypass Stage 1
May 1986 - Bridge over the Hunter River at Singleton
Dec 1986 - Maitland Bypass Stage 2
Dec 1986 - Northbound bridge over Hunter River at Aberdeen
Dec 1986 - Tintinhull realignment
June 1987 - Hexham Bridge duplication
Apr 1988 - Maitland Mall construction commenced
Sep 1988 - Maitland Bypass Stage 3
5 Nov 1993 - Tamworth Relief Route
May 1994 - Tarro Interchange
Oct 1994 - Liverpool Range duplication Stage 1
Dec 1994 - Armidale Bypass
1995 - Marowan Creek bridge replacement
22 Nov 1996 - Weakley's Drive gazetted as a branch of State Highway No. 9
Jan 1997 - Liverpool Range duplication Stage 2
Sep 1997 - John Renshaw Drive overpass
Oct 1998 - Belford Deviation
2002 - Rose Valley Creek deviation
2004 - Blandford Bridge duplicated
Dec 2004 - Duval Creek realignment

Explore the New England Hwy :

History and Development

DMR article about Moonbi Ranges section

National Route 15 Remnants
Southern Terminus: Hexham
National Route 1 Section: Hexham to Beresfield
Photos: SR69 junction, Singleton
Photos: Hunter Region (Beresfield to Willow Tree)
Photos: Northern Region (Kamilaroi Hwy to QLD Border)
Map of Power Station interchange between Singleton and Muswellbrook

Further reading (off-site):

Cunningham Hwy - Michael Greenslade
New England Hwy - Paul Rands
New England Hwy (NSW) - Michael Greenslade
New England Hwy (QLD) - Michael Greenslade

Back to NSW Highways
Back to National Highway 15