State Route 83
Pacific Highway - Wahroonga to Doyalson

Pacific Highway northbound on new dual-carriageways at Wyoming. Photo taken November 2004.

In 2013, RMS will be implementing a new alpha-numeric route numbering system. For more information, visit the RMS Website.

Forthcoming alpha-numeric route number:

(Wahroonga to Somersby section)

Forthcoming alpha-numeric route number:

(Somersby to Gosford section)

Length: 88km

Northern Terminus: Pacific Hwy & Motorway Link, Doyalson

Southern Terminus: Pacific Hwy & Pennant Hills Rd, Pearces Corner

Route taken: Pacific Hwy, Old Pacific Hwy, Wisemans Ferry Rd, Central Coast Hwy, Riou St, Donnison St, Mann St, Pacific Hwy

Focal Points: Parramatta/Sydney, Hornsby, Berowra, Gosford, Wyong, Newcastle

RTA Internal Classification: State Highway 10

Route overview:

State Route 83 is the Pacific Highway between Wahroonga and Doyalson, tracing the pre-1960's path from Sydney to Newcastle. It isn't a very important through route as the F3 takes most, if not all, through traffic but provides access to/from the freeway for all the small (and not so small) towns that were bypassed over the years. SR83 is still the main road in both Gosford and Wyong and is still the backbone of the Central Coast.

The highway traces its origins back to an early settler, George Peat, who owned the land between the Hawkesbury River and Mooney Mooney Creek. To provide access to his property, Peat began a ferry service across the Hawkesbury River in 1844 and surveyed, then constructed a road between Hornsby and Kariong in 1854. After his death in 1870, the ferry service was abandoned and the road fell into disrepair, finally closing to all traffic in 1899, following the completion of the Sydney-Newcastle railway.

In the 1920's one of the first projects of the newly-formed Main Roads Board was to construct a new road between Sydney and Newcastle to modern-day standards. The only road north, a circuituous route via Wisemans Ferry built by convict labour in 1839-1854, was hopelessly inadequate and most communication between the two cities was now done via rail or sea. In 1928 construction began on this new road, utilising some of the abandoned Peat's Ferry Rd, while improving the horizontal and vertical alignments. In May 1930 the ferry service across the Hawkesbury River was re-established to service the new road until such times that a bridge became necessary. June 1930 marked the completion of the concrete surfacing and of the "Great Northern Hwy" as it was then known.

In May 1931, after pressure from the Queensland Government, the coastal highway linking Sydney and Brisbane was named Pacific Hwy. This step also involved the reclassification of the the highway between Hexham and North Sydney from State Highway 9 to State Highway 10, the classification it still holds today.

Within the first few years of the new highway's existence, traffic volumes rose rapidly and planning for a bridge to cross the Hawkesbury was begun. An important link in the system of national defence routes, the Department of Main Roads overcame staff and material shortages to open the bridge in May 1945. A plaque on the southern end of the bridge serves as a monument to the energy and skill of the workmen.

Following the war, traffic volumes again increased dramatically. By 1960, a trip from Sydney to Gosford could take 3 hours in peak times and a trip to Newcastle would take 5 hours. The Department of Main Roads began investigations for an improved road between Sydney and Newcastle and found that a new alignment would be required to provide any improvement of travelling conditions in the long-term. This project, originally a tollway and now the F3 Freeway, is covered in great detail HERE.

The highway itself is greatly in its pre-F3 state, with only a few projects of note. The Kariong Hill duplication was completed in March 1993, providing much improved access to Gosford and the lower Central Coast. The highway was duplicated through West Gosford at the same time as this project and the Brian McGowan Bridge greatly reduced congestion in Gosford by providing through traffic to the Entrance Rd with a new crossing over the railway line. More recently, new dual carriageways were constructed at Wyoming, north of Gosford.

From Tuggerah, north through Wyong to Doyalson the highway is still the backbone of Central Coast transport and the traffic in Wyong reinforces that. It is common to have long lines of traffic backed up for over 1km either side of the CBD. Planning is underway to duplicate the Tuggerah Straight but frankly where will the traffic go? Perhaps Wyong needs *another* bypass? (thinking F3 only 20 years ago!!) During 2004 a bus lane was installed on the northern approach ot Wyong, stretching from near Cutler Drive to the railway station. See a photo below for an idea of what Wyong traffic is like.

North of Wyong, and south of Sparks Road, the Pacific Highway was neglected for many years. However, the expansion of North Wyong industrial area and the release of land for urban development at Warnervale has necessitated an upgrade. The major junctions (Johns Rd, Minnesota Rd and Craigie Rd) have all had some form of traffic control constructed over the last few years but significant lengths of the road are still subject to flooding. Despite the improvements, the Pacific Highway is still only two lanes wide between Tuggerah and Doyalson.

State Route 83 itself was first signposted in 1979, replacing Alternative National Route 1 between Calga and Ourimbah. Further extensions occurred in Dec 1983 (north to Doyalson) and Mar 1989 (south to Wahroonga), to make the route what it is today.

Notable events in the history of SR83:
(information on bypassing by the F3 is available HERE)

1844 - Peat's Ferry established
1853 - Peat's Ferry Road surveyed and formed to provide access to George Peat's properites north of the Hawkesbury
1870 - George Peat dies and road falls into disrepair
1899 - Peat's Ferry Rd finally closed when railway opens between Berowra and Gosford
1928 - Construction of a new road between Sydney and Gosford commenced by Main Roads Board
May 1930 - Peat's Ferry re-established to serve newly constructed Sydney-Gosford Road
May 1930 - Charmhaven Bridge over Wallarah Creek, Charmhaven
June 1930 - Concrete sealing completed from Hornsby to Hawkesbury River
May 1931 - SR83 section proclaimed State Highway 10 and named Pacific Highway
May 1945 - Peat's Ferry Bridge opened to traffic as a toll bridge
1954 - Peat's Ferry Bridge tolls removed
1955 - Signposted National Route 1
March 1960 - 4km four-lane section at Mt White proclaimed the state's first motorway
1961 - Lisarow railway overpass
February 1964 - Wyong River bridge, Wyong (replaced low-level timber structure)
late 1964 - Deviations around F3 alignment (Mooney Mooney to Mt White)
1967 - Mt Colah to Mt Kuringai widening to four lanes
December 1968 - Mt Kuringai to Berowra re-alignment and widening to four lanes
Early 1970's - Burns Rd to Ourimbah Creek dual carriageways
1974 - National Route 1 shifted on F3 and Calaga-Ourimbah Rd; Calga to Ourimbah section of Pacific Hwy is signposted as Alt-1
1979 - First section of SR83 signposted, between Berowra and Ourimbah (replacing Alt-1 north of Calga)
October 1977 - Widening of Jersey St Nth, Hornsby cancelled in favour of minor intersection improvements
October 1983 - Kariong Deviation (around F3 alignment)
December 1983 - SR83 extended north from Ourimbah to Doyalson
Early 1989 - Berowra weigh station closed
March 1989 - SR83 extended south from Berowra to Wahroonga
March 1990 - Landslide closes highway at Cheero Point
September 1991 - Mt White weight station opened
March 1993 - Kariong Hill duplication & West Gosford dual-carriageways
June 1994 - Cheero Point re-opening
June 1996 - Brian McGowan Bridge and interchange, Gosford
Nov 1996 - Mooney-Somersby and Gosford City Centre sections of Pacific Highway decommissioned
June 1999 - Duplication from Henry Parry Dr to Renwick St, Wyoming
June 2003 - Renwick St to Brook Ave, Wyoming dual carriageways
11 August 2006 - Pacific Highway between the F3 Karing Interchange and Brian McGowan Bridge reclassified as Central Coast Highway

Photos of State Route 83
Northbound Pacific Hwy in Hornsby approaching Edgeworth David Ave. Photo taken July 2004.
Northbound past Hornsby Westfield and railway station. Photo taken July 2004.
Pacific Hwy northbound between Galston Rd and Jersey St Nth (this section is not SR83). Photo taken December 2004.
Southbound approaching where SR83 splits from the Pacific Hwy to pass through Hornsby. Photo taken July 2004.
Northbound between Asquith and Mt Colah, this section was widened to four lanes in 1967, in preparation for the opening of the Berowra-Calga Tollwork (now F3 Freeway). Photo taken December 2004.
Northbound approaching Yirra Rd, which connects to Ku-ring-gai Chase Rd and the F3. Photo taken December 2004.
Northbound RD sign with the unsual focal point of "F3 Freeway" on it at Mt Colah. Photo taken July 2004.
Very old "S30" km plate southbound in Mt Ku-ring-gai. Photo taken July 2004.
Great view of Pacific Hwy through some rugged terrain near Windybanks Interchange, Berowra. This section was constructed in 1968 in preparation for the opening of the Berowra-Calga Tollwork. Photo taken July 2004.
AD sign for Pacific Hwy on Berowra Waters Rd, Berowra. Photo taken July 2004.
Looking north through the small township of Cowan. Photo taken December 2004.
Looking north between Cowan and the Hawkesbury River. Photo taken December 2004.

Two photos of the badly aged and deteriorating "N125" kilometre plate northbound on Pacific Highway at the Pie in the Sky restaurant, between Cowan and the Hawkesbury River. This sign is a reminder of the times when Pacific Highway was the main route north from Sydney, however does date from after the construction of the F3 between Berowra and Hawkesbury River.
Source: Graham Christie, April 2007.
Looking north between Cowan and the Hawkesbury River. Photo taken December 2004.
"Oliver's Garage", where the old southbound ramp to the F3 (1968-73) was located. Photo taken October 2004.
Looking north across Peat's Ferry Bridge at Kangaroo Point. Photo taken December 2004.
Looking south across Peats Ferry Bridge. Photo taken October 2004.
The "motorway" section of Pacific Hwy at Mt White. Photo taken October 2004.
Northbound approaching the Mt White weigh station. Photo taken October 2004.
Looking north at the old Peats Ridge Rd intersection, Calga. Photo taken October 2004.
Looking north across Mooney Mooney Creek. Photo taken October 2004.
Newly installed ID sign at Kangoo Rd, Somersby with two coverplates on it. Perhaps the Pacific Hwy/The Entrance Rd corridor will be renamed in the near future? Dec 2005.
Note: This part of Pacific Highway was subsequently reclassified as Central Coast Highway in August 2006.
Looking west towards the F3 at Kariong. Photo taken October 2004.
Heading into Gosford on the Kariong Descent. Photo taken November 2004.
The newer carriageway on the Karing Hill, looking east towards Gosford. Dec 2005.
New (right) and old (far left) AD signs northbound on Brisbane Water Drive approaching the Central Coast Hwy at West Gosford. Dec 2005.
Looking east in West Gosford. Photo taken November 2004.
Looking west through West Gosford. Dec 2005.
Eastbound approaching the Brian McGowan Bridge which takes you to The Entrance Rd. Photo taken November 2004.
The Brian McGowan Bridge, Gosford. SR83 heads off to the left here. Photo taken November 2004.
Northbound Pacific Hwy approaching the railway overpass. This section seems to be lacking soem SR83 shields northbound, but there are SR83 shields on the southbound signs. Photo taken November 2004.
Looking north on Mann St through the Gosford CBD. photo taken November 2004.
Racecourse Rd skirts the Gosford CBD to the north-west and is signposted as the route to Sydney/Newcastle around the CBD. Photo taken November 2004.
Heading north from Gosford. Photo taken December 2005.
New dual-carriageways at Wyoming, looking south. Photo taken November 2004.
Looking north on a poor section of highway through Narara. Photo taken November 2004.
Looking south at Ourimbah railway station. Photo taken October 2004.
Photos of the section of State Route 83 between Ourimbah and Kangy Angy can be found HERE.
Looking north approaching Wyong Rd, Tuggerah. Photo taken 1998. This sign has since been replaced.
Wyong Rd westbound approaching Pacific Hwy, Tuggerah. This sign has since been replaced with one omitting SR83 in the Kangy Angy direction. Strange. Photo taken 1998.
Looking north along the Tuggerah straight, slated for duplication in the near future. Although i dont know what they are going to do once they get to Wyong, traffic is bad enough there as it is. Photo taken October 2004.
Looking north in typical midday traffic at Wyong. Photo taken October 2004.
Looking south into Wyong, showing typical traffic conditions and a nice and empty bus lane that takes you right to the station! Photo taken November 2004.
Roundabout AD sign northbound approaching Britannia Drive. Note the wrongly-designed SR83 shield - should have a blue background. Nov 2004.
The old intersection of Pacific Hwy & Johns Rd at Wadalbah. This junction has since been replaced with a roundabout. Jan 2003.
Looking south from Sparks Rd/Wallarah Rd at Kanwal. Photo taken December 2005.
Eastbound on Sparks Rd approaching SR83 at Kanwal. Photo taken November 2004.
This intersection, of Pacific Hwy & Goorama Ave in San Remo, is the worst signposted intersection I have ever seen. No matter which direction you enter the intersection from, you are told that you are crossing Pacific Hwy. A perfect example is this sign northbound on Pacific Hwy, telling you that Pacific Hwy crosses you ahead, which it doesnt coz your on it! Photo taken October 2004.
Northbound SR83 approaching its northern terminus. Photo taken October 2004.
First distance sign on SR83, heading south from Roper Rd at Blue Haven. Dec 2005.
Southbound SR111 (Pacific Hwy) approaching the northern terminus of SR83. Photo taken October 2004.
SR83's northern terminus. Photo taken October 2004.
Motorway Link northbound approaching SR83's northern terminus. Photo taken December 2003.

Last updated 11 December 2012
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