Oxley Highway

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Oxley Highway
New South Wales
General information
Type Highway
Length 653 km (406 mi)
Route number(s)
route number
Major junctions
West end
East end
Major settlements Warren, Gilgandra, Coonabarabran, Gunnedah, Tamworth, Kootingal, Moonbi, Bendemeer, Walcha, Wauchope
Highway system

The Oxley Highway is a rural highway in New South Wales, Australia.[1] It starts at Nevertire where it joins the Mitchell Highway. It links Nevertire, Warren, Gilgandra, Coonabarabran, Gunnedah, Carroll, Tamworth, Bendemeer, Walcha, Yarrowitch, Ellenborough, Long Flat, and Wauchope and ends at Port Macquarie on the coast of the Tasman Sea.

The Oxley Highway starts from the Mitchell Highway at Nevertire before journeying to the Castlereagh Highway at Gilgandra, from where it is duplexed with the Newell Highway to Coonabarabran, thence to the New England Highway at Tamworth, with which it is duplexed to Bendemeer, the Thunderbolts Way at Walcha, and the Pacific Highway near Port Macquarie.

The highway was formerly signed National Route 34 for its entire length, however during 2013 the route west of Coonabarabran was decommissioned and east to Port Macquarie signed as the B56 as part of the new system of alpha-numeric route marking in NSW.


Work commenced in 1838 with the use of convicts working from Port Macquarie towards a spot known as "Prisoners’ Garden" about 20 km from Yarrowitch. Here it is said that the convicts were chained up each night. In 1842 the track from the Northern Tablelands to Port Macquarie was opened for the first time. Wool carried along this new route reduced the travelling time to 10 days, as opposed to 12–14 weeks for the trip to Maitland. The section from Walcha to Bendemeer existed as a mapped road in 1857, was surveyed in 1867, and proclaimed a Parish Road in c.1889. West of Walcha the road was only suitable for bullock teams and they too had difficulties, especially with the ranges.[2]

The steep range section from Yarras to Yarrowitch was in serious need of repair in 1925 when the Main Roads Board was formed. Following a re-survey in 1927 the road was altered between Yarras and Tobins Camp. The Highway was named in 1928 to commemorate John Oxley who was the first European to explore much of inland New South Wales in 1818. On 30 September 1933 the Highway section between Walcha and Port Macquarie was officially opened. Walcha Shire maintained 106 km of the Highway until July 1966 when this part was taken over by the Department of Main Roads.

About 45 kilometres of the Yarrowitch to Wauchope section is unfenced and livestock (cattle) may be encountered there, along with other wild animals on most of the highway. Kangaroos are the most likely of those to be spotted, but wombats and other marsupials may be found.

Major intersections

LGA Location km mi Destinations Notes
Warren Nevertire 0 0.0 Mitchell Highway (A32) north - Nyngan and Bourke / south - Narromine and Dubbo Western end of Oxley Highway (no route number) - continues south-west as Nevertire-Bogan Road towards Tottenham and Tullamore
Gilgandra Gilgandra 105.0 65.2 Castlereagh Highway (B55) - Coonamble and Walgett Oxley Highway continues south to Newell Highway as Castlereagh Street
105.1 65.3 Newell Highway (A39) - Dubbo and Parkes Newell Highway western concurrency terminus: continues south
Castlereagh River 105.1 65.3 Jack Renshaw Bridge
Gilgandra Gilgandra 106.3 66.1 Castlereagh Highway (B55) - Dunedoo
Castlereagh River 199.4 123.9 Mary Jane Cain Bridge
Warrumbungle Coonabarabran 204.3 126.9 Newell Highway (A39) - Narrabri Intersection is 5 km (3.1 mi) north-east of Coonabarabran
Newell Highway eastern concurrency terminus: continues north
Oxley Highway continues east as B56.
Gunnedah Gunnedah 305.6 189.9 Kamilaroi Highway (B51) - Boggabri and Narrabri Kamilaroi Highway western concurrency terminus: continues north
Oxley and Kamilaroi Highways continue south as Conadilly Street
307.8 191.3 Kamilaroi Highway (B51) - Quirindi Kamilaroi Highway eastern concurrency terminus: continues south
Tamworth Tamworth 380.8 236.6 New England Highway (A15) - Scone and Aberdeen New England Highway western concurrency terminus: continues south
Peel River 381.1 236.8 Bridge (no known official name)
Tamworth Tamworth 381.4 237.0 Fossickers Way (B95) - Manilla and Barraba Fossickers Way proceeds north from Tamworth via Peel Street and Manilla Road
Macdonald River 421.1 261.7 TA Perry Bridge
Tamworth Bendemeer 422.4 262.5 New England Highway (A15) - Uralla and Armidale New England Highway eastern concurrency terminus: continues north
Walcha Walcha 472.0 293.3 Thunderbolts Way north - Uralla / south - Nowendoc and Gloucester
Apsley River 472.1 293.3 Bridge (no known official name)
Tia River 507.5 315.3 Bridge (no known official name) This bridge spans the boundary between the localities of Walcha and Yarrowitch
Yarrowitch River 520.5 323.4 Bridge (no known official name)
Ellenborough River 601.6 373.8 Bridge (no known official name)
Port Macquarie  –
Sancrox[3] –
Thrumster[4] boundary
644.4 400.4 Pacific Highway (A1) north - Kempsey and Macksville / south - Taree and Bulahdelah Intersection is 9 km (5.6 mi) west of Port Macquarie, on the boundary between Sancrox and Thrumster, which follows the Pacific Highway
Port Macquarie 653.0 405.8 Hastings River Drive north - Pacific Highway / Ocean Drive south - Lake Cathie and Bonny Hills Eastern end of Oxley Highway - continues east into Port Macquarie as Gordon Street
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


See also


  1. ^ Oxley Highway, Great Road Rides - New South Wales. Retrieved on 25 May 2008. Archived 19 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Donald, J.Kay, Exploring the North Coast and New England, Kangaroo Press, Kenthurst, 1978
  3. ^ Google. "Sancrox, New South Wales" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  4. ^ Google. "Thrumster, New South Wales" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 15 October 2013. 
  • Walcha - 100 Years of Local Government, Walcha Shire Council, Newprint Industries, Walcha, 1989.

External links

Oxley Highway travel guide from Wikivoyage

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