Dukes Highway

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Dukes Highway
South Australia
General information
Type Highway
Length 189 km (117 mi)
Route number(s) National Highway A8
route number
National Highway 8
Major junctions
West end Princes Highway (National Highway A1 / B1), Tailem Bend
East end Western Highway (National Highway A8), SA/Vic border, 25 km (16 mi) west of Kaniva, Victoria
Major settlements Coonalpyn, Keith, Bordertown
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Highways in South Australia

The Dukes Highway is a 189 kilometre highway corridor in South Australia which links the Australian cities of Adelaide and Melbourne. It is part of the National Highway system spanning Australia, and is signed as National Highway A8.

The Dukes Highway starts in Tailem Bend on the Princes Highway and extends southeast to the state border near Bordertown, South Australia. The highway continues in Victoria as the Western Highway, with the same route signage (National A8). The length of the highway on the South Australian side is around 191 km, joining onto the Western Highway which is 443 km.

Generally, the quality of the Dukes Highway is of a high standard, with the entire road having wide lane widths and sealed shoulder. The final 17 km of the highway after Bordertown, was originally built on unstable ground but was re-constructed in 2005.[1]

The Dukes Highway runs along the northern side of the Limestone Coast region of South Australia. The route and many of the settlements (including Bordertown) were established in the 1850s to supply water to horses for the gold escorts from the Victorian goldfields to Adelaide.[2]

Gold was taken to Adelaide rather than the closer Melbourne because a higher price was offered there. The higher price was offered to stop the South Australian economy from collapsing as all the labourers were heading to the Victorian Goldfields. The 'Bullion Act' was passed and an Assay office was established in Adelaide for the assaying and stamping of gold in 1852. It is claimed that this saved South Australia from bankruptcy.[3]

Major road accidents[edit]

Although there have been a number of serious crashes which has forced the closure of both lanes of traffic. One of the recent accidents occurred with a School Mini-Bus returning from a school camp from Naracoorte on 7 November 2008 where a student was killed.[4]

On 27 September 2008 at 4.40am about 18 km east of Tintinara two people were killed when their utility collided with a Semi Trailer[5]

Most of the accidents that occur on the Dukes Highway are high-speed head on collisions usually caused by fatigue. Although road safety signage states "Stop. Revive. Survive" and "Roads To Recovery" the number of accidents in the early hours of the morning are high in number.

Motorists are advised to rest and recover at the many towns on the Dukes Highway, including Bordertown, Keith, Tintinara, Coonalpyn and Tailem Bend, where the Dukes Highway ends.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Dukes Highway pavement rehabilitation". AusLink. Retrieved 2006-09-16. 
  2. ^ From interpretive signs in Bordertown and along the route
  3. ^ The Story of Keith 1851-1973, Fry, LPH 1953
  4. ^ "Student dies in devastating school mini bus accident on Dukes Highway". Murray Valley Standard. Retrieved 2009-09-15. 
  5. ^ "Two die on the Dukes Highway". AdelaideNow. Retrieved 2009-09-15. [dead link]