Great South Road, New Zealand

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These days, long parts of Great South Road's length are urban or suburban.

The Great South Road was the northern section of the earliest highway between Auckland and Wellington, in the North Island of New Zealand. Construction of the Great South Road began in 1861 during the New Zealand Wars. The road was constructed by British Army troops, and provided a flow of supplies for the Waikato campaign.[1] Approximately 12,000 soldiers were involved in the construction over two years. After the wars, more peaceful uses predominated, and the road became the main social and commercial link to the growing agricultural areas south of Auckland.[2]

Much of the road between Newmarket and Drury is laid in concrete, up to 1 foot thick but is now covered with asphalt. Originally, the road was marked by milestones, but these are now all believed lost.[2] State Highway 1, with its superior engineering for speed, has largely superseded the Great South Road as a through route, but many parts of the road are still in use, particularly the urban sections.

The road begins[3] in the central Auckland suburb of Epsom, then passes through the suburbs of Greenlane, Penrose, Otahuhu, Papatoetoe, Manukau, Manurewa and Papakura. Leaving the urban sprawl, it heads south through Drury and Bombay, over the Bombay Hills, and follows the east bank of the Waikato River until crossing it at Ngaruawahia. A section of State Highway 3 through Ohaupo retains the road's southernmost extension.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Roads - Development (from Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand, 1966 Edition. Accessed 2008-07-19.)
  2. ^ a b "Newmarket Viaduct - Landscape & Urban Design Framework". Transit New Zealand. 7 November 2008. p. Section 5.3. 
  3. ^ North End: Great South Road, Epsom, Auckland (Google Maps, accessed 2010-12-07.)
  4. ^ South End: Great South Road, Ohaupo, Waikato (Google Maps, accessed 2010-12-07.)

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 36°52′47″S 174°47′02″E / 36.87962°S 174.78394°E / -36.87962; 174.78394