South Eastern Freeway

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This article is about the freeway in South Australia. For the freeway in Melbourne, also known as the South Eastern Freeway, see Monash Freeway.
South Eastern Freeway
South Australia
General information
Type Freeway
Length 66 km (41 mi)
Route number(s) National Highway M1
route number
National Highway 1
Major junctions
West end Adelaide-Crafers Highway, Crafers, Adelaide
East end Princes Highway, Murray Bridge, South Australia
Major suburbs / towns Stirling, Bridgewater, Hahndorf, Mount Barker, Callington, Monarto
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Highways in South Australia

The South Eastern Freeway (previously signposted as Princes Highway) is a 66 kilometre four-lane divided carriageway road in South Australia linking the Adelaide-Crafers Highway to the Princes Highway at the Swanport Bridge, a one kilometre long bridge over the River Murray, near Murray Bridge. The Adelaide-Crafers Highway and South Eastern Freeway are seamlessly connected with minimal signage to distinguish them - as a result they are generally considered by South Australians to be a single road, usually referred to simply as the Freeway, as it was the first freeway in South Australia, and is still the longest. It is a part of the National Highway network linking Adelaide to Melbourne and signed as National Highway M1. The three roads mentioned above constitute part of the primary road link between the state capital cities of Adelaide and Melbourne - the other components are the Dukes Highway and Western Highway.


Prior to the initial construction of the freeway in the 1960s, all inbound and outbound road traffic to south-eastern South Australia and to Victoria had to travel on a two-lane highway originally built in the early part of the 20th century. With growth in Adelaide's population issues of congestion and safety mandated reconstruction. Studies began in 1962 for a freeway commencing from Crafers, that endpoint selected arguably due to the massive expenditure incurred with the precedent upgrade of the Mount Barker Road.

Road construction began in 1965 from Crafers and the first stage of eastbound traffic lanes were opened in 1967, the first westbound section in 1969. The freeway was opened in stages as construction progressed. The final section bypassing the town of Murray Bridge and connecting to the new Swanport Bridge over the River Murray opened in 1979, replacing the historic bridge in the town for through traffic.

The opening of the freeway resulted in the less direct Bridgewater railway line losing patronage and eventually closing to passengers in 1987.

South Eastern Freeway from Mount Barker Summit

An additional exit was built at Monarto around 1999 to service an expanding commercial zone and Monarto Zoo in the area.[1] Another exit was announced in 2014 at Bald Hills Road 4 km southeast of the Mount Barker interchange to service growing housing estates in southern Mount Barker and Nairne.[2] The new interchange is expected to be completed by mid-2016.[3]

The Freeway bypasses many towns previously along the Princes Highway including


The Adelaide end of the South Eastern Freeway flows seamlessly into the Adelaide-Crafers Highway, which replaced a narrower road contoured to the Adelaide Hills in 2000.

The southeastern end of the freeway, near Murray Bridge feeds onto the Swanport Bridge, a two-lane one kilometre long bridge over the River Murray, where it joins the Princes Highway, a dual-carriageway highway to Tailem Bend. At this point, Highway 1 becomes a two-laned, two-way scenic route which passes the coastal towns of South Australia and Victoria. The National Highway continues to Melbourne as the Dukes Highway (A8) from Tailem Bend to the Victorian border and beyond as the Western Highway.

Exits and intersections[edit]

South Eastern Freeway National Route M1
Princes Highway
Eastbound exits Distance from Crafers Westbound exits
Continues from Adelaide-Crafers Highway National Route M1
as South Eastern Freeway National Route M1
0 km (0 mi) continues as Adelaide-Crafers Highway National Route M1
to Australian Alphanumeric State Route A1.svg, Australian Alphanumeric State Route A3.svg & National Route A17
Crafers, Mount Lofty
Mount Lofty Tourist Drive
Summit Road
Crafers, Mount Lofty
Mount Lofty Tourist Drive
Summit Road
Stirling, Aldgate
Mount Barker Road State Route B33
1.2 km (0.75 mi) Stirling, Aldgate
Mount Barker Road State Route B33
Bridgewater Road
5.8 km (3.6 mi) Bridgewater
Bridgewater Road
Hahndorf, Verdun
Mount Barker Road State Route B34
8.8 km (5.5 mi) 'no exit'
Mount Barker, Littlehampton, Strathalbyn
Adelaide Road State Route B37
17 km (11 mi) Mount Barker, Littlehampton, Strathalbyn
North Terrace
Mount Barker, Nairne
Bald Hills Road Anticipated opening 2016
21 km (13 mi) 'no exit'
Callington Road
37.7 km (23.4 mi) Callington
Callington Road
Monarto Zoological Park
Ferries McDonald Road
46.2 km (28.7 mi) Monarto Zoological Park
Ferries McDonald Road
Murray Bridge, Whites Hill
Princes Highway
55.5 km (34.5 mi) 'no exit'
Murray Bridge, Swanport, Wellington
Swanport Road
66 km (41 mi) Murray Bridge, Swanport, Wellington
Flagstaff Road
End South Eastern Freeway National Route M1
continues as Princes Highway National Route A1
to National Route A8 & Australian Alphanumeric State Route B1.svg
start South Eastern Freeway National Route M1
Continuation of Princes Highway National Route A1

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jensen Planning and Design (December 2008). "MONARTO SOUTH INTERMODAL AND LAND USE STUDY Final Report". Monarto Common Purpose Group. p. 40. Retrieved 18 July 2014.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  2. ^ "Bald Hills Road Interchange". Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. 16 July 2014. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Nankervis, David (15 July 2014). "Watch how the new Mt Barker freeway interchange at Balds Hill Rd will work". The Advertiser (News Limited). Retrieved 18 July 2014. 

External links[edit]