Sturt Highway

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Sturt Highway
New South Wales – South Australia
General information
Type Highway
Length 947 km (588 mi)
Route number(s)
  • National Highway A20
  • Gawler - SA/Vic. Border
  • A20

SA/Vic. Border - Vic./NSW Border

  • A20

Vic./NSW Border - Hume Highway

route number
National Highway 20
Entire route
Major junctions
West end Northern Expressway (National Highway M20),
Gawler, South Australia
  Barrier Highway (A32)
Barossa Valley Way (B19)
Calder Highway(A79)
Silver City Highway (B79)
Murray Valley Highway
Mid-Western Highway (B64) via Cobb Highway (B75)
Kidman Way (B87)
Newell Highway (A39)
Olympic Highway (A41)
East end Hume Highway (M31),
Tarcutta, New South Wales
Major settlements Nuriootpa, Renmark, Mildura, Balranald, Hay, Narrandera, Wagga Wagga
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Highways in New South Wales

The Sturt Highway is an Australian highway in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. It is part of the Auslink National network and is part of the main highway route between Sydney and Adelaide.[1]


The Sturt Highway commences at its junction with the Hume Highway near Gundagai south west of Sydney. The Sturt Highway traverses due west roughly aligned to the Murrumbidgee River passing through the city of Wagga Wagga and the towns Narrandera, Darlington Point, Hay, Balranald, Euston, leaving NSW by crossing the Murray River into Victoria from Buronga to Mildura. It originally continued in New South Wales to Wentworth and the South Australian border on the north side of the river.[2]

The Highway continues more or less due west through the northwest of Victoria before entering South Australia. This section of road was built in 1927 as part of the Murray Valley Road to provide a shorter, and all-weather, road connection between Mildura and Renmark.[3] This section of highway does not pass through many small towns and has not needed significant work to bypass them. This route was not popular with locals when it was built, as it is about ten miles north of an older road with rural service towns along it.[4]

In South Australia, the Sturt Highway passes Renmark, Monash, Barmera, Waikerie, Blanchetown, Nuriootpa and Gawler. The Gawler-Blanchetown-Renmark route was proclaimed as the Sturt Highway in 1938, continuing in New South Wales through Wentworth with the same name.[5]

In Victoria and South Australia the highway carries the National Highway number A20, while in New South Wales it is route A20. The route changes to the M20 at Gawler and continues from Gawler Bypass Road south towards the A1 along the Northern Expressway.[6]


South Australia[edit]

None of the Sturt Highway was originally constructed as dual-carriageway, however work commenced in January 2007 to upgrade the highway to two lanes each way dual carriageway between the Gawler Bypass and Greenock in the Barossa Valley. The project was completed in 2010 with budget savings directed towards further Sturt Highway improvements.[7]

The Northern Expressway was built at the south-western end of the Sturt Highway, extending Route A20 by 22 km from Gawler southwest to meet Port Wakefield Road (National Route A1) at Waterloo Corner as part of an AusLink/South Australian Government project to build a new dual-carriageway/freeway standard road as part of the North-South Corridor project. This will provide better access for road transport to Port Adelaide and the industrial areas west and northwest of the city.[8] Now completed this has essentially made the Sturt Highway dual-carriageway/freeway standard between Adelaide and the Barossa Valley.

Other projects in South Australia include: a number of overtaking lanes have also been added in recent years to help make it safer with the high volume of traffic.[9] Major 'S'-bend curves near Waikerie were realigned, and further upgrades to the road were performed up to 2012.[10]


The bridge at Blanchetown was originally opened in 1964.[11] It replaced cable ferries, and was itself replaced in 1998[12] in response to concern about its ability to continue to carry B-double trucks.

The bridge at Kingston-on-Murray was opened in 1973[13] also replacing a very busy ferry crossing.

Significant route changes[edit]

The original route of the Sturt Highway in the Riverland passed through Berri and Glossop instead of the current route through Monash. The former alignment is now known as the Old Sturt Highway, route B201. The original route also passed through the middle of the Barossa Valley along what is now the Barossa Valley Way.[14][15] This first changed to a route passing to the north of Nuriootpa around to the north and west of Gawler on the Gawler Bypass Road and Main North Road to Gepps Cross. It later changed to use the Northern Expressway instead. The more recent road duplication led to it bypassing Daveyston and Shea-Oak Log instead of passing through these small towns.


There is also the proposed Mildura Truck Bypass, to be funded by Auslink 2.[16]


The Sturt Highway is named after Charles Sturt, who explored south western New South Wales, the Murrumbidgee and Murray rivers and also parts of the deserts of central Australia in the 1820s and 1830s. The highway crosses the Murrumbidgee at Balranald having followed that river for much of the route from the Hume Highway, and crosses the Murray a total of four times:

  • At Mildura over a high arched bridge
  • At Paringa (near Renmark) over a lift-span bridge which used to have a railway through the middle as well as the road carriageway on each side
  • At Kingston over a high bridge from an embankment on the right bank to the cliffs on the left bank
  • At Blanchetown over another high bridge to cliffs on the right bank.

Major intersections[edit]

Sturt and Olympic Highway intersection
LGA[17] Location[18][19] km[20] Mile Destinations Notes
Light Regional Council Gawler Belt, Ward Belt 0 0 Northern Expressway (National Highway M20) – Adelaide, Gawler Bypass Road (A52) – Elizabeth
Gawler Belt 2 1 Redbanks Road – Mallala, Balaklava
Gawler Belt, Hewett 3 2 Horrocks Highway (A32) – Tarlee, Clare and Thiele Highway (B81) – Freeling, Kapunda
Greenock 23 14 Greenock Road – Greenock, Kapunda
Nuriootpa 31 19 Barossa Valley Way (B19)
Mid Murray Council Truro 42 26 Truro Road – Kapunda
Annadale 65 40 Halfway House Road – Sedan, Mannum
Mid Murray and Loxton Waikerie Blanchetown 91 57 Murray River
District Council of Loxton Waikerie Paisley 92 57 Hunter Road – Swan Reach, Mannum east side of Murray River
Waikerie 130 81 Ramco Road/Cadell Valley Road – Ramco, Cadell
Kingston-on-Murray 166 103 Kingston Road – Loxton
168 104 Murray River
Berri Barmera Council Barmera 179 111 Old Sturt Highway (B201) – Berri
Monash 185 115 Goyder Highway (B64) – Morgan, Crystal Brook
194 121 Old Sturt Highway (B201) – Berri
District Council of Renmark Paringa Renmark/Paringa 211 131 Murray River
Pike River 222 138 Stanitzki Road – Loxton, Murray Bridge
Yamba 234 145 SA/Victoria border
Rural City of Mildura Mildura 343 213 Calder Highway (A79) – Merbein, Ouyen concurrent for 3km
Wentworth Shire Buronga 351 218 George Chaffey Bridge over Murray River and Vic/NSW Border
352 219 Silver City Highway (B79) – Wentworth, Broken Hill
Balranald Shire Euston 431 268 Murray Valley HighwayRobinvale, Swan Hill
Balranald 509 316 Murrumbidgee River
511 318 Mallee HighwayTooleybuc, Ouyen
Hay Shire Hay 638 396 Cobb Highway (B75) – Wilcannia, Deniliquin, Echuca and Mid-Western Highway (B64) – West Wyalong, Cowra, Sydney
Murrumbidgee Shire Waddi 752 467 Kidman Way (B87) – Griffith, Cobar, Jerilderie
Narrandera Shire Narrandera 808 502 Newell Highway (A39) – Jerilderie, West Wyalong
City of Wagga Wagga Wagga Wagga 899 559 Olympic Highway (A41) – Albury, Junee concurrent for about 3km
Tarcutta 948 589 Hume Highway (M31) – Albury, Sydney, Canberra

Towns on the Sturt Highway[edit]



  1. ^ Hema Maps (2007). Australia Road and 4WD Atlas (Map). Eight Mile Plains Queensland. pp. 32;33;69;71. ISBN 978-1-86500-456-3.
  2. ^ "STURT HIGHWAY.". Moree Gwydir Examiner and General Advertiser (NSW : 1901 - 1940) (NSW: National Library of Australia). 9 December 1935. p. 2. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "THE MURRAY VALLEY ROAD.". Murray Pioneer and Australian River Record (Renmark, SA : 1913 - 1942) (Renmark, SA: National Library of Australia). 18 November 1927. p. 6. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "MURRAY VALLEY ROAD.". Murray Pioneer and Australian River Record (Renmark, SA : 1913 - 1942) (Renmark, SA: National Library of Australia). 6 April 1928. p. 4. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "State's Chief Highways Named.". Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) (Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia). 16 June 1938. p. 47. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Sturt Highway". Ozroads. Retrieved 2008-05-25. [self-published source]
  7. ^ "Sturt Highway Upgrade". TransportSA. Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  8. ^ "Northern Expressway". TransportSA. Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  9. ^ "Sturt Highway - Riverland passing lanes". AusLink. Department of Transport and Regional Services. 20 July 2005. Retrieved 2006-06-11. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Sturt Highway - Upgrading Program". AusLink. Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  11. ^ South Australia. Highways Department (1964), The Official opening of Blanchetown Bridge by the Honourable Sir Thomas Playford G.C.M.G., M.P., Premier of South Australia, on Friday, 24th April, 1964 : souvenir, Highways Dept, retrieved 8 September 2014 
  12. ^ From one side to the other, to commemorate the opening of the new bridge, November 1998, Blanchetown Bulletin Committee, 1998, retrieved 8 September 2014 
  13. ^ South Australia. Highways Dept (1973), Official opening, Kingston Bridge, River Murray by His Excellency the Governor Sir Mark Oliphant, K.B.E. 21st. Feb., 1973, Highways Dept, retrieved 8 September 2014 
  14. ^ "THE LOWER MURRAY.". The Riverine Grazier (Hay, NSW : 1873 - 1954) (Hay, NSW: National Library of Australia). 15 February 1949. p. 1. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  15. ^ South Australia. Highways and Local Government Dept; South Australian Government Tourist Bureau (1950), South Australia showing main road system and important district roads, Highways & Local Government Dept. : M.E. Sherrah, Government photolithographer, retrieved 30 January 2015 
  16. ^ Mildura Truck Bypass - Auslink 2(PDF)
  17. ^ "Property Location Browser". Government of South Australia. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  18. ^ "Mid North". Naming of State Rural Roads. Government of South Australia. 16 December 2013. Rack Plan 869. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  19. ^ "Murray Mallee, Riverland". Naming of State Rural Roads. Government of South Australia. 6 December 2013. Rack Plan 870. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  20. ^ Google, Inc. "Driving directions Sturt Highway". Google Maps (Map). Cartography by Google, Inc.,138.7303901/-35.2179829,147.7900926/@-35.1560674,142.5632004,7z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e0?hl=en. Retrieved 5 October 2014.

External links[edit]

Media related to Sturt Highway at Wikimedia Commons