Dukes Highway

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Dukes Highway
South Australia
Dukes Highway is located in South Australia
West end
West end
East end
East end
Coordinates 35°16′S 139°28′E / 35.27°S 139.46°E / -35.27; 139.46
General information
Type Highway
Length 190 km (118 mi)[1]
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.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

Major road accidents[edit]

The Dukes highway accounts for one third of South Australia's road fatalities, many as head-on collisions, leading to calls for road improvements to separate traffic in each direction.[5] Point-to-point speed cameras have been installed on one section of the highway to identify drivers who flaunt the speed limit.[6] Parts of the highway have had wider centre lines installed with audio tactile treatment to help drivers to realise and recover from drifting across the centre line before they encounter an oncoming vehicle. This is intended to reduce fatigue and inattention-related crashes.[7]

Motorists are advised[by whom?] 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.[citation needed]

Major intersections[edit]

LGA[8][9] Location km[1] mi Destinations Notes
District Council of The Coorong Tailem Bend 0 0 Princes Highway (National Highway A1 / B1) – Tailem Bend, Adelaide
3 2 Mallee Highway (B12) – Pinnaroo, Sydney
Coonalpyn 61 38 McIntosh Way – Meningie
Tatiara District Council Keith 125 78 Riddoch Highway (A66) - Naracoorte, Mount Gambier
Cannawigara 161 100 Ngarkat Highway (B57) – Pinnaroo
Bordertown 172 107 Naracoorte Road – Naracoorte, Kingston SE, Mount Gambier
Wolseley 190 118 continues as Western Highway (National Highway A8) SA/Vic border, 25 km (16 mi) west of Kaniva, Victoria
  •       Route transition

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Google (16 October 2014). "Dukes Highway" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  2. ^ "Dukes Highway pavement rehabilitation". AusLink. Retrieved 2006-09-16. 
  3. ^ From interpretive signs in Bordertown and along the route
  4. ^ The Story of Keith 1851-1973, Fry, LPH 1953
  5. ^ David Nankervis (29 March 2013). "Two killed after B-double and car collide head-on along Dukes Highway". The Advertiser (News Limited). Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Glenn Power (11 February 2014). "Dukes Highway speed cameras almost ready". Murray Valley Standard (Fairfax Media). Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Wide Centreline Treatment Strategy". Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure, Government of South Australia. 30 January 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Murray Mallee, Riverland" (PDF). Naming of State Rural Roads. Government of South Australia. 6 December 2013. Rack Plan 870. Retrieved 15 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "South East" (PDF). Naming of State Rural Roads. Government of South Australia. 28 February 2011. Rack Plan 994. Retrieved 15 October 2014.