Esk–Hampton Road

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Esk-Hampton Road
Esk Hampton Road at Ravensbourne.jpg
Ravensbourne, 2014
General information
Type Highway
Length 45.7 km (28 mi)
Route number(s) State Route 85 (Esk – Hampton)
Major junctions
East end Brisbane Valley Highway (National Route 17 / State Route 85), Esk
West end New England Highway (A3 / State Route 85), Hampton
Major settlements Ravensbourne
Highway system

The Esk–Hampton Road is a state highway in Queensland. It leaves the Brisbane Valley Highway at Esk and travels in a westerly direction for 45.7 kilometres (28 mi) until it reaches the New England Highway at Hampton, where it ends. This road is part of State Route 85, which extends for over 570 kilometres (354 mi) from Bribie Island to Nindigully, duplexing with the Brisbane Valley Highway (National Route 17) from the D'Aguilar Highway to Esk, the New England Highway (State Route A3) from Hampton to Toowoomba, the Gore Highway (National Route A39 - formerly 85) from Toowoomba to the Leichhardt Highway, and the southern 19 kilometres (12 mi) section of the Leichhardt Highway (also National Route A39) to Goondiwindi.[1]


From a historical perspective the Esk–Hampton Road consists of three sections of approximately equal length. The eastern section, from Esk to the foothills of the Great Dividing Range, was developed along Redbank Creek to provide access to stands of timber, and to a sawmill that was located at Redbank Creek. Subsequently, it serviced farms that were established on land cleared of most old growth forest.

The western section, from Hampton to the end of a spur of the Great Dividing Range, was also developed to facilitate the harvesting of timber. Prior to European settlement the rich volcanic soil on the ridge supported a sub-tropical rainforest, which contained timbers that were in high demand, including red cedar, tallowwood and hoop pine. These timbers were used in some homes constructed in the area at the time.[2] The road later provided access to cleared land that was used for dairying and beef cattle grazing.[3] This section provides access to Ravensbourne National Park, which preserves a remnant of the rainforest.[4]

The central (mountain) section was developed later, to enable more direct travel between the two districts. The road is now a popular tourist drive, particularly as part of a round trip from the Brisbane area to the Toowoomba district. It is rated as a "good ride" by motorcycling tourists.[5]


The Esk–Hampton Road climbs from an elevation of 117m at Esk to 719m at Hampton. Seven km of its length has an incline/grade of 5 to 10% and 1.4 km has an incline/grade greater than 10%.[6]

Major intersections[edit]

LGA Location km mi Destinations Notes
Somerset Region Esk 0 0.0 Brisbane Valley Highway (National Route 17 / State Route 85 )  – Toogoolawah, Fernvale North to Toogoolawah, south to Fernvale via Wivenhoe Dam
Buaraba 32.3 20.1 National Park Road - Ravensbourne National Park [7][8]
Toowoomba Region Hampton 45.7 28.4 New England Highway (State Route A3 / State Route 61)  – Crows Nest, Toowoomba North to Crows Nest, south to Toowoomba
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Queensland State Routes". Retrieved 5 September 2009. [self-published source]
  2. ^ "Hampton Visitor Information Centre". Toowoomba Regional Council. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ravensbourne National Park". Crows Nest Tourism. Retrieved 19 June 2016. 
  4. ^ "Ravensbourne". Toowoomba Regional Council. 7 December 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2013. 
  5. ^ "South East Queensland Good Rides" (PDF). Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  6. ^ "Map of Esk-Hampton Road in Queensland". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 5 September 2009. 
  7. ^ Google (20 October 2013). "Buaraba, Queensland" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Buaraba (entry 44849)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 13 September 2015.