New Zealand State Highway 2

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State Highway 2 NZ.svg

State Highway 2
Route information
Maintained by New Zealand Transport Agency
Length: 968 km (601 mi)
Pacific Coast Highway
Classic New Zealand Wine Trail
Major junctions
North end: State Highway 1 NZ.svg SH 1 Waikato Expressway near Pokeno

State Highway 5 NZ.svg SH 5 near Bay View

State Highway 3 NZ.svg SH 3 in Woodville
South end: State Highway 1 NZ.svg SH 1 Wellington Urban Motorway at Ngauranga Interchange
Paeroa, Waihi, Tauranga, Te Puke, Whakatane, Opotiki, Gisborne, Wairoa, Napier, Hastings, Waipukurau, Dannevirke, Masterton, Carterton, Featherston, Upper Hutt, Lower Hutt
Highway system
SH 1 SH 3

State Highway 2 (SH 2) runs north–south through eastern parts of the North Island of New Zealand from the outskirts of Auckland to Wellington. It runs via Tauranga in the Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, and Napier and Hastings in Hawkes Bay. It is the second-longest highway in the North Island, after State Highway 1, which runs the length of both of the country's main islands.

For most of its length it consists of a two-lane single carriageway, with frequent passing lanes. There are sections of expressway (four lane dual carriageway) at Maramarua, Tauranga and Wellington.


Looking north on SH 2 (High Street South) in Carterton, 80 km (50 mi) from its terminus near Wellington.

The route that SH 2 took in 2008 is as follows.

SH 2 leaves SH 1 just north of Pokeno, 49 km south of central Auckland. It heads east, crossing the Hauraki Plains before running the length of the Karangahake Gorge, a break in the hills between the Coromandel Peninsula and Kaimai Ranges. From the mining town of Waihi it runs southeast, skirting the edge of Tauranga Harbour, which it crosses on the Tauranga Harbour Bridge before connecting to the 23 km Tauranga Eastern Link, a four lane toll motorway only recently completed. After reaching Paengaroa Junction with SH 33, SH 2 reverts to highway status and follows the coast for a further 34 km, until it reaches the village of Matata.

From Matata it heads slightly inland, crossing the Rangitaiki plain to the south of Whakatane, loops south to Taneatua, through the Waimana gorge and then back north to the coast near Opotiki. After Opotiki it turns inland, ascending southeast along the valley of the Waioeka River, then winding up to the 725-metre Traffords Hill summit. From here it descends into the watershed of the Waipaoa River following the river valley from Te Karaka to Makaraka, just outside Gisborne, to which it is connected by a short stretch of SH 35.

It then turns south, passing the Wharerata Forest and the isthmus of the Mahia Peninsula, turning west to follow the coast of Hawke Bay. Close to the mouth of the Waihua River it heads briefly inland, passing the Mohaka Forest and Lake Tutira before rejoining the coast not far from the junction with SH 5 at Bay View. It continues south through Napier and turning inland to enter Hastings. From central Hastings it loses its national highway status for seven kilometres as it is cut in two by the Hastings City streets, regaining that status at Pakipaki.

It continues to head inland from Pakipaki, initially southwest to Waipukurau, then briefly west to follow tributaries of the Tukituki River upstream. Close to Norsewood it turns southwest, a direction it maintains for much of the remainder of its journey, crossing undulating country that forms the upper catchment of the Manawatu River. In Woodville, it meets SH 3, which links SH 2 with Palmerston North via the Manawatu Gorge. SH 2 continues south into the Wairarapa, travelling through Eketahuna to Masterton.

The last 100 kilometres takes it through the small Wairarapa towns of Carterton, Greytown, and Featherston, and then via a winding and steep section over the Rimutaka Range (summit 555 metres) into the Hutt Valley. It travels along the edge of Upper Hutt to a junction with SH 58 at Haywards, then past Lower Hutt and Petone before skirting the upper part of Wellington Harbour and terminating at the junction with SH 1 at the Ngauranga Interchange, five kilometres away from central Wellington.

Although the Ngauranga Interchange is the official end of SH 2, it is signed northbound as far back as the Mount Victoria Tunnel, 8 km before it begins.

Spur sections[edit]

SH 2 has two short spurs: SH 2A and SH 2B. SH 2A runs for 3.8 km from SH2 through Tauranga, along 15th Avenue and Turret Road, to the junction with SH 29 at Maungatapu. SH 2B runs for 4.1 km from SH 2 at Napier Airport to SH 50 at Taradale. This forms the northern part of the Hawkes Bay Expressway.


The section of SH 2 through Mangatawhiri had a poor crash record, and the seven-kilometre Mangatawhiri Deviation was opened in December 2008 to improve safety by bypassing it. Passing lanes in both directions provide safe passing opportunities. Grade-separated intersections improve safety for traffic wanting to cross or join the highway.

SH 2 used to follow SH 2A's route in Tauranga, along 15th Ave, into Turret Road, and across the harbour to Maungatapu, where it joined SH 29, and then headed across the Maungatapu Bridge to Te Maunga. This was changed in 2009 when a second harbour bridge opened next to the current one, providing four lanes of traffic and an overpass from the harbour bridges to the Takitimu Drive expressway.

Before August 3, 2015, SH 2 used to travel via Te Puke. The Tauranga Eastern Link, a tolled motorway almost 23 km from Te Maunga Junction to Paengaroa officially opened on July 30, 2015. SH 2 now follows the Tauranga Eastern Link. The new four lane highway was constructed as part of the National government's Roads of National Significance, improving access from the east (Te Puke, Whakatane, Opotiki, Gisborne) and south from Rotorua and Taupo. It is the main route for trucks heading to the Port of Tauranga from Rotorua and the eastern Bay of Plenty, and connects the economically-important central plateau forestry industry with the port for export. This NZTA administered road is tolled at $2.00 for cars and motorcycles and $5.00 for trucks.[1]

SH 2 used to extend into Whakatane, but recently this section was moved inland to pass through Edgecumbe and Awakeri, with SH 30 extended to Whakatane to cover the former route.

SH 2 used to run between Hastings and Pakipaki, but recently has been revoked.

The Rimutaka Hill Road, transversing the Rimutaka Ranges between Featherston and Upper Hutt, has a poor crash record, with many tight 25 and 35 km/h corners, and a lack of safety barriers to prevent vehicles dropping down off the road. The original winding route between Kaitoke and Te Marua was significantly realigned between 2002 and 2006. The tightest and narrowest corner on the road, named Muldoon's Corner after the former Prime Minister's financial stance ("tight and to the right"), is being bypassed with a new wider 55 km/h corner.[2]

River Road, between Maoribank and Silverstream in Upper Hutt, was opened in 1987 to bypass central Upper Hutt. The new route was a two-laned single-carriageway 100 km/h road on the Hutt River's banks, crossing the river at Moonshine, and replaced the 50 km/h route via Fergusson Drive. Most of the road of the road has been widened to three lanes, and median barriers have been installed, with only the Moonshine Bridge and north of Totara Park Drive still having two lanes undivided (Gibbons Street to Totara Park is three lanes undivided).

SH 2's southern terminus has also changed. It formed the southern part of the Wellington Urban Motorway when SH 1 finished at the Aotea Quay off-ramp. In 1996, SH 1 replaced this section.


Currently there are several projects to improve SH 2. They include:

  • Kopuku Realignment: under investigation to improve to four-lane highway between the Mangatawhiri and Maramarua Deviations. The project is primarily a realignment project aimed at improving road safety and providing passing opportunities.
  • Maramarua Deviation: a bypass of Maramarua township, east of the SH 1/2 Pokeno turnoff, to improve road safety, provide passing opportunities and reduce holiday peak congestion in Maramarua township. Design proposals were completed in 2009 but no date had been set for the start of construction.
  • Katikati Bypass: an investigation is currently being undertaken into the long-standing designation for the bypass to ensure that it will meet the future needs of Katikati, and is consistent with NZTA's overall strategy for long-term management of SH 2.
  • Haywards Interchange: A new $42 million interchange between State Highway 2 and State Highway 58 at Haywards in the Hutt Valley will eliminate long peak hour delays at the present grade intersection. Work on the interchange has been "fast-tracked" and is to commence in 2015.[3]
  • Melling and Kennedy-Good Bridges and Interchanges: Improved interchanges are planned for the Melling and Kennedy-Good bridges over the Hutt River and the associated interchanges.[4]


The busiest section of SH 2 is just north of the Ngauranga Interchange in Wellington, which was measured at km 977.6 to have an AADT of 67,000 vehicles.[5] The quietest section of road is near Otoko in the Gisborne District, which was measured at km 389.5 to have an AADT of 1000 vehicles.

Major intersections[edit]

Territorial authority Location km Destinations Notes
Franklin District Pokeno 0 State Highway 1 NZ.svg SH 1 north
(Waikato Expressway)
SH 2 begins
State Highway 1 NZ.svg SH 1 south
(Waikato Expressway)
Waikato District District contains no major junctions
Hauraki District Mangatarata 34 State Highway 25 NZ.svg SH 25
Thames, Coromandel Peninsula
37 State Highway 27 NZ.svg SH 27
Matamata, Tirau
Paeroa Waihou River
72 State Highway 26 NZ.svg SH 26 north
(Arney Street)
Coromandel Peninsula, Thames
SH 2/SH 26 concurrency begins
73 State Highway 26 NZ.svg SH 26 south
(Te Aroha Road)
SH 2/SH 26 concurrency ends
Waihi 93 State Highway 25 NZ.svg SH 25/Pacific Coast Highway
Whangamata, Tairua
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency begins
Western Bay of Plenty District District west of Tauranga contains no major junctions
Tauranga City Cambridge Heights 149 Waihi Road
Tauranga City 151 State Highway 2a NZ.svg SH 2A
(Tamatea Arikinui Drive)
Tauranga South, Greerton, Welcome Bay, Maungatapu
153 Elizabeth St
City Centre
154 Chapel St
City Centre
Grade Separated Junction
155 Port of Tauranga Grade Separated Junction
Mount Maunganui 157 Totara St
Mount Maunganui
160 Maunganui Road (North)
Mount Maunganui
Omanu Beach
Also known as the Hewletts Road Flyover
Te Maunga 164 State Highway 29 NZ.svg SH 29
Welcome Bay
Tauranga South
Western Bay of Plenty District Paengaroa 189 State Highway 33 NZ.svg SH 33
Whakatane District Matata 223 Pacific Coast Highway
(Arawa Street)
Hawkens Junction 232 State Highway 34 NZ.svg SH 34
(Awaiti South Road)
Kawerau, Rotorua
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency ends
Edgecumbe Rangitaiki River
Awakeri 242 State Highway 30 NZ.svg SH 30 west
SH 2/SH 30 concurrency begins
243 State Highway 30 NZ.svg SH 30 east
SH 2/SH 30 concurrency ends
Opotiki District Kerurutahi 285 Pacific Coast Highway
(Wainui Road)
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency begins
Opotiki 304 State Highway 35 NZ.svg SH 35/Pacific Coast Highway
(St John Street)
Te Kaha, Te Araroa
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency ends
Gisborne District Makaraka 443 Pacific Coast Highway
(Main Road)
Gisborne, Te Araroa
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency begins
Matawhero 444 State Highway 35 NZ.svg SH 35
(Awapuni Road)
Wairoa District North Clyde 533 State Highway 38 NZ.svg SH 38
(Mahia Avenue)
Frasertown, Lake Waikaremoana
Hastings District District north of Napier contains no major junctions
Napier City Bay View 638 State Highway 5 NZ.svg SH 5/Thermal Explorer Highway
(Eskdale Drive)
Westshore 647 State Highway 2b NZ.svg SH 2B
(Hawke's Bay Expressway)
Napier Central 649 State Highway 50 NZ.svg SH 50 north
(Hyderabad Road)
SH 2/SH 50 concurrency begins
650 State Highway 50 NZ.svg SH 50 south
(Taradale Road)
Taradale, Hastings, Wellington
SH 2/SH 50 concurrency ends
Pacific Coast Highway and SH2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency ends
Classic-nz-wine-trail.png Classic New Zealand Wine Trail and SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency begins
Hastings District Karamu 669 SH 2 temporarily ends
Pakipaki 678 SH 2 resumes
State Highway 50a NZ.svg SH 50A
(Hawke's Bay Expressway)
Central Hawke's Bay District Takapau 743 State Highway 50 NZ.svg SH 50
Tikokino, Ongaonga
Tararua District Manawatu River
Woodville 802 State Highway 3 NZ.svg SH 3
(Vogel Street)
Palmerston North
Ngawapurua 808 Manawatu River
Masterton District District contains no major junctions
Carterton District
South Wairarapa District Greytown 909 Classic-nz-wine-trail.png Classic NZ Wine Trail
(Moroa Plains Road)
SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency ends
Featherston 921 State Highway 53 NZ.svg Classic-nz-wine-trail.png SH 53/Classic NZ Wine Trail
(Revans Street)
SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency begins
Upper Hutt City District contains no major junctions
Hutt City Manor Park 962 State Highway 58 NZ.svg SH 58
(Haywards Hill Road)
Pauatahanui, Porirua
Wellington City Ngauranga 979 State Highway 1 NZ.svg Classic-nz-wine-trail.png SH 1 north/Classic NZ Wine Trail south
(Hutt Road)
Ngauranga, Porirua, Picton Ferry
SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency ends
Traffic for The Interislander ferry to Picton and the South Island exits here.
State Highway 1 NZ.svg SH 1 south
(Wellington Urban Motorway)
City Centre, Airport
SH 2 ends

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Where the toll roads are". NZTA. 
  2. ^ "Tight corner on Rimutaka Hill Road consigned to history". New Zealand. 27 June 2011. Retrieved 9 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Fast track for new $42m interchange". Stuff/Fairfax. 14 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "SH2 Melling to Haywards upgrade". New Zealand Transport Authority. 26 April 2015. 
  5. ^ [1]