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 Hawke's 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 one short spur: SH 2B. 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 Hawke's Bay Expressway.

SH 2 used to have an additional spur, SH 2A which ran for 3.8 km from SH 2 through Tauranga, along 15th Avenue and Turret Road, to the junction with SH 29 (now SH 29A) at Maungatapu. This route was once the original route for SH 2 before it was shifted to the newly duplicated Tauranga Harbour Bridge. In August 2015, this state highway lost its full state highway status in conjunction with Takitimu Drive (Route K) Toll Road becoming part of the state highway network.


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 former 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. SH 2A became the old section until it was revoked in 2015.

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.[3]
  • 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. Since 2011 an intermin 90 km/h speed limit has been put in place.[4]
  • 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.[5]
  • Tauranga Northern Link: a 6.8km deviation bypassing Bethlehem and Te Puna to the south and bisecting SH 29 at the Takitimu Drive Toll Road. The government has pledged funding for secondary investigation work with construction likely to commence in 2018.[6]
  • Motu Bridge Replacement: funding is being fast-tracked to replace the one-lane bridge between Opotiki and Gisborne with a new two-laned bridge.[7]
  • 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 began in late 2015.[8]
  • 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.[9]


The busiest section of SH 2 is just north of the Ngauranga Interchange in Wellington, which was measured at km 962 to have an AADT of over 67,000 vehicles both directions.[10] The quietest section of road is near Otoko in the Gisborne District, which was measured at km 390 to have an AADT of fewer than 1000 vehicles.

Major intersections[edit]

Territorial authority Location km jct Destinations Notes
Franklin District Pokeno 0 New Zealand PW-4 (right).svg SH 1 north – Auckland SH 2 begins
Australia GE2-3.svg SH 1 south – Hamilton
Waikato District District contains no major junctions
Hauraki District Mangatarata 34 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg SH 25Thames, Coromandel Peninsula
37 New Zealand road sign R2-2.svg SH 27Matamata, Tirau
Paeroa New Zealand PW-44.svg Waihou River
72 New Zealand PW-9.svg SH 26 north (Arney Street) – Coromandel Peninsula, Thames SH 2/SH 26 concurrency begins
73 New Zealand PW-9.svg SH 26 south (Te Aroha Road)
SH 2/SH 26 concurrency ends
Waihi 93 New Zealand PW-9.svg SH 25 north (Kenny Street) – Whangamata, Tairua SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency begins
Western Bay of Plenty District District west of Tauranga contains no major junctions
Tauranga City
Tauranga City 151 Australia GE2-3.svg Fifteenth Avenue – Maungatapu, Welcome Bay Formerly SH 2A. Eastbound exit and westbound entry only. Right-hand exit.
Australia GE2-3.svg SH 29 (Takitimu Drive Toll Road)
Hamilton, Rotorua
Westbound exit and eastbound entry only
156 New Zealand PW-44.svg Tauranga Harbour Bridge
Te Maunga 164 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg SH 29A – Welcome Bay, Tauranga South, Hamilton Tauranga Eastern Link begins
Papamoa Australia GE2-3.svg Domain Road/Te Puke Highway – Papamoa, Te Puke Toll-free route east via Te Puke Highway
Western Bay of Plenty District Rangiuru Toll point: cars & motorcycles $2.00, heavy vehicles $5.00
Paengaroa 189 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg SH 33Rotorua
Te Puke Highway – Te Puke
Tauranga Eastern Link ends
Toll-free route west via Te Puke Highway
Whakatane District Matata 223 New Zealand road sign R2-2.svg Pacific Coast Highway (Arawa Street) – Whakatane SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency ends
Hawkens Junction 232 New Zealand PW-11 (right).svg SH 34 (Awaiti South Road) – Kawerau, Rotorua
Edgecumbe New Zealand PW-44.svg Rangitaiki River
Awakeri 242 New Zealand PW-11 (right).svg SH 30 west – Rotorua SH 2/SH 30 concurrency begins
243 New Zealand road sign R2-2.svg SH 30 east – Whakatane SH 2/SH 30 concurrency ends
Taneatua 253 New Zealand road sign W10-4.svg Whakatane River Bridge
Opotiki District Kerurutahi 285 New Zealand PW-11 (left).svg Pacific Coast Highway (Wainui Road) – Whakatane SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency begins
Opotiki 304 New Zealand road sign R2-1.svg SH 35 (St John Street) – Te Kaha, Te Araroa SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency ends
Gisborne District Makaraka 443 New Zealand road sign R2-2.svg Pacific Coast Highway (Main Road) – Gisborne, Te Araroa SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency begins
Matawhero 444 New Zealand PW-9.svg SH 35 (Awapuni Road) – Gisborne
Matawhero 444 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg Tiniroto Road – Tiniroto, Wairoa Former SH 36.
Wairoa District North Clyde 533 New Zealand road sign R2-2.svg SH 38 (Mahia Avenue) – Frasertown, Lake Waikaremoana
Hastings District District north of Napier contains no major junctions
Napier City Bay View 638 New Zealand PW-11 (right).svg SH 5 (Eskdale Drive) – Taupo
Westshore 647 New Zealand road sign R2-1.svg SH 2B (Hawke's Bay Expressway) – Hastings Roundabout replacement due to open mid-2017.
Napier Central 649 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg SH 50 north (Hyderabad Road) – Port SH 2/SH 50 concurrency begins
650 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg SH 50 south (Taradale Road) – Taradale, Hastings, Wellington SH 2/SH 50 concurrency ends
SH 2/Pacific Coast Highway concurrency ends
Classic-nz-wine-trail.png SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency begins
Hastings District Karamu 669 New Zealand PW-11 (right).svg Kenilworth Road SH 2 temporarily ends
Pakipaki 678 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg Te Aute Road – Havelock North
SH 50A (Pakipaki Road) – Napier
SH 2 resumes
Central Hawke's Bay District Waipukurau 721 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg Porangahau Road – Porangahau Former SH 52
Takapau 743 New Zealand PW-11 (right).svg SH 50 – Tikokino, Ongaonga
Tararua District Norsewood 753 New Zealand PW-44.svg Manawatu River
Woodville 802 New Zealand road sign R2-1.svg SH 3 (Vogel Street) – Palmerston North
Ngawapurua 808 New Zealand PW-44.svg Manawatu River
Masterton District Lansdowne 883 New Zealand PW-11 (left).svg Te Ore Ore Road – Castlepoint, Riversdale Beach Former SH 52
Carterton District District contains no major junctions
South Wairarapa District Greytown 909 New Zealand PW-11 (left).svg Classic-nz-wine-trail.png Classic NZ Wine Trail (Moroa Plains Road) – Martinborough SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency ends
Featherston 921 New Zealand PW-11 (left).svg SH 53 (Revans Street) – Martinborough SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency begins
931 Remutaka Pass 555 m (1,821 ft)
Upper Hutt City
Maoribank 950 New Zealand road sign W10-4.svg Fergusson Drive – Mangaroa, Upper Hutt City Centre Hutt Expressway begins
Hutt City Manor Park 962 New Zealand road sign W10-4.svg Manor Park Road – Manor Park
SH 58Pauatahanui, Porirua
Grade-separated interchange replacement due to open 2017.
Wellington City Ngauranga 979 Australia GE2-3.svg SH 1 north (Hutt Road) – Ngauranga, Porirua, Picton Ferry SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail concurrency ends
New Zealand road sign W11-6.1 L.svg SH 1 south (Wellington Urban Motorway) – Wellington SH 2 ends
Hutt Expressway ends

SH 2B[edit]

Territorial authority Location km jct Destinations Notes
Napier City Westshore 0 New Zealand PW-9.svg State Highway 2 NZ.svg SH 2 north (Main Road North) – Napier Airport, Gisborne SH 2B begins
SH 2B/Hawke's Bay Expressway concurrency begins
State Highway 2 NZ.svg SH 2 south (Meeanee Quay) – Napier City
Onekawa 2.4 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg Prebensen Road
4.1 New Zealand road sign W11-1.svg State Highway 50 NZ.svg SH 50 north (Taradale Road) – Port of Napier SH 2B ends
SH 2B/Hawke's Bay Expressway concurrency ends
State Highway 50 NZ.svg SH 50 south (Hawke's Bay Expressway) – Hastings

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. ^ "Kopuku Realignment". NZTA. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  4. ^ "Maramarua Highway Safe System Corridor Project". NZTA. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  5. ^ "SH2 BOP Northern Corridor Safe System project". NZTA. Retrieved 10 February 2016. 
  6. ^ "$520m bypass for busy Tauranga bottleneck". Bay of Plenty Times. 22 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "Motu Bridge replacement confirmed". 27 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Construction to start soon on new Haywards interchange". NZ Transport Agency. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2016. 
  9. ^ "SH2 Melling to Haywards upgrade". NZTA. 26 April 2015. 
  10. ^ "State highway traffic volumes 2011-2015" (PDF). NZ Transport Agency. Retrieved 23 April 2016. 

External links[edit]