New Zealand State Highway 3
|Maintained by New Zealand Transport Agency|
|Length:||500 km (300 mi)|
|North end:||SH 1 at Hamilton|
|South end:||SH 2 at Woodville|
|Te Awamutu, Otorohanga, Te Kuiti, New Plymouth, Hawera, Wanganui, Palmerston North|
State Highway 3 is one of New Zealand's eight national highways. It serves the west coast of the country's North Island and forms a link between State Highway 1 and State Highway 2. Distances are measured from north to south.
For most of its length SH3 is a two-lane single carriageway, with at-grade intersections and property accesses, both in rural and urban areas.
This is the route that SH3 takes in 2007.
The highway leaves SH1 at Hamilton, and initially heads south through farmland, passing through Te Awamutu. Sections of this stretch of the road are four-laned, but not divided carriageway. From Otorohanga it follows the valley of the Waipa River to Te Kuiti. The road then turns southwest through sparsely settled farmland, crossing several ridges before following the Awakino gorge to reach the coast, which it follows around the North Taranaki Bight. At the Tongaporutu River the highway turns inland to avoid coastal cliffs and climbs over Mount Messenger before descending via the Mimi River valley to return to the coast near Urenui. Bypassing Waitara, it reaches New Plymouth then turns inland, passing to the east of Mount Taranaki via Inglewood, Stratford and Eltham to Hawera.
From Hawera the highway follows the coast of the South Taranaki Bight southeastwards to Patea and Wanganui before meeting State Highway 1 again at Bulls. Highways 1 and 3 share their route for 6 km as they cross the Rangitikei River to Sanson, where Highway 3 continues southeast towards Palmerston North. After crossing the Manawatu River, the route follows its south bank through the Manawatu Gorge to its terminus and junction with State Highway 2 at Woodville in the Wairarapa.
Both the Awakino and Manawatu gorges are prone to closure by slips and rockslides in heavy rain.
Construction of a bypass of Bell Block, a satellite town of New Plymouth, was completed in 2010.
State Highway 3 spurs
SH3 has one spur, designated State Highway 3A. This 15.6 km stretch links State Highway 3 just west of Waitara to Inglewood, providing a shortcut and bypass of New Plymouth.
|Hamilton City||Melville||0|| SH 1/Thermal Explorer Highway north
|SH 3 begins|
|1|| SH 3
City Centre, Rotorua
|to SH 1/Thermal Explorer Highway south|
|Waipa District||Hamilton Airport||10|| SH 21
Airport, Mystery Creek
|Otorohanga District||Otorohanga|| SH 31/SH 39
(Te Kanawa Street)
|Alternative route to Auckland, bypassing Hamilton|
|Waitomo District||Hangatiki||65|| SH 37
(Waitomo Caves Road)
|Te Kuiti||76|| SH 30
|Eight Mile Junction||88|| SH 4
Taumarunui, National Park
|New Plymouth District||Brixton||229|| SH 3A
|Alternative route to Southern Taranaki, bypassing New Plymouth|
|New Plymouth||240|| SH 44
| SH 45
(Leach Street/Courtenay Street)
City Centre, Opunake
|Inglewood||258|| SH 3A
|Alternative route to Hamilton, bypassing New Plymouth|
|Stratford District||Stratford||279|| SH 43
|South Taranaki District||Hawera||310|| SH 45
|Wanganui District||Wanganui||402||Whanganui River|
|Putiki|| SH 4
City Centre, National Park
|Rangitikei District||Bulls||445|| SH 1
|SH 1/SH 3 concurrency begins|
|Sanson||450|| SH 1
|SH 1/SH 3 concurrency ends|
|Newbury||468|| SH 54
(Kairanga Bunnythorpe Road)
|Palmerston North City||Ashhurst||488||Manawatu River|
| SH 57
(Fitzherbert East Road)
|Tararua District||495||Manawatu River|
|Woodville||500|| SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail north
|SH 3 ends|
| SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail south
- List of New Zealand State Highways
- List of roads and highways, for notable or famous roads worldwide