New Zealand State Highway 77

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State Highway 77 NZ.svg

State Highway 77
Route information
Maintained by NZ Transport Agency
Length 93.9 km (58.3 mi)
Tourist
routes
Inland Scenic Route between Homebush and Mount Hutt
Major junctions
Northwest end South Terrace/West Coast Road State Highway 73 NZ.svg at Darfield
Southeast end West Street State Highway 1 NZ.svg at Ashburton
Location
Primary
destinations
Coalgate, Glentunnel, Rakaia Gorge, Methven
Highway system
SH 76 SH 78

State Highway 77 is a state highway in New Zealand going through the inland parts of Central and Mid Canterbury between the towns of Ashburton and Darfield via the Rakaia Gorge. It is wholly single carriageway with two one-lane bridges at the Rakaia and Selwyn Rivers. One set of traffic lights is found in Ashburton marking the southern terminus of the highway.

About 43 km of the highway lie on the Inland Scenic Route (formerly State Highway 72).

Route[edit]

State Highway 77 passing over the Rakaia Gorge Bridge, which was built in 1882
Much of State Highway 77 is dominated by the skyline of the Southern Alps and Canterbury foothills. Mount Hutt is especially noticeable from SH 77

The highway begins as Bangor Road just west of Darfield town centre, and proceeds in a westerly directions towards the mountains through flat pastoral farmland. Just before reaching the foothills, the road intersects with the Inland Scenic Route (Deans Road) coming from Waddington and begins its concurrency at Homebush. After a name change to Homebush Road, the road skirts to the north of Coalgate and then to the south of Glentunnel before veering left and narrowing to one lane to cross the Selwyn River.

Now known as Wairiri Road, the road widens back to two lanes and passes through undulating to hilly farmland. At Glenroy the road changes name to Windwhistle Road and climbs towards the settlement of Windwhistle.

Beyond Windwhistle, the name changes to Rakaia Gorge Road and begins a spectacular descent into the Rakaia Gorge. For most of its length the Rakaia River runs on shingle river beds as a braided river but here the river is mostly a single channel. The river here has carved out the surrounding land to form two level terraces. The road passes over both these terraces before narrowing to one lane again to cross the river.

After widening again, the road changes name to Arundel Rakaia Gorge Road and rises towards the plains again. The road emerges onto the plains but passes right underneath the towering Mount Hutt. The road is frequently covered by snow and ices over in sheltered areas during the calmer periods of the winter months in higher parts of the road.

The road turns left onto Waimarama Road 10 km north of Alford Forest and proceeds through arable farmland, changes name again to Mount Hutt Station Road and arrives in Methven, where it changes name again to Main Street.

After Methven, the road changes name to Methven Highway and proceeds in a south to southeasterly direction through more pastoral farmland. Before Ashburton, the road hugs the Ashburton River, the name of the road changes to Alford Forest Road for about 2 km, then to River Terrace for 600 m and lastly to Moore Street for the last 300 m of the route before terminating at SH 1 in the town centre.[1]

Route changes[edit]

When SH 72 had its state highway status revoked, SH 77 was extended to cover the section between (its former terminus) Mount Hutt and Waddington. In 1997, SH 77 was diverted at the intersection of Homebush Road, along Bangor Road, to terminate with SH 73 at Darfield.[2]

Major intersections[edit]

Territorial authority Location km jct Destinations Notes
Ashburton District Ashburton Central 0.0 New Zealand road sign W10-4.svg SH 1 north (West Street) – Rakaia, Christchurch
(Moore Street) – Town Centre
SH 1 south (West Street) – Temuka, Timaru
SH 77 begins
6.0 New Zealand PW-11 (left).svg (Ashburton Staveley Road) – Mount Somers, Alford Forest, Staveley
22.3 New Zealand PW-9.svg (Thompsons Track) – Mount Somers, Mayfield, Rakaia, Christchurch (State Highway 1 NZ.svg)
Methven 33.9 New Zealand PW-9.svg (Forest Drive) – Mount Somers, Geraldine
(Methven Chertsey Road) – Lauriston
36.6 New Zealand road sign R2-2.svg (Mount Hutt Station Road) – Rakaia Gorge (alternative route)
43.6 New Zealand road sign R2-1.svg Regional Route 72 NZ.png Inland Scenic Route (Arundel Rakaia Gorge Road) – Geraldine, Timaru
(McLennans Bush Road) – Mount Hutt Ski Area
SH 77/Inland Scenic Route (Regional Route 72) concurrency begins
Mount Hutt 49.0 New Zealand PW-11 (right).svg (Mount Hutt Station Road) – Methven (alternative route)
Rakaia Gorge 53.0 New Zealand road sign R2-7.svg Rakaia River Bridge #1
Selwyn District
Windwhistle 59.4 New Zealand PW-9.svg (Coleridge Road) – Lake Coleridge
(Leaches Road) – Hororata
70.0 New Zealand PW-11 (right).svg (Downs Road) – Hororata
Glentunnel 79.0 New Zealand road sign R2-7.svg Selwyn River Bridge
79.2 New Zealand PW-11 (left).svg (Whitecliffs Road) – Whitecliffs
Coalgate 82.8 New Zealand PW-9.svg (Malvern Hills Road)
(Bridge Street) – Coalgate, Hororata
86.0 New Zealand PW-11 (left).svg Regional Route 72 NZ.png Inland Scenic Route (Deans Road) – Oxford, Springfield, West Coast via Arthur's Pass (State Highway 73 NZ.svg) SH 77/Inland Scenic Route (Regional Route 72) concurrency ends
Darfield 94.0 New Zealand road sign R2-1.svg SH 73 west (South Terrace) – Springfield, West Coast via Arthur's Pass
SH 73 east (South Terrace) – Christchurch
SH 77 ends

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]