Sturt Highway

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Not to be confused with Stuart Highway.
Sturt Highway
South Australia – New South Wales
Red B-double truck.jpg
B-double truck on the Sturt Highway
General information
Type Highway
Length 947 km (588 mi)
Route number(s)
  • National Highway A20
  • Gawler – SA/Vic. Border
  • National Highway A20
  • SA/Vic. Border – Vic./NSW Border
  • National Highway A20
  • Vic./NSW Border – Hume Motorway
route number
  • National Highway 20 (1992-2013) Entire route
  • National Route 20 (1955-1992)
Major junctions
West end Max Fatchen Expressway (National Highway M20),
Gawler, South Australia
  Barrier Highway (A32)
Barossa Valley Way (B19)
Calder Highway(A79)
Silver City Highway (B79)
Murray Valley Highway
Mid-Western Highway (B64) via Cobb Highway (B75)
Kidman Way (B87)
Newell Highway (A39)
Olympic Highway (A41)
East end Hume Motorway (M31),
Tarcutta, New South Wales
Major settlements Nuriootpa, Renmark, Mildura, Balranald, Hay, Narrandera, Wagga Wagga
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Highways in South Australia
Highways in Victoria
Highways in New South Wales

The Sturt Highway is an Australian national highway in New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. The Sturt Highway is an important road link for the transport of passengers and freight between Sydney and Adelaide and the regions situated adjacent to the route.[1]

Initially an amalgam of trunk routes, the 947-kilometre (588 mi) Sturt Highway was proclaimed a state highway in 1933 and was named in honour of Captain Charles Sturt who explored the area in 1829 and opened it up for agriculture. In 1955, the Australian Government gazetted the highway as a national route and upgraded as a national highway in 1992, forming the Sydney-Adelaide Link. The Sturt carries the National Highway 20 shield for its entire length, the majority of which is a single carriageway and freeway standard and 6-lane arterial road standard towards its western terminus, north of Adelaide.[2][3]


The highway runs generally east-west, roughly aligned to the Murrumbidgee River in New South Wales, then, following that river's confluence with the Murray River, aligned to the Murray in north-western Victoria and eastern South Australia, generally towards the northern outskirts of Adelaide. The highway is the shortest and highest standard route between Sydney and Adelaide.[3]

The eastern terminus of the Sturt Highway is at a junction with the Hume Highway at Tarcutta, near Gundagai. Heading west, the Sturt passes through the city of Wagga Wagga and the towns Narrandera, Darlington Point, Hay, Balranald, Euston, leaving NSW by crossing the Murray River into Victoria from Buronga to Mildura. The highway continues more or less due west through the northwest of Victoria before entering South Australia. This section of road was built in 1927 as part of the Murray Valley Road to provide a shorter, and all-weather, road connection between Mildura and Renmark.[4][5] In South Australia, the Sturt Highway passes Renmark, Monash, Barmera, Waikerie, Blanchetown, Nuriootpa and Gawler where it reaches its western terminus, although Gawler is bypassed.[2]

The original route of the highway, proclaimed in 1938, took a course from Wentworth to Renmark, on the northern side of the Murray River.[6][7]

The highway carries the National Highway shield A20 on its entire route. At its western terminus, the route changes to the M20 on the Max Fatchen Expressway and continues from the Gawler Bypass Road south towards the A1. At its eastern terminus, the route changes to the M31 on the Hume Motorway.[3]


South Australia[edit]

None of the Sturt Highway was originally constructed as dual-carriageway, however work commenced in January 2007 to upgrade the highway to two lanes each way dual carriageway between the Gawler Bypass and Greenock in the Barossa Valley. The project was completed in 2010 with budget savings directed towards further Sturt Highway improvements.[8]

The Northern Expressway, renamed as the Max Fatchen Expressway in 2013, was built at the south-western end of the Sturt Highway, extending Route A20 by 22 km from Gawler southwest to meet Port Wakefield Road (National Route A1) at Waterloo Corner as part of an AusLink/South Australian Government project to build a new dual-carriageway/freeway standard road as part of the North–South Corridor project. This will provide better access for road transport to Port Adelaide and the industrial areas west and northwest of the city.[9] Now completed this has essentially made the Sturt Highway dual-carriageway/freeway standard between Adelaide and the Barossa Valley.

Other projects in South Australia include: a number of overtaking lanes have also been added in recent years to help make it safer with the high volume of traffic.[10] Major 'S'-bend curves near Waikerie were realigned, and further upgrades to the road were performed up to 2012.[11]

Significant route changes[edit]

The original route of the Sturt Highway in the Riverland passed through Berri and Glossop instead of the current route through Monash. The former alignment is now known as the Old Sturt Highway, route B201. The original route also passed through the middle of the Barossa Valley along what is now the Barossa Valley Way.[12][13] This first changed to a route passing to the north of Nuriootpa around to the north and west of Gawler on the Gawler Bypass Road and Main North Road to Gepps Cross. It later changed to use the Max Fatchen Expressway instead. The more recent road duplication led to it bypassing Daveyston and Shea-Oak Log instead of passing through these small towns.


There is also the proposed Mildura Truck Bypass, to be funded by Auslink 2.[14]

Major river crossings[edit]

From east to west, the Sturt Highway follows much of the course of the Murrumbidgee River, on its southern banks, from the Sturt's eastern terminus with the Hume Motorway. At Balranald the Stuart crosses the Murrumbidgee, carrying the highway to the north of the river via the Balranald Bridge.[15] To the west and south-west, the Sturt Highway crosses the Murray four times; between Baroonga and Mildura, carrying the highway to the south of the Murray over the George Chaffey Bridge, a high concrete-girder bridge that was opened in 1985;[16] between Paringa and Renmark, carrying the highway to the north of the Murray over the Paringa Bridge, a lift-span bridge which used to have a railway through the middle as well as the road carriageway on each side;[17] between Cobdogla and Kingston On Murray, carrying the highway to the south of the Murray over the Kingston Bridge, a high bridge from an embankment on the right bank to the cliffs on the left bank;[17] and at Blanchetown, carrying the highway from east to west over the Murray (as the river flows south) over the Blanchetown Bridge, another high bridge to cliffs on the river's western bank.[17]

The bridge at Blanchetown was originally opened in 1964.[18] It replaced cable ferries, and was itself replaced in 1998[19] in response to concern about its ability to continue to carry B-double trucks. The bridge at Kingston On Murray was opened in 1973[20] also replacing a very busy ferry crossing.

Major intersections[edit]

State LGA[21] Location[22][23] km[24] mi Destinations Notes
South Australia Light Gawler Belt, Ward Belt 0 0 Max Fatchen Expressway (National Highway M20) – Adelaide
Gawler Bypass Road (A52) – Elizabeth
Gawler Belt 2 1 Redbanks Road – Mallala, Balaklava
Gawler Belt, Hewett 3 2 Horrocks Highway (A32) – Tarlee, Clare
Thiele Highway (B81) – Freeling, Kapunda
Greenock 23 14 Greenock Road – Greenock, Kapunda
Nuriootpa 31 19 Barossa Valley Way (B19)
Mid Murray Truro 42 26 Truro Road – Kapunda
Annadale 65 40 Halfway House Road – Sedan, Mannum
River Murray 91 57 Blanchetown Bridge
Loxton Waikerie Paisley 92 57 Hunter Road – Swan Reach, Mannum east side of Murray River
Waikerie 130 81 Ramco Road/Cadell Valley Road – Ramco, Cadell
Kingston On Murray 166 103 Kingston Road – Loxton
River Murray 168 104 Kingston Bridge
Berri Barmera Barmera 179 111 Old Sturt Highway (B201) – Berri
Monash 185 115 Goyder Highway (B64) – Morgan, Crystal Brook
194 121 Old Sturt Highway (B201) – Berri
River Murray 211 131 Paringa Bridge
Renmark Paringa Pike River 222 138 Stanitzki Road – Loxton, Murray Bridge
Victoria South Australia – Victoria state border 234 145 South Australia – Victoria state border
Mildura Mildura 343 213 Calder Highway (A79) – Merbein, Ouyen concurrent for 3 kilometres (1.9 mi)
New South Wales New South Wales – Victoria state border 351 218 New South Wales – Victoria state border
Murray River George Chaffey Bridge
Wentworth Buronga 352 219 Silver City Highway (B79) – Wentworth, Broken Hill
Balranald Euston 431 268 Murray Valley HighwayRobinvale, Swan Hill
Murrumbidgee River 509 316 Balranald Bridge
Balranald Balranald 511 318 Mallee HighwayTooleybuc, Ouyen
Hay Hay 638 396 Cobb Highway (B75) – Wilcannia, Deniliquin, Echuca
Mid-Western Highway (B64) – West Wyalong, Cowra, Sydney
Murrumbidgee Waddi 752 467 Kidman Way (B87) – Griffith, Cobar, Jerilderie
Narrandera Narrandera 808 502 Newell Highway (A39) – Jerilderie, West Wyalong
Wagga Wagga Wagga Wagga 899 559 Olympic Highway (A41) – Albury, Junee concurrent for about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi)
Tarcutta 948 589 Hume Motorway (M31) – Albury, Sydney, Canberra

Towns on the Sturt Highway[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hema, Maps (2007). Australia Road and 4WD Atlas (Map). Eight Mile Plains Queensland: Hema Maps. pp. 32–33, 69, 71. ISBN 978-1-86500-456-3. 
  2. ^ a b Rands, Paul (2015). "Sturt Highway & Main North Road (A20)". Road Photos & Information: South Australia. Paul Rands. Retrieved 27 March 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c "Sturt Highway". Ozroads. Retrieved 25 May 2008. [self-published source]
  4. ^ "THE MURRAY VALLEY ROAD". Murray Pioneer and Australian River Record (Renmark, SA: National Library of Australia). 18 November 1927. p. 6. Retrieved 17 June 2014. 
  5. ^ "MURRAY VALLEY ROAD". Murray Pioneer and Australian River Record (Renmark, SA: National Library of Australia). 6 April 1928. p. 4. Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  6. ^ "STURT HIGHWAY.". Moree Gwydir Examiner and General Advertiser (NSW: National Library of Australia). 9 December 1935. p. 2. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "State's Chief Highways Named.". The Chronicle (Adelaide: National Library of Australia). 16 June 1938. p. 47. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Sturt Highway Upgrade". TransportSA. Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. 25 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-15. 
  9. ^ "Northern Expressway". TransportSA. Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure. 11 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-13. 
  10. ^ "Sturt Highway – Riverland passing lanes". AusLink. Department of Transport and Regional Services. 20 July 2005. Retrieved 2006-06-11. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Sturt Highway – Upgrading Program". AusLink. Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development. 15 October 2012. Retrieved 12 September 2014. 
  12. ^ "THE LOWER MURRAY.". The Riverine Grazier (Hay, NSW: National Library of Australia). 15 February 1949. p. 1. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  13. ^ South Australia. Highways and Local Government Dept; South Australian Government Tourist Bureau (1950), South Australia showing main road system and important district roads, Highways & Local Government Dept. : M.E. Sherrah, Government photolithographer, retrieved 30 January 2015 
  14. ^ Mildura Truck Bypass – Auslink 2(PDF)
  15. ^ "Map of Balranald, NSW". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  16. ^ "George Chaffey Bridge over Murray River, Mildura". Heritage and conservation register. Roads & Maritime Services, Government of New South Wales. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  17. ^ a b c "The river as a highway: Crossing the Murray". SA memory. State Library of South Australia, Government of South Australia. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2015. 
  18. ^ "The Official opening of Blanchetown Bridge by the Honourable Sir Thomas Playford G.C.M.G., M.P., Premier of South Australia, on Friday, 24th April, 1964 : souvenir". Highways Department. Government of South Australia. 1964. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  19. ^ "From one side to the other, to commemorate the opening of the new bridge, November 1998". Blanchetown Bulletin Committee. 1998. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  20. ^ "Official opening, Kingston Bridge, River Murray by His Excellency the Governor Sir Mark Oliphant, K.B.E. 21st. Feb., 1973". Highways Department. Government of South Australia. 1973. Retrieved 8 September 2014. 
  21. ^ "Property Location Browser". Government of South Australia. Retrieved 4 October 2014. 
  22. ^ "Mid North" (PDF). Naming of State Rural Roads. Government of South Australia. 16 December 2013. Rack Plan 869. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  23. ^ "Murray Mallee, Riverland" (PDF). Naming of State Rural Roads. Government of South Australia. 6 December 2013. Rack Plan 870. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 
  24. ^ Google (5 October 2014). "Driving directions Sturt Highway" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 5 October 2014. 

External links[edit]