List of motorways and expressways in New Zealand

List of motorways and expressways in New Zealand

This is a list of motorways and expressways in New Zealand., including some proposed and under construction.

Expressway begins nz.png

Expressways in New Zealand are usually dual carriageway roads and may have full or partial control of access. They are generally high standard all-purpose roads that cater mainly for through traffic and do not have any traffic restrictions imposed on them. Intersections may be at-grade or grade separated.

Motorway begins nz.png

Motorways in New Zealand have certain traffic restrictions applied, to provide a better vehicular traffic operating environment. The traffic operating restrictions normally applied under a motorway designation are:

  • no stopping
  • a ban on all animal, pedestrian and cycle traffic


Northern Motorway (SH 1)

Main article: Auckland Northern Motorway

From the Central Motorway Junction in downtown Auckland via the Auckland Harbour Bridge and the North Shore to Puhoi, 38 km (24 mi).

Northwestern Motorway (SH 16)

Main article: Northwest Motorway

From Auckland port to Brigham Creek Rd, Whenuapai, 21 km (13 mi).

Southwestern Motorway (SH 20)

Main article: Southwestern Motorway

From the Southern Motorway in Manukau City to Maioro Street in Mount Roskill, being extended at the Maioro Street end, 18 km (11 mi).

Southern Motorway (SH 1)

Main article: Auckland Southern Motorway

From downtown Auckland via Manukau City to the Bombay Hills and the Waikato Expressway, 51 km (32 mi).

Upper Harbour Motorway (SH 18)

Main article: Upper Harbour Motorway

Connecting the Northwestern and Northern Motorways via the Upper Harbour Crossing, 11 km (6.8 mi).


Waikato Expressway (SH 1)

Main article: Waikato Expressway

A half-constructed expressway between the Southern Motorway at Bombay and Cambridge, complete between the Southern Motorway and Longswamp, Rangiriri and Ohinewai. By 2007 SH 1 between Longswamp and Rangiriri was three lanes with a median barrier. Land continues to be designated and the road continues to be designed further south, and will be constructed as funding permits.


Takitimu Drive (Pyes Pa – Mount Maunganui Expressway) (SH 2A)

From Pyes Pa to Chapel Street near the city centre. An interchange exists with Tamatea Arikinui Drive, along with a “coat-hanger” interchange, which is used with Elizabeth Street and heads north towards Mt Maunganui. When complete, the Harbour Link project will be a four-lane expressway between Pyes Pa and Mount Maunganui.

Tamatea Arikinui Drive (Bethlehem – The Avenues Expressway) (SH 2)

From 15th Avenue to just before Bethlehem Town Centre, with interchanges at Cambridge Road, Waihi Road and Takitimu Drive (Pyes Pa – City Expressway).

Tauranga Eastern Motorway

Main article: Tauranga Eastern Motorway

Being constructed in phases to connect Tauranga to Te Puke via Papamoa. In late 2006 the first phase was opened from Maungatapu to Bayfair. Future expansion will see the motorway terminate at Paengaroa


Hawkes Bay Expressway

Main article: Hawkes Bay Expressway

From Flaxmere, west of Hastings, through Taradale to Napier Airport. An extension to the south is planned to rejoin SH 2. It is one lane in each direction, with roundabouts at Prebensen Drive and Taradale Road and interchanges at Kennedy Road (north off, south on) and Meeanee Road (traffic lights for many years and a notorious black spot – has now been replaced with an interchange), traffic lights at Pakowhai Road (southbound and turning traffic only), and roundabouts at Evenden Road, Omahu Road, and Flaxmere Avenue/York Road. The first section (Kennedy Road – Pakowhai Road) opened in the late 1960s, and construction recommenced in the late 1990s (south of Pakowhai Road). For 30 years the partially formed approaches for the Kennedy Road overbridge stood each side of the dual carriageway from Napier to Taradale. In 2002, work began to strengthen the approaches and build the bridge: the expressway opened through to Hawkes Bay Airport late in 2003. Except for the Tamatea Drive/Taradale Road section (70 km/h), the expressway is 100 km/h.


Bell Block Bypass

This expressway which was planned from the 1980s, began construction in December 2006. The expansion of the present three lanes on Mangaone Hill to four will be part of the project. Notorious black spots have existed in and around Bell Block since suburban development began there in the 1970s. Devon Road (SH 3) was reported by Transit New Zealand to carry 29,000 vehicles per day between New Plymouth and Bell Block, and to be the worst road per capita for crashes in the country. The new road will follow Devon Road from Vickers Road (edge of New Plymouth) to Egmont Road up Mangaone Hill, then branch off to the right, by-passing Bell Block to the south. ASeagull intersection will be constructed at Egmont Road, allowing full merge lanes for traffic turning on and off the by-pass, separated by traffic islands. A full diamond interchange will be constructed at Henwood Road, a roundabout at the Nugent Street/Henwood Road/Devon Road intersection, the Paraite Road/Wynyard Street/Devon Road intersection closed (with a new link road), and the by-pass merging back into Devon Road near the Mangati Road intersection.

The Mangati Road intersection has had some safety improvements made, including a long left turn bay being added. When the by-pass is complete right hand turns onto it from Mangati Road will no longer be possible. Right hand turns into Mangati Road from Devon Road will still be permitted.

In August 2008 the Henwood Road overbridge opened, and soon afterwards the intersection of Paraite Road with Devon Road was closed. A new road connecting Henwood Road with Paraite Road was already open.

The bypass opened on 12 March 2010, at 10:30am. The first vehicle to drive through the bypass was a large truck, illustrating the strong part the road transport industry has played in getting the big project under way. At this time, the expressway is planned to take the name of Devon Road, with the present Devon Road (former State Highway 3 through Bell Block) being renamed.[2]

Some work remains to be done on the by-pass e.g. lane marking, finishing the sea-gull intersection at Egmont Road, the small off-ramp into the Ngamotu Golf Course, and completing the realignment at the east end of the by-pass near Mangati Road.


Johnsonville-Porirua Motorway (SH 1)

Main article: Johnsonville-Porirua Motorway

Part as New Zealand’s first motorway, opened 1950. Approximately 11 km (6.8 mi).

Wellington Urban Motorway (SH 1)

Main article: Wellington Urban Motorway

From Ngauranga to Te Aro, 7 km (4.3 mi)

Kapiti Expressway (SH 1)

Proposed, from north of Otaki via Waikanae Beach and Paraparaumu to Mackays Crossing, where it would meet with the proposed Transmission Gully Motorway.

It will be constructed in two stages: from Mackays to Peka Peka, and Peka Peka to Otaki, both of which are expected to start construction in 2013 and be completed in four years.

Transmission Gully Motorway (SH 1)

Main article: Transmission Gully Motorway

Proposed, from Mackays Crossing near Paraparaumu to the Johnsonville-Porirua Motorway, bypassing Centennial Highway.

Hutt Valley Expressway (Hutt Road and Western Hutt Road) (SH 2)

Main article: Hutt Valley Expressway

From the Wellington Urban Motorway at Ngauranga past Lower Hutt, to the seagull intersection at Fergusson Drive and River Road. It has two names: Hutt Road from Ngauranga to the Petone Overbridge, Western Hutt Road from the Petone Overbridge to Fergusson Drive. 20 km (12 mi).

It is two lanes each way, and apart from a small section between the Petone Overbridge and the Petone Railway Station is completely dual carriageway. With the exception of the Petone and Ngauranga Interchanges all intersections are at-grade, with major ones controlled by traffic lights and minor ones controlled by Give Way and Stop signs.

In recent years, works have been started to improve safety along the road. Several minor intersections have been improved to prevent traffic turning right into or out of the minor roads. The section between the Petone and Normandale Overbridges is currently being improved by the Dowse to Petone project, which will eliminate three sets of traffic lights and replace them with a grade separated roundabout and an overbridge. There are provisions to replace the Melling and Haywards intersections with grade-separated interchanges.


Christchurch Northern Motorway (SH 1)

Main article: Christchurch Northern Motorway

From north of Kaiapoi over the Waimakariri River through to the northern suburb of Belfast. Its southernmost interchange (Kainga/Marshland) is unusual in that northbound traffic merges from the right, while southbound traffic is carried on a large loop to the right up and over the onramp. The reason for this design was to accommodate a future southern extension into central Christchurch, with the northbound onramp being the first part of the northbound carriageway. Northbound there are three more interchanges; Tram Road (Oxford), north off, south on; Kaiapoi (diamond interchange); and Lineside Road (SH 71 to Rangiora), north off, south on. It is dual carriageway from Belfast (Main North Road) to Lineside Road, single lane each way with no median strip to Woodend.

Christchurch Southern Motorway (SH 76)

Main article: Christchurch Southern Motorway

Short motorway bypassing a part of southern Christchurch city. Lost its status as a motorway after plans to extend the original section (between Curletts Road and Barrington Street, which was built in the early 1980s) stalled. Since 2012, the road has been extended from Curletts Road to Halswell Junction Road with the original section widened to four lanes and interchanges at both Curletts Road and Barrington Street), thereby regaining motorway status.

Christchurch-Lyttelton Expressway (SH 74)

Main article: Christchurch-Lyttelton Motorway

From the intersection of Ferry and Dyers Roads along Tunnel Road through the Lyttelton Tunnel to the intersection of Norwich Quay and Simeon Quay. It is single lane with interchanges at Bridle Path and Port Hills Road. There is a passing lane southbound from the Port Hills Road interchange.


Former Dunedin Northern Motorway (SH 1)

This undivided highway had its “motorway” signs removed several years ago, and is now called Dunedin-Waitati Highway

From Pine Hill to Waitati; the main route north from Dunedin.

Caversham Bypass (SH 1)

From Dunedin CBD to Caversham, currently being widened to four-lane over its full length.

Dunedin Southern Motorway(SH 1)

Main article: Dunedin Southern Motorway

From Lookout Point at the southwestern end of Caversham past the outer suburbs of Green Island, Abbotsford and Fairfield to the intersection with SH 87 at Mosgiel. It is one of the southernmost motorways in the world. 10 km.

February 12, 2014/ by / in

Leave a Reply