Brooker Highway

The Brooker Highway (sometimes referred to as the Northern Outlet) is a highway in the State of Tasmania, Australia. As one of Hobart's 3 major radials, the highway connects traffic from the Hobart city centre with the northern suburbs and is the major road connection to the cities and towns of Northern Tasmania. With an AADT of 48,000,[2] the highway is one of the busiest in Tasmania. The Brooker Highway has recently been declared part of the National Highway.

Brooker Highway

The busiest point of the Brooker Highway,
The traffic lights at Risdon Road
General information
Length17 km (11 mi)
Route number(s) National Highway 1
route number
State Route 1 [1]
Major junctions
South end Tasman Highway /
Davey Street /
Macquarie Street Hobart, Tasmania
  Domain Highway
Goodwood Road
Lyell Highway for full list see Exits
North end Midland Highway, Granton, Hobart
Major suburbsGlebe, Lutana, Goodwood, Glenorchy, Montrose, Rosetta, Berriedale, Claremont, Austins Ferry
Highway system

The Brooker Highway runs approximately 17 km (11 mi) north from the CBD, through the northern suburbs of Hobart, and through the City of Glenorchy, bypassing commercial and industrial centres along the original Main Road. It is primarily a four lane (dual-carriageway) highway, and apart from the Domain Highway junction, only the northern sections of the highway have grade separated junctions. The remainder of the junctions are regulated by traffic light and roundabout intersections.

While the highway is substantially less congested than in other states during peak hours, it is more congested off-peak than roads in Queensland, Western Australia, and almost as congested as those in New South Wales. It is thus a busy road by any Australian standard.[3] The Brooker Highway is currently below the acceptable levels of service and congestion issues are expected to worsen significantly over the next 20 years with the Highway already approaching its designed capacity.[4] A current proposal to convert the Southern Railway Line for use as a Light rail system has the potential to alleviate the Brooker Highway's traffic problems.[3] [4]


The original Brooker Avenue was constructed in 1954 as a 2 lane road from the end of Liverpool Street to Elwick Road. In 1965, the Hobart Area Transportation Study was released and entailed large development plans for the Brooker Highway. By 1968 the road had been duplicated and works reached Berriedale. In 1977 the highway was further extended, taking the road to the Claremont Link Road. By 1983 the highway that stands today was complete through to Granton and the Bridgewater bridge.[5] The Brooker Highway was built as a replacement to the original Midland Highway route between Hobart city and Granton, which passed along Elizabeth Street, New Town Road and Main Road, through the built up areas of New Town, Moonah, Glenorchy, Rosetta, Montrose, Claremont and Berriedale.[5] This was the first major highway construction in the Hobart City region, and was named the Brooker Highway, after the Minister for Transport at the time of the conception of the project, Edward Brooker (between Davey Street and Cleary's Gates at the top of the ridge, the highway is also known as "Brooker Avenue").


In April 2007, the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources announced plans to replace the sub-standard rusted light poles between Risdon Road and Clearys Gates Road.[6] These are over 40 years old and were the first lights on the Highway, which sparked some concern from the Hobart City Council. They argue that the light poles are in good condition and are a significant feature of the Brooker Highway entrance to Hobart. While the Hobart City Council supports the replacement, they have written to Infrastructure Minister Jim Cox asking him to consider retaining the ornate arms on modern pole bases.[6]

2010 Emergency Landing Incident

On 4 April 2010 18-year-old pilot Patrick Humphries made world headlines [7] by using the normally busy highway as an emergency landing strip after running out of fuel.[8] Humphries was unhurt from the accident and no vehicles were involved in the incident.[9]

2016-17 Elwick Rd/Goodwood Rd and Howard Rd/Renfrew Cir intersection upgrades

Before 2016, Elwick Road and Goodwood Road formed two separate t-junctions on opposite sides of the Brooker Hwy offset by around 100m. The upgrade undertaken between January 2016 and May 2017 aligned Elwick Road with Goodwood Road so that one set of traffic lights could be removed. Extra lanes were also added.

At the same time the adjacent Brooker Highway intersection, Howard Road / Renfrew Circuit was also converted from a five-exit two-lane roundabout to a traffic-lights controlled intersection. The fifth exit from the former Brooker Highway roundabout, Timsbury Road, is now accessed from Howard Rd.[10] The contract for the works, awarded to Hazell Bros was worth $32 million.[11]


In February 2011, the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources revealed intentions to within 3 years "Finalise design options for Domain Highway intersection and increased lane capacity between Domain Highway and Risdon Road"[12]. This intention was reaffirmed in an October 2017 submission by the Tasmanian Government to Infrastructure Australia: "Brooker Highway - Risdon Road to Domain Highway - no cost estimate, concept designs to be prepared."[13]

The Department of State Growth released a report titled Hobart Congestion Traffic Analysis 2016 prepared by traffic engineer Keith Midson. Under long-term solutions, the report considered the Liverpool St intersection with the Brooker Hwy, also known as the 'railway roundabout'. The report stated "The railway roundabout is a major cause of congestion... A possible solution is the grade separation of the roundabout."[14]

Recently the government came under pressure from the community to improve pedestrian access over the highway at Goodwood and eliminate the stairs primarily for the benefit of the elderly and handicapped.

Route description

The highway starts in the Hobart CBD at the junction with Eastern Outlet (A3, Tasman Highway), Davey Street (A6) and Macquarie Street (A6). The Tasman Highway heads east over the Tasman Bridge, past the Airport and eventually leads to the east coast of the state, while Davey Street leads towards the Southern Outlet (A6), which in turn heads south towards Kingston and Huonville (Davey and Macquarie are one-way streets - Davey Street flows south-west, and Macquarie Street flows north-east through the CBD).

Apart from the connection to Davey and Macquarie Streets, the major intersection with streets in the CBD is the three-lane roundabout at the north-east end of Liverpool Street. Because it was built in close proximity to the main railway station at the time, the roundabout was, and continues to be, called the "Railway Roundabout". The sunken garden in the centre of the roundabout functions as a pedestrian thoroughfare, with under-road tunnels connecting to the two sides of Liverpool Street, the original site of the railway station to the north-east, and to the Domain and the suburb of The Glebe to the north-west. The roundabout was originally just an un-controlled intersection, but with the gradual increase in traffic, particularly from the eastern shore of the Derwent, it was often in grid-lock at peak travel times. Traffic lights were introduced and alleviated the situation, and later construction of the direct links from the Tasman Bridge to Davey and Macquarie Streets further relieved the pressure. Other streets from the CBD provide access to the highway, but for much of its length to the city boundary at Risdon Road it is limited access road.

Through the City of Glenorchy the highway has large multi-lane intersections, at Risdon Road, Elwick Road and Derwent Park Road. The highway is in a reasonable condition for its age, and experiences congestion for only a few hours a day.

Trees line the middle nature strip for several kilometres, and fencing prevents pedestrian access at various points. The Highway makes its way past The Domain, Cornelian Bay Hockey Grounds, Rugby Park, The Royal Hobart Showgrounds, Tattersalls Park and the Derwent Entertainment Centre. At the northern end (at Granton) it connects to the Midland Highway (National Highway 1) (which heads north towards Launceston) and the Lyell Highway (A10) (which takes motorists towards the west coast).

Major intersections

HobartHobart00.0 Tasman Highway (A3) north / Davey Street & Macquarie Street one-way couplet (A6) south  Sorrel, Hobart International AirportHighway terminus; no access from the highway to Davey Street or Macquarie Street
Liverpool Street (A3) to Tasman Highway north-east / Liverpool Street & Bathurst Street one-way couplet south-west – Sorrel, Hobart International Airport, Hobart city centreTaffic light controlled roundabout
1.10.68Warwick Street – Hobart, North Hobart
North HobartGlebe boundary1.30.81Burnett Street south-west / Shoobridge Street east – North Hobart, West Hobart, GlebeShoobridge Street intersection is left-in/left-out only; Complete access between Brooker Highway and Burnett Street at traffic lights
New Town3.0–
Domain Highway (B36) – Tasman Bridge, Sorrel, Royal Tasmanian Botanical GardensTrumpet interchange
Hobart–Glenorchy boundaryNew Town–MoonahLutana tripoint4.12.5Risdon Road  New Town, Lenah Valley, Cornelian Bay, Lutana, Risdon
GlenorchyMoonah–Lutana boundary4.93.0Bowen Road south / Ashbolt Crescent east  Moonah, Lutana
Moonah–Lutana–Derwent Park tripoint5.63.5Derwent Park Road  Derwent Park, Moonah, Ridson, Prince of Wales Bay
Derwent Park6.33.9Lampton Avenue – Derwent Park, Prince of Wales BayLampton Avenue east of intersection is left-in/left-out only
GlenorchyGoodwood boundary7.14.4Howard Road south / Renfrew Court north – Derwent Park, GoodwoodRoundabout
7.54.7 Goodwood Road (B35) Bowen Bridge
Glenorchy7.64.7Elwick Road  Glenorchy, Tolosa Park
8.05.0Loyd Road Derwent Entertainment Centre
Main Road  Berriedale, RosettaLeft-in/left-out intersection for each carriageway
Berriedale10.66.6 Berriedale Road (C615) – Berriedale, Chigwell, CollinsvalePartial diamond interchange: no exit southbound
Berriedale–ClaremontChigwell tripoint12.47.7Claremont Link Road – Chigwell, Claremont, CadburyDiamond interchange
Claremont13.68.5Abbotsfield Road – ClaremontLeft-in/left-out intersection for each carriageway
14.89.2Hilton Road  Austins FerryLeft-in/left-out access southbound
15.19.4Upper Hilton Road – Austins FerryLeft-in/left-out access northbound
Granton17.911.1Black Snake Road south / Main Road east  Granton, Austins FerryLeft-in/left-out access northbound; entrance ramp southbound
18.311.4Main Road – Granton, Austins FerrySouthbound exit only
18.511.5 Midland Highway (National Highway 1) north / Lyell Highway (A10) west  Bridgewater, Launceston, New Norfolk, HamiltonRoundabout; northern highway terminus
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

  • List of Highways in Hobart


  1. Former State Route Numbering System in Tasmania, Ozroads: the Australian Roads Website. Retrieved on 30 January 2008.
  2. "Southern Region Background Report" (PDF). Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources. 2006. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  3. "Hobart to Northern Suburbs Light Rail Business Case - Stage One Report" (PDF). ACIL Tasman for the Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources. 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 December 2013. Retrieved 11 March 2013.
  4. "The Hobart Northern Suburbs Rail Action Group Inc's submission to the Legislative Council" (PDF). Northern suburbs rail action group. 2012. Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  5. "Tasmanian Expressways". 2003. Retrieved 30 April 2007.
  6. "Council poles apart on Brooker lights switch". The Mercury.
  9. "Plane crashes on city highway". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 April 2010.
  10. "Lights to end the roundabout blues". The Mercury. 11 February 2008. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 14 February 2008.
  11. "$32 million contract to upgrade Brooker Hwy awarded to Hazell Bros".
  12. "Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources - Brooker Highway Transport Plan" (PDF).
  13. "Tasmanian Government Oct 2017 submission to Infrastructure Australia" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 March 2018. Retrieved 4 August 2018.
  14. "Hobart Congestion Traffic Analysis 2016" (PDF).
  15. Google (15 April 2014). "Brooker Highway" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 15 April 2014.
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