Murchison Highway

The Murchison Highway is a highway located in the West Coast region of Tasmania, Australia. The 147-kilometre (91 mi) highway runs generally north-south, with Somerset, near Burnie, as its northern terminus and Zeehan as its southern terminus. The highway was opened on 13 December 1963.[1][2][3][4] Part of the highway from Waratah to Burnie was known as the Waratah Highway until 1973.

Murchison Highway

Northern end of the Murchison Highway in Somerset.
General information
Length147 km (91 mi)
Opened13 December 1963 (1963-12-13)
Route number(s) A10
Major junctions
South end Zeehan Highway
North end Bass Highway, Somerset
Major settlementsRosebery, Tullah, Parrawe, Yolla
Highway system


The highway is susceptible to ice and snow in winter. One of the notorious sections is at the edge of Mount Black, numerous accidents have occurred in the area. Also the Zeehan to Rosebery section has hazardous sections which can be affected by cold and wet weather.[5]

Portions of the highway have been made redundant by extra roads built by Hydro Tasmania during their work on the upper Pieman River scheme and the Henty River dam schemes. These provide short cuts from Queenstown straight through to Tullah by going just west of the West Coast Range.[6]

The highway crosses the Mackintosh River and the Murchison River near the town of Tullah, where the rivers form a confluence to form the Pieman River.[7]


Prior to its construction, most transportation from the west coast to the north coast was required to use the Emu Bay Railway, or otherwise use shipping to Regatta Point or Strahan in Macquarie Harbour.

See also


  1. "Road link heralds new era for west". Tasmanian Motor News. January 1964.
  2. "Murchison Highway opens". Launceston Examiner. 13 December 1963.
  3. "Special Supplement: Murchison Highway opens". North West Advocate. 13 December 1963.
  4. "Murchison Highway opens". Hobart Mercury. 14 December 1963.
  5. Monery, Holly (4 July 2014). "Concern over Murchison Highway condition". The Advocate. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
  6. Murchison Highway road links : report of the Select Committee of the Legislative Council, with minutes of proceedings. Tasmania. Parliament. Legislative Council. Select Committee on Murchison Highway Road Links. Parliamentary paper ; no.1 of 1975. Chairman: W.T. Young. ISBN 0724601562
  7. "Map of Murchison Highway, TAS". Bonzle Digital Atlas of Australia. Retrieved 21 June 2015.

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