Tasman Highway

The Tasman Highway (or A3) is a highway in Tasmania, Australia. Like the Midland Highway, it connects the major cities of Hobart and Launceston — however it takes a different route, via the north-eastern and eastern coasts of the state. The Highway also acts as a major commuter road to Hobart residents living on the eastern side of the Derwent River. The designation "Tasman Highway" arises from its location facing the Tasman Sea — named, like the state itself, after Abel Tasman. The highway is one of the longest in Tasmania - 410 km (250 mi), with an average traveling time of 412 hours.

Tasman Highway

The Tasman Highway at Montagu Bay, with the Tasman Bridge and Mount Wellington visible in the background.
General information
Length410 km (255 mi)
Route number(s)
  • A3
  • (Entire Length)
route number
  • State Route 3
Major junctions
SW end
NE end
Major settlementsRosny, Sorell, Orford, St Helens, Scottsdale
Highway system

Eastern Outlet

The Eastern Outlet is a 24 km (15 mi) section of the Tasman Highway between Hobart and Sorell. As one of the city's 3 major radial highways, the outlet connects traffic from the Hobart city centre with Hobart International Airport and commuters on the eastern shore of the Derwent River as well as intrastate traffic on the east coast and Tasman Peninsula. With recorded Annual average daily traffic of 67,000, the Tasman Bridge is the busiest portion of the Eastern Outlet and the Tasman Highway as a whole.[1][2]


In 1964, a comprehensive Transport Study of Hobart was undertaken calling for the construction of a Freeway to serve Hobart's growing eastern suburbs.[3] Prior to opening of the Tasman Bridge in 1964 traffic travelling between Hobart and the airport had to make use of the Hobart Bridge as well as Rosny Hill Road and Cambridge Road. Passing through the Meehan Range, this route was windy and entirely two-lane featuring at-grade intersections. The first section of the new Highway between Rosny Hill Road and Mornington opened in 1974 as it exists today and continued to the airport as 3 lanes in its current alignment.[4] During the 1990s, the section of highway between Mornington and the airport was fully duplicated with funds from the Federal Government. In 2002, the Pitt Water bridge was replaced with a new bridge built beside the existing structure with the causeway widened. In 2012, Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources progressively installed Variable speed limit signage between the airport and Hobart, citing the increased crashed rate on the road due to traffic and weather on the Meehan Range.[5][6][7]


The Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources has outlined several concepts for the upgrading of the Eastern Outlet portion of the Tasman Highway - Both short and long term. These include;

  • An upgrade of the highway at Montagu Bay, involving the addition of extra lanes and On/Off ramps between the East Derwent Highway and Rosny Hill Road, to provide safer passage of traffic travelling between these two Roads[8]
  • The upgrading of the Holyman Avenue Roundabout into the airport at Cambridge.[9]
  • The addition of On/Off Ramps at Gordons Hill Road at Rosny.[10][11]
  • The State government recently purchased land at Cambridge on the northern boundary of Hobart Airport to facilitate the future duplication of the Tasman Highway to Sorrell.

Additionally, Independent bodies and proponents of the Highway have also made proposals of their own, including:

  • Building the Highway to limited access, dual carriageway standard between the Airport and Sorell.[12]
  • Capacity upgrades between the Hobart city centre and the Mornington interchange.[13]


The southern section of the Highway commences on the fringe of the Hobart Central Business District at the intersection with the Brooker Highway and the Davey/Macquarie couplet. Featuring between four and five lanes of traffic and utilizing a lane management system for peak hour traffic, the highway travels north along the western shore of the Derwent River, intersecting with the Domain Highway before preceding over the Tasman Bridge. On the eastern side of the Bridge there are two interchanges in close proximity; the East Derwent Highway intersects the highway immediately after the bridge via the Lindisfarne Interchange and within 500 meters there is an interchange connecting Rosny Hill Road. From Rosny Hill Road the Tasman Highway continues east as a fully grade separated, Limited access highway intersecting with the South Arm Highway at Mornington and concluding at the airport roundabout. For the remaining 4 km (2.5 mi) from the Airport the highway features 2 lanes of traffic, and travels over Mcgees Bridge and the Sorell Causeway to Sorell.

Sorell to St Helens

The road to Orford remains at the national standard as a two-lane highway, albeit with only a few overtaking lanes along its distance. The remainder of the road to St Helens is two lane, with even fewer overtaking opportunities. In places, the eastern coastal portion of the highway runs just metres from the Tasman Sea, making it the eastern-most A road in Tasmania.

The Tasman Highway is marketed as "East Coast Escape" between St Helens and Orford, to fit in with Tasmania's scheme of introducing tourist trails, a way of simplifying navigation of key tourist locations in Tasmania.

Prior to 1990, there was no coastal route between Falmouth and the Chain of Lagoons – one had to travel into and out of St Marys, both roads being steep grades. The bypass was officially opened on 2 December 1991, though motorists had been using the partially constructed road before its opening. Great care was taken during the construction to protect Aboriginal middens and the general environment.[14]

St Helens to Launceston

At the Launceston end, the highway is a main road with traffic lights. Out of the city, it becomes an ordinary two-lane road through the mountains. It passes waterfalls and through timber and rainforest country.

The portion between Launceston and Scottsdale runs through the Sideling Range. There is a lookout which offers views of Scottsdale and its surrounds.

The highway also passes through several former mining towns.


The highway passes through the following localities:

Major intersections

HobartHobart00.0 Brooker Highway (National Highway 1) west / Davey Street & Macquarie Street one-way couplet (A6) south  Huonville, Sandy BaySouthern highway terminus; no access from Tasman Highway to Brooker Highway; traffic light intersection
Hobart–Queens Domain boundary0.240.15 Liverpool Street to Brooker Highway (National Highway 1) Hobart city centre, North HobartNo access from Liverpool Street to Tasman Highway southbound; traffic light intersection
Queens Domain1.50.93 Domain Highway  GlenorchySemi-directional T interchange
River Derwent1.5–
Tasman Bridge
ClarenceMontagu BayRose Bay boundary3.22.0 East Derwent Highway (B32)  LindisfarneDirectional T interchange
Montagu Bay–Rose Bay–LindisfarneRosny Park quadripoint3.92.4Rosny Park Road south  Rosny Park, BellerivePartial directional T interchange: no northbound to eastbound ramp
WarraneMornington boundary6.64.1 South Arm Highway (B33) south / Flagstaff Gully Link north  Mornington, Warrane, Rokeby, Flagstaff GullyInterchange with eastbound exit via loop ramp
Cambridge9.76.0 Cambridge Road (B31 north / C329 south) / Belbins Road west   Cambridge, Richmond, Mount Rumney, RokebyNorthbound exit and southbound entry only
13.08.1 Acton Road south-east (C330) / Alliance Drive south-west / Cambridge Road north-west (to B31) / Kennedy Drive north-east  Cambridge, Richmond, Seven Mile BeachFolded diamond interchange with ramp termini at roundabouts
15.79.8 Holyman Avenue south-east / Kennedy Drive north-west Hobart International Airport,   Cambridge ParkRoundabout
SorellMidway Point20.612.8Penna Road  Midway PointRoundabout
Sorell24.515.2 Cole Street (Arthur Highway, A9) east  Dunalley, Port ArthurNorthbound traffic turns west; southbound traffic turns south; traffic light intersection
Sorell–Penna boundary27.417.0 Brinktop Road (C351)  Richmond
Clarence–Sorell boundaryOrielton34.121.2 Fingerpost Road (C350)  Campania, Richmond
Southern MidlandsRunnymede43.727.2 Woodsdale Road (C312)  Levedale, Oatlands
Glamorgan Spring BayBuckland60.237.4 Buckland Road (C318) north  Woodsdale, Whiteford
61.037.9 Nugent Road (C335) south  Nugent
Orford76.347.4 Charles Street (C320) south / Esplanade east  Rheban
Triabunna85.152.9 Freestone Point Road (C319)
Swansea14389Lake Leake Road (B34)  Lake Leake, Campbell Town
Cranbrook14993 Old Coach Road (C301)  Royal George, Avoca
Bicheno165103 Coles Bay Road (C302)  Coles Bay, Freycinet National Park
Break O'DayChain of Lagoons204127 Elephant Pass Road (A4)  St Marys, Launceston
Falmouth226140 Esk Highway (A4) south  St Marys, LauncestonT junction: northbound traffic turns north; southbound traffic turns east
Scamander232144 Upper Scamander Road (C421)  Upper Scamander Road, Trout Creek Reserve
St Helens249155 St Helens Point Road (C851)  Stieglitz, Akaroa, St Helens Point Conservation Area
253157 Quail Street (C850 east)  Binalong Bay
255158 Ansons Bay Road (C843)  Priory, Ansons Bay, Mount William National Park
GoshenGoulds Country boundary270170 Lottah Road (C841)  Goulds Country, The Blue Tier Forest Reserve
Pyengana278173 St Columba Falls Road (C428)  Pyengana, St Columba Falls State Reserve
Weldborough297185 Mount Paris Dam Road (C425) – Mount Paris Dam
DorsetHerrick308191 Gladstone Road (B82)  Pioneer, Gladstone
Winnaleah312194 Winnaleah Road (C840)  Winnaleah, Banca
313194 Derby Back Road (C837) west
DerbyBranxholm boundary322200 Derby Back Road (C837) north
Branxholm324201 Mount Paris Dam Road (C425) – Mount Paris Dam
326203 Stokes Street (C835)  Warrentinna
Branxholm–Legerwood boundary327203 Legerwood Lane (C424)
Legerwood330210 Carisbrook Lane (C423)  Legerwood, Ringarooma, Mathinna
Tonganah339211 Jensens Road (C831)
Scottsdale347216 Ten Mile Track (C407)
350220 George Street (B84) north-west / Union Street north-east  Bridport, Lilydale
351218 William Street (B81)  Lilydale
354220 Sledge Track (C830) west  West Scottsdale
Springfield358222 South Springfield Road (C406)  South Springfield
361224 Upper Brid Road (C407)
362225 Sledge Track (C830) north  West Scottsdale
LauncestonTarga380240 Camden Hill Road (C405)
381237 Targa Hill Road (C828)
Nunamara384239 Pecks Hill Road (C829)  Patersonia
385239 Mount Barrow Road (C404) – Mount Barrow State Reserve
384239 Patersonia Road (C827)  Patersonia
St Leonards405252 Abels Hill Road (C403 south-west)  St Leonards
Waverley–St Leonards boundary409254 St Leonards Road (A3 north / C401 south)  Launceston, St LeonardsNorthern highway terminus; roundabout
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. "Linear Infrastructure" (PDF). Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources. 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  2. "Traffic Jams". Stateline Tasmania. 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  3. Hobart Area Transportation Study. Hobart, Tasmania: Wilbur Smith and Associates. 1965.
  4. "Decades of development, 1949-1974" (PDF). Clarence City Council. 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  5. "Road Safety Boost for Moonah". Lara Giddings. 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  6. "New Variable Speed Limit system is working well". David O'Byrne. 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  7. "Variable Speed Limit Tasman_Highway_Brochure" (PDF). Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources. 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  8. "Tasman Highway - Tasman Bridge Eastern Approaches Upgrade" (PDF). Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources. 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  9. "Tasman Highway/Holyman Avenue Roundabout upgrade" (PDF). Department of Infrastructure, Energy and Resources. 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  10. "Minutes of a meeting of the Clarence City Council - Wednesday 7 December 2011" (PDF). Clarence City Council. 2009. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  11. "Clarence City Council Planning Authority Meeting - Wednesday 7 December 2011" (PDF). Clarence City Council. 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2014.
  12. "Tasmanian Freight Transport Strategy 2050" (PDF). Tasmanian Freight Logistics Council. 2013. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  13. "Infrastructure report card 2010" (PDF). Engineers Australia. 2010. Retrieved 9 January 2014.
  14. "Link road finally a reality on coast". The Examiner. 3 December 1991.
  15. Google (10 June 2014). "Tasman Highway" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 10 June 2014.

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