- New Zealand State Highway 3
Route information Maintained by New Zealand Transport Agency Length: 500 km (300 mi) Major junctions North end: SH 1 at Hamilton South end: SH 2 at Woodville Location Primary
Te Awamutu, Otorohanga, Te Kuiti, New Plymouth, Hawera, Wanganui, Palmerston North Highway system ← SH 2 SH 4 →
State Highway 3 is one of New Zealand's eight national highways. It serves the west coast of the country's North Island and forms a link between State Highway 1 and State Highway 2. Distances are measured from north to south.
For most of its length SH3 is a two-lane single carriageway, with at-grade intersections and property accesses, both in rural and urban areas.
This is the route that SH3 takes in 2007.
The highway leaves SH1 at Hamilton, and initially heads south through farmland, passing through Te Awamutu. Sections of this stretch of the road are four-laned, but not divided carriageway. From Otorohanga it follows the valley of the Waipa River to Te Kuiti. The road then turns southwest through sparsely settled farmland, crossing several ridges before following the Awakino gorge to reach the coast, which it follows around the North Taranaki Bight. At the Tongaporutu River the highway turns inland to avoid coastal cliffs and climbs over Mount Messenger before descending via the Mimi River valley to return to the coast near Urenui. Bypassing Waitara, it reaches New Plymouth then turns inland, passing to the east of Mount Taranaki via Inglewood, Stratford and Eltham to Hawera.
From Hawera the highway follows the coast of the South Taranaki Bight southeastwards to Patea and Wanganui before meeting State Highway 1 again at Bulls. Highways 1 and 3 share their route for 6 km as they cross the Rangitikei River to Sanson, where Highway 3 continues southeast towards Palmerston North. After crossing the Manawatu River, the route follows its south bank through the Manawatu Gorge to its terminus and junction with State Highway 2 at Woodville in the Wairarapa.
Both the Awakino and Manawatu gorges are prone to closure by slips and rockslides in heavy rain.
Construction of a bypass of Bell Block, a satellite town of New Plymouth, was completed in 2010.
State Highway 3 spurs
SH3 has one spur, designated State Highway 3A. This 15.6 km stretch links State Highway 3 just west of Waitara to Inglewood, providing a shortcut and bypass of New Plymouth.
Territorial authority Location km Destinations Notes Hamilton City Melville 0 SH 1/Thermal Explorer Highway north
SH 3 begins (Ohaupo Road)
1 SH 3
City Centre, Rotorua
to SH 1/Thermal Explorer Highway south Waipa District Hamilton Airport 10 SH 21
Airport, Mystery Creek
Otorohanga District Otorohanga SH 31/SH 39
(Te Kanawa Street)
Alternative route to Auckland, bypassing Hamilton Waitomo District Hangatiki 65 SH 37
(Waitomo Caves Road)
Te Kuiti 76 SH 30
Eight Mile Junction 88 SH 4
Taumarunui, National Park
New Plymouth District Brixton 229 SH 3A
Alternative route to Southern Taranaki, bypassing New Plymouth New Plymouth 240 SH 44
(Leach Street/Courtenay Street)
City Centre, Opunake
Inglewood 258 SH 3A
Alternative route to Hamilton, bypassing New Plymouth Stratford District Stratford 279 SH 43
South Taranaki District Hawera 310 SH 45
Wanganui District Wanganui 402 Whanganui River Putiki SH 4
City Centre, National Park
Rangitikei District Bulls 445 SH 1
SH 1/SH 3 concurrency begins 447 Rangitikei River Manawatu District Sanson 450 SH 1
SH 1/SH 3 concurrency ends Newbury 468 SH 54
(Kairanga Bunnythorpe Road)
Palmerston North City Ashhurst 488 Manawatu River SH 57
(Fitzherbert East Road)
Tararua District 495 Manawatu River Woodville 500 SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail north
SH 3 ends SH 2/Classic NZ Wine Trail south
- List of New Zealand State Highways
- List of roads and highways, for notable or famous roads worldwide
New Zealand highways National North IslandSH 10 · SH 11 · SH 12 · SH 14 · SH 15A · SH 16 · SH 17 · SH 18 · SH 20 · SH 21 · SH 22 · SH 23 · SH 24 · SH 25 (incl. SH 25A) · SH 26 · SH 27 · SH 28 · SH 29 · SH 30 (incl. SH 30A) · SH 31 · SH 32 · SH 33 · SH 34 · SH 35 · SH 36 · SH 37 · SH 38 · SH 39 · SH 41 · SH 43 · SH 44 · SH 45 · SH 46 · SH 47 · SH 48 · SH 49 · SH 50 (incl. SH 50A) · SH 53 · SH 54 · SH 56 · SH 57 · SH 58 South Island Touring RoutesTwin Coast Discovery Highway · Thermal Explorer Highway · Pacific Coast Highway · Classic New Zealand Wine Trail · Alpine Pacific Triangle · Great Alpine Highway · Foothills Scenic Route · Southern Scenic Route
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