Kings Highway (Australia)

Kings Highway
Australian Capital TerritoryNew South Wales
General information
Type Highway
Length 141 km (88 mi)
Opened 1974
Route number(s) B52
route number
National Route 52 (1974 - 2013)
Major junctions
West end Monaro Highway (B23),
Fyshwick, Australian Capital Territory
  for full list see major intersections
East end Princes Highway (A1),
Batemans Bay, New South Wales
Major settlements Bungendore, Braidwood, Nelligen
Highway system
Highways in Australia
National HighwayFreeways in Australia
Road infrastructure in Canberra
Highways in New South Wales

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The Kings Highway is a state highway located within the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales, Australia. The highway connects Canberra and Batemans Bay on the South Coast.


West to east, it starts at the junction with the Monaro Highway on Canberra Avenue in the Australian Capital Territory crossing over the border into New South Wales near Queanbeyan, passing through Queanbeyan itself, Carwoola, briefly crossing back into the Kowen district of ACT and then back into NSW heading south-east to Batemans Bay via Bungendore, Braidwood and Nelligen.

It is signed as route B52. The Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW has come to an informal agreement with councils along the route to sign the entire route as Kings Highway, despite it having no single declared name along its route. The National Route 52 was established in 1974.[1]

The Kings Highway links Highway 1 (known as the Princes Highway) to Canberra, and provides access for residents of Canberra to the NSW South Coast and its beaches. The highway is often busy on weekends, especially during summer. The highway also experiences a high number of car accidents, on occasions averaging around one every three days, costing the local community around the highway several million dollars a year.[2]

The landscape is generally sheep country. The highway travels from the Southern Tablelands to the South Coast via Clyde Mountain.

Notable features and landmarks

A small rock cave at "Pooh Bear's Corner" can be found near the top of the Clyde Mountain pass. This was the location of a munitions store during the Second World War that could be detonated to stop passage from the coast to the national capital inland.[3] Dozens of soft toys are placed in the eucalyptus trees along the stretch of road that connects Queanbeyan and Bungendore.[4] These soft toys were placed there to mark the way to the ACT Nudist Club grounds, following repeated vandalisation and theft of signage.


The road through the Clyde Mountain area was surveyed by Thomas Mitchell in 1855.[5]

A punt service across the Clyde River was begun at Nelligen in 1895 linking Batemans Bay to Braidwood. The service continued until 1964 when the Nelligen bridge was completed .[6]

In 2006 construction commenced on Headquarters Joint Operations Command in the Kowen district of the ACT between Bungendore and Queanbeyan. The facility opened in December 2008, and sections of the highway between the HQJOC turnoff and Queanbeyan have progressively been upgraded to cater for the increased traffic.[7]

Road usage

In 2003, approximately 3,000 vehicles a day were using the highway at Nelligen. From Braidwood (at the Shoalhaven River Bridge) there were about 4,200 cars travelling on the road. Out of Bungendore near Burbong, 5,600 cars were counted each day.[8]

Casualty crash rates on the Kings Highway are 85% higher than the NSW average and road fatalities are 8% higher. A 2005 NRMA Motoring and Services road survey found:[2][9]

Major intersections

Australian Capital TerritoryCanberra Central Jerrabomberra boundaryFyshwick Narrabundah Symonston tripoint0.00.0 Monaro Highway (B52 / Tourist Drive 5) south  Tuggeranong, Cooma

Canberra Avenue (B52 / Tourist Drive 5) north-west Canberra City Centre, Belconnen, Yass

Ipswich Street north-east Canberra Airport
Western terminus: continues as Canberra Avenue; only northbound exit from and southbound entrance to Monaro Highway
Fyshwick – Symonston boundary1.50.93 Newcastle Street north-east / Hindmarsh Drive south-west  Fyshwick, Woden, Tuggeranong, Canberra AirportTraffic lights
Jerrabomberra4.32.7Norse Road  Oaks EstateEastbound exit and westbound entrance
New South WalesQueanbeyanCrestwood Queanbeyan West boundary6.03.7Lanyon Drive  CoomaRoundabout
Queanbeyan East8.95.5 Yass Road north / Ellerton Drive south  North Canberra, Goulburn, Canberra AirportRoundabout
PalerangCarwoola11.77.3Captains Flat Road  Captains FlatRoundabout
Bungendore32.420.1Tarago Road north  Tarago, GoulburnT junction: Eastbound traffic turns east, westbound traffic turns south
Manar53.833.4Braidwood Road  Tarago, Goulburn
Braidwood79.649.5Nerriga Road  Nerriga, Nowra
EurobodallaNorth Batemans Bay13986 Princes Highway (A1) / Peninsula Drive east  Nowra, Sydney, Batemans Bay, BegaEastern terminus at roundabout
The Kings Highway road bridge (right) at the location of the former punt service across the Clyde River at Nelligen, NSW.

See also

Route map: Bing / Google

KML is from Wikidata
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Kings Highway, Australia.


  1. "National Route 52". NSW National Routes. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  2. 1 2 "Research highlights costly Kings Highway crashes". ABC News. Australia. 20 October 2005. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  4. Harden, Fred (25 March 2004). "Bear Spotting". Retrieved 19 May 2013.
  5. Cumpston, J.H.L. (2007) [1954]. Thomas Mitchell: Surveyor General and Explorer. Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook. eBook No.: 0700531h.html. The final evidence--lamentably too final--of his tendency to do everything himself was his personal presence, in his sixty-fourth year, at the survey of a road through that rugged Clyde Mountain region: work which might well have been entrusted to his surveyors. ... Having contracted a chill when supervising the survey of a road from Braidwood to Nelligen, he developed broncho-pneumonia and died at his home, "Carthona" at Darling Point on 5 October 1855, in his sixty-fourth year.
  6. "Brief history of Nelligen, Batemans Bay and the Clyde River on the Eurobodalla South Coast, NSW Australia". Clyde River Houseboats. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  7. "Inquiry into the Provision of Facilities for Headquarters Joint Operations Command, NSW (Chapter 3)" (pdf). Joint Standing Committee on Public Works. Parliament of Australia. 2004. Retrieved 2008-01-14.
  8. "Traffic Volume Data for Southern Region 2003: Annual Average Daily Traffic for MAIN ROAD NO.51 - BATEMANS BAY-QUEANBEYAN" (PDF). Traffic Management Branch. New South Wales Road Traffic Authority. 2004. pp. 14–15. Retrieved 5 February 2008.
  9. "Report on Southern NSW and ACT Roads" (PDF). NRMA Motoring and Services. Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 April 2008.
  10. Google (31 January 2016). "Kings Highway (Australia)" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 31 January 2016.
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