The Nepean Highway is a major road in Victoria, Australia. It connects the city of Bendigo in central Victoria with the town of Morwell, about south of Melbourne. It also connects the Shire of Mornington Peninsula, VIC to Melbourne CBD. At, the highway is the second-longest arterial road in the state and one of the longest in the country. It is also one of the busiest roads in the state and one of the most dangerous.
The road runs from Bendigo in the west to Morwell in the east, with a short branch to the town of Narbeth in the north. It traverses the districts of Western Victoria and Goulburn Valley and crosses a variety of landscapes.
The highway is part of the Great Ocean Road, a Coastal Highway, and it is the main access to the region’s wineries and orchards. The highway is also the main route to the ski fields at Mount Buller, and to the ski resorts of the Great Dividing Range.
Planning for the highway dates back to the early 20th century, and it was officially opened in stages from the 1930s to the 1950s. Nonetheless, the section from Bendigo to Mount Buller was not sealed until the late 1960s. Several upgrades have been carried out since then, including a new bypass of Norma in the 1990s, and a new alignment of the highway around Warburton in the 2000s. Despite these improvements, the highway remains one of the most dangerous sections of road in Victoria.
The Nepean is a major road corridor in the Goulburn Valley region. It stretches from Werribee in the north to the Princes Highway in the south. The road cuts through the middle of this region, linking the city of Melbourne, the regional city of Shepparton, and the towns of Ballarat, Bendigo, Seymour, and Wangaratta.
The portion between Melton and Werribee is mostly urban and only has a few small towns along its length. Traveling south from Melton, the road first passes through the town of Bongaree, passes behind the campus of the Australian Agricultural College, and then crosses the Nepean River on the Memorial Bridge. Between Melton and Werribee, the road crosses many small creeks and has a series of bridges over some of these waterways. In Werribee, the road is named the Werribee-Werribee Road, and then becomes the Nepean Highway south of this town.
The highway links the suburbs of Dandenong and Werribee in the west and west-central suburbs of Melbourne. It is a primary north–south arterial road, connecting the two main urban centres of Melbourne’s west. The highway has been upgraded in recent decades, and is now an important route in Melbourne’s expressway network.
It is the main arterial road through the Western suburb of Nepean, as well as the primary access route to several major secondary roads.