Navigating Sydney: A North-to-South Journey Bypassing the Bustling Heart

A Scenic Detour Through Sydney’s Outskirts
Sydney, a vibrant city nestled on Australia’s east coast, is renowned for its iconic landmarks and bustling urban life. However, for those looking to bypass the city center while traveling from north to south, there exists a route that promises a less stressful experience. This alternative path, tested in October 2003, proved to be a success, marked by minimal traffic and a harmonious dynamic between driver and navigator.

The Journey Begins: From Murrurundi to Sydney’s Northern Suburbs
The adventure starts in the picturesque Upper Hunter Valley town of Murrurundi, located approximately 77km south of Tamworth. Departing at 7:35 am, travelers head towards Sydney along the New England Highway, passing through the towns of Scone, Muswellbrook, and Singleton. A detour at Branxton leads to Cessnock, and from there, the route continues to the Sydney-Newcastle Freeway via West Wallsend and Freemans Waterhole. This leg of the journey, including brief stops, takes roughly 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Timing is crucial to avoid peak traffic hours, and aiming for a midday passage through Sydney is advisable. The freeway stretch to Sydney’s northern suburbs is straightforward, with no turns or exits required. Along the way, the route offers stunning views, especially near the Hawkesbury River and the impressive sandstone cuttings with their towering bridges.

The Route Unfolds: Avoiding the City Center
Upon reaching the freeway’s end at Wahroonga, one hour after joining it to the north, travelers are presented with a choice: venture into the city center via the Pacific Highway or continue on a path that skirts around the city. This guide focuses on the latter, taking drivers approximately 16km west of the city center.

At the first set of traffic lights past the Pacific Highway exit, turn left onto Pennant Hills Road (Cumberland Highway), following Route 7 markers. After crossing the M2 Motorway, a left turn onto Marsden Road at Carlingford transitions travelers onto Route 6.

Staying the Course: Following Route 6
Route 6, despite its various name changes, remains the constant guide for the remainder of the trip. The initial section requires careful navigation but is manageable with attentive driving. The route progresses through Marsden Road, Stewart Road, and Silverwater Road, crossing the Parramatta River and the Western Freeway. It then becomes St. Hilliers Road, Boorea Street, Olympic Drive, Joseph Street, and Rookwood Road, all while maintaining the Route 6 designation.

As the journey continues, Stacey Street evolves into Fairfield Road near the South West Freeway interchange, then Davies Road, crossing the Georges River to become Alfords Point Road. This road later transitions into Old Illawarra Road at Menai and finally New Illawarra Road. Following New Illawarra Road to its conclusion at Heathcote Road, still on Route 6, the path meanders through military reserves and National Parks before reaching the Princes Highway (Route 1).