Lyell Highway descending towards Queenstown
|Length||248 km (154 mi)|
|Route number(s)|| A10|
(Granton - Queenstown)
(Queenstown - Strahan)
| State Route 8|
(Granton - Queenstown)
|SSE end||Brooker Highway|
| Zeehan Highway|
Gordon River Road
|NNW end||Harvey Street|
|Major settlements||New Norfolk, Ouse, Queenstown|
The Lyell Highway (Route A10) is a highway in Tasmania, running from Hobart to Queenstown. It is the one of two transport routes that passes through the West Coast Range, the other being the Anthony Road (B28).
The name is derived from Mount Lyell, the mountain peak where copper was found in the late 19th century; the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company was the predominant business in Queenstown for almost 100 years.
At New Norfolk it crosses the Derwent River and winds its way through hilly terrain to Hamilton. Just prior to Hamilton is the turnoff to Bothwell via a sealed route that passes Arthurs Lake and ultimately goes on to Launceston.
When the highway was first constructed, it made use of existing tracks and roads in the Victoria Valley area, directly north of Ouse, leaving the Ouse and Derwent River valleys and climbing the hilly country through the towns of Osterley, Victoria Valley and Dee before rejoining the present highway near Brontë. This route closely skirts Dee Lagoon, and runs close to several other lakes, particularly Lake Echo. The now-bypassed road is narrow, and unsealed.
When the hydro-electric system was expanding and their works were under construction at Tarraleah, the highway was re-aligned to follow the Derwent River until it passed Tarraleah to provide better access to the area for construction vehicles. The Ouse-Tarraleah section was opened to traffic in August 1940 even though construction work hadn't finished. After Tarraleah the road climbs steeply out of the Nive River gorge until it re-joins the original route near Brontë.
At Brontë the Marlborough Highway (B11) turns off the main road and leads to the Great Lake, where it joins the Lakes Highway and eventually runs to Deloraine.
A common short-cut is the '14-Mile Road' (C601), a gravel road which cuts across the Nive Plains just after Tarraleah, by-passing the steep Tarraleah Gorge section, re-joining the highway several kilometres past Brontë. It is not a safe alternative as it is a narrow, unsealed road, and can be frequented by log-trucks.
In wintry conditions the whole of the Central Highlands section is susceptible to black ice, and it can be exceptionally bad in the heavily forested section west of Ouse, but it can be encountered all the way to the west coast. Snow is usually encountered in the Derwent Bridge area during most winters and may force closure of the road occasionally for several days. This applies to both the newer Tarraleah section and the older Osterley-Lake Echo-Dee section.
As the highway enters Derwent Bridge it strikes a midpoint between Lake St Clair to the north, and Lake King William to the south.
Due to its altitude, the section of the highway over the plateau between Derwent Bridge and Mount King William is often closed during winter due to ice and snow. It can also be affected by rockfalls