Gatton–Clifton Road

Road route in Queensland, Australia

  • State Route 80 (Lower Tenthill - Clifton)
Major junctionsNorth-east end Gatton–Helidon Road (State Route 80), Lower Tenthill 
  • Mount Sylvia Road
  • Greenmount–Hirstvale Road
  • (A3) New England Highway
South-west endFelton–Clifton Road, CliftonLocation(s)Major settlementsMa Ma Creek, West Haldon, Pilton

Gatton–Clifton Road is a continuous 63.1 kilometres (39.2 mi) road route in the Lockyer Valley and Toowoomba regions of Queensland, Australia. Most of the road is signed as State Route 80. Gatton–Clifton Road (number 313) is a state-controlled road, part regional and part district. The district part is rated as a local road of regional significance (LRRS).[2][3]

Route Description

The Gatton–Clifton Road commences at an intersection with Gatton–Helidon Road (State Route 80) in Lower Tenthill, just west of Gatton. The road runs south-west, following Ma Ma Creek (the watercourse) through Winwill to the locality of Ma Ma Creek. It passes the exit to Mount Sylvia Road[a] as it leaves Winwill. Land use along this section of the road is irrigated crops. From here it runs through Mount Whitestone and reaches the foothills of the Great Dividing Range.

The road follows a winding, scenic route as it climbs the range, passing through native forest. It runs through the localities of Fordsdale, West Haldon and Hirstglen before reaching the top of the range in Pilton. In Hirstglen it passes the exit to Greenmount–Hirstvale Road.[b] From the top of the range it enters open farming country, passing through Headington Hill and reaching the New England Highway. There State Route 80 ends, and Gatton–Clifton Road turns south on the highway. After 1.2 kilometres (0.75 mi) it exits to the west with no route number. It enters Clifton as East Street, and crosses the railway line before reaching an intersection with King Street. The road ends here, with Felton–Clifton Road[c] running north as King Street.

In Fordsdale the road crosses Heifer Creek, where there is a popular camping area. From there it follows the creek to Hirstglen, which is why it is unofficially known as Heifer Creek Road.[4]

Gatton–Helidon Road

Gatton–Helidon Road

State Route 80 marker

LocationGatton to Helidon
Length17.5 km (10.9 mi)
Route number80

Gatton–Helidon Road is a state-controlled road (number 314), part regional and part district. The district part is rated as a local road of regional significance (LRRS). Part of it is part of State Route 80, and all of it is part of the Warrego Way. It is part of the former route of the Warrego Highway through Gatton.

A project to widen multiple high-speed sections of Gatton–Helidon Road, at a cost of $4.6 million, was expected to be completed in June 2022.[5]

State Route 80

State Route 80 starts at an intersection with the Warrego Highway in the north-eastern corner of Gatton. It follows the former route of the highway through Gatton, which becomes Gatton-Helidon Road. It turns south-west onto Gatton–Clifton Road and follows it to the New England Highway at Clifton.

Warrego Way

Warrego Way is a State Strategic Touring Route from Brisbane to Birdsville. It follows the Warrego Highway, with some diversions, from Brisbane to Charleville. It leaves the highway in the north-eastern corner of Gatton and follows the former route of the highway. This becomes Gatton–Helidon Road, which it follows to Helidon where it rejoins the highway.

Road condition

Gatton–Clifton Road is fully sealed. It has about 5.6 kilometres (3.5 mi) with an incline greater than 5%, about 3.2 kilometres (2.0 mi) greater than 10%, and about 1.3 kilometres (0.81 mi)greater than 15%. The height above sea level at the top of the range is 580 metres (1,900 ft).[6]


Gatton was gazetted as a settlement in 1855,[7] and the railway arrived in 1866. With the arrival of the railway the town expanded quickly as a commercial centre for the surrounding district.[8] The Tenthill pastoral run was established in 1845,[9] and settlement in the rich Ma Ma Creek valley occurred as land became available. Road construction occurred as settlement expanded towards the foot of the range.

The Clifton pastoral run was established about 1844,[10] and the Pilton run, originally part of Clifton, was separately established in the 1840s.[11] Headington Hill was a large freehold estate established in the 1840s.[12] The first road was cut to service these properties. In 1877, 6,000 acres (2,400 ha) were resumed from the Clifton pastoral run and offered for selection on 17 April 1877.[13] Subsequent development of small farms to the north of Clifton led to road improvements.

The mountain section, including a 31.7 metres (104 ft) deep cutting, was built in 1940.[14] Many factors had led to its construction; among them was reduced travel time between Gatton and Clifton, and a less steep ascent / descent than on the Toowoomba range crossing.

Major intersections

All distances are from Google Maps.

Lockyer ValleyLower Tenthill00.0 Gatton–Helidon Road (State Route 80) – east – Gatton
(no shield) Gatton–Helidon Road – west – Grantham, Helidon
Northern end of Gatton–Clifton Road.
Road runs south-west as State Route 80.
Winwill / Ma Ma Creek midpoint6.03.7Mount Sylvia Road – south-east – Mount Sylvia
ToowoombaHirstglen41.025.5Greenmount-Hirstvale Road – west – Greenmount
Missen Flat / Headington Hill / Clifton tripoint53.833.4 New England Highway – north – East Greenmount
– south – Allora
End of State Route 80. Road turns south on New England Highway.
Headington Hill / Spring Creek / Clifton tripoint55.034.2 New England Highway – south – AlloraRoad turns west to Clifton.
Clifton63.139.2Felton–Clifton Road – north – FeltonSouthern end of Gatton–Clifton Road
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi
  •       Concurrency terminus

See also

  • iconAustralian Roads portal
  • flagQueensland portal


  1. ^ Mount Sylvia Road is a state-controlled district road (number 3131) rated LRRS.
  2. ^ Greenmount–Hirstvale Road is a state-controlled road (number 3102) rated LRRS.
  3. ^ Felton–Clifton Road is a state-controlled district road (number 330) rated LRRS.


  1. ^ Google (28 February 2022). "Lower Tenthill to Clifton" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 28 February 2022.
  2. ^ The State Road Network of Queensland (PDF) (Map). Queensland Government ©State of Queensland [CC BY 4.0]. 30 June 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 29 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Darling Downs district map" (PDF). Department of Transport and Main Roads ©State of Queensland [CC BY 4.0]. 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
  4. ^ "Cutting in Heifer Creek Road". University of Queensland. 2018. Retrieved 3 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Gatton-Helidon Road, pavement widening". Queensland Government. 15 July 2022. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  6. ^ "Map of Gatton - Clifton Road". Bonzle Digital Atlas. 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  7. ^ "Historical Towns Directory". Australian Heritage. Archived from the original on 12 September 2007. Retrieved 4 January 2008.
  8. ^ Queensland Environmental Protection Agency (2000). Heritage Trails of the Great South East. State of Queensland. p. 62. ISBN 0-7345-1008-X.
  9. ^ "Tenthill – unbounded locality in the Lockyer Valley Region (entry 33720)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 23 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Clifton – town in Toowoomba Region (entry 7437)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  11. ^ "Pilton – town in Toowoomba Region (entry 26746)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  12. ^ "Papers of the Davenport family" (PDF). State Library of South Australia.
  13. ^ "Proclamations under the New Land Acts". The Brisbane Courier. Queensland, Australia. 2 March 1877. p. 3. Archived from the original on 27 August 2020. Retrieved 19 February 2020 – via Trove.
  14. ^ "Heifer Creek Cutting - Thiess Memorial". Luvya Lockyer. Retrieved 21 October 2022.

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