Thunderbolts Way is a scenic drive located in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. It runs for approximately 290 km, connecting the towns of Gloucester and Inverell. The route passes through some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in the region, including the Barrington Tops National Park and the Mount Royal National Park.
History of Thunderbolts Way
The name of the road comes from the infamous bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt. He was born Frederick Ward in 1835 in Windsor, New South Wales, and became one of Australia’s most notorious outlaws in the mid-1800s. Thunderbolt, who was known for his skill on horseback, used the rugged terrain of the New England region to evade capture for several years. Thunderbolts Way was named in his honor because it follows a similar route to the one he used to escape the authorities.
Route of Thunderbolts Way
The road is sealed for the most part, but there are some unsealed sections that require a four-wheel-drive vehicle. The route passes through several small towns and villages, including Gloucester, Walcha, and Bundarra, each with their own unique attractions and features.
One of the highlights of Thunderbolts Way is the Barrington Tops National Park. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to several rare and endangered species of plants and animals. Visitors to the park can explore the ancient rainforest, go bushwalking or bird watching, and even go camping.
Another popular stop on the route is the town of Walcha. Walcha is famous for its historic buildings and its thriving arts community. Visitors can explore the Walcha Art Gallery, which features works by local artists, or visit the historic Walcha Road Railway Station.
Things to do on Thunderbolts Way
In addition to exploring the natural beauty of the region, there are several other activities to do along Thunderbolts Way. Some of the most popular include:
- Horse riding – There are several horse riding trails in the area, including the Barrington Wilderness Cedar Trail and the Moonbi Horses Trail Rides.
- Fishing – There are several fishing spots along the way, including the Macdonald River and the Lake Glenbawn Recreation Area.
- Mountain biking – The rugged terrain of the region makes it an excellent destination for mountain biking enthusiasts. There are several mountain biking trails, including the Oxley Wild Rivers Mountain Bike Trail.
- Photography – With its stunning natural landscapes, Thunderbolts Way is a popular destination for photographers. The Barrington Tops National Park and the Mount Royal National Park offer some of the best photography opportunities.
Thunderbolts Way is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the natural beauty of the New England region of New South Wales. The route offers stunning scenery, historic landmarks, and plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Whether you’re a nature lover, an adventure seeker, or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Thunderbolts Way has something to offer.