New South Wales
|Warning sign on Thunderbolts Way|
|Length||290 km (180 mi)|
|NNW end|| 16 km (10 mi) south of |
|SSE end||Bucketts Way , Gloucester, New South Wales|
|Major suburbs||Uralla, Walcha, Rookhurst, Barrington|
Thunderbolts Way is a 290-kilometre (180 mi) country road located in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia. The road links Gloucester to Walcha (where it crosses the Oxley Highway), Uralla, where it very briefly joins the New England Highway and, to Copes Creek, 16 km (10 mi) south of the Gwydir Highway intersection at Inverell. The road is fully sealed and passes through thickly forested mountain areas with many nearby national parks and nature reserves.
The Northern Tablelands, also known as the New England Tableland, is a plateau and a region of the Great Dividing Range in northern New South Wales, Australia. It includes the New England Range, the narrow highlands area of the New England region, stretching from the Moonbi Range in the south to the Queensland border in the north. The region corresponds generally to the Bureau of Meteorology forecast area for the Northern Tablelands which in this case includes Inverell although it is significantly lower in elevation.
New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In March 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 7.9 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.
Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of 25 million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.
It is named after a local bushranger, Frederick Ward, alias Captain Thunderbolt , who roamed these parts in the 19th century.
Bushrangers were originally escaped convicts in the early years of the British settlement of Australia who used the Australian bush as a refuge to hide from the authorities. By the 1820s, the term "bushranger" had evolved to refer to those who took up "robbery under arms" as a way of life, using the bush as their base.
Frederick Wordsworth Ward, better known by the self-styled pseudonym of Captain Thunderbolt, was an Australian bushranger renowned for escaping from Cockatoo Island, and also for his reputation as the "gentleman bushranger" and his lengthy survival, being the longest roaming bushranger in Australian history.
Eric Carson (1913–99), a Gloucester sawmiller and road builder, carved the first road through the ranges to bring out the magnificent hardwood from the forests on the Great Divide. After Carson spent many years trying to persuade local politicians that a road should be built across the Divide from Gloucester to Nowendoc, he went ahead and built it. Carving the 32 km (20 mi) route out of some of the steepest and most rugged countryside in the state was fraught with danger, but by 1961 it was complete. Carson's Lookout, which commemorates his work is between Gloucester and Nowendoc, is a stop off point for the enjoyment of panoramic views.
Nowendoc is a parish and village on the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia. It is 360 km north of the state capital, Sydney, 66 km south of Walcha in the Walcha Shire local government area. A sealed road, Thunderbolts Way, is about three hundred metres to the south of Nowendoc and provides links to the south and north.
At a total length of about 290 kilometres (180 mi) (from Gloucester to Inverell), it is very hilly and winding as it passes across the Great Dividing Range. It is very popular with tourists, including motorcyclists, as it offers many pristine picnic and fishing spots. Riverside camping spots are available at Gloryvale Reserve and Bretti Reserve. There is also a picnic area, with toilets, near the Barrington River bridge.
The Great Dividing Range, or the Eastern Highlands, is Australia's most substantial mountain range and the third longest land-based range in the world. It stretches more than 3,500 kilometres (2,175 mi) from Dauan Island off the northeastern tip of Queensland, running the entire length of the eastern coastline through New South Wales, then into Victoria and turning west, before finally fading into the central plain at the Grampians in western Victoria. The width of the range varies from about 160 km (100 mi) to over 300 km (190 mi). The Greater Blue Mountains Area, Gondwana Rainforests, and Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Areas are located in the range.
A picnic is a meal taken outdoors as part of an excursion – ideally in scenic surroundings, such as a park, lakeside, or other place affording an interesting view, or else in conjunction with a public event such as preceding an open-air theatre performance, and usually in summer.
Occasionally a dingo, koala or wombat may be among the animals to be spotted on this route. Bellbirds are frequently heard shortly after beginning the ascent up the mountain.
The dingo is a dog that is native to Australia. The species name is debated: it is variously called either Canis familiaris, Canis familiaris dingo, Canis lupus dingo, or Canis dingo. It is either a purebred if breeding only in the wild, or a hybrid of a dingo and a domesticated dog. It is a medium-sized canid that possesses a lean, hardy body adapted for speed, agility, and stamina. The dingo's three main coat colours are: light ginger or tan, black and tan, or creamy white. The skull, the widest part of the dingo, is wedge-shaped and large in proportion to the body. It differs from that of the domestic dog by its larger palatal width, longer rostrum, shorter skull height, and wider sagittal crest.
The koala is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia. It is the only extant representative of the family Phascolarctidae and its closest living relatives are the wombats, which comprise the family Vombatidae.. The koala is found in coastal areas of the mainland's eastern and southern regions, inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. It is easily recognisable by its stout, tailless body and large head with round, fluffy ears and large, spoon-shaped nose. The koala has a body length of 60–85 cm (24–33 in) and weighs 4–15 kg (9–33 lb). Pelage colour ranges from silver grey to chocolate brown. Koalas from the northern populations are typically smaller and lighter in colour than their counterparts further south. These populations possibly are separate subspecies, but this is disputed.
Wombats are short-legged, muscular quadrupedal marsupials that are native to Australia. They are about 1 m (40 in) in length with small, stubby tails. There are three extant species and they are all members of the family Vombatidae. They are adaptable and habitat tolerant, and are found in forested, mountainous, and heathland areas of south-eastern Australia, including Tasmania, as well as an isolated patch of about 300 ha in Epping Forest National Park in central Queensland.
The only villages between Gloucester and Walcha are Barrington and Nowendoc, which is slightly north of this road. There is a public school and church at the hamlet of Rookhurst. After passing through Walcha, Dangar's Lagoon is situated close to Uralla where a statue of Captain Thunderbolt on horseback is located on the intersection of the New England Highway and Thunderbolts Way.
Barrington is a small village on the Barrington River, 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north-west of Gloucester, New South Wales, Australia on Thunderbolts Way.
The New England Highway is an 878-kilometre (546 mi) long highway in Australia running from Hexham at Newcastle, New South Wales at its southern end to Yarraman, north of Toowoomba, Queensland at its northern end. It is part of Australia's National Highway system, and forms part of the inland route between Brisbane and Sydney.
After passing Uralla the Mount Yarrowyck Nature Reserve is near the junction of the Armidale Road and Thunderbolts Way. This site protects an Aboriginal cave painting site and much of the natural environment of Mount Yarrowyck.
A new bridge constructed in 2015 crosses the Gwydir River shortly before reaching the Kingstown Road intersection and then the village of Bundarra. Once again the Gwydir River is crossed, this time by the Bundarra Bridge, a five-span iron lattice truss bridge, that was constructed in 1881. This bridge is 204 metres (669 ft) long and 5.6 metres (18 ft) wide between kerbs. It has been listed on the Register of the National Estate, being of state significance due to its design, historical value and aesthetic appearance. The next village encountered is Gilgai which is situated about 10 km (6 mi) south of Inverell.
|Inverell||Howell||0||0.0||Bundarra Road – Inverell to ||North-northwestern terminus; road continues north as the Bundarra Road|
|Gwydir River||29||18||Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)|
|Uralla||Bundarra||31||19||Gwydir River Road – Tamworth||Y-intersection; Thunderbolts Way continues south-southeast|
|Gwydir River||32||20||Emu Crossing Bridge|
|Rocky River||94||58||Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)|
|Uralla||Uralla||102||63|| 4-way intersection; northern concurrency terminus with |
Road continues north/south as the
|4-way intersection; southern concurrency terminus with |
Thunderbolts Way continues southeast
|Barnard River||251||156||Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)|
|Manning River||255||158||Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)|
|Manning River||262||163||Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)|
|Manning River||266||165||Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)|
|Bowman River||276||171||Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)|
|Gloucester||Barrington||281||175||Scone Road – Scone to ||T-intersection|
|Barrington River||282||175||Barrington Bridge|
|Gloucester River||288||179||Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)|
|Gloucester||Gloucester||290||180|| Bucketts Way – Nabiac, Stroud to ||Roundabout; road continues east and south as the Bucketts Way|
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
New England or New England North West is the name given to a generally undefined region in the north of the state of New South Wales, Australia about 60 kilometres (37 miles) inland, that includes the Northern Tablelands and the North West Slopes regions.
Gwydir River, a major inland perennial river of the Barwon catchment within the Murray-Darling basin, is located in the Northern Tablelands, North West Slopes, and Orana districts of New South Wales, Australia.
The Gwydir Highway is a 566-kilometre (352 mi) state highway in northern New South Wales, Australia.
Uralla is a town on the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia. The town is located at the intersection of the New England Highway and Thunderbolts Way, 465 kilometres (289 mi) north of Sydney and about 23 kilometres (14 mi) south west of the city of Armidale. At the 2011 census, the township of Uralla had a population of 2,388 people, while the larger gazetted locality of 193.5 km2 had a population of 2,754 people.
Inverell is a large town in northern New South Wales, Australia, situated on the Macintyre River, close to the Queensland border. It is also the centre of Inverell Shire. Inverell is located on the Gwydir Highway on the western slopes of the Northern Tablelands. It has a temperate climate. In the 2016 census, the population of Inverell was 11,660 and the Inverell Shire population was 16,483.
The Waterfall Way is a road in New South Wales, Australia. It runs east-west from the Pacific Highway to the New England Highway at Armidale. The route passes through some of New South Wales' most scenic countryside and has become well known as New South Wales best and Australia's third most beautiful tourist drive. Seven national parks, of which three are listed as World Heritage Areas by UNESCO and form part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, are located on or close to the route. Dorrigo National Park encompasses the waterfalls that give the route its name. It also provides one of the few road links between coastal and inland New South Wales, and is therefore more heavily trafficked than its condition might otherwise suggest.
The Bucketts Way is a 151-kilometre (94 mi) rural road that links Gloucester to Taree and Raymond Terrace, in New South Wales, Australia. It was named after the Bucketts Mountains, a prominent mountain range near Gloucester. Between 1928 and 1952 the Bucketts Way served as the alignment of the Pacific Highway between Raymond Terrace and Taree. The entire route is designated as Tourist Drive TD2.
Tingha is a small town on the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia in Armidale Regional Council. It is 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Inverell and 629 kilometres (391 mi) north-north-east of Sydney. Tingha is an Aboriginal word for "flat or level". On 1 July 2019, responsibility for local government for Tingha will be passed from Armidale Regional Council to Inverell Shire Council.
Northern Tablelands is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of New South Wales. It is currently held by Adam Marshall representing the National Party, following a by-election triggered by the resignation of independent member Richard Torbay. The electorate currently includes Uralla Shire, Armidale Regional Council, Glen Innes Severn, Inverell Shire, Gwydir Shire and Moree Plains Shire.
Walcha Shire is a local government area located in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The Shire is situated adjacent to the junction of the Oxley Highway and Thunderbolts Way and is 20 kilometres (12 mi) east of the Main North railway line passing through Walcha Road.
Uralla Shire is a local government area located in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia. The New England Highway passes through the Shire.
Bundarra is a small town on the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia. The town is located on Thunderbolts Way and on the banks of the Gwydir River, in the Uralla Shire local government area, 563 kilometres (350 mi) from the state capital, Sydney. At the 2016 census, Bundarra had a population of 394 and the surrounding area had 676 persons.
Yarrowyck is a rural locality on the western slopes of the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia.
The New England Group 19 Rugby League competition is a Rugby league competition which is run under the auspices of NSWCRL. It is based in the New England North West area. It was originally called the Group 5 Rugby League Premiership but that competition merged with another local competition to form New England Group 19. The competition is generally played on Sundays throughout the winter months, with strong local rivalries as well as inter - town rivalries.
Gilgai is a village in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales, Australia The village is situated 10 km south of Inverell, New South Wales on Thunderbolts Way and is in Inverell Shire. At the 2006 census, Gilgai had a population of 289 people. The name Gilgai is an Aboriginal word meaning 'waterhole'.
Rocky River, a watercourse of the Gwydir catchment within the Murray–Darling basin, is located in the Northern Tablelands district of New South Wales, Australia.
Mount Yarrowyck is a mountain in northern New South Wales, Australia and has an elevation of 1153 metres. The mountain is located 23.4 km west of Uralla, 27.8 km west of Armidale and 38 km west of Guyra. The nearest sealed road to Mount Yarrowyck is located 18 km away named as the Bundarra Road.
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