Thunderbolts Way

Last updated

Thunderbolts Way
New South Wales
Thunderbolts Way.JPG
Warning sign on Thunderbolts Way
General information
Type Road
Length 290 km (180 mi) [1]
Major junctions
NNW end 16 km (10 mi) south of New South Wales alphanumeric route B76.svg Gwydir Highway (B76), Inverell, New South Wales
SSE end Bucketts Way , Gloucester, New South Wales
Location(s)
Major suburbs Uralla, Walcha, Rookhurst, Barrington
View from Carson's Lookout, Thunderbolt's Way, Gloucester Carsons Lookout 3.JPG
View from Carson's Lookout, Thunderbolt's Way, Gloucester
Monument commemorating the opening of a section of Thunderbolts Way Carsons Lookout 2.JPG
Monument commemorating the opening of a section of Thunderbolts Way

Thunderbolts Way is a 290-kilometre (180 mi) [1] 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. [2] [3] The road is fully sealed and passes through thickly forested mountain areas with many nearby national parks and nature reserves.

Northern Tablelands Region in New South Wales, Australia

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 State of Australia

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 Country in Oceania

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.

Contents

It is named after a local bushranger, Frederick Ward, alias Captain Thunderbolt , who roamed these parts in the 19th century.

Bushranger runaway convict during the British settlement of Australia

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.

Captain Thunderbolt Australian bushranger

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.

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. [4] Carson's Lookout, which commemorates his work is between Gloucester and Nowendoc, is a stop off point for the enjoyment of panoramic views.

Nowendoc, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

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.

Route

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.

Great Dividing Range mountain range in the Australian states of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria

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.

Picnic an excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors

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.

Dingo Canis lupus australian

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.

Koala An arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia.

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.

Wombat family of mammals

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, New South Wales town in New South Wales, Australia

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.

New England Highway highway in New South Wales and Queensland

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. [5] The next village encountered is Gilgai which is situated about 10 km (6 mi) south of Inverell.

Major junctions

LGALocationkm [1] miDestinationsNotes
Copes Creek00.0Bridge
Inverell Howell 00.0Bundarra Road  Inverell to New South Wales alphanumeric route B76.svg Gwydir Highway (B76)  Glen Innes, Grafton, Moree North-northwestern terminus; road continues north as the Bundarra Road
Gwydir River 2918Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)
Uralla Bundarra 3119Gwydir River Road  Tamworth Y-intersection; Thunderbolts Way continues south-southeast
Gwydir River3220Emu Crossing Bridge [6]
Rocky River 9458Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)
Uralla Uralla 10263New South Wales alphanumeric route A15.svg New England Highway (A15) [north]  Armidale 4-way intersection; northern concurrency terminus with New South Wales alphanumeric route A15.svg;
Road continues north/south as the New South Wales alphanumeric route A15.svg New England Highway (A15) for one short town block
New South Wales alphanumeric route A15.svg New England Highway (A15) [south]  Tamworth 4-way intersection; southern concurrency terminus with New South Wales alphanumeric route A15.svg;
Thunderbolts Way continues southeast
Walcha Walcha 14389New South Wales alphanumeric route B56.svg Oxley Highway (B56)  Tamworth, Gunnedah, Coonabarabran, Port Macquarie
Barnard River 251156Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)
Manning River 255158Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)
Manning River262163Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)
Manning River266165Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)
Bowman River 276171Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)
Gloucester Barrington 281175Scone Road  Scone to New South Wales alphanumeric route A15.svg New England Highway (A15) T-intersection
Barrington River 282175Barrington Bridge [7]
Gloucester River 288179Bridge over the river (Bridge name not known)
Gloucester Gloucester 290180 Bucketts Way   Nabiac, Stroud to New South Wales alphanumeric route A1.svg Pacific Highway (A1) Roundabout; road continues east and south as the Bucketts Way
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also

Related Research Articles

New England (New South Wales) Region in New South Wales, Australia

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 river in Australia

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.

Gwydir Highway highway in New South Wales

The Gwydir Highway is a 566-kilometre (352 mi) state highway in northern New South Wales, Australia.

Uralla, New South Wales Town in 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 Town in New South Wales, Australia

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.

Waterfall Way highway in New South Wales

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.

Bucketts Way road in New South Wales

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, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

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 Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

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 Local government area in New South Wales, Australia

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, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

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, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Yarrowyck is a rural locality on the western slopes of the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales, Australia.

Group 19 Rugby League

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, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

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 (New South Wales) river in Australia

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.

References

  1. 1 2 3 2917 Thunderbolts Way, Howell NSW 2360 to 30 Church Street, Gloucester NSW 2422 (Map). Google Maps. 2016. Retrieved 15 Oct 2018.
  2. 1:100000 topographic maps 9138 Inverell, 9137 Bundarra, 9136 Bendemeer, 9236 Armidale, 9235 Yarrowitch, 9234 Upper Manning and 9233 Gloucester. Retrieved 19 April 2010
  3. "Gilgai". Land and Property Management Authority - Spatial Information eXchange. New South Wales Land and Property Information . Retrieved 19 April 2010.
  4. Meacham, Steve (13 November 2008). "Roads less travelled". The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  5. "Bridge over Gwydir River at Bundarra". Roads and Traffic Authority (NSW). 30 March 2004. Retrieved 18 August 2009.
  6. Steve Green (8 Oct 2015). "New bridge open at Bundarra after 98 years of waiting". The Inverell Times. Retrieved 15 Oct 2018.
  7. "Barrington Bridge". Roads and Maritime Services. 24 Sep 2018. Retrieved 15 Oct 2018.