Outback MagazineOutback Magazine


Winding along Thunderbolt’s WayWinding along Thunderbolt’s Way

Thunderbolt’s Way offers a scenic route through the hilly heart of the New England tableland, which is a pleasant-paced, history-steeped alternative to the major highways traversing New South Wales.

Story Kirsty McKenzie Photos Ken Brass

Thunderbolt’s Way is variously described as the shortest route from Sydney to Brisbane, a pleasant detour from the traffic and trucks of the Pacific and New England highways or the gateway to the towns and regions of north-west New South Wales.

Winding along Thunderbolt’s WayNamed for the bushranger Captain Thunderbolt (see accompanying story), who worked a swathe of country from Taree, on the coast, to Tenterfield, on the New England tableland, during the 1860s, the route leaves the Pacific Highway just north of Newcastle. It begins life as a road called the Bucketts Way (from the Buccons, an Aboriginal word describing the mountainous rock formations behind Gloucester) and travels past the World Heritage listed Barrington Tops before rising in countless twists and turns up to the high country of the New England region.

From the Pacific Highway it’s 35 kilometres to Stroud, which Robert Dawson, the first agent of the Australian Agricultural Company established in 1826 and named for a perceived resemblance to the Cotswolds in England. These days Stroud is a pretty, hilly service town for the surrounding farming community set in a kind of early 19th-century aspic with lots of historic buildings including an early AACo school, church and even a village green.Story end

Full story OUTBACK Issue 35 June/July 2004

Go to:

Subscribe today

Subscribe now and receive each bi-monthly issue for only $45 mailed to any address in Australia. Overseas rates at Subscription Centre. OUTBACK has been Australia's fastest-growing magazine for the past two years in a row.

R.M. Williams Summer 2004/5 Catalogue

Visit rmwilliams.com.au for R.M.Willams history, news and the on-line product catalogue