Thunderbolt towns

Heading northwards from Sydney or Newcastle…

Gloucester: Basecamp for Barrington Tops

Visit the Gloucester tourism website.

Located at the southernmost point of Thunderbolts Way, Gloucester is a pretty country town with a remarkable backdrop of the Buccan Buccans (the Bucketts Mountains). Short scenic drives around the district take you to dramatic mountain ranges, breathtaking views, beautiful valleys and platypus-filled rivers.

Gloucester is the closest town to the renowned wilderness destinations of World Heritage Barrington Tops. This is the highest point of the newly-named Barrington Coast destination, it’s also the highest sub-alpine region in the country outside the Australian Alps and gets a regular dusting of snow each winter. Here you can feel the forests of ancient Gondwanaland, search for missing planes, walk with dinosaur ghosts or discover the fascinating history & hidden experiences in the Copeland heritage gold mine precinct. This is where Captain Thunderbolt’s wife Mary Ann Bugg was born & raised.

Outdoor adventures and activities are our specialty: paddle like an explorer white water paddling by canoe or kayak; go horse riding along the scenic riverside trails of Captain Thunderbolt; there are plenty of fishing spots plus walking trails in the parks that take you to rarely visited waterfalls, wetlands and breathtaking lookouts.

Walcha: Where wild rivers run

Visit the Walcha tourism website.

Straddling two of the most picturesque roads in the region, the Oxley Highway & Thunderbolts Way, Walcha boasts some of Australia’s most spectacular countryside.

Undulations of highly productive pastured lands meet a labyrinth of gorges, where sheer cliffs & waterfalls delight the senses. The naturally artistic formation of the landscape is complimented by the artistic and culturally rich town of Walcha. Abundant with public art, the Open Air Gallery features almost fifty sculptures, making Walcha the most art saturated town in Australia, with a piece of public art for every 60 of its citizens.

The shopping precinct offers art galleries, handmade stores & studios, boutique, gift and antique shops, plus fabulous cafés. The Pioneer Cottage Museum exhibits a great display of artefacts of by-gone eras or take a self guided tour of our historic buildings.

Uralla: Thunderbolt country

Visit the Uralla tourism website.

Uralla is located in New England High Country, 501km north of Sydney & 485km south of Brisbane, at the meeting of the New England Highway & Thunderbolts Way.

Surrounded by the breathtaking High Country beauty, Uralla boasts a heritage walk showcasing over 50 buildings of historical significance. Several of these date from the 1860s when gentleman bushranger, Captain Thunderbolt ruled the local highways & byways.

A short stroll around town offers the opportunity to browse the antiquarian bookshop, antique stores, art galleries & specialty stores – or just sit and enjoy a meal at one of the many cafes or friendly pubs. Don’t miss McCrossin’s Mill, the award-winning museum with a diverse & unique collection of exhibits including a fascinating display of Captain Thunderbolt artefacts.

Uralla boasts cool-climate wineries, artisan breweries, a boutique cidery plus an award-winning distillery all within easy driving distance of town. All are open for tastings and cellar door sales each weekend.