Thunderbolts Way

Get behind the wheels for Thunderbolts Way

Thunderbolts Way is the name of a very scenic drive in the Northern Tablelands region of New South Wales, on the east coast of Australia.

Is Thunderbolts Way a sealed road?

The road is totally paved and pretty narrow in parts, but poorly maintained, pretty damaged and does have some pot holes. The road is not recommended for caravans.

How long is Thunderbolts Way?

It’s 305km (189 miles) long running north-south from Inverell (a large town situated on the Macintyre River, close to the Queensland border) to Gloucester (a town in Mid-Coast Council, within the Manning district on the Mid North Coast).

Why is it called Thunderbolts Way?

Construction of the road began in 1958 and was completed in 1961. It runs through thickly forested mountainous areas with many nearby national parks and nature reserves. It is named after Australia's "Gentleman" bushranger, Fred Ward, alias Captain Thunderbolt.

How steep is Thunderbolts Way?

The road is very hilly and winding and hits a 20% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps north of Gloucester. If you are towing a trailer, think twice about going up or down. Expect s steep terrain and often inclement weather. Not recommended in wet weather.

How long does it take to drive Thunderbolts Way?

To drive the road without stopping will take most people between 3.5 and 4.5 hours. The drive is very scenic and provides spectacular views around every bend. The drive features interesting viewpoints along the way. 


To use information contained on this site is to do so at your own risk. is not responsible for the information contained in these pages. The website is for information purposes only and we assume no liability for decisions made as a result of the information provided here. You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety.