Shhhhh!!! . . . Did you know THUNDERBOLTS WAY is the fastest route between Sydney and Brisbane? It is nearly 100km shorter, driving this road between Gloucester and Uralla, than taking the New England Highway.
Thunderbolts Way offers beautiful scenery, with fewer towns to stop the flow of your driving momentum. Walcha is approximately 150km from Gloucester, there are no towns after Barrington, 5km west of Gloucester, so enjoy the drive ….. Nowendoc, a village of Walcha, is by-passed on the Thunderbolts Way approximately 70km south of Walcha. It has services, fuel and a general store if you are feeling peckish.
Entering from the north you meet the Thunderbolts Way in the middle of Uralla, turning east off the New England Highway. Thunderbolts Way is a nice scenic diversion if you are heading to Tamworth, or from Tamworth you turn east off the New England Highway at Bendemeer, and follow the Oxley Highway– pop by and experience Walcha’s cafés, Open Air Gallery and waterfalls.
The Oxley Highway, on the eastern fringe of Walcha, is possibly the most famous and favoured motorcycling route in Australia. It is windy but beautiful so those in cars enjoy it also. Break the trip up at one of the many rest areas along the way or at Gingers Creek, a small café with fuel and accommodation, which is located about half way through the windiest section of the road.
Heading up the Great Dividing Range from Port Macquarie via Wauchope, 162km east of Walcha, you twist and turn up the mountain through beautiful rain forest. Enjoy the scenery, with enormous towering trees cloaked in vines, abundant wild orchids and ferns, as well as being dotted with flame trees, lyrebirds and bush turkeys. Be sure to listen out for the Bellbirds chiming in the treetops as you drive along.
Both Armidale and Tamworth are serviced by several daily flights to and from Sydney and Brisbane.
Armidale is a 45 minute drive from Walcha and Tamworth is an hour, so ensure you arrange transport from the airport to Walcha.
The flight is an easy one hour flight from both locations, an invaluable service to the region.
Car hire services are available from both the Armidale and Tamworth airports.
There is a daily train service to and from Sydney with CountryLink rail services. The train departs both Armidale and Sydney in the morning and arrives at the opposite end of the line that afternoon.
Walcha is serviced by Walcha Road Train Station, 20km west of town. Travelling to Walcha Road by rail is approximately a 7 hour journey from Sydney so pack a book, relax and enjoy the ride. The train is serviced with a food car so lunch and snacks can be purchased along the way.
It is best to book your ticket through Linmac Engineering, the local CountryLink booking agent. If you wish to have access to the bus service provided between Walcha and Walcha Road, bookings need to be placed 24 hours before departure or arrival to confirm the bus service is available. The bus service is only run on a needed basis in conjunction with the train timetable.
TICKETS: Linmac Engineering, 02 6777 2822
Local Bus Services provide transport to people living in the community who are transport disadvantaged. This service enables access to shopping, medical appointments and social activities.
Walcha – Armidale, return – every Tuesday (except public holidays)
Walcha – Tamworth, return – the last Friday of each month
Walcha access bus – every Thursday
servicing Woolbrook, Walcha Road and Summervale Village
Bookings are essential and can be made through the Walcha Council Community Care
02 6447 2471
This service is funded by the Commonwealth & NSW Ministry of Transport, under the auspices of the Walcha Council.
These services are available to everyone however preference will be given to people travelling for medical appointments.
Distances to Walcha
410 km > Sydney (via Thunderbolts Way)
496 km > Sydney (via New England Hwy)
525 km > Brisbane
65 km > Armidale
90 km > Tamworth
150 km > Gloucester
182 km > Port Macquarie