Thunderbolts Cave

New South Wales

Thunderbolt's Cave, named for Captain Thunderbolt - Frederick Wordsworth Ward (1835–1870), is off the New England Highway, not far from the village of Black Mountain near the major towns of Armidale and Guyra in northern New South Wales.

Thunderbolt used the cave in 1867 and 1868, the years when he conducted many robberies in the Tamworth and New England districts.

The walk is a short stroll down a hill following a small rocks and large stones covered path. The rocky terrain is typical for this area.

Heritage Sites
Picnic Facilities
4WD Required
Dogs Permitted
No Camping Permitted
Eucalypt Forest
Maximum Elevation
Total Climb

Getting there:

From Armidale travel north on the New England Highway for 25km (just before the petrol station at Black Mountain) is a brown tourist sign to Thunderbolt’s Cave on the right down Thunderbolts Cave Road. This graded road cuts back parallel to the Highway to a small car park on the right.

Do not take the bottom entrance to Thunderbolts Cave Road at The Devils Pinch, as the road is impassable even with a 4WD.


None found.

Route/Trail notes:

Walk onwards from the car park down a small track and straight across the junction with 4WD track. There is a white arrow on the tree there. Carry on down till you reach the cave to your right.

Wander around and onto the top of the cave with its escape route of fire chimney, before returning by the same route.



Other References/Comments:

There have been reports of distressing items left at the cave and crude vandalism scripted on walls.


Interesting. Just makes you wonder how he ever found the cave in the first place given its location. Can only assume the locals indigenous people told him about it.

F.A.B. on 24 Jul, 2022

Gravel road once away from the highway leading to a small parking area which has covered picnic seating. The walk down the hill to the cave is rocky with several large tree roots so beware of your footing. The track is marked by white paint on some stones, easy to follow. The cave itself is wonderfull and it is easy to imagine it being a remote hideout for Captain Thunderbolt.

Bootson on 12 Jan, 2021

Great walk with the kids. Cave is awesome. Easy walk you just have to follow the white painted rocks. Kids loved it

KitKat on 23 May, 2020

Short (150m) walk up to some boulders that's supposedly the hideout of a bushranger. Was impressive, lots of plant and animal life. Very easy walk, completely flat. Not overgrown, easily accessible. Would recommend the 1.1 km walk along the highway to the tank traps, very pretty.

Lobster on 27 Dec, 2018

Interesting walk to the cave, overgrown track in places.

Adam on 2014

Easy walk. Path is very overgrown. Watch for potential wildlife particularly around the Cave area ( very overgrown )

DrummerJeff on 24 Nov, 2013


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