Walcha Overnighter 165km | 2 Days
The ICONIC! Walcha Overnighter. A 63% gravel, suitable for most abilities, overnight ride that has one smaller day and one large day.
There is a way to divide the days more equally with a change of camping spot, if you want to get the POI’s and finer details of camping, water supply, equipment suggestions you can find this at
Starting in the center of Walcha, after an early coffee at the window of The Fruit Shop and filling your boots with last minute supplies, you leave town westward. What might seem like an unnecessary addition to the route, the small triangular detour through Walcha is purposeful. It is to showcase the old stock yards, built in the 1950’s. Plus it is a nice way to avoid the Oxley highway as long as you can.
Passing by Woolbrook, the only township you will see on this overnighter. Woolbrook, population is a booming 220, hosting a school of 20 children, the AIF Memorial Hall and St John’s church which was built in 1929. The Main North train line finished in 1882 runs through Woolbrook and over the MacDonald River via the heritage listed MacDonald River Railway Bridge...built in 1882.
If the route's first day had a theme, it would be the MacDonald River. The route weaves beside, over and through the 169km long perennial river that flows mostly north west to meet the Namoi and is a part of the Darling-Murray catchment. Plenty of opportunities for a summer time swim or even a fish if you happened to pack a line.
The second day of this overnighter has less of a distinct theme but using the quiet local roads used only by locals you will travel through rolling farmland to meet Thunderbolt Way and entering the south east of the Walcha council area through the dramatically named Hell Hole Rd. The road is lushly covered in forest. Until it's not; the state forest is well logged and opens up to scarred forestry land - giving you the opportunity to see far into the east and on a clear day views of the Barrington.
On the other side of Riamukka, you will catch a view of the Mummel National Park, which houses some extreme terrain. If you have the nerve to return and give it a go you can find two routes that will help you navigate them.
An overnighter is a perfect way to both experience the quiet country around Walcha and have a taste of the town. Walcha is the first and oldest town in New England and has plenty of points of interest. On the way back into Walcha you go past the Old Stone Church, one of many historical buildings in the township. If history is your thing, you can download the historical walk brochure here.