World War II Tank Traps

The World War II Tank Traps were believed at the time to be part of the ‘Brisbane Line’. The road was, until the early 1950s, the New England Highway and the only all-weather road from Sydney to Brisbane. These tank traps were 1km north of a major training camp, the London Bridge Army Camp.

The site of Thunderbolt’s Gully was chosen as the area either side could not be easily bypassed. The huge boulders on the hillside on the eastern side of the road were considered too much of an obstacle for the light Japanese tanks. The concrete retaining wall was to prevent them bypassing the holes left by the exploding mines in the road, which was then a narrow gravel one.

The three rows of wooden posts (1500mm in the ground – 900mm out) were to force the tanks to rise up, exposing their soft underbelly. The rockfall further from these posts was from rock blasted from higher up to make the passage more difficult. Drill holes can be seen in this fallen rock. The area, a forced funnelling of the Japanese expeditionary force, was a trap that would put them at a disadvantage, whilst well dug-in forces could hold them for some time.

The natural environment was part of the defences, and a 1km walking track has been built through the rockfall and down the gully to the Thunderbolt’s Hideout track.

Opening Hours

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Phone:02 6736 1082
Address:Mt Lindesay Road
Tenterfield NSW 2372