Bucketty through Wollombi to Newcastle
From Bucketty to Newcastle, the modern road follows the route of the convict road. Sections have been diverted and the original 1830s culverts lie in abandoned loops. From Bucketty north the road crossed Wollombi Brook and its tributaries, many of these crossings remain with rebuilt wooden bridges.
Bucketty Precinct is located at the intersection of George Downes Drive with the road to St Albans. Its here that you will find a large abandoned loop which contains a large culvert , a bridge , stone packed road surface, cut drains, rock platform road surface and small box culverts.
The drive to Wollombi from Bucketty winds its way though picturesque valleys past beautifully restored culverts and heritage buildings. Make sure you take advantage of the bypassed sections of the road that allow room for you to pull off the road and view the culverts up close.
Ramseys Leap is a majestic 100 metre long dry-stone wall stretching up to 4.5 meters high. This walling was thought to have been built by Road Party 42 and was named after a prisoner William Ramsey who escaped here in 1854.
Thompsons Bridge, now bypassed by the modern road is an easily accessible small wooden bridge, flanked by a stone retaining wall that can be driven over today. Keep an eye out for heritage building like Mulla Villa which was convict built and now is open to the public as a B and B and Cafe.
Wollombi Village features many old historic buildings and is home to the Endeavour Museum which is housed in the old Court House. The village was established as the administrative centre for the district and it is at this point that the great North Road splits with one branch going north and the other east.
From Wollombi the road branches off, passing through Millfield, Cessnock , Maitland and on to Newcastle. Heading from Wollombi to Millfield the road follows a picturesque arm of the Wollombi Brook. This section contains small wooden bridges spanning the various creeks along the way.
Maitland Gaol is well worth a visit when you visit the trail heading between Newcastle and Wollombi. With over 150 years of history packed into its walls this gaol attracts visitors from all over the world.
Newcastle is home to the Convict Lumber Yard, the oldest recorded place of industrial activity in Australia. Be sure to stop by and learn more about the convict site.