Structural vergence within the Western Subprovince of the Lachlan Fold Belt is towards the hinterland rather than the foreland. in contrast to many well-known orogenic belts. High angle-reverse faults and upright folds verge eastwards, away from the Australian craton, towards the inferred centre of orogenic and magmatic activity. We designed a series of analogue models to test the anomalous vergence in the western Lachlan Fold Belt, particularly the interaction of a stable Australian craton with Tasman Line geometry, interacting with weaker oceanic or transitional lithospheric material. We found consistently that vergence direction in the models was towards the hinterland, not the foreland, as in the western Lachlan Fold Belt, irrespective of the way the model was deformed. Strength gradients between the oceanic and cratonic lithosphere control the deformation patterns. An important result of the models is that they demonstrate that fold belts with different vergences can be generated without the requirement of subducting oceanic lithosphere. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.