The objective of this study was to characterise the behaviour of cross laminated timber (CLT) panels and the influence of the panel lay-up on the failure strength. Three different panel configurations of thickness, 60 mm, 100 mm, and 120 mm, were loaded in the out-of-plane direction. The 60 mm and 120 mm panel configuration comprised three layers of equal thickness, and the intermediate 100 mm thick panel comprised five layers of equal thickness. The mean and characteristic bending and rolling shear strength of the panels were examined. The results show that the mean bending and rolling shear strength decrease with the panel thickness. The characteristic results have shown that there is an influence because of the number of boards within the panel. The characteristic bending strength values for the five-layer 100 mm thick panel were found to be higher than that of the three-layer 60 mm panel. The characteristic rolling shear values decreased in the five-layer panels, however, the increased number of layers subjected to the rolling shear results in a reduced variability in the rolling shear strength.