Newcastle Walk #4: King Edward park

bather's way 1

  • Distance: 5.9km / 8430 steps
  • Time: 70 min
  • Summary: A fairly strenuous walk but with lovely views of Newcastle city and the coastline.  It explores some historical areas of Newcastle and is well worth the effort.  Not suitable for wheels as it involves a few steep pathways with steps.

As for the Newcastle walk #3 around Bar beach and the Hill, this walk starts by the No. 2 sportsground at the National Park sport complex in Smith street, Newcastle CBD.  Ample parking available but payment is required during the day.

Turn right out of the parking lot and go down to Parry street and turn right again walking past the bottom end of the rugby field and sportsground No. 1.  Continue all the way down to the T- junction with Brook street and turn left. Walk past Nesca park on your right and turn up Nesca parade. Take first left onto Kitchener parade and then first right up the steep hill of Anzac parade.  Keep right and walk up High street until you get to Cliff street and you can glimpse the sea in front of you. The cliff across the road by the parking lot appears to be a popular spot for hang-gliding.

Turn left and walk past the Newcastle Marine Rescue Service and you will see remains of the old defensive fort of Shepherd’s Hill.  This is where Newcastle’s coastal defences during World War II were coordinated from and the site is now heritage listed.  The path that goes down the hill from here is part of “Bathers way” and also “the Great Northern Walk”.  Follow the path and admire the views back towards the city and Newcastle beach, as well as out to sea where there are usually large tankers waiting to enter Newcastle port.

garside gardens

The path takes you along King Edward park and once you get down to Shortland esplanade, turn left up the hill. Once you reach the top end of Garside Gardens, follow the path around and then up to the left and cross over Reserve road.  Enter the Obelisk Hill reserve and walk up the steps to the Obelisk.  This marks the site of the first water source for Newcastle and subsequent sources of water supply are also indicated with plaques on the ground. The views from here are spectacular.

Walk down on the other side, turn right down Wolfe street and walk down to Tyrrell street.  Turn left and you will walk past Newcastle East Public school on your right and a Leading Light Tower on your left.  This is one of two towers that were constructed in 1866 to allow safe navigation into what was then quite a treacherous harbour.  Continue down the hill, cross over Darby street and walk down Laman street.  You will pass the Newcastle Art Gallery, numerous churches and the Civic park. When you get to Corlette street, turn left and walk down to Parry street where you will see the rugby fields again. Turn right and walk back to where you parked your car.

obelisk

Map of King Edward Park walk

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Windsor: Riverwalk

windsor

  • Distance: 2 km/ 2850 steps
  • Time: 25 min
  • Summary: A nice short walk by the Hawkesbury river in the historic town of Windsor. Suitable for wheels.

Park by the Scout Hall in Johnson street.  Walk down to the river and you will see the paved pathway.  Go right and walk through the Howe park reserve until you run out of path.  You are now at the rugby union ground and you could extend the walk by looping around the field.  Walk back the way you came and continue on the path as it meanders along the river.  There is a nice, solidly built look-out but unfortunately the view of the river has now been mostly obscured by trees and foliage.

The path ends at the bridge (by Bridge street!).  Turn around and you can either just walk back the way you came, or, to explore a bit more of Windsor, take the first left up Baker street. This takes you past the Hawkesbury Regional Museum and up to the pedestrian mall on George street with a number of quirky shops and cafes.  Turn right and walk down George street until you get to Johnson street, turn right again, and shortly thereafter you will be back at the Scout Hall.

Windsor is the third-oldest place of British settlement on the Australian continent with settlement at the location first established around 1791. The local tourist office offers a map for a heritage walk for those that are interested in more detailed history of Windsor and its buildings.

Map of Windsor Riverwalk

Newcastle Walk #3: Bar Beach – The Hill

bar beach

  • Distance: 4.8km / 6800 steps
  • Time: ~ 50 min
  • Summary: A nice, hilly walk with great views of the Newcastle coastline as well as back over the city. Suitable for wheels.

This walk starts by the No. 2 sportsground at the National Park sport complex in Smith street, Newcastle CBD.  Ample parking available but payment is required during the day.

Start by walking down Smith street with the netball courts on your left.  Take the first left, Dumaresq street, and continue until you get to Parkway avenue.  Keep left and follow this past Newcastle High and Newcastle Grammar school and continue all the way up to you can see Bar beach on your right.  Cross over Memorial drive, turn left and walk up the hill.  Shortly thereafter you will see a small pathway on your right going up through some bushes.

This is a detour that is well worth the effort, it will add about 10 minute to your walk time but is not suitable for wheels.  You will first get to a clearing with nice views back over Bar beach but there are some more steps and then a fairly rough path through the vegetation up to the top of the hill where you will get some truly fabulous view of the beach and the coastline.

Return to Memorial drive the way you came and continue upwards.  Turn left down Fenton avenue and then left down Nickson street.  You have now left the million dollar views behind and also the million dollar houses.  This is an area largely developed with apartment buildings clinging to the hill – but with some decent views across the city.

When you get to Nesca parade, turn right and follow the road up and down and all the way around the reserve.  Nesca park is a lovely green spot in amongst a fairly densely populated area and is also the home of the Newcastle Petanque Club. Keep left on Brook street and turn right when you get to Parry Street.  Stay on Parry street all the way back to the intersection with Smith street where you will see the sportsgrounds on your left.  Map of Bar beach walk

Maitland walk #20: Tenambit

tenambit

  • Distance: 4.6km / 6629 steps
  • Time: ~ 50 min
  • Summary: A  nice walk through the suburb of Tenambit,
    both the older and newer parts. Quiet streets and beautiful jacaranda trees in
    bloom this time of year. Could be challenging with wheels in places due to lack
    of pavement.

Park by the Tenambit sports oval, just off Houston avenue.

Go left down Houston avenue and then left again down Jacob place. Go to the end and continue through the reserve along the golf course and you will get to Golf link road. Turn right up Tyrrells street, walk past Lena O’Brien park and Tenambit Community centre up to the t-section with Maize street. Turn left , walk past the shops and continue until you get to Chambers street on your right, just before going down the hill.

Go right, up to Thompson street and turn right again.  Walk along and Thompson street where you have some lovely views towards the mountains.  Thomson street turns into Collinson street and stay here until you get past Tenambit public school and turn left onto Edward street. Stay on Edward street and when it starts veering to the right it turns into Crofton avenue. Again, there are some lovely views across farmland towards the mountains.

Just down the hill, go left at Wirrah street and follow this until you reach Jenna drive. This is a newer subdivision with a fair bit of building going on, as well as still a few empty lots. Turn right and then left onto Laurie drive, and then right onto Riley James drive.  Follow this up the steep hill and around back to Jenna drive (right) and then turn left up Blackely avenue. This will take you through to Goldingham street, keep right and stay on this all the way back to Maize street and you will now see the Tenambit sports oval across the road.

Please see link for map of Tenambit walk

Lismore: Rocky Creek Dam walks

rocky creek dam_2

  • Distance: ~4km / 5714 steps
  • Time: 1 hour+
  • Summary: A collection of short walks that can be easily combined to experience different aspects of the rain forest reserve and the dam. Great set up with well maintained paths, boardwalks, bridges and signage.  We went in early afternoon and did not see any wildlife but at dusk or dawn you could be lucky and perhaps catch a glimpse of a platypus in the creek! Not suitable for wheels.

The Rocky Creek dam is located about 20km north of Lismore in Far North New South Wales. Follow signs to  the village of Dunoon, past impressive fields and fields of Macadamia trees, and then you will see Rocky Creek dam signposted.  There is ample parking.

There are a number of paths and we combined three of them to make it into about a 4km walk, covering most of the different areas within the reserve.  First we went down the hill towards the dam wall.  This is also a popular wedding spot and being a Saturday afternoon there was in fact a wedding ceremony happening as we walked past! Just before we got onto the dam wall we took a sharp left and walked up some steep steps to a playground and picnic area.

Walk across and to the right and you will see two paths.  We went onto the “platypus walk” to the right which quickly turns into a boardwalk, including a bridge across the creek. Being a bright sunny afternoon we did not see a platypus in the creek but it was covered in beautiful water lilies.  Once the boardwalk ends, the path continues through the forest and it is lovely and shady.  At the end you can either turn right and walk up to a look-out before going back on the dam wall or you can do what we did and walk onto the concrete dam spill way.

Across the spill way another path commences; the Cedar walk, which takes you through the forest and into areas of rainforest regeneration. Check out the Rocky creek dam information sheet at the Rous water reserve web page for more information on the extensive work that has been done within the reserve This walk does not have a bridge so you need to cross the creek by jumping across the rocks.  It is a steady climb back up to the picnic area where you started the platypus walk.

Retrace your steps down the stairs and this time head out on the dam wall.  This is apparently a favourite spot for water dragons and whip snakes to sunbake.  Once you have admired the view and the engineering ingenuity of the wall, head back up the hill to the parking lot.

rocky creek dam_1

Newcastle walk #2: Yuelarbah track (Glenrock lagoon)

glenrock lagoon_1

  • Distance: 5km / 7143 steps
  • Time: 1 hour +
  • Summary:  A very varied walk – through bushland, along the beach, up a steep hill and finally through one of Newcastle’s best neighbourhoods.  Best done as a one way walk so team up with someone to have a car at each end. Not suitable for wheels, except for the first kilometre which is on a boardwalk.

This walk starts in the Glenrock State Conservation area at the Yuelarbah car  park, on Burwood road, Kahibah and ends at Merewether surf-house by Merewether baths.

The Yulerbah track is clearly marked and goes through some wonderful natural bushland.  The initial part is on a raised boardwalk and provides an excellent perspective on the forest.  There are a couple of waterfalls to be crossed via bridges – it is recommended to stay on the path here and not venture onto the rocks.  When we walked here on the week-end a young boy had fallen over the cliff and, although he suffered relatively minor injuries, it could easily have been a lot worse and it required a major rescue operation.

Halfway through the bush there is a built-up lookout where you can admire the Glenrock lagoon and the beach beyond. Once you get to the beach, turn left and walk along the surf.  Depending on tide there could be fairly narrow stretches of sand and you may even get wet feet.  Rusty evidence of former coal mining and a railway can be seen along the beach.

At low tide you can simply continue along the beach all the way to Merewether baths.  However, at high tide, which is what we experienced, you will have to take the Hickson track up the hill on your left after about 1 km walk on the beach. This is a fairly steep climb with a 94m elevation gain.  Once you get to the top you are rewarded with fantastic views of the beaches and the coastline.  This is a designated hang-gliding spot and it is easy to see why!

Once you have got your breath back, follow the track through to Hickson street, turn right and walk around and down the hill.  Just before the end of the road you’ll see a set of steps on your left, walk down here and you will be on Lloyd street.  Continue down and to your right and you’ll see Merewether Surf-house. This is an excellent spot to stop for a drink or lunch, perhaps followed by a swim, or just admire the magnificent views of the beach. Please see link for map of Yuelarbah track to Merewether

hickson street view

Mornington Peninsula: Coppins Track walk

MP_coppins track

  • Distance: 4.5km / 6429 steps
  • Time: 1hour +
  • Summary: A walk on the Mornington peninsula (south of Melbourne) with spectacular coastal scenery and views out to the Bass strait. Not suitable for wheels as it is all on sandy paths along steep cliffs and also a couple of detours down steep steps to the beach.

Park by Sorrento Ocean beach.  The walk is signposted and you have to back-track up the road fro 200m before the actual walk starts.  There are numbered markers along the path and Parks Victoria information Centre has produced an informative leaflet with explanation of sights for each number. The walk meanders along the top of the cliffs with great views out to sea and also down on coves and beaches.  It is easy to imagine the numerous shipwrecks that have occurred along this coastline, as well as the infamous drowning of the Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt in 1967.

St. Paul’s beach is well worth the detour and steep descent down the wooden steps.  There’s an arch at one end and the beach continues on the other side – just be wary of the tide coming in!

MP_st pauls beachFrom St. Paul’s beach to Diamond beach the track goes inland through the bush for a bit and you get fairly close to Sorrento’s housing. We ended the walk at Diamond beach and returned the same way but you can continue along the coastline with a total of 30km of marked coastal track.  The Mornington peninsula has an abundance of other great walks also, as well as being home to the colourful beach huts and a number of great cafes and restaurants, well worth a visit!

mp_beach huts