Maitland walk #20: 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

Maitland Walk # 19: Bolwarra

Bolwarra 2

  • Distance: 4.2 km /6057 steps
  • Time: ~ 45 min
  • Summary: This is a nice easy walk through the quiet neighbourhood of Bolwarra. There is an eclectic mix of housing; from modest cottages to mansions, some dating from the late 1800s and some brand new, architectural styles ranging from federation style to the very modern and anything in between. All on pavement so great for wheels and also fine to do in the wet.

Park by the Bolwarra sporting complex on Victoria road, Bolwarra.  It is to the left, off Paterson road if coming from Maitland and is signposted.

Walk down Victoria road back towards Paterson road and turn right when you get there. There is ample space to walk alongside the road but traffic can get heavy at times.  Continue down until you get to Bolwarra road on your right.  Go down here, past Bolwarra public school and then turn left down Maitland road.  This is a dead end but there is a cycle/pedestrian path that will take you past the horse paddocks and dams, and back alongside Paterson road.

Continue along until you see Westbourne road and turn right down here.  There are some stately old homes along here, mostly hidden behind the lush foliage but with grandeur evidenced by glimpses of tennis courts and impressive gold-plated gates. You’ll also walk past a war memorial (see photo below). At the end of the road your only option is to turn right up Kensington road.  When you reach Bayswater road you need to zigzag right and then left to continue on Kensington road.

At the end you will be back on Bolwarra road and turn right.  Once you get to the abandoned bus, turn left up Kings road.  The sporting fields will be on your right and on your left you get a nice view across open fields and a small lake, towards the new housing developments at Bolwarra heights. As the road loops around it turns into Victoria road and it takes you back to where you parked your car.  Please see link for map of Bolwarra walk

Bolwarra 1

Maitland Walk # 18: Bolwarra heights

Bolwarra heighst lookout

  • Distance:4.4km / 6286 steps
  • Time: ~ 45 min
  • Summary: A hilly walk around the developing suburb of Bolwarra heights.  Lots of new houses under construction and more lots for sale, so the outlook for this walk will be constantly changing for the next few years. All on the road or concrete paths so ideal for wheels.

Park at the Bolwarra Scenic Lookout .  This is clearly signposted and is on the right hand side of Paterson road (if coming from Maitland) as you are coming in to Bolwarra Heights.

After you have enjoyed the nice views from the look-out; back towards Maitland and the mountains beyond, cross over Paterson road and turn left along the path.  Go right at Hunterglen drive and first right down the hill on Highland way.  Take first left onto Amber grove and follow this all the way around until you get back onto Highland way. Despite being fairly densely populated there is enough bushland left for the local wildlife; a kangaroo was quietly munching on grass just off Highland way this morning! 

Continue to your left and when the road turns and starts going uphill you will see a cycle/pedestrian path going through the bushland reserve on your left.  Follow the path to the end and turn right up the very wide path going up the hill.  This will take you to Bolwarra park drive.  Go right and then left at the first intersection.  Follow the road around, and when you run out of road, turn left up Ridgetop close and then go down the path which will get you back to Bolwarra park drive.  Eventually you should be able to just stay on Bolwarra park drive all the way around but, at the time of writing, it was closed off due to construction activities. 

Continue down the hill and when you see the playground on your right, follow the path alongside it and this will take you to Hunterglen drive.  Now you just have a long steady climb up the hill to Paterson road and you’ll see the lookout a bit further down to your left.

Please see link for a map of Bolwarra heights walk



Hawks Nest: Yacaaba headland walk

Hawks nest beach

  • Distance: 8km / 11,429 steps
  • Time: 2 hrs
  • Summary: A nice coastal walk with both a flat beach section and a fairly steep climb up through the bush at the headland.  Not at all suitable for wheels and the climb requires a certain level of fitness.

Park by the surf club at Bennets beach, Hawks Nest.

Go down to the beach and turn right.  You can see the Yacaaba headland in front of you and it is about 2.5km until you get there.  Fishing seems to be popular at this section of beach and several eagles were spotted circling around, perhaps also looking for fish.

When you get to the headland you’ll head up the sign-posted path.  The ground is uneven and appropriate footwear is required.  The path climbs upwards and winds it way through the bush past some  excellent climbing trees and busy birdlife.  After the roar of the crashing waves on the beach it feels quite peaceful and serene.  After 1 km you will get to a viewpoint which provides excellent overview back across the beach you walked along, as well as the neighbouring Jimmy’s beach.  This is by far the best viewpoint on this walk.

The next 500m section up to the top is very steep and challenging, and when you finally get to the top it is so overgrown that it is hard to really see much of the view!  It is a good extension of the walk from a fitness point of view, but unfortunately not worth the effort for any scenic view….Going down can be quite treacherous, particularly if its a bit wet.

You have to return the way you came, back through the bush and along the beach.  Before you get too far back along the beach it is worth doing a short detour up on the sand dunes where you get a nice view of the Tomaree headland, Shoal bay and Nelson bay.

For more information, please check out the National parks website

yakaaba 2

Maitland Walk # 17: Thornton


  • Distance: 4.7km / 6686 steps
  • Time: ~50 min
  • Summary: This is a walk around the older parts of Thornton and seems a world away from the glossy neighbouring Somerset development (walk #16).  There’s a myriad of pathways connecting streets and it makes for a bit of a labyrinth. The paths are fairly old and cracked, and in some places over-grown, but should be ok for wheels.

Park at the Thornton shopping centre off Taylor avenue, in Thornton.

Walk across Taylor avenue and down the path through the bushland between Thornton public school and the housing development.  When you get to an open clearing and the path divides into two, continue on the path to the right.  Turn right again and walk up to Abercrombie close.  Walk past Wren close and then look for the path on your left which will take you through the bushland.  Stay on this path as it winds it way between the houses.  Few houses have fences around their gardens so it feels a bit like you’re going right through people’s back yard, but it is a public path!

When you get to Haussman drive, turn right and walk up to Taylor avenue and turn right again.  Walk down the street until you get to Sharp close on your left. Walk up here and turn right when you get to Evelyn crescent.  Stay on this as it curves around and ends at Arthur avenue.  Cross over and slightly to your right you’ll see a pathway.  Go down here and this will take you to Malthaus close. Walk down this street and turn right onto John Arthur avenue.

Stay on this for quite a while until you see Lincoln close on your left.  Walk down this short street and look for the path that will take you through to a wider pathway leading down to the sports-fields.  Before you get that far though, look for a path on your right which will take you through to Avard close.  Walk along here until the end where you get to Government road.  Turn right and then right again at the next intersection with Thomas Coke drive.

Turn left at Reilly street and, if you would like to combine this walk with walk # 16 Somerset, turn right down Elizabeth close and follow the route from there. (Walks # 16 and 17 combined like this will be a total of about 7.2km).  Otherwise, walk past Elizabeth close and look for a path on your right.  This will take you through to Holford crescent.  Turn left and left again, and then first right up Welwen crescent.  Look for a path once you have turned the corner.  This will take you through to Blakewell cresecent, cross over and slightly to your left you’ll see another pathway.  This will take you past the Thornton park oval and ends at the shopping centre where you parked your car.

Please link for map of Thornton walk

Maitland Walk # 16: Somerset


  • Distance: 4.6km / 6629 steps
  • Time: ~ 50 minutes
  • Summary: A lovely walk around the newly established suburb of Somerset, part of
    Thornton.  Nice wide paths and beautifully kept reserves, including several duck ponds, make this a very pleasant stroll for feet and/or wheels.

Park at the Thornton shopping centre off Taylor avenue, in Thornton

Look for the path between the Thornton Park oval and the shopping centre and follow it down to Blakewell crescent.  Cross over and you’ll see another pathway a little to your right. This takes you to Welwen crescent.  Turn right and once you have turned the corner, look for a pathway on your right which will take you through to Government road.  Turn left and left again onto Reilly street.  Walk up here and then right down Elizabeth close.  At the end you’ll see a pathway that will take you through to Government road.  Cross over and turn right and keep left as the road splits in two and you should see a path on your left.

Walk down here and go left as the path splits. This takes you to the first of the three duck ponds on this walk! Stay on the path as it meanders in between the housing development.  The path crosses over Somerset drive and continue along until you see some bushland on your right.  Go right here and follow this path around the duck pond and then you’ll have to walk on the road for a little bit.  Walk past the playground and then you’ll see another path along the third (and final) duck pond.

Once you’ve walked around the pond you’ll be back on Somerset drive. Turn left and walk along until you see a path on your right in between the houses.  Walk up here through to Lemonwood circuit.  Keep left and around the corner you’ll see another path which will take you back to Somerset drive again.  Cross over and walk down Willow close. At the end there will be a path, go right and follow this along whilst admiring the view across the fields towards the railway line. Keep left and the path will end in Redman cove.  Walk up to Eurimbla street, which turns into Taylor avenue, and this will take you back up to where you parked your car.

Please see link for Map of Somerset walk

Maitland Walk # 15: Denton Park drive

Denton park

  • Distance: 4.9 km / 7000 steps
  • Time: ~ 55 min
  • Suitability: A longish walk with two fairly steep hill climbs, however perfect for wheels as it is all on paved roads or pathways.  The route goes back and forth between Aberglasslyn and Rutherford and includes a lovely bit of bushland that unfortunately may disappear due to further residential development

Park at Norm Chapman oval in Dunkley street just off the New England highway, on the right shortly after the Rutherford shopping centre if coming from Newcastle.

Walk through the playground and turn left up Fairfax street.   Stay on this until you get to Christine close, turn right and walk up the hill where you’ll see a pathway on your left.  At the end of the path, cross the street and walk up Robert close.  You’ll see another pathway on your left, go down here and you’re now on Adam Ave.  Turn right and walk up the fairly steep hill until you get to Joshua close on your right. Walk up here after you have had a look at the view, and at the end there will be a pathway taking you through to the bushland.

This is a fantastic natural habitat providing much needed green space in amongst a fairly densely populated area. The pathway is colloquially called “Hannah’s walk”, named after a young girl who, together with her grandmother, is passionate about preserving this bushland which has (unfortunately) been zoned for development.  See article in the Maitland Mercury about their efforts.

The pathway will take you through to Denton Park drive.  Turn right and walk along this relatively busy road for 750m until you get to the Sanctuary reserve where you’ll see a pathway on your right.  This takes you through to Honeyoak drive.  Continue uphill and along until you get to Nardoo avenue on your right.  Follow this as it curves around and then look for a pathway on your right which will take you through to Weblands street.  Turn left and now you just follow this, past the Maitland Baptist Church facilities and once you get to Rutherford public school, Dunkley street will be across the road on your right.  Go down here and it will take you back to where you parked your car.

Please see link for map of the Denton Park drive walk