Newcastle Walk #5: Ash Island – Scott’s Point

ash island_1

  • Distance: 5.1 km / 7134 steps
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Summary: Explore the Hunter Kooragang wetlands on Ash island! There are multiple walking tracks and a teeming birdlife, as well as an abundance of frogs and butterflies. This walk has essentially no elevation and would be good on a bike also.

This walk starts at the National Park Visitors Centre (Schoolmasters House) on Ash island, part of the Kooragang wetlands. When going on Pacific Highway to Newcastle from Maitland there is a turn off on your left. Go across the bridge and then right at the first intersection onto Schoolhouse road and the turn-off to the old Schoolmasters House is on your right shortly thereafter.

Around the back of the house there is a path that takes you to a boardwalk. Turn right and follow it along the mangroves and above mudflats, with interpretive signs along the way. When you get back to the road, cross over and look for the path through the forest. This meanders through the rainforest before joining up with the gravel road along the waterfront.

Keep walking on the gravel road, past a house and a gate. Eventually you will get to Scott’s point which offers views across the Hunter River to the industrial area on Kooragang island. This is also a favourite spot for fishing.

ash island_2

Keep walking around the point and continue until you get to the Riverside park. Turn right and walk down the gravel road to the main road (Milham road). Turn right again and be careful walking along the side of the road as there is not much room and the few cars that venture out here typically drive quite fast.

You will pass a couple of silos and a parking area from where there is a path through the rain forest, which will take you back to the gravel road towards Scott’s point. This path is not suitable for wheels and tend to be a bit wet after rain periods, but may be worth the effort as it goes across some wetlands often full of birdlife. If you choose to take this path and then work your way back to the Schoolhouse it will add 900m to the walk.

Otherwise, stay on the main road as it turns left, walk past the model aeroplane field, and then the road turns right before you get back to the Schoolhouse parking lot. Please click here for Map of Ash Island – Scott’s point walk

ash island_3



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.


Map of King Edward Park walk

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

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

Newcastle Walk # 1: Throsby Creek

Throsby creek - pelicans

  • Distance: 4.1 km/5857 steps
  • Time: 40 minutes
  • Suitability: Great walk by the water’s edge of Newcastle harbour. Most of it on dedicated pedestrian/cycle ways and the rest on pavement so no problem for wheels.

This walk starts at the car park for Passmore Oval, just off Albert street in Wickham.

Walk down Albert street, past the Croatian sports Club, all the way down to Hannel street.  Carefully cross over this fairly busy road and walk across the Fishermen’s Co-op car park to get to the footpath by the water’s edge.  Follow this footpath underneath the Cowper bridge and along Throsby Creek.  You’ll pass the fun and whimsical “a Drop in the Ocean” artwork/play area and if you’re lucky you might see some rowers out on the water.  Stay on the path as it veers around to the left, cross the road by the next bridge and continue on.  Just before you get to Islington park, you’ll see some more interesting artwork (sofa and pelicans!) and now you need to look for a short path on your left that will link you into O’Hara street. Turn right at the next intersection and walk down Lewis street.  Turn left at the next intersection with The Avenue and then first right down Norfolk street.  Stay here as it continues on and turns into Sheddon street. When you get to Maitland Road, turn left and walk back up along Albert street to the car park.

Please see link below for a map of the walking route. Map of Throsby Creek walk