Inverell Walks: Goonoowigall Reserve and Riverwalk

Inverell_boulder

  • Distance: 3-6 km / 4300-8600 steps
  • Time:   30 min – 2 hours
  • Summary:  Inverell is a lovely country town in North-western NSW. There is a nice pedestrian pathway along the riverfront which can be combined with town heritage walks. In addition, there are State conservation areas and bushland reserves nearby which offer more rugged bushwalks, one of which is described below.

For the town walk, it is easy to find parking by the Inverell Visitors centre. The pedestrian walk and river is right next to the centre and you can go in either direction and loop back through town or by crossing one of the bridges. The river is apparently home to platypus although they are of course notoriously difficult to spot being nocturnal and shy. The Visitors centre also have maps for both town walks and for bushwalks in the surrounding area.

 Inverell_riverwalk

The Goonoowigall bushland reserve is located only 5 km from Inverell town centre to the south on Tingha road. There is a parking area with picnic tables and maps of the area.

It is fairly hilly country with large granite boulders and ironbark and gum trees. There is abundant wildlife with over 100 species of birds, wallabies and numerous species of reptiles. A large lizard was spotted as well as numerous birds.

The signs from the parking lot relate to the short (2km) Nhunta Karra Kara track but as you start walking to your left you will find the track called Thunderbolt track (4km) – it is worth having a map from the Inverell Vistors centre so you don’t get lost! This track winds its way through the forest and then starts climbing quite steeply up to a look-out with good views back to Inverell.

Inverell_view

As you continue along the top there is a link-track to the Middle Creek walk in the valley below. 150 years ago this valley was mined by Chinese miners and remains of the settlements and mining activity can be seen on this walk. I stayed on the Thunderbolt track but did the short detour to Thunderbolts look-out (200m each way). This takes you to some spectacular balancing boulders and nice views over Middle Creek valley below.

Further down from the hills there is another link-track to the Middle Creek walk and I did go down here to reach “the Slot” (600m each way). The Slot is an area of wide rock slabs that once were the base for a dam. Water flowing here once operated a water –wheel that was used for the mining works and you can see some large iron spikes that held the water-wheel.

Inverell_slot

Back up on the Thunderbolt track it is a fairly flat walk through the bushland back to the parking area.

 

 

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Maitland walk #21: Windella

windella_1

  • Distance: 4.2km / 6043 steps
  • Time: ~ 45 min
  • Summary: A lovely walk around a developing suburb at the outskirts of Maitland. Walk along nice, tree lined streets along some impressive properties, as well as through the more established area facing the airstrip. Start and finish is at a lovely viewpoint above the valley, perfect for a picnic after the walk.

Take New England highway towards Lochinvar, turn right up River road just after the Maitland Aerodrome in Rutherford. Go left at Lerra road and then second left up Malia close and drive to the end of the cul-de-sac where you can park on the grass by the playground at Cecily Reserve.

Walk back up Malia close and down Lerra road. Turn left down River road and then first right down Sandstone drive which is signposted as the entrance to Windella Rise. Stay on this until almost the end where you’ll see a road to your right; Lomandra place and go down here. It seemingly ends in a cul-de-sac but although you cannot drive, you can easily walk through the gate to Beacon Hill road. As you walk along here you get a good view of the airstrip, watch out for skydivers and perhaps some aerial acrobatics!

windella_2

When you get back to River road turn left and take first right up Pennparc drive. There is some building activity here but still a number of vacant lots for sale so this area will change substantially in the next few years Take the first right down Swift crescent and as the road goes uphill, look for a footpath on your right. This will take you back up to the playground at Cecily reserve, allowing for lovely views across to Lochinvar and beyond. Map of Windella walk

windella_3

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

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 # 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