Why you should visit
Blue Gum Hills Regional Park is a special place, here are just some of the reasons why:
Learn about the area’s mining history
From the middle of the 19th century right up to the 1980's, much of the area of Blue Gum Hills Regional Park was used for mining, mostly Newcastle’s famous black coal. You will see evidence of the park’s mining history in its unusual topography – undulations and scars are still a feature of the landscape. There is so much to discover about the park’s mining history, start by walking the easy Heritage Track which features an historic 1870's chimney, one of the few in good condition in NSW. This park is a fascinating work-in-progress, undergoing rejuvenation and transformation into the beautiful bushland setting much of the park already enjoys.
Stacks to do
The local community has already discovered just how much there is to do at Blue Gum Hills Regional Park, and everyone’s welcome. You can make the most of the wide open spaces, pretty bushland setting and picnic and barbecue facilities, to spend the day bushwalking, cycling, orienteering, picnicking, horse-riding, playing ball games or simply reconnecting with the bush.
The kids will love it too
For the kids there’s a maze, a cool mine-themed playground, easy bush tracks for biking and burning off energy and the flying foxes and rope challenges of the TreeTop Adventure Park. And while they’re getting back to nature, see if they can spot the yellow tailed black cockatoo, with its huge, bulbous bill and bright yellow ear feathers and tail panel, and the masked owl, 50cm long, with a flat, heart-shaped face encircled by a dark border.
Due to extreme weather affecting a number of national parks across the Lower Hunter area many campgrounds, picnic areas, walking tracks and access roads are possibly unsafe for public access due to fallen trees, flooding and other hazards. NPWS advises members of the public to stay away from national parks in these areas until the severe weather abates, and to heed general safety warnings from authorities. Further updates will be provided on specific facilities and parks once it is safe for NPWS staff to access these areas and assess damage. For more information contact the NPWS Lower Hunter area office on (02) 4946 4100.
Walkers, cyclists and horseriders should remain on recognised tracks and trails as there are areas in the park that are subject to mine subsidence.
Phone: 02 4946 4100
Street address: Hunter Wetland Centre, Sandgate Road, Shortland NSW
Opening hours: 8:30am to 4:30pm