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Hunter Wetlands National Park


Just a short drive from Newcastle is Hunter Wetlands National Park, a wildlife sanctuary with family-friendly walking, cycling, fishing and birdwatching.

Read more about Hunter Wetlands National Park

It’s hard to believe Hunter Wetlands National Park, a haven for nature-lovers, is so close to the city of Newcastle. Pop the kids and their bikes in the car and head to Ash Island, where Riverside Park is just the spot for a picnic and easy cycling – or walks if you prefer – through rainforests and mangroves. You can also meander to the old World War II radar station or explore the ruins of Milham’s Farmhouse.

For twitchers, this is paradise. More than 200 species of birds either live in or migrate through the Hunter estuaries. One of the most popular spots for birdwatching is Stockton Sandspit, right next to Stockton Bridge, where shorebirds such as curlews and avocets come to roost and feed.

The diverse ecosystems also mean that underwater life is abundant. Bring your fishing rod or handline and try your luck off the jetty at Riverside Park. You won’t be the only one trying to catch a fish – pelicans, cormorants and sea eagles are often spotted here.


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Edward River canoe and kayak trail, Murray Valley National Park. Photo: David Finnegan.

Conservation program:

Saving our Species conservation program

Saving our Species is a innovative conservation program in NSW. It aims to halt and reverse the growing numbers of Australian animals and plants facing extinction. This program aims to secure as many threatened species that can be secured in the wild as possible, for the next 100 years. 

Mountain pygmy possum (Burramys parvus). Photo: Cate Aitken


  • in the North Coast region
  • Hunter Wetlands National Park is always open but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.

    • Newcastle
      (02) 4946 4100
      Contact hours: 8.30am-4.30pm Monday to Friday
    • Hunter Wetland Centre, Sandgate Road, Shortland NSW
    • Fax: (02) 4946 4150
See more visitor info
Hunter Wetlands National Park. Photo: Susan Davis/NSW Government