Glenrock State Conservation Area

Overview

Glenrock State Conservation Area, only 5km from Newcastle, is the perfect place for mountain biking. Explore the park’s beaches, rainforest walks and waterfalls on a school excursion or guided tour.

Read more about Glenrock State Conservation Area

Located only ten minutes drive from the Newcastle city centre, Glenrock State Conservation Area offers an astounding array of recreational opportunities.

Glenrock embraces the last surviving pocket of coastal rainforest in the region, home to a range of animals, like bandicoots, bats and gliders. It also protects a number of ancient Aboriginal sites.

One of the city’s most popular beaches lies within the park’s boundaries, but there is much more here than sand and surf. Take your mountain bike and explore the scenic cycling trails, walk the rainforest and waterfall tracks, launch a hang glider off the cliffs or enjoy a spot of fishing.

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see http://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/visit-a-park/parks/glenrock-state-conservation-area/local-alerts

Contact

  • in the North Coast region
  • Glenrock State Conservation Area 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
    • 1 Wetlands Place, Shortland, NSW, 2307
    • Fax: (02) 4946 4150
    More
See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Glenrock State Conservation Area.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

    From Newcastle, Charlestown and Sydney, take the Pacific Highway to Highfields or Kahibah in Newcastle.

    Park entry points

    Road quality

    • Sealed roads

    Vehicle access

    • 2WD vehicles

    By bike

    Check out the Bicycle information for NSW website for more information.

    Best times to visit

    There are lots of great things waiting for you in Glenrock State Conservation Area. Here are some of the highlights.

    Autumn

    Enjoy exploring the park's mountain biking trails when the weather becomes cooler.

    Spring

    The park's birds will be chirping and singing, look out for them in the trees as you hit the tracks and trails.

    Summer

    The park's beaches are a delight at this time of year – you can surf and swim to your heart's content.

    Winter

    Walk the Bombala walking track for excellent coastal views – you may even spot a whale or two.

    Weather, temperature and rainfall

    Summer temperature

    Average

    20°C and 25°C

    Highest recorded

    42°C

    Winter temperature

    Average

    11°C and 18°C

    Lowest recorded

    1.8°C

    Rainfall

    Wettest month

    March

    Driest month

    November

    The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

    283.7mm

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    However you discover NSW national parks and reserves, we want you to have a safe and enjoyable experience. Our park and reserve systems contrast greatly so you need to be aware of the risks and take responsibility for your own safety and the safety of those in your care.

    Bushwalking safety

    If you're keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, always be prepared. Read these bushwalking safety tips before you set off on a walking adventure in national parks.

    Some walking tracks in this park are close to cliff edges, creeks and waterfalls that have slippery surfaces, even when dry. Please take extra care around fast flowing water after rain and supervise children.

    Cycling safety

    Hundreds of cyclists head to our national parks for fun and adventure. If you're riding your bike through a national park, read these cycling safety tips.

    Mobile safety

    Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

    Prohibited

    Pets

    Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the OEH pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Nearby towns

    Charlestown (3 km)

    Charlestown lies just 12 km south of Newcastle. It's a key town centre at the northern end of Lake Macquarie.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Newcastle (7 km)

    Newcastle is a harbour city surrounded by amazing surf beaches that are linked by a great coastal walk, the Bathers Way. The walk from Nobbys Beach to Merewether Beach takes about three hours and is a great way to explore the city.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Cessnock (46 km)

    Some of the finest wines in the world are created in the Hunter Valley and its towns, gourmet food is acclaimed and luxury, boutique accommodations are matched by the most beautiful natural scenery.

    www.visitnsw.com

    Learn more

    Glenrock State Conservation Area is a special place. Here are just some of the reasons why:

    Stride, ride, or glide

    Cyclist in Glenrock State Conservation Area. Photo: Shaun Sursok

    Glenrock is magnificent for mountain bike riding, with 14km of single track and 20km of management trails in the northern half of the park. The mountain bike tracks wind through open forest and woodlands and provide access to Burwood Beach, Leichhardt's lookout and the waterfalls. If you prefer to travel on foot, there are excellent walks including the Yuelarbah track, part of the Great North walk from Sydney to Newcastle. Horse riding is also permitted on some trails. Experienced hang gliders have a choice of two launching pads within the park and will enjoy stunning views of the Newcastle coastline.

    • Bombala walking track Bombala walking track weaves through bush in Glenrock State Conservation Area, giving glimpses of the ocean, before descending to secluded Dudley Beach.
    • Glenrock mountain biking trails Spend the day riding your mountain bike on the trails in Glenrock State Conservation Area near Newcastle. There are rides to suit all levels, and even the kids can ride.
    • Yuelarbah walking track Yuelarbah walking track is a great day walk within Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle. It features a lookout with scenic views, waterfalls and places to picnic.

    Wildflowers and wildlife

    The Leggy Point Loop track, Glenrock State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

    Glenrock State Conservation Area boasts a diverse range of plant life, over 70 plant species per hectare. Take advantage of this nature wonderland with a relaxing bushwalk, and catch a glimpse of threatened wildflowers - including pink bells, coastal bush peas, and white-flowered wax plants - dotting the area with vibrant hues. Glenrock State Conservation Area is also home to wildlife such as bandicoots, bats and gliders.

    • Bombala walking track Bombala walking track weaves through bush in Glenrock State Conservation Area, giving glimpses of the ocean, before descending to secluded Dudley Beach.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion to explore Yuelarbah walking track. Designed for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students and focusing on science and technology, investigate the living world this beautiful part of Glenrock State Conservation Area, home to amazing plants and animals.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students focusing on science and technology. Carry out investigations to explore the living world in this beautiful part of Glenrock State Conservation Area.

    Back to nature

    Burwood trail, Glenrock Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer

    Glenrock boasts a diverse environment from deep gullies to coastal rainforest, beaches and rocky cliffs. A major feature is Glenrock Lagoon, fed by Flaggy and Little Flaggy creeks to the west. The sandstones in these creeks have resisted erosion, resulting in attractive waterfalls and rockpools for which the area has long been renowned. When you've explored the inland, head for the surf at Dudley, Burwood and Glenrock Beaches.

    • Leggy Point loop walking track Take in the views of the ocean and coastline all the way to Newcastle from Leggy Point loop walking track, a popular walk for the whole family in Glenrock State Conservation Area.

    A rich cultural heritage

    Glenrock State Conservation Area. Photo: Shaun Sursok

    Glenrock State Conservation Area is the traditional land of the Awabakal people. They favoured the area for the abundance of food, including marine life and bush tucker. The park today contains a number of ancient Aboriginal sites, including campsites, middens and axe grinding grooves. You can find out more about the Aboriginal cultural heritage of this park on an Aboriginal Discovery tour.

    • Leggy Point loop walking track Take in the views of the ocean and coastline all the way to Newcastle from Leggy Point loop walking track, a popular walk for the whole family in Glenrock State Conservation Area.
    • WilderQuest WildThings Come on a WilderQuest WildThings excursion to explore Yuelarbah walking track. Designed for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students and focusing on science and technology, investigate the living world this beautiful part of Glenrock State Conservation Area, home to amazing plants and animals.
    • WilderQuest WildTracker Come on a WilderQuest WildTracker excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students focusing on science and technology. Carry out investigations to explore the living world in this beautiful part of Glenrock State Conservation Area.

    Plants and animals you may see

    Animals

    • Humpback whale breaching. Photo: Dan Burns

      Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae)

      The humpback whale has the longest migratory path of any mammal, travelling over 5000km from its summer feeding grounds in Antarctica to its breeding grounds in the subtropics. Its playful antics, such as body-rolling, breaching and pectoral slapping, are a spectacular sight for whale watchers in NSW national parks.

    • Superb fairy wren. Photo: Ingo Oeland

      Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus)

      The striking blue and black plumage of the adult male superb fairy wren makes for colourful bird watching across south-eastern Australia. The sociable superb fairy wrens, or blue wrens, are Australian birds living in groups consisting of a dominant male, mouse-brown female ‘jenny wrens’ and several tawny-brown juveniles.

    • Echidna. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Short-beaked echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus)

      One of only 2 egg-laying mammals in the world, the short-beaked echidna is one of the most widespread of Australian native animals. Covered in spines, or quills, they’re equipped with a keen sense of smell and a tube-like snout which they use to break apart termite mounds in search of ants.

    Plants

    • Wonga Wonga vine. Photo: Barry Collier

      Wonga wonga vine (Pandorea pandorana)

      The wonga wonga vine is a widespread vigorous climber usually found along eastern Australia. A variation of the plant occurs in the central desert, where it resembles a sprawling shrub. One of the more common Australian native plants, the wonga wonga vine produces bell-shaped white or yellow flowers in the spring, followed by a large oblong-shaped seed pod.

    • Smooth-barked apple. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Smooth-barked apple (Angophora costata)

      Smooth-barked apple gums, also known as Sydney red gum or rusty gum trees, are Australian native plants found along the NSW coast, and in the Sydney basin and parts of Queensland. Growing to heights of 15-30m, the russet-coloured angophoras shed their bark in spring to reveal spectacular new salmon-coloured bark.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (4)

    What we're doing

    Glenrock State Conservation Area has management strategies in place to protect and conserve the values of this park. Visit the OEH website for detailed park and fire management documents. Here is just some of the work we’re doing to conserve these values:

    Understanding landscapes and geology

    Glenrock National Park is dedicated to the maintenance of its landscapes and ensures this in conjunction with land and native vegetation conservation and ongoing attention to visitor safety. Sites in this park are maintained and rehabilitated as required.

    Managing weeds, pest animals and other threats

    Pests and weeds have a significant impact to the ecosystems within Glenrock State Conservation Area. Pest reduction of species, such as wild dogs and bitou bush, as well as ongoing risk assessments for new and emerging weeds, is an important part of the work NPWS does to protect the biodiversity values of this state conservation area.

    Conservation program

    Bitou bush threat abatement plan

    Bitou bush poses a serious and widespread threat to threatened species populations and ecological communities on the NSW coast. The NPWS bitou bush threat abatement plan helps to reduce the impact of weeds at priority sites using control measures such as ground spraying, aerial spraying, biological control and physical removal.

    Developing visitor facilities and experiences

    Glenrock State Conservation Area is committed to managing and developing visitor facilities for its customers’ enjoyment, education and safety. Extensive management planning is carried out for this park, along with regular maintenance, upgrading and installation of recreational and interpretive facilities.

    Conserving our Aboriginal culture

    Glenrock State Conservation Area preserves a considerable proportion of what remains of Newcastle's physical Aboriginal heritage, and as such is highly significant to Aboriginal people. Programs are carried out in this park to survey, stabilise and protect Aboriginal heritage sites. NPWS works in partnership with the local Aboriginal community, where possible, and supports cultural activities taking place within the park.

    Managing fire

    NSW is one of the most bushfire prone areas in the world as a result of our climate, weather systems, vegetation and the rugged terrain. NPWS is committed to maintaining natural and cultural heritage values and minimising the likelihood and impact of bushfires via a strategic program of fire research, fire planning, hazard reduction, highly trained rapid response firefighting crews and community alerts.

    Conservation program

    Hazard reduction program

    Managing fire-prone NSW national parks requires a three-pronged approach, including fire planning, community education, and fuel management. When it comes to fuel like dead wood, NPWS conducts planned hazard reduction activities like mowing and controlled burning to assist in the protection of life, property and community.

    Coastal views, Glenrock State Conservation Area. Photo: Shaun Sursok