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Stockton sandspit

Hunter Wetlands National Park

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Learn more about why this park is special

Stockton sandspit is in Hunter Wetlands National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

All-ages adventure

Stockton Sandspit lookout, Hunter Wetlands National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

The action all starts at Riverside Park. Here, you'll find a picnic area and paths leading off around Ash Island. They're all flat and wide, so perfect for getting kids on their bikes for some fresh air. Take a walk through the wetlands and identify different species of birds. Head to the deepwater jetty and do some fishing. There's quite the underwater bounty around here and, whether your spot is the jetty or the river foreshores, you can haul in flathead, whiting, tailor and bream.

  • Rainforest walk to Riverside Park Rainforest walk to Riverside Park, near Newcastle, is suitable for walking or cycling and crosses Ash Island, ending by the river where you can fish and birdwatch.
  • Riverside Park The family-friendly Riverside Park, near Newcastle, is the perfect base for cycling, walking, fishing and birdwatching on Ash Island.
  • Scotts Point Way to Riverside Park trail Enjoy an easy walk or bike ride along the river on the Scott Point to Riverside Park trail, Ash Island, as it takes you past excellent spots for fishing and birdwatching.

Early evidence

World War II Radar Station, Hunter Wetlands National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

Get a taste of some of the area's history. From the picnic area at Riverside Park, you can walk through the Kooragang City Farm precinct and find the ruins of the farmhouse and dairy built by William Milham, who ran a property here with the first European owner of Ash Island, AW Scott. Also on the island is a heritage-listed World War II radar 'igloo'.

  • Rainforest walk to Riverside Park Rainforest walk to Riverside Park, near Newcastle, is suitable for walking or cycling and crosses Ash Island, ending by the river where you can fish and birdwatch.
  • Scotts Point Way to Riverside Park trail Enjoy an easy walk or bike ride along the river on the Scott Point to Riverside Park trail, Ash Island, as it takes you past excellent spots for fishing and birdwatching.

Feather bluster

Sunset over Hunter Wetlands National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

The Hunter River and its estuaries are home to a number of habitats - freshwater wetlands, mangroves and coastal rainforest among them - making the area a haven for birdlife. More than 200 species of birds live here or pass through on their migration. Head to Stockton Sandspit, where shorebirds - plovers, oystercatchers and curlews, to name a few - roost and feed on the mud flats. Along the river foreshore, you'll also likely see pelicans, spoonbills, black swans and, sweeping over the water searching for fish, sea eagles and swamp harriers.

World-class wetlands

Wetlands, Hunter Wetlands National Park. Photo: Susan Davis

Hunter Wetlands National Park makes up part of the Hunter Estuary Wetlands Ramsar site (the Ramsar convention recognises wetlands of international importance). This peaceful area is important for many species of birds, including 45 that migrate internationally. The green and golden bell frogs, both threatened species, breed in the freshwater lagoons. The mangroves here also provide maternity roosts for tiny bats, including the eastern free-tail bat.

  • Rainforest walk to Riverside Park Rainforest walk to Riverside Park, near Newcastle, is suitable for walking or cycling and crosses Ash Island, ending by the river where you can fish and birdwatch.
  • Riverside Park The family-friendly Riverside Park, near Newcastle, is the perfect base for cycling, walking, fishing and birdwatching on Ash Island.

Education resources (1)

School excursions (2)

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Stockton Sandpit Lookout, Hunter Wetlands National Park. Photo: Susan Davis/NSW Government