Deadmans mountain bike loop

Werakata National Park

Overview

Deadmans mountain bike loop is an easy 8km cycle through rare Hunter Valley bushland. The trail starts near Astills picnic area and is a good choice for a family day trip.

Where
Werakata National Park
Distance
8km loop
Time suggested
1hr
Grade
Easy
Price
Free
What to
bring
Drinking water, hat, sunscreen
Please note

There is limited mobile reception in this park.

Don’t be put off by its name, because Deadmans mountain bike loop offers a fun and active day for the whole family. Set out from Astills picnic area on this easy, flat ride, flanked by ironbark, spotted gum and flowering shrubs.

Whether you travel on mountain bike, foot or horseback, be sure to stop and examine the bush around you. You’re likely to see some rare birds nesting and feeding, like speckled warblers, black-chinned honeyeaters and grey-crowned babblers. Cockatoos, magpies and kookaburras can also be seen along the track.

In spring and autumn, flowers like purple happy wanderer, yellow hairpin banksia, red mountain devil, and the lovely purple thyme honey myrtle splash colour atop the lush greenery.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

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 https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/cycling-trails/deadmans-mountain-bike-loop/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Deadmans mountain bike loop.

Getting there and parking

Deadmans mountain bike loop is in the Astills precinct of Werakata National Park. To get there:

  • Follow Maitland Road (B68) towards Abermain
  • Turn left on Old Maitland Road at East Cessnock 
  • Turn left on Ironbark Lane and follow the signs to Astills picnic area
  • Deadmans mountain bike loop starts here

Parking

Parking is available at Astills picnic area.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Werakata National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

Autumn

The days are cooler but still sunny in autumn, making it a fabulous time for hitting the cycle trails of Werakata National Park. The Deadmans Loop trail and Astills trail offer easy flat, fun rides for the family.

Spring

There are more than 200 different types of animals recorded in Werakata National Park and the nearby State Conservation Area. Spring is a great time to see them. The wildflower displays during spring are a sight to behold .

Summer

Pack a picnic lunch and head for the Astills picnic area with its beautiful canopy of gums.

Winter

Winter is a great time for bird watching in the park. Werakata is blessed with a huge number of spotted gums, one of only a few winter-flowering eucalypts found near the New South Wales coast.

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

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 mountain biking and 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).

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Permitted

Horses

Prohibited

Illegal dumping is prohibited and penalties apply. If you see illegal dumping activity please help NPWS by reporting it to Environment Line: 131 555.

Pets

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

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Cessnock (7 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

Lovedale (1 km)

As a major Hunter Valley wine-producing area, Lovedale dates back to the early 1800s, when local wheat and general produce farmers turned to grape growing. The Lovedale Long Lunch is a two-day eating and drinking extravaganza. Sample gourmet foods from local restaurants and wines from Lovedale wineries and vineyards. Even if you miss the annual event, there's nothing stopping you from embarking on your own Lovedale long lunch!

www.visitnsw.com

Singleton (30 km)

Just north of Singleton, at the foot of the Mount Royal Range, Lake St Clair makes a great nature lover's playground. Whether it's swimming, sailing, waterskiing, camping, fishing or picnicking you're after, you'll find it here.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Deadmans mountain bike loop is in Werakata National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Blossoming with life

Small flower, Werakata National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Spring wildflowers such as purple happy wanderer, yellow hairpin banksia and red mountain devil all bloom in Werakata National Park. There are also delicate ground orchids and lovely thyme honey myrtle sprinkled throughout the park. More than 200 native animal species have been recorded in the park and surrounds. You'll likely see tree-dwellers like gliders, possums and bats at night. Old favourites like wallabies can also be seen feasting on the luscious landscape. Lizards, like the common scaly-foot and Burton's snake lizard, might be a little harder to find, but keep looking. If you like birds, you’ll love Werakata. The abundance of ironbark and spotted gum, which flower in winter, attracts the threatened swift parrot and regent honeyeater. The trees’ blooms are an important winter food source for the birds and the park becomes a winter breeding ground. But there is a lot of birdlife all year round. Powerful owls, masked owls, various robins, and lorikeets can all be seen here, so be sure to bring your binoculars for some great bird watching. 

  • Deadmans mountain bike loop Deadmans mountain bike loop is an easy 8km cycle through rare Hunter Valley bushland. The trail starts near Astills picnic area and is a good choice for a family day trip.

Green in the valley

Kurri sand swamp woodland walk, Werakata National Park. Photo: John Spencer

Conservation is a vital aspect of this national park. Check out Kurri sand swamp woodland and Hunter lowlands red gum forest, as they are home to endangered ecological communities. Werakata National Park has some special and endangered plants. Over 400 species of plants are known to exist here. Lower Hunter spotted gums and ironbark form part of the park's thick bushland, and are a rich source of food for the winter birds that flock here.

Education resources (1)

Astills Trail, Werakata National Park. Photo: Susan Davis/NSW Government