Glenrock mountain biking trails

Glenrock State Conservation Area

Affected by closures, check current alerts 

Overview

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.

Accessibility
Medium
Distance
34km of trails
Time suggested
1 day
Grade
Medium
What to
bring
Hat, sunscreen, drinking water
Please note
  • Dogs and other pets are not permitted in this park. See where you can bring your dog.
  • Some of the trails are shared with other visitors, so look out for walkers and stick to signposted trails when riding.
  • Suggested times may vary depending on which mountain biking trail you chose to take.
  • If you are interested in holding a mountain biking event in this park, please use the online form.

Glenrock State Conservation Area provides excellent opportunities for mountain bike riding. With 14km of purpose-built bike trails and 20km of linked management trails in the northern section of the park, allow a day to explore the area. The mountain bike tracks will take you on a windy ride through open forest and woodlands and, in combination with the trail network, provide access to Burwood Beach, Leichhardt’s lookout and the waterfalls.

The trails are graded – green circle for beginners, blue square for intermediate and black diamond for advanced, so there is bound to be one that suits your level. Biking trails are all signed, so if you can’t see a sign it means that riding is not permitted.

Large bike maps are installed at major entrances, but if you'd like to print off and take your own, or find out further information on how to volunteer, check out Glenrock Trail Alliance. For up-to-date news visit Glenrock Trail Alliance on Facebook.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Also see

  • An aerial view of the ocean and Baileys Cottage in Glenrock State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer © DPIE

    Baileys Cottage

    Baileys Cottage in Glenrock State Conservation Area offers holiday accommodation near Newcastle. There’s a load to do, including mountain biking, fishing and walking.

Map


Map legend

Map legend

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/glenrock-mountain-biking-trails/local-alerts

General enquiries

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Glenrock mountain biking trails.

Getting there and parking

Get driving directions

Get directions

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

    Parking

    There's parking in Yuelarbah and Angophora carparks, both of which are bitumen seal. Yuelarbah carpark has 3 accessible parking spaces.

    Parking is also available in an informal council-owned carpark on Gun Club Road. This carpark is next to the gate that can be opened with an MLAK key to provide easy access for mobility riders.

    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

    Facilities

    Carpark

    Maps and downloads

    Safety messages

    Beach safety

    Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

    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 Plus 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).

    Accessibility

    Disability access level - medium

    • The entrance to the trails from Fernleigh Loop onto Gun Club Road has a gate that can be opened with a MLAK key, providing easy access for mobility riders.
    • Please note, the informal car park adjacent to the MLAK gate at Gun Club Road has no designated accessible parking spaces.

    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 pets in parks policy for more information.

    Smoking

    NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

    Learn more

    Glenrock mountain biking trails is in Glenrock State Conservation Area. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

    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 and Burwood Beaches. And keep an eye out for fossils, which you can find throughout the park. At Dudley headland, you can see fossilised tree trunks embedded in the rock platform.

    • Glenrock discovery walking tour Unlock the secrets of Glenrock State Conservation Area on this exciting 3-hour guided walk with Geotrail and Nature Tours.
    • Junior ranger: Glenrock coastal adventure tour These school holidays, join us for an adventure at Dudley Beach in Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle. Discover the fossilised forest on the rock platforms there.
    • 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.
    • Mountain bike coaching for all ages Ride your mountain bike through Glenrock State Conservation Area on a tour with Bike and Fitness. There are experiences to suit all ages and skill-levels.
    • Ocean rockpool nature tour: Glenrock Discover the amazing world of rockpools along the shores of Merewether and Burwood Beach, on this 2hr tour in Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle.
    • Women’s guided walk along Yuelarbah walking track Join Women Embrace Adventure for a guided walk along Yuelarbah walking track in Glenrock State Conservation Area. See rainforest, waterfalls and stunning coastal views just 15 minutes from Newcastle.
    Show more

    Connection to Country

    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, as well as the stone and clay resources available here. 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.

    • Aboriginal culture Experience Glenrock State Conservation Area through the eyes of an Aboriginal person on this Stage 2 (Years 3-4) Aboriginal culture Geography excursion.
    • Glenrock Aboriginal cultural tour Join an Aboriginal Discovery ranger on a cultural journey you won’t forget in Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle. Connect with this beautiful country and listen to cultural stories as on you walk on the lands of the Awabakal people.
    • 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.
    • Ocean rockpool nature tour: Glenrock Discover the amazing world of rockpools along the shores of Merewether and Burwood Beach, on this 2hr tour in Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle.
    • WildThings Explore Yuelarbah walking track on this excursion designed for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students and focusing on Science and Technology. Investigate the living world this in beautiful part of Glenrock State Conservation Area, home to amazing plants and animals.

    Historic heritage

    Baileys Cottage, Glenrock State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer © DPE

    Glenrock State Conservation Area has more than 145 recorded historic sites, including the remains of NSW’s 1st railway tunnels, Australia’s 1st commissioned copper smelter, and Australia’s 1st road and tram tunnel, Mitchells tunnel. There’s also a unique coastal railway on Burwood Beach, and one of the oldest and best preserved remains of a 19th century coal mine in the Hunter, the Burwood Colliery.

    • Burwood trail Burwood trail has a tranquil forest setting filled with spotted gum, ironbark and white mahogany trees. Situated in Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle, it’s the perfect walk for families, birdwatchers and history buffs.

    Stride, ride, or glide

    3 mountain bikers, Glenrock State Conservation Area. Photo: John Spencer © DPE

    Glenrock is magnificent for mountain bike riding, with trails suited for beginners through to advanced. 14km of single track and 20km of management trails wind through open forest and woodlands in the northern half of the park, with coastal views along the way. 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. And 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.
    • Mountain bike skills instruction at Glenrock Take your mountain biking to the next level with skills instruction by Momentum Is Your Friend. Held at Glenrock State Conservation Area, these helpful sessions are coached by friendly and professional instructors.
    • 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 has a diverse range of plant life, with over 70 plant species per hectare. A nature wonderland, the area conserves several significant vegetation communities, including 5 threatened ecological communities and 7 threatened plant species, including pink bells, coastal bush peas and white-flowered wax plants. It’s also home to over 140 species of birds, echidnas, bats and gliders. And during migration season you can spot whales from the many coastal lookout points in the reserve.

    • 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 discovery walking tour Unlock the secrets of Glenrock State Conservation Area on this exciting 3-hour guided walk with Geotrail and Nature Tours.
    • Junior ranger: Glenrock coastal adventure tour These school holidays, join us for an adventure at Dudley Beach in Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle. Discover the fossilised forest on the rock platforms there.
    • Ocean rockpool nature tour: Glenrock Discover the amazing world of rockpools along the shores of Merewether and Burwood Beach, on this 2hr tour in Glenrock State Conservation Area, near Newcastle.
    • WildThings Explore Yuelarbah walking track on this excursion designed for Stage 1 (Years 1-2) students and focusing on Science and Technology. Investigate the living world this in beautiful part of Glenrock State Conservation Area, home to amazing plants and animals.
    • WildTracker Come on a WildTracker school 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.
    Show more

    Plants and animals protected in this park

    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: Rosie Nicolai

      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.

    • Eastern bentwing bat. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Eastern bentwing-bat (Miniopterus schreibersii oceanensis)

      Eastern bentwing-bats congregate in caves across the east and north-west coasts of Australia, in colonies of up to 150,000. These small Australian animals weigh around 13-17g and can reach speeds of up to 50km per hour. Eastern bentwing-bats use both sight and echolocation to catch small insects mid-air.

    • Yellow-tailed black cockatoo. Photo: Peter Sherratt

      Yellow-tailed black cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus)

      The yellow-tailed black cockatoo is one of the largest species of parrot. With dusty-black plumage, they have a yellow tail and cheek patch. They’re easily spotted while bird watching, as they feed on seeds in native forests and pine plantations.

    • Brush tail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)

      One of the most widespread of Australian tree-dwelling marsupials, the common brushtail possum is found across most of NSW in woodlands, rainforests and urban areas. With strong claws, a prehensile tail and opposable digits, these native Australian animals are well-adapted for life amongst the trees.

    • Eastern common ringtail possum. Photo: Ken Stepnell

      Common ringtail possum (Pseudocheirus peregrinus)

      Commonly found in forests, woodlands and leafy gardens across eastern NSW, the Australian ringtail possum is a tree-dwelling marsupial. With a powerful tail perfectly adapted to grasp objects, it forages in trees for eucalypt leaves, flowers and fruit.

    • Australian brush turkey, Dorrigo National Park. Photo: Rob Cleary

      Australian brush turkey (Alectura lathami)

      The Australian brush turkey, also known as bush or scrub turkey, can be found in rainforests along eastern NSW. With a striking red head, blue-black plumage and booming call, these distinctive Australian birds are easy to spot while bird watching in several NSW national parks.

    •  Blue Tongue lizard. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Eastern blue-tongue lizard (Tiliqua scinciodes)

      The eastern blue-tongue lizard, one of the largest skinks in Australia, is found throughout most of NSW. When threatened, the eastern blue-tongue lizard displays its blue tongue in a wide-mouthed intimidating show. Not an agile animal, they feed on slow-moving beetles and snails.

    • Eastern water dragon. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii)

      The eastern water dragon is a subaquatic lizard found in healthy waterways along eastern NSW, from Nowra to halfway up the Cape York Pensinsula. It’s believed to be one of the oldest of Australian reptiles, remaining virtually unchanged for over 20 million years.

    • Profile view of a grey-headed flying-fox flying past eucalupt trees. Photo: Shane Ruming © Shane Ruming

      Grey-headed flying-fox (Pteropus poliocephalus)

      The grey-headed flying fox is Australia's largest native bat, with a wingspan up to 1m. This threatened species travels up and down south-eastern Australia and plays a vital role in pollinating plants and spreading seeds in our native forests.

    • Closeup of a laughing kookaburra's head and body. Photo: Rosie Nicolai/OEH

      Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae)

      Of the 2 species of kookaburra found in Australia, the laughing kookaburra is the best-known and the largest of the native kingfishers. With its distinctive riotous call, the laughing kookaburra is commonly heard in open woodlands and forests throughout NSW national parks, making these ideal spots for bird watching.

    • Lace monitor, Daleys Point walking track, Bouddi National Park. Photo: John Yurasek

      Lace monitor (Varanus varius)

      One of Australia’s largest lizards, the carnivorous tree-dwelling lace monitor, or tree goanna, can grow to 2m in length and is found in forests and coastal tablelands across eastern Australia. These Australian animals are typically dark blue in colour with whitish spots or blotches.

    • Long-nosed bandicoot, Sydney Harbour National Park. Photo: Narelle King

      Long-nosed bandicoot (Perameles nasuta)

      A nocturnal marsupial and one of the smaller Australian native animals, the long-nosed bandicoot is found across eastern Australia. Populations in the Sydney region have dwindled since European settlement, leaving only endangered colonies in inner western Sydney and at North Head, near Manly. The long-nosed bandicoot has grey-brown fur and a pointed snout which it uses to forage for worms and insects.

    • Peron's tree frog. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Peron's tree frog (Litoria peroni)

      Peron’s tree frog is found right across NSW. These tree-climbing and ground-dwelling Australian animals can quickly change colour, ranging from pale green-grey by day, to a reddish brown with emerald green flecks at night. The male frog has a drill-like call, which has been described as a 'maniacal cackle’.

    • A male satin bowerbird with black plumage and blue eyes stands in a bower made of brown twigs. Photo: Peter Sherratt © Peter Sherratt

      Satin bowerbird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus)

      With vibrant blue-violet eyes and curious antics, the satin bowerbird is a favourite for bird watching and easy to spot as it forages for food in open forest. Relatively common across eastern Australia, in NSW they’re found in coastal rainforests and adjacent woodlands and mountain ranges.

    • Tawny frogmouth. Photo: Rosie Nicolai

      Tawny frogmouth (Podargus strigoides)

      Found throughout Australia, the tawny frogmouth is often mistaken for an owl due to its wide, powerful beak, large head and nocturnal hunting habits. The ‘oom oom oom’ call of this native bird can be heard echoing throughout a range of habitats including heath, woodlands and urban areas.

    • White-bellied sea eagle. Photo: John Turbill

      White-bellied sea eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster)

      White-bellied sea eagles can be easily identified by their white tail and dark grey wings. These raptors are often spotted cruising the coastal breezes throughout Australia, and make for some scenic bird watching. Powerful Australian birds of prey, they are known to mate for life, and return each year to the same nest to breed.

    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.

    •  Black sheoak. Photo: Barry Collier

      Black sheoak (Allocasuarina littoralis)

      The black sheoak is one of a number of casuarina species found across the east coast of Australia and nearby tablelands. Growing to a height of 5-15m, these hardy Australian native plants can survive in poor or sandy soils. The barrel-shaped cone of the black sheoak grows to 10-30mm long.

    • Blueberry ash. Photo: Jaime Plaza

      Blueberry ash (Elaeocarpus reticulatus)

      The blueberry ash is a rainforest shrub which produces blue olive-shaped berries and spectacular bell-shaped flowers, which often appear on the plant together. It is a tall slender shrub or small tree found in rainforest, tall eucalypt forest and coastal bushland in eastern NSW, south-east Queensland and Victoria.

    • Cabbage tree palm in Dalrymple-Hay Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer/OEH

      Cabbage palm (Livistona australis)

      With glossy green leaves spanning 3-4m in length and a trunk reaching a height of up to 30m, the cabbage tree palm, or fan palm, is one of the tallest Australian native plants. Thriving in rainforest margins along the east coast of NSW, in summer this giant palm produces striking spikes of cream flowers which resemble cabbages.

    • Coachwood flower. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Coachwood (Ceratopetalum apetalum)

      Coachwood trees are Australian native plants that grow in warm temperate rainforests along coastal NSW. Also known as scented satinwood, the mottled grey bark of the coachwood has horizontal markings and a delicate fragrance.

    • Grass trees, Sugarloaf State Conservation Area. Photo: Michael Van Ewijk

      Grass tree (Xanthorrea spp.)

      An iconic part of the Australian landscape, the grass tree is widespread across eastern NSW. These Australian native plants have a thick fire-blackened trunk and long spiked leaves. They are found in heath and open forests across eastern NSW. The grass tree grows 1-5m in height and produces striking white-flowered spikes which grow up to 1m long.

    Environments in this park

    Education resources (1)

    School excursions (4)