Back Creek picnic area
Blue Gum Hills Regional Park
Back Creek picnic area, set in a beautiful dry eucalypt forest, offers great spots for picnics and cricket games, is close to easy walking tracks and features a maze.
- Picnic areas
- Blue Gum Hills Regional Park
Bookings are required for groups of more than 40 people
- Please note
- Walkers, cyclists and horse riders should stay on recognised tracks and trails as there are areas in the park that are subject to mine subsidence.
- Water is not available, so you'll need to bring your own supply for cooking and drinking.
The Back Creek picnic area is a popular place for birthday celebrations and family gatherings. There are free gas barbecues, easily accessible picnic tables and a large field that is perfect for a spot of cricket, football and kite flying.
The kids will love this picnic area; there’s a timber maze with an observation deck for you to watch them getting lost and found again and a special mining-themed playground with tunnel and crank-handled conveyor belt for adventurers to get into the spirit of the place.
If you feel like exploring the history of the park a little more, you can take the easy walk accross the creek to the pleasant view over Minmi cemetery. Many of the men who worked in the mines were laid to rest here, see if you can find the oldest grave.
Take a virtual tour of Back Creek picnic area captured with Google Street View Trekker.
For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/picnic-areas/back-creek-picnic-area/local-alerts
- in Blue Gum Hills Regional Park in the North Coast region
Blue Gum Hills Regional Park is open 7.30am to 8pm during daylight savings (7.30am to 5pm at other times), but may have to close at times due to poor weather or fire danger.
All the practical information you need to know about the Back Creek picnic area.
Getting there and parking
Get driving directions
Back Creek picnic area is 500m from the Blue Gum Hills Regional Park entry gate, off Minmi Road near Minmi.
Park entry points
- Blue Gum Hills parking See on map
- Sealed roads
- 2WD vehicles
- All weather
Parking is available nearby Back Creek picnic area
Best times to visit
There are lots of great things waiting fopr you in Blue Gum Hills National Park. Here are some highlights.
A great time for cycling and walking as it cools down after the summer months.
The weather is beautiful and fresh; perfect for a spot of walking or cycling.
The picnic and barbecue areas offer lots of shade so it's a good time to visit to escape the heat.
Weather, temperature and rainfall
20°C and 28°C
10°C and 18°C
- Flush toilets
- Gas/electric barbecues (free)
Maps and downloads
Disability access level - easy
This area is fully wheelchair accessible
- Designated disabled parking spots are available
- Wide concrete path to sheltered picnic tables
- Toilet facilities are wheelchair accessible
Dog walking is permitted in this part of the park, but you'll need to keep them on a leash at all times and remember to pick up after them.
NSW national parks are no smoking areas.
Cessnock (27 km)
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Newcastle (16 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.
Warners Bay (10 km)
Warners Bay offers a great lifestyle with a vibrant cultural precinct. It's a pretty lakeside suburb.
Back Creek picnic area is in Blue Gum Hills Regional Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:
Learn about the area's mining history
From the middle of the 19th century right up to the 1980's, much of the area of Blue Gum Hills Regional Park was used for mining, mostly Newcastle's famous black coal. You will see evidence of the park's mining history in its unusual topography, undulations and scars are still a feature of the landscape. There is so much to discover about the park's mining history, start by walking the easy Heritage Track which features an historic 1870's chimney, one of the few in good condition in NSW. This park is a fascinating work-in-progress, undergoing rejuvenation and transformation into the beautiful bushland setting much of the park already enjoys.
- Heritage walking track Join the Heritage walking track for a glimpse into the park’s mining history. This short walk follows the old rail embankment to a ventilation shaft from the 1870s.
- Minmi Cemetery walk Take this gentle walk to Minmi Cemetery, a charming historic site that dates back to the coal-mining boom of the mid-1800s.
Stacks to do
The local community has already discovered just how much there is to do at Blue Gum Hills Regional Park, and everyone’s welcome. You can make the most of the wide open spaces, pretty bushland setting and picnic and barbecue facilities, to spend the day bushwalking, cycling, orienteering, picnicking, horse-riding, playing ball games or simply reconnecting with the bush.
- TreeTops Newcastle Challenge yourself on a high ropes course in the forest canopy at TreeTops Newcastle. Adults and kids can choose from over 100 elevated obstacles including rope ladders, wobbly bridges and zip lines.
- Village Green picnic area With picnic table, barbecues, mountain biking trails, an adventure playground and bushland setting, Village Green picnic area is ideal for families and large groups.
The kids will love it too
For the kids there’s a maze, a cool mine-themed playground, easy bush tracks for biking and burning off energy and the flying foxes and rope challenges of the TreeTop Adventure Park. And while they’re getting back to nature, see if they can spot the yellow tailed black cockatoo, with its huge, bulbous bill and bright yellow ear feathers and tail panel, and the masked owl, 50cm long, with a flat, heart-shaped face encircled by a dark border.
Plants and animals you may see
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.
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.